Hello, Due to work pressures, I have flown way too many international miles out of IAD this year so far. On Thursday night, I had to book a last-minute trip to Sao Paolo. Speed was the primary concern here - I needed to be in town no later than Sunday to prepare for Monday. Then I needed to be back home ASAP. The only airline flying direct to GRU from IAD is United. (Even TAM doesn't fly to GRU from IAD.) I have avoided United international flights like the plague, preferring flags like Emirates (for all my Asian and African travel). Now I know why. As a business man who always takes direct flights when they're available, and isn't wed to any mileage program, next time I will choose to connect on a different airline rather than willingly fly United internationally. Let me start by saying I was quite optimistic. I secured 6J (two across, facing forward) for the outbound leg, and used some miles to upgrade the return leg to 2K. It's only a 9 hour flight, which is pretty short for me, so I was anticipating everything would be fine. Oops. 1) The inbound aircraft arrived at around 3:30pm in IAD. Our flight wasn't until 10:00pm, so I was happy that the aircraft would be ready and all polished up for our flight. After 9:05pm they started boarding. I got to my seat, settled in, started watching TV on my iPad, and 30 minutes later ... they told everyone to disembark. Wait, what? They announced that a part needed to be replaced and it required them to open up a panel on the wing. For that reason, we all needed to be off the plane. That really irritated me. Why? Because the aircraft had been sitting on the tarmac for over 6 hours. Why didn't you find and fix the problem?!? They said it would take 45 minutes until we could board again. They were wrong. The problem was unfixable that evening, so they had to bring out a new aircraft. They told us to walk to C3. We were at D5. That's quite a walk, but fine - just get us to GRU. We took a 3+ hour ground delay before they boarded us on the new aircraft. We took off after 1:30am. All because United didn't properly service a 777-200 sitting at IAD for over 6 hours. 2) The crew was the single worst cabin crew I have ever experienced. They were all at the end of their careers -- indeed, one crew member on the return leg was on her final segment ever before retirement, and was taking pics with everyone. It was clear to me that they had long ago lost any motivation to be good at their jobs. They were clearly there to just wait out retirement, and couldn't care less about the customers. Two examples of the outbound crew: My primary flight attendant in business was a loud, rude oaf. She woke me up many times with her screeching. When she chit chatted in the galley 2 rows behind me, I could hear every word she was saying. Worse, she was incapable of lowering her voice to a socially acceptable level when talking to my seat mate in 6K. She was way overweight and anytime she tried to take a drink or a tray or what-have-you from my seat mate, her entire upper body was in my personal space in front of my face. The purser passed by me as I was standing next to a lav waiting for it to become free. The lav/galley space in the business class area on the 777-200 is quite tight - no one's fault; we just have to make the best of it. She looked at me and gave me the universal "can you stand up straighter and make room so I can get through" signal, and I happily obliged. Then she passed me and uttered, "Oh, not talking?" and shook her head and walked past. Wait, what? You looked at me, gave me a non-verbal signal, I happily complied, and before I know it you're criticizing ME for being rude by being passive aggressive under your breath? Are you kidding me?!? How about a smile, like I gave, and a thank you? You know, like everyone else in the world would give. 3) Now, let's talk about the worst part of the trip, and the real reason I will never fly United again: the gate situation at GRU for return flights to the U.S. Oh. My. Gosh. Quoting the United employee who seemed to be in charge, complaining to the passengers: "This is the worst. It's been like this for around 25 years. It was setup when we were flying 707s." Gates 4A, 4B, and 4C are a little area you take stairs/escalator to from the main concourse. It has seating for about 75 people. It can comfortably hold about 100-125 people I estimate. When I was there, they were boarding GRU->JFK, GRU->IAH, and GRU-> IAD. All on large jets (I assume). There must have been 500+ people in the waiting area, packed like sardines because we were given no other choice. All the flights left within a short time of each other, and were scheduled to board around the same time. But there's only one boarding crew of United and security employees. So JFK went first, then IAH, and then IAD. Everyone was complaining about how miserable they were because there was nowhere to sit (except for the lucky few who found a seat or a spot on the dirty, dingy floor), it was stiflingly hot, and IAD boarded 30 minutes late without any announcements of a delay at any time. We had to take overcrowded buses to the staircase to our plane. That's right: in 2014, it's possible to spend $9,200 on a last-minute business class fare on United Airlines to one of the world's largest cities, and get the "privilege" of using steep and metal stairs to board your 777-200. Did I mention it was raining and the metal stairs were slick? I got on board, took my 2K seat, and ignored the world until we landed. We were ~2 hours late landing, though I don't know why. Dear United Airlines, You've lost any possibility of getting the rest of my 6-figure international travel spend for the 9 months remaining in 2014. Your airline, from top to bottom, isn't interested in providing an even minimally-acceptable level of service, be it mechanical, customer service, timeliness, or communications. You're fired. With real sincerity, The guy who should easily be Global Services, but instead, won't spend international dollars on you.