The new first class

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by bonnerbl, Apr 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. bonnerbl
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    bonnerbl Gold Member

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    Took a red eye recently SFO-IAD in first class. Not quite the experience I was expecting.
    - no greeting at the door. FAs totally absorbed in chatting with each other.
    - no offer to take my jacket
    - prompt offer of beverage +++
    - FA started the safety video beyond the Smisek intro
    - dimmed lights as soon as we left the gate +++
    - no channel 9
    - FA was watching those still awake and quickly offered water, etc. +++
    - the morning refreshment was -instant- coffee with a heated cookie (can you believe that in first class?)
    All in all though the FA was personable the experience was not worthy of being called first class by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  2. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    So one flight is indicative of what all first class flights are now like?

    I've had similar experiences as you before the merger and after. Seems like a poor crew.
     
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  3. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences!:) Sounds not something I would expect in a " real " first class offering, but I've never flown first class so far!:(
     
  4. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Domestic first has always been lackluster, but I agree that it sounds like a poor crew rather than anything representative of the entire airline. Hopefully.
     
  5. FlyingFree
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    FlyingFree Gold Member

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    y FWIW, my last few flights in UA first have been fine...no surly crews or lack of reasonable service. Looks like you may have drawn the short straw on FA's this time!
     
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  6. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Sounds like some of the bad crews I've encountered over the years, on all airlines. I've had plenty of good, to very good, and a few great, flights post-merger in domestic first class. I think this was more a one-off case of a lackluster crew than a sign that the company has radically changed service standards.

    In fact, at this point in time, most flight attendants have not really been retrained on a single standard of service. There are still a lot of differences in the details of flight attendant service between the sUA and sCO crews. They've standardized meals and announcement scripts, but it's apparent they really haven't retrained everyone to the details of a single service delivery method for on-board, especially in the premium cabins.
     
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  7. RRK

    RRK Silver Member

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    I wonder if former UA FA boycott Smisek now by skipping his video welcome speech. This competition between UA and CO FA hopefully will stop soon, for the sake of being a loyal UNITED customer
     
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  8. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Some of that has been going on for over a year, with some FAs.
     
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  9. seaflyguy
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    seaflyguy Silver Member

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    +1

    I've had transcon flights (SEA-IAD-SEA) in F in the last week that were fine (no complaints, no kudos) and wonderful (incredible FA). Drawing too much of an inference from a single experience isn't useful.
     
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  10. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    I'm confused with why this is bad.

    So they didn't lick your lollipop when you walked through the door, so what?

    They got you a beverage promptly, made the cabin as conducive to sleep as possible, and kept an eye on those who stayed up to make sure they were cared for. That sounds like good service to me.

    Other than the jacket, and I have no idea why that was missed, sounds fine.

    I guess the catering in arrival could be an issue, but that's hardly a crew issue.

    And the coffee isn't instant, it just sucks. But it's the same coffee served on all flights. My adrenals are actually glad for it because it cuts down on my consumption.
     
  11. Pat+
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    Pat+ Silver Member

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    Just curious... what were you expecting?

    Channel 9 has nothing to do with First Class, and it's not a guaranteed service anyway. They didn't offer to hang your jacket... okay, but did you ask? I find that even the most surly FAs will promptly hang my jacket when I ask. As for the coffee, yeah it sucks, but it's the same in coach, and let's face it, UA isn't gonna offer espresso in domestic F when they can't pull it off in int'l F.

    All this to say... I'm not sure what you were expecting, especially on a red eye. Unless you're lucky enough to get an intl configured aircraft with a flat bed, F is just a larger seat and a snack, really.
     
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  12. Black Cloud
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    Black Cloud Gold Member

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    What a stark contrast to FT.

    A one-off bad experience blamed on the merger and there's 8 replies in a day saying "meh." This would easily be at page 20 on TOBB at this point with at least half the posts removed for violating some obscure TOS.

    viva MP! (and a small victory for common sense and rational, logical, dialogue).

    OP: sorry you had a flight that didn't meet your expectations. It happens.
     
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  13. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Now that's a change I like... I consider this quite an enhancement and I'm sorry you don't!
     
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  14. General_Flyer
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    General_Flyer Gold Member

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    I thought this flight is the characteristics of all US airline flights, no?
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You listed the following items. Those that are stricken through have nothing to do with first class per se:

    - no greeting at the door. FAs totally absorbed in chatting with each other.
    - no offer to take my jacket
    - prompt offer of beverage +++
    - FA started the safety video beyond the Smisek intro
    - dimmed lights as soon as we left the gate +++
    - no channel 9
    - FA was watching those still awake and quickly offered water, etc. +++
    - the morning refreshment was -instant- coffee with a heated cookie

    The preceding is offered without commentary, but that is a good question...were you, in fact, in first class? After all, it was a "red eye"...
     
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  16. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    Only the decaf is instant. The regular coffee is supposed to be brewed.

    The main meal is the snack on departure, not the scone (usually) on arrival. Old CO used to do mini-muffins on transcon redeye arrival, and UA used to do nothing, so I think of the scone as an upgrade.
     
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  17. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I actually like the Smisek part.
     
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  18. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Me too so I can make mocking faces and have the FAs laugh along.
     
  19. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Why no +++ after:
    - FA started the safety video beyond the Smisek intro

    That is a big +++ in my book :D
     
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  20. Dreamworks

    Dreamworks Gold Member

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    Do people notice a trend of less pilots choosing to turn on Ch 9? I have no data besides the flight I was on last not having it.
     
  21. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    On my recent trip I was speaking with the FAs who said pilots are less and less inclined to turn it on at least on the flights they had been working.
     
  22. thebkwee

    thebkwee Silver Member

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    Sure seems like it to me based on my flights. Not sure what the motivation for turning it off would be but I sure appreciate it when I get it.
     
  23. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    I love watching airline apologists leap to the defense of service that is basically what economy used to be. First class domestic service, even with a so-called "good" crew (and contrary to posts above, my experience is that there are way more bad ones than good ones), is essentially a waste of money. If you can get an exit row in coach, you will probably even have more space than first class.

    I hardly ever get ch 9 anymore on any flight, maybe 1 in 6.
     
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  24. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    I get Channel 9 on about 60% of my sUA flights.
     
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  25. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Most people aren't paying for first class. They're paying for Economy and sitting in First. I'll still take First over an exit row – the First seat is still wider, with more elbow room.

    Sorry you're having lousy crews. Not all of us have been so unfortunate.
     
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