United Airlines has lost its bearing in customer service or quality of service. Putting Revenue firs

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by shm_comm, Jan 30, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. shm_comm

    shm_comm New Member

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    United Airlines has lost its bearing in customer service or quality of service. Putting Revenue first, who cares about the customers!

    I have been loyal to United Airlines for many years now (since 1996). I am close to having flown 3.9 Million Miles and I was Global Services from 2003 until end of January 2014.

    United does not care about its customer and clearly not its loyal ones! All it cares are revenue, no matter what are the implications.

    Here is a list of the frankly unacceptable behaviors that I have seen since roughly 2008. My list probably incomplete.

    1. United Airlines decide around 2008 to add co-pay to upgrades request with miles. Therefore devaluating immediately the value of these miles and disregarding the fact that customers with large amount of miles. United never offered to keep that value for past miles!
      1. Of course United justified this by claiming others were doing it and this was a way to increase revenue… Here we go!
      2. Since when is taking the lowest denominator an objective for the service offered. Or is it that United Airlines really believes that they need to really deliver the bare minimum for any service they offer?
    2. United Airlines decided that it is ok to provide domestic business class seat and accommodation that would not even qualify to be the economy class services on other airlines.
      1. They do that on domestic segments claiming that it is on par with other competitor. Main features being:
        1. Seats that do not recline more than a few angle
        2. No foot rest of any kind
        3. Uncomfortable seats that seem to be recycled seats from the 90’s
        4. Often no in seat power
        5. Only crappy direct TV entertainment, that they now often replace with a more than once missing or not working media streaming app / service for your device nothing that
          • Direct TV does not work over water
            1. but again it allows them to charge their economy customers for a limited catalog or coverage
            2. and it offers additional add revenues! So I guess it’s good!
          • ~ 8 movies (I am generous) scheduled often move than 2 months in a row offer little entertainment to anybody who flies a few 5+ hours legs per month! You can only see the same movie that often. Of course. I guess it is cheaper for United to not have a wide catalog!
          • Streaming services offer 200 or so movies … but they are the same months after months except for a few ones (same issues as with Direct TV), and now eat the power the traveler’s devices…
            1. And guess what. Most of the seats don’t have in-seat power plugs!
              1. The old ones may be date from before electricity need existed?
              2. But why is that even with latest greatest planes?
        6. Internet is:
          • outrageously expensive,
          • often not working (including over water)
          • or simply not available on the plane
            1. With the usual statement that this is because they will be retrofitted (or upgraded) with Internet in the future (When? It does not matter why isn’t there an on par business class service in the meanwhile. My ticket price has not been discounted as a result…)
          • Streaming services offer 200 or so movies … but they are the same months after months except for a few ones (same issues as with Direct TV), and now eat the power the traveler’s devices…
            1. And guess what. Most of the seats don’t have in-seat power plugs!
              1. The old ones may be date from before electricity need existed?
              2. But why is that even with latest greatest planes?
      1. Try then an international segment that United airlines does not value. Like Latin America, Philippines etc… ever flown one of these legs?
        1. The service is the same as the domestic crappy service
          • Bad seats, typically the oldest ones that they have
          • No entrainment or entertainment (DirectTV) available only on the continental US portion of the flight (not really useful on an international flight!)
          • Typically no internet or just as above
          • Typically no streaming services
    1. You would think United Airlines would have learned (or cared by now) about devaluating the value of the points and upgrades offered to customers? No clearly loyal customer feedback did not change anything….
      1. In 2014 they decided to devalue the regional upgrades that they offer again with no regard for the lost value the typically good customers that hold them. So for example while before a regional could be used to request upgrade to say Colombia, you can no more use a regional
        1. In fact you must use a system wide (Global premier)… where you could use regional before
        2. And so you would burn a system wide upgrade for (See above):
          • A seat barely reclining
          • Of the without power
          • Often without entertainment or a crippled entertainment with barely broad catalog only for a tiny portion of flight
          • Almost guaranteed without internet
          • So does United really believe the peanuts, limited bar (any airlines has a wide selection e.g. Campari to name a particular example.. United does not and never listened to any feedback on it; yet they have it in their United Club. Go figure?) and their strange notion of gourmet airline food justifies the use of such an upgrade?
    2. In the meanwhile,
      1. they have canceled numerous legs (e.g. South East Asia roads, HK, Australia) limiting where and how upgrades can be obtained
      2. planes are crowded like they never were before (I am sure it’s positive on the revenue)
      3. Planes are late, late and late.
        1. Where is the pride that United airlines had before to try to be the # 1 online departure {and arrival hello!) airline?
      4. and luggage are lost like they never were before
        1. And United Airlines clearly does not care... and it is getting worse
          • Late planes
          • Late crew
          • Technical problems
          • Recently I had my flight delayed by several hours due to crew delay… announced more than 20 hours earlier!
            1. Sure it is great to be informed
            2. But if it is known 20 hours in advance and the airport where the flight departs is a hub like SFO, how can it be that they can’t replace the crew in time? Surely that would not have been an issue if United Airlines cared about not being delayed.
        2. Till last year, my luggage got lost twice on all my trips and none were with United Airlines.
        3. For example last year they managed to lose it 5 times and in particular:
          • To send my luggage to Canada while I was going to Dallas and then without compensating and while knowingly where my bag was they managed to claim that it would take 2 days to arrive and fly it to san Francisco instead of sending it straight to me
          • They managed to lose the whole family luggage (5 luggage) in one shot despite ample connection time and when two days later they eventually arrived at the airport instead of delivering them immediately as they used to do they dared to make me drove to the airport to get them if I wanted not to have to wait up to week to receive them. Can you believe that?
      5. They managed even better. My daughter flew as unaccompanied minor on United Airlines in economy. They charge a hefty fee to safeguard her for that! And yet they manage to decide to only accept credit cards and therefor did not give her any food for a 6 hour trip!
        1. So while she was minor and so not expected to therefore be in possession of such a card
        2. And I had paid for her to be unaccompanied minor so you would expect that they would actually include ensure that this does not happen or otherwise warn about it
        3. And yet no matter what they did not give her any food
        4. Really, how can this be acceptable? Does revenue justify such a unbelievable poor customer service? Does anything justifies that?
      6. And the United Airlines web site has gone for bad to worse.
        1. Sure it looks good and has a growing set of useful and appealing features
        2. But is also does not work… Indeed since November 2014:
          • I have twice (and several time before) been unable to upgrade flights that I should have been able to upgrade (requiring one or multiple calls to get them waitlisted or accepted)
          • I had legs upgraded one the web site (using regional upgrade to do HNL/GUAM/MNL and MNL/GUAM/MNL) and then these upgrades dropped by the system
            1. When calling to investigate, United Airlines refused to honor what the web site had granted
            2. Then and only after threatening of action did they honor the shortest leg forcing me to pay extra to get the other legs that the system had granted
            3. And reimbursing these only after I again threatened them of further action considering that it was what the web site had communicated and that the flight was on non-reclining seats with internet or entertainment system not working and without power (see above).
            4. All despite having the web site actually confirming the upgrades!
            5. And having in the meanwhile a web site support director / manager cancelling all my upgrades on the basis that I had pointed out a mistake and that they would not honor the error!
            6. Unbelievable and again I point out they did that with one of their best customers!
        3. And in the meanwhile, have you tried to complain with United?
          • They used to have forms that can be received form the flight attendants.
            1. These are no more available
            2. I guess United Airlines was tired of hearing the same bewildered complaints? Or is it that they believe that if they stop listening to their customers we will stop complaining and keep on accepting their poor service?
          • BTW even the compensation they give have gone down to meager miles or lower discount coupons…
    3. And now…
      1. despite
        1. having been Global Service since 2003,
        2. flown 3.86 Million miles with United Airlines
        3. Flown more than 200 K miles in 2014
        4. And being certain to make 4 Millions miles this year and hence per United Airliens becoming Global Services for Life
      2. United Airlines found it was good customer relationship to not give me Global Service status (and no I have not complained much this year or last year over all these issues. In fact considering the ridiculous compensations they give I gave up on them listening or compensating appropriately)
      3. When it was pointed out, they offered to give me the status back if I spend $15000 by May 2015.
        1. The amount is not the issue
        2. The approach is just wrong. To address the above they should rather have extended till May 2015 and then cut if their conditions are not fulfill
      4. But I guess this denote a single focus on revenue, not caring about their loyal customers and more importantly forgetting that it is so expensive and hard to find a good customer and so easy to lose one…
        1. I have preferred status with Delta and American (that they gave me to match my Global services status)
        2. Global Service was the only differentiator for United Airlines
        3. United Airlines are now on par for me when selecting who to fly with… except that I am certainly very unhappy at the airline.
        4. And considering the above they better beef it up to get my business!
     
  2. COFreqFlyer
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    COFreqFlyer Gold Member

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    You can love the brick as much as you want, but the brick will never love you in return.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Way way waaaaay tl; dr

    But welcome to Milepoint!
     
  5. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    All the legacies are chasing the LCC's in a race to the bottom. They should be differentiating themselves in a race for the top. However, the general corporate attitude of valuing quarterly performance and ignoring the decades long view is cannibalizing so many organizations.

    It's the reason that "what have you done for me lately" is much more important than "how long have you been loyal to me".
     
  6. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    You seem angry, but without any real reason to be. Admittedly I gave up after the first whine.
     
    TravelBearTX, Dublin_rfk and Gargoyle like this.
  7. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    But, no offense intended, what viable corporation doesn't put
    revenue first? I think that if anyone has a legitimate beef,
    it's that the sole criterion seems to be short-term gain, but
    the airline industry is not unique in that focus.
     
    Gargoyle likes this.
  8. dc3
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    dc3 Silver Member

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    Yes, United management is greedy (very greedy actually) and then can get away with it now because capacity is tight and people are spending money. As a Lifetime member (not a high as you) I am also disappointed with their attitude. Now I fly foreign carriers when I can and choose domestic travel based on fares and convenience, not loyalty. It will take time, but sooner than later this will do in United. For the long term loyalty is a two way street which United (or should I say Continental) has yet to realize. Maybe someday a new carrier will arise and behave better. From what you read on this web site and others, there are al ot of use who fly a lot of miles who would love to go elsewhere but have yet to find the carrier worth moving to.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :confused:

    How is making more money going to cause UA (or any other airline) to fail??

    :confused:
     
  10. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Don't like their product? Fly someone else. Explore the options. UA isn't the only game in town. You might find something you like better; you might not. UA has been pretty clear about where they're headed, and if you don't like what they're selling, then stop buying it. But don't expect them to change for you, because it's not going to happen.
     
  11. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    The truth! In fact if you look, Spirit is a huge financial success and it is hardly the paragon of customer friendly service. So for all of the complaints, just imagine UA as a Spirit offspring :eek:
     
  12. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Tl;dr
     
    TravelBearTX likes this.
  13. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Cool story, bro.
     
  14. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    WOW, that a lot of effort. I can see it took a good deal of thought and time to amass your post. I wonder what the last straw was that instigated this and there must be at least one reason that you continue to grace the doorways of UA. As the proud :rolleyes: owner of a UA FF # that started with 002 I have been up (and Down) through the levels and over the years I have recieved many showers of affection(?) from UA. Sometimes to great satisfaction other times just yellow! My life situation require me to fly, it does not require me to fly UA. I do so because at the end of the day UA has treated me with respect than not and the kiss recieved after being short changed may have the enthusiasm of that from one's sister it's better than not being kissed.
     

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