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“Basic economy”
Review of United Airlines


Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I had read several reviews, negative ones, describing nightmarish experiences on United flights. Yes, it is true there are incredible restrictions. My wife and I could not sit together, we had to pay for our bag even though we are Mileage Plus members, no free snacks, etc. So, I was prepared for the worst. The images of troubles on United flights are hard to purge and many of our friends have cashed in miles and will no longer use United for their travel. A political mindfulness stand. Before I did the same, we decided to make this trip. Our daughter arranged for the Basic Economy and we did not truly understand the restrictions until it was too late to modify the ticket. So, we showed up at the airport, seats assigned, bag checked, pre check, boarding group 2, great flight (even though I am 6"2" with long legs and in a middle seat - I was still comfortable). The staff were wonderful and must have explained to fellow fliers at least 65 times in our earshot why they were not being served a meal. I get it: on foreign travel, you are treated in an entirely different way. But, all in all, I got on a plane, on time, with friendly and helpful staff members all the way, a wonderful on board crew, with a bagel and some fruit, and a tiny bag under my seat and landed in San Francisco ahead of time. So, I cannot complain. On the way back we took UA2410 (a red eye). I must say I think that the A319 planes are a bit roomier than the A320's - at least to me. I was on the window for that one. A very nice couple were in the same predicament as we were (not seated together) and we were able to switch one seat per couple and be together. I believe that those overnight domestic flights seem much tougher than international ones. Possibly because of the lack of meals and no free onboard entertainment. For now, I will continue to consider United as one of my airline possibilities. Besides the fact we had 2 uneventfully pleasant trips, the flight attendants, especially one gentleman we had on both flights (I did not get his name), attempted to make basic economy as pleasant as possible. They were great ambassadors for United and with the recent history, I am sure their jobs must be a difficult tightrope walk at best. Much praise to them.

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    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank jer b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,059 - 3,063 of 17,200 reviews

Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Pretty much a normal flight with little delays. We met up with our tour group in Calgary and heard so many horror stories about their flights there, so I though I'd mention that most of the time flights work out right.

Service at the gate and in the air were both very good.

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Thank RSpicer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago via mobile

The flight was delayed due to weather which is understandable. Three hours later the gate agent announced at 11:45 pm that the flight would not be leaving until noon the following day. Rather than sleep in the airport I went to a local hotel. When I returned the next day I was told that the flight had left at 1:15 am the previous night. I was told to wait on standby as they had no seats. Mistakes can happen but......the horrendous unsympathetic poor customer service is inexcusable. United needs to to retrain its employees .....I get better help at a tollbooth.....

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Thank jasperoo42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Earlier this summer, I was supposed to fly from Milan to Minneapolis at 12:25PM with a layover in Toronto. All confirmation emails from when I initially booked months ago state the time of the flight as 12:25PM; I booked a United flight through a third party website (FareDepot).
The night before the flight, United sent me an email with a confirmation code redirect for AirCanada; this was the first time I was informed who would be operating the flight. I tried to check in a few times with the provided confirmation code through AirCanada, but AirCanada’s online check in wasn’t working and I just kept getting errors, so I was forced to check in at the airport. I got to the check in counter just after 11:00AM and found out that the flight had been rescheduled to an earlier time of 12:10PM and not 12:25PM. There were two people from airport security who had been working the check in counter; they said that there was no way they could check me in for the flight because they no longer knew where anyone from AirCanada was and at it was an hour before my flight, despite the fact that I arrived at the counter before 11:10AM (an hour before my flight). The check in counter was abandoned over an hour before the flight was to take off. Further, I was informed that there was no one from United available at any check in counter to help me.
Neither United nor AirCanada had their own ticketing counter or customer service at the airport and, while I waited in line at the general ticketing counter that serviced AirCanada, I tried calling United’s customer help line in the US and Canada. I got an automatic answering machine from both numbers that hung up without any opportunity for me to get actual assistance. I ended up booking a flight last minute with Lufthansa to Chicago with a layover in Munich; I booked within an hour of the flight and was told at the ticketing counter that they would now hold the check in counter open for me so I could check in for this flight with less than an hour before take off. In the end, I got through security and to the gates well before 12:10 but still ended needed to take the Lufthansa flight which went into Chicago, because I was never able to check in for my original flight.
I also tried calling United in Munich because there was a flight from Munich to Toronto that I could have made that would have allowed me to make my original final flight from Toronto to Minneapolis that I was never told about when buying a new ticket in Milan. This time, I reached someone from United who said they denied responsibility because I didn’t book directly through the United website.
I was never able to readjust my schedule to arrive at the airport earlier because the flight time was moved up without notification. I was never able to check in for my original flight because the check in counter was abandoned over an hour before the flight was to take off. I was never given the opportunity to check in for my original flight stand-by because I was never able to reach a United representative. For this reason, I was also never able to fly stand-by for a later flight either. I ended up spending over $1200, 3x my original round-trip flight cost to buy day-of tickets from Milan to Munich, Munich to Chicago, and Chicago to Minneapolis, though I booked my tickets months in advance in order to avoid this expense. Since this happened, I've spent hours over the span of months in order to reach someone within United willing to take responsibility for the mistakes that were made, however United has blamed Lufthansa, AirCanada, the third party ticketing agent, and me for the mistakes that were made and has not accepted any responsibility. I'm a frequent international traveler who no longer trusts United, and by association Lufthansa or Air Canada and will no longer be flying these airlines until a resolution is reached.

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    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Micaela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

United's new basic economy fare is awful. No flexibility in it at all. Beware when you book because the lowest fare is now this totally restrictive basic economy fare. It is filled with "no"--no choice of seats, no changing seats, no upgrades, no normal size carry on, last to board. What a terrible idea. Buyer beware. It is a ripoff.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank eugeneoregongirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC