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United Airlines

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United Airlines

(based on 288 reviews)

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of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


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Most Liked Positive Review


Rolling out the Red Carpet ...

Last year I took a few trips here and there, kicking off with a flight out to California to visit my cousin in Eagle Rock (a suburb of L.A.).  I hadn't seen...Read complete review

Last year I took a few trips here and there, kicking off with a flight out to California to visit my cousin in Eagle Rock (a suburb of L.A.).  I hadn't seen Melody in more than 50 years! Because I hadn't traveled in a long time and since this was a special occasion, I decided to kick over the traces and fly first class but what I really splurged on was membership in the Red Carpet Club.  It was expensive but definitely worth the money for someone like me, who isn't afraid to fly but who DOES distrust having to spend hours waiting in a busy, crowded airport.  For each flight -- to California and the one back -- I ended up getting to the airport four hours early and so I really appreciated the Red Carpet Club.

For those of you who may not have heard of this, membership in the Red Carpet Club entitles a tired traveler to wait in a special lounge set aside from the rest of the airport.  You have to show your membership card at the front desk to get in.  This may sound elitist and it is but nobody treated me like a queen -- the Red Carpet Lounge was nice but not glamorous, the snacks were so-so, and we had to pay for whatever drinks we got from the cash bar.  What the Red Carpet Club offers, however, is something even a queen would envy -- a chance to sit in a nice quiet place, unbothered by anyone trying to get something out of my tote bag (or worse yet putting something strange INTO it).  Nobody asked me for money, or tried to convert me and save my soul, or offered to sell me something wierd, or wanted to convince me that I had been his wife in a past life on another planet.  In short, I was able to spend a total of eight hours (four here in Chicago at O'Hare and also four at LAX) in public places but surrounded by total strangers who didn't come up and **start doing something totally strange**. 

More than 45 years of commuting and traveling have taught me to appreciate a nice normal situation, which is what the Red Carpet Club lounges at various airports provide.  I was able to just sit there reading something or quietly phoning someone on my cell phone, surrounded by mostly business people who were working on laptops.  There were quiet rooms off to the side where whole families were relaxing and watching television. It was nothing fancy, just a quiet place where I felt secure enough to even doze off now and then as I waited for my flight.

United has recently contacted me, asking me if I want to renew my Red Carpet membership for $500 for another year.  Alas, for an infrequent traveler like me, this may be just too expensive.  I understand why it is so expensive to belong to this special club -- because a safe, sheltered oasis in the middle of a busy airport IS an elitist amenity and United Airlines wants to weed out those individuals who might compromise the peace and security of other people using these special lounges.  I understand and accept that those who invest in Red Carpet membership would rather the rest of us had to sit somewhere else.  It may be, though, that United Airlines should rethink this issue.

This is 2008 after all and economic reality is snapping at our asses ... especially for those people who work in the airline industry.  A lot of people are going to have to cut back on travel luxuries and many businesses who reimburse their employees' travel expenses may start to cut back to dire necessities.  It could be that United Airlines will survive but that the Red Carpet Clubs may be hit hard by a possible recession.  I think it would behoove United Airlines to stop limiting Red Club memberships to expensive annual subscriptions and start offering them as an extra amenity that an ordinary person planning a trip could pay for.  Having to pay maybe $25 extra for a chance to wait in the Red Carpet lounge as part of a reservation package would probably weed out those who are potentially problematic without making this prohibitively expensive for the rest of us, in addition to generating more income for United. 

I would be willing to spend a little extra money for something like that if I take another major vacation.  The concept of a Red Carpet lounge IS elitist but I must admit that I felt more secure there.  That's the fact, Jack!





Most Liked Negative Review


A Flight with United is a Flight Without AC or Restrooms

I recently had to take my first trip out of town with the children by myself.  Without many choices available to us (it was due to a death in the family and short...Read complete review

I recently had to take my first trip out of town with the children by myself.  Without many choices available to us (it was due to a death in the family and short notice flights) I booked my flights through [Priceline.com][1] and ended up with a flight on [United Airlines.][2]  

Arriving at 4:30 am at a Houston airport with the children in tow, double stroller, one suitcase and two car seats, the agent at the ticket counter was very nice and helped me quickly get through the ticketing process.  She even followed me to catch me, when the second "infant/lap seat ticket" was delayed in printing and I had walked off without it. 

**The Outbound Flight Houston to Chicago on United Airlines**  

Getting through security and then the usual wait for boarding was uneventful.  United apparently no longer does priority boarding for special needs or children.  Apparently you only get to board first if you have a first class ticket.  But that's ok, with me, with the girls I personally prefer to board last so that no one runs me over as I take time to fold up and gate check the stroller.  I also appreciate not having to sit in the seats with the girls trying to force them to wear the seat-belt any longer than I have to. 

The outbound flight attendant was very understanding of these circumstances.  She assisted me with my backpack of goodies and toys for the children and didn't insist that I immediately take my seat and buckle up.  She allowed me as much time as possible to keep them entertained before having to follow seating rules.  I was impressed with the leg room on the **United** flights (I am 5ft 7 in), although the seats are just as small as every other airline.  Don't bother asking for pillows or blankets, I think they may be army issue. I would prefer to bring my own anyway.

My layover in Chicago was uneventful, however, look for my next review on Chicago O'Hare Airport. That is a whole 'nother story, as they say.

The next leg of the journey from Chicago to Dayton, Ohio was uneventful. The attendant again allowed me plenty of time to get the children settled and they actually fell asleep.

**The Return Flight from Dayton Ohio to Houston Texas **

This is where the fun begins.  After being one of the last people to board I now have a flight attendant who did not help me bring everything on board and who insisted that the girls immediately were seated and belted, without toys or snacks because "we are preparing for take off."  Now I have no idea what possible damage my sippy cups and fruit snacks could do, I was more than willing to put them away in the event the plane actually started down the runway. My 3 year old kept taking her seat belt off, and as we were STILL sitting at the gate, I permitted her too. The attendant kept walking up and down the aisle and insisting I put it back on her as we were leaving the gate, the same gate we sat at for about 25 minutes, not moving.  Difficult to keep two small children belted and entertained with nothing more than my vocals to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" during this entire time.  I also did not appreciate the flight attendant continuing to pull the seat belt on my 3 yr old tighter, causing her to cry, squirm and wiggle and declare, "I don't like her Mommy." 

We roll away from the gate and then get into position for take off. We sit and sit and sit.  Eventually the Captain announces a ground stop in Chicago due to storms.  We have no idea how long the flight will be delayed, however we are not returning to the gate.  So here we are, stopped on the ground, my daughter locked into a seat, and I am without anything to entertain them.  I attempted to pull out some other toys and all them to play to be told that it was not permitted.  They had to keep their seat belts on. They could not move.

Three hours later we are landing, in Fort Bend, IN.  We had to refuel.  The 55 minute flight from Dayton to Chicago was out of fuel after sitting on the tarmac and also two attempts to land.  We again are at a ground stop.  No the children are not allowed to do anything.  45 minutes later we take off again to arrive in Chicago. We were offered glasses of water, but I was not permitted to use sippy cups, making the idea of water not a really good one for two girls 3 and under. This flight, Captain did great, communicating and landing,  rating a 4 out of 5 stars. Flight attendants, 2 out of 5.

Whoo hoo, hurray!  Off of the airplane.  Looking at the board I realize I have 20 minutes to make it from F terminal to C terminal.  Those who have been to ORD know what that means.  And wait for the review.

Arriving hot and breathless at the gate, the flight from Chicago to Houston kept getting delayed. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there. This continued for almost an hour, without explanation. I couldn't leave to go to the bathroom, nor could I take Colleen, because boarding may start at any time.

Finally, we are boarding.  As we step onto the plane (again without assistance in that narrow pathway of the airplane) I am hit by **hot, **stale air.  As I seat our party, and get settled the Captain announces he is sorry about the heat, which is overwhelming and now I am dripping wet and the girls hair is sticking to their head and necks, but we don't have air conditioning on the flight.  NO AIR?  How on earth am I to keep two small girls comfortable. We are informed that once we are in the air the situation will get better.   I stop the flight attendant and explain my daughter needs to use the restroom, do we have time before take off to use the lavatory.  "Sure, you do, but it's broken."  "Broken I repeat?"  Yes, believe it or not folks, no AC and no Lav on an almost 3 hour flight. 

Our flight is once again delayed and we sit at the gate. Fortunately for me, the attendant is too busy with all the other unhappy passengers to pay any attention to my daughters.  One kind soul helped me fan the babies until actual take off. By that time the one on my lap was miserable from body heat, over 90 degree weather, hungry and thirsty.

Take off at long last!  First class passengers are served their "snacks boxes" and drinks.  I think,  "Great finally something for the girls to eat".  Nope, not so for us in coach.   evnet after delays and storms. Apparently keeping people waiting in no AC and no way to go to the bathroom doesn't rate a snack box.  I couldn't even get one for the girls.  Dinner was fruit snacks, raisins, and peanut butter crackers.  I didn't even care by then that some of the fruit snacks got ground into the floor.  Nor did I care if their were cracker crumbs in the seats. 

As we arrive we are told that the flight crew has a "quick turnaround" and could the passengers please clean up the areas around them?  Throw away all the trash, clean things up, and anything else we can do to make the turnaround faster."  This is now my job?  Was it the passengers fault for all the delays? Or that there was no lav service, which also meant I had to change [pull ups][3] (thank God she was wearing them) and diapers in my seat? Sure I took the appropriate measures, purex, diaper baggies etc) but now I am supposed to organize magazines and clean up the trash around me?  Ok, I am a good little traveler, I admit I did clean what I could easily reach. The rest was left for the flight crew.

***My Viewpoint: ***I admit, normally I would never consider writing a review of this length.  What is sad is that I ***almost  ***gave them an average (3) star rating.  Unfortunately that is the state of affairs with airlines.  With poor or no customer service, no air conditioning, no snacks on a 6 p.m. flight, **United *still* **almost rated an average, as in ***average for the industry.***  It is rare that I find an airlines that actually performs above average service.  There were high points, but I attribute those to the people who work for **United**, not to **United Airlines**. Thank you to the ticket agents at IAH, you were helpful and courteous.  To the flight crew from IAH to ORD, thank you again for making a difficult journey that much easier.  It was a relief to get on the plane and be on my way.

Flight attendants, if you are reading this, please do not touch our children without asking.  Please do not pull seat belts tighter, but instruct parents and caregivers to do so.  If you see families with children traveling (and you do, face it there are more families traveling by air everyday) allow parents the "space" to get settled and to handle their children themselves.  Offer assistance, but be understanding. Children are not adults, they do not follow instructions easily and quickly, and believe it when I say as a parent my children's safety is paramount and I will tighten the seat belt, I will do all that is needed, but you have to give me some space and time.  Offer extra snacks if you can, I know those first class passengers didn't eat all their snacks, and the children on the flight really could have used them.  And to those flight attendants who have provided these services to me during my many travels, a great Big THANK YOU, regardless of your airline.

[1]: http://www.viewpoints.com/Priceline--25303-reviews
[2]: http://www.viewpoints.com/United-Airlines-reviews
[3]: http://www.viewpoints.com/Pull-Ups-Training-Pants-with-Learning-Designs-3T-4T-32-40lbs-Mega-40-reviews

Reviewed by 288 customers

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Don't do it.


from Baltimore, MD

Comments about United Airlines:

I really wish that there was a lower rating than one star for United. My husband and I were waiting to board a flight from Charlotte, NC to Boston, MA when we heard an announcement that the plane had previously suffered a bird strike. I understand and appreciate the delay in getting the plane okay-ed for take-off. That being said, the delay caused us to miss our two hour layover and flight change in DC. By the time we got to DC, the United counter at the airport was being manned by one person. Since almost everyone on our flight missed their connections, you can imagine the lines. We ended up in another wing of the airport at another United counter. The people working there were rude (literally screaming at us because we had the gall to expect them to help us with our situation...), threatening (when I took pictures of the "exceptional" employees to send to their corporate offices,) and even refused to help some of us because they didn't like the attitudes that we had at midnight... I followed up by sending the CEO a letter outlining my nightmare on LinkedIn. That was November. It is now the end of May. No response. Also, no surprise. DO NOT FLY UNITED unless you have the patience of Job.


Walk, don't fly


from Greenville SC

Comments about United Airlines:

I flew from GSP to O'Hare, to LAX to Sydney. The first flight was late into O'Hare. That flight was also late into LAX. But the flight to Sydney was on time and I missed it. They booked me on the next filght to Sydney which was 24 hours later. I was charged for a hotel room in Sydney when I sat in LAX. The United employees really didn't care.
Another flight from PDX to GSP. The flight was late leaving. We flew into Texas but I can't remember which city. By the time the late flight got there, the airport was closing and I had to wait until the next day to get home.
Late flights. And the company could care less.


They are unreliable, unprofessional and discriminatory


from San Diego, CA

Comments about United Airlines:

I doubt that I would fly with United Airline again. They are unreliable, unprofessional and discriminatory. I booked and paid for my flight from San Francisco to San Diego with an assigned seat as my last connection of my international trip almost 4 months in advance and checked in for the flight 24 hours in advance. I arrived at the assigned gate in San Francisco more than 2 hours in advance and was the 3rd person standing in line of the priority. However, because of overbooking, I was denied boarding discriminatorily without any explanation while other passengers lining up behind me boarding the plane. After I got home, I complained to their Customer Care and demanded an explanation for being picked to be denied boarding. After one month, they told me that other passengers paid more for their tickets than I did. Really!!! My flight from San Francisco to San Diego was one of the 4 flights in my ticket purchase 4 months ago. They can give me whatever excuse they have and think that I will accept some certificate to fly with them again, but I doubt that I will take the chance of not getting to my destination on time with United Airline again.

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  • I received a sample

Will never fly this airline again


from IND

Comments about United Airlines:

Wow, worst airline experience I have ever had!
I fly very frequently for my job where I actually have platinum status with American Airlines. This is my first experience with United and everything was awful. From the customer service, them not letting me have my TSA pre check, to not having the plane ready by the time it was supposed to take off. By the time it was supposed to take off I was supposed to be boarding my other flight back west. Because they were unprepared, I missed both lay overs and almost missed my work event. next time I will pay the extra 400-500 dollars to take any other airline just to avoid having an experience like this. I will not reccomend this airline to any or my colleagues I hire for my team. Completely appauled by my whole experience.


Worst Airline Ever


from Bayamon, PR

Comments about United Airlines:

December 25, 2015, I bought a ticket to go to Texas to enjoy the holidays with my family, who did not see for over 7 years. I chose to buy a ticket for United Airline due to the good reviews of other travelers. The trip would be December 28, 2015, departing from Puerto Rico at 6:45 am. From two o'clock I received text messages by changing the departure time. At 7 am they had already changed the departure time three time, so I decided to change the ticket for the next day. On Tuesday, December 29, 2015, I left the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico to the city of Newark and there was another plane abortion at 8 pm to the city of Austin, Texas. Again, departure rescheduled three times and finally at 12 midnight, decided to cancel the flight without giving an explanation of what happened. All were stranded and many chose to take flights to their homes and others wait another day to see if they could get a new ticket. However, bad your experience has been, these people were residents of the United States, only I was a resident of Puerto Rico, so that the time of uncertainty and anguish increased; as there was no chance of reaching the city of Austin, Texas until January 1, 2016, or returning to Puerto Rico until the next day at night. I chose to change the destination city choosing Dallas, Texas but is 3 hours of Killeen, where my relatives live. Although they offered me stay for the night, it was more than two in the morning and the next flight would leave at 9 am, so I opted to stay at the airport that night. The next day, I arrive to wait the departure time and received a text message informing that the gate was changed, so I had to take a bus to get to the new gate because it was in another building. After half an hour waiting, I checked on the board that the flight was on time, but to my surprise, once again moved out of the building where it was before, so again I took another bus to take me to the new gate.


Fly the friendly LONG skies of United ?


from Phoenix, AZ

Comments about United Airlines:

UA just recently stopped service in and out of JFK International in New York as of late October 2015. What a very bad decision. The explanation behind that decision given to the employees who would then be displaced to other locations or worse yet, lose their jobs, were told "this is what the business man on Wall Street wants." What? United merged with Continental Airlines back in about 2010 and United accepted the terms of Continental, which evidently swayed UA to go along with using one of Continental's main hub airports - EWR (Newark Liberty International) in Newark, NJ. As for my own personal experience, I recently flew out of EWR to ARN (Stockholm). My sister, a retired UA employee drove me from Long Island (mid), NY to EWR on a Tuesday morning after 9:00 am. We arrived at EWR at about 12:00 pm. We had to drive much of Long Island, through a couple of NY boroughs, including Staten Island, and we then arrived at EWR. The 2+ (almost 3 hour drive) was beyond words. No bad weather, business traffic still heavy out of Long Island and into the boroughs of NYC and it still took quite a long time to get to EWR. I highly doubt that the average businessman living on Long Island or points north of NYC (i.e., Westchester County, Putnam County, Connecticut, etc.) would want to now drive to EWR for a non-stop flight across the continental US). They would now be relegated to take 2 or more flights out of LGA (LaGuardia) to get across the country if they want to fly United. While I did not fly UA that day to go overseas, my point here is that I would never dream of going to EWR to fly across the US as this is so out of reasonable reach, when, in fact, JFK was a perfect airport to SERVE all of Long Island, Westchester County, Putnam and other surrounding areas, including Connecticut. UA made a very poor move by pulling out of JFK. I highly doubt that the Wall Street businessman wants to go all the way of EWR. It's OK if they LIVE on Wall Street. Stupid !!!!

  • Affiliation:
  • I am an employee or otherwise affiliated with the brand

Airline service out if jfk stinks !!


from Jfk

Comments about United Airlines:

Flight oversold crazy attendant forces me to check my bag that I carried on the flight out .. Ridiculous after paying a zillion upgrades in order to board early in the process and to actually ensure a seat that I could sit next to my child !! Will never fly United again


No Customer Service


from Tulsa, Ok

Comments about United Airlines:

Employees are not very nice, ontime performance is horrible and begining to outsource their stations

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Worst Ailine ever


from Fayetteville NC

Comments about United Airlines:

Arrived at airport to an angry lengthy crowd at United desk. Flight had been cancelled and not one of us had been notified. Waited an hour, line did not move at all. Finally spoke up loudly and said we deserve better service than this, was basically told shut up and wait your turn. Another hour went by before making it to the counter. No explanation as to why flight was cancelled. Very unhelpful staff, acted like they could care less, they were laughing at all the angry customers. Finally they called a cab and I had to ride hour and a half to another airport. Asked the cab driver if this sort of thing was common, he laughed and said it happens from this airport day in day out. I was suppose to be halfway to Tulsa by this point, hadn't even boarded a plane yet. Flight they had switched me to was delayed, again with no explanation. Didn't dare to go anywhere to get a bite to eat, didn't know if we were going to leave or not, the staff had deserted the United counter and just left us there to wonder. Called United Customer service 3 times, 3 times put on hold for around 20 minutes then hung up on. FINALLY got called to gate(3 hours late) and boarded. Sat on runway forever, they were just trying to appease us. Finally took off, was suppose to be to my final destination by now. Layover in Houston, flight delayed with no explanation again and again empty desk. Called customer service again and demanded a supervisor, after half hour got one. Demanded answers, was told out plane was still in San Antonio and had not left the ground. Asked why and when it was coming, no explanation. Two hours later plane shows up. I was suppose to be at my destination at 7:30 pm, here it was 1 am and had an hour and half flight left to go. Contacted my family at destination and told them I really had no faith I would even make it there that day, told them best I could do was let them know when I knew something, but don't hold your breath. Arrived FINALLY at Tulsa around 2:40 am, called family and said I'm finally here. I WILL NEVER ever fly this airline again as long as I live. I have flown many times and have never seen such a bunch of employees who were so versed in lying to your face and could care less. Flight home, same stuff. last leg of trip got boarded on to this old junker that belonged in a scrap heap, no A/C and flight attendant who thought that was funny. Looked around me to people sweating to death, never seen so may angry people in one place in my life. Could not wait to hit the ground and be done with them. This wasn't the cheapest flight I could have booked, appeared to be most direct and timely route, boy oh boy was I mistaken. Never did get a chance for food, finally got to eat after my family picked me up, had only been 22.5 hours with no food, acceptable in United Airlines eyes.


You get what you pay for


from USA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about United Airlines:

I've flown United several times in the last couple of years, with them providing the most regular service to and from London, for business, as well as connecting to Central America for holidays. Being a frequent flier, I'm aware that these days there's a real push towards getting as many people onto a plane as possible and, in many ways, United's service is no better or worse than on comparable airlines. In fact, in some areas, they do quite well. However as a carrier they are often my selection due to cost, more than any other factor.

Their new fleet of 787s make for a pleasant flying experience, but there's an equally good chance you'll get one of their older stock that hasn't been refurbished in 10 years and they can be particularly troubling. They also suffer from a crippling lack of leg room at times.

I find their practice of overbooking flights can have some positive side-effects: i've had several free upgrades to Premium Economy (which on the 787s is very spacious).

Oh, and if they could make in-flight alcohol complimentary (as it is on BA & Virgin) that'd be lovely

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