United Airlines

United Airlines Logo

5.4

Overall Score

United Airlines

Earn miles on things you buy everyday.

Claim this Profile

BestCompany.com is trying to work directly with this company to verify the accuracy of the information on this page. Thank you for your patience as we make sure we’re getting it right.

Are you a representative

of this company?

Claim this Profile

United Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the United States, with some of its predecessors going back to the late 1920s. Originally, United Airlines was known as "The Boeing Company," and, in some ways, they still are the Boeing Company since this is the primary plane found in their fleet. United has nine airline hubs throughout the world. Its largest hub is in Houston and handles 16.6 million passengers every year, with 45,413 people getting on United flights every day. Chicago O'Hare is the company's largest hub in terms of departures. United flies Boeing 747s, 767s, 777s, and 787s. They also fly narrowbody Airbus 319s, 320s, Boeing 737s, and Boeing 757s, as well as various Embraer and Bombardier jets for its regional carriers. For its regional flights, United usually uses third-party carriers (such as ExpressJet) to get customers to and from smaller airports when traversing between mainline destinations. United Airlines is also a pretty safe airline. In the past twenty years, there have been 3 fatal flights, including two flights that crashed on 9/11, and one minor incident where some passengers and crewmembers were hurt on takeoff (though there was no structural damage to the aircraft).

 

The Good

  • Ticket prices
  • Boarding
  • Check-in
  • Destinations
  • In-flight services
  • Time in business

United Airlines has a low price guarantee on their tickets. They have some of the lowest ticket prices for both domestic and international flights. Their prices were often the exact same being offered by other large airlines (such as American Airlines or Delta). Because they are such a large airline, they have the ability to offer many different options for ticket times and connections. With their low prices and flexibility, many customers would be able to choose the flight that best suits them while using United. United also offers different discounts and promotions on their website and for reward club members. Customers can become a part of the MilagePlus program and earn different discounts with their miles. Customers can also have United email them specific discounts or promotions that are being offered.

United Airlines has a similar boarding process to many other airlines. Seats are chosen when purchasing tickets and can be changed or upgraded at the check-in time depending on availability. Boarding times vary depending on the flight locations and specific airports being used. United offers a few different methods of check-in including:

• Mobile check-in
• Online check-in
• Airport kiosks
• Airport check-in counters

Using the United mobile app, passengers can check-in for their flight 24 hours before departure and receive a mobile boarding pass. This speeds up the time at the airport and eliminates the need to keep track of a paper boarding pass. Passengers can also check-in 24 hours before departure on the online check-in and can also ask to receive a mobile boarding pass. If a passenger chooses to check-in at the airport, they have the choice of self-service kiosks (which are always open for use) or check-in counters which have specific hours of operation depending upon the airport.

United Airlines serves 374 different destinations, both domestic and international. This is a large number of destinations for an airline and makes United one of the larger airlines available. Some of their top destinations include:

• Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo
• Ft. Lauderdale from New York/Newark
• In and around California
• New York
• Chicago
• Las Vegas

United flies to Asia, the Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Africa. With all of their destinations, United would be able to serve many passengers on their flights. They would be able to provide a number of different options and because they offer more destinations than many other airlines, they would have more flight choices for passengers to choose from. United Airlines partners with a number of different airlines so that they are able to provide as many destinations as possible. They also continue to grow and their destinations are constantly changing and expanding.

United Airlines offers many of the customary in-flight services that are expected from passengers. Some of the details include:

• Dining: For economy flights, United offers a snack shop as well as an onboard bistro for their domestic flights. For international flights, they offer a complimentary meal. Often this is a three-course meal with a light snack and beverage options. They provide an option of beer, wine, and water. United also gives passengers the opportunity to order a special meal in advance for any dietary restrictions.
• Entertainment: There are a number of different options for entertainment on United Flights. Some of their planes offer personal devices. The passengers can use a personal device provided that it is already uploaded with a number of games, movies, and TV shows. Other planes offer screens on the back of the seats for passengers to view the entertainment options. And some of the United fleet has main screen entertainment. There is a screen at the front of the cabin for passengers to view the entertainment. The type of entertainment viewing option available for each flight can be found on the United website. They also offer magazines and packages of different DirecTV programs for purchase.
• Shopping: On international flights, United offers tax-free shopping for different items such as fragrances, cosmetics, and jewelry similar to many other airline shopping offers.
• Wi-Fi: United is in the process of making all of their planes have the option of Wi-Fi. Currently, 700 of their aircraft's do offer in-flight Wi-Fi for purchase. The prices vary depending on the specific flight and are not posted to view without specific flight information. Wi-Fi is also not permitted to be used to make any video calls on flights.

United Airlines has been in business for 89 years. They have become one of the oldest airlines, opening their company on April 6, 1926. Since they opened they have been committed to becoming the airline that customers want to fly with. They are currently offering the following to become that airline:

• Most extensive network: United flies 150 customers every year on close to 5,800 flights
• Most flat-bed seats: United offers the most flat-bed seats of any airline
• More overhead space: Passengers enjoy 66% more room
• More leg room in economy: Economy seating on United enjoys extra leg room for their seat

United Airlines also recently received their 5th consecutive perfect score on leading LGBT Equality Index for the Best Places to Work.

The Bad

  • Baggage
  • Flight statistics

United Airlines does not allow any checked baggage to be free for most of their flights. In comparison, a number of airlines do allow at least one piece of free checked baggage. A few international flights are free for one checked bag but generally the first checked bag costs $25, the second $35 or $100 for trans-Atlantic, and the third costs $150. Any additional baggage will cost $200 a piece. Additional baggage is also only accepted if the aircraft has room. While the cost is relatively low, it is still a cost while other airlines offer it for free.

The maximum exterior dimension (length + width + height) of standard checked baggage is 62 inches (158 cm), including handles and wheels. Having excess baggage weight or size will come at a fee to be determined by the specific weights and size of the baggage. However, there are restrictions including any baggage weighing over 100lbs will not be accepted (with the exception of assistive devices and musical instruments). Any baggage whose total outside dimensions are larger than 115 inches will not be accepted.

United Airlines flies close to 5,800 flights a year. When examining the daily flights that United flies to the most frequently, they did not have as high of performances when compared to other top airlines. Other airlines close to their size (such as Southwest and Delta) have slightly better statistics of daily flights than United does (as per Flightstats.com). Overall, United had roughly an 82% on time rate, a 7% late, 2% very late, 5% excessive and 1% of canceled flights according to Flightstats.com. Many other airlines have 0% canceled flights, unlike United. When looking at their most active routes, they received ratings lower than average for top airlines. Their top three routes include:

• Washington to San Francisco (3.5 stars, 91% on time)
• Los Angeles to Chicago (3.5 stars, 90% on time)
• Los Angeles to Houston (3.4 stars, 89% on time)

When compared to other airlines that have many high four-star ratings and some five-star ratings, United's 3.5 stars are low. United's most active routes are all domestic routes so it is hard to say how they compare with other airlines on international flights. Their lowest rated flight was the route of Houston to Newark with only 1.9 stars and 78% on-time according to Flightstats.com.

The Bottom Line

We recommend United Airlines as a top airline company. They offer very low prices and tons of flights that consistently leave and arrive on-time. They also are improving their in-flight service to ultimately enhance the overall user experience.

Disclaimer

As part of our service, we attempt to partner with all the companies that we review, and may get compensated when you click or call them from our site; however, regardless of any current, past, or future financial arrangements, companies listed on Best Company cannot buy their position, nor do we manipulate or inflate a company's ranking for financial gain. A company’s ranking is based on and calculated by an objective set of ranking criteria, as well as user reviews. For more information on how we rank companies, click here.

All user reviews posted on Best Company are subject to screening and approval. We reserve the right to approve or deny any review posted to this site in accordance with our Review Guidelines. Best Company never suppresses user reviews—unless they are being investigated for authenticity, or if they violate our review guidelines. We encourage anyone who suspects a user review to be fraudulent or intentionally inaccurate to please notify us here.


User Reviews

2.3

213 Reviews

Your trust is our top priority, so we check all reviews for accuracy and relevance. Additionally, we do not allow companies to alter or remove reviews. Learn more

Sort by:
Sheena
May 18th, 2018 Eureka, MT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

We were bumped from first class when traveling home from Disney and my husband had to fight them to get reimbursed for the difference. Luckily it all worked out or I would have given a lower score

Helpful?
Jade V
May 16th, 2018 Redlands, CA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Every time I’ve flown with United Airlines I’ve had a positive experience. They have been especially helpful every time I travel alone with my 4 little kids.

Helpful?
Vinson Ousley
May 16th, 2018 Mission, TX DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

We recently traveled from South Texas to Nashville via United. All flights were managed well and staff was pleasant and accommodating.

Helpful?
Larry Hawker
April 24th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I had to travel from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara. I had a very pleasant experience travelling even though we had a layover at LAX. Great airline and service. Thank you.

Helpful?
Jeffrey Foutz
April 23rd, 2018 American Fork, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Everything was wonderful. Facilities were clean. Flight was on time. Staff was very attentive.

Helpful?
Nik Anderson
April 23rd, 2018 South Jordan, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I do not like United Airlines. I've flown with them maybe a few times, but each time I have been mega disappointed. Boo. Their planes feel old and ugly. The customer service is meh. Nope. I will never fly with them as long as I have any other options.

Helpful?
Alaina Gull
April 18th, 2018 Falmouth, ME DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I was a United Mileage Plus member for several years and 6 times out of 7 in one year, they stranded me overnight. I fly from Maine to the West Coast several times a year and I got tired of not reaching my destination until the next day so I switched to another airline who has not stranded me overnight once. I've been delayed, but not until the next day, like with United. Chicago is the weak link. Whenever I connect in Chicago, I usually miss the connecting flight.

Helpful?
Maryayb
April 16th, 2018 Draper, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

This airline has the best routes to Central America. Lots of flight options! Not always a he cheapest though.

Helpful?
Andrea S
April 16th, 2018 Idaho Falls, ID DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

We have had several occassions to fly on United and it has become an increasingly unpleasant experience. The flights are overbooked, often cancelled, and the staff unhelpful. We have had luggage issues and broken planes more often than not. I don't recommend United if you have another choice of carrier.

Helpful?
Michelle Hawker
April 16th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I know many don't like the baggage fees etc. But all that aside, I cannot say enough about my positive experience with United. We were in a stressful situation, flying overseas for the second time in weeks to adopt a baby. Once they realized our situation, we were upgraded to 1st class. On our trip home with the baby, the off duty flight attendants helped with my baby. I will forever love United.

Helpful?
Madi Thompson
April 16th, 2018 Ogden, UT

I've had decent experiences with flying on United Airlines. I do, however, wish that there was more room for economy seats. I took a flight to Canada from Utah and I didn't have as much room as I would've liked for that long of a flight. Also, the food they serve is mediocre.

Helpful?
Hayden Danger Barton
April 16th, 2018 Layton, UT

Great airliner no problems at all from them

Helpful?
Nathan
April 9th, 2018 Layton, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

They seemed very nice on our flight from SLC to Chicago. I would totally fly with them again.

Helpful?
Dan Morris
March 13th, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I decided that I would give United a chance after not flying with them for a long time. I went to the gate and asked if there was any potential of getting a better seat and moving up in the plane. The gate agent said a flat “no” but you could upgrade to a better seat for an extra $300+. I was stunned but said okay. A woman went to the other gate agent and asked the same question if she could move to a better seat, and the agent said Yes, and there was no additional fee for her. I inquired to the other gate agent if that was a basic economy seat, and she replied yes. Why was the gate agent I originally spoke with intentially trying to make me pay over $300+ for an upgrade when she could have easily moved me to the free seat that was available?!?

Helpful?
Stephanie Lewis
March 12th, 2018 West Chester, PA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Overall, I was not impressed by United airlines. I had a connection with my flights so ended up on 4 flights. Every flight ran out if overhead space.. how does that even happen? My first leg of my return flight was coming from international. When I landed my flight still said on time, so I rechecked my bag and headed to my gate. Flight got canceled 5 minutes before boarding after being assured we were taking off. Then they closed baggage reclaim and I could not get my bag back. It went home a day before me because they did not have any flights the next day. Then it was a nightmare trying to get the receipt for my hotel that I booked through them. Like every airline they're playing that stupid game of economy and economy plus.

Helpful?
Bryan Thompson
March 9th, 2018 DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

My wife and I booked flights and were looking forward to a lovely time in S America. Then suddenly my aging mother took a nosedive in her health and is clearly days away from passing. To be received with compassion and kindness rather than suspicion (about our request to cancel flights) was an amazing touch we needed today. Thank you, United Airlines!

Helpful?
Ashley
March 9th, 2018 Manchester, NH DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Honestly I voiced my problem seems we didn’t get anywhere besides telling me they where sorry and the way I was left feeling is still inexcusable just hope no one else has to go thru what I did.honestly going to try and stray away from this airline as much as possible been flying with delta for years and never had any problems.

Helpful?
Ahmi Thitayan
March 9th, 2018 DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

As a MileagePlus member, United is truly the airline of the Friendly Skies. Every flight I’ve been on has been on time, and the customer support has been efficient and helping.

Helpful?
Dale Ash
December 20th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Years ago I had a very negative experience with United. They were arrogant and not customer focused at all. I vowed never to fly them again. So during over 20 years of extensive business travel, they lost my business.

Helpful?
Chris Wootton
December 18th, 2017 Ogden, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

They have been ok to fly with, have not had any issues.

Helpful?
Suzanna Wootton
December 13th, 2017 Springville, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

My experience has never been bad! Theyre always very kind!

Helpful?
Kimberly Bronson
December 11th, 2017 Idaho Falls, ID DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I have never had a more negative flying experience than with United. Vowed on my last flight to never fly with them again. The plane was dirty, The customer service was awful. We listened to an attendant berate a child. The customer service line for complaints was down the corridor. They have a serious internal problem they need to address.

Helpful?
William
December 8th, 2017 South Jordan, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Probably my least favorite airline. Every time I fly United try lose my bag. I will say they usually get it to me the next day though.

Helpful?
Evan Rasmussen
November 29th, 2017 Sandy, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

For what you pay is what you get no more and no less and that is not a bad thing

Helpful?
GEO BJ
November 28th, 2017 Winchester, VA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

The worst customer service on the ground and on Air

Helpful?
Helen Hoch
November 20th, 2017 Princeton, MJ DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Planes are on time, employees are pleasant and efficient and the price is good.

Helpful?
Sheridan Greenhaw
November 20th, 2017 DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Wonderful staff and food for international flight. Accomodation was exactly as advertised.

Helpful?
Jeffrey D.
November 20th, 2017 Sacramento, CA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

All the international flights are excellent; however, I have had some bad experiences with the continental flights.

Helpful?
Tom Kosky
November 20th, 2017 Staten Island, NY DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

i went to FLORIDA a few years ago and paid extra for legroom and did not get it on the way down.the seat did not exist on the plane.i sent for a refund and never got it.the staff on the plane was great but i deserved a refund and never got one.

Helpful?
K R
November 20th, 2017 Fairfield, CA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

lousy pricing; to many cancelled flights; no free food or drinks

Helpful?
Vicky Reynolds
November 14th, 2017 Hayward , CA DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Pleasant staff. On time travel. Have routes to the cities I am traveling to with only one plane change.

Helpful?
Victor Munoz
November 14th, 2017 Austin, TX DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

They don't have customer service after a delay from connecting fly they leave me with my family and we tried to get customer service and nobody answer

Helpful?
Tom
November 14th, 2017 Conroe, TX DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Good, but sometimes they have delays, otherwise good.

Helpful?
Thomas Craig
November 14th, 2017 Missouri City, TX DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I am at their highest level and get frequent upgrades

Helpful?
Steven Mercurio
November 14th, 2017 New Providence, NJ DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

reasonable fares, awesome inflight entertainment, rewards program kind of poor but workable

Helpful?
Pat Ohagan
November 14th, 2017 Estero, FL DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

I have flew United so much that I am a retired Million Mile customer. They have always treated me great and with respect

Helpful?
Pat Garvey
November 14th, 2017 Chevy Chase, MD DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Because they are good and I like flying with them

Helpful?
michael ferguson
November 14th, 2017 Rutherford, NJ DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

The service has gone down since the take over of Continental

Helpful?
Mark Church
November 14th, 2017 Jupiter, FL DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Easy to use and on time. You get exactly what you expect.

Helpful?
Marge Hansen
November 14th, 2017 Birch River, WV DETAILS
Value for your money
Quality of product or service
Customer service
Company trustworthiness

Almost always on time; friendly & professional staff

Helpful?