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United Airlines

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6.2

Overall Score

United Airlines

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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.

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User Reviews

2.6

271 Reviews

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Rischelle Mikkelson
November 15th, 2018 American Fork, UT DETAILS
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I have had mediocre experience with United. I chose them because they had a great deal where I needed to go. Unfortunately, everything went down hill from there. The flights were late, then rescheduled, then cancelled. The gate agent was not helpful and seemed irritated that I would want help with a hotel for the night. This was one experienc. Other times I have flown, it has been ok. About what I expected. Small seats, nice enough flight attendants.

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Ali Davidson
November 14th, 2018 Mesa, AZ

Overall very good experience, enjoyed the cleanliness of the plane and the service offered toward my younger nephew and niece

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Emma Webster
November 5th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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I love flying United! They offer new, comfortable seating with everything you need for plane rides of any length. The service is very friendly and are willing to provide you with anything to make your ride more comfortable. I trust United to bring me and my baggage to and from any overseas destination.

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Zsofia Lazarte
November 2nd, 2018 DETAILS
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They are a good company but have too many fees for bags and extras for people who are not members.

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Michael Gall
November 1st, 2018 Provo, UT DETAILS
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I have been traveling on United for quite some time. They seem to offer the best pricing to most of the cities I frequent. My last few trips, I upgraded to first class and really enjoyed the level of service. When possibe, I'll be choosing United again in the future.

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Melanie Curtis
November 1st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I took United from SLC to England and back. My seat had some cool technology options that gave me a variety of ways to pass the time during the long flights.

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denver robinson
October 31st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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always have good movies to watch, they have wonderful staff all the time, they also take care of you and help you to get where you need to go.

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Kristen Schow
October 31st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I flew with United on September 1, 2018, it's nearly Nov 1, and they still haven't found my bag, not will they start my claim. Not impressed at all.

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Josiah Macdonald
October 30th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I had a pretty good experience in the short time i had on a united airline plane. It was nothing special it was just a good reliable airline.

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Deborah Hyde
October 29th, 2018 Springfield, MO DETAILS
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I have flown United a number of times and think that they provide a good service at a great price. Customer service is helpful when you have a question and drinks are included with your seat cost.

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Aaron Patterson
October 26th, 2018 Arlington, TX DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

This was my first flight ever. I was super nervous and the staff was polite and upbeat and the pilot was awesome and highly skilled!! I loved every minute!!

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S Hess
October 26th, 2018 Tracys Landing, MD DETAILS
Quality of product or service
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Company trustworthiness

Limit on the number of checked bags on Latin American flights. I'd be happy to pay for more.

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DianeHandley
October 26th, 2018 Healdsburg, CA DETAILS
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It was better than average. Their smaller planes need to keep their toilets cleaner. Make sure the plane is in working order before passengers board, not after.

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Dennis
October 26th, 2018 Spring, TX DETAILS
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since they merged with Continental Airlines they have lost sight of what service is. Employees are extremely frustrated with not be the best and management ignores everyone including passengers

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Paulette Rael
October 26th, 2018 Trinidad, CO DETAILS
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I had a 6 hour layover in Minneapolis, MN. However, they did give me first class after overbooking the flight

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J. Robert Lash
October 23rd, 2018 Panama City, FL DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

Jets are usually on time and clean, improve by giving more legroom without raising prices(a daunting task)

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Felicia.B
October 16th, 2018 Spring, TX DETAILS
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Good customer service, can definitely improve the WiFi because sometimes you have it and sometimes you don't

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Renee Ayala
October 16th, 2018 Hedgesville, WV DETAILS
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Always super experience. Enjoy flying this airline

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claire irish
October 17th, 2018 Santa Ana, CA DETAILS
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their food options are alright and kind of medium priced. their seats are more comfortable than average as well, and they don't tend to overbook too often. also they're not delayed very often in my experience.

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Marci Schramm
October 15th, 2018 Salem, UT DETAILS
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I have flown the friendly skies of United before. I always go with the best rate so whenever I can get a more reasonable flight I will buy that one. United has been safe and friendly and I hope to fly with them again sometime

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Steve schramm
October 15th, 2018 Salem, UT DETAILS
Value for your money
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Company trustworthiness

Comparable to other airlines. Good service, acceptable accommodations, no extras.

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Anonymous
October 1st, 2018 DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

Our united does not have a person sit like delta at the front desk, you have to check in on a kiosk

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Brewer
October 1st, 2018 DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

They courtious,well organize,polite answer questions

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Sarah Ava
October 1st, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT

We recently flew on United to the Hawaiian islands. The pros: great price, comfortable flights for the most part and friendly service from both gate agents & flight attendants. The cons: no in flight entertainment unless you downloaded AND signed into their app before your flight. If you weren’t aware of that or you had an older tablet that didn’t support the app (both were the case with us) you just went without. The plane we flew on from California to Hawaii was six seats across (3 and 3) and the seats were so uncomfortably close to each other, it felt extremely claustrophobic & miserable being a 5 hour flight. Our other flights were either on smaller planes or a larger one, and each of those was a comfortable experience. We would fly with them again because of their prices.

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Tyra Crockett
September 21st, 2018 American Fork, UT

I recently flew United from Salt Lake to Hawaii and back. It was a great experience. I received my luggage in a timely manner, and was upgraded to first class on my flight from LAX to SLC. On my return flight to LAX, The flight attendants dealt with a very unruly passenger in front of me in a calm and polite way. The situation looked like it would escalate, but they handled it very well.

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Jennifer Greenwood
September 18th, 2018 Draper, UT DETAILS
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I was happy when we flew on United Airlines. I felt comfortable and they were very kind and friendly. I would be happy to choose United airlines again.

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Dave Brinton
September 4th, 2018 DETAILS
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If you are flying to Denver or Chicago United seems to be the best alternative. Seems too big to care. Flight crews that are old and grumpy.

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Shanna
August 31st, 2018 South Jordan, UT

The flight I took on United wasn't very full so we were able to spread out. The attendants were helpful to me when I got air sick. The plane was clean and the snacks were good.

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Sadie Scoville
August 31st, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

The customer service for united airlines is so great and helpful. They are never impatient with you either.

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Dylan Findlay
August 28th, 2018 South Jordan, UT DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

Seats are comfy, app is simple to use...Great service! Will fly with United again!

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L Fowler
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

United Airlines has been an airline I've flown with several times, mostly because of the price of the flight. I like their customer service and felt like they were friendly and willing to help me out when I had a concern.

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Darluap
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Love their customer service. Mobile app is easy to use. Many flight options. Planes are in good shape and have good features like chargers in the seats.

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NT
August 27th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

seating is too narrow, not comfortable for people with long legs. feels like someone is sitting on your lap. other than that easy to book flight, sometimes i can find good deals.

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Thomas Hullinger
August 24th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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United Airlines is very similar to other airlines. They have worked well for me, especially flying international or long distances. I haven't been able to find good discounts on their airline, and I am not thrilled about their frequent flyer program.

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Kris
August 23rd, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

We like United airlines because of the frequent flyer program. We are able to use our points to fly overseas as well as earn points by shopping at local stores...it’s a great program.

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Timothy Timmerman Jr
August 23rd, 2018 Katy, TX DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

Ever since they merged with Continental it has been worse and worse. They run this airline like a socialist country. There are no incentives to fly with them. They should lead the way as big as they are having more transparent pricing an not adding fees every time you turn around. Airline travel used to be a joy and a lot of fun, now it is everything I can do to avoid it unless necessary.

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Lesa Burgess
August 20th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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Company trustworthiness

I love United Airlines rewards program and how they are partnered with Marriott hotels. Because of this, I was able to upgrade to Premier Silver & have benefited from many upgrades while I travel. Having this feature has made me book more through United than other airlines.

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Haidyn Houtz
August 20th, 2018 South Jordan, UT

I had a really good experience one with his airline. Super helpful and the whole flying process was so easy and breezy. I would definitely fly was this airline again.

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Bella Houtz
August 20th, 2018 South Jordan, UT

United Airlines has comfortable and spacious seats that everyone can enjoy. We like what United Airlines has to offer.

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Sarah
August 2nd, 2018 Fairfax, VA

I like United and they often have good rates and good service. I don't like how intense they are at their paying seat option (won't let you switch seats mid flight even if they are emtpy) and offer tickets that don't include luggage. Overall their service is good but I feel like they try to nickel and dime you more than other airlines.

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