Posts Tagged With: United airlines

United Airlines: The friendly skies??

  It’s the initial ascent. As the plane climbs higher, I cannot help but get lost in my thoughts about my present surroundings.  I look around to see who is seated immediately around me, and I am caught up in whether my seat mates are friendly and non-aggressive or not. I also wonder whether my airline is as friendly as they advertise themselves to be. 

United airlines slogan is “fly the friendly skies of United.” Just what makes an airline friendly or not?”  I chose United for this flight not because of their friendliness, but because they got me to my destination for the least expensive.  Flying “least expensive” however can be costly on United. I despise the current airline trend of charging for seats at the front of the plane and calling them “economy comfort” all the while charging  an arm and a leg for the same convenience we used to have in prior years.  Just how much did my comfort cost me? A whopping $59 one way. Friendly? I suspect not. I mean come on, at the very least you could give me priority boarding or an extra snack or something!! 

Carry on or checked? In this case, checked will cost you a minimum $25. Unless you have the United mileage plus card, then first bag is free. Carry on? Still free at this point, however I do not care for the multitude of announcements prior to boarding letting us know that there are insufficient overhead space to accommodate all bags. Another pet peave  of mine, charging for checked luggage  and now hassling us to check what we have now learned is a free inconvenience.  Friendly? Again I must give it a resounding NO!

We have reached our cruising altitude the pilot remarks.  Great! Free coffee! And out of United’s move to enhance guest experience following a profitable year, the airline now serves complimentary snacks! A delicious Stroopwaffel from Holland. In case you are not familiar with a Stroopwaffel, it is a crispy round wafer, filled with a rich, gooey caramel sauce. Tastes good with coffee or alone.  Friendly? Yes! A good choice on United.

Let’s consider the flight crew for a moment. The pilots are always “friendly” as they tell us who they are and when we will arrive. I keep waiting for the pilot to give us a good monologue or even a joke here or there! Instead I take note of the rest of the crew. There were 4 flight attendants with an average age of 50+. I cannot comment on age since I am no 20 year old, however when did “seniority” turn into seniority? Lol. I can only hope that in case of emergency they can think straight and move faster than most.  As far as the friendly meter, I would have to give them a thumbs down in that department. Lack of smile, lack of conversing or even kindness left me feeling unappreciated. 

United’s Hemisphere magazine asserts that they are working hard to improve onboard experience throughout the cabin. How concerned are they for my comfort and enhanced experience when their in flight entertainment service comes with a price tag?  Another thumbs down to friendly skies in my opinion.

If United ever wants to attain a loyal audience and enhance our experience then United has a great deal of work to do. For myself, I will continue to fly other carriers who peak my interests with little perk and great service.

#unfriendlyskies.  #epicfail

Safe journeys,

Debbie

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Categories: airplane service, airplane snacks, flying, Travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Travel delays and how not to go crazy!

If you are a frequent traveler, then travel delays are inevitable.  Winter travel can be especially treacherous given the amount of snow the northeast U.S. has had this winter alone.  Add to that travel conditions in other parts of the world and that spells  d-e-l-a-y.

It is a known fact that if you are someone who has the expectation that not all will go 100% as planned, then it can be somewhat less stressful and disappointing if something out of the ordinary occurs.  Knowing this fact alone, does not change the situation when you are faced with delays.  And unfortunately, one travel delay only adds to the outcome when it involves other airline carriers besides the primary carrier.

I recently experienced weather related delay on my last trip.  Keflavik (Iceland) airport had to close due to extreme weather conditions and consequently cancelled my primary flight home from Oslo through Keflavik.  I found out the night prior to travel.  I spent over four hours on the phone trying to reach Icelandair to change my travel plans to the following day.  After I completed the transaction I had to contact United Airlines which was my final connection home.  I must mention that both airlines were quite accommodating in getting us home the next day.  I was fortunate in that I had one more day built into my plans that allowed me to come home later than planned without any consequences such as missed work or school.

Not everyone is as fortunate as I was in getting this to happen the following day with few disruptions.  One thing I always do that I suggest others do is to purchase a travel protection plan.  No one likes insurance per say as it is a gamble.  I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.  For the nominal fee I paid, it was worth it.  I am able to make a claim that will pay for my extra night at the hotel, meals, and fare differential that I had to pay.  For me, travel protection plan is a peace of mind when traveling great distances.

In addition, I think it is essential when traveling far to pack extra medicine as well as extra underwear!  I had just enough meds to get me through the extra night.  However, on future trips I will plan to take a few days extra.  And well, it should go without saying that clean underwear is an essential!  Of course, you can wash out what you have already used, but I have a personal preference for clean, unused!

Another tip I think is important when dealing with delays, is to plan ahead.  What I mean by this is to consider on your next trip, what would happen should I be delayed for an extra day or two?  Would I need a back up plan for work?  Or for pet care, child care, etc?  It is something I definitely will implement for my next travels.

Do you have any tips you might want to share of what to do in planning for trip delays?  If so, please let me know!

Safe journeys,

Debbie

Categories: travel delays | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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