The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
What can I suggest on improving the United Airlines Service?
I am not bashing United Airlines for their service. As far as I’m concerned, United Airlines is an airline that you pay to use their plane to get from Point A to Point B with minimal issues and little travel time. Great service as far as hitching a ride goes. I would give the United Airlines Service flights a B to a B+ in grading. I don’t mean to sound like I am taking for granted the power of flight. It is an amazing opportunity and saves a lot of time. It is magical that we can sit on a chair in the sky and technically, fall asleep, and land in an entirely new time zone. If that is all I can expect of a service, than the service is great. But if I can make a suggestion that might change an airline towards the appreciation of showing respect and common courtesy towards its customers, than I hope this suggestion will change something. After all, if I invited people over to spend an hour or two at my home or even in my business, it would be wrong of me not to offer coffee, drink, or a little snack to eat. It is just the respectful thing to do. As far as my other suggestions go…
More efficient baggage check-in as the whole check-in scene seems chaotic because there are only three to four people at the counter trying to service a hundred people. I did mostly everything myself, but had to remind the counter-assistant to let me write a name tag for my two bags so I could easily identify it when I retrieved my bags in baggage claim, as she quickly hauled my bags off the revolving belt before they disappeared into oblivion.
My flight was delayed by an hour causing me to almost miss a bus and be in a rush at both airports since United Airlines seemed to board passengers earlier than expected, but ran into a plane delay maintenance issue (“Aircraft Servicing”), so I hadn’t been able to grab a bite to eat at all that day, because I had waited in line through baggage claim and security (arriving 2 hours before my flight) and just managed to board the plane on time.
In addition to the delay, with no common courtesy at all – as much as I enjoyed the drink – of which I didn’t even get the entire $1 can – rather, a small plastic cup with some ice – and I do really appreciate United Airlines keeping the Cranberry Apple Cocktail in stock – thanks for that, but the $300+ round-trip ticket should have bought me at least a bag of nuts or pretzels so I could have gotten something in my system. It seems stingy to me for a Billion Dollar Airline to collect pennies on a snack worth 35 cents and jack up the price to $3+. I did not eat all day and the snack would’ve helped, I paid $60 to have 2 bags checked in through credit card. I did not have cash on me to purchase a snack, so I was left with the alternative to try and sleep in order to curb any hunger. I would hope that somewhere in the price for checking in my bags and my plane ticket, the 35 cents and the $1 would have somehow been covered.
So as much as I’m happy and appreciate getting from Point A to Point B in 2 hours time by plane on United Airlines, I think that it is quite greedy of United Airlines to think it is OK to charge on a snack that should be a common courtesy. I’m not even asking for a sandwich, which I know airlines stopped serving many years ago, but for airlines to stop snacks completely and charge a fee for them, well, better go to with the airline that could at least offer more than just a service, but an exceptional service with common courtesy for using the airline.
Unfortunately, United Airlines, you are just going with the flow – like all airlines or most who have gone the way of charging for anything and everything possible. I understand, it’s just too hard to be the different airline that stands out and does something exceptional for its customers that they will never forget. Rather, go with the flow, and have customers remember your airline, United Airlines, for being a penny-pinching giant.
Will I use the United Airlines Service again? Of course I will. There is nothing wrong with the actual flight of getting from Point A to Point B. Its just the way the customer is actually treated in terms of common courtesy, unless you’re in first class. But embedded in my mind is the realization that this is the way all airlines are and it will probably never change.
For future reference United Airlines, and for all airlines that happen to discover this rant / suggestion, just know that it’s little minor changes that can make all the difference in Customer Service.
Try as it might, you know what happens when they ask you for a suggestion after you fly with them. Go ahead and see if you can make anything happen with the United Airlines Suggestion Box: http://united.suggestionbox.com/
By the way, here are the airlines that collect the most in fees:
- United Airlines ($5.4 billion)
- Delta Airlines ($2.6 billion)
- American Airlines ($2 billion)
- Southwest Airlines ($1.7 billion)
- US Airways Airlines ($1.1 billion)