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No United unfriendly sky for me April 30, 2017

Posted by hslu in Travel.
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I have told my wife and my friends a long time ago that I didn’t like United. 

More than once. I might add. 

And I haven’t flown with United for years despite the fact that United usually had one of the lowest fares on cross Pacific Ocean flights.

I didn’t like United because of their lousy customer services at the ticket counter and poor in flight accommodation. I especially loathed the United counter at Chicago’s O’Hare airport because it had probably the least efficient, least friendly and least helpful ticket counter staff that I have ever encountered. Once was enough for me. 

I am no big star or famous but I can always walk with my feet if I don’t like this or that company. United, AA and Delta have grown so much after de-regulation, they think they own the sky in the U.S.. They try every way they can to charge extra money to the flying public and totally forget that they are service companies.

The attitude of United agents at O’Hare were terrible, not only to me but to other customers as well. He wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me anything about our Chicago to Tokyo flight which was terribly delayed. While many people were waiting in line to be checked in, the one and only United agent didn’t make any attempt to request for additional assistance even though we were all very anxious for fear of missing our flights.

Over the past ten years, we have taken many flights between DC and Shanghai, DC and Taipei and JFK and Taipei. A few of our flights were with United in late 2000’s because their flights often had one of the lowest fare on Kayak or other websites. 

On these busy cross Pacific Ocean flights, it appeared that almost all flight attendants on United were women in their 50’s. They got these assignments probably because they have earned enough seniorities to be eligible for these lucrative routes.

During those 15+ hour flights, United flight attendants treated us in the coach section like a herd of cattles. These mean old women shout out instructions and demand us to comply. If you wanted a blanket because cold air was blasting down from the ceiling, they asked us to wait. When we asked them to turn down the temperature or lower the speed of the fan, they said they couldn’t do it. 

The food United served us was always very bad. On the way over to the Far East, we’d have beef in brown sauce with rice. On the way back, it was penne with marinara sauce. Lettuce with brown spots looked like it was three days old . Dinner roll was cold and the butter was hard. It was impossible to spread the butter on the dinner roll. The hot food looked disgusting with dried and burned crust on the edge of the aluminium container. A few pieces of penne not covered by the marinara sauce were burned and tough to chew. Rice was dry and tough to eat. Broccoli was soggy and soaked in dark brown sauce with a layer of film over the top. The green peas, corn and diced carrots tasted like they’ve been microwaved two or three times too many. Beef was dry and chewy and it tasted like rubber. Dessert was always a piece of carrot cake and friut consisted of 2 slices of apple and a slice of soggy honey dew.

After the first hot meal, these old women turn off the cabin lights even though it was bright daylight outside. They disappeard to their own quarters and took their beauty nap. Once a while, one or two would come back to check on us. Four or five hours later they passed out a cold and dry ham sandwich with a piece of lettuce as flat as a sheet of paper inside. The sandwich was wrapped so tight in saran wrap that it made the sandwich looked like a small football. The bread was tougg and chewy and it tasted like a 2-day old sandwich you found in the back of your fridge.

Exactly two hours from landing the entire crew got busy. They turned on the lights, rushed out the carts, passed out drinks, gave you a small tray of egg with cheese, mushy tater tots, a cold dinner roll and a cup of fruit. Before you finished your breakfast, they started to collect dirty trays and glasses. Soon after, they asked you tO dump all your garbage in a bag so that they didn’t have to dig it out from the front seat back pocket. After a round of coffee, it was time to get you back to your seats and prepared for landing. After landing, these women hid in the back of the airplane, got their bags and suitcases ready and marched off the airplane as soon as the last passenger walked off the airplane. One unlucky flight attendant had to stand by the door to say goodby to us and that’s probably the only smile we’d see on the entire flight.

So much for the friendly sky. It’s not for me.

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