12 Issues United Airways Does Properly
I not too long ago wrote a publish in regards to the issues that American Airways does nicely. Within the spirit of constructive reinforcement, on this publish I wished to share the issues that I feel United Airways does nicely. The airline has fairly just a few issues going for it already, and is little doubt headed in the correct course.
In no explicit order, under are 12 issues I like about United Airways…
Route community & extremely lengthy haul flying
Everybody can have totally different opinions about which airline has one of the best route community based mostly on the place they dwell and the place they prefer to journey. Nonetheless, United virtually unarguably has essentially the most world route community. Not solely does the airline serve so many locations throughout six continents, however United additionally isn’t afraid to experiment with new extremely lengthy haul flights, which American and Delta shrink back from.
It truly is unimaginable to see how United’s route community has developed over time. From in depth service to Africa, to extremely lengthy haul flights to Asia, to seasonal flights to secondary cities in Europe, United by no means ceases to impress me with its route community.
Scott Kirby is United Airways’ CEO, and should you ask me, he’s doing an incredible job. Frankly that’s a sentence I by no means thought I’d have written eight years in the past, when he was quantity two at American Airways (and US Airways earlier than that, and America West earlier than that).
Personally I feel Kirby is a breath of recent air, and one of the crucial efficient US airline trade CEOs we’ve seen in fairly a while. He truly has a imaginative and prescient, he communicates clearly, and he’s main the airline in the correct course, in my view, even when the corporate nonetheless has a methods to go.
A refreshed slender physique fleet
Whereas American Airways is simply ending the method of ripping seatback TVs off its slender physique jets, United Airways goes the other way. The airline is within the technique of modernizing its slender physique cabins, with 10″ private televisions in any respect seats, excessive velocity Wi-Fi, AC and USB energy, and even bluetooth audio.
The catch is that as of now solely a small proportion of United’s home fleet has these options. United claims all the slender physique fleet can be retrofitted by 2025, although it’s anybody’s guess if that timeline sticks.
Greater enterprise class cabins
Among the many “large three” US carriers, United has essentially the most persistently giant enterprise class cabins on extensive physique jets. That is nice for upgrades and award availability.
Simply for example, United’s 787-9s have 48 enterprise class seats, whereas American’s 787-9s have 30 enterprise class seats, and Delta’s A350-900s (essentially the most comparable airplane) have 32 enterprise class seats.
Polaris enterprise class seats & bedding
Along with the sheer measurement of United’s enterprise class cabins, the airline is lastly at a spot the place it has a reasonably constant enterprise class exhausting product. At this level United has completed reconfiguring Boeing 777s, 787s, and 767-300s, with new Polaris enterprise class seats. It’s solely 767-400s which can be nonetheless going to be reconfigured.
The Polaris enterprise class seats are fairly good, and so they’re particularly spectacular on the Boeing 767, the place you will have a 1-1-1 format (examine that to Delta’s 767s, which have a a lot worse enterprise class product).
On high of that, United has wonderful bedding in Polaris enterprise class, which I feel is one other aggressive benefit over American and Delta. Sadly the remainder of the Polaris delicate product enhancements are roughly a factor of the previous.
United Airways app & web site
United does a fantastic job with expertise. The United app is great, by way of the quantity of data it has about flight standing, seatmaps, improve lists, and so on. It’s merely in a totally totally different league than American’s app (which largely simply redirects you to a cell browser of aa.com).
Equally, I discover that united.com is fairly good by way of with the ability to self-service reservations.
United Polaris Lounges are arms down one of the best worldwide enterprise class lounges supplied by any US airline. The lounges are spectacular, with unimaginable consideration paid to design. The lounges even have a la carte eating, customized made espresso drinks, and extra. They’re accessible in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, so it’s additionally good what number of hubs have these lounges.
The one draw back is that United has strict entry necessities, as you may solely use them when flying Star Alliance first or enterprise class — no standing degree will get you into these lounges.
Million Miler standing
Whereas I don’t suppose United MileagePlus as such is a aggressive benefit, the United Million Miler program is by far one of the best lifetime elite standing program of any main US airline. There are 4 thresholds:
- Lifetime Premier Gold at 1MM
- Lifetime Premier Platinum at 2MM
- Lifetime Premier 1K at 3MM
- Lifetime International Companies at 4MM
That’s nice in and of itself, however the icing on the cake is which you could additionally appoint a companion to have that standing. That is higher than the Delta Million Miler program, and infinitely higher than the American Million Miler program, which is abysmal.
MileagePlus miles are simple to earn
United MileagePlus is switch companions with Chase Final Rewards, which means that United miles are simple to come back by because of on the spot transfers.
Greatest for novices
Earn 2x factors on all journey and 3x factors on eating
Chase Sapphire Most well-liked® Card
Greatest for premium advantages
Earn 3x factors on all journey and eating, plus annual journey credit, airport lounge entry, and superior journey protection and buy safety
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Greatest for enterprise purchases
Earn 3x factors on all journey, delivery, promoting with social media, and web and cellphone companies
Ink Enterprise Most well-liked® Credit score Card
This is a bonus over American AAdvantage, for the reason that program doesn’t companion with any main transferrable factors forex. In the meantime Delta SkyMiles companions with Amex Membership Rewards, although you do need to pay a federal excise tax when transferring factors, and I can’t think about why you’d need to switch Amex factors to Delta.
Earn 2x miles on United purchases
Free Checked Bag
Two United Membership Passes Yearly
$0 introductory annual charge for the primary yr, then $95
United Membership℠ Infinite Card
Earn 4x miles on United purchases
United Membership℠ Entry
Earn PQPs In direction of Standing
Earn 2x MileagePlus miles on United purchases
Earn 2x MileagePlus miles on fuel station purchases
No Overseas Transaction Charges
3x miles on United
2x miles on eating
Free first and second checked luggage
Earn 2x miles on United purchases
Annual Journey Credit score
Anniversary Bonus Miles
Similar day flight adjustments
United has the most effective identical day flight change insurance policies of any airline, which might be helpful in case your plans change final minute, or should you’re simply looking for the most cost effective fare with the hope of fixing your flight later.
MileagePlus elite members could make the change without spending a dime (non-elite members need to pay $75), and you may even change your connecting metropolis when making such a change. You may as well change to a flight inside 24 hours, so you may fly on a distinct calendar day.
I’d say United’s coverage is barely higher than Delta’s, and considerably higher than American’s.
Whereas I desire oneworld Emerald standing to Star Alliance Gold standing, Star Alliance is the world’s largest airline alliance, and has essentially the most world protection. So with the ability to earn and redeem miles on the alliance that’s the biggest is a giant draw to United.
No gasoline surcharges on MileagePlus awards
Whereas United MileagePlus redemption charges are steep in lots of circumstances, MileagePlus is the one one of many “large three” frequent flyer applications to not have gasoline surcharges on any companion award tickets. Each American AAdvantage and Delta SkyMiles have these on choose companion redemptions, so I admire the precedent United has set with this.
United Airways has numerous issues going for it, starting from the scale of its enterprise class cabins, to its world route community, to its stable tech. The airline is headed in the correct course, and I’m excited to see how the corporate evolves.
Sadly noticeably absent from my listing are just a few main issues that make the flying expertise higher — customer support, excessive velocity Wi-Fi, and the present state of the home flying expertise.
I’m curious to listen to what OMAAT readers suppose — what do you suppose United Airways does nicely?