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United Airlines

Leeds, United...
posts: 9
United Airlines

Hi,

We are flying from Manchester to Newark at the end of July this year, on UA21. I've read some awful reviews of United Airlines, so I'd be really grateful if anybody who has been on this flight could tell me that they were ok! How do the economy seats compare to flying with Thomsons or Thomas Cook, was the food edible, and were the staff on the plane friendly/helpful? We've only flown transatlantic charter flights before, so I'm rather nervous about this one!

Thanks,

Bev

46 replies to this topic
Frankfurt, Germany
posts: 1,101
reviews: 3
1. Re: United Airlines

I fly United between Europe and the US quite often.

I usually get Economy Plus seats, because I like more leg room.

I've never flown Thomson so I can't compare it to them.

The food is "ok", after all it's airplane food, don't expect to much, but it's edible.

The service is not the best, but it's also not bad, really depends on your crew.

You will have to pay for alcoholic beverages.

You will most likely have your own on-demand video screen, that makes the flight comfortable and the 7 hours go by quite quickly.

Leeds, United...
posts: 9
2. Re: United Airlines

Thanks for that. We have two teenagers with us, so I do hope we have personal on-demand video screens! Otherwise it will be a long flight!

Bev

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 23
3. Re: United Airlines

Have flown with United to NY/LA and beyond numerous times and service isn't exceptional but certainly not the worse I've encountered-cabin crews tend to be on the "mature" side which is good as at least they know what they are doing-airline food is airline food unless you upgrade to business or first it's much the same

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 10,382
reviews: 205
4. Re: United Airlines

I can't vouch for this particular route but have flown UA dozens of times over the Atlantic and it's fine - comparable to any other. But what I would investigate with this particular flight, which is an old CO route, is the aircraft type. I suspect this is a 757 route. I would not be as keen on flying a 757 on that length of flight.

Frankfurt, Germany
posts: 1,101
reviews: 3
5. Re: United Airlines

<I suspect this is a 757 route. I would not be as keen on flying a 757 on that length of flight.>

That's what I first thought when I booked my flight from Frankfurt to Newark on a UA B757 and yes UA 21 is a 757 route, too.

But it turned out to be a very pleasent flight. It is a rather small aircraft for that kind of trip, but because of that, the boarding and disembarking process is very fast and unless a couple of other flights have arrived just before you in Newark, you can clear immigration in just a few minutes. (I didn't have to wait at all)

Now, I would definitely choose a Boeing 757 transatlantic flight again.

Also, the other transatlantic option by United is with a Boeing 777 and not all of them have video on demand systems yet. As far as I know all transatlantic 757s do.

And some smaller cities are only served by United with 757s anyway.

Edited: 8:00 am, February 07, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,252
reviews: 5
6. Re: United Airlines

Bev,

As mentioned, MAN-EWR is on a 757 narrowbody. Not the most spacious for an 8-9 hour flight but it does allow United (and American who fly a 757 to JFK) to operate a non-stop.

All United's international 757's have in seat video with full AVOD. There's a very good selection of movies, TV shows and documentaries, though the TV side is very much geared to the US passenger. I would also however take something to keep yourselves occupied as there's always the possibility that the odd in seat TV plays up and you could have the rotten luck of it being yours (that's the case for all airlines though).

The Economy Plus seating is extra legroom only; it's not a separate premium cabin like BA's WT+. But, that extra legroom is around 4-5", which is huge, especially for long flights. You mentioned something about "cheap" on another thread. Last time I checked the going rate for E+ was in the £70-80 range, per seat each way. With multiple people in your party that probably doesn't sound cheap, so it's your call whether to go for them. They are hugely popular, so if you do want them reserve them well in advance using the reservation system on united.com. Even if you choose not to, the regular economy seats have a 31" seat pitch which is the same as BA's economy.

Food is economy class food; definitely nothing to write home about and it could do with improvement, so you could take a snack bar or two to fill you up. United does charge for alcohol in economy, and payment is by plastic only. Best to use a **credit** card for this as we had a thread last week from someone who was charged a bank fee of £2 (if I recall correctly) for each purchase on his debit card.

I fly United a lot, and generally I find them to be a good airline, and improving. They merged with Continental, and a lot of the justified complaints last year were due to issues that came out of the full operational merger (slow and sometimes crashing reservation system, and lots of mechanical delays when they started to fly Continental aircraft into United hubs and vice versa, and the hubs didn't have enough maintenance resource for "the other airline's planes"). But those have both been addressed, and performance is good again, and imo the flight attendant service is generally excellent.

Elk Grove...
posts: 5
reviews: 6
7. Re: United Airlines

I'm curious, what type of headphone connector do they use?

TIA.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 16,252
reviews: 5
8. Re: United Airlines

^^^^ I haven't flown on the Intl-757, but on all United Intl aircraft I've flown - including the ex Continentals - they have the 2 prong socket. But, my Bose headphones work just fine with the one prong plug. YMMV.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 7,101
reviews: 85
9. Re: United Airlines

In the UA headphone package, there is an adapter for one prong headphones. I've just saved one of those in my Bose case and use it when necessary. Never tried just plugging directly in the one prong plug.

Frankfurt, Germany
posts: 1,101
reviews: 3
10. Re: United Airlines

If I recall it correctly, they have regular one prong sockets. I flew on a United 757 from the US to Europe a few months ago and I'm pretty sure I used my iPhone headphones without a problem....

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