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United airlines

Cambridge, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 2
United airlines

Hi, I am booking a flight to the Vegas for a family of 3. United airlines are about 400 pounds cheaper than Swiss/ virgin/BA.

I would like to know how is the united airlines nowadays? Would you guys recommend this airline?

Alternatively, Would you guys recommend lufthansa?

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
1. Re: United airlines

i fly UA on a regular basis.

despite all the negative comments i read here i have never had any problem with them, internationally or domestically (apart from them not enforcing their carry on limit rules).

Edited: 5:10 pm, March 02, 2013
Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,921
reviews: 77
2. Re: United airlines

I fly United about 250k miles a year. Like every airline, they have the odd mechanical issue and have yet to be able to control the weather. I would much rather fly UA transatlantic than LH on the same route, and that is either in Economy or Business. It is less cramped in UA as LH has a higher degree of seat recline. You will also find that LH is far more particular with respect to carryon weight. UA allows 40 lbs in your carryon. Other than that, LH is fine.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,010
reviews: 5
3. Re: United airlines

Vaithy,

From which city would you be starting your journey?

I fly United a lot (about half as much as Geo), and imo they're absolutely fine and improving; their flight attendant service improved dramatically about 18 months ago and is maintained.

Seat wise, regular economy is 31" pitch which is the same as BA and LH (Swiss has 32"). Apart from the 747 (which you'd only get if flying to San Francisco) all their international fleet have in seat video. Of those, all** except the 3-class 767 have AVOD. Food is economy class food, sometimes good sometimes bland, so take some snacks. United does charge for alcohol on transatlantics, and you pay by card; use a credit card for this as some UK debit cards charge a transaction fee. You can also select your seats before check in without having to pay (BA charges £25 per person per flight).

If you wanted to, you could also upgrade to Economy Plus, which gives you a much better seat pitch (35", that's 4" extra legroom). Those charges are around £70-80 per flight (plus extra for the domestic sectors), which would wipe out your cost savings but get you a much better seat than the others.

The advantage of flying BA (assuming you'd be flying into Vegas) is that you'd do US immigration and customs at Vegas, and not at an intermediate airport en route. If you fly United, Lufty or Swiss, allow plenty of time to do that at your connection, I'd say 3 hours.

(** - yes there are still six 3-class 777's without AVOD, but they're flying the second tier Asian routes)

Edited: 6:12 pm, March 02, 2013
White Plains, New...
Destination Expert
for White Plains, Aruba
posts: 4,522
reviews: 79
4. Re: United airlines

We just flew United. Left on time. Flight went well. Came back ok. Rough landing due to wind but we were ok and landed with no

problems.

Call that a great flight.

Safe travels

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,010
reviews: 5
5. Re: United airlines

Sorry to slightly sidetrack, but I wanted to update my ** comment from post 3.

>> (** - yes there are still six 3-class 777's without AVOD, but they're flying the second tier Asian routes)<<

I checked FlyerTalk, where they have a fleet updates thread. There are now only THREE of those 777s flying international with the old configuration (non AVOD, barcaloungers in business). And they are flying second tier routes in Asia (SEA-NRT, NRT-HNL and SFO-KIX).

Of the other three, one is being refitted this week, and two are switched to domestic/Hawaii routes, and will get a different refit.

So, if the OP flies a 777 from Europe it will almost certainly have AVOD.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 2
6. Re: United airlines

Many thanks to you all for your very useful replies.

I am planning to fly from London heathrow to Vegas. There is no direct flight from UA to Vegas, hence connection at Chicago onwards, but flying back from San Francisco direct to London heathrow.

We will be travelling in economy. Thankfully, we would be ok with leg space f 31" ( i travel with ba and i have been ok with that leg space!)

Reading from one of the experts, i got this doubt -

Do i have to do immigration clearance at Chicago, even-though it is only transit,before i board the flight to Vegas.

Please pardon my ignorance - which is better 777 or 767, and also 200 or 300 series please?

South Pole
posts: 15,408
reviews: 39
7. Re: United airlines

yes. clear immi and customs at ord, drop off your bags then take the train to T1 for your continuing flight. good to have 2-3 hours to do this.

772 or 773 much better than 767.

Edited: 3:49 am, March 03, 2013
Cambridge, United...
posts: 18
reviews: 2
8. Re: United airlines

Oh no, the connecting time in Chicago is 1 hour and 45 min. How about connecting at Houston? There is again 1 hr 45 min connect time.

thanks

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,010
reviews: 5
9. Re: United airlines

>>I am planning to fly from London heathrow to Vegas. There is no direct flight from UA to Vegas, hence connection at Chicago onwards, but flying back from San Francisco direct to London heathrow.<<

On United via Chicago (ORD) your flights will likely be on the 3-class 767. Perfectly good aircraft with a nice 2-3-2 configuration in economy. Those aircraft have in seat video, though it's the 8-9 channels on circulation and not full on demand (AVOD).

At ORD, you will have to clear immigration and customs before your onward flight to Vegas. So I'd allow 3 hours for that.

Also, if returning from San Francisco (SFO) you will almost certainly be on a United 747 which doesn't have any in seat video. So that's shared overhead screens. Personally I don't have a problem with that as I carry an iPAD and iPhone loaded with movies and podcasts, but your opinion may differ.

I'm perfectly happy with United, and I fly enough not to be worried by what sort of entertainment they have. And, and mentioned earlier their flight attendant service is very good. So I recommend them.

I think your call will be is the extra £400 worth it to do immigration at Vegas rather than Chicago? With a decent connection (3 hours) I'd pocket the £400 and spend it on the strip.

Whatever you choose, have a great trip.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 15,010
reviews: 5
10. Re: United airlines

>> Oh no, the connecting time in Chicago is 1 hour and 45 min. How about connecting at Houston? There is again 1 hr 45 min connect time.<<

I wouldn't do 1hr45 as a non US citizen/resident. Try a later connection - even if it's 4 hours plus that's safer. And these days, with flights booked to capacity, better to get a guaranteed seat on a later flight than miss one and be scrambling for the few spare seats on later flights.