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United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

Pearland, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 1
United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

This is the feedback that I gave today to UA regarding my RT from Houston, TX to Lima, Peru.

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the business/first service on the entire round trip from IAH to LIM and am asking that the miles and monies that I spent to upgrade be refunded to my Milage Plus and VISA accounts as the service received was what I would have expected of economy plus rather that business/first class.

First of the all the seats were not that wide and did not lean very far back. On the return trip, I did not get the seat that I reserved and was forced to sit on the front row of the section where the movie screen was literally in my face and my feet hit the wall. I was very uncomfortable and did not get any sleep on the return flight that I desperately needed as I had a full schedule the following day. As a result of getting no sleep, I caught a cold a day later as a result on getting run down.

Moreover the food was lacking in both quantity and quality. There were no snacks available. On the departing flight, I was told that there were no peanuts to snack on. Even Southwest Airlines has those.

For a business/first section on a flight lasting 6 1/2 hours, I was very dissappointed. On British Airways in Business Class, where I have flown to the U.K. (a flight taking about the same amount of time as the flight to Lima, Peru and back) there is a wide seat that drops into a bed and a designated refrigerator with salads, sandwiches, etc for passengers in that section who get hungry between meals.

I will be posting these comments on Trip Advisor and other forums as well.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
posts: 12,498
reviews: 181
1. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

It sounds like you did not research much before your trip on the type of service or seat you would be offered - since some of your expectations are quite unrealistic. There are plenty of resources here: Like the TripAdvisor Air Travel and Seat Guru forums, Flyertalk and Milepoint, as well as United.com itself. I certainly see no merit with your complaints about lack of sleep or catching a cold...those can occur for a number of reasons.

I wonder if you'd read this post in Flyertalk, if you wouldn't have booked?

flyertalk.com/forum/united-mileageplus-conso…

But, Good Luck with your complaint.

Pearland, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 1
2. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

I do not believe that it is unrealistic to expect business first class service when you have jumped thru the hoops to get it. However, I have learned that it is caveat emptor.

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 962
reviews: 35
3. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

United makes the distinction between "United Business" and "United BusinessFirst". See below.

united.com/web/…default.aspx

When purchasing your ticket, it is specified on the website as to which service class is being offered/sold. Their flights to LIM are United Business, which is really just like domestic business class (nothing special, as you found out the hard way), not the international standards. Fortunately, they are typically priced a little cheaper than flights that offer the higher quality product. UA's true international quality business flat bed seat is actually very good.

Maybe they don't highlight this distinction when purchasing with bells, whistles and flashing lights, but it is disclosed.

Pearland, Texas
posts: 3
reviews: 1
4. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

It is an international flight, not a domestic flight so it is not unreasonable to expect the international service. Even United Airlines refers to the service grade as business/first. Thanks.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 7,189
reviews: 80
5. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

But that flight is *not* a BusinessFirst route. BusinessFirst has lay flat seats. What you were on was business class, and while the seat is wider, it doesn't have the benefits of BF. The EWR flight is BF, but the IAH flight is just Business...a domestic business seat... it says so when you do the flight search. and BTW, that is MUCH better than E+.

Also, viruses don't care if you are run down or not, and incubation time is generally greater than a day (think three). It is difficult to be tired and sick, but you can't blame being sick on a rough night's sleep.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 5,587
reviews: 34
6. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

The seats size and pitch could easily be determined from an number of websites. Sitting too close to a movie screen and having your feet hit the wall? Suggest you bring shades to assist your sleeping.

If colds were caused by an uncomfortable overnight flight, then there would be a lot of people with said colds. You really think United caused your cold?

Macon, Missouri
posts: 3
reviews: 17
7. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

I feel for you on a trip of that length! My comparable experience was on United's bread and butter flight from Chicago to Honolulu. Flying on frequent flier miles, we were put in first class for business class miles as there is no business service on that flight. For an 8 hour flight, considered a domestic flight as it is all in the USA, the service was OK, though not first rate, and the amenities and food were mediocre. The return flight, Honolulu to Denver and on was a disaster. Again, only one large movie screen at the front, and no comfort even though this was a red-eye, AND breakfast was offered by the flight attendant, "Would you care for a banana or a biscotti?" That was it! And the freshly brewed coffee was instant! Wasted miles, bad feelings, and disappointment and complaining got me 10,000 free miles, but I would have preferred decent service.

Macon, Missouri
posts: 3
reviews: 17
8. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

I feel for you on a trip of that length! My comparable experience was on United's bread and butter flight from Chicago to Honolulu. Flying on frequent flier miles, we were put in first class for business class miles as there is no business service on that flight. For an 8 hour flight, considered a domestic flight as it is all in the USA, the service was OK, though not first rate, and the amenities and food were mediocre. The return flight, Honolulu to Denver and on was a disaster. Again, only one large movie screen at the front, and no comfort even though this was a red-eye, AND breakfast was offered by the flight attendant, "Would you care for a banana or a biscotti?" That was it! And the freshly brewed coffee was instant! Wasted miles, bad feelings, and disappointment and complaining got me 10,000 free miles, but I would have preferred decent service.

Bangkok, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 7,189
reviews: 80
9. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

Nonight... please try to be observant. You pushed life back into a long dead thread.

Business class = first class on domestic aircraft. You received the food people receive on domestic aircraft. While you may have been disappointed, this is the state of life on all main carriers.

Grand Rapids...
posts: 153
reviews: 8
10. Re: United Airlines Business/First no better than economy plus

This is not a reply, it is a question. We are flying from Chicago to Honolulu Feb 28. I have 62,000 miles and was

thinking of using some of those for the flight back to upgrade to business or first class, whatever it;s called. When we went to Hawaii last year we paid the ....Ithink it was $200 to uprade to Express Plus, or whatever it's called when you get the extra leg room, We got no sleep on the flight back, This time we are making the connection from Chicago to Grand Rapids rather than drive,. What I am wondering is it worth us 35,000 miles

plus $125 apiece for that,. Or....should we wait until the following year when we are planning on Scotland and

England,. Is first class/business class better on an international flight than a domestic one? Is British Air the companion to United? I always liked BA.

Thanks for your imput.

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