I returned home from Europe yesterday and would be remiss if I did not mention what superb flights I had on United for both the outbound and inbound journey.
You’ll have to wait on the trip reports—Afghanistan and the Caucuses are coming first—but my Chicago – Frankfurt flight last week and Paris – San Francisco flight yesterday were about as close to a perfect flight as you can get on United.
I’ll name names here. My friend Leigh Ann, the United FA I sat next to on my Istanbul – Newark flight in February, was working the Chicago – Frankfurt flight and recognized me immediately. She worked economy, but did stop by twice to check on me and chat, which was appreciated. Joanne and Diana took care of my side of the business class cabin and were great—charming and gregarious, attentive and prompt.
On my flight back today from Paris to San Francisco, I experienced United BusinessFirst (a two-cabin longhaul flight on a retrofitted 767-300) for the first time and found the hybrid business/first service a step above tri-cabin business class. The purser was Michael, a purser I flew with on the special Flyertalk2 San Francisco – Chicago flight with Captain Denny a few years ago. He was extremely friendly, went around and personally checked on each passenger in business class several times, and thanked all passengers repeatedly for their business. A FA named Annette worked my side of the aisle and shared with me that she has been working for United for 47 years! She had a great attitude—truly a pleasure to fly with and demonstrative that some FAs still love their jobs despite so many years of service and ups and downs in the industry.
I’m a pretty happy camper right now when it comes to United. I’m now only about 16K miles away from Million-Miler status and my last several journeys, both domestic and international, have exceeded my expectations. Service is most important to me, but upgrades have all cleared, food has been good, and IFE more than adequate. I even had an open seat next to me in business yesterday, giving me more room to stretch out.
I’d like to think this is a new trend we are seeing, but I may simply have been fortunate in my flight selection lately, which is very deliberate though I had no idea I would run into familiar faces onboard. My travel on UA is grinding to a halt for the summer, so further analysis will have to wait until the fall when regular travel resumes.