There’s something United does better than any other US airline. Specifically, they know how to coddle their elites. Let’s use my flight today from Washington to San Diego as an example. This was an Airbus 319 and unfortunately my upgrade didn’t clear. I was kind of dreading the flight, although in reality I did end up in first class. No, I didn’t actually sit in a first class seat, but based on the way the 1K’s aboard were treated, we might as well have been. I got to the gate with my boarding pass for seat 6D, which is a great seat in the first row of Economy Plus with ample legroom. One of the nicest agents at Dulles happened to be working the flight, and I asked whether I had an empty middle seat next to me. She responded “yes, I changed around a few seat assignments to make sure everyone in Economy Plus has an empty middle.” Yes, you heard right, that’s proactive customer service.
Then I get aboard. As expected, there are four people seated in row six. As the flight attendant comes through the aisle with the menu consisting of all the food options, she asks those of us in row six if we’d like anything. I asked for a southwest chicken salad and the person seated across from me asked for a snack box. When we pulled out our credit cards to pay she said “you’re all 1K’s, it’s on us.” Wow! When the purser finished her service in first class she came back to the four of us in row six (the only 1K’s in coach), addressed us by name, thanked us for our loyalty, and asked if she could get us anything to drink. Again, that’s what I call taking care of the customer.
So I really am in first class here. I have more legroom than first class, have an empty middle seat, and had a salad which is the same thing they serve in first class.
Add to that the fact that Channel 9 is on, the aircraft is in pristine condition, and our flight arrived early, and I have to give United huge thumbs up. And best of all, this isn’t a one off. It’s a trend I’ve been noticing lately.