I’m not immune to clickbait, but a recent United Airlines video review titled, “DON’T fly UNITED: America’s WORST Business Class” really leaves me shaking my head.
A Misleading United Airlines Review
The review is done by Trek Trendy, a vlogger who travels the world reviewing luxury airlines and hotels (wow, what a concept). In his latest review, he directs his ire toward United Airlines after a “first class” trip from San Francisco (SFO) to Los Angeles (LAX) on a Boeing 767-300 with lie-flat beds.
His review is eight minutes long and quite professional in terms of quality. I like the B-roll footage and the British accent provides immediate legitimacy. But I do take issue with the content of the review.
- He uses Using Polaris/1K check-in at SFO – but this isn’t Polaris and he is not a 1K status passenger. Ok, fine. We’ll overlook that, but he knows it and uses the check-in anyway. Not sure what that was about…
- He complains there is no priority/premium security. Wrong. He just didn’t look for it. SFO has it.
- Next he complains that the United Club is closed in the international terminal where his flight departs from. In the next breath, he admits (and proceeds to complain) that even if it was open, he would not have access anyway because United does not allow lounge access on domestic first class itineraries, with the exception of premium transcontinental flights.
- Onboard, he complains about a swap from a Boeing 757-200 to a 767-300 featuring the old 2-1-2 configuration. I’ve got news for you: same seat. Identical. He complains it is not a “real” Polaris seat when United never sold the flight as “Polaris” in the first place.
- Remarking on foot space, he says the foot cubby is so small “you literally can’t fit your feet side by side.” While true, American (A321) and Delta (757) use the same seat in their forward cabin.
- He then complains that “in between eating your bites while eating a packet of pretzels, you must re-mask” and is offended that a flight attendant reminded him of this. I agree with him that the policy is absurd. But that is not even United’s policy, but a TSA directive that airlines are obliged to enforce. Granted, he did not record the interaction, but I bet the flight attendant could have been nicer.
- He complains that he only received a packet of pretzels and stroopwafel and would have received something more substantial on Alaska Airlines (he cut to a picture of him enjoying a sandwich on Alaska Airlines). Not true. Alaska Airlines serves food on flights over 670 miles. SFO-LAX is 337 miles.
- Last, he complains that the cabin was full of “free” upgrades while he paid for his ticket. While he did not disclose the price of his ticket, paid first class tickets from SFO-LAX are often under $200. I’d argue a United 1K who spends $15K+ per year is a far more valuable customer than his $200 ticket…
There can be reasonable reviews that tear United apart. For example, One Mile At A Time’s review of his Maui – Chicago flight is damning, but extremely fair (though it cracks me up he always gets the worst crews and food…my experience on United has been very different this year). But this is not a reasonable review. This is a nit-picking review that gets a lot of things wrong and ends up being quite misleading. Do better, Trek Trendy.