I’m finalizing the plans for a trip to South America next month and had to contact both Mexicana and Avianca today via telephone. I was very impressed with the high level of service for a "no status" flyer like me. Hold time was about two minutes for each airline and the agents were courteous, helpful, and profusely thanked me for my business.
Can’t say the same for United. Thankfully, I am shielded from having to deal with the United International Call Center or surly U.S. agents, but I shudder to think (vividly recalling what it is like) what most travelers have to deal with–20 minute hold times and incompetent agents–when trying to reach United.
Am I exaggerating?