There are many opinions and reasons for why United went from a great airline, to what I consider mediocre today. In 1994, when the Employee Ownership took place (ESOP), I personally felt an immediate decline in service. Others have statistics that indicate initially it went up, but then due to other market factors, the airline tanked. The Friendly Skies were no longer friendly.
If you are a member of United’s MileagePlus program, you will have most likely found it difficult to use your miles. At least more difficult than other carriers.
Well finally United has gotten the message and is promising change. Things are supposed to become simpler, starting October 6th. Under the new program award travel will be based on one way. This should allow for round trip as well as multi-city itineraries. United is claiming you should be able to book complex, multi-city itineraries, online at United.com.
Under the new program, the Round the World award travel will go away. However, the one-way booking will allow you to customize your itinerary and not have the previous one-way rules and other restrictions.
Change fees: 1K and United Global Services members will not be affected. Platinum on down will have increased fees.
For a more in-depth analysis of the changes click here.
International Business Class Travelers
United is introducing its United Polaris service starting December 1, 2016. The new service will also feature personal suites, 180-degree flat-bed recline, 6’6"of bed length and direct aisle access. Not sure how couples traveling together will be seated with the direct aisle access. Similar pods on British Air have center section seating together and Etihad has “couch” seating in the middle.
The new personal space amenities will include working and dining surfaces, 16-inch TV screens, Saks Fifth Avenue bedding as well as improvements in wine and food selections.
The lounges promise to make pre-flight and layovers more pleasant, with spa-type showers, beds for sleeping and improved meal service.
The first Polaris Lounge will open at Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 1st. Followed by New York, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Narita and Hong Kong. For a virtual peek at what this will all look like click here.
Now you may actually be able to use all those miles that have accumulated in your MileagePlus account after all.