✅ Trip Verified
| I'm a frequent business and pleasure flyer and flying United was the worst air travel experience I ever had. I bought a business-class flat bed ticket on United 363 from Newark to Honolulu leaving on 12/17/2020 at 9:50am. I required a business class level of service due to my injured spine with multiple herniated discs. Due to the snowstorm on the night of 12/16-12/17, I had difficulty finding a taxi and getting to the airport, and I arrived at the airport 50 minutes prior to my 9:40am departure. I had already checked in to my flight online and just needed to drop off 1 bag, which is technically still within United's 45-minute window submitting luggage for domestic flights. However, when I inquired about business class service, United personnel had no idea where to direct me. At first they sent me from the 2nd to the 3rd level of Newark Terminal C, however the United personnel there claimed they don't service Hawaii and sent me back down to Level 2, which was all Economy and big lines. I tried approaching multiple United personnel and all of them refused to help me and directed me towards Economy lines. Soon, they claimed I was too late for my flight - but I wouldn't be late if they did their job from the beginning and assisted me with priority service! At this point I was sent to wait in a massive line for customer assistance (again, no business class service to be found). I would have missed every other UA flight waiting in that line, but I also called United customer service by phone, where United phone agent (the only helpful agent in this entire experience) helped me rebook for a flight that departed one hour later, at 10:50am with a connection in SFO. However, I was made to pay a $539 flight upgrade fee that was sold to me as an "upgrade" from business to 1st class, which in reality turned out to be exactly the opposite, a downgrade: an old upright seat with minimal recline that is vastly inferior to my previously booked flat bed business seat, and much worse for my back. I found this deeply unfair. Even after rebooking, checking in to my new First Class flight was again a nightmare and I almost missed it, too, with no one willing to assist me even as I followed the phone agent's advice and told United personnel that I was flying 1st class. Probably 5 or 6 employees shooed me away and told me to get into a line for Economy electronic kiosks (half of which weren't working) and a long Economy passenger line for bag drop-off. The computer kiosk (when I finally got to it) again claimed I was too late to register baggage for my newly re-booked flight, but I miraculously found one competent UA agent who helped me overcome this. All in all, I had an absolute worst nightmare flying experience of my life. The physical pain in my back flared up from all of the dashing between floors, kiosks, and lines that I was made to endure with no one able or willing to help me. The service I received from United was absolutely abominable and especially so for business/1st class, and frankly it was horrible for any human being in any class to be subjected to such humiliation, physical pain, and monetary deprivation (which was unreasonable because I was actually downgraded, not upgraded). Online complaint with UA resulted in a generic "you were late and we won't do anything" answer (arriving 50 minutes should have absolutely been accommodated for a business class traveler who already checked in). I will never fly United again.