On June 7, 2018 my husband and I were flying from Barcelona to SF after a wonderful cruise vacation. We arrived in plenty of time (we booked our airfare through the cruiseline to make sure). We checked in, and went to our gate. We thought that everything was going smoothly, and were waiting at the gate until there were rumors starting amongst the waiting passengers the flight was cancelled. This was not communicated or posted to the passengers. After the flight was finally confirmed as cancelled through the app, and posts on the board, that's when the real scramble began. From the beginning, the gate staff was disorganized and not providing information, which prolonged our wait/finding out our fate.There was a long line with one person staffing the desk to get on the list to be taken care of, so that was about a 2 hour process. It took us another hour to get our luggage, then we were shuttled to a hotel we were put up in was terrible (see my review for City Park Sant Just).
Travel tip- Ask where you are going to be sent first before boarding a bus. Wait it out if you have time/energy. Others were sent to a nicer hotel.
We almost missed our flight the next day because the 8:30 am shuttle United provided showed up at 9:08. Which meant after the loading the bus, we did not get on the road until 9:15 (we all threw our luggage in to speed it up). We did not get to the airport until 9:45 am for an 11:00 am international flight.The reason we were late was due to the shuttle United provided. The United staff at the airport was not helpful in expediting our check in and we were told to wait in line. They finally made a special line for us, but we were still waiting about 20 min, We did not get to passport control madness until about 10:15.
Travel tip- Take a cab, or rideshare service (Uber is not big there). Don't rely on the airline to get you there ahead of time if you want to avoid stress. When you get to the airport- go straight to the desk/go to the United staff. Do not wait in line. Also- make them promise to hold the flight and get that in writing or record it.
I guess United did hold the flight because we ended up finally boarding the flight (about 45 min or so begging people to let us through a DMV style que w/o the one line for passport control).
In flight entertainment- We did not pay for WiFi, but if we had, I would be extremely upset at the fact this flight had no in seat screens in economy (aka steerage if this was the Titanic). We had to use our own devices- in this case my IPhone. It did not work, so 8 hours w/no wifi access. I would have read my magazine, but with the tight seats, it's hard to get it from under the seat in front of it. When we asked if they could help fix the connection issues, they said the fleet is being updated, and it has issues. They then said to file a complaint when you get home on United.com.
Food- I just remember it being almost inedible and disgusting.
Travel tip- take your own protein bars and snacks in carry on. Buy a bottle of water or drink in the terminal.
Maybe United needs to take a lesson from Caviar. I ordered food last night that was
1. 30 minutes late
2. Missing an item that I paid for.
When I contacted them, they got back to me within 10 minutes, refunded the missing item and provided me a credit towards my next purchase. This reinforced my confidence in their services, provides incentive to continue and made me an overall happy customer. I will enthusiastically be using them again. I can't say the same for United Airlines. In the end, after a lot of headache and stress, they gave me a very small travel credit in addition to the amount required by the EU to compensate me for the cancelled flight, so I would try them again for a short hop- then again, that's all I can get from the amount they provided, a one way ticket from SF to LA. If I want to come home, I may look into an alternative airline.