United Airlines

  www.united.com
  www.united.com

United Airlines Reviews

Updated October 24, 2014
Updated October 24, 2014
686 Reviews
3.1
686 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
United Airlines President & CEO Jeffery A. Smisek
Jeffery A. Smisek
323 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The flight benefits were the only reason to justify working for this company (in 127 reviews)

  • Excellent travel benefits and very big partnership presence in Chicago area (in 83 reviews)


Cons
  • Senior management boasts about a culture of dignity and respect but come far from living it (in 31 reviews)

  • Since the merger with Continental, things have gotten progressively worse (in 13 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Notoriously bad place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Aircraft Electronics Technician in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Aircraft Electronics Technician in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at United Airlines full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Big name employer so you benefit from the prestige factor. There is also opportunity to move around to get experience in a variety of work settings.

    Cons

    Management has repeatedly milked the company dry while simultaneously sticking it to their employees. I have watched one CEO after another come in over the last 25 years making big promises just to watch them take the money and run and leave us with a mess.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees actually matter so at some point it would be nice if you treated them with a little more respect

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Toxic environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Flight Attendant in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at United Airlines full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The pros for becoming a flight attendant would still be flexibility regarding one's schedule and hours worked, and a great pass travel package.

    Cons

    The perks are quickly disappearing. Layovers are becoming shorter, and in airport hotels rather than nice downtown locations. The unions are weak, if not corrupt. Most f/a's have stopped even trying to use travel privileges, as the flights are always full. Your fellow employees can be wonderful, but that is the exception. There is much bitterness, laziness, sometimes utter hostility from the gate agents, management, and especially passengers. Be prepared to be utterly unappreciated and to have to fight for respect.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management should really come to the frontline flight attendants for ideas on where the company culture has gone so wrong. Hiring from within is not always good, in that you have lower management and purser flight attendants, and special assignment participants that opted for these positions because they hated flying and/or need a break from flying. Ask yourselves why. Also, the gate agents very often treat pass traveling f/a's rudely even when commuting to and from work. Fellow passengers see this, of course - the lack of support and poor company culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    My experience at United Airlines was in reservations and overall very positive

    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at United Airlines full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flight benefits were awesome and for some reason I could almost get on the flights most of the times. The work environment was very friendly even when we had bad days i.e. storms in Chicago that disrupted the flights.

    Cons

    The pay was not great especially if you were brand new but they had a pay scale that rewarded you at your 10th anniversary. Never made it though, my office in LA closed after 09/11.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Liars

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Ramp Service in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Ramp Service in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at United Airlines part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    i met some good people.

    Cons

    United lied to us (all the new hires) right from day 1. Told us "No lay off's" . We got laid off. They should have just told us that this job was seasonal. I DO NOT TRUST UNITED. Then I was told that I would have to re-apply and go through that "training" again. if I wanted to get re-hired. Why would I put myself through that again? No way. United's loss.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with the people that you are interviewing. People gave up other jobs to work for you. And United just didn't care.

    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Employees are just a number, they have horrible professionalism, a lot of miscommunication and disorganization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Ramp Service in South San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Ramp Service in South San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at United Airlines part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The flying and health benefit are ok. The ability to trade or drop your shift is good.

    Cons

    I was hired as a permanent position employee, was then laid off a little less than 1 month before my probationary period ended. The company knew they were going to lay us off but failed to tell us, I found out when my schedule was cleared out, I had no more work schedule. Then was told in a briefing that I was going to be laid off in 3, yes 3 days without further notice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Every one is a person, regardless where they are on the totem pole, every employee deserves open and clear communication along with respect and a little common courtesy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    great benefits, poorly managed, all about stock holders they can careless about employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Agent
    Current Employee - Customer Service Agent

    I have been working at United Airlines full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    great benefits discounted flying medical dental vision is 90 percent covered 10 percent pocket. 401k match. at 2 percent.

    Cons

    union is horrible they only care about union dues, there for the company period. they try to find anyway possible to fire you. attendance policy is set up for failure. there is no job security what so ever you can be laid off at any moment, they only need to identify you 60 days in advance per union contract. smh

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    find another job

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Job security with inadequate compensation and excessive politics

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior IT Developer in Houston, TX
    Former Employee - Senior IT Developer in Houston, TX

    I worked at United Airlines full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Generally relaxed atmosphere, even under deadline pressure. Schedule flexibility exists for better work/life balance. Most coworkers make work more enjoyable. Senior managers and some directors recognize talent, value their employees, and are open to feedback with an open-door policy.

    Cons

    It appears that much of management beyond the director level is still trapped in the old and obsolete "business-steered" development paradigm, which was created at a time when Continental/United was a new, dot-com idea that had to prove itself to Business groups...even though Technology now allows for the vast majority of the revenue coming into the company. This leads to a reluctance to accept new ideas and initiatives that are supposed to be allowed under the new R&D guidelines from the CIO down. This is the same problem that has existed for many years, and will continue to not only cause a drag in employee morale, but also stagnate further development in technology that could make the airline more competitive (and more profitable).

    The company also severely undercompensates its talent. Believing that standby flight benefits are equal to salary compensation, they continue to pay many talented employees less than $20k from the industry average relative to skills and experience, and they see this as acceptable.

    Due to the company's obvious drive to further optimize flight scheduling to reduce waste in the number of empty or near-empty planes that are flying various routes, this leads to increasing difficulty finding standby availability for standby travel which, effectively, limits the ability to actually USE those "flight benefits".

    In order to be promoted beyond a certain point, you have to become entrenched in politics and bureaucracy, and essentially rub elbows with the right people, or you are stuck in lower-level roles indefinitely. Thus, upward mobility becomes extremely difficult on merit alone. Employees shouldn't have to "wine and dine" management in order to move their careers forward.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you value your talented employees, want to make them FEEL valued (for morale and desire to better the company overall via proactive contributions), and want to RETAIN that talent, you should properly compensate them monetarily. Money talks, and many employees have families to support. The company shouldn't just cater to single people that like to travel standby alone. If you don't want to retain only mediocre employees and foreigners with visas, you should be competitive with compensation...at the very least, to the industry average.

    If necessary, allow for the option to opt out of flight standby benefits in lieu of higher salary.

    Be open to feedback from your engineers in terms of project initiatives if you want to be more competitive in terms of technology. This helps your ROI, and it helps boost market share.

    Eliminate the bureaucracy that makes the company a self-proclaimed "revolving door", as it pertains to promotions and raises. Currently, in order to move up in the company or get a higher salary, one has to leave and return with a higher salary requirement. Meanwhile, your talent finds that there is better company management elsewhere, and many do not return.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A definite challenge

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Parts Purchasing in Miami, FL
    Former Employee - Parts Purchasing in Miami, FL

    I worked at United Airlines full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Loved my job and the people, including management.

    Cons

    Being paid salary and called constantly during my off time got ridiculous, sometimes it would be 4am .... my backups could not be trusted to get the job done.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better training and hiring people that want to succeed and not just clock watch for the day to be over.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at United Airlines

    Pros

    Benefits are ok and you get to fly

    Cons

    No advancement if you don't know someone

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Self-Centered Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Management in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at United Airlines full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Compensation and benefits are very competitive.

    Cons

    Senior management does not "walk the talk" and unfortunately that trickles down through all levels of the organization. There is a lack of interest in true team-building and inclusion, rather it is a select few that are considered to have value and all others are essentially ignored and made to feel they are not welcome. Ideas, existing products, existing processes, etc. have been discarded by the "new" leadership team without even understanding what it is that they "do not like". Sadly it is the customers and loyal employees who have suffered.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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