I have had the occasion to fly. Faulty memory at work here. I have flown UAL, last in 1998. There were no problems. If I had to fly, it would be on a discount carrier and not on a legacy airline.
I found a website, created by a retired UAL pilot that tells horror stories of UAL. I’ll try to find the link.
The first time I ever flew was on UAL. This was when United had a daily flight from Youngstown to Chicago. Then again, I was 8. The flight originated in Youngstown, stopped at Akron-Canton to pick up passengers, then to Tampa. The return originated in Tampa and flew to Cleveland Hopkins. It was a good experience, but also before deregulation.
usAir (after rebranding from Allegheny) was also a good experience. Done twice. This was before usAir was national. We took an Allegheny commuter from Youngstown to Pittsburgh, then picked up a jet to our final destinations. I believe the airline now known as usAirways flies out of Cleveland.
I liked Midway. They didn’t jam pack the planes and the coffee was decent. Too bad they went under.
The only gripes I have with Continental was the way they handled baggage. I saw the handlers throw one of my horns in the plane… and the coffee was lousy.
I would rather drive than fly any day. From what I have read about UAL, if I couldn’t get a discount airline, I may go with American, Delta or Continental.