I disapprove of United’s online checkin. I’ve had two very different experiences trying it. The first time (my outbound flight), the sales pitch to upgrade (for $29.99) to Economy Plus is so in your face. When you are checking in, you step through the wizard, and the right most button (the one you’ve been hitting “Next” thus far) is now a big shiny “Upgrade now!” graphic. The option to not upgrade is a text link on the left side of the page that you have to read and parse to figure out where it is. Such a sneaky and devious upsell technique. I hate it when online retailers do that.
On the return flight, I was unable to check in online for whatever reason. Instead of telling me that on the first screen it tried to book me on another flight. When I selected I was uninterested in changing, only then did it tell me online check in was not available. I also couldn’t seem to figure out how to check in online without using my Milage Plus information. Unlike every other airline in the world where you can use your name and confirmation number, it asked for my frequent flier login. They need to up their experience to just hit the bare minimum for usablity and get rid of their used-cars-salesmen techniques.