To fly with Ukraine International Airlines you have to be tenacious in queuing for long periods and keep a tenacious grip of your growing frustrations and travel stress.
We recently flew with UIA to Dubai from London, Gatwick via Kiev, however after this experience, its highly unlikely we’ll use them again.
First, we got wrong advice via email from their contact centres a few days before travel -that we could not check-in online, however turns out that we could via the Android App and/or the website. This was important for us, because as a family with 2 young children, important that we sit together.
At Gatwick airport, despite arriving 4 hours early for check-in, we had to tenaciously stand in line for 2 hours, waiting, and waiting………. No information was forthcoming from the UIA staff, who just sat there staring at screens, then packed up and went away. A passing Gatwick Manager seeing the sprawling que at UIA check-in and the many fed-up people, kindly updated us that the delay was due to a problem with UIA computer systems.
Also, beware, that no complimentary food or meals are provided on any UIA economy flights and you will only get small cups of water, if you ask. So pack your own food in your cabin bag or buy the UIA ready meals on board.
Arriving at Kiev for a quick connection, we were delayed because the boarding gates for our onward flight to Dubai were different to those printed on the boarding passes!
On the way back, more delays (1.5 hours) in Kiev, again no pro-active communications to the queuing passengers, just stern looks from the staff. Apparently this was due to operational reasons ?
To cap it all, on the return, Kiev to Gatwick flight, all the toilets on the 737 aircraft got blocked, 30 mins into the 3 hour flight – Not a pretty sight or smell
So in summary, cheap flights with UIA, however expect zero pro-active, accurate customer updates, expect to stand for hours in queues and be prepared to pay in many other ways!