Even the CIA hates flying United

A spy plane. Who knew?
A spy plane. Who knew?
Image: Reuters/Louis Nastro
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Maybe they haven’t tried the new business-class sleeping pods.

Among the trove of documents released today that Wikileaks says was from the Central Intelligence Agency’s cyber intelligence unit, one was a travel guide for agents headed to a Frankfurt base. And it compares flying a German carrier to flying a US one. Said one of the documents:

Flying Lufthansa: Booze is free so enjoy (within reason)!  Flying United:  My condolences, but at least you are earning a United leg towards a status increase.

The airline, which like its competitors has suffered numerous technical outages that have grounded flights, tied for last place with Air Canada among large North American carriers in a JD Power survey on airline satisfaction last year. Added to that, United has now created a new flying class that’s even worse than economy—basic economy. (Its competitor, American, followed suit.)

Before leaving Frankfurt, the document also advises: “Buy something in Duty Free, because you’re awesome and you deserve it! (Might I recommend a travelers’ edition single malt whisky?”) That will certainly help any American spy get through the long United flight back home.