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UA Lost Another Customer Due To Pathetic Service  
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9722 times:
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Earlier this week, my mother had to fly EUG-DEN urgently to be at the side of her father, who was literally dying. She called UA and asked for a bereavement fare.

First, she had to give every last detail of where her father was, who her doctor was, even the phone number of the facility administrator -- not exactly things at her fingertips as she's rushing to go. The representative on the phone was very rude toward her, even as she tried to get the information they needed. The UA rep even had the nerve to ask her if she wanted to hear about their latest leisure promotions -- as she's crying and desperately waiting for help from him. Then, she gets put on hold forever and was told that all of the 'bereavement seats' had been sold out, after about 45 minutes on the phone.

Her next call was to Frontier. F9 doesn't have bereavement fares, and for a reason -- they don't need them. The F9 rep made arrangements for her, held a one-way ticket for her at the counter, didn't even take a credit card, and told her that if she makes the flight out of PDX, they'll take her card there, and if she can't, there won't be a charge. She got to PDX, got the ticket, flew out, and arrived at her father's bedside in time. He died an hour after she arrived.

Arranging the trip home was just as easy -- picked a flight and got on it, even though loads were fairly heavy.

What on earth is UA doing? First, to promote leisure fares to a woman in tears. Second, to not be able to identify whether or not inventory exists. Third, to request all of this totally useless information. It is, simply, pathetic service.

It's no wonder that UA is the basket case of the industry. They can't seem to get out of their own way. Instead of helping someone who was truly in urgent need (and scoring good PR points out of it), they put their blinders on and got mired down in their own self-important policies and "customer service" scripts. They've lost my family permanently as a customer -- I won't tolerate giving a dime to a company that is so disinterested in helping those in need, period. I won't book travel for my employees on them, and I sure as hell will make a point to tell everyone in my social circle who does business with UA about their absolutely dreadful performance this week.

This has also changed my mind dramatically on a point that I've argued many times, especially with DCA-ROCguy. Airlines and airports are a public good and should be forced to act that way. UA uses public facilities, gets public subsidies, and therefore should be forced to operate in the public interest. Call it regulation, good manners, or socialist business -- what's important is that these carriers be forced to stop being monolithic tyrants when it comes to performing a public good.

UA and the rest of the legacy carriers are getting their rear ends kicked by the LCCs. It's no wonder. There is precisely ZERO reason that UA had to behave this way... it is absolutely within their means -- and their responsiblity -- to do exactly what F9 did in this scenario. I know the arguments: "we have to verify", "we have to make money", "what if everyone did that", blah blah blah. Those arguments amount to a hill of beans: WN is famous for helping people in extraordinary situations, and no one can say that they've lost their shirts because of it. F9 is turning out to be the same way. Simply put, it is profitable to do business in a way that is socially responsible.

I can't say enough good things about Frontier. The way they do business makes sense, makes goodwill, and makes money. When was the last time that UA could say that?

146 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTekelberry From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1459 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9655 times:

My condolences goes out to you, your mother and the rest of your family for your grandfather.

What the UA rep did was disgusting. But before you decide to never fly the airline again, think about it. You can't judge the 2nd largest airline off of 1 reservationist. I would write to UA Customer Service conveying your disgust at how they treated your mother. See where that gets you before you overreact.



User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9621 times:
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What the UA rep did was disgusting. But before you decide to never fly the airline again, think about it. You can't judge the 2nd largest airline off of 1 reservationist.

That's the attitude that I'm talking about at UA -- believe it or not, lots of opinions of very large corporations are made or broken through the actions of a single front-line, customer-facing representative. These people are the first face of a company that most customers see.

Even then, the pricing policies of UA are just not realistic. If a (profitable) competitor can do business in a much more expedient and helpful way, then why look back?


User currently offlineUAL777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1546 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9614 times:

Yes, please do not call it the "basket-case of the industry". However, my condolences go out to you and your family and I am sorry you had to experience that from United. I know first hand that the vast majority of the employees are doing their best to accommodate. Please don't judge us on one CSA. Again, my sympathies to you and your family.


It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
User currently offlineWNfan From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9610 times:

What a great post. Well said, Flashmeister.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago. My wife's father died in December 1999, and we called and asked for "bereavement" fares on AA from ORD-SAT for ~$600 roundtrip each. After providing a bunch of personal information regarding her father, we packed and went to ORD, then waited at their ticket counter to be checked in for *at least* 45 minutes. Of course, once we got to the counter, there wasn't time to check our bags, so we had to dash to the gate with our luggage, only to have the door closed on us as we arrived. Our next opportunity to fly was a couple of hours later changing at DFW.

We returned to the counter and asked for our money back and were refunded, and then we went to MDW and flew WN using one free ticket and paying a similar $600 for myself -- and it was a far better experience.

The "legacy" network carriers treat people poorly, and it's time for a revolt. Your experience is part of what I hope is a permanent paradigm shift in how passengers allow themselves to be treated. The LCCs are far more respectable in giving passengers fares that are reasonable and do not require notices from doctors, hospitals, cemeteries, and the like. Amen to that.


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6520 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9617 times:

That is truly pathetic. Very sorry that United treated you and yours so poorly (I guess they want to lose business...if so, it's a good way of going about it!), but I'm very happy that my coworkers were able to help your family out in your time of need.

Somewhere along the line, most airline's have seemed to lose touch with the most important thing: customer service. It's the little things that go a long way in this industry. Example: Who cares if a fee gets waived so that you can help someone out in a difficult situation? One kind gesture will surely lead to repeat business, or at least good word of mouth from the individual.


Steve in New Orleans


User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9592 times:
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Well, Steve, I can guarantee that F9 will get every dollar that we can give them when we have to fly. Frontier performed very well and did something that simply was the right thing to do.

As for letters to UA, they'll be written... and we're enclosing a copy of a congratulatory letter that we've sent to Frontier in Denver. Perhaps the powers that be in Oak Grove Village will learn something, but frankly, I'm not holding my breath that we'll even get a simple reply.


User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2146 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9564 times:

Please accept my condolences. While you may have just come across a rotten agent, you can still begin to see the fundamental problem with UAL. It is just a big fat bureaucracy that is very resistant to change. Management has the rank and file following archaic rules with fear of discipline if they bend a few of them to help someone in need. The whole company runs like that. People at UA have got to learn how to think outside the box. If they don't start soon, the box they will be thinking in is going to be UAL's coffin.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9552 times:

My condolences.

Maybe somebody these majors will get the importance of the consumer.





As far the earlier comments about using public facilities, Airlines allready do pay for them, through landing and fuel fees, gate rentals and the like.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9550 times:
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Additionally, thanks to everyone for their condolences... it really is appreciated.

User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9530 times:
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As far the earlier comments about using public facilities, Airlines allready do pay for them, through landing and fuel fees, gate rentals and the like.

They don't pay for the ATC system that way, they don't pay the debt service on public bonds used to build facilities, they're not repaying the subsidies that the feds have given them (for the most part), they're not repaying the marketing subsidies that lots of airports are dangling, they're not paying for the time that a lot of local governments have to put in to keep an airport operational.

There's a lot of public money that directly benefits no one besides the carriers themselves -- and even then, usually just the incumbent carrier. Therefore, they have an obligation to act in the public interest, and should be forced to do so.


User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9536 times:

My condolences to you and your family, I lost a family member recently, and I know how you might feel. Ill say a p[rayre for him tonight. Also, they may have asked those questions to verify the reason for asking for this fare, otherwise, people might go around doing so, getting cheap flights...although Im not sure what a beravement fare is, but from the sounds of it, its a cheap ticket for someone in an emergency. But I am very sorry about your loss, and that the UA rep gave you such a bad time.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9512 times:
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Also, they may have asked those questions to verify the reason for asking for this fare, otherwise, people might go around doing so, getting cheap flights

If that was the case, then carriers who have friendlier policies would be losing money hand over fist. That simply isn't the case... in fact, the inverse is true.

And thank you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers.


User currently offlineUPSfueler From United States of America, joined May 2003, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9510 times:

My condolances. As many have said already, dont let one UAL employee ruin your view of the airline. There are descent workers out there who do care. Excuse any words that are mis-spelled, the spell checker is in-op.

User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6380 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9489 times:

My condolences also to you Flashmeister, but I do have a question:

If they don't get the information,telephone numbers, doctors, etc...I mean, anybody can call up and say a relative is dying.



Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 9480 times:
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If they don't get the information,telephone numbers, doctors, etc...I mean, anybody can call up and say a relative is dying.

Again, see my previous comment: if other, profitable, carriers can accomplish this feat relatively easily, then why can't UA?


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 16, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9451 times:

I can see an airline telling her to have a doctors note on his office or hospital letterhead when getting to the airport and paying for the ticket or having it faxed to the counter, but all those other questions regarding the facility administrator and the like where beyond what probably where needed.


And having that note gives you a second person to sue if the grievance fair was requested fraudulently. You have the purchaser of the ticket, and then you have the doctor how vouched for the need to the fair.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9409 times:
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Still no answer to my quesion though: How do the (once again, profitable) LCCs manage to not lose their shirt on these types of cases?

My answer is this: it's more profitable to do business in a socially responsible way, even if it means putting up with a loophole in a policy in deference to helping people who are truly in need.

As an aside, if UA's rationale for all this documentation is partially to be able to sue over a $400-600 ticket, then they really are bass-ackwards over there. Millions per day are being lost and we're alienating customers over $400. Makes sense to me.


User currently offlineInflightmags From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9400 times:

My grandfather died about two years ago...I didn't go but my Mother and Father did..We never called the airline directly but went to a travel agency instead...Why did we go to a travel agency? Well the fact that I already expected the kind of service the airlines give...as well as our main goal was to get to the destination at the lowest fare...I believe that most of the times travel agents can find the lowest fares...

If you already know that the airlines (any airlines) give such service then why do you torture yourself??? Sometimes it is your approach to the situation..

You are the customer and you have the right to shop around before finalizing a decision...so as much as you want to blame the airlines you have to blame yourself as well....And yes I do blame myself when I deal with big companies, because later on I realized that I approached a situation in a wrong way..

Keep in mind though that not all experiences are the same...

I know, I know there might be other airlines out there not paying that much $$ to travel agencies but it wouldn't really hurt to try a travel agency...

and yes I do have double standards..


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9391 times:

Actually, the answer is that if they price their tickets correctly, they only wholesaled a ticket, they didn't make money on it, they only broke even.

The only way the airline would loose money on that ticket is if they had to bump a passenger paying full fare. Which if the seat would have been empty anyway, isn't that big of a consideration.

And along your line of thinking that generates good will to the customer, who probably will tell everybody else.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9375 times:
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so as much as you want to blame the airlines you have to blame yourself as well

I find this really insulting, frankly. Why should we blame ourselves for trying to do business with United? Perhaps a travel agent could have helped, but in this case, we needed to get her on the plane ASAP. If you read my original post, she made it by an hour.

Screwing around trying to find a travel agent would probably not have helped, anyway, since we would have probably gotten to the same endpoint anyway, which was F9's PDX-DEN flight.


User currently offlineInflightmags From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9354 times:

Why didn't you call F9 first then?? Also, why did you call UA first??

Bigger is not always better!!!!!!


User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9348 times:
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She was in EUG to start with. The only carrier to do EUG-DEN nonstop is UA. Time was of the essence.

User currently offlineInflightmags From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9326 times:

Then why didn't she just hang up after UA rep asked all those questions when the situation was already becoming more uncomfortable to her?

If someone ask you "Can you please hold?" There are only two answers to this question "Yes!" and "No!"


User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (10 years 11 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 9307 times:
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Because even a 45 minute call to get a flight locally is less time invested then driving 2+ hours to PDX. Besides, we had no reason to believe that UA wouldn't help... and next time you're crying and desperate for help, let's see what decisions you make on the fly. Sure is easy to armchair quarterback from your position.

I don't appreciate you assailing her for making the best judgements she could at the time... and whatever decisions were made do not justify the awful way that UA treated her. Besides, the topic of the post is more toward pointing out the disparity between how UA and F9 approach these situations and how it impacts their public perception, and therefore their profitability.


25 Jetjack74 : Flashmeister, Log onto www.untied.com and put a post on the website. It's a slam site directed at UAL. Put comment down there. Big wigs at UAL see it.
26 Zrs70 : Jetjack74: I adamantly dissagree with your advice. I browse through the stuff on Untied.com. Do you realize that people are putting out private info o
27 Milemaster : Yeah, that was pretty weak on UA's part. The reality is however (unless you're totally committed) that you will be flying them again if the fare they
28 Phxinterrupted : "I can't say enough good things about Frontier. The way they do business makes sense, makes goodwill, and makes money. When was the last time that UA
29 Tango-Bravo : Flashmeister: For curiosity's sake, did you consider Alaska/Horizon (PDX-DEN, EUG-PDX-DEN or EUG-SEA-DEN) for your mother's last-minute trip? If not,
30 ElkGrove : Flashmeister- My heart goes out to you and your family during this painful time. The actions of my company's representative were completely unacceptab
31 HlywdCatft : I agree UA sucks!! I hate everything about them in the 90's till present- their color scheme, their service. They used to be one of my favorite airlin
32 UAL777 : HlywdCatft, I do believe that you are mistaken. MOST of the employees at United are trying hard to make a turn-around.
33 Polnebmit : My condolences to you and your family. I have not had good experiences with United Airlines either. Their representatives many times lack the professi
34 UAL-Fan : I had a similar experience with UAL last week. My Father was diagnosed with Colon Cancer about 3 wks ago, he went into surgery Monday, the same day I
35 Starrion : My condolences to Flash and UAL-fan, (is that sarcastic?) as just another business traveler, my four domestic trips on UA were uniformly unpleasant, w
36 Post contains images 727LOVER : UAL-Fan, are you changing your username?
37 Jjbiv : Starrion, Are you referring to ATA or United when you say "I wouldn't fly on them again except at corporate gunpoint." Just curious... Hope you enjoye
38 Starrion : ATA Their flights on the new 737's weren't bad, but if they want to use Midway as a hub, then they need to get some bathrooms installed and add some m
39 FLY777UAL : Very sorry to hear about your loss, it's very tough, I know, but frankly, aside from the rude reservation agent, I can't really find a problem with an
40 Gigneil : While I also offer my condolences - in terms of the information requested, almost all the majors require the same information. It sucks that the agent
41 Mariner : FLY777UAL: I can't imagine your post did anything to persuade Flashmeister or his mother to try UAL again. The agent didn't say they were out of seats
42 Tranceport : Many of the arguments here against Flashmeister's excellent posts are weak. Detractors keep skirting the valid questions and facts he poses and states
43 AIR757200 : Or is it a very small allocation of seats? Most of the time, the bereavement fare is pooled in with a class of service. Therefore, if the bereavement
44 Mariner : AIR757200: I understand that. However, I repeat, surely a good customer service agent would have suggested alternatives? "No bereavement fares" - is t
45 Dinker225 : I agree with Fly777UAL. My personal experience with United has had its ups and downs. Although the first time they let me down I did not stop flying t
46 Atrude777 : When my grandma died , we had to fly to MCO from BNA. we got a cheap afre and made it. However, my aunt who was flying in from PHX booked on HP, a reg
47 FLY777UAL : Mariner-- Not trying in the least bit to convince his mother or him to continue flying. They obviously found a good deal with Frontier and enjoyed the
48 AA777MIA : What is sad is the fact that now the airlines have to get detailed in getting names, numbers, facts etc, that is the direct result of people ABUSING t
49 Flashmeister : There still hasn't been a good response as to why F9, WN, etc., can be so flexible, yet the legacy carriers cannot. I suspect that there isn't a good
50 FLY777UAL : How so? I'll give you the fact that they're both completely opposite circumstances, but in the end, you're both buying a service from a company who ob
51 AA777MIA : The bottom line is that big corps are not trained to think outside the box... It is all black and white, and there is no grey area. It has to be one w
52 Flashmeister : They're smaller carriers with a "small corporate" feel to them, and recognize the passenger as what they should be recognized as: a valued customer. E
53 FLY777UAL : If you re-read my posts, I have never tried to defend their practices aside from what they must do, such as verify information for a berievment fare.
54 Gamps : While we are at this subject, I wonder how many of you actually look for a specific carrier when flying from point A to point B. I mean isn't fare the
55 Jhooper : My condolences to you and your family as well. Nobody deserves to be treated like that, especially in a time of distress. If the airline needs verific
56 FLY777UAL : Yes, JHooper, that is exactly the way I felt about it. As great as it would have been for United to bend over backwards to accomodate this customer, t
57 Post contains images L-188 : You know hearing about how airlines must "verify" a bereavement fare, reminds me of "Ferris Buellers Day Off" when he is trying to get his girlfriend
58 Flashmeister : Honestly next time you are travelling, if UA offers one fourth the price of next latest airliner will you still decline to fly them? Absolutely. At th
59 StevenUhl777 : Flashmeister: Bottom line: - My condolences to you and your family, a terrible sitatuation compounded by miserable customer service. - Chris Bowers is
60 Northwesta319 : Flashmeister, as StevenUhl777 said, you probably want to contact UA. Here is the customer relations information. Phone: 1-877-228-1327 Fax:1-877-406-1
61 Luv2fly : Flashmeister: I would do what StevenUhl777 suggested and go right to the top of the food chain here. Why bother with customer relations when all they
62 Marara : We had something similar happen to my mother going back to see my dieing grandmother, the weird part about it was the big carrier outdid the smaller c
63 KL911 : One bad experience doesn't make it a bad airline !!! Why else do you think it's the worlds 2nd largest airline? Besides, what's a bereavement fare go
64 KL911 : Sorry btw for the persons involved, must be hard for you, but in my opinion it's the same as going to the supermarket and ask them for a bereavement
65 TxAgKuwait : I tried to post a few thoughts on this last night, but for whatever reason my computer had rendered me temporarily unable to post. Alas. Here is my ta
66 TxAgKuwait : Oh and one last thing. The "last minute walkup fares" are so high not because it is a smart way to do business, but it is the easiest and best way to
67 Flashmeister : One bad experience doesn't make it a bad airline !!! Why else do you think it's the worlds 2nd largest airline? To make the argument that UA is the wo
68 Jhooper : the bottom line is important, which is the fact that she would have paid cost for her ticket. Asses in seats, my friend. PAYING asses in seats. , FLY
69 Flashmeister : I know airlines make a killing off their "last minute" tickets, but that's just a way to price discriminate liesure travelers from business travelers;
70 TxAgKuwait : Flash: Not wanting to hihack this thread into a WalMart saga, but in truth, they did become the world's largets retailer thru superior service, of a s
71 Greg : Just out of curiosity, why were so 'price sensitive' in such a time of crisis? Personally, if any member of my family were ill--I'd just to to the air
72 Jhooper : The costs of burying your loved one is high enough as it is. Some people simply can't afford to buy an expensive plane ticket. I know my aunts and unc
73 Bicoastal : I sympathize with the airlines. There are so many scam artists, dishonest blokes and cheapskates in our midsts. I'm sure airlines have been "had" by e
74 Mike77 : I don't understand what all the fuss is about. If a family member of mine was dying, I would pay whatever the walk-up fare is and go. Is someone reall
75 Yyz717 : This is the sort of airline treatment that people will remember the rest of their lives. UA never deserves your mother's custom again. My condolenses
76 ZSSNC : I absolutely agree with KL911. If bereavement fares would not exist with major US carriers there would not have been this problem. It must be pretty d
77 DCA-ROCguy : My condolences to, and prayers for, you and your family. May your grandfather rest in peace. Economics helps explain UA's behavior. They have a high C
78 Petrouchka : I'm diving in really late, but I just wanted to add in this tidbit: WN does not offer bereavement fares, contrary to what I've seen suggested above. M
79 Flashmeister : We weren't being price sensitive on this -- Frontier was the only one who offered to help in the end. I think that my Mom's emphasis on bereavement wa
80 Greg : If you weren't being price sensitive..then you must not be speaking English. I made a made a reservation (and paid for it) to Boston from Houston via
81 Flashmeister : Yeah, I guess it is irrational to expect United to NOT try to sell us leisure fares when we're trying to get to DEN, and to NOT put us through hell an
82 OH-LGA : Flashmeister: I too offer my condolences on the passing of your father. The way your mother was treated on the phone was indeed unacceptable, apparent
83 Philhyde : I'm confused - if price was not an issue, then why make a big fuss (or even suggest) to the agent that you need a bereavement (read: cheap) fare? Neve
84 Jhooper : And to be brutally honest, no one owes you anything just because a loved one died. It's not about who owes who what, bereavement customers are just a
85 Richierich : Trust me, I am not defending UA but I do have a point to make. I work for an LLC that I hope handles similar situations to this one in a manner much b
86 Flashmeister : I'm confused - if price was not an issue, then why make a big fuss (or even suggest) to the agent that you need a bereavement (read: cheap) fare? My m
87 Post contains images EmiratesA345 : I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather. I have never had to make use of this type of fare fortunately. Actually, I thought that in order to get this
88 Scottb : I think a more appropriate analogy than to Nordstrom's would be to medical care; i.e. if your doctor were to charge, say $50 for an office visit booke
89 Lindy : I'm trying to locate on UAL.COM message boards with customer reviews. Where egzactly its located? Rafal
90 Philhyde : Scott, in your case since you had 5 days, obviously the bereavement fare didn't make sense. Would it have been less expensive than booking for the sam
91 Greg : I'm sorry, but with each reply Flash you do get more irrational sounding. At any rate, if your Mother was not so adept at flying..why didn't you....he
92 Flashmeister : As for including the letter that you will be sending to Frontier, I think that is rude, so to speak. Why? If anything, I would think that it might be
93 Flashmeister : At any rate, if your Mother was not so adept at flying..why didn't you....her son who loves aviation enough to post here everyday....handle the arran
94 Flashmeister : In any case, I think that United's policy is an indication of one of their most serious problems -- the view that the customer is the enemy, and that
95 Scottb : Phil- If it had come down to it, I would have flown Southwest or AirTran and paid their more reasonable walk-up fare -- lower than CO's bereavement fa
96 Post contains images EA CO AS : I'm in shock...Greg and I actually AGREE on something! Flash, while the attitude you may have received from UA was less-than-stellar (to say the least
97 Potomac : however sternly he made his points, i have to agree with EA CO AS. the death in the family is indeed unfortunate, and having a bad customer servive ex
98 Scottb : Making an analogy to purchasing clothing, floral arrangements, or car rentals is a false analogy. Neither Avis nor 1-800-FLOWERS nor Nordstrom will gi
99 Luv2fly : Scottb Well said and to the point. I always thought that the best way to handle this situation would be to offer a refund after the flight and after t
100 Potomac : your analogy about airlines' obligation towards bereavement fares and businesses serving non-whites is no less of stretch than the clothing, car renta
101 Post contains images Greg : No..No..NO! I absolutely refuse to believe that EA-CO-AS and I agree on anything! At any rate..Flash..you're making the biggest mountain out of nothin
102 EmiratesA345 : I agree with you Greg and EA CO AS. Flash, you really are over exaggerating. Do you refuse to shop at a store after one of the sales representatives i
103 Scottb : Potomac- Making an analogy about "obligations" isn't inappropriate; to take a more recent example, airlines wouldn't be obligated to make accomodation
104 Post contains images DCA-ROCguy : however, it's worth remembering that flying is a priviledge, not a right, and bereavement fares are not an entitlement, but a way for airlines to acco
105 TNboy : Sorry about the bereavement, Flash. I guess people ask for bereavement fares because the airlines make them available. Trips have to be taken at liter
106 Frntman : I do work in Frontier management and have a deep appreciation how our airline treats our employees and customers. I have worked for two previous airli
107 EA CO AS : The airlines which take the attitude that customers are the enemy and are all trying to cheat/defraud them will fail. True, to a point...but by the sa
108 Flashmeister : Wow, lots of stuff to respond to... It seems like you have never worked in a customer service related field, by what you are saying. You are 100% fals
109 UALPHLCS : When someone is in a crisis as your mother obviously was, some things that in calmer times seem utterly unremarkable seem to be incredible important.
110 TxAgKuwait : Everyone is still overlooking the fundamental problem. The problem is not that a family member was in crisis. The problem was not a rude agent. The pr
111 UALPHLCS : I can't see how the customer was treated like the enemy in this situation. We have the story coming from one of the participants who was understandabl
112 747400sp : Flashmeister you have my deepest condolences. I could under them asking question because any body could make up a story to get on a flight, but when a
113 Kevi747 : I can't help but wonder if the ticket agent wasn't just trying to help. Like UALPHLCS said, obviously your mother wasn't in a completely normal state
114 Flashmeister : As, for your comments consering basically nationalizing air service: I never once said that. All I'm advocating is that we, as citizens who subsidize
115 Crjfo : There is a simple reason why all this happened. UAL is not a LCC. When you want to book last minute on a major it costs you. period. For those rare ci
116 Flashmeister : You can bet the farm that if F9 was not an LCC you would have gone through the same, more or less, situation with them. That's the point: they're not
117 Crjfo : not to get into a debate about F9 but, from the frontier website: "Entrepreneur magazine named Frontier to its "2002 Best Low-Fare Airlines" list in t
118 Potomac : In all of the debate here, it seems that we have strayed from the basics: - The gentleman's mother sought a bereavement fare prior to her father's dea
119 Clipper7 : Whilst I understand the frustration and sadness you feel, judging a whole company by the actions of 1 employee is like judging every Muslim because of
120 Flashmeister : judging a whole company by the actions of 1 employee is like judging every Muslim because of terrorism Hardly. This isn't a case of just one bad emplo
121 Clipper7 : Well, I'm not trying to convince you to like United - just try calling F9 next time you want a ticket from Denver to Hong Kong, and see how far you ge
122 Potomac : that's right, clipper7, we're comparing apples to oranges here. the majors are now victims of their own tenure and expansive operating structure. the
123 777d : According to Flash, this is not his first time he has difficulty with UAL. I believe he stated "this is the straw that broke the camel's back." If UAL
124 Potomac : see my previous post about how UA could just do what F9 does - we all wish the majors could switch their operating models and fare structures to the m
125 Flashmeister : just try calling F9 next time you want a ticket from Denver to Hong Kong, and see how far you get True, F9 won't help me there. I fly international pe
126 Potomac : well listen, we could talk this one even more into the ground than we already have. you'll get no argument from me that as front line reps of the comp
127 Post contains images Mariner : Actually, if you want to fly to Hong Kong and call Frontier, you can do it - using FF miles. Or to London, Johannesburg or anywhere else that Virgin A
128 Bruce : Potomac wrote: and as for how fare structures on majors work - on each plane, certain seats are allocated to certain type of fares/passengers...some f
129 KL911 : Soooo, flying international segments means flying the ' big ones' no? In that case I would suggest flying UA since there is no other alternative. UA's
130 Potomac : bruce, i agree that the operating models and fare structures are a problem to the majors. the point is that those airlines cannot just go in a rebuild
131 Bruce : Being in "bankruptcy" means a re-structuring is in progress. If they wanted to do it this would be the time to do it. bruce
132 Flashmeister : In that case I would suggest flying UA since there is no other alternative. Not true. I've flown plenty internationally myself. There are lots of alte
133 EA CO AS : Being in "bankruptcy" means a re-structuring is in progress. If they wanted to do it this would be the time to do it. Bankruptcy has permitted many co
134 UALPHLCS : Kevi747 brought up an interesting point. The Res agent may not have been offering a crass commercial but offering an alternative solution because the
135 TxAgKuwait : The so-called major carriers could restructure themselves to be more like LCCs if they wanted. Contrary to Potomac, EA CO AS, and others, the biggest
136 AA777MIA : KL911 I am not sure if I understood your negative comments correctly... Are you suggesting that one discriminate because an airline actually employs s
137 WMUPilot : The only thing is that the LCC's realize that our passengers pay our wages, or maintenance costs, and keep us going. Without them we are nothing and n
138 Flashmeister : That's nationalizing the industry. Especially, the "socialist business" comment. Is that how you REALLY feel? Or where your emotions clouding your pe
139 UALPHLCS : Flashmeister, There is a disconnect between what you said in your original post and what you say you meant now. I pulled your quote our of your origin
140 Flashmeister : You say in this quote that they use public facilities, and get public subsidies, and therefore should act in the public interest. You are saying that
141 AirportGuy1971 : Anecdotally, I was working at the ticket counter a few weeks back. I had a customer approach an agent who had to get to Indianapolis right now his mot
142 Jgiardin : I don't understand what bereavement flights have to do with practicing social responsibility. These are companies in the best market history of the wo
143 Jgiardin : Oh, and actually flash...I happen to think there are two great retail stores in this country: Walmart, which you were so quick to trash; and Target.
144 UALPHLCS : Walk up fares are high for one simple reason: Airline seats are the most perishable commodity in the world. Once the plane leaves the gate the seats a
145 Flashmeister : I realize that bad things happen to everyone, but these are for-profit airlines, not philanthropic organizations And as soon as these for-profit airli
146 UALPHLCS : AS I had said in my previous post Flash, Kevi747 pointed out that the res agent was probably offering discounted coach seats as an alternative to the
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