Andersjt From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 1 Posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4225 times:
Trip Report – SFO-ORD-IAD-DEN-LAX September 11, 2003
Here is my first posting on the Trip Reports board. I apologize for its length, and format, but there are 4 flights to cover. Many of you may know that I am an ardent supporter of United Airlines, and hope for its successful emergence from bankruptcy. You may be surprised at some of my observations from these flights, and if there is anyone in management at United who sees this post, I hope you will communicate both the good and bad to the appropriate parties in your organization. I appreciate the feedback, but please be kind
There are no photos, but all of the planes flown are in the database, as well as pictures of the United First Suite.
SFO-ORD - UA Flight #132 Aircraft # N210UA B-777
Scheduled Departure Time: 06:30
Takeoff from Runway 1L
Check-in was good. I arrived at the airport at 05:00. The CSA was surprised at my itinerary, but didn’t miss a beat in getting me checked in for all 4 segments and tagging the check-in luggage properly, including the “United First” priority tags. When she found out that I was doing this to show my support for United and its employees, she got a big smile told me that I had made her day, and thanked me.
I went over to security screening to find a huge line, and that that the First Class screening would not open until 05:30! I debated whether or not to wait until 05:30 or endure this line. After about 5 minutes, several more screeners were brought in and the line moved pretty fast. I was through in about 10 minutes and made my way to the Red Carpet Club at 05:20.
Of the 5 airports I would be visiting today, the new San Francisco Red Carpet Club is the best. I just hope they can keep it up and don’t let it get dirty and worn like the others.
Seat Assignment – 1H, first class in 2-cabin 777. Water and juice were offered before takeoff, coffee was not ready. This was probably the worst United flight I have ever been on in terms of expectations. The Purser and most of the in-flight service staff were SFO based. Everything seemed to be done by the book – no extra attention offered to first class customers. The Purser was brusque, inattentive, and seemed more concerned about getting the meal served quickly so that she could have her own breakfast. I had also asked for Channel 9, but that request was not honored.
First, I was so looking forward to having a mimosa. This was the first of my 4 flights through UA hubs on 9/11, and wanted to toast to the memories of that awful day now behind us. Guess what – no champagne!
Seat 1H was among the 4 recommended by seatguru.com for this 2-cabin 777, and it wasn’t bad. The only problem with this seat is that it is close the galley. Now that they cannot close the curtains, you get to witness the gathering of flight attendants after they’ve completed the minimum service required. This is where they talk and complain about their new schedules, pay cuts, and the early hour of the flight, and eat what meals are leftover. It was not pretty watching this brusque (and zaftig) purser who could stand some Emily Post training scarf down a mushroom omelet. Other things I witnessed that I wish I hadn’t included the placing of dirty glasses in with clean, and then the use of clean glasses that have been mixed with dirt, and the placing of used meal trays with unused meal trays in the same cart.
The breakfast wasn’t bad. The choices were a mushroom omelet topped with salsa served with chicken sausage, Canadian bacon and fresh fruit, or a fresh fruit plate with cold cereal. They also offered croissants, bagels and Danish. I had the omelet, with a bloody mary (I wanted that mimosa), and coffee. Meal orders were taken by row, rather than the now required ordering determined by 1K status, fare paid, or premier status. I later snuck a look at the manifest, and I should have been the second to be asked. The purser did address us by name, as required, and took orders for all 24 passengers in first. About an hour before landing, the passenger in 4A woke up and rang her call button asking for the breakfast she ordered. One of the attendants working the cabin went to the galley to get her omelet breakfast, found that it was gone, and the purser exclaiming that she ate it without checking the manifest. I’m not sure what the attendant said to 4A, but he had to go back to explain that her that the only choice was the fruit plate. He took the “fresh” tray with the fruit and place setting out of the same cart that the dirty trays were placed in.
They cleared my tray, refilled my coffee, and brought out some water. The meal and all of this service was done within an hour of takeoff. For the rest of the flight (2 hours, 30 minutes), the attention we got was cursory passing through the cabin, without any inquiry if we wanted anything else. I either had to get up and go to the galley, or get their attention to come to me to refill my water glass. On this flight they do offer a second beverage service to the economy cabin. They did the same in first, but it just seemed odd. I expect, and get on other United first flights, continuous, uninterrupted, unscheduled attention.
Both first class lavatories were in bad shape. I had a chance to check both of them out before takeoff. The mirrors were dirty, paper towels not stocked properly and there was hair on the seats in both of them.
Touchdown was at 12:13, ahead of our scheduled arrival of 12:33, on Runway 32L. We parked at gate B16 with dual jetway bridges.
What a terrible disappointment this flight was. If United is going to survive bankruptcy and call itself a truly international carrier, they need to get rid of this purser.
ORD to IAD – United Flight #382 Aircraft # N776UA B-777
Scheduled Departure Time: 13:15
Pushback Time: 13:22 IN THE AIR at 13:45.
Takeoff from Runway 22L
Like last year on 9/11, the terminal at ORD was filled with patriotic music. The mood was different though. A lot more people on the concourse, and it seemed more like a normal flying day, not as somber as last year. I was disappointed to find out that the Red Carpet Club near gates B19-B22 does not have restrooms.
We boarded at gate B17. They used dual jetway bridges. My seat assignment was 2A, a United First suite in this 3-cabin aircraft. I love this plane! I would like to know; however, when they service a plane between flights, do they use a vacuum cleaner? There was pretzel dust all over my seat, in the armrest, and all over the console to operate the seat and video system. Additionally, the armrest was sticky from a spilled drink. Yet another detail that it going to keep United from winning back customers. Beverages were offered before takeoff. This plane had just come in from Frankfurt, and I was amused to find German language magazines among the selections.
Channel 9 was available, and what a treat. It seemed to be rush hour, and listening to how they guy at ground control moved those planes was amazing. Our first officer even complimented him on what a fantastic job he was doing. We had to go all around the airport and terminals to Runway 22L, but it moved fast. I looked out the window and there must have been nearly 15 planes lined up behind us.
The purser and in-flight service crew were ORD based, and were fantastic. It was a relatively short flight with a lunch service. The purser and flight attendant working first never missed a beat, and were right on in terms of service. We started with a beverage. Then the purser then came out to ask if we wanted lunch. I was the first in the cabin to be asked. Lunch was served, a roast beef sandwich, with fresh fruit on the side. I had red wine to drink. As soon as I was finished, my tray was cleared, and they came right out to offer me coffee and a warm Mrs. Fields cookie. When that service was finished, they were right back offering everyone water or another beverage before we landed.
Despite the ground delay in ORD, we touched down at IAD at 16:14, about 8 minutes behind schedule, Runway 1L. We parked at Gate D3, dual jetways available, but they only used one. I love landing and taking off at Dulles with the green hills. This was also my first spotting of a Saudian Arabian Airlines plane, a 747-400.
IAD to DEN – United Flight #963 Aircraft #N774UA B-777.
Scheduled Departure Time: 17:20
Pushback Time: 17:34 this was blamed on the flight plan getting lost in the system
Takeoff from Runway 30
The Dulles airport was bustling. I now am reminded of what StevenUhl777 means by the narrow corridors, especially the C concourse. If United wants to use this airport as their east coast international gateway, it needs work.
It was a long walk between gates, D3 to C3. I stopped at the Red Carpet Club at the far end of C to freshen up. We boarded using only a single jetway. I was looking forward to this flight, as I had taken it back in May and thoroughly enjoyed it. My seat assignment this time was 2J (United First suite), and again, where was the vacuum cleaner? I brushed the crumbs off my seat, and ordered water to drink before takeoff. Before takeoff, we were also offered a choice of movie to play in the PVS (I chose “Laurel Canyon”, it was pretty good). They also came through to offer us a newspaper, including Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the International Herald Tribune. When taxiing to Runway 30 for takeoff, I noticed the flags flying at half-staff because of 9/11. Channel 9 was available.
The purser and most of the in-flight crew were DEN based, and were fantastic. Unlike LAX and some SFO pursers (see above), they really are classy and seem to enjoy their job. About 30 minutes into flight, they came out to offer a cocktail service. I ordered a Jack Daniels and 7. After that service, the purser came out to take our dinner orders. I was third, after 2, 1K passengers, and ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad. The other choice was a deli plate. Another note, to become a world renowned carrier, United needs to reinstate hot dinner service. After asking if I was ready, the dinner was brought out. The tray was set down, and then the purser came right back to offer me a choice of red or white wine. I chose the white. I’ve had better, and when they offer in-flight sommeliers, I will complain. We were allowed to eat our dinner at a leisurely pace, and my wine glass was never empty.
The dinner tray was cleared, and someone came right back with coffee and water. When all dinner trays were cleared, they brought out the warm cookies. After those were served, the purser came back to offer me an after dinner drink. I had a Bailey’s, on the rocks. They also brought water and the glass was never empty. The only thing missing from this flight, that they used to offer, was linens on the tray tables, and hot towels to clean up. I cannot believe those cost that much that they cannot bring them back. Come on United, it is about the details if you want to win customers back.
Flight attendants had to prepare for landing in Denver early because of turbulence. We came around to the west side of the airport for approach to Runway 7. Touch down was at 18:47, a few minutes behind schedule. As there were no headwinds, we were able to make up the time lost on the ground at IAD. We parked at Gates 30 and 32 using 2 jetways.
DEN to LAX – United Flight #583 Aircraft #N206UA B-777.
I love the Denver airport. The West Red Carpet Club was by both my arrival and departure gates. I went in to freshen up and make a telephone call. The airport was busy, and was filled with the never ending refrain, “Caution, moving walkway is nearing its end, please watch your step.” Those of you who have spent any time in DEN, will know what I mean.
The flight to LAX was boarding at Gates 34/36, and they used both jetways. I love these gates at DEN. They were obviously designed for jumbos with a lot of seating in the waiting area, and the dual jetways. I again sat in United First Suite Seat 2A. We were offered a drink before takeoff. I was still feeling dehydrated from the long day of flying and ordered water. I was disappointed to find out that the Purser and in-flight crew were LAX based. As there was only a beverage service, I wasn’t expecting much from the flight, and boy I didn’t get it. Don’t LAX and SFO based pursers and fight attendants get the same training as the DEN based? I was told that the DEN based attendants are among the most senior in the system. They seem to be more classy and appreciate their jobs.
We pushed back on schedule and taxied to Runway 25. It was strange to be landing and taking off from the same runway (different direction, we landed on 7). I cannot believe the winds were that calm that they could use both. The other thing I Iike about DEN, and other high altitude airports, are the long rolls for takeoff. This one was nearly 45 seconds before we rotated and started climbing. My request to have Channel 9 was once again denied.
The beverage service was started, I had another Bailey’s. As I had not finished the movie from the IAD, flight, I had asked to watch it again. They are not supposed to offer private videos on flights less than 2 hours, but they at least honored this request. When the attendants finished their service, in all cabins, 3 of them gathered in front to sit, talk, and review the schedules to get their bids in for October. I had to get up to ask for water, and after about 45 minutes without anyone coming through the cabin, I got up to ask for another Bailey’s. Again, it is about the details. If I am someone who is required to fly frequently, I think knowing that I will be pampered on every United flight in a consistent manner would keep me loyal. However, if superior in-flight service is hit or miss, I am going to be inclined to try the competition.
Finally, we started our approach into LAX. The purser and attendant made sure everyone got their coats back, but there was no thorough check to make sure the United First suite seats were locked, nor all in-flight service items cleared. My water glass was still at my seat at landing, and the person sitting across from me had not reset his seat. None of this was checked before landing. Even safety was not the first priority for this crew.
Touchdown was at 20:55, on Runway 25L. It was a short taxi to Gate 68, and they used both jetways. First time I’ve ever arrived in Terminal 6, and have baggage claim in Terminal 6. I used to have to go to 7. I was at baggage claim at 21:08, my bags, the last 2 to be off-loaded, arrived 50 minutes later at 21:58. They were clearly marked with the “United First” tags. I asked to speak to a Service Director, who offered no apology or expressed concern about the delay. As I was leaving, one of the agents working baggage service came up to me to offer an apology and was embarrassed by the Service Directors attitude.
After the poor service on the SFO-ORD and DEN-LAX flights, and the poor attitude of the service director at LAX, I was thoroughly disappointed in this trip I had been looking forward to. Of course, when I think of the money I spent, I am ashamed. I think the “F” in “F fares” means “Fool.” There seemed to be no real appreciation by many of the United employees that I came across that I was there to support their airline. They use the words that they appreciate that we have chosen United Airlines, but for the most part there is no sincerity behind what they are required to say. If anyone wants to know what the majors need to do to survive, it is really reconsider their hiring practices and who is representing them, and establish a program to instill consistent high-quality service SYSTEMWIDE.
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
AA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3 Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4085 times:
Interesting report, thanks for the post. As far as the vacuum goes, no they do not bring one on, LOL.. The vacuum is only brought on on overnight flights and sometimes when an aircraft comes in from INTL long haul flights, at least that is how AA does it.. That is why it really annoys me when people drop food, and do not pick it up. The worst are families with infants, when they leave there is cheerios everywhere, LOL.. Oh well.. Sounds like you had a long day..
AirVB From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 268 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4072 times:
Thanks for the great trip report! I can really relate to this trip you took. I traveled in First on a domestic UA B777 and sat in 1F. The legroom is fantastic, isn't it? However, I was smack dab in front of the projector, so I ended up looking toward the LCD screens for the window seat passengers.
I also love DEN, and yes, even "Caution, the moving walkway is ending." What I also agree with is your comment on DEN-based crew vs. LAX-based. I fly the LAX-DEN route about 1-2 times a year and almost always I find DEN crews to be more friendly and proffesional.
And yes, there's more. I've also flown on N206UA last July and found it very enjoyable. Of course, I only wished I could have been up there in that FIRST suite, not 35J
It's too bad that you had those two bad experiences, and I'll agree UA needs to polish up their act in some respects. All in all, thanks for posting the interesting read.
Ba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8352 posts, RR: 55 Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3869 times:
Your comments are spot on.If you have a First class ticket you expect a 'decent' level of service,and expect the same service from flight to flight,regarding the crumb's and sticky stuff from spilt drinks,even 'Y' class pax expect a clean seat,unless flying Ryanair!
I used to fly UA all the time when travelling from London to the 'US',however the quality of sevice declined and I decided to try US Airways,since then I always use US or BA,they are both much better than UA,at least to me.
SQCxlover From United States of America, joined May 2003, 55 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3844 times:
Very nice report, glad to know UNITED did not change in terms of their services. I grew up with United and stay with this them until I had enough with them. I had many great and bad flights. I had stopped flying UNITED since 1994, I solely fly on American airlines now and I am Ex-PLT with AA. I am happy with AA and will not fly UNITED.
Andersjt From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3768 times:
Thanks everyone for your responses.
ElkGrove - thank you for reading the post. I do appreciate that you will pass this on to Customer Relations. This brings up a good question though - I have had to contact UA Customer Relations on other occasions. In fact, I had to call them Friday to resolve a problem with my Mileage Plus account. I was surprised to find that 15,000 miles had been deducted for an upgrade on 9/11. The Customer Relations representative was very professional, and was embarrassed to find the entry as I had paid the "F" fare; therefore, there was no need to use miles to upgrade. She placed me on hold, contacted Mileage Plus and had the miles back in to my account within 2 minutes. That is first class service.
Anyway, back to my question about contacting Customer Relations - the negative observations in my post are real concerns. In fact, I had a chance to discuss this trip with my Travel Agent over the weekend, and he had to say that the negative happens at UA more often than not. His agency books a lot of first class travel for the entertainment industry, and more and more, requests are coming in for carriers other than United. By contacting Customer Relations with comments, can customers expect real changes to be made at United? I can understand some passenger complaints are petty, and some hassles are beyond the airline's control; however, what can Customer Relations do to effect change to improve poor in-flight service such as I experienced? The bankruptcy and other internal upheaval has caused a lot of UA customers to defect or not fly. What is UA doing to win the customer back? I didn't see any improvements on 9/11/03.
If Customers Relations can effect real change, then I will contact them more often, and encourage other UA customers to contact them. There are several of us who really want to see UA regain its status as a world carrier. Where is the best place to get our comments, suggestions, in-sights heard?
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
Adam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 6 Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3742 times:
Very interesting trip report! I've never read a report that had all the travels in one day, and so many at that! And by your observations it sounds like I must have had a DEN or ORD based flight crew when I flew United in first class from SEA to DEN last month!
One question, if your trip on 9-11 was just show your support for United and fly around the country, and you did not stay anywhere overnight, why did you check your luggage? Just curious
UALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3750 times:
I am sorry that you percieved poor service on some of your flights. I do think that UA's LAX based flight attendents do need some ajustment in thier attitudes. As CSR's we find that we have all sorts of minor last miute problems with crews based in LAX. If it where not so serious it would be funny. 2 minutes prior to departure and the f/a just now says they are short meals? Must be LAX based.
That being said in general I find that customers persceptions greatly influence the experience. For example: I had 2 men who where travelling on UA to ORD. They where British and they could not stop raving about the service UA had given them around the US. They told me that they where disappointed that they had tickets on BA back to LHR. BA had let them down too often. WHen they explained the "Problems" they encountered on BA it was really nothing that any other airline encounters. But thier perseption was that it happened to BA all the time. That time it worked out in UA's favor. for just as many people it works out in BA's. Or AA in SQCxlovers case.
As to your travel agents comments please remember that travel agnets are not big fans of UA and AA at this time. For the past 2 years the carriers have eliminated commisions for travel agents. Attending a sales blitz with PHLSS I realized just how jaded travel agents have become. They know that the walk in travel agency is dying out. Airlines have changed the way they do buisness. Travel agents love to bad mouth the big carriers. I gaurantee that if you related the same story and said AA instead of UA the travel agents story would not have changed in the slightest.
Lastly, Customer relations is great. They do send down letters that are sent in to the supervisors of the employee's involved. Orchids are proudly displayed on a board. Onions are displayed also witht he agents name marked out, rest assured that the agent was quizzed by the supervisor as towhy tis happened. I have never personally gotten an onion but as a Shop Steward I have been in meetings with agents who have.
Andersjt From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3734 times:
UALPHLCS - thank you for your response.
First, I want to clarify that my perceptions are not of "poor" but rather "unprofessional" service. As far as the SFO-ORD experience, even my seatmate commented on the "unprofessional" conduct going on in the first class cabin that morning. I am a former flight attendant, and had I done what I witnessed Thursday morning, and it was reported to my supervisor, an "onion" would have been the least of my problems. When I was hired back in 1981, I went through a very rigorous interview process, and then extensive training. I was proud to have been hired and have the job. I know the industry is vastly different now, and UA has had its share of upheaval, but UA's successful emergence from BK is going to depend on getting high-fare business travelers back. If I feel that there is no change being made, I may use up my accrued Mileage Plus miles, and then start trying another airline. The point I am trying to make, and I'm not sure I am getting it across, is that United cannot afford to have its customers continue making and spreading their negative perceptions or negative generalizations about the airline. I am also not saying that a full "F" fare passenger deserves to be heard over economy passengers, but I will bet that the full "F" passenger expects his comments to be heard and acted upon. An enhanced, professional level of service is expected by the "F" passenger, and the airline needs to take that to heart. Additionally, as I have industry experience, my "perceptions" do have merit.
Second, I cannot agree entirely with your point about travel agents. Yes, that industry has had to adapt to airlines no longer paying commissions, and many have. The agent and agency I mentioned manages travel for a large movie, music and television studio here in Los Angeles. His staff does not recommend what airline to travel, studio management, VIP's and those paying first class fares tell him what airline they want to go on. The company that they manage the travel for pays them, not the airlines; therefore, there is no incentive to bad mouth one airline over another. They are in place to please their client. His staff is finding that more requests are coming in for AA over UA for domestic travel, especially between JFK and LAX. For LAX to LHR, BA has emerged as the carrier of choice for many.
On this 9/11 trip, I "perceived" both very good and very "unprofessional" from UA. Instead of wondering if half the time, my money will not be well spent, I would like to think that 90% of the time, I will get what I am expecting.
I chuckled at your comment about LAX based Flight Attendants. Seriously though, what is or can UA do about that? LAX is a place with a lot of entertainment types where first class "F" fares are the norm. If a "behind the scenes, not recognizable" studio VIP gets "so-so" service on UA, but enhanced "professional" service on AA, where do you think they are going to spend their money? More importantly, on what airline are they going to tell the studio to spend the traveling budget?
It is nice to hear the Customer Relations does pass on customer comments. Many of us out here think we are just talking to "dear-air," and wonder if the expense of sending out $100.00 discount vouchers as an apology is working. An airline in BK should be working to reduce the number of apology vouchers that are being sent out.
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
ElkGrove From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 46 posts, RR: 3 Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3686 times:
Andersjt- Thank you for your interest in how our customer feedback system operates. While I would like to say that all of the feedback we receive is headed and used to improve our product quite frankly that is not the case. Every day we receive thousands of emails, letters and phone calls regarding customer complaints. Most of this feedback is vague and simply states how horrible we are while demanding outlandish compensation. I responded to your report as I found that rather than simply criticizing our product you pointed out deficiencies and ways to improve. Now that's constructive. We do act upon the recommendations of passengers such as yourself. I passed your report on to a colleague of mine this morning and by this afternoon she had made a note in the personnel files of the purser on board flight 132 on September 11. She also told me that your complaint was not the only one on record. Due to the number of supervisors at LAX that day she could not determine the employee with whom you interacted.
Unfortunately we can not devote as much time to all customer inquires as we did to yours. It is a matter of who you know in the company and how high up they are in order for definitive action to be taken on customer complaints. I therefore recommend that any concerns you have be directed to someone with the authority to make changes. While I can not publish phone numbers of the executive team their numbers and email addresses are listed in the Corporate Yellow Book. If you have productive comments, such as you had in you report, we will listen. All of us in Elk Grove want to see our company succeed and we do what we can to ensure our customers have a pleasant experience. I do not wish to reveal my personal email but should you wish to contact me just post. I do check in from time to time.
Andersjt From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3655 times:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I have great respect for people such as yourself and other senior management in Elk Grove having to go through such a tumultuous time. I have this same respect for the thousands of United employees who come face-to-face with the customer. From experience, I know their job isn't easy. I just hope that they all realize how they interact with or conduct themselves in front of the customer is key to the airline's success. A simple message, but extremely difficult to communicate to employee's facing financial and other hardships.
You have a loyal customer in me.
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7890 posts, RR: 27 Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3594 times:
United lost a customer this last weekend. I flew my girlfriend up to SFO from LAX on 9/11 and she returned home Sunday the 14th. On both flights she had complaints about the unprofessionalism of gate agents and flight attendants. Her questions were responded to rudely and the only smiles she received were from pilots, whom she praised for their obvious professionalism.
Departing LAX the night of 9/11, the towbar on the tug disconnected from the aircraft. There was a 20 minute delay as a result - and she says the captain was delightfully informative and reassuring. She points to an obvious discrepancy in regard for customers between the flight and cabin crews she had over the weekend. Sunday morning, when inquiring about gate assignments, a gate agent condescendingly told my girlfriend "we have more than one gate." She is by no means an inexperienced traveler and took offense to the agent's smug attitude. Obviously, experiences like these are varied, but it's apparent from anecdotal evidence there may indeed be issues with LAX and SFO based United employees.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
Andersjt From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3444 times:
This is a duplicate posting to the thread started on the "Civil Aviation" board. I appreciate all feedback.
I just got off the phone with UA Customer Relations, it seems that my last trip, LAX-SFO-ORD-IAD-DEN-LAX starting Sep 10 and returning Sep 11 does not qualify as a roundtrip under the "Fly Three, Fly Free" promotion.
According to customer relations, the last trip, is considered a "circle" trip, not a "round" trip. Customer Relations also said that I should have verified with reservations that this was a qualifying "round" trip. In my mind a "round" trip means you start in one destination and return to the same destination. I felt no need to make sure this was a "round" trip, and the web site does not say there is a difference between a "round" trip and a "circle" trip. I started at LAX, and ended at LAX. I stopped over in SFO, and spent a big bag of money to take the long way back to LAX. The return on 9/11 was solely designed to show my support for UA, nothing else. I could have spent 1/10th of the money I spent on this trip, returned back to LAX directly, and that would have qualifed.
How in the world is UA supposed to recover from the mess they're in and emerge once again as a world-class carrier when they continue to disappoint their most loyal and "high-yield" customers? Over the last 3 years, I estimate I have spent nearly $25K in "F" fares to travel just over 35,000 miles. That comes out to about $.70 per mile. I'm not sure what industry average is, but I would think that this number is a bit higher than what UA earned from all passengers on the flights I took.
What is disappointing the most, is that as much as I want to support United, and stand behind them, I am the one who is the fool. As I stated in my trip report, the "F" in "F fares" must stand for fool. United, keep your free ticket, you can't afford to give them out anyway.
ElkGrove or any other United insiders, if you see this, make sure the powers that be know they have a problem with this promotion. Hopefully, you will not disappoint any other loyal customers.
[Edited 2003-09-26 18:13:14]
Oh how I long for the day when the skies were truly Friendly!