NWAFA
Topic Author
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:30 pm

United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:49 am

Airline charters buses for stranded Iowa passengers
Associated Press
December 29, 2004 UBUS1230


DES MOINES, Iowa -- Welcome and thank you for using Des Moines International Airport! Please have your boarding pass and ID ready as you approach the ... bus?

A combination of two canceled flights and holiday travel snags forced United Airlines to bus passengers about 330 miles to Chicago to catch connecting flights.

Passengers said they were told the next United flight from Des Moines to Chicago with any extra room would be Thursday or Friday, so United chartered two buses Monday and another Tuesday to send passengers on their way.

``It was chaos, to tell you the truth,'' Des Moines resident Patrick Sriedel, 19, said on his cellular telephone aboard the Chicago-bound bus Tuesday.

A United spokesman attributed the travel problems to snowstorms that socked the Northeast over the weekend and left the airline short-staffed across the country.

``It's kind of a last measure when we've exhausted all other options,'' said United spokesman Jeff Green. ``Our No. 1 priority is to get people to their destination.''

A total of 224 passengers had reservations for the two canceled flights, but United's Green didn't know how many ended up on the buses.

Many tried to keep their spirits high on the five-hour-plus road trip to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

``You might as well laugh. What else are you going to do?'' said Jean Carroccio, 48, who hoped to reach her home in Washington, D.C., before the new year.

To make matters worse, she said, the bus driver got lost as they left the Des Moines airport, and riders were taken on a brief tour of West Des Moines before heading east. In addition, agents from United said that who cares how you get there, just be glad we are doing somthing for you.
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:54 am

I read this earlier today and laughed, but was also amazed... I can't believe that was their only option... they couldn't send over a plane or reaccommodate folks through MSP??
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
NWAFA
Topic Author
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:55 am

The part that I was amazed with was what agents were telling people, that at least they did somthing. yikes.
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
ATWZW170
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:18 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:56 am

Doesn't surprise me that an agent said that....but now that it's in print you can be sure that UA will find out who and fire that agent.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:57 am

Actually, that's good thinking and service by United. There will always be travelers who whine, but screw them. The airline, of course, could not control the weather which stranded its aircraft. During the peak holiday traveling season, there are never "spare" aircraft or crew just sitting around unutilized. Rebooking is tough because flights on subsequent days are likely filled to the brim, too. So rather than have passengers wait for days, get them to Chicago in 5 or so hours where their chances of flying onward are so much better.

Good job, UA!

How many buses did US Airways charter????? None.
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B4REAL
Posts: 2561
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:53 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:01 am

I've seen this happen very frequently on cancelled or diverted flights from DTW-GRR, DTW-GRR, CVG-SDF, CVG-DAY, CVG-CMH, CVG-IND, CVG-LEX, and others. I think it is a good solution. Though 5 hours is a little long.
B4REAL, spelled like it sounds
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:03 am

"To make matters worse, she said, the bus driver got lost as they left the Des Moines airport, and riders were taken on a brief tour of West Des Moines before heading east. In addition, agents from United said that who cares how you get there, just be glad we are doing something for you."

I think the above expression sums up the whole travel experience and attitude this past Holiday season in a nutshell to say the least!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:04 am

>>Doesn't surprise me that an agent said that<<

Said what? I think I'm missing what you and NWAFA are talking about.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:04 am

Never mind, I just got it.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
ATWZW170
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:18 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:11 am

Getting a bus is a LOT of money! It's the last thing an airline will do. We used to do it from MKE - ORD when UA would cancel a lot of our flights and there was no other way to get passengers out of town...but it's the LAST thing we will do only because of the cost. Five hours is a long time, but waiting four days is even longer. I have to admit, if I were a passenger who paid what was supposed to be a 45 minute flight and it turned into a 5 hour drive, I'd be a little upset as well.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:16 am

Hmmm....when you're about to complain about your 5 hour bus ride, stop for a minute and think about the 50,000 plus lives lost recently around the Indian Ocean. It puts things in perspective and you learn to be patient with the little things in life.
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ATWZW170
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:18 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:22 am

Most people in the US don't see it that way. It seems that a lot of people in this country only recognize that sort of disaster when it affects them directly. They hear about it on TV, shake their heads because it's bad, and then go on like nothing happend. I doubt very highly that many people in that line were just grateful that they had a ride.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:23 am

That's very philosophical Bicoastal... so I take it the consumer should always accept the service/product one receives without complaint, regardless of whether it conforms to what was promised/advertised/terms of contract?

Should the people who sat 8-9 hours on NW planes in DTW a few years ago not have complained because, according to the airline, the situation was caused by weather?


An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:25 am

The disaster in Asia is horrible beyond belief... but linking that to this situation is illogical. And generalizing by saying Americans don't care about such things unless it affects them directly is complete bullpucky....
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
ATWZW170
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:18 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:29 am

I'm not saying they don't care, it just doesn't affect many people the same way. Not many people are going to sit down and reflect on what life means after what has happend in Asia. Now, when Sept 11 hit, yes, all of us were touched by the event because it happend here. When things such as this are so far away, it isn't something a lot of people focus on. And no, this isn't supposed to sound harsh, even though some of you may read that into this post.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:30 am

I seem to remember, too, on an episode of A&E's "Airline" about everyone's darling, Southwest. They bused people from Detroit to Chicago...or maybe Chicago to Detroit. So bussing as a backup happens to the best of them, even WN.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 1:34 am

>>So bussing as a backup happens to the best of them, even WN. <<

Fine.... but that doesn't mean the customer doesn't have a right to be upset or file a complaint about it.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
FLY777UAL
Posts: 4830
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:42 am

"agents from United said that who cares how you get there, just be glad we are doing somthing for you."

...I'll bet the close to 300 passengers on NW33 would have loved to hear that phrase during the 28th hour of their ordeal...

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
BigOrange
Posts: 2291
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:20 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:55 am

This is a common occurrence in the UK, with weather diversions and cancellations.

There is a company based at MAN, who do not have any of their own buses, they just call round all the other bus companies when an airline contacts them for a bus to get pax between airports.

The rail companies also do the same thing, but much more frequently!
 
StowAway
Posts: 619
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:48 am

RE: United Airlines Bus Service

Thu Dec 30, 2004 7:26 am

We had to do it on a SkyWest flight once.  Smile A ORD-MEM flight diverted into Nashville for fuel, and the good folks who make the decisions decided they wanted the plane back in ORD immediately. Sure enough, we got 2 buses to send the passengers on. If only we had the weather to pawn the delay on.  Big grin
A monkey's ass always talks crap.

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