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yellowtail
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CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:23 pm

Two weeks ago I booked and flew (most of) two roundtrip trips .... one was BZE-IAH-MSY-IAH-BZE on CO Economy.....and while I was in MSY I booked a quick trip MSY-IAD-LHR-IAD-MSY on UA in Business Class

the CO flights were exceptional, flights were on time, service was very friendly...the agent in BZE even gave me an upgrade (which I didn't ask for).
The UA flights were VERY different....the flight from MSY was late which caused us to get into IAD with 20 minutes to spare, by the time we got to the LHR departure gate there was 5 minutes to spare, even though the plane was still there, the captain/agent refused to let us on even though there were no less than 15 of us transferring (some of the pax were going on to DXB) over from the MSY flight....so we sat there and watched the LHR flight leave without us...UA refused to try to reaccomodate us saying all flights (through JFK/ORD) were full until the following day.....ANYWAY, I said forget it and told them cancel our LHR trip and book us on the next flight back to MSY.....that turned out to be a pricey loss of business for UA......not to mention the cost of putting up 15 passengers for the night.

And we all wonder why UA is in bankruptcy and everyone flies CO!
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
Andoo
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:28 pm

First off United is out of bankruptcy. Second United, along with almost every other carrier has a 10 minute cut-off for boarding. Especially with the international flights. Did they give you any reason as to why you were late into IAD? Was it weather? Mechanical?
"And I said you flyboys really crack me up!"~The Simpsons
 
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yellowtail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:15 am

Ok.....details details...they are just of bankruptcy....u r right!

NO...never got a reason why the inbound flight was late...

I know about cut-off times...that is resonable, IF you are originating at that station, BUT if you have at least 15 of YOUR high paying passengers, coming off one of YOUR flights, then one would think that it would pay you to have the connecting flight delayed a few minutes to a) save yourself some money b) save yourself some CSR time and c) get lots of goodwill and future pasesngers.

I have had CO hold flights many times for me....last time was 2 months ago ..they held a flight for 10 of us connecting in IAH.....also had AA do it for me in MIA several times.....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:21 am

Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 2):
Ok.....details details...they are just of bankruptcy....u r right!

NO...never got a reason why the inbound flight was late...

I know about cut-off times...that is resonable, IF you are originating at that station, BUT if you have at least 15 of YOUR high paying passengers, coming off one of YOUR flights, then one would think that it would pay you to have the connecting flight delayed a few minutes to a) save yourself some money b) save yourself some CSR time and c) get lots of goodwill and future pasesngers.

I have had CO hold flights many times for me....last time was 2 months ago ..they held a flight for 10 of us connecting in IAH.....also had AA do it for me in MIA several times.....

Send a letter to Chicago headquarters. Otherwise, if the service was that bad, and they refuse to tell you why your flight was late, don't fly them again. This attitude towards customer service, ie "we don't care, it's your responsibility, blah, blah" is part of why UA was/is in the condition it's in. I still think they are no better than they were before the bankruptcy. I'll never fly them because of this.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
TWAL1011
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:38 am

Actually perceived service failures have nothing to do with why United entered bankruptcy. (Nor DL, NW, TZ, US) This story could be repeated for many different airlines. The line about the corellation poor service and bankruptcy is the oldest, stalest and most uneducated line out there and the use of it makes one look like a imbecile.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:46 am

Quoting TWAL1011 (Reply 4):
Actually perceived service failures have nothing to do with why United entered bankruptcy. (Nor DL, NW, TZ, US) This story could be repeated for many different airlines. The line about the corellation poor service and bankruptcy is the oldest, stalest and most uneducated line out there and the use of it makes one look like a imbecile.

In UA's case, yes it does apply, because the employees were the owners of the company. The mangement is totally inept at times, and I should know. I cleaned planes with UA through DGS for two years. What airline did you work for, TWAL1011?
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
ScottB
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting TWAL1011 (Reply 4):
Actually perceived service failures have nothing to do with why United entered bankruptcy.

Perceived (and actual) service failures have a huge bearing on United having been forced to reorganize through bankruptcy. The Summer from Hell back in 2000 cost United hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in revenue. In 2000, one of the best years in history for the industry, UAL's operating profit fell $737 million from 1999's $1.391 billion to $654 million. By comparison, Delta's operating profit increased from $1.318 billion to $1.637 billion in the same timeframe, while AMR's operating profit increased from from $1.156 billion to $1.381 billion between 1999 and 2000. By the same token, UAL's 2001 operating loss of $3.771 billion was nearly as large as the sum of DAL's operating loss of $1.602 billion and AMR's operating loss of $2.47 billion. Between 1999 and 2001, yields fell 6% at UA, fell 3% at DL, and increased 1% at AA.

So yes, part of why United's fall was so precipitous was indeed its service failures.
 
ejmmsu
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:26 am

I have had the same type of experience with UA at IAD, which is why I'll never fly UA through IAD again.

On the flip side, I've had good experiences going through ORD.
"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
 
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yellowtail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:28 am

Employees and owners should never accept lower standards. That is true whether you are selling seats or burgers. In the end the customer is paying your salary.

UA should have looked at the issue, as they could obviously see in their system that quite a few inbound passengers were held up a few minutes, and taken action to make as little as an inconveniece as possible.

In fact I have had CO make a announcement on board that "we know that several of you have connections that are tight because of our delay and we are doing our best to ensure that your connections will be made".
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
artsyman
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:31 am

UA should have looked at the issue, as they could obviously see in their system that quite a few inbound passengers were held up a few minutes, and taken action to make as little as an inconveniece as possible.
****

This is a tough one. By holding the plane for the 15 latecomers, you now run the risk of having a planeful of latecomers.
 
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yellowtail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:37 am

Well. from the sentiment in the gate area they now got 15+ UA haters...and most of us were on full fare business class tickets.....
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
artsyman
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:05 am

Well. from the sentiment in the gate area they now got 15+ UA haters...and most of us were on full fare business class tickets.....
****

Which just makes me repeat my earlier comments. All the passengers sitting in Business and first as well as economy probably would not have been too happy to be late themselves in order to wait for you. Therefore having many other full are business passengers, first passengers, and I am pretty sure plenty of their 1K, 1P, 2P etc
 
AADC10
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:22 am

Missing connecting flights is an old story. Everybody who flys regularly has one. There does seem to be excessive concern with on-time departure and they would rather strand passengers than have delays spread throughout the system. Did you take the afternoon flight? Morning flights are less likely to be late and when you arrived at IAD there would be two departures to LHR ahead of you rather than one.

IAD, particularly the UA/AA Terminals C and D are one of the worst terminals in the USA, aside from IAD's own but soon to be abandoned Terminal G. Even LAX's Terminals 7-8 are better, if that is possible.

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 5):
In UA's case, yes it does apply, because the employees were the owners of the company.

UA's bizzare ESOP was scheduled to end not long after UA filed for Ch. 11. Employee ownership was designed to shrink and scheduled to sunset but Ch. 11 wiped out employee "investment" in UAL stock. UA is now primarily owned by investment banking concerns.
 
USPIT10L
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 3:26 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 12):
UA's bizzare ESOP was scheduled to end not long after UA filed for Ch. 11. Employee ownership was designed to shrink and scheduled to sunset but Ch. 11 wiped out employee "investment" in UAL stock. UA is now primarily owned by investment banking concerns.

Yes, I remember it was put out to pasture early in the Chapter 11 proceedings. But the fact remains that UA's pilots and mechanics union (who had board seats) are partially responsible for putting UA into Chapter 11 in the first place, with their outrageous contract demands and bad executive decisions (Jim Goodwin/Rono Dutta/etc.).
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
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yellowtail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:44 am

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 12):
There does seem to be excessive concern with on-time departure and they would rather strand passengers than have delays spread throughout the system. Did you take the afternoon flight? Morning flights are less likely to be late and when you arrived at IAD there would be two departures to LHR ahead of you rather than one.


5 or 10 minutes could have been made up in the air or even taxiing! I can uderstand holding a plane half an hour is trouble some....but the point was the plasne was still at the gate.

We were on the afternoon flight.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:11 am

Yellowtail,
I’m with you. It still happens that responsible, profit-driven airlines can and do hold flights for the benefit of customers, esp. those that have already been inconvenienced by that airline once (do you not think those customers are already sweating it the whole flight wondering if they will make their flight? Not exactly service there) When international flights are involved and there is minimal reprotection options, getting it right is even more important. And Chicago to Dubai is not exactly a market that requires a single routing… it seems hard to believe that every other airline over every other routing was sold out.
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:31 am

yellowtail,
if by some strange reason the gate agent came on board and made a announcement that raise your hands if you want to hold for 15 paxs, im sure you and the others would not have raised your hands. as to co holding flights for paxs.....B.S. why wasnt our CO flt held in iah on our way back from crp in march????(connecting to den)for 11 pax cnx to den????do not say co does it....they nor any airlines s.o.p. is to hold flts. the sun,moon and stars must have been perfectly alligned the day you flew on co.


USPIT10L,
can we use your theory on uals ch11 filing on who has/been in bk as well???
hint....co has made the trip many times.....
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
worldtraveler
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:48 am

and CO is a very different, customer focused airline now. They learned their lesson even though it took two turns.

And you didn't say whether there was an alternate flight to DEN within a couple hours or even if you could have made it to your final destination within 24 hrs.

It's not the passengers' jobs to tell the airline how to run their business.... they would surely have a half dozen flight attendants on every narrowbody serving 2 hot choices in both cabins on flights as short as 30 minutes... and they'd pay far less than they do now. It's management's job to run the airline for the benefit of everyone, including those accepted by the airline for travel but not yet sitting on one of its planes.
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:00 am

world,
flight was late out of iah due to mech issues. by the time we landed in iah we were 1:20 late...last flt of the day on co was full and they would not endorse/push the tickets over to ua. in the end i should have flown den-sat and driven down but the price was to good not to take it, customer svc in crp was good...iah is not exactly customer driven.btw..i did end up flying ual back from iah on a employee pass.
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
USPIT10L
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:03 am

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 16):
can we use your theory on uals ch11 filing on who has/been in bk as well???
hint....co has made the trip many times.....

I'd apply it to Lorenzo, but he had no interest in employee ownership. I blame Stephen Wolf directly for the ESOP and how poorly it was worded and executed. You cannot force an employee to stick all their money into their own company's stock. Thank God Ken Lay got caught with Enron. Too late for the employees though. Same goes with UA.
It's a Great Day for Hockey!
 
roseflyer
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:38 am

I am sorry you missed your flight. That sounds pretty tough. I have had pretty bad experiences. I agree that it would have been good for United to be a little more helpful. I personally feel that United is a good airline, but they don't necessarily go the extra mile. For comparison's sake, I had a similar thing happen to me last year, but with a different effect. I flew United ORD-EWR to connect to SQ EWR-SIN. Our flight from ORD-EWR was 2hrs 30min late. That left about a 10 minute connection time in EWR for a flight that I had not checked in for. I thought I would totally miss it, but SQ not only held the flight, but sent a private escort for us three passengers and had boarding passes ready for us at the gate. SQ goes the extra mile, but UA does not. It is frustrating. However I am not sure of any airlines in the United States that truly go as far as holding flights and giving escorts. The same thing could have happened on other airlines.

Personally I think Continental is pretty good, but I'm not sure if they would have held the flight if you came in on a delayed flight. You are comparing a good experience to a bad experience. The problem is that you could have just as easily had a bad experience on CO and good one with UA.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting Yellowtail (Thread starter):
we got to the LHR departure gate there was 5 minutes to spare, even though the plane was still there, the captain/agent refused to let us

Doors close 10 minutes prior to departure so security can be verified and certified.

It's a hard policy for customers to understand, and to be sure I wouldn't like it either.

But once the flight is "closed",which usually happens 10 minutes before scheduled departure, that's it, there is nothing you can do to get on.

It's all for the sake of security.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
roseflyer
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:26 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 21):
Doors close 10 minutes prior to departure so security can be verified and certified.

It's a hard policy for customers to understand, and to be sure I wouldn't like it either.

But once the flight is "closed",which usually happens 10 minutes before scheduled departure, that's it, there is nothing you can do to get on.

Yes it is true that once they finalize a flight that they can't let more passengers on. Doors do close normally 10 minutes before a flight. This is difficult for passengers to understand since they often see a plane sitting their with the jetbridge attached. However the paperwork is finalized.

However that doesn't mean that the airline can't hold the plane. It does happen. I have been on plenty of flights where they waited a few extra minutes, especially when it is the last flight of the day. It costs the airline money, and is up to the captain often times, but the airline can do it.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
swank300
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:30 am

I agree that it could have been a flip experience between the two airlines. If your origin were IAD and you were on the plane, you would be mad that they were holding the plane for other passengers because that would make you late. So, it all depends on the perspective from which you're coming from. I will say that these rules all go towards United's ever-improving on-time record over the last few years, currently the best of all the legacy carriers btw.

Also, I would like to know where Scott B's earnings figures are coming from.
 
CO767FA
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:47 am

Quoting TWAL1011 (Reply 4):
The line about the corellation poor service and bankruptcy is the oldest, stalest and most uneducated line out there and the use of it makes one look like a imbecile.

A bit harsh, don't you think? In my opinion, my attitude during the 2X BK CO endured, affected my customer service delivery. Maybe your experience was different with TWA's BK, but I did see several crew who weren't willing to put up with as much as we do today.
 
ScottB
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:50 am

Quoting Swank300 (Reply 23):
Also, I would like to know where Scott B's earnings figures are coming from.

http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html
 
CO767FA
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:11 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 22):
Yes it is true that once they finalize a flight that they can't let more passengers on. Doors do close normally 10 minutes before a flight. This is difficult for passengers to understand since they often see a plane sitting their with the jetbridge attached. However the paperwork is finalized.

There are exceptions to every rule and this was possibly an incident where someone didn't exercise good judgement (if indeed the customers were only 5 minutes behind). I can't help but wonder if their luggage made the flight?

This situation would be more palatable if the passengers were originating in IAD, but these were customers en-route. We have held flights 10-15 minutes, especially when it was the last flight for 24 hours and they would have no other way to reach their destination in less time.
 
COfaninBOS
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:10 am

I fly CO on the last flight from IAH to BOS all the time. The flight is held more often than not, especially in the winter time. There's always a large number of folks making their way back to BOS from ACA, PVR, CUN, etc... and CO can easily make the time up in the air with the winter jetstream.

I am sure the vacationers appreciate it.
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:59 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 22):
Yes it is true that once they finalize a flight that they can't let more passengers on. Doors do close normally 10 minutes before a flight. This is difficult for passengers to understand since they often see a plane sitting their with the jetbridge attached. However the paperwork is finalized.

However that doesn't mean that the airline can't hold the plane. It does happen. I have been on plenty of flights where they waited a few extra minutes, especially when it is the last flight of the day. It costs the airline money, and is up to the captain often times, but the airline can do it.

The determination whether or not to hold a flight is not the same as re-opening a closed flight. When a flight is held, the "close" process is delayed. Once a flight is closed, it is closed.

And the decision whether or not to hold is made by operations, not the captain. The captain is in charge once the door is closed. Until the door is closed per instructions from Ops, the flight "belongs" to and is under the control of Operations. Now granted if a captain has a concern or issue with something, Operations will work with him. But the flight belongs to Ops until the door is closed, and the door is closed AFTER the flight is "closed" in the system.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
worldjet777
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:25 am

Quoting Yellowtail (Thread starter):
And we all wonder why UA is in bankruptcy and everyone flies CO!

I just love CO...started flying them recently as opposed to the silver birds, and I don't mean to go back!
Cheers,
wj777
Now Your Flying Smart
 
nbseer
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:36 am

At NRT last March, I was stuck in a mob of hundreds of travellers at the final customs checkpoint before the departure gates. With about 15 minues left before my UA flight departed to JFK, United agents were there expediting this flight's passengers through this customs nightmare to insure they made the flight.

Sounds like it all depends on the particular airport?
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:07 pm

Quoting Nbseer (Reply 30):
At NRT last March, I was stuck in a mob of hundreds of travellers at the final customs checkpoint before the departure gates. With about 15 minues left before my UA flight departed to JFK, United agents were there expediting this flight's passengers through this customs nightmare to insure they made the flight.

Sounds like it all depends on the particular airport?

NRT is not under the domain of the TSA.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
ChiGB1973
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:33 pm

Well, I have always had great service on UA. It is my preferred carrier.

Most airlines are hit-or-miss. Of course, I have always had crappy service on EI and would not spend money with them unless the ticket is just too much cheaper to turn down.

I just have to agree with the post that said, if you do not like them, don't fly them. Generally, you can't go by one person's experience.

Sorry you had a bad trip with UA. Good luck next time!

M
 
jfr
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:44 pm

Quoting Yellowtail (Reply 14):
5 or 10 minutes could have been made up in the air or even taxiing! I can uderstand holding a plane half an hour is trouble some....but the point was the plane was still at the gate.

Exactly! I mostly travel long haul international, and am used to a certain amount of arrival and departure looseness: flights leaving slightly early if all are onboard / flights leaving slightly late if there's a hiccup...........

Yellowtail, you of course are correct. A short delay on a intercon is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing. Plus, the plane would have had a 90 to 110 minute turn at Heathrow, on the way back to IAD or wherever anyway.

This is operationally no big deal, and a short hold buys so much customer loyalty....especially, if the delay on the inbound connecting flight is company responsibility!

Quoting Nbseer (Reply 30):
At NRT last March, I was stuck in a mob of hundreds of travellers at the final customs checkpoint before the departure gates. With about 15 minues left before my UA flight departed to JFK, United agents were there expediting this flight's passengers through this customs nightmare to insure they made the flight.

Precisely! This is the way it normally works for most of the carriers I've ever flown internationally.

One question, Yellowtail: I assume you were proactive on the MSY-IAD flight, getting the pilot to send a message ahead.....Yes?

Sometimes, when I've had potential disasters at the enroute station, I have even resorted to the airphone to alert someone at the connecting station, or at least a supervisor at Res. to get started on a fix for the potential misconnect. (Such a call once got me a plane-to-plane van at LAX for a 10 minute OZ connection to SEL.)


Your example of hardheaded corrporately destructive terminal staff reminds me of a story of my own:

I was returning to KL on NW, flying ORD-NRT-KUL......First Class. (The First Class was because the Malaysian NW rep called on me at my office in the city, and offered me a roundtrip First Class ticket for a coach price so I would swing our business their way.)

Anyway, I got to the counter at ORD with only 30 minutes to spare, owing to an unexpected traffic mess inside the boundaries of ORD. A really BAD NW agent literally put her foot down and absolutely refused to put me on the flight. I had only a carry-on and was traveling in First! I was flabbergasted, and couldn't stop thinking about that poor NW sales rep in KL who was trying desperately to claw some meager marketshare out of the local market.

Unbelievably, she would not budge......only after much complaining to her supervisor was I able to get her to put me - not voluntarily I might add - on an ORD-AMS-KUL itinerary. (When you're flying from ORD to ASEAN, you can either turn right or left on departure, it doesn't make much difference!)

I was about 4 hours late all in all, but absolutely refused to consider NW again, and have probably taken at least 50 USD $5,000+ transpacific flights since then, on loads of airlines EXCEPT NW. (Low ticket sales forced them out of the KUL market a years later.)

So, Yellowtail, my advice is to write them off. There's a lot of airlines in this world..................
 
ManchesterMAN
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:15 pm

I guess you just got unlucky. When I last flew ORD-LHR with UA we were delayed and the captain explained that it was because they were waiting for a bunch of pax who had just arrived late from DEN I think it was. He apologized but explained that it could be any one of us with a late connection and we would want the place to wait for us right? Everyone seemed understanding and there was no "security" issue with us waiting 20 minutes. Flying to LHR is no exact science anyway as you can easily lose 40 minutes circling waiting for a landing slot so what is 20 minutes on the ground in ORD or IAD?
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
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yellowtail
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RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting CO767FA (Reply 26):
There are exceptions to every rule and this was possibly an incident where someone didn't exercise good judgement (if indeed the customers were only 5 minutes behind). I can't help but wonder if their luggage made the flight?


I was carry on....whew!

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 34):
I guess you just got unlucky. When I last flew ORD-LHR with UA we were delayed and the captain explained that it was because they were waiting for a bunch of pax who had just arrived late from DEN I think it was. He apologized but explained that it could be any one of us with a late connection and we would want the place to wait for us right? Everyone seemed understanding and there was no "security" issue with us waiting 20 minutes. Flying to LHR is no exact science anyway as you can easily lose 40 minutes circling waiting for a landing slot so what is 20 minutes on the ground in ORD or IAD?

My point exactly.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
flflyguy
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 7:26 pm

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:10 am

I'm not necessarily defending UA here, but there are several issues. The first one is bags. It is not as simple as just letting you on the plane. If any of the 15 pax had checked luggage, United would have had to move the bags from plane to plane as well. With positive bag match procedures in place, airlines simply do not have the same freedom as they used to to leave the bags behind for a later flight. If the belly was closed up, it would have taken quite a bit longer than 10 minutes to open the belly, move a container out, load the bags, and reclose.

Also, you were going into LHR which is very slot restricted. My understanding (which may be wrong) is that if you miss your arrival slot, you can be put into a holding pattern and have to wait for a space to open up. Several times when going into LHR I have been early, only to have to hold to wait for our arrival slot.

Undoubtedly, the flight also had passengers who were outbound connections in London. By delaying the IAD departure, those connections become threatened.

I know that at AA, a decision to hold for connections is based on many factors. Be assured that it certainly wasn't the gate agents decision! It was a decision that was probably made long before your flight arrived in Washington.

Now, none of that excuses being treated poorly after the misconnect.....
The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
 
jfr
Posts: 136
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:16 am

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:09 pm

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
I'm not necessarily defending UA here, but there are several issues. The first one is bags. It is not as simple as just letting you on the plane. If any of the 15 pax had checked luggage, United would have had to move the bags from plane to plane as well. With positive bag match procedures in place, airlines simply do not have the same freedom as they used to to leave the bags behind for a later flight. If the belly was closed up, it would have taken quite a bit longer than 10 minutes to open the belly, move a container out, load the bags, and reclose.

First of all: Specious excuse #1 - Were the passengers given the choice? I didn't hear Yellowtail say they were.
My experience is that most passengers, given the choice, would say let the bags follow me later.

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
Also, you were going into LHR which is very slot restricted. My understanding (which may be wrong) is that if you miss your arrival slot, you can be put into a holding pattern and have to wait for a space to open up. Several times when going into LHR I have been early, only to have to hold to wait for our arrival slot.

Second: Specious argument #2 - The kind of precision you describe is out of the question in and out of LHR, which must have more long, long haul flights than anywhere else on earth. Arrival windows, yes. Specific, unbreakable time slots, you've got to be kidding. I've landed at Heathrow from every possible direction, many times late, sometimes early, and am hard pressed to recall a single time where I had an interminable holding pattern, although ground holds are very common at T3. The controllers at the really big airports take a perverted kind of pride in managing whatever fate throws at them - Heathrow especially.

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
Undoubtedly, the flight also had passengers who were outbound connections in London. By delaying the IAD departure, those connections become threatened.

Third: Specious argument #3 - You can't possibly be saying a 10/15 minute delay will cause a misconnect at Heathrow. Long haul connections will require at least a 60+ minute minimum window or it won't be bookable on most res systems. The short haul connections will also have similar minimum conect times, but let's be honest, Heathrow has loads of flights to other continental destinations. Miss one, take the next.... In any case the big connection desk cluster at T3 arrivals is the perfect place to sort out any delay problems and send you on your way. On a flight with a minimal delay (What the FAA calls "on time"!), this is a fake problem.

Note: I'll bet you a shiny new dime that most of UA's onward connections via Europe flow via the Star Hubs anyway, not LHR.

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
I know that at AA, a decision to hold for connections is based on many factors. Be assured that it certainly wasn't the gate agents decision! It was a decision that was probably made long before your flight arrived in Washington.

Four: It is uncommon to hear of international ground staff being so anal, but we all know it does happen. It is rude behavior, and bad for business. Would the systemwide Ops centre purposely screw 15 international passengers just to get to Heathrow 15 minutes late? I seriously doubt it, especially with a bulletproof 90+ minute turn. My best guess in this case is that they didn't know they had a whole bunch of folks.

Why didn't they know automatically from their Res database? (At the big AA Control Center at DFW, they certainly would have.) Good question.

Did any of the passengers alert the inbound pilots to pass this information along to Ops? Good question.

Did the Dulles ground staff not pass this info along to their local Ramp Tower? Another good question.

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
Now, none of that excuses being treated poorly after the misconnect.....

Right! All in all a bad day for United. This is definitely not what the managers or investors would want their staff to do to a goodly sized group of premium passengers. Sounds like a serious staff morale problem at IAD which should be looked into.
 
AirCop
Posts: 5553
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:39 am

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:19 pm

The Captain and gate agent should have been aware that 15 passengers were arriving late from a connecting flight. They should have been creative enough to come up with a reason for a gate hold/mechanical instead they lost the good will of 15 passengers. My neighbor is a AA MD-80 pilot and last summer they were late leaving LAX with 20 passengers connecting to Rome. AA wouldn't hold the flight, he was able to get hold of the pilot of the Rome flight who came up with an mechanical and presto all the passengers got on board, the problem? was solved and they left a whole 15 minutes late.

[Edited 2006-04-21 05:21:19]
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:26 pm

I have experienced multiple situations where there have been misconnecting passengers, on BA and on AA, (while I was a passenger onboard the flight) then they announce that we are waiting for some late passengers. We wait, and wait, and wait, and finally leave without them. On BA, the last time, I was on a 737 LGW-EDI. We waited 30 minutes, then departed, then the captain announced we had lost our departure window, so we had to wait about another 30 minutes on the ramp.

On AA and Eagle, it's usually the same story, minus the departure window. One time when I was on AA90 DFW-ORD-LHR (used to be a 6:00am MD80 DFW-ORD) there were 19 revenue passengers (I was a nonrev) going from DFW-LHR. We pushed out at DFW, and a T-storm hit, preventing us from taking off for 2 hours. We arrived at ORD at 9:30, while 90 to LHR was scheduled to depart at 9:15. They did not hold the flight for us, and so everybody misconnected. The arrival time at LHR could have been an issue, as AA90 is one of the last arrivals of the day, if not the last one of the day, coming in 2230-2300ish.

Not long after that, however, the 0600 DFW-ORD was changed from AA90 to AA2320.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
flflyguy
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 7:26 pm

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:08 pm

Just to be clear about the bag issue. The passengers do not have a choice. Security requires that the passengers travel with their bags. If you let the passengers on, you need to wait for the bags. Or deliberately break the regulations requiring positive bag match. The passengers cannot make a decision to leave the bags behind to travel on a later flight.

Upon further reflection, another possible scenario is this. If the flights were as full as the original poster claimed, it is possible that UA boarded standbys that were left over from previous oversold flights. Therefore, there may have been no seats.

My point is simply this. We will probably never know WHY, in this particular circumstance, UA elected to leave without these passengers. There are lots of possible reasons, some of which I tried to outline. I do not think, however, that anyone said "Aha! I know! Lets screw these 15 people! That will be fun!". Rather, there was probably a legitimate (to UA, anyway) reason to let the flight go.

Again, having done that, it seems that the misconnecting passengers were not properly treated in the aftermath.
The views expressed are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.
 
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yellowtail
Posts: 3774
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:46 am

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:27 pm

You know if UA had just communicated with the passengers or at least made an effort to help we would have been more understanding, it would have been alot better experience. IF UA had just communicated amongst themselves then perhaps something like this would not have occured in the first place. IMHO, the staff we dealt with on that day were just not interested in going the extra mile.

I have traveled the world from Nairobi to Alice Springs on lots of carriers and I have to say, this experience was way out of the norm....okey except maybe for my one AR domestic flight

Quoting Jfr (Reply 37):
Did any of the passengers alert the inbound pilots to pass this information along to Ops? Good question.


I did. Stewardess said she would mention it to the captain. I also saw a few people tell the gate agent in MSY. So not knowing is not an excuse and are computers not for this sort of thing.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
Okie
Posts: 3659
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: CO Vs UA..the MSY Story

Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:54 am

Quoting Jfr (Reply 33):
So, Yellowtail, my advice is to write them off. There's a lot of airlines in this world

 checkmark 

You get a vote every time you buy a ticket.

Your tribulations have been my overwhelming experience with UA. So I do not fly them unless I can not get to where I am going without flying UA. Eight of the last nine times over the years, the exact same type of incident has happened to me due to a late arriving connecting flight and the departure flight would be sitting at the gate.

Quoting FLFlyGuy (Reply 36):
The first one is bags. It is not as simple as just letting you on the plane. If any of the 15 pax had checked luggage, United would have had to move the bags from plane to plane as well. With positive bag match procedures in place, airlines simply do not have the same freedom as they used to to leave the bags behind for a later flight. If the belly was closed up, it would have taken quite a bit longer than 10 minutes to open the belly, move a container out, load the bags, and reclose

Poppycock, all eight times my luggage made the transfer on to the destination and were waiting in the holding area when I finally made to my destination.

Interesting note, my worst experiences with airlines not counting Mx or weather related have been with UA, DL, and NW (I have not flown US enough to have an opinion) all have been or are in bankruptcy, I can say it does not surprise me.

Yellowtail, just blow'em off and choose another airline when you can, I would not go so far as to say I would never fly UA but I have the luxury of choices and many airlines these days seem to be missing that you have a choice.

Okie

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