777fan
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Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:14 pm

I know that similar stories are a plenty on a.net but this one has to be among the best (worst) out there as UA 1073 was delayed for TWO DAYS at MBJ after a hydraulic problem on the ground led to the apparent unraveling of UA's limited operations in the Caribbean.

Suffice to say this was a comedy of errors from minute one and highlights some of the vulnerabilities related to outsourcing, minimal staffing, etc. What I found most unbelievable was that United provided 1K pax on the flight with a mere $300 in travel vouchers and an "expedited" immigration line as compensation.

Read for yourself at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,1,6470916.story?coll=chi-news-hed



777fan
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PA110
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:48 pm

Man, I feel for those folks. These days, many flight ops irregularities have a nasty habit of snowballing in to a real clusterf*ck. This has to be one of the most well researched and well written media pieces I've read. This reporter really touched on the many issues that have contributed to general breakdowns in more effective responses to flight irregularities. What I found quite telling is the propensity of handling companies to not take ownership of the situation and be more proactivel Unfortunately, there is is a purely economic issue. No handling company is going to go beyond what they believe they will be reimbursed from the airline. Hence, tentative, if not completely inadequate response most of the time.
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PGNCS
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:11 am

"To offset that $13 billion drop in revenues, major carriers dumped older aircraft, deferred purchases of new planes and shed more than 150,000 full-time employees---nearly 40 percent of their labor base.The result: jammed jets and grumpy employees, many of whom are working longer hours after losing one-third or more of their take-home pay in concessions."

"Maintenance at United is lean these days. The carrier's pre-bankruptcy workforce of about 15,000 mechanics has shrunk to just 5,000, according to union officials. And hiring workers to fix planes at airports where United has a small presence is a luxury the airline can't afford. Instead it relies on contract workers who tend to be less experienced for quick fixes, and it jets in its own staff when things go badly, as on Flight 1073."

"Because it only operates a handful of flights per week out of Montego Bay, United outsources its ground work to AJAS Ltd., which provides customer service staff to several airlines at the airport."

"Many people had trouble getting through to United's call centers for updates, and those who did found that workers couldn't tell them much beyond the scant details about the flight posted on the airline's Web site."

"United has moved much of its customer service to overseas call centers. In fact, the transportation industry has become one of the biggest users of off-shore call centers as airlines moved to slash costs following Sept. 11."

"However, carriers have had difficulty providing ample staffing and capacity when thousands of travelers' calls flood phone lines. Higgins said United is studying increasing staffing during peak periods."

"At least one airline, Continental Airlines, was so concerned about the potential loss of customers that it decided a couple of years ago the savings didn't justify the switch overseas, said spokeswoman Julie King."

This is a truly appalling spectacle, and UA deserves the criticism they have got for it. Having said that, the clamor from the public to have the lowest possible prices on airfares have driven the airlines to make cuts that would be previously unthinkable. There is now very little slack in the system, and during IROPS you can expect more of the same. The percentage of contract workers in all roles is now very high and their abilities vary widely, though they are rarely as good at their jobs as the personnel they replaced. (This is not universal, but I believe a generally true statement.)

When you buy a ticket you aren't just paying for the quality of meal service onboard or other amenities that you see as a passenger, but also the things that you DON'T see (like mechanics) that actually prove to be very important to your flight. I was pleased to see that the article praised CO for not outsourcing their call centers. CO has set the bar high, and have made cuts intelligently, arguably the most intelligently of all the majors.

UA deserves to be criticised for the handling of this debacle, but it is far from an isolated incident, and will happen in other forms in other places until the operational side of the house gets the personnel and tools they need to actually do the job right. Unfortunately that comes at a cost: the cost is in-house mechanics and CSR's in many cases, and right now UA (and others) are unwilling to pay that cost because of the demand for ultra-cheap tickets.
 
UAL4ever
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:37 am

As a Premier Executive on United, I am worried at the lack of service United provided here.

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
What I found most unbelievable was that United provided 1K pax on the flight with a mere $300 in travel vouchers and an "expedited" immigration line as compensation.

I have no doubt the any Global services, 1K, or Premier Executive pax were awarded more after the ordeal. I would have called the customer relations line and demanded more compensation soley based on the fact that if United is willing to compensate ordinary pax with no status with 300 dollars than surely as a Premier Executive I would be entitled to something more. UA's customer relations line hands out travel vouchers as if they are trying to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
 
777fan
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:52 am

I agree with both of you - this is far from an isolated incident and is the result of years of mismanagement and corporate incompetence within both UA and the industry (primarily legacy carriers) as a whole. Mrs. 777fan continue to remain loyal UA fliers (I'm currently at PE, she's at Premier) but have recently begun discussing dumping our miles on one last trip with UA; I have serious concerns about its long-term viability.

UA's BKK reorg plan worked in terms of cutting costs but the number one cost - fuel - is going to plague the airline for years to come (they based their expenditures on $50/bbl oil when it reality, it's trading at $60/bbl). Granted, their fares are about as low as can be expected, especially on routes in which they compete with WN, F9 and B6, but what's shooting them in the a$$ (so to speak), is their absolutely abhorrent customer service. It's been easy to sense the employees' frustration for some time but what I'm sensing now is an arrogance in which the employees make it seem as if you're lucky to be flying UA, when in reality, they're lucky that anyone is flying them.

Short of my allegiance to Mileage Plus, and frequent travel to Chicago and Asia, I have few reasons, if any, to choose UA. The aircraft are really showing their age, the FAs appear utterly disinterested in their job, on-time performance is a joke and the RCC membership which I recently let go was a waste of money to put it politely. To think that UA offered a $300 voucher and reimbursement of expenses to the PE flier in the article is ridiculous and frankly, I'm glad that the pax involved took the story to the press. The whole incident could've been easily avoided on so many levels.



777fan
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Boston92
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:09 am

Things like this happen, I just wished that UA handled it a little better.
 
IPFreely
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:54 am

It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary for UA/UAX.
 
AirlineBrat
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:29 am

Two days of hell and all the passengers got was a worthless $300 travel voucher and a shorter line through customs? Mindboggling huh? I thought I read somewhere here on Airliners.net that a roll of toilet paper has more value than a travel voucher passed out because the airline screwed up.

If United really wants to keep their most frequent fliers, their elite status should have been extended 12 months or at least for a certain period of time depending on the severity of the situation. This was a mechanical delay and not weather so the airline has a higher level of responsibility in the manner they take care of their passengers. Instead of passing out worthless vouchers, credit frequent fliers accounts 1,000 miles for each hour the flight is delayed. In the case of the the stranded Jamaica tribe, they were delayed 2 days so they should have been credited 48,000 miles. To further show how much United appreciates their frequent fliers, provide a free first class ticket to anywhere United flies worldwide to each ticket holder who is a member of United's Mileage Plus program. For passengers who are not members of Mileage Plus, they should be given a free ticket to anywhere United flies in at least the United States. For first class passengers who paid full fare for their seat, they should be compensated accordingly. Otherwise, do not expect them to fly on United again. And remember, word of mouth travels very quickly for those who have many friends and relatives.

Outsourced workers have no stake in the company they are contracted out to. When customers are negatively affected by this, they will search for the companies who most want their business and will do what it takes to keep them happy. I think CO figured this out a while a go.

[Edited 2007-06-10 23:35:08]
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
GlobalATL
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:50 am

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7):
And remember, word of mouth travels very quickly for those who have many friends and relatives.

Good point. If memory serves correctly, for every one unhappy traveler they tell ten of their friends about the terrible service. But this flight is at the bottom of the barrel....UA looses it, again.

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 6):
It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary for UA/UAX.

Right on
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Ward86IND
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:18 am

Ridiculous. Let's put that $300 travel voucher into perspective. I have a friend who recently traveled IND-ATL-MIA-ATL-IND on DL. On the way back, they overbooked the flight from MIA and asked for volunteers to go on the next day's flight. Not in any kind of hurry, he and his brother volunteered. They received a $400 travel voucher for their "trouble."
Live your dream.
 
Boston92
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:19 am

Quoting IPFreely (Reply 6):
It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary for UA/UAX.

Whether you like it or not, it is.
 
lincoln
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:10 am

Two flights with delays of two days in the same month? Even with as much outsourcing as goes on in this world, I would think that something could have been done to get passengers out of there faster. Ovbiously other airlines have flights into and out of the airport since the article references the handling company handling several of them...And the $300 voucher is shameful; if I were in the situation (especially with either the medical condition or missing the funeral) I would find it highly insulting.

On the subject of outsourced call centers and Continental not outsourcing (in fact they sell their services to other companies who are interested in outsourcing)... I've had a few reasons to call Continental recently (both res and customer care) and there really is something to be said for talking to someone who speaks English with a recognizeable accent, and knows their company's product; my calls to CO are consistantly more productive, less fustrating, and shorter than any almost any other company I call. (To be fair, though, I last flew UA in 2004, and at least then, when I called with a luggage question I spoke with a sweet older (sounding) lady with a beautiful midwestern accent)

Lincoln
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COERJ145
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting Ward86IND (Reply 9):
Ridiculous. Let's put that $300 travel voucher into perspective. I have a friend who recently traveled IND-ATL-MIA-ATL-IND on DL. On the way back, they overbooked the flight from MIA and asked for volunteers to go on the next day's flight. Not in any kind of hurry, he and his brother volunteered. They received a $400 travel voucher for their "trouble."

I recently was on a UA flight that was overbooked, offering BOS-IAD-LAX(got into LAX 5hrs later) instead of BOS-LAX and the CSAs were offering a free ticked anywhere in the US and a FC upgrade on the IAD-LAX flights. I was tempted to take it, but I had a memorial service to get to, so that wasn't really an option.
 
Boston92
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:16 am

Who is the "one" that come up with the compensations. There have to be some kind of variables that come into play and reasoning why I got $500 for waiting 3 extra hours and why this guy gets $300 for two days. Both of us are UA 1K's...
 
ua76heavy
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:34 am

I don't doubt this happened, but remember newspapers tend to sensationalize the news. We're hearing this story from the reporter's view and as you can see it's quite an expose on human suffering. Also, let's not forget about B6's meltdown--lapses occur which tend not to reflect the operations as a whole.

I've been on a KA flight from CTU to HKG where the flight was cancelled due to hydraulic failure. The only compensation I received was hotel, transportation to and from the hotel, dinner and breakfast. The flight was on an A330 so there were at least 200 passengers. The situation was handled poorly by CA staff. Passengers were handled on their holding out (the first group left for home, the second got a voucher for a hotel, the third was put in a 3-star hotel, and the fourth, our group, was accommodated in the Sheraton, a 5-star hotel--and we're not part of the KA/CX FF program). Needless to say, I had a very comfortable night's stay and 2 very filling meals. Of course, if this was reported in the news, who do you think report on? Would I fly KA again? I did 3 days ago, am doing it later today and next month!

Moral of the story? We tend to have short memories (just like during the elections).
 
warreng24
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:44 am

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7):
Outsourced workers have no stake in the company they are contracted out to.

Yes you see this in virtually ALL case of outsourcing. Especially in cases where there's no quality control of your outsourced product. UA could manage outsourcing better, with more strict and thorough audits of the outsourced service to ensure that it met contractually obligated quality standards of service.

But the Catch-22 is that the amount of money you spend on outsourcing quality control audits is probably more than any savings from doing the outsourcing in the first place!
 
AirMike2
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:45 am

Reminds me of a situation last Summer when a Frontier Airlines plane was delayed for 19 hours at an outstation. The flight was to depart at 6:30 a.m. and had a mechanical. Instead of cancelling the flight they put it on an indefinite delay and flew a part in on a flight arriving at 6:30 p.m. but it was the wrong part. The return flight (That brought the part in) was booked full so the 6:30 a.m. passengers had to wait further. Finally, the terminator came in at 1130 p.m. and they turned it around and sent it on it's way to DEN. They offered Dominoes pizza and a 300.00 voucher for everyone's trouble.
 
FLYGUY767
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:56 am

It truely is a sad day in American aviation when airlines put passengers through things like this. The US media berated JetBlue for weeks, and still continue to berate them for what happened in February. This incident that United Airlines put its passengers through has to rank as one of the worst I have ever heard of. At what point does United Airlines need to reach in order to do something about there blatent lack of Customer Service.

The other day I contacted United Airlines regarding a question that I have about an upcoming flight. The women on the phone was in India {Earth Shattering..I Know}, I asked her why she couldnt answer a simple question. She said they werent trained that the United Express flights sometimes have a First Class cabin, or sometimes have a Economy Plus cabin. She at the beginning of the conversation said that United Airlines only offers Economy Plus on flights that are international. It is amazing that United Airlines is literally throwing their business out of the door. Something is telling me that United Airlines service is going to continue to slide down the hill.

I can remember before Pan Am went down the drain, there were plenty of storys about employees not caring because the writing was on the wall and they knew what was lerking ahead.

Is there anything that United Airlines can do to curb these kind of problems? Are problems so bad at United Airlines that they need to strand passengers for day on end? United Airlines had a very nasty attitude in the late 1990's and just prior to 9-11, that drove a lot of business away and killed employee morale. These kind of incidents only go to prove that United Airlines could have fixed a situation and chose very blatently no to. Shame on United Airlines for its disregard of service and compassion for stranded passengers.

Funny, I dont see any of the United Airlines cheerleaders adding anything to this topic. Just as United Airlines has taken the attitude if we dont do anything it will go away. This can be seen over and over again within United Airlines. I have been attacked over and over again for bringing up and giving examples as to why United Airlines needs to do something and needs to do something fast about the way they treat their passengers. I am knocked for pointing out how other airlines want to and are trying to change the Customer Experience.

To be sucessful and to keep those customers you need to treat your passengers with respect, it does not matter what fare class they are booked in, or who is on a mileage upgrade, or who is on a mileage redemption. Passengers need to be treated with respect and informed what is going on. To not inform, and to simply not answer telephone calls is a cowards way out of a situation

You can never take your passengers for granted!

-JD
Summer Trip 2007: DEN HAAG>DUBAI>LONDON>VERONA>COSTA SMERALDA>CAPRI
 
PGNCS
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:08 am

Quoting Warreng24 (Reply 16):
Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7):
Outsourced workers have no stake in the company they are contracted out to.

Yes you see this in virtually ALL case of outsourcing. Especially in cases where there's no quality control of your outsourced product. UA could manage outsourcing better, with more strict and thorough audits of the outsourced service to ensure that it met contractually obligated quality standards of service.

But the Catch-22 is that the amount of money you spend on outsourcing quality control audits is probably more than any savings from doing the outsourcing in the first place!

You have put your finger on it exactly. Unfortunately for UAL (and other carriers with extensive outsourcing) to the traveling public the contract employee represents UAL. I think you are 100% on the mark with your observation about cost: you CAN get a decent product from outsourced labor, but the costs to do so are often more than doing it well with company people. This is a lesson that is apparently difficult to learn, especially in United's case.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 11):
Even with as much outsourcing as goes on in this world, I would think that something could have been done to get passengers out of there faster. Ovbiously other airlines have flights into and out of the airport since the article references the handling company handling several of them

There is very little slack in the system. Other airlines have flights, but who says there are any seats open on them? There certainly aren't enough to accommodate the entire passenger list from UA 1073. People have no idea how full planes are right now, and how little excess capacity is in the system. I do agree that UA might have been better off flying an extra section to retrieve these people and cancelling another domestic sector, but hindsight is 20/20.
 
Flighty
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:21 am

This was a fairly junky article.

Overall, UA did a good job. Not a great job, but not horrible either. UA is a good airline with good people. They HAVE a system in place to deal with irregular ops. Did they deal with this situation? YES.

The only thing they could have done better is to dispatch a rescue mission right away, rather than gamble on a 2-day delay, which was quite possible. 2-day delays should not be a viable option. It's worth $50,000 or whatever to rescue those people. That's the risk you take with occasional Carib operations. When mechanicals happen, you bit the bullet and RESCUE. And, train local staff for goodness sakes. They should be well prepared for a mechanical.

It's pedantic and unfair that the article's suggests UAL should have hire uniformed agents in MBJ. Nobody does that. The suggestion that UA should station a bunch of mechanics in MBJ-- or that they ever would have, pre-2001 -- is even more pedantic and unfair. Finally, the suggestion that people had trouble reaching UAL phone operators due to this incident is just... dumb. Maybe the phone operators were a little busy. That's life.

And you know what? Air delays are life too. It does happen. It is a risk, whenever you travel. I trust UAL will make a special dispatch procedure to lick this problem. Try as the article might to paint UAL in a bad light, UAL does not run a shoddy operation. They just don't.

[Edited 2007-06-11 02:24:15]

[Edited 2007-06-11 02:27:35]
 
lincoln
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:36 am

Quoting FLYGUY767 (Reply 18):
I am knocked for pointing out how other airlines want to and are trying to change the Customer Experience.

Just as another example of the whole outsourcing/stake thing... On a recent itinerary I was booked CLE-DTW on CO (with a NW flight number) then NW DTW-PLN-DTW-CLE. The CLE-DTW segment had a mechanical issue and by the time we started boarding I had very little hope of making my connection (last flight of the night) but there was still a chance...an over an hour (and an aborted takeoff) later we were on the plane and off the gate but it was clear that I would misconnect in DTW -- and I wasn't the only one. I spent the entire flight psyching myself up to go to war, if necessary, for compensation with the agent at DTW.

Instead, I was shocked and plesantly suprised when the agent was on the jetway at DTW, asked each passenger their name as they were getting off, followed by

"Mr. King-Cliby, unfourtinately your connection left on-time. I've you have a confirmed seat on flight 1234 tomorrow morning. Here's a hotel voucher, a dinner voucher and a breakfast voucher. The airline will also, usually, take care of any reasonable expenses you have to incur as a result; here's the number you should call for information about that. Is there anything else I can help you with tonight?"

Well, of course, I was not happy that I missed my connection and would be late to my Monday-morning meeting, I was shocked at how proactive the customer service was. Contiental has secured another faithful customer.

Contrast that to Delta where a supervisor once screamed "My airline doesn't loose luggage" at me when I tried to ascertain where my luggage was since it wasn't at baggage claim.
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
FLYGUY767
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
Overall, UA did a good job. Not a great job, but not horrible either

Honestly, did you bother to read the article? It is amazing the amount of blinders people will put on to ignore the facts. In saying so you are saying that United did a good job? Come On..

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
They HAVE a system in place to deal with irregular ops. Did they deal with this situation? YES.

Here you say United Airlines has a system in place to deal with irregular operations. In addition you say that they dealt with the situation.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
I trust UAL will make a special dispatch procedure to lick this problem.

And here you say that you "trust" United will make a special dispatch procedure.. So what is it, does United have a plan to deal with irregular operations or not. Your statements contradict each other.

If United Airlines had a plan in place they would have flown an aircraft to MBJ, and flown the people back to where they were supposed to be going to. What United Airlines did was ethically irresponsible. If they had a plan, or if what they did was there plan they are in serious need of a round-table discussion of how to revise debacles such as this.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
Maybe the phone operators were a little busy. That's life.

If that is the attitude United Airlines is taking in the direction of Customer Service, they have even further problems ahead!

-JD
Summer Trip 2007: DEN HAAG>DUBAI>LONDON>VERONA>COSTA SMERALDA>CAPRI
 
Flighty
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:50 am

Quoting FLYGUY767 (Reply 22):
Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
Maybe the phone operators were a little busy. That's life.

If that is the attitude United Airlines is taking in the direction of Customer Service,

It's just the article said this is a sweeping, historical statement about phone outsourcing leading to the problem of this flight. There is no connection. Hold times are elevated sometimes and that's the state of the art in airlines today (and probably for many decades).

And yes, UAL does have an irregular ops team a dispatch. Did they do their jobs, yes. Are they going to refine their rules -- especially regarding infrequent Caribbean destinations -- maybe. Maybe they will do an immediate-rescue rule for the Carib tourist flights. But we can assume UAL is immensely capable of very complicated irregualar ops at their hubs at SFO, NRT and ORD in particular.

This "tragedy" was just a subtle point (1 day of unjustified delay, 1 day of legitimate) but I do trust UAL will make a special immediate-rescue rule if they deem it to be correct. And they may not. It is just an idea. But this article is wrong to call them incompetent.
 
Jano
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:04 am

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 2):
I was pleased to see that the article praised CO for not outsourcing their call centers.

There is another Big6 carrier that never outsourced their call centers. It's NWA.
The Widget Air Line :)
 
Jerald01
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:48 am

Quoting UAL4ever (Reply 3):
I have no doubt the any Global services, 1K, or Premier Executive pax were awarded more after the ordeal. I would have called the customer relations line and demanded more compensation soley based on the fact that if United is willing to compensate ordinary pax with no status with 300 dollars than surely as a Premier Executive I would be entitled to something more. UA's customer relations line hands out travel vouchers as if they are trying to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Why should a person who has achieved Global, 1K, or Premier Executive ("Mr. High Miler") pax status EXPECT to receive MORE "compensation" than Joe Weekend Traveller if a flight is delayed for maintenance reasons? Mr. High Miler is well aware of the various "perks" that his high-mileage status brings him (they are spelled out in the list of "perks" that the airline provides PRIOR to his earning the specific high-mileage status), and, unless there is a statement in that list to the otherwise, Mr. High Miler is NOT entitled to MORE compensation than anyone else.

Having said that I must also state that I recognize the position of both the airline and Mr. High Mileage in regards to the latter's past ticket purchases from that airline, as well as his potential future ticket purchases from same. The purchase of a ticket makes money for the airline, and Mr. High Mileage gets some little "perks" for being loyal to that airline.

The point where the airline must draw the line is where it starts to lose more money by giving out "perks" than it does from making a profit on the ticket price of the person who has earned those perks. Any sensible business model will take that into consideration prior to implementing a "perk" that might make a neagitve impact on the bottom line of the company if it is redeemed too often.
"There may be old pilots, and there may be bold pilots, but there are darn few green cows"
 
MHTMDW
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:08 am

If there is any justice in this world, the mid-level corporate dweeb who decided that a $300 vouchers were just compensation for this nightmare is now looking for work outside the aviation industry. I assume many of the top tier FFs on this flight have been in contact with AA and been given comparable status.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:18 am

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7):

Outsourced workers have no stake in the company they are contracted out to. When customers are negatively affected by this, they will search for the companies who most want their business and will do what it takes to keep them happy. I think CO figured this out a while a go.

If UA weren't allowed to outsource, I have no doubt they wouldn't be serving MBJ (or the majority of their other international destinations; CUN, MEX, NRT, and LHR are probably the only stations outside the U.S. with the volume of flights necessary to justify UA employees). And furthermore, some outsourced C.S. people are quite good. The AF agents who handle DL flights at CDG do fine. The folks DL uses in many (most?) South American stations do great work. There are good stories out there.

Quoting FLYGUY767 (Reply 22):

If United Airlines had a plan in place they would have flown an aircraft to MBJ, and flown the people back to where they were supposed to be going to. What United Airlines did was ethically irresponsible. If they had a plan, or if what they did was there plan they are in serious need of a round-table discussion of how to revise debacles such as this.

It's easy to say that in hindsight, but flying the part in seemed to be an easy fix, and there is no guarantee that a rescue mission would have been able to be organized sooner.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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flybynight
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:29 am

Quoting 777fan (Thread starter):
This is a truly appalling spectacle, and UA deserves the criticism they have got for it. Having said that, the clamor from the public to have the lowest possible prices on airfares have driven the airlines to make cuts that would be previously unthinkable.

An excellent, excellent point. We put a lot of pressure on the airline industry to get cheaper flights. While I hate the way the industry is going, and it makes me PO'ed while flying, I realize I can't have my cake and eat it as well.
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georgebush
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:52 am

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
If UA weren't allowed to outsource, I have no doubt they wouldn't be serving MBJ (or the majority of their other international destinations; CUN, MEX, NRT, and LHR are probably the only stations outside the U.S. with the volume of flights necessary to justify UA employees).

How can you say this?? I am a UAL fan but all the more I am a bigger fan of my country. What should be allowed is paying people under 1$ an hour to do a job worth, in my opinion, at least 8$. This is completely un-patriotic of you to say. American's and their jobs are more important than a flight to freaking MBJ.



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 27):
And furthermore, some outsourced C.S. people are quite good.

Are you on crack!?

Do me a favor. Call 1-800-UNITED-1 and talk to them for a little bit. Then edit your post.
Al Gore invented global warming.
 
SFOFlyer
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:57 am

Although I am a loyal UA FF (1K and very close to 1 Million Miles), I am truly amazed at the way different United personnel handle similar situations. For canceled / delayed flights, I have been offered everything from nothing, to Free Round Trip Tickets, to $$$, to even F/C Upgrades (including System-Wides) over the years!!!

But the thing that really perplexed me the other day was that on my flight from FRA-SFO they had run out of amenities kits in Business Class (which I used a System-Wide to upgrade to). No big deal. I travel almost every other week and I don't use the stuff. I travel with my own toothbrush, Bose Headphones and ear plugs, so I don't really need the junk they give ya. The socks are nice, though...  Wink

But anyhow, during the flight, a flight attendant came down the isle and apologized for not having amenities kits and passed out a form for us to fill out. On the form, it asked if we wanted Miles or a Travel Certificate. Since I have a lot of miles and can NEVER use them for free tickets (since hardly any free tickets are ever available when I book - or maybe it's just my bad luck), I opted for the Travel Cert. I am headed to Mexico in Aug and I thought I could use knock off a few $'s from the ticket, thinking I would probably get a $25 or maybe $50, like I have in the past. Four weeks later, I got a letter from United apologizing for the inconvenience and in it was a $400 Travel Certificate! And I can't even use it on my ticket, because it is only good in the US, Virgin Islands, or Canada.  Yeah sure

Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to sound like a snob and I am not complaining either but how can a missing amenity kit be worth $400 and having your flight delayed for 2 days be only worth $300? If UA is handing out $400 for missing $10 (if that) Amenity Kit, I should probably start worrying. Not sure if I got that because I was a 1K but that seems EXTREMELY generous, even a little outrageous!

I just find it odd that the airlines have yet to make a consistent guideline on what you are entitled to, depending upon what happens to your flight (canceled, delayed, stuck on airplane, oversold, etc). But maybe each situation is unique enough and needs to be handled differently??? Or maybe it is the new Airline Passenger Bill of Rights?? I don't know...

I wonder what the person that handed out the $400 Travel Certs for the missing Amenity Kit is now doing! Ha!
UA GS - 2 Million Mile Flyer
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:03 pm

Quoting Georgebush (Reply 29):
What should be allowed is paying people under 1$ an hour to do a job worth, in my opinion, at least 8$. This is completely un-patriotic of you to say. American's and their jobs are more important than a flight to freaking MBJ.

So you're suggesting that all US-flagged carriers should drastically cut back on international service, causing American pilots, f/as, and dispatchers to lose their jobs for what? It's host country nationals staffing foreign stations regardless.

Quoting Georgebush (Reply 29):

Do me a favor. Call 1-800-UNITED-1 and talk to them for a little bit. Then edit your post.

But alas, we are talking apples and oranges. Had you taken the time to read my post more carefully, you'd see that I was talking about outsourced CSRs.

For the record, though, there are definitely outsourced call center people that do a great job. You just don't run in to them in the airline industry.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:06 pm

This is a sad story. As a UA employee and fan, I am saddened by this story. Outsourcing is always a risk, albeit a calculated one, but with any risk, it can come back to bite you in the bum. I will have to look up this flight tomorrow and see exactly what was wrong with it.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 21):

"Mr. King-Cliby, unfourtinately your connection left on-time. I've you have a confirmed seat on flight 1234 tomorrow morning. Here's a hotel voucher, a dinner voucher and a breakfast voucher. The airline will also, usually, take care of any reasonable expenses you have to incur as a result; here's the number you should call for information about that. Is there anything else I can help you with tonight?"

UA also does that (and I assume many others also do that.)
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
jacobin777
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:18 pm

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 2):
Unfortunately that comes at a cost: the cost is in-house mechanics and CSR's in many cases, and right now UA (and others) are unwilling to pay that cost because of the demand for ultra-cheap tickets.

......if people want to pay less money to fly transcon than what it costs to take a taxi from The Marina District in San Francisco to SFO, how is one going to expect to hire more expensive local employees who might do a better job?

Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7):
Outsourced workers have no stake in the company they are contracted out to. When customers are negatively affected by this, they will search for the companies who most want their business and will do what it takes to keep them happy. I think CO figured this out a while a go.

......if people want to pay less money to fly transcon than what it costs to take a taxi from The Marina District in San Francisco to SFO, how is one going to expect to hire more expensive local employees who might do a better job?

..

Quoting GlobalATL (Reply 8):
Good point. If memory serves correctly, for every one unhappy traveler they tell ten of their friends about the terrible service. But this flight is at the bottom of the barrel....UA looses it, again.

...and the same story could be said of NW, AA, CO, B6, WN, etc.......I've heard one too many stories of "AA looses it, again", "CO looses it, again", "NW, looses, again"...etc.....
"Up the Irons!"
 
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mariner
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:23 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 33):
......if people want to pay less money to fly transcon than what it costs to take a taxi from The Marina District in San Francisco to SFO, how is one going to expect to hire more expensive local employees who might do a better job?

What people want is one thing. What they can get is another. If an airline offers seats at rock bottom prices, then why shouldn't the travelling public buy 'em?

So if transcons are priced at that level so the airline can fill seats - is it possible there are too many transcons?

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
LGAtoIND
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:36 pm

While I agree that UA definetly should have handled this situation better, I don't think it was quite as bad as this sensational article made it out to be.

Stuff like this caught my attention:

"David Scheibelhut and his wife, Joann Schulte, and teenage daughter Jade were numb with grief as they boarded United Airlines Flight 1073 bound for Chicago. Schulte's mother had died during their spring vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and they had just one day to get home to help plan her funeral."


"Steve Gerard, on his first trip overseas since the Sept. 11 attacks, was also anxious to return to his home in northwest suburban Cary. He had run out of his blood-pressure medicine."

"Jeff and Laura Jacobs, like many parents on the plane, were stressed just thinking of how to entertain two small kids during what was supposed to be a five-hour flight."

"Jackson, the investment banker, viewed the clusters of people as something primal, a manifestation of their survival instinct. "I don't want to be sexist, but the women would stay with the kids, stay with the camp, while the men would go out hunting," he said. "But instead of food, we were hunting for information."


Survival Instinct??? Listen, I know this is a huge inconvinience ( I would be PISSED) but its not as if these people were stranded on the streets of Baghdad or thrown into a dense jungle and forced to cannabilize themselves. They ended up spending a couple of days in the MBJ airport and nights in MBJ hotels/resorts (all reimbursed by UA). Its not quite as bad as the article makes it out to be. And for stuff like people stressing about flying with kids and travlers having family deaths while away, this happens to travelers all the time, it is just part of the risk when you plan vacations out of the country on planes. No one put a gun to your head and made you fly UA down to Jamaica, it sucks, these things happen, the people were compensated (probably should have been more than $300 though), end of story.
 
travatl
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:49 pm

Another shining example of the airline industry's new mantra of quantity over quality. For every passenger that is driven away by their experiences at American, AirTran, United, Frontier, and USAirways, the airlines' counterparts (Continental, Delta, jetBlue, Northwest, and Southwest) are driving an equal number passengers right back their way.

What's the cure? Whether you're the frustrated passenger who jumps through hoops, has little or no recourse when things go awry, and feels summarily dismissed OR the understaffed, undertooled, undersupported airline employee who loves the industry but hates what it's become, and feels summarily dismissed; we're all in the same boat. At the end of the day, the airlines squeak by with little or no profit, yet their management teams make more than ever before.

I don't have an exact answer, but I'd gather it lies somewhere in government oversight. The FAA simply can not continue to police AND promote the industry.
1 Interview. 24 years. 3 Airlines.
 
georgebush
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:58 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 31):
So you're suggesting that all US-flagged carriers should drastically cut back on international service, causing American pilots, f/as, and dispatchers to lose their jobs for what? It's host country nationals staffing foreign stations regardless.

Then how is NWA CO and AA still in business. With the exception of NWA which is proud to be 100% American, CO and AA have more American call centers than outsourced ones and these airlines still have a VERY strong international presence. I think some CEO's at UA are just a little too greedy for their own good. In my opinion. But I do see where your coming from.
Al Gore invented global warming.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:18 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 34):
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 33):
......if people want to pay less money to fly transcon than what it costs to take a taxi from The Marina District in San Francisco to SFO, how is one going to expect to hire more expensive local employees who might do a better job?

What people want is one thing. What they can get is another. If an airline offers seats at rock bottom prices, then why shouldn't the travelling public buy 'em?

...I'm not opposed to this one bit, I was proposing a sequitur argument in that there is a reason as to why outsourcing is happening. I can certainly assure you I'm not one of those complaining or telling the public not to by 'em...... Smile

Quoting Mariner (Reply 34):
So if transcons are priced at that level so the airline can fill seats - is it possible there are too many transcons?

...could very well be....but that is for the market to decide... Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
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mariner
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 38):
..could very well be....but that is for the market to decide

Ah, if only that were true. The fascination by some airlines with "market share" comes into the equation.

The old Rono Dutta School of Airline Management: market share trumps profitablity.

 Smile

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
jacobin777
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:53 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 39):
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 38):
..could very well be....but that is for the market to decide

Ah, if only that were true. The fascination by some airlines with "market share" comes into the equation.

The old Rono Dutta School of Airline Management: market share trumps profitablity.

I think (I hope at least) we are saying carriers go away from this particular ideology.

Mr. Dutta did need management approval for a few of his vacuous "ideas" at UA however.....

 Smile
"Up the Irons!"
 
MDW717
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:15 pm

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 19):
You have put your finger on it exactly. Unfortunately for UAL (and other carriers with extensive outsourcing) to the traveling public the contract employee represents UAL.

Case in point - the "United Airlines employee" in the slideshow that accompanies this article is really a ticket checker employed by AirServ.

This incident might have been on a wider scale and gotten more publicity, but a mechanical problem turning into a 2+ day delay is not uncommon for an international United passenger. When a full 747 goes tech, there is rarely protection for all 300+ pax. A few GS/1K pax might make it onto another airline or be offered a connection through a Star hub that same day. Joe Shmoe in 62E will wait in line 2 hours at the C Customer Service Counter to hear "You have been rebooked for 3 days from now."
 
Flighty
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:39 pm

Quoting LGAtoIND (Reply 35):
Survival Instinct??? Listen, I know this is a huge inconvinience ( I would be PISSED) but its not as if these people were stranded on the streets of Baghdad or thrown into a dense jungle and forced to cannabilize themselves. They ended up spending a couple of days in the MBJ airport and nights in MBJ hotels/resorts (all reimbursed by UA). Its not quite as bad as the article makes it out to be. And for stuff like people stressing about flying with kids and travlers having family deaths while away, this happens to travelers all the time, it is just part of the risk when you plan vacations out of the country on planes. No one put a gun to your head and made you fly UA down to Jamaica, it sucks, these things happen, the people were compensated (probably should have been more than $300 though), end of story.

Yes I totally agree. The sensational aspect of this article is really the temperment of today's traveler -- always in a hurry, not understanding they traveled by JET to another country and sometimes, jets break. Sometimes things aren't fixed on the first try. There is just no scandal at all. People were booked into hotels by United. They waited around in Jamaica. And when push really got to shove, United sent down a jet to get them. Everything went fine. What "isn't" fine is when today's traveler starts throwing a hissyfit.

Unreasonable expectations (i.e., magic jet fixing technology, or magic flawless aircraft technology, or psychic powers at United dispatch) are encouraged by today's service culture where 90% of society serves the upper 10%. Those upper 10% people (and I am one) go nuts when anything upsets their schedule or their leisure time. They simply have no skills things that are really, truly own life responsibility... bringing enough pills, taking a quick foreign vacation, parenting, coping with unexpected delays. Sometimes, life happens at the airport.

Strong, unexplained bias against UAL was throughout the article. It was as if UAL doesn't know how to fix their planes (ridiculous) or that their operation cannot handle irregular ops (also ridiculous). The fact is UAL is a world renowned expert in many areas, especially irregular ops and the operation of a big international network. When you fly 1 million+ flights per year, some of them are rotten but in a good year, nobody dies. This has been another "good year" for UAL so give them some credit.
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:10 pm

In situations where flight(s) can become delayed there is alot airlines can do to improve the way customers feel when its all over. During Memorial Day weekend, for example, Aloha's interisland operation was down a plane or two due to some mechanical breakdowns. Most interisland flights were running a few hours late, but Aloha did the following:
1. Put 737-700s waiting before/between mainland flights in to the interisland operation for a few hours.
2. Brought in one of their pilots' Hawaiian music group and some flight attendants to dance hula and entertain passengers in the terminal.
3. Executives who weren't busy went to the airport to talk to passengers.

The bottom line is that they reacted quickly to a bad situation, on a weekend when they were flying extra flights, which were all full. They communicated well, apologized and got everyone where they were going...eventually.

-Aloha!
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
 
MarkMcCoy
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:22 pm

RDUDDJI:
This is a sad story. As a UA employee and fan, I am saddened by this story.

Mark:
Yeah, well it isn't the only one. UAL has slowly but surely gone to hell in my opinion. I joked with my friends about it actually. I even said that if United were any worse they would be called Delta, but that has become a bigger competition lately. When I am actually on the plane (UAL) and get my bags everything is great, but when I don't, well, it's not so nice.

An associate, who I booked the ticket for, (I) booked a ticket for, had his video camera stolen between BOI and HDN, while en route from BOI to HDN on Jan. 3rd. (it absolutely happened in one of these places, (BOI DEN HDN) so if you know someone that ended up with a nice new $400 videocamera, kick them in the ass, (or provide their name so I can hunt them down Smile Smileor anywhere else for that matter, I was pretty pissed because I booked the ticket, and paid for it too.) Everyone at UAL passed the buck and they continue to do so, as if no one is responsible at all, just find the next person that will tell you that they don't know anything! And that you need to call the next number. Frontier looks better every day! Then again, if Alaska/Horizon went nationwide, we would all have an airline that wasn't complete junk. (I'd take Frontier too!)

I know that whoever there is out there will say that United says not to pack video cameras in your packed baggage, because they say that they are not responsible for it. My guess is that it is because they hire scumbags to transfer the bags and perhaps take whatever they want, especially if it is worth any money.
 
Burkhard
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:18 pm

A similar thing happend to me on American Airlines from MIA to Lima. Due to fog in Lima we had to land in Guayaquil. There we ( 250 pax A300 ) were stored in one room with 50 seats with one ( not serviced ) toilet and NO water or drinks or meal for about 16 hours. Since we were traveling with a little child, we were booked onto a flight than - most of the other paxes still had to wait.

When I complained with AA later, their lawyer wrote me he had seen the flights log book, all was normal and I was lying.

Burkhard
 
jacobin777
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:31 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 45):
A similar thing happend to me on American Airlines from MIA to Lima. Due to fog in Lima we had to land in Guayaquil. There we ( 250 pax A300 ) were stored in one room with 50 seats with one ( not serviced ) toilet and NO water or drinks or meal for about 16 hours. Since we were traveling with a little child, we were booked onto a flight than - most of the other paxes still had to wait.

When I complained with AA later, their lawyer wrote me he had seen the flights log book, all was normal and I was lying.

..hence my previous comment.... Wink

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 32):

...and the same story could be said of NW, AA, CO, B6, WN, etc.......I've heard one too many stories of "AA looses it, again", "CO looses it, again", "NW, looses, again"...etc.....

I wouldn't be surprised to see 1/2 of these complaining pax fly on UA again....
"Up the Irons!"
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:56 am

Quoting MarkMcCoy (Reply 44):
An associate, who I booked the ticket for, (I) booked a ticket for, had his video camera stolen between BOI and HDN, while en route from BOI to HDN on Jan. 3rd. (it absolutely happened in one of these places, (BOI DEN HDN) so if you know someone that ended up with a nice new $400 videocamera, kick them in the ass, (or provide their name so I can hunt them down Smile Smileor anywhere else for that matter, I was pretty pissed because I booked the ticket, and paid for it too.) Everyone at UAL passed the buck and they continue to do so, as if no one is responsible at all, just find the next person that will tell you that they don't know anything! And that you need to call the next number. Frontier looks better every day! Then again, if Alaska/Horizon went nationwide, we would all have an airline that wasn't complete junk. (I'd take Frontier too!)

While that does suck...it wasn't necessarily UA emlpoyees. If the bag arrived with your friend, then it's actually very unlikely a UA employee did it...(unless there was a stoaway in the luggage bin). The reason I say that is because the bag was in transit (i.e. not stationary anywhere long enough for a ramper to randomly select this particular bag and pilfer it). It very possibly could have been the TSA who would've seen that the bag had a video camera when it went through EDS...Plus, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for them to open a bag for inspection and just not put the camera back in it. It would however, be extremely unusual (and suspicious) to see a ramper open a bag on the ramp...

In my experience with theft/pilferage (caused by the airline)...it usually involves bags that are delayed in transit and end up sitting in an office or something, where someone has time to pilfer. Bags in transit are either usually moving or buried in a cart/can somewhere.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
Flighty
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:54 am

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 45):
A similar thing happend to me on American Airlines from MIA to Lima. Due to fog in Lima we had to land in Guayaquil. There we ( 250 pax A300 ) were stored in one room with 50 seats with one ( not serviced ) toilet and NO water or drinks or meal for about 16 hours. Since we were traveling with a little child, we were booked onto a flight than - most of the other paxes still had to wait.

That sounds very difficult. But of course, weather is not AA's fault. In the event of such a diversion due to fog, you are responsible for finding your own food and lodging. Nobody likes to go hungry. Such a delay might last 2 or 3 days and it's up to you to survive. Personally, I always carry cash for unexpected food/lodging costs.

[Edited 2007-06-11 18:56:44]
 
MarkMcCoy
Posts: 8
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:54 am

RDUDDJI:
While that does suck...it wasn't necessarily UA emlpoyees. If the bag arrived with your friend, then it's actually very unlikely a UA employee did it...(unless there was a stoaway in the luggage bin). The reason I say that is because the bag was in transit (i.e. not stationary anywhere long enough for a ramper to randomly select this particular bag and pilfer it). It very possibly could have been the TSA who would've seen that the bag had a video camera when it went through EDS...Plus, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for them to open a bag for inspection and just not put the camera back in it. It would however, be extremely unusual (and suspicious) to see a ramper open a bag on the ramp...

In my experience with theft/pilferage (caused by the airline)...it usually involves bags that are delayed in transit and end up sitting in an office or something, where someone has time to pilfer. Bags in transit are either usually moving or buried in a cart/can somewhere.

Mark:
I didn't factor in the thought that TSA could have messed with things. The bag did end up reaching Hayden on the same flight as he did, so it happened that day, and in one of those places, by someone.

I guess I shouldn't put all the blame on UA, they said not to do what this guy did in the first place, but they weren't very helpful at all with getting anywhere with the subject. I probably should have considered TSA agents when I said "scumbag," too. I didn't think of govt. employees doing such things, but then again, some of the biggest scumbags in the world are in government, (especially ours) so I shouldn't be surprised.
 
plateman
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RE: Chicago Tribune: The Nightmare Of UA 1073

Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:51 am

Really interesting article..thanks for sharing
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