Worst Airline Screw Up Ever?

Aug 13th, 2008, 02:50 PM
  #1  
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Worst Airline Screw Up Ever?

If true, United Airlines sure sucks.

http://tinyurl.com/5n387o
RBCal is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 07:33 AM
  #2  
 
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It definitely sucks, but I would think they would've made something work - even if it meant flying to different islands. Island hoppers are cheap enough to do it. If it were just a vacation, then I would understand taking the refund and just being upset about it all. But with planning the trip to see a dying family member - I would've taken whatever I could get then make it work from there.
lakeside77 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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I have my own UA story (nothing like this one), as I am sure many others do too.
I do the only thing I can - support an airline that treats me well (and secretly hope they go under). However, that is not the answer either,as the execs would do just fine - it would be the rank and file that would suffer.
Paulchili is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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But keep in mind that this is a columnist writing a column with no obligation to tell the whole story. Columnist general have a view point so cannot be sure that the story is complete. It sounds bad but would like to hear the whole story.
fmpden is offline  
Aug 14th, 2008, 12:56 PM
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clarification:
"and secretly hope they go under" - the bad guys, that is.
Paulchili is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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I hope that the $30 million in travel expenses she controls for the Navy can be pulled away from UA.

I had something similar (but not a fraction as bad) happen a few years ago on Delta. My sister and I were flying up north to be by our father's side as he died. Our outbound flight was a few minutes late, so we told our stewardess the situation and she said she'd help us make our connecting flight. We arrived in Salt Lake City 10 minutes before our connecting flight was set to depart, and they still didn't wait for us because they had to have an "on-time departure."

I still fly Delta, but I'm pretty sure the Delta representative I screamed at lost a few years off of his life. (Btw, we made it to my father's side in the nick of time.)
slangevar is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 01:38 PM
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If the person in the article actually did control $30 million in annual air travel spend, she would have made one phone call to the key account manager assigned to her at United and ended up on her original flights, probably upgraded to first class for her troubles.

If the article's facts are otherwise correct, that is stunningly shabby customer service by United. I seem to recall another thread about a flight to DEN that was diverted to a small town hundreds of miles away due to a snowstorm and the plane left the next day WITHOUT its passengers and flew off to another airport. Amazing what they get away with...
Andre is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Found the other story - it was actually 2 flights(!), the planes were diverted to Cheyenne, Wyoming:

http://tinyurl.com/6jmb2q

So it was "only" just over 100 miles to Denver... still unbelievable!
Andre is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Boy do I feel for her. I too had a similar, but not nearly as bad, incident happen to me.

I tried to check in online the night before for a flight ultimately ending in Frankfurt, Germany (after 2 domestic connections). We had gotten an incredible deal, even by 2006 standards - $451 round trip, all in, from OKC.

When we arrived at the airport in the morning, my husband and daughter were given seats, but not me. They were screamed at by the gate agent to 'board the plane NOW'. DH refused to sit down in the plane until he was assured that if I were not given a seat, he'd be allowed to de-plane. Well guess what? They took off, obviously without me.

Lots of problems ensued but I did end up in Germany a day late. By the way, the offending airline was NWA.

I would be curious to know what compensation was issued to the family involved. I believe I'd be on the phone with them constantly until something satisfactory was offered. Perhaps lots of miles which could be used on partner airlines.

H
phieaglefan is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Why am I not shocked that the airlines "popping up" here are UA & NW. Not that others are that much better, it's just that these 2 are some of the worst.
To quote someone from FT - "I would rather walk or swimm than fly United". You can add NW to that list for me.
Paulchili is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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If the person in the article actually did control $30 million in annual air travel spend, she would have made one phone call to the key account manager assigned to her at United and ended up on her original flights, probably upgraded to first class for her troubles.
luv2cthings is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Sorry, accidentally hit post too soon.

<If the person in the article actually did control $30 million in annual air travel spend, she would have made one phone call to the key account manager assigned to her at United and ended up on her original flights, probably upgraded to first class for her troubles.>

Actually, the Navy employee would have been risking her job if she called the account manager as you suggest. In the private sector, probably no problem, but as a government employee, big problem. She would have had no business contacting the account manager about anything except the Navy account. And an upgrade to first class, even more trouble.
luv2cthings is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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luv2cthings,

That's an interesting point. While I can see how an upgrade might be construed as some sort of attempted bribery or even extortion in the event it were requested by the goverment employee, I cannot imagine that asking the account manager to ensure that the airline honors its original contract made at arm's length could in any way infringe on navy regulations.

BTW, AFAIK bribery/kickbacks to influence an employee in the private sector are a form of embezzlement and are also a criminal offense.

But then I'm not a lawyer...
Andre is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Andre, I didn't mean to imply that a phone call to the account manager would be a criminal offense, and I don't know Navy policies first hand. But at my agency, I believe such a phone call would violate our ethics policy. In reading the part of your post that I quoted, it seems to me that you were making clear your assumption that the Navy employee would have ended up on her original flights, probably upgraded to first class for her troubles, purely because of her business relationship with the airline.

And, accepting your hypothetical first class upgrade would unquestionnably cross the ethics line for a government employee who does business for the government with the airline.
luv2cthings is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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I'm wondering. If the trip were for the chance for the grown children to see their father who "was in a hospice dying of cancer", why did they make reservations for the 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom beach house a YEAR before the trip.

Seems to me if they were concerned about seeing the father before he died, they wouldn't have arranged for a trip a year away. How did they know last year that this man would be around this year if he was dying of cancer? If you were wanting to see someone who was "in a hospice dying", wouldn't you be making the trip as soon as possible rather than next year?

I'd really like to hear the rest of this story...
toedtoes is offline  

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