CO521 - EWR>RDU - Insane Cascading Delay

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by dotorg, Jun 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    Last night, I was booked on CO521. When I got to the gate, there was another flight closing out. The gate agent announced that our flight was delayed from 8:59 till 11:50 because we didn't have a pilot. Then, she packed up and left. It was no longer her problem.

    The plane had been brought over and was sitting at the gate.

    Different gate agents arrived, told us that pilots from an international trip were coming, but they had to clear customs in Terminal B. Once they arrived, one of the FAs refused to fly, causing us to have to wait again while they found a replacement FA.

    Then, finally, we board the aircraft. Only to be told that there was a leak noticed during the prefilght and we would be holding for 30 minutes for it to be checked. Then, we were told we'd wait for an hour for the part.

    Once they got the part, they realized it couldn't be fixed and we needed to change planes. So we all got off and moved to another one.

    When we arrived at RDU, the terminal was locked up tight. We couldn't find an open exit and most of the services (rental cars, etc) were shut down for the night.

    During the entire experience, nobody took the time to make reasonable updates or announcements about the status. I'm still shocked that there weren't any pilots available at EWR. I know they make new FAs camp out at the airport in the event they are needed, do they not do the same thing with pilots?

    Compensation offered? $7 snack voucher, a drink coupon and 10% off a future flight.
     
  2. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    That sounds like an awful day for you.
    At the very least, they should have comped a hotel and organized / paid for taxis for everyone.
     
  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Sounds like the US Airways RDU experience that someone else posted recently.

    Not much you could do on your end, with RDU being basically shut off after hours. I'd suggest next time you hear that, start making contingency plans immediately, because you can't count on the airlines. On that other thread people were eventually bused out in the morning, so I'm not sure if your experience was better or worse. :)

    Either way, the compensation is ridiculous for it not being weather related. I wouldn't stop complaining until someone apologized profusely and provided proper compensation.
     
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  4. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Continental will just send the OP 4,000 Miles at most or $50 if they aren't OnePass Elite.
     
  5. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Its worth sending in an intelligent/non confrontational email to their Customer svc center. My wife had a negative experience with them closing the gate when she was literally 20 ft from the door telling them to hold the door. Got a nice reply saying that a supervisor would talk to the employee (so they say), but did get $200 voucher.
     
  6. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    I actually just sent an email in response to one from a Customer Service Manager. I called the PPlat desk to complain when we did the aircraft swap - They asked that I email but were willing to forward my complaints.

    I went out of my way to fly CO on this trip (and the week before). Like many other corporate travelers, I must ensure my travel remains within company policy. When I was assigned to a project in RDU that will require me to travel back and forth over several weeks, I immediately noticed that CO’s fares from NYC to RDU were significantly higher than those of its competitors. For example, leaving next Sunday and returning on Thursday, Delta prices at $286, Jet Blue at $291 and US Air at $311. Continental prices the same flights from EWR at $992. Obviously, I cannot choose Continental due to the significant rate differential.

    If I am willing to waste a few hours of my own time, though, I can add an Amtrak leg to and from Philadelphia (getting there and back from NYC on NJ Transit and SEPTA) and reduce the price to $286.50. By doing that, I can fly Continental and still remain within company policy.

    After this experience, though, I don't think I'll be pushing to take the CO flight. I'll likely just take the US Air or JetBlue one.
     
  7. 2wheels

    2wheels Silver Member

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    This is about the same experience I had last year with CO. Kept pushing stuff back, kept pushing stuff back, etc. Finally got to my destination about 12 hours late, and when I had emailed CO about compensation, was told 'sorry, but we got you there, didn't we?'

    I avoid CO as much as I can, but I don't know what it would be like now that I am Plat there after a 1K match.
     
  8. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    To the last two posters--it's ridiculous to say you're never going to fly an airline (any airline, not CO specific) based on a one time experience.
     
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  9. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    Of course. There will be times where I will continue to choose CO.

    But, will I go out of my way to choose them right now? No. I fly a lot to DEL. I am responsible for other international travel for co-workers. After I did the trip back from DEL having paid the absolute highest price possible for a last-minute BusinessFirst seat in a broken chair covered in stinky food (thanks, clumsy FA) only to be offered a "last and final offer" of 10k miles, I started experimenting with other airlines for that trip. I've been happy. Even if I have to connect somewhere instead of taking the nonstop.

    This experience makes me even less likely to go out of my way to choose CO. Next week, when I have to come back to RDU, I will probably be flying on JetBlue or US Air.
     
  10. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    I know it hurts to hear this...but I have had the same chitty things happen to me on the following airlines:
    • Continental
    • United
    • Delta
    • American
    • US Air
    • Southwest
    • Northwest
    • Lufthansa
    • British
    Does it make me stop flying these airlines? No. Do I wish for their rapid demise during a 5 hour mx and crew delay in a hub? yes.

    My point is, airlines are machines, and their employees are people. Things happen, and there's a reason it is called a rainy day situation. Nobody can 100% prepare for a worst case scenario (not having enough reserve crew) by nature of a worst case scenario. Should they keep 2 maybe 3 crews in EWR reserve to protect themselves in IRROPS? Yes. It is entirely possible that all of the reservists were working!

    CO does really slip up as far as compensation goes. But, you are a PPlat...so talk to We (possibly dont) Care and see what they'll give you. Just as a guideline, I'd expect $150 voucher or 20,000 miles, and hope for $500. You'll probably land somewhere on the lower side but from a negotiation standpoint I would certainly aim high. Tell a sob story about how since you got in so late, your entire day was a waste, you had to reschedule meetings to the following day, extending your trip etc and it was a day of lost revenue for you.
     
  11. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    Exactly. I expect that some form of compensation will be offered. That's ok.

    I'm not going to avoid flying on CO. But, I'm not going out of my way to do it anymore. They haven't lost all of my business, but they have lost my loyalty.

    For instance:

    • My family lives near JAN. I take a longer trip on CO because I can generally get upgraded on the LGA>EWR leg, but the change from ExpressJet (ERJ) to Colgan (Q400) for the IAH>JAN leg (meaning the loss of the single-seat A row and a noisier, bumpier ride where I can't use my kindle since they never seem to let us turn on electronics) will mean I make my decision based on timing and price, rather than simply choosing CO.
    • I don't use CO for all of my international traveling (or for co-workers and clients). BusinessFirst is generally nice and the nonstop EWR>DEL flight is somewhat convenient. I won't take the AI flight, but for about the same price, I can take Emirates through DXB, or American through ORD, or any of the choices that stop in Europe.
    • I won't choose them for RDU. As evidenced by their pricing, they don't really want to fly there anyway. US or Delta is a more logical choice, but I went with CO (even jumped through some hoops to make it happen) because of loyalty.
     
  12. dotorg
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    dotorg Silver Member

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    Just as I finished that post, someone from CO called me. They were responding to my tweets about the flight.

    Everyone on the flight is getting a letter offering them 500 miles. After talking with her and explaining the issues I had (as well as taking the train to/from ZFV to get this flight) she is also offering me a $100 voucher. It's stingy, but that is to be expected from CO.

    It was nice that they called, though. Would strongly suggest tweeting dissatisfaction in the future, it seems they pay attention.
     
  13. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    O/T,....but I suggest you consider 9W for EWR / JFK - DEL (Via BRU). In flight product will blow your mind.

    I will admit that I have flown 9W more on Domestic India trips (and a couple of India-SIN trips). They are great even in Y.
    I have flown EK to JFK...awesome inflight service as well (I recently status matched with them). I am seriously considering EK ....because they have 3 DXB-MAA-DXB flights per day, and two JFK-DXB-JFK flights in a day.
     

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