I Think I'm Done; IROPS & Service Nightmare

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by webdes03, Jun 14, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    I've been a long time Continental, and now United flyer. I'm not an extreme revenue generator, but I've held silver or gold status for the last 4-5 years, and last year spent well over the current spend requirement for gold, even though I only flew 62 segments. This has been an epic trip (and not even home yet)...

    Wednesday night, RDU-EWR, booked on the 4pm flight. Started with a 90 minute weather delay. They then put us on the plane where we sat for another 40 minutes while they figured out a route around the storms and got more fuel. Finally pushed back from the gate (now over 2 hours delayed), and found a deicing fault and had to return to the gate.

    Absolute piss poor communication... pilot said he had no idea how long it would be, and we could get off if we wanted. We weren't forced to deplane, but that was the last official status update of the night. Only one agent in RDU to rebook people, no announcements, no updates. Finally the pilot came back up and talked to some people that were crowding the podium, still no announcement. He said they had to fly a part in and it would be 3-4 hours or not at all.

    Given that the podium was 50 deep waiting on one agent, I called the premier desk--who told me they couldn't help me because we hadn't officially deplaned and my ticket still showed me as boarded. She said I had to wait for the agent in Raleigh.

    Finally worked through the line to where I was 6th in line, and the pilot came up and just yelled that we were going, they had fixed it. Boarded everyone who was left, but now had to wait for fuel again. By the time we took off, we were over 5 hours late. Landed at EWR well after midnight, and didn't get to my hotel until 2:30am (leaves one in great condition for a 9am meeting).

    Next comes the trip home (Friday)... boarded, everything showed on time, but we sat there apparently waiting for fuel for over 45 minutes. By the time the fuel came, so had the storm. I have a feeling the crew just didn't want to go... they dicked around for almost an hour, then whoops, it's storming. They deplaned us and claimed we'd reboard in 20 minutes, but then almost right after deplaning they cancelled it and claimed weather so no hotel or anything.

    Again called premier and was offered a flight for SUNDAY... and basically told to figure it out. The "supervisor" I spoke to refused to cover any sort of ground transportation. I offered to go to GSO or even CLT and she said if I chose to change airports then I was on my own. She eventually, reluctantly booked me on a EWR-DCA-RDU flight for today (Saturday), with the second leg on US.

    I just can't trust UA to get me where I'm going reliably anymore. This garbage is happening more and more. There was a 1K in front of me in line that said this is his 4th delay of over 3 hours in 3 weeks. I have 3 trips currently booked with UA, including our europe tour in August. I'm heavily invested in UA, including the credit cards, but I think I'm going to seriously look at AA after these trips.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    This is clearly no longer the United we grew up with. And I say this in sorrow, not anger.
     
  3. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I also feel a regretful sense of melancholy at the demise of what was the best US based airline.
     
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  4. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Sorry but nothing in the OPs post is factual about how UA handled the situation. The RDU flight wasn't cancelled so having one agent to help rebook people, while not the greatest, was SOP. And he/she should have focused on rebooking people who had connections in EWR. It's bad to have a 5 hour delay but once weather turns bad you are going to have issues. ORD and EWR are the worst hubs to have weather at. So the phone agent who couldn't do anything for you was technically right. I think if you were 1K they may have bent the rules a little bit but since the flight wasn't cancelled they aren't going to rebook you.

    For the Friday the 13th flight...you are merely spewing conjecture about the pilots not wanting to fly. There's a lot of work that goes into getting fuel and then a lot of paperwork to document what you got. Then the pilots likely either had to go back and get new clearance because they were badly delayed and the route they wanted out of EWR was shut down or they had to wait for ground to clear them to taxi because of a backup. I would put more weight into this being a EWR-related problem, not a UA-related problem.

    I was in BWI yesterday and attempted to SDC to a badly delayed BWI-EWR flight connecting to the west. The flight was delayed until 330, then 400, then 430, then 500. When I was at the check-in counter I pulled up the radar and could see the storms just to the west of EWR and knew they were going to shut down all routes to EWR for a while. Sure enough they did at 6p. Eventually that BWI-EWR flight just cancelled and it would have stranded me at BWI. I got lucky by keeping my coach BWI-LAX seat. Of course the BWI-LAX flight departed on time but then we sat on the ground for an hour as all routes to the west were shut down again because of storms. We landed in LAX 50 minutes late but good thing those pilots were then flying the plane for my connection.

    Bottom line...sorry to hear about the OPs experience but this surely wouldn't cause someone to leave an airline they are somewhat loyal to.

    -Rob
     
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  5. davef139

    davef139 Gold Member

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    I think OPs biggest frustration is coming from this is a smaller outstation, options tend to be very slim and no close hub.
    Firstly you were flying into some of the worst airspace ever, I am not sure if parts Europe is worse then NYC area, to an airport with limited runway access, in bad weather.
    As for fuel, I know that at my local airport they literally drive a tanker truck up to each aircraft for fueling, so if they are busy already you get put to the end of the line, like departure queues.
    MX delays suck, toppled with WX is even worse. But it is something to live with.
    Now I checked data for Wed.
    Envoy Air 3301(AA) - CANCELLED

    So based off this data, had you booked AA, you would have had your flight canceled (going into LGA) and the next available would have been Thurs at 8am, ultimatly geting you to your meeting late.
    Looking at data for Friday LGA-RDU, AA canceled every flight after 1.30pm and the first flight out Sat.
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I agree, but you nor I know if there have been other "adventures" that caused the OP to feel this way.

    Not to mention, OP infers this is not the first time: "This garbage is happening more and more."

    The part about getting off the plane and re-boarding in 20 minutes comes to me as a flat-out lie from the crew. We've all sat at a gate, for whatever reason, for much longer than 20 minutes before. That was unprofessional on the crew's part.
     
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  7. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Another problem with UA's IRROPS may be the nature of its smaller planes. I would imagine a regional jet that's taking the place of a mainline jet between major domestic cities is more susceptible to crew issues, weather hassles, and fuel mess-ups than its bigger metal peers. With more regionals in the mix than before, it's become easier for these nightmare death spirals to occur.
     
  8. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    I would imagine the crew issues are more significant on mainline, given the contract issues with labor.
     
  9. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Irrops is bad across the board mainline and UAx on UA is anyone going to debate this? I had numerous MX,WX and ATC cancellations and I think OP points and complaints are valid ones.. UA picks their express contracts right? CommutAir and ExpressJet for example among the worst of he carriers they have IMO and Republic not much better after they picked up the Q400s from Colgan a couple years back.

    I've also had a Issues just yesterday with MX cancel on UA 49 (BOM-EWR) and it took over a hour and half to get alternate acceptable transport back to IAD. Now the 1k agent to be fair did everything she could and more and I applaud her efforts truly but United reliability have gone to horribly wrong this year alone --mainline and express. And it seems UA often "blocks" agents when trying to do creative routing, etc at least in my opinion.

    I've flown over 90k PQMs miles so far this past 6 months. In all my flying the past 6 months have been my worst flying ever in my history of being a elite FF and while WX takes play into that too... UA is irrops broken bottom line and they need to improve this above all. You shouldn't need to have agents fight a system that UA has to get alternate travel options, it should be easier and more straightforward and UA needs to let the agents make decisions on the individual cases.


    UA needs to fix their IRROPS handling and empower their agents. This is nothing new and has been echoed the past several years since the merger. When will they finally catch up and make it good? I think we all agree they should be fixing this instead of spending time on other non flight transportation elements.

    They also need to do data analysis and fix flight schedules and timing when for example EWR is at its worst for ATC. I have to believe they get all this data. And they have to makes changes to some horrible UAx carriers especially CommutAir.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
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  10. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    Let's be clear here. For starters, I spent 4 years working as an above/below wing lead at a cross-trained DL station, so I know a thing or two about what it takes to get an aircraft out; these aren't just observations from someone who just happens to fly a lot and thinks they know the system. They're observations from someone who has done the job and can instantly spot things most people would ignore, so before you start saying nothing I say is factual, let me just point out that you weren't there. I appreciate everyone's viewpoint, but don't start your post saying nothing I say is factual. You don't know me any better than I know you.

    My beef of the flight on the 11th is the complete and utter lack of communication. UA can't help the weather, but the weather was only 90 minutes of our 5+ hour delay. There's no excuse when the pilot tells passengers "feel free to get off the plane" then 90 minutes goes by without an update. Yes the pilot is sitting on the aircraft talking to maintenance and dispatch trying to solve the problem. But there was not a single PA announcement after the initial discovery of the problem. Tied to that is that the pilot said the only way to fix the problem was to fly the part in on the next EWR-RDU flight, and he said "3-4 hour delay, if we go at all". Despite that, UA just kept adding 20 minutes to the departure time, every 20 minutes. I don't care who you are, it's impossible to plan an alternate or make a decision if you're not honest about the delay. Had they posted a departure time of 11:30PM, we would have just cancelled our trip or rebooked to a morning flight, but instead they strung everyone along with text message notifications every 20 minutes. Zero updates from the podium. When they did finally solve the mechanical issue, they put us on the plane, having not yet sorted out a route, recalculated fuel load, or added additional fuel, so we again sat there for another 40 minutes. I also wholeheartedly disagree with the way the crew and gate agent handled it. If maintenance told them it would be 3-4 hours, why did they simply "give us the option" to get off, instead of officially deplaning the aircraft. If they had deplaned us, we could have been helped by the premier desk (I would have happily taken a 6AM DL or US flight to LGA, rather than a midnight flight to EWR plus the time to get to the rental car center with a broken airtrain, and a 40+ minute drive to our hotel in Jersey). Reboarding was a complete farce because they never scanned us off of the aircraft and had no idea who had gotten off. She told us to just leave our paper boarding passes with her, but on a flight filled with business people everyone had mobile boarding passes; so she proceeded to tear off a sheet of paper and told everyone to pass it around and write your name/seat number on it so she knew who we were. I applaud her for finding a fix that didn't further delay us, but find it hard to believe there isn't a process/procedure for deplaning/reboarding that could have avoided the whole fiasco.

    For the flight on the 13th, you just had to see how slow the crew was working. It was clear to me that they weren't in any hurry to get out before the storm. Even as everyone's extreme weather alerts were going off on their phone, they still were just chilling out, standing in the galley chatting, and saying they were waiting for a fuel truck. To sit there for an hour, have the pilots claim it was all a delay in fueling, then have it cancel due to ATC so that UA doesn't have to cover cab fare, hotel, etc. is BS in my opinion. I expect nothing less though; when I worked at DL there was a published rule to blame everything you could on weather to avoid paying passenger expenses. Even if it was fog delaying a morning departure 6 hours ago; if you could tie that to your delay then you did.

    The supervisor I spoke to at the premier desk didn't care at all, she was just moving through call volume. Even after the 90 minute weather delay and 3.5 hour maintenance delay from 2 days ago, I expected a little latitude, in that maybe she'd book me on a flight to CLT or GSO and at least offer a travel credit or something to offset a cab fare (if not covering the fare). She was completely reluctant to do anything and until I forced the issue 4 times, didn't want to book me on another airline. She kept saying "the next UA flight is Sunday evening (2 days away)". I had to ask four times to consider an alternate airline; then she (reluctantly) booked EWR-DCA (UA) and DCA-RDU (US).

    This entire (epic) experience underscores two things for me...

    1. The operational reliability (at least of the express carriers) is a joke. Even our rebooked EWR-DCA flight on the 14th had a 40 minute maintenance delay. Though I noticed in checking the flight status that they coded it as a customer service delay. Ironic since there were mechanics working on it when we boarded, and the captain announced it as a maintenance delay. The originator for that flight was delayed in the morning due to a crew shortage, and there was even a captain on that flight to DCA deadheading to operate a DCA-CLE flight that was an hour late waiting for a crew (literally sitting there waiting for him). Now things happen, I get that. Crews get sick, things happen (uncontrollable things), and they probably had crews displaced all over the place from the mess the night before, but based on my recent experience of delays and flight performance (not just this trip), this is a trend. I believe the DOT numbers back that statement up. The gentleman in front of me at the podium for our flight on the 13th said this was his 4th delay of 3+ hours in 3 weeks (2x mechanical and 2x weather). Weather I'll give a pass at, but even without the weather issues I still experienced 2 mechanical delays out of 3 flights. As a business traveler I don't know how UA can expect to be first choice for business travelers if they can't get people where they're going in a reasonable amount of time. US was just as impacted by the weather, but not only did our DCA-RDU flight leave bang on time, it left with a friendly crew. Something I didn't experience with UA in 3 days.

    2. The service inconsistencies are alive and well, and despite the promo videos in my opinion the standards have slipped. There's been a lot of banter about legacy UA vs. legacy CO over the years, but I can honestly say that as a CO flyer, the service was far more consistent, and much friendlier. Integrating a workforce is tough, and changing people's ways (especially if they've been there for 30 years) is tough, but I'm sorry, they just have to do better. I asked the same question to @united on Twitter, the premier desk, and the gate agent and got three different answers. There doesn't seem to be the feeling of togetherness or teamwork that I experienced as a CO flyer, or the general sense of caring about the customer. I'm only Gold. I don't expect someone to roll out a red carpet for me, but I don't expect to have to ask 4 times to look at an alternate airline if you're telling me that you can't get me home until 2 days from now. That's just not how this business should work.

    Loyalty is something that's earned, not just given. I've been a CO/UA elite for 4 years, and I'm heavily invested (two UA branded CC's) and a large balance of miles. Changing carriers would have a big personal impact on me. That said, airline loyalty from me is based on two things... consistency, and reliability. This is the same for hotels; why would you stay at an aloft hotel in a city you've never been to before? Because you know what you're going to get, you know you'll be met with a smile, and you know it will be clean and comfortable. UA doesn't seem to get this. There's service inconsistencies everywhere, and we're far enough into the merger now that I don't think we should all give them a free pass based on the "we're still merging" argument. I hate comparing UA to DL, but since UA likes to copy DL, they need to understand that the hard product isn't as good. An example? Those new seats on the A320s are horrible; like sitting on plywood for a 5 hour transcon. I don't have many complaints with the inflight service (short of the new IFE that assumes everyone has a device with a piece of fruit on it), but the above wing customer service is both inconsistent and subpar. This isn't an industry for followers, it's an industry for leaders, and I haven't seen anything come out of the post-merger UA that's new or innovative. I use my work travel as a gateway to personal travel. Work expense dollars turn into miles, work trips turn into status. We've got a trip to TXL, MUC and VIE booked in J for this summer, and we're going to LHR for a wedding on miles mid-next year. But that said, my loyalty to UA has a cost to me too... this week alone it was 34 hours of lost productivity. Perhaps what I spend to maintain this relationship with UA just isn't worth the reward.

    Is this really just me thinking this? There's been many on this forum complaining about service inconsistencies, the 1K in front of me with his 4 3+ hour delays seemed to feel the same way...

    I'll be the most loyal person in the world... recommend your services, shout your name from the rooftops, and be right there with you every step of the way... until cost of that relationship outweighs the value.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  11. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    well said! After 2mm bis on UA and 20ish years as 1k - all out of my own pocket I left and still am amazed at how well I am treated at AA.
    Recently had to fly UA as part of an award (am only burning my miles) when I couldn't book a partner and was reminded how terrible the service and hard product are (international first and domestic coach).
     
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  12. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    It's my humble opinion that those who are critical of webdes03 for making a decision based on something perceived to be possible on any airline - You are missing the point.

    After the thorough explanation of how and why the situation was deemed to be severely mishandled, the decision to leave is even stronger, but even if it were not, the "last straw" for many customers in making a decision to change allegiance can be something very small. This is clearly something that has built up over a period of time.

    What this thread illustrates to me, as the owner of a service based business, is just how important it is to get the little things right day in and day out. By handling things professionally, courteously and fairly, built up resentments among customers can be avoided. This is what UA is doing dreadfully wrong these days. The arrogance and tone deafness illustrated by UA's senior management is contributing significantly to the PR problems they are having. Combined, it's a textbook case of how NOT to run a business that is dependent on keeping customers satisfied.

    Possibly most insulting was the build up of promotions by Smisek promising changes we are going to like. In fairness, there have been a couple, but they have been outnumbered by a minimum of 10 to 1 by changes we generally dislike. Sure there are some who have benefited without significant negative impact, but they are in the distinct minority of UA pax.

    I read a lot (too much, really) of comments from UA FFers, and I don't recall seeing anything positive about Jeff Smisek in a very long time. That his face is still on the pre-flight videos is just a reminder to us of who is urinating in our Cheerios. I can't stand the sight of him, and seeing him in my face so often is enough to make me want to change alone!

    webdes03 isn't leaving UA because of the dreadful mishandling of his irrops on this occasion. He is leaving because it has become so common. To top it off, nobody is listening. It's a decision that is personal and needs no justification, but it IS justified. I just hope for all of our sakes that we see a change in the landscape soon. With only three majors standing who serve both domestic and international travel, we have entered the era that anti-trust law was originally designed to prevent. This is going to get worse before it gets better, no matter what AA does post merger pains.
     
  13. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Wow .. so sad to see posts like that here. Why do people feel the need to do that here?

    Completely unnecessary to refer to the OP in a derogatory manner like that.


    -David
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  14. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    When I was on the phone with the "supervisor", I made a comment about UA's decline in reliability and that I was considering taking my business elsewhere. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the right place or the right time to play that card, as I'm sure she just thought I was trying to use future business as leverage to get a better resolution to the problem at hand and it just went in one ear and out the other. What made a little piece of me die inside though was her response. She said something to the effect of "well there's not a ton of choices anymore anyway, you'd only be able to pick from Delta or American". Her tone implied that of the three majors UA had no competition and she couldn't see why I would want to even consider the others. If that delusional thinking is representative of United as a whole, then we don't stand a chance. They have to recognize the gaps (in terms of operational performance, customer service, and hard product), or they'll be eaten alive. DL is already exceeding UA in almost every category, and if UA isn't careful AA is going to sneak right up on them too. I would consider DL, but reluctantly. I saw a lot of things when I worked there that I didn't agree with. That said, it was a few years ago and I'm sure much has changed, it just wouldn't be my first choice.

    Yesterday we got an automated email from UA apologizing for the maintenance delay on the 11th and offering 7000 miles or $150 travel credit as compensation. Ironically, the guy I was traveling with (on the same record as me) got the same email but the offer was only for 3500 miles or $75. Granted I am UA Gold and he doesn't hold a status with UA (he's DL Gold). He was pretty miffed when I mentioned my email and realized UA had offered him half. The entire demise of UA is sad. I grew up traveling to the UK to see family in the summer, and got used to the hard product of European airlines, like VS. Even innovative operations like VS have been caught up by the competition in a lot of ways, but are still in many areas leaps and bounds ahead of US based operations. Whether you're a legacy CO flyer like myself, or a legacy UA flyer, it's still sad to see such a well known and historical brand fail so miserably at such basic things like friendly customer service.
     
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  15. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Sorry you feel I was being derogatory. Definitely not my intention nor do I think I was.

    -Rob
     
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  16. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    Absolutely agree, 100%.

    It's always hard to distinguish in posts on a forum whether people are having a "me to" syndrome (meaning you read all the negative stuff about UA and personalize it as your own problems) or experiencing the problems first hand. Your OP alone would probably not cause you or anyone to leave an airline but when you add in all the other stuff then it's quite clear the game has changed. I, of course, meant no disrespect in my post and I hope none was conveyed. But we're getting the bigger picture here now.

    Good luck at whatever airline you land at if you decide to become loyal elsewhere. Personally I think the game is over for many and all the airlines are in the same boat. I was loyal at DL for years and moved to CO/UA. Been loyal here for years. Every year I wonder "why?" I will again next year when I earn half the award miles for the same amount of flying based on the new mileage earning rules.

    -Rob
     
  17. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    well when you call someone a liar (and weren't even there) then I see how people would get mad at that
     
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  18. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    You weren't, IMO.
     
  19. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Maybe you didn't intend to do it, but the first line of your reply is basically calling the other person a liar. At least that's how I took it. You used the term "nothing factual", but it's basically the same thing, isn't it? It's just a nicer way of saying it. Then later you said he was "spewing conjecture". If that's not derogatory, what is? Just because you used nice words to do it doesn't mean it isn't derogatory.

    I don't want to dwell on it, but I don't see any other way to interpret it. You weren't there, and clearly the OP was rather frustrated based on this and prior experiences, and clearly suffered a very long delay getting to his destination this day and on several previous trips. Who hasn't been there when there's been one of those mx rolling delays or a rolling delay due to inbound a/c? It's very frustrating. And then the GAs made the decision to not offload everybody, making it impossible to get protected on different flights.

    Ripping a post apart line by line is sport somewhere else, people seem to look forward to it. I hope that doesn't become the standard here.

    -David
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  20. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    So everything posted here must be taken as true? :rolleyes:
     
  21. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    No, and everyone's opinion is welcome. It'd just be nice if we weren't calling each other a liar.
     
  22. TravelerRob
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    TravelerRob Silver Member

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    I never called the OP a liar. Read my post. I'm sure the OP is a nice guy.

    But when the OP makes comments about the pilots not wanting to fly which is why they took so long to do what they did that's pure conjecture. It's not a nice term. It's an actual term. The OP's feelings do not make it fact on behalf of the airline.

    Again, we are dwelling on something that people are reading into via a forum. As always, one should never read sarcasm or emotion into online content or even text messages - bound to get someone in trouble. When a sentence starts with "I feel" then that's pure emotion.

    The whole point of this thread is how the OP doesn't want to fly United anymore. My counter point was this one experience of a bad week traveling (in summer no less) I don't think would be enough to cause anyone who is loyal to stop flying with the airline. AA, who the OP wants to go check out, will run into the same issues at some point as well. So really my bottom line remains the same as my original post - it stinks to hear stories like this but we all go through it and we all deal with it differently.

    Happy flying.

    -Rob
     
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  23. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'm really not trying to take a role of Defender for everyone being bashed in these threads, but it's funny that I see two cases her that are definitely worthy of comment. The first was for webdes03, and that's posted above.

    Written communication, with the onset of more and more ways that we communicate non-verbally via the internet, texts, Skype chats, etc., are becoming the source of more misunderstandings than I think I've seen in all of my 56 years of life. It is so easy to write something that doesn't carry the intended message that it's causing breakups, resentments, disagreements and even divorces.

    I've been around Milepoint long enough to see that TravelrRob isn't a habitual instigator. He has written a pretty humble apology followed by a post of support, so I'm inclined to take him at his word that his intentions were different than they were perceived.

    Perhaps I've developed a thicker skin as a participant on TOBB, but this place feels like an oasis to me after going over there. I wouldn't even go there if we had more participation here, and I hope that we see more of it as time goes on. Part of keeping this place friendly requires a careful choice of words by those who post and a willingness to forgive by those who feel offended. That may not always be deserved, but it does seem to be the case here.

    I really enjoy being here, and I read many posts that others do, too. As time goes on, I am absolutely certain that I will unintentionally offend someone. I sure hope I'm not doing so as I type right now! ;)
     
  24. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    My comment was more to LETTERBOY who seems to think that what TravelerRob originally wrote initially was completely acceptable and doesn't see anything wrong with it. I think TravelerRob's reply/apology was perfectly acceptable. I only took offence to the claim that nothing I said was factual, and he's since posted much nicer things. In his defense, I punched out the first reply quickly and didn't really include all of the details. I think the followup makes the whole situation a lot clearer. Sometimes written posts can be very easily the source of misunderstandings... there's no tone in plain words, especially if you don't know the person writing them or have a previous relationship where you can poke a jab or two and have it not be offensive.

    All airlines have bad days... I don't care if it's UA, DL, AA, etc. The point to the post, while it was written in the heat of the moment of utter pisseyness, was really that in all of my years of flying, the last six months with United has been worse than any other time.

    Take out of it the weather delays of summer. I've still personally had a huge percentage of maintenance delays, grumpy customer service, and a huge lack of standardization of processes between stations. What I think got lost in the back and forth of this post was that the initial 5 hour delay was initially a 90 minute weather delay. The mechanical issue was found after that. When a pilot says it's going to take 3-4 hours to fix, or maybe not be fixable at all. Why wouldn't you officially deplane the aircraft. The fact that we had to board by writing our name/seat number on a piece of paper should underscore my entire point about following procedures. Does United not have a documented procedure for deplaning and reboarding? If I'd chosen an early AM flight to LGA or JFK instead of sitting around for 4 hours, that should have been a choice, but since we were never officially deplaned it wasn't an option. Tie that to the fact that there wasn't a single PA or status update made in a nearly 4 hour period is pretty sad. It was literally passengers saying "well that guy over there said he overheard this"... everyone was guessing... and much of the frustration and aggravation probably could have been cured with a simple announcement once in a while.

    I think the weather cancellation on the flight home was aggravated by the obvious casual attitude of the crew. When the crew says they're going to deplane, but reboard in 20 minutes once they've found someone to fuel the aircraft and they know there's weather coming in, it's obvious to me that they didn't want to go. Yes it's conjecture... the pilot didn't say "I don't want to fly", but they all spent more time standing in the galley chatting than they did working on paperwork, or working the radio. They knew all well that if they deplaned us before the storm started we likely wouldn't be going. If they'd had said "there's a storm on the field, we'll deplane you until it passes through" that'd be one thing, but the communication was downright deceptive. Yes that's my opinion.

    I also think it's important to note that these issues (at least for me) are consistently with the regional carriers. I've made 4 roundtrips this year RDU-SFO, 3 on a sCO crewed 737 and one on a sUA crewed A320. All of those trips were great, except for those horrible new Y seats on the A320's. That said, I still hold UA accountable for them. It's UA that answers the phone when you call, and it's UA that chooses to do business with and selects the regional operators. Operational reliability needs to be managed better, and higher standards enforced.
     
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  25. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    No, you have to read between the lines sometimes.

    Personally, I don't think there's any reason not to believe the account of the chain of events, but the reasons for the actions of the crew and GAs were clearly conjecture by somebody that was very frustrated at the time. I'm sure we've all been there.

    -David
     
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