Smisek Sighting

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by KenInEscazu, Aug 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I was walking through Terminal C at IAH today with my hair on fire about my now 6 week old case of two destroyed bags that have yet to be replaced. I see this guy wearing a nice suit walking away from a couple of what appeared to be building maintenance workers, and I thought, "Wow.. That guy looks a lot like Smisek." (Yeah... I know... IAH-United-Smisek... I should have connected the dots a lot faster.)

    As I continued toward the Customer Disservice Desk to be treated more rudely than I can ever recall by any employee of either UA or CO, I kept thinking, "That WAS Smisek." I did as thorough a search to find him again as time would permit, as I keep getting the same answer from everyone in the company. There is only ONE person who can help me with the replacement of my destroyed bags, and he is some gate agent, ticket agent, baggage claim handling multi-tasker at DFW who will NOT return my calls. I figured that maybe, just MAYbe, Smisek could make a decision to help me get some luggage.

    Probably a good thing that I couldn't find him, as I was so angry that I may have said something I would have regretted, lost my MP account and been banned from the airport. I went to both Chicago departure gates, figuring that was his most likely destination, but not one employee would confirm or deny his presence on those flights (although thew two maintenance guys did confirm that it was indeed Smisek that they were speaking to earlier).

    I'm going to buy new luggage in the morning and send UA the bill. I'm also going to file a DOT complaint that will define the runaround I have received, along with conflicting instructions, absence of follow-through from those who said they would help, etc. I'm usually much quicker on my feet than I was today, and now I can only imagine what I might have said to confront him about this and the other laundry list of legitimate, time consuming, costly errors that his company has cost me this year without losing my normally professional, courteous demeanor. What are the odds of having THIS opportunity cross my path again? ::heavy sigh::
     
  2. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Maybe just as well that you couldn't find him, hate to see a nice guy like you in jail:D

    Are u 1k? I've had limited success calling customer relations (when they destroyed a bag on the FIRST trip I had ever used it), but it was not a fun experience.

    I'm not sure it's fair but I've considered just getting my luggage at costco b/c they have a no questions asked return policy - in fact I asked the manager if this included airline damage and they said yes, but I'm not clear that I'd feel this was an okay moral thing to do.

    If it's any consolation - I ran into a gent a few months ago while waiting for a baggage (dis)service person who said he was pulling his large co. account due to multiple problems, including them destroying his Tumi luggage. I had the feeling he was for real - that's the only way UA is going to get the message.
     
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  3. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    United keeps replacement bags at the luggage offices at key airports. The UA tore up my bag on my recent trip and I got a netbags replacement in under 15 minutes.
     
  4. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    If they had destroyed my Tumi luggage, then claimed their "liability limits" that they pulled on this occasion, I might have kicked the guys butt for just looking like Smisek. I use Tumi carry-ons, but it makes me nervous even when they make me gate check one.

    I would have already pulled my business if I saw a decent alternative. My company may be small, but it's us small guys that add up to filling planes. Where else would I go? I live in Costa Rica, make many trips back and forth to the U.S. and then domestically within the U.S., plus hop around within Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia a lot.

    The one thing they have going for them that is powerful in my view is that the majority of their employees are really good people who try (key word) to take care of the customer they way they did before the monster was created. I wonder how long it will take to see their enthusiasm fade into history as they try and fail every day because of their hands being tied behind their backs.
     
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  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    NetBags (Rynn's Luggage) sent my replacement bags to LGA where I was to pick them up last Friday. LGA lost them. They were specialty wheeled duffels. Not something they would normally have on hand in stock.
     
  6. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I can confirm Smisek was indeed on one of the flights to Chicago this afternoon Ken, Although he would have probably told you to send him an e-mail and he'd let one of his executive assistants take care of the issue.
     
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  7. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Yeah... That's probably where I would have flipped. The last "executive assistant" of his who called me promised a phone call the next day to resolve or better define the reasons for the policies that led to my complaint. That was months ago. The call never came.

    I would be interested to know if there are statistics on how many unresolved complaints are currently in the queue at UA. The numbers are probably staggering. What's more, I don't believe I have ever written directly to a CEO about a problem with any company prior to this year. It is even rare that I feel the need to write to any level of management, as most companies try to resolve their customers' legitimate issues promptly and satisfactorily.

    The last time I wrote to an airline official directly was in 2009. That was AA, and their response (or lack thereof, rather) caused me to switch to UA.

    While almost all of us here have acknowledged the difficulty this enormous merger, I get the feeling that most of us are rational, reasonable people who would be accepting of the challenges that come with the territory. They have, however, exceeded what I consider to be "expected inconveniences," and done so with an attitude of arrogance and lack of regard for our time, energy and money. In my case, both United and I would have been far better off if they had me buy replacement bags and send them the bill. They couldn't have saved enough money on those two bags to offset the goodwill they lost with me even if they had gotten the replacements for free. And the goodwill they had with me has now eroded to a dangerous point from a customer retention perspective.
     
  8. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    IME, I wrote to Smisek once and the situation got resolved quickly and to everyone's including United's satisfaction.
     
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  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Same here. < 24 hours, in fact.
     
  10. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I guess they just don't like me. :rolleyes:
     
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  11. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    No bueno! :oops:
     
  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    In fairness, my own situation required no money or special logistics on United's part. I simply hadn't had PQMs posted for a promo offer, so it was a lot easier to resolve.
     
  13. EyeOnTheSkies

    EyeOnTheSkies Silver Member

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    The people who Smisek forwards your emails to, assuming you have something that needs resolving are really top notch. I've had two VPs email me and a manager call me less than 12 hours after sending him the email. I'll give him credit where credit is due on that one. He's on top of his e-mails.
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Did you pick up the phone and call them? Or have you been letting this stew inside of you?
     
  15. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    One other simple question.
    Could you claim the loss of your luggage on your homeowner's insurance? Some policies cover this as part of the policy. (Of course, it may not exceed your deductible if you have one, but it is an avenue you can quickly explore).
     
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  16. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    possible but not good advice, at all. The claim would show up on your CLUE report, plus the deductible. Not wise.
     
  17. rggale
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    rggale Gold Member

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    IME, if you've never made a claim before (or not in a very long time), insurance companies are more than happy to throw a few hundred bucks at you just to keep you happy and paying their continually rising and exorbitant premiums, without affecting your CLUE report.
     
  18. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    I would at once fall to my knees and shout joyful praises upon a sighting of the dear respected Supreme Leader Jeff Smisek.
     
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  19. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    1Ks don't check luggage ;)
     
  20. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I do! I also like Mr. Pickle's idea to bring three bags, check 'em all and hope to file a lost bag claim. If they show up, just nest them for an easy ride home.
     
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  21. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Sure, if you have 25 minutes x 100 times a year to waste, rock on. Have to tell you, they'll loose your bag twice if you're lucky. Not worth it in my book
     
  22. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    I do, all the time. Then again, my loyalty ensures my bag will always get where it needs to be right when I need it.
     
  23. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    By teleportation, if required.
     
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  24. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Who needs teleportation when one has a Tardis!
     
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  25. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    LOL!!

    Well, I almost always check bags....

    ETA - I am after all HeathrowGuy's friend....
    The dr S.L. knows that. ;)
     
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