Sneaky inconsistencies....

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by SnowDogDad, Dec 10, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    I guess I just needed to vent about an experience yesterday at ORD....

    I arrived in to ORD mid-afternoon for a connecting flight to SFO and then on to HNL. The airplane on to SFO was delayed by 3.5 hours (weather) and thus I would miss my HNL connection in SFO. So, I called the 1K Desk and asked them to move me to the ORD -> HNL nonstop today. I then went to the desk at the lounge and got a hotel voucher. The lady also requested my luggage be pulled from the system and delivered to me (at Baggage Claim 7.) This was about 3:45pm.

    I went to the baggage claim and waited. After about 30 minutes (and again at 45 minutes and an hour) I asked the United Baggage Claim guy nearby. He said "just keep waiting, it will come." At no time did he even ask to see my claim tag.

    At about an hour and a half, I went to the Baggage Service desk. The guy first tells me "oh, your bag has arrived *from* SFO and is on belt #9. Nope. I went back to him and he said he needed to ask a supervisor that apparently was no where to be found. I finally called the 1K Baggage Department. The first person I talked to told me that "we *never* pull bags out of the system once you have checked in." The call then dropped.

    I called back and talked to a helpful fellow who said he had talked to someone "on the ramp" and had had it pulled and they were "waiting on TSA to clear it before they could deliver it." This was at 5:45. I waited about a half an hour.

    At 6:30, I went back to the Baggage Service desk and made sure I talked to a different agent. After about 20 minutes of looking, she told me that they had sent my bag to SFO and "not to worry I could pick it up in HNL the next day."

    No one seemed the least bit concerned that they had basically wasted 3 hours of my time and had failed to do what they told me they would do.

    I just fail to see what is so difficult about determining the location of a bag. Everytime the bag moves, it is scanned, right? So, they should know where it is. And, once again, United does not seem to care that they waste the time of their passengers.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I'd like to hear what others think about this situation.
     
    snod08, NYCUA1K, MX and 5 others like this.
  2. webdes03

    webdes03 Gold Member

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    While I certainly agree that you had a lot of inconsistencies in what you were told, and the experience was certainly less than positive. I also look at it from the operations perspective. ORD and much of the Northeast was a mess yesterday, and while bags are scanned and they should have a reasonably good idea of where they are, no amount of technology is going to take them right to the bag (short of GPS tagging everything). If that bag is in a ULD container or sitting in a holding area, someone has to manually go over and "dig it out" or pick it up from a dispensing point of the baggage system. It sounds like in the chaos of everything, the instruction to send the bag on to SFO beat the instruction to pull the bag and deliver to claim. In a day filled with irregular operations, that's bound to happen. It sucks for you, and it's a waste of your time, but I think I'd personally probably try to just forget about it.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Once a bag is checked odds of the routing changing drop significantly. Even when they want to it is not always possible. Of course, it would be nice to be told that rather than get the runaround, but the bag not getting pulled is not too surprising since that flight didn't cxl.
     
    SnowDogDad likes this.
  4. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Could be worse... I had 12 days of bag delay ex-EZE in June, count 'em, twelve... apparently it sat at ORD for a number of those days after I was rerouted.
     
  5. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    Sometimes venting and a firm letter to UA can help. There are no small problems when confronted with baggage runarounds. Hopefully you will be reunited in HNL. My last ride on this cart had my bags in Spain for 10 days while I was not!
     
    MX likes this.
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The time required to fish out a bag should be, roughly, under an airport's MCT. However, fishing it out should have high priority for maximum efficiency, which is too much to hope for, especially in an insane place like ORD on a rainy day...
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The MCT presumes that all the bags are being pulled out of a plane, not that someone has to go find one specific bag amongst scores of others which are not being rerouted. And I disagree that rerouting bags for a misconnect should get the highest priority. Doing that potentially delays or otherwise has an adverse effect on lots of other passengers for the sake of one. It is like saying the airlines should always hold a flight for late connections because it is better for that late passenger, but it ignores the 100 other people on that plane.
     
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  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Indeed, things were chaotic at ORD. No one should know this better than UA which should have simply told the pax his bags would travel onward without him and could be met in HNL.

    No one disputes it is complex to look for and pull specific pax's bags. The issue at hand is the carrier should appropriately manage expectations, which they clearly did not do here.
     
  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Correction. The priority I mentioned was referring to anyone in the bag department making it their personal priority to find the bag. Not that there should be in general a priority for finding ALL bags for misconnected flights. With that in mind and the understanding that the bags are scanned multiple times while on the conveyor belt and their likely location known, it is not a stretch that a bag that someone had made it a personal priority to find can be found relatively quickly....
     
  10. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    If your bag has already been stacked in the pit, the scanner will only tell you which pit to look in or can. That means that one ramper must unload the pit (also known as bin in former CO speak) until your bag is found. Not an easy job if the pit is full and it is time consuming.
     
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  11. SnowDogDad

    SnowDogDad Silver Member

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    Thanks everyone for the "vent space". :) I recognize full-well the complexity associated with retrieving a specific bag out of a mountain of bags. Even if they know the specific pit or can in which to start looking it is still labor intensive process that, if I were United, I'd want to avoid. I have been delayed over-night and put up by United or Delta at least 14 or 15 times over the past 15 years (about once per year.) And, sometimes I have asked for my bag to be pulled and sometimes I have toughed it out. (Oh the horror of not having clean undies!!!! :eek: Yeah, yeah, I know, too-much-information.)

    I guess I was most frustrated with the inconsistent messages I was getting from United. If they had said "We value your business sir, but the chances we can get your bag out of the system given today's hectic operations/weather is slim-to-none," I would have said "thanks for the free hotel room, I'll go relax there and deal with the day-old undies." :)

    At any rate, my suit case was waiting for me in HNL the next day. So, all's well that ends.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Probably a lot cheaper to give the pax a set of disposable underwear and an amenity pack :)

    (I always thought pax who no-show for their international flight and cause the airline to have to pull their their bags ought to be charged the cost of a round of drinks for all the other pax).
     

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