Sunday, August 15, 2010

update: i still hate united airlines

as you know, i recently had an incident with united airlines. i've been so busy since i got back that it took me about 10 days to file an actual complaint with the airline. this is the auto-response i got:

We have received your email and are doing everything we can to respond as quickly as possible. 

Normally, we respond to requests within 5 business days.  Currently we are experiencing very high email volumes so there may be a delay in our response to you.  We are currently responding to emails within 10 days. 

We are doing everything possible to respond as soon as we can.  We regret that our current volumes are not allowing us to meet the level of service you expect.  We very much appreciate your patience during this time.

Sincerely, United Airlines Customer Relations

i wonder if it concerns them at all that they're currently experiencing very high email volumes? because, let's face it, 90% or more of those are complaints. 

i have a friend who flies united a lot. like, a lot a lot. he's the type of passenger that the airline wants to treat well because he spends a lot of money with them each year. on a recent cross country flight that he was on, the free in-flight wireless internet was down. to compensate him, united gave him an e-certificate worth $250! so far, i've received $150 from them for all of my troubles. $250 because the wireless was down on one 5 hour flight?! that is ridiculous. okay, here's the deal, i totally get that they want to take care of their regular passengers. i get it. however, those are the only people they seem willing to take care of. what kind of impression does it make on a first or second time passenger when they are treated like the absolute scum of the earth by multiple airline employees? how do they expect to gain more of those regular passengers if they treat the newbies like shit? it's just infuriating to know that that goes on. 

also, i was price shopping flights to vegas for 8 weeks from now. i discovered that i was unable to apply my $150 credit to just any flight. the only flights i was able to use it on were flights that routed through o'hare. yeah, because i'm just dying to go back there! seriously, AUS>ORD>LAS? how much more out of the way do they want to take me? i tried to see about using it on a connection in houston and was told that those flights "weren't eligible for use with an e-certificate." yeah, that really happened. also, even with the $150 credit, it would cost me, out of pocket, $500 to fly to vegas the weekend i was looking at. how is that even possible? i'm pretty sure they're trying to rip me off. there's no way i'm paying $500 to fly an airline that i'm unhappy with. i could pay under $300 to fly there on southwest, nonstop, with no baggage fees. unfortunately, i don't think i'll be able to make the vegas trip happen but if i could go, i would obviously fly swa. united can continue to eat a bag of dicks. 


Anonymous said...

You can't use the certificates on flights that aren't operated by UA. UA doesn't fly from Austin to Vegas. That's pretty much that.

stefanie said...

dear anonymous-

i considered that as a possibility, however, united DOES operate flights from austin to houston, and houston to las vegas. thusly, i should still be able to use a certificate on those flights. also, the flights that come up in my search that connect through o'hare are not all operated by united, but it still allows me to use my e-certificate. so basically, your anonymous theory is bunk.