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Thread: The United debarcle

  1. #101
    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Possibly slightly off topic but connected so to speak....
    I was flying home to the UK from Orlando and was a few pounds overweight on the hold baggage, for a few pounds read 5lb. The airline (Monarch) wanted to charge me a stupid fee of around 100$ stating that it was calculated on 1% per pound of the first class fare. I thought that was a rather clever trick given that Monarch was an all economy seat charter airline that doesn't have any first class seats.
    I agreed to pay but told them that they would have to bill me at home as I didn't have any money left after having spent it all in America. They said they could accept a credit card but I didn't have one in those days. (True)
    You'll have to bill me.
    Then they said they would accept travelers cheques but I didn't have any (True).
    You'll have to bill me.
    Then they said they would accept a debit card but I didn't have one. (Actually, not strictly true but it would have put me overdrawn, but they didn't know that).
    You'll have to bill me.
    All this arguing took 30 minutes to check in two people so the clerk asked us to move aside which I refused to do on the grounds that we had not checked in fully. Clerk went to find a manager. Manager arrived, said that 5 lbs was just over two kilograms and really wasn't worth arguing about, handed me our boarding cards and wished us a pleasant flight.

    Sometimes, if you dig your heels in you win. I heard later that the clerk was wrong anyway. She had read 5lbs but calculated it as 5 kg. We never did get billed either.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


  2. #102
    Member ATLcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    ...but, I will side with Evan that I at least THINK I'd pay a little more for some 'reasonable and fair customer service'.
    This may very well be true for you and Evan, but doesn't seem the case for most people. Case in point: WalMart.

  3. #103
    Member ATLcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Possibly slightly off topic but connected so to speak....
    I was flying home to the UK from Orlando and was a few pounds overweight on the hold baggage, for a few pounds read 5lb. The airline (Monarch) wanted to charge me a stupid fee of around 100$ stating that it was calculated on 1% per pound of the first class fare. I thought that was a rather clever trick given that Monarch was an all economy seat charter airline that doesn't have any first class seats.
    I agreed to pay but told them that they would have to bill me at home as I didn't have any money left after having spent it all in America. They said they could accept a credit card but I didn't have one in those days. (True)
    You'll have to bill me.
    Then they said they would accept travelers cheques but I didn't have any (True).
    You'll have to bill me.
    Then they said they would accept a debit card but I didn't have one. (Actually, not strictly true but it would have put me overdrawn, but they didn't know that).
    You'll have to bill me.
    All this arguing took 30 minutes to check in two people so the clerk asked us to move aside which I refused to do on the grounds that we had not checked in fully. Clerk went to find a manager. Manager arrived, said that 5 lbs was just over two kilograms and really wasn't worth arguing about, handed me our boarding cards and wished us a pleasant flight.

    Sometimes, if you dig your heels in you win. I heard later that the clerk was wrong anyway. She had read 5lbs but calculated it as 5 kg. We never did get billed either.
    Never mind all that. Orlando without a credit card, I want to hear more about that.

  4. #104
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    This may very well be true for you and Evan, but doesn't seem the case for most people. Case in point: WalMart.
    Damn...I hate it when facts get in the way, and your expletive handle on reality! I threaten you with shrubberies!

    You know, you can't even buy a good ole Playmate cooler or decent lawn sprinkler there...instead there's a cheap(er) substitute- with some likelihood of breaking in the first few uses. When's THAT congressional hearing?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  5. #105
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    As much as I joke about absolute statements, it would appear that you are the one resisting the obvious.

    The system does work...every day.
    Oh yeah, for them it does. Or rather, the system would appear to work for them, except that it isn't a system, it's the absence of a system. There is no system for assuring in advance that no flight is overbooked and that all deadheading employees are booked ahead of time. That is what's obvious here. So, lacking such a system, they merely 'oversell', hoping that somehow ( via a 'procedure' involving underpaid, stressed out gate agents pleading with irate customers) it will all work out, magically, forever.

    Until one day, inevitably, someone becomes mad as hell and isn't gonna take it anymore. Then who loses? The guy? Oh hell no. The brand loses. The brand, which is built up through very expensive 'brand messaging' and 'brand experience', suffers a very damaging bit of 'brand erosion' and it will require a heap of 'brand investment' to regain that lost 'brand equity'. Some of that loss will be felt in lost revenues but a lot will be felt in investor aversion, as a 2-3 point drop in share prices wipes hundreds of millions of dollars off the company valuation, and that will be felt by every employee with stock included as part of their compensation.

    So. great system. Punishes the passengers. Punishes the employees. Devaluates the company. Disgraces society.

    But otherwise it seems to work...

  6. #106
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    So. great system. Punishes the passengers. Punishes the employees. [Disconcur on devaluation]. Disgraces society.

    But otherwise it seems to work...
    Slightly strong and embellished (especially one day after "The March for Science") but I'll give you a qualified Concur.
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  7. #107
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    [Disconcur on devaluation].
    True. Maybe, when the US Dept of Justice has gifted you with a virtual monopoly, the investor class are a pack of wolves and airline customers are mostly sheeple, nothing can hurt you for more than a minute.

    Which is why we have anti-trust laws. Or had, anyway, back in the days of representative government...

    UAL stock has already recouped all of the losses from last week.

  8. #108
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    UAL stock has already recouped all of the losses from last week.
    Yes...

    I'm going somewhere in a few weeks and they were far and away the best choice schedule-wise (along with being price competitive with other carriers).

    But, I better take Bobbie's advice, get my boarding passes at the airport and then closely study the COC on the back.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  9. #109
    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    Never mind all that. Orlando without a credit card, I want to hear more about that.
    This was 15 - 20 years ago before I was earning the better wage that I eventually ended up on. I had got into previous trouble with credit cards and swore that I would never have another one. I only got eventually got one 3 years ago. The act of ownership improves your credit rating and I also get Avios air miles when I use it. Even so, I only use it when I can pay it off within 28 days. If I haven't got the funds to buy something then I don't get it. Happily a reasonable pension and a good lump sum has made life reasonably comfortable
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


  10. #110
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    [American Airlines]

    This one is great! We see a passenger directly threaten a flight crew...gray area...blah blah blah...

    https://gma.yahoo.com/american-airli...pstories.html#
    A little bummed that no one has commented on this one...lots of angles.

    Some newer reports are: Maybe the gal was way out of line...a big double-wide stroller in an overhead bin?!?!?...c'mon...and then she throws a fit.

    Conversely, the new story is that the FA 'ripped' the stroller from the overhead bin- with attitude- narrowly missing the gal and her kid'. IF true, I'd say that's similarly naughty (no, not caught on the film (or at least the film we are getting to see)).

    ...and more blame for the gate agents...perhaps the stroller lady was not briefed?...Conversely, she could have had a thorough briefing and chose to ignore it.

    So many questions...that the media is not smart enough to address.
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  11. #111
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Default THERE HAS BEEN A TOTAL BUNNY RABBIT DISASTER!!!!!

    My Yahoo home page gives me not one, but two headlines:

    A giant rabbit (perhaps one bound for the record books) has died aboard a United Flight. (Insert zip tie joke).

    And, below it: United had more pet deaths than any other airline in 2016.

    I'm sure that these articles from the media will give us balanced reporting of facts and will have a thorough analysis and comparative data, and some use of denominators...If you are hauling more pets than anyone, you'd expect to have more pet deaths than anyone.

    Is running a pet through 'the luggage system' (ANYONE'S luggage system) a good idea for their overall health?
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  12. #112
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Media
    ...According to data provided by the Department of Transportation, United had more "pet incidences," which refers to injuries, deaths, and losses, than any other major airline in 2016. There have been 4 injuries and 9 deaths. Delta, which ranks second for pet incidences, is responsible for 5 deaths and 5 injuries.

    However, United has transported more pets (109,149) compared to Delta (81,070). When you break it down by percentage, United's track record for pet incidences is a mere .02%, while Delta's is .01%. When you put it in that context, airlines have a fairly similar, and low, percentage of pet incidences.
    Well, I'm impressed that they TRIED to normalize the data.

    But alas after doing so well, they crash and burn...Seems to me United is 100% worse than Delta...(OR, maybe the sample size is too small to be meaningful)
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  13. #113
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    And the worst part is the figure for United isn't even correct!

    For United: 13 incidents / 109149 transports * 100 (to convert to %) = 0.0119103244189136 which rounded to two decimals is .01%.

    For Delta: 10 incidents / 81070 transports * 100 = 0.0123350191192796 which rounded to two decimals is... .01%.

    Even at three decimals they're the same at .012%. You have to go to 4 decimals to see a difference.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

  14. #114
    Senior Member TeeVee's Avatar
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    this a gate agent failure primarily and secondarily he fa that allowed her to even push the stroller on the the plane to begin with. either way, blown out of proportion by a rude, bossy and undiplomatic fa, complicated by a too-tough for his own good good samaritan.

    NOTE TO BOEING BOBBY: see how calm (if not drugged) the captain was? just by the short video snippet, i'd say he would've been justified, from a legal standpoint, in ejecting the male passenger. but cool-headed as he was, he realized that no harm was done, so he let it slide.

  15. #115
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Default I bet a beer...

    ...there will be no revolutionary regulations and no 'fundamental change' in the airline industry. (Guess what Evan, they are changing procedures...but are they really changing the fundamentals?)

    PR Department: 1 Passengers: (23,457,623,211,345) (parenthesis = a negative number). (Ok, we'll continue to get phenomenal internet fares and cross-country transportation that's still a lot faster and safer than Bamtrak or Greyhound)

    Comments:

    1. Indeed, squeezing the system for every last penny put 'basic customer service' in the lav holding tank- and the culture and system does very little to inspire 'customer service' in the employees.

    2. Oooo, they will even think about booking you on another airline...I'm sure it kills them to do that! (It's sad, because not too many years ago, I remember that being done pretty regularly...but bring on the Greed factor).

    3. Going above $800 is now 'allowed'.

    Still- I don't doubt that crowded planes, cancellations, over bookings, and generally one-way-screw-over-policies will continue to piss off passengers and sour employee attitudes, and the human factors of a so-so-mentally stable employee having a crappy day + a so-so-mentally stable passenger having a crappy day, and we'll continue to be treated with pop-corn-worthy cell phone video from ALL the carriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by WAPO?
    In a new report, United Airlines admits several mistakes were made before, during and after a man was violently dragged off a flight earlier this month, including calling in law enforcement to resolve an incident that was neither a safety nor security issue.

    In the report, released Thursday, the airline says it had allowed internal policies to distract from the need to treat passengers with dignity and respect and it outlines what the company intends to do to prevent a repeat of the incident.

    Under the airline’s new customer-first policy, travelers who voluntarily give up their seats will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in travel certificates. United employees will be given new authority to find creative solutions to get bumped passengers to their final destinations — even if it means booking them on another airline or sending them to another airport.

    “This is a turning point for all of us at United and it signals a culture shift toward becoming a better, more customer-focused airline,” chief executive Oscar Munoz said in a statement that accompanied the release of the report on the April 9 incident at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “Our customers should be at the center of everything we do and these changes are just the beginning of how we will earn back their trust.”

    With the report, Munoz makes good on a public promise he made several days after David Dao, 69, was dragged out of his seat, down the aisle and off the plane after he refused to give up his seat for off-duty crew. Other passengers captured the incident on their phones and shared video that has been viewed millions of times worldwide and sparked international outrage.

    Lawyers representing Dao said he suffered a concussion, broken nose and two missing teeth, among other injuries. Four aviation security officers involved in the incident have been placed on leave while the investigation continues.

    “United Airlines takes full responsibility for what happened,” reads the report’s introduction. “The intention of this report is to communicate concrete and meaningful actions that will avoid putting our customers, employees and partners in impossible situations.”
    EDIT: And, I guess there's a 1/2 page add in the Wall Street Journal, bragging of new back-flips they'll do for you. PR dept scores again! Evan and 3WE bitching and ranting is brushed aside and forgotten!
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  16. #116
    Senior Member TeeVee's Avatar
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    my guess is that the announcement is fluff. read: UP TO 10k..... they will likely never pay 10k to anyone. what they will do, is crack down hard on employees and prevent boarding in oversold/need crew space situations, and continue to offer smaller sums to bumped pax.

    over time, they will secretly nix the up to 10k policy. no one will be the wiser. pax will remain dumb and uninformed. untied and other airlines will continue their abusive policies toward customers, protected by the various governments and court systems.

    think us air lines are bad? check this:

    LAST JULY my wife and i along with another couple purchased rt tix on copa from pty to aua. in feb of this year, copa contacted us about a schedule change, which was fine by us. during the call, i asked for our seats to be assigned, since we couldn't select them during the booking process. we were assigned a row of seats across the aisle from one another. when checking in at pty for departure on the outbound leg, we all had to wait like 30 minutes while 5 different airline reps tried checking us in. one of he other guys was told he had no seat since the flight oversold and he would have to go standby!!! we booked NINE MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE!!!! there simply are not enuf copa elites to have bumped him and i'd bet a very large sum of money that we were among the very first to book the flight. further, all of our previously assigned seats had been erased and we were spread throughout the aircraft. the panamanian staff were actually surprised that i was bitching about this, as if i had zero right to expect that i had any rights to anything at all. supervisors were as useless and uninformed as their underlings.

    in the end, our friend made it on the flight with us.

    NOT EVEN AN APOLOGY FROM ANY OF THE COPA STAFF.

  17. #117
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Default Today's Incident

    United and AA breath a sigh of relief.

    Delta passenger bolts for lavatory after a 30 min 'taxi'. Plane returns to gate, kicks passenger off, AND offloads EVERYONE.

    Cell phone video captures later parts of the incident. The Forum remains silent on 3BS's call for body cams for Hosties/Hosthes to catch incident initiation.

    Gray area value for this incident: Moderate. Perhaps it was not cool to dash for the Lav 'immediately' before takeoff. Conversely, I would TEND to support the guy for citing Delta for having no common sense during the 30 min of 'taxi time'. I have personally seen these 30 min delays before...and the pilots and FA's (of all airlines) never lift a finger to share any data on exactly how long you'll be stopped.

    Interesting that we see the guy politely refuse to obey the flight crew, and then finally comply- AND the whole plane unloaded.

    Delta stands firm behind policy...no one unbuckled and out of their seat during taxi. (PS, it's been my experience that there are FREQUENT incidents of lavatory use when stopped during taxi- but with the seat belt sign on and ZERO permission given by the crew.) Last year on my 6-hour flight from Flyover to ATL there was LOTS and LOTS of time with seatbelt signs on and no drinks/pretzels- although the crew did address some of this on a limited basis.

    Can one make a reasonable argument that dashing to the Lav could be a well-planned diversion for a terrorist attack? The fact that he ASKED EARLIER to use the Lav weakens that argument.

    https://gma.yahoo.com/delta-passenge...pstories.html#

    Is this a score AGAINST the collective PR department...should Evan and 3BS return to ranting about 'the systematic-screw-over' state of the industry...will the government save us from this broad crime against customers and common sense?
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  18. #118
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Double post, but Southwest has announced that they will no longer overbook "and that they don't need to".

    As I mentioned earlier- the fact that many airlines offer what SEEMS to be a successful, program with quite a few people (probably paying) for standby on every flight. And, it' seems to do a decent job of getting flights close to 100% full.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  19. #119
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    Default Today's news cycle is relentless!

    Deplaned Dr. has reached a settlement.

    Not surprised, but still disappointed...I am thinking there might have been some really good fodder come out of a trial.

    That being said, if I'm United, I'm trying to put this almost exclusively on the CPD...and wondering how effective that argument might be...

    ..."Yeah, we really screwed up at United, and think we owe this guy 10 grand for not trying to get the crew on Southwest out of Midway, and for calling the cops on him...but no, we did NOT physically assault him...it was those nut-job airport second-class cops."

    And in other news, United reports that it's about 1 in 23K passengers that gets involuntarily bumped...pretty impressive since I stand behind my comment that you can hear "we may be overbooked and may be looking for volunteers" almost any time you fly somewhere.

    They even have scientifically engineered algorithms where you can pre-BID for your chance for a voucher...and then watch it evaporate as the no-shows save the day.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

  20. #120
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
    we booked NINE MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE!!!!
    What does that have to do with anything? United has now announced that they will not bump pax to accomodate deadheading flight crew within one hour of flight time. Aside from that, tough titties.

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