The Points Guy Editor-at-Large Zach Honig took to social media to live-tweet a slew of complaints about a recent cross-country flight. While he earned plenty of attaboys from his followers, he also caught the ire of a few frequent flyers and at least one purported flight attendant.
The Points Guy’s Zach Honig had a few complaints about his recent United Airlines flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). The popular travel blogger took issue with everything from the lack of a cocktail garnish to lax business class service and even the less-than-direct cross-country flight plan.
Honig live-tweeted his unsatisfactory experience to his 18,000 followers in real-time. While the play-by-play of his frustrations at 40,000 feet garnered plenty of “likes” and a few “amens,” in this one rare case, not everyone online was in agreement.
Doing his due diligence in the air, Honig noticed that his flight was taking a somewhat meandering route across the map while another United Airlines flight had that departed more than twenty minutes later from the same airport took a more direct course and would actually arrive at EWR minutes ahead of his flight. The travel writer quite reasonably crowdsourced this conundrum hoping his followers could get to the bottom of the issue.
— Zach Honig (@ZachHonig) June 17, 2018
Most of those who responded to the query offered quite reasonable theories about the discrepancy in flight plans. Possible theories revolved around the anticipated weather at the time the flight plan was filed, different equipment or possibly even a dramatically different weight and balance between the two aircraft. An early antagonist, however, offered a competing possibility. “The only idea I have is that it gives you something else to complain about,” the especially snarky commenter wrote.
The captain’s choice of a flight plan certainly wasn’t Honig’s only complaint about the flight. He offered photographic evidence that a flight attendant may have consumed a salad during boarding (though the sneakily taken cellphone picture of a fork and salad bowl in the galley likely wouldn’t be admissible in court). In any case, since the flight had already been delayed and the flight attendant was at least 6 hours away from the Famous Famiglia Pizza at EWR, it’s hard to understand why anyone would begrudge the airline employee a bit of lettuce prior to the coast-to-coast flight.
The travel writer also noted that he caught a cabin crew member that had left his headphones around his neck. “New uniform addition, @United?” the blogger groused sarcastically in a post.
Honig’s most serious issue seems to be about the crew’s carelessness as mixologists. His epic quest to obtain the newly available business class Old Fashioned will someday become the stuff of legend.
“First ‘premium domestic’ (biz) flight since @United started serving an Old Fashioned,” he explained. “I was looking forward to having one, so that’s what I asked for. Flight attendant promptly said ‘no,’ and when I asked why he insisted that ‘we don’t have that’ until I showed him the menu.”
The hero of our story then relates how he was forced to drop a scathing “Ohhh really?” to shame the flight attendant into bringing another delicious Old Fashioned. This time, Honig writes, he was careful to demand the accompanying candied orange peel garnish listed on the beverage menu.
“It’s missing the ‘candied orange peel skewer,'” Honig notes of his first Old Fashioned experience. “Figured they weren’t boarded, but I just spotted a FA eating them from the container in the galley. I feel like @United’s trolling me today.”
United Airlines wasn’t likely trolling the blogger, but a flight attendant by the handle of gianna1809 certainly would be soon. Although the commenter and staunch crew defender initially denied working for United Airlines, a fellow blogger later posted photographs supposedly showing her working in a UA cabin crew uniform.
The unhappy Twitter user and possible cabin crew member defended her colleague’s need to eat, reminding the travel writer that his flight might have been delayed or cancelled if the flight attendant had not chosen to eat a salad in the galley rather than demanding the proper meal break that she was entitled to. Then, things got personal. The antagonistic commenter suggested that all this to-do about a cocktail might be symptomatic of something other than poor customer service.
“Always the drunks causing the issues,” the sharp-tongued Twitter user wrote. “Free alcohol … they drink like camels.”
Of course, there were plenty of commenters who were quick to jump to Honig’s defense and relate their own United Airlines customer service horror stories. In some ways the insults from an irate airline employee help to make Honig’s point for him, but there were at least a few followers who seemed to think that taking photographs of a flight attendant’s dinner, policing crew member’s uniforms and raging about a cocktail garnish amounted to being just “plane petty.”
“Can we get the world’s smallest violin?” one Twitter follower wondered. “Seriously.”