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-   -   Polaris Pajama Shenanigans (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/1987229-polaris-pajama-shenanigans.html)

NYTA Sep 14, 19 12:01 am

Polaris Pajama Shenanigans
 
My wife flies paid business class TLV-EWR and back once a month on UA for work - she's free to choose whatever airline she wants. While the "Polaris Pajama" thread on this forum says that EWR-TLV doesn't officially give pajamas, she has gotten them on every flight. On her most recent flight home from EWR to TLV, she asked a crew member while they were on the ground for a pair of pajamas. She was told that because the flight is less than 12 hours, she wouldn't get any. She explained that not only did they give them out on every flight she has been on this year, but that on the menus they handed out, it said specifically that they would be giving out Pajamas (both in English and Hebrew so they can't say it wasn't meant for this route). Crew member didn't care. Wife asks to speak to the purser - gets the same message. Then asks for someone more senior than that - gets referred to "Jim" who is introduced as the "Global Services Rep" (A ground rep?) who grudgingly hands her a pair of large/Extra-large saying that's all they had (she's a small/medium). She explained to Jim that if they print on the menus on the plane that they are giving pajamas then they should actually live up to it and give everyone pajamas who asks rather than making it seem like they are doing the passengers a favor.

Jim's response..."You're welcome to fly El Al next time instead" (!)

Shortly after Jim left, the crew went and handed out pajamas to all of the business class passengers, including exchanging my wife's extra large for a medium.

All I can say is, WTH?

As of today's date she's spent over $32,000 with UA so far this year and if you include me and our kids for personal/work travel we have collectively spent over $40k on UA. I'm kind of thinking we should take Jim up on his offer if this is the way UA wants to treat their customers. Any thoughts on how to make sure UA corrects their crew/staff attitudes? I don't care about getting thrown some points for "compensation" or whatever - I just want the staff to learn how to behave properly!

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fly...f83fb19cd1.jpg

WineCountryUA Sep 14, 19 12:09 am


Originally Posted by NYTA (Post 31523394)
.... Shortly after Jim left, the crew went and handed out pajamas to all of the business class passengers, including exchanging my wife's extra large for a medium.

Perhaps they were initially out of stock but managed to get some.
What would be the purpose of initially say no and then handing them out to everyone?

restlessinRNO Sep 14, 19 12:19 am

Maybe there would be a wine list offered if she flew El Al business class the next time. :)

cfischer Sep 14, 19 1:24 am

if that is a problem for you and your wife, indeed, fly El Al. Good luck with the El Al pajamas.

HNLbasedFlyer Sep 14, 19 1:28 am

Sigh - really - gosh a bit much

NYTA Sep 14, 19 1:45 am


Originally Posted by WineCountryUA (Post 31523399)
Perhaps they were initially out of stock but managed to get some.
What would be the purpose of initially say no and then handing them out to everyone?

That's one of the many things about this that I can't figure out. If the policy is that they aren't going to give pajamas then fine, but if the policy is that they will and they even print on the menus for the specific flight that they will, then they should do what they are supposed to, and not suggest that loyal customers fly another airline when they don't provide the services they advertise.

NYTA Sep 14, 19 1:55 am


Originally Posted by cfischer (Post 31523512)
if that is a problem for you and your wife, indeed, fly El Al. Good luck with the El Al pajamas.

The UA employees seem to share your opinion on what airline their TLV based customers should fly.

dtbe Sep 14, 19 2:02 am

The purser should have known what is their plan for pajamas.

From my limited experience on that route I found the staff to be less professional and over friendly with some passengers.

94010flyer Sep 14, 19 4:22 am

I think it was an error on the menus and when pointed out to them they decided to honor it. I have a hard time believing they handed out to all, since the normal practice is to only give them on request.

Kacee Sep 14, 19 4:26 am

I can't imagine making such a fuss over pajamas. I stopped asking for them after about 4 pairs, I just bring the bottoms from one of the old pairs.

Annalisa12 Sep 14, 19 4:28 am

Why do people much such a big deal over pyjamas.?

Jaimito Cartero Sep 14, 19 4:38 am


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 (Post 31523736)
Why do people much such a big deal over pyjamas.?

Bananas in pajamas, perhaps?

Just because you donít need them, doesnít mean others donít. I grab a pair to bring home for family members every flight that offers them.

NYTA Sep 14, 19 4:56 am


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 (Post 31523736)
Why do people much such a big deal over pyjamas.?

It's not about the pajamas. It's about the airline not providing something they say they will provide and then suggesting to the customer that they fly another airline if they are unhappy with the poor service/attitude. Would have been the same if after showing the menu suddenly they had said there wouldn't be any meals served.

lhrsfo Sep 14, 19 5:12 am

This is an excellent example of why UA continues to get terrible reviews for service. Itís not about pajamas, itís about the attitude of too many of the customer facing employees. I do my best to avoid interactions of any nature with FAs. My wife, who is more of a people person but who inherits my 1K status, instead does her best to avoid UA and flies competing airlines with no status by preference.

myperks Sep 14, 19 5:24 am

Just got off a TPAC Polaris flight; the crew went down the aisle passing out PJs and mattress pad to all. (On another note, miles already posted mid flight)

narvik Sep 14, 19 5:44 am

Was this possibly a replacement crew not used to this route?
I've had similar things happen, and I put it down to inexperienced crew unfamiliar with the plane and/or route.

Not wanting to admit their fault after "Jim" told the crew this was indeed a pajamas-flight, one of the FAs actually bothered to open an overhead bin and check, and 'hey presto', "We DO have pajamas!!".
A quick "What should we do??", "What should we do???" leads to the purser deciding to just hand them out.

My best guess...

MSPeconomist Sep 14, 19 8:02 am


Originally Posted by narvik (Post 31523866)
Was this possibly a replacement crew not used to this route?
I've had similar things happen, and I put it down to inexperienced crew unfamiliar with the plane and/or route.

Not wanting to admit their fault after "Jim" told the crew this was indeed a pajamas-flight, one of the FAs actually bothered to open an overhead bin and check, and 'hey presto', "We DO have pajamas!!".
A quick "What should we do??", "What should we do???" leads to the purser deciding to just hand them out.

My best guess...

So UA wants to compete on quality but when employees don't know their jobs, the response is to tell a HVC to take her business to a competitor? Wow. This almost should be a business school case study about how employees should not interact with customers, including bad hiring practices, bad training, and lack or consequences when an employee in a trusted position obviously behaves very badly.

narvik Sep 14, 19 8:20 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 31524167)
So UA wants to compete on quality but when employees don't know their jobs, the response is to tell a HVC to take her business to a competitor? Wow. This almost should be a business school case study about how employees should not interact with customers, including bad hiring practices, bad training, and lack or consequences when an employee in a trusted position obviously behaves very badly.

Just to be clear: I wasn't agreeing with, nor excusing what transpired, only providing a possible scenario as to why it happened.

lehms Sep 14, 19 8:23 am

Just wow on both sides of the apparent dispute. Wow

tshirt Sep 14, 19 8:29 am

wow, really can someone from customer service mail some PJs so you will have them for your next flight.

narvik Sep 14, 19 8:37 am


Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer (Post 31523519)
gosh a bit much


Originally Posted by Kacee (Post 31523729)
such a fuss


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 (Post 31523736)
such a big deal


Originally Posted by skywardhunter (Post 31523842)
Wow...just wow


Originally Posted by lehms (Post 31524213)
Just wow


Originally Posted by tshirt (Post 31524225)
wow


There's nothing like a good ol' pajamas thread on Flyertalk to guarantee a heated debate!
:D

porciuscato Sep 14, 19 8:52 am

United hater here. But I have to say, this is not the way I would have handled it --- particularly if I already had 4 sets of pajamas. I'm with UA on this one.

During boarding, everybody is rushing around and very busy. Many of the staff (FAs, purser, et al) are doing critical stuff so the plane can push back. A passenger who is demanding something trivial, and then insisting on going up the whole darned chain of command to get it, could actually delay pushback. And that's not even addressing the issue that the only cause to think you should get the pajamas is an obvious misprint. I would prefer that you fly El Al too, frankly, rather than have my flight delayed over a stupid set of pajamas.

If a fifth set of pajamas is that all-fired important to you, send an email to GS/1K voice etc. after the flight. I'm sure they'll give you enough miles to get a few pajamas. Sheesh.

jsloan Sep 14, 19 9:05 am


Originally Posted by porciuscato (Post 31524281)
United hater here. But I have to say, this is not the way I would have handled it --- particularly if I already had 4 sets of pajamas. I'm with UA on this one.

To be fair, I've never kept the UA pajamas. (Why would I?)

It sounds like there's plenty of blame to go around here. OP's wife got awfully litigious about a phrase on a menu -- if you've spent that much on UA, you should know that they're not exactly known for their attention to detail in their in-cabin service, particularly on the menus. The purser certainly overreacted as well, though; telling a passenger to fly the competition should really be reserved for serious offenses, and I don't think kvetching about pajamas qualifies as serious.

OP: To answer your actual question: there's nothing you can do to convince UA to correct the crew's attitude, beyond reporting it and moving on. I mean, are you planning to picket the airport? Start an internet petition (hint: they do nothing)? You can move your business to El Al, but the chance that UA (a) notices and (b) attributes it to bad crew behavior is approximately zero.

prestonh Sep 14, 19 9:24 am


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 (Post 31523736)
Why do people much such a big deal over pyjamas.?

Do you think that UA's SVP's have empowered the FA's to fire a GS or GS-like spend customer over their inquiry on the in-flight offerings of pajama-choice? Amateur branding at its worst.

mherdeg Sep 14, 19 9:54 am

What I usually do is ask for the pajamas at boarding, then after they say "yes we'll bring you some" wait an hour and they never bring them, then ask again after takeoff when they're taking meal or drink orders, then after they say "yes we'll bring you some" wait an hour, then walk up to the galley after we've had enough service and ask again and someone grabs one out of the closet for me. Pretty consistent.

100% Green Sep 14, 19 10:19 am


Originally Posted by porciuscato (Post 31524281)
United hater here. But I have to say, this is not the way I would have handled it --- particularly if I already had 4 sets of pajamas. I'm with UA on this one.

During boarding, everybody is rushing around and very busy. Many of the staff (FAs, purser, et al) are doing critical stuff so the plane can push back. A passenger who is demanding something trivial, and then insisting on going up the whole darned chain of command to get it, could actually delay pushback. And that's not even addressing the issue that the only cause to think you should get the pajamas is an obvious misprint. I would prefer that you fly El Al too, frankly, rather than have my flight delayed over a stupid set of pajamas.

If a fifth set of pajamas is that all-fired important to you, send an email to GS/1K voice etc. after the flight. I'm sure they'll give you enough miles to get a few pajamas. Sheesh.


If you don't get them during boarding your chances are that you will only get them after the meal. Once the plane is up the FA's are busy doing drink service and the meal. It's a battle to get into the restroom to change since the FAs are also beginning the drink service and a cart will be blocking the way. If you don't want to get your personal clothes gross during the flight I always ask for the PJ's during boarding.

Personally, I don't pack PJ's on trips where I know I will get PJ's on a UA flight and usually leave the PJ's behind in whatever hotel I stay in since they are so low quality. It's an easy way to save room in the suitcase and gives the PJ's a few extra uses.

Aussienarelle Sep 14, 19 11:47 am

I am someone who requests the pajamas as soon as I board. I like to get changed before the flight takes off (while the rest room is somewhat cleanish). It is like pulling teeth from some FAs. I also request the mattress pad. Again an item they need to find. The mattress pads get washed - the seat I am going to be lying on for the next 12 - 15 hours not so much.

The most amazing thing about the responses to these requests is that they need to find them. Now I am certain I do not fly as often as the majority of the FAs but my experience has been the pyjamas are in the cabinet in front of row 1 seats (could be either side so it does take a bit of a hunt to check each side) and mattress pads are in an overhead towards the back of the front cabin. As these hunting trips seem to happen each and every time I fly Polaris am amazed that United has not standardized putting the mattress pad out for every customer and placing the pajamas in the same cabinet on the plane.

MSPeconomist Sep 14, 19 11:54 am

I like to change into PJs before leaving the gate too. In fact, on SQ FAs seem to encourage this and expect that most passengers will do so.

notquiteaff Sep 14, 19 12:18 pm

Posting service problems here usually doesn’t achieve anything other than encourage unwarranted ridicule of attacks from fellow members.

OP’s wife should consider taking “Jim”’s advice. Then send a copy of the El Al invoice/receipt to Oscar with a very brief description of what happened. “Jim” needs a different role that isn’t customer facing.

bdw1120 Sep 14, 19 1:09 pm


Originally Posted by notquiteaff (Post 31524887)
Posting service problems here usually doesnít achieve anything other than encourage unwarranted ridicule of attacks from fellow members.


She explained to Jim that if they print on the menus on the plane that they are giving pajamas then they should actually live up to it and give everyone pajamas who asks rather than making it seem like they are doing the passengers a favor.


Exactly. If something is advertised and promised, as a customer I would certainly expect it to be available. I also really don't understand those defending United when they fail to deliver something simple and basic. Sounds like Stockholm syndrome? When a crew do a great job, praise is due, but when a crew like this respond to customers in such an unprofessional way, they need to at least get extra training.

MSPeconomist Sep 14, 19 1:12 pm


Originally Posted by notquiteaff (Post 31524887)
Posting service problems here usually doesn’t achieve anything other than encourage unwarranted ridicule of attacks from fellow members.

OP’s wife should consider taking “Jim”’s advice. Then send a copy of the El Al invoice/receipt to Oscar with a very brief description of what happened. “Jim” needs a different role that isn’t customer facing.

"Jim" needs to be fired if this is how he interacts with HVC or in fact any customers.

AsiaTravel2019 Sep 14, 19 1:14 pm

Yup, this is what I encounter on long haul UA.

Terrible attitudes, sarcasm, condescension. Bad food. Broken promises. It's the "Dick's Last Resort" of the skies.

And then you will have a good experience. And then 2 bad ones.

It's like the gate agent at the premier counter who checked me in yesterday. Didn't greet me, or thank me, or do anything. Terrible service. I got better service flying economy on other airlines.

Annalisa12 Sep 14, 19 2:25 pm


Originally Posted by NYTA (Post 31523783)
It's not about the pajamas. It's about the airline not providing something they say they will provide and then suggesting to the customer that they fly another airline if they are unhappy with the poor service/attitude. Would have been the same if after showing the menu suddenly they had said there wouldn't be any meals served.

Let's say they didnt have a drink onboard they said they would. Would you ask to speak to higher ups etc?

I get the rude part. Definitely not called for.

narvik Sep 14, 19 2:27 pm


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 (Post 31525252)
Let's say they didnt have a drink onboard they said they would. Would you ask to speak to higher ups etc?

Well, if they didn't have ANY drink on board TLV-EWR, I certainly would! ;)

hotturnip Sep 14, 19 3:48 pm

The point of the OP's story is NOT, "Why didn't I get my 4th set of pajamas? I'm entitled to unlimited pajamas!" So the cynical snark is way off base.

The point is "UA staff copped a terrible attitude and provided hostile service." All they had to do was say, "I'm so sorry, we don't seem to have pajamas this trip--I'm not sure why that's printed on the menus. If I run across any, I'll bring you some."

Sounds like an EWR-based crew for sure.

sleeper.agent Sep 14, 19 6:08 pm

Not sure if Ibmossed this, but have you written to United about it? It would have been interesting what their reply would be.

FlyingNone Sep 14, 19 6:19 pm

I just don't get it how some of these customer service agents/ flight attendants fail to have even the slightest amount of sympathy or urge to get something or do something for someone who asks. Is it so far out of the way to be polite and nice ????. Even if they ask in a snotty or condescening/critical way, just do your job !!!!......." I don't think we have any but I will certainly look" would be a start........then do it at the first possible chance - even if it means moving to a different part of the cabin to look around or get what they are requesting. You've just started your onboard duty and you have no enthusiasm? or "less stress" at the beginning of the trip to go the "extra mile" ??? -- but I'm sure when you (flight attendants) land in TLV or EZE or some exotic international locale you have no problem finding the best shops or restaurants for your personal comfort. Maybe if these FA's would think out of the box BEFORE passengers get onboard like making a mental note of where items are kept and if they have enough on hand etc. it would make their "miserable", highly-paid, well-traveled lives easier.

PTahCha Sep 14, 19 6:45 pm

I guess I had an opposite experience on my last EWR - HKG flight. The FA proactively offered pajamas and mattress pad during boarding. The pre-departure bubbly was filled to the rim of the glass. Wine was consistently refilled during the course of the flight. Mid-flight snacks were provided right away after request. Although, only the front cabin got the slippers and not the second Polaris cabin. (the HORROR! :eek:) The purser was apologetic after I told hme and gave me some slippers right away.

SS255 Sep 14, 19 10:52 pm

I’m with the OP on this one. I bring my own UA pajamas on non-pajama flights. If I don’t bring pajamas on pajama flights, I expect them on board — and request them and the mattress pad immediately after boarding. No, I don’t need any more pairs, but it’s easier to get a fresh pack and leave them on board than it is to bring an old pair with you. I hate surprises (unless they’re “surprise and delight” surprises. :cool:)

ctownflyer Sep 14, 19 11:06 pm

All TLV flights get the PJs.

OP should contact UA customer care and let them know about the onboard service.


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