Another article trashing UA

Old Dec 1, 19, 11:31 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: New York NY
Programs: UA Gold, CO Plat, CO Million Miler
Posts: 2,522
Another article trashing UA

New Washington Post article how a EWR-SFO trip turned into a 57 hour ordeal. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...3a0_story.html
hughw is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 11:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: SFO/IAD
Programs: UA
Posts: 173
Paywalled for me...but I assume this involves weather somehow?
bman1002 is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 11:53 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DYKWIA, UA GS/1MM, Bonvoy Ambassador
Posts: 1,698
I see absolutely nothing to fault United for in this article. They warned him upfront about weather delays outside their control and they even put him on another airline to get him to his destination. Both of these actions are above and beyond the call -- and nice gestures that were never done a decade ago.

It's just that the writer is a spectacular cry-baby-whiner. He makes stupid, self-indulgent choices and then blames the rest of the world when things aren't cozy and comfortable for him. To wit:

* He chooses to be a freelance writer (a fun occupation that many would like to have, but one that is a notoriously unreliable income source) and then complains about living paycheck-to-paycheck. He is presumably educated (though his writing barely reflects it). An able-bodied, educated, white male has absolutely no excuses for failing to thrive in this economy. He has a degree of opportunity and privilege that 99% of the rest of the world doesn't have. So that's on him and his self-indulgent career choice.

* He chooses to travel on the busiest travel day of the year, when bad weather has been predicted across the country, yet expects everything to go perfectly for him. And of course, he blames the airlines and everybody but himself when it fails to.

* He chooses to ignore United's warnings about delays, but then blames United because he failed to adjust his plans accordingly

* He fatuously decides to wait in line for 12 hours, without first determining whether was a point in doing so. But then he asserts that this is all the fault of United, the United States, and capitalism in general.

Last edited by porciuscato; Dec 1, 19 at 11:59 am
porciuscato is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 12:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Programs: Marriott Titanium; WN A-list; UA Silver
Posts: 224
While I actually agree airlines need to handle cases like this better, particularly by staffing CS more at airports and phones when disruptions are expected and I do think they should consider giving more help to people stranded at locations that aren't their origin, this seems a bit much.
OP was warned. He is in NYC and could have rebooked out of BOS, IAD/DCA, PHL, etc and taken a train. (I actually think it would be in airlines interests to suggest or even pay for this IRROPS cost a lot of money, the more people you can get out of the impacted area, the less of a cluster you'll have)
Second, he .....es about overbooking. Yes, overbooking sucks, but in IRROPS overbooking just reflects the fact that a bunch of people had cancelled flights and they're on the waiting list, not that UA or AA sold a bunch of tickets.
Also, he didn't set an alarm for his 630am flight and they still accommodated him.
nmpls is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 12:31 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 45,219
The bottom line is that the cause of the writer's misery was massive IRROPS which meant that he could not be rebooked for 36 hours. His other woes, e.g., not being provided for by UA, are clearly spelled out in the contract he agreed to and easily dealt with through travel interruption insurance.

1. UA rebooked OP onto AA.
2. UA told him that it would not cover his hotel, yet he chose to stand in line for 12 hours because someone (not UA) said that they had heard that UA would. That has nothing to do with UA.

This is simply a whine from a clearly intelligent and capable person who failed to properly plan and suffered the consequences.
writerguyfl, dilanesp and SeaHawg like this.
Often1 is online now  
Old Dec 1, 19, 12:32 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: AVP & PEK
Programs: UA 1K 1.6MM, Hertz PC
Posts: 3,438
That is one VERY confused dude. No wonder he can't get $400 together.
I recommend a career-change.


An excerpt:
"For me, the siege began with a Tuesday night email ahead of my Wednesday United Airlines flight out of Newark: “It’s going to rain . . . and quite a lot we hear,” read the unsigned communique. “You may want to consider flying on a different day or connecting in a different city.” I didn’t have any other options, so I headed for the airport anyway. The next afternoon, my flight was canceled."

...then soon after:

"What is most galling about this economy is that we are supposed to proffer compliance and complicity as companies profit amorally off of us. Facebook unveils supposedly robust privacy protections on the same day it launches a service to connect you with your “secret crush.” "




Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
.... a clearly intelligent and capable person...
I disagree!
narvik is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 12:36 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SJO
Programs: CO Gold
Posts: 1,217
what a cry baby.........living hand-to-mouth...........I am 100% sure this person has NO IDEA what it is to go 12 hrs without a single solid thing coming down his throat..........I wholeheartedly agree with the comment from porciuscato
SAPriorityTag and 757FO like this.
wolfie_cr is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 12:47 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
Programs: UA GS4MM, MR LT Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,337
Originally Posted by nmpls View Post
While I actually agree airlines need to handle cases like this better, particularly by staffing CS more at airports and phones when disruptions are expected and I do think they should consider giving more help to people stranded at locations that aren't their origin, this seems a bit much.
On the flip side, airlines can't materialize more CS people out of thin air - and even if they could, there are a finite number of computer terminals at an airport to provide help.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:01 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Programs: Marriott Titanium; WN A-list; UA Silver
Posts: 224
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
On the flip side, airlines can't materialize more CS people out of thin air - and even if they could, there are a finite number of computer terminals at an airport to provide help.
I've never had an IRROPs experience where they ran put of terminals. And there are always some staff who aren't scheduled, offers of extra pay like double time would get a fair number of volunteers.
I don't expect it in unplanned events obviously, but this one clearly was.
dilanesp likes this.
nmpls is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:01 pm
  #10  
Moderator: United MileagePlus
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Clinging to the edifices of a decadent past. (IAH, DEN, YKF)
Programs: (ಠ_ಠ)
Posts: 8,743
Originally Posted by bman1002 View Post
Paywalled for me...but I assume this involves weather somehow?
Air travel shows what happens when we give companies ruinous power over us - The Washington Post

Archived link.
bman1002 likes this.
J.Edward is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:08 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHX, SEA
Programs: DL Silver, Avis President's Club, Hertz President's Circle, Global Entry (Former AA Plt/Gold)
Posts: 3,718
Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
* He chooses to travel on the busiest travel day of the year, when bad weather has been predicted across the country, yet expects everything to go perfectly for him. And of course, he blames the airlines and everybody but himself when it fails to.

* He chooses to ignore United's warnings about delays, but then blames United because he failed to adjust his plans accordingly
Sounds like the sort of person who travels specifically for the bad experience, maybe hoping for VDB offers. I couldn't get through the paywall but I blame WAPO for buying this sort of stupid article, which your summary makes it sound like was written by a third-rate blogger.
dilanesp likes this.
Gig103 is online now  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:09 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 55
He waiting in line for 12 hours when he could have called??? He could have asked those at the beginning of the line if there being offered hotel vouchers. Then he slept through his rescheduled flight. I guess he was not smart enough to set an alarm.
dilanesp likes this.
COMMONC3NTS is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:14 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: SFO/SJC
Programs: UA Platinum
Posts: 12,480
Outside the weather and flight delays/cancellations, it is a lot of self-inflicted travel misery. Clearly he has a laptop/smartphone - search the Internet, call, and set a dang alarm!
CApreppie is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:15 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LHR/SFO
Programs: 1K (until 2021), *G for "life", Global Entry, Hertz PC, Cadbury's Rum and Raisin Emeritus
Posts: 16,176
All the gear and no idea.
Silver Fox is offline  
Old Dec 1, 19, 1:35 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: PDX
Programs: DL Plat, UA Plat 1MM, AS MVP, Hyatt Discoverist, Avis Presidents Club, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,694
Counter-point: The system is broken or at best flawed, and those of us who live in it because we spend so much time traveling (and known how to work within it's boundaries) have learned to accept that this is just how it is.

There are plenty of egregious examples of the author of this story doing the wrong thing -- from going to the airport anyway to standing in a 12 hour line despite being told on the phone that he shouldn't to oversleeping -- that made a bad situation much worse. And, ultimately, weather is one of those things that the airlines have little control over and are frequently blamed for. But, there are plenty of things that COULD be done to make this situation better that the airlines by and large do not do. The reason they don't do them is that their margins are razor-thin and they're in the business of making money so they need to constantly balance cost vs customer support. We understand this. We know that there aren't extra CS workers who United is going to bring into Newark to work a long line. We know that the airlines fly their flights completely full, that standby is a myth especially at busy holiday periods and that the economics and complexities of the airline industry make it hard for airlines to just add extra flights here and there to clear capacity (it happens occasionally but not as often as, say,, a public transit agency adds extra service to their trains for special events). We have learned to accept that United doesn't work their customer service line the way Starbucks works their line. We also know the shortcuts to get around a lot of this when things go south (such as looking at alternate cities) and by and large most of us have the resources to overcome these types of issues, especially when we're traveling on OPM and/or for work. But -- most of the traveling public do not -- so when they are confronted with the reality of air travel today, and the fragile,at capacity, narrowly driven by profits over customer service, the experience can be disheartening and disappointing as this author discovered. I don't agree with the tone of the article but I also think most of the scorn for the author fails to recognize how difficult it is to end up in this situation when you have neither the knowledge, experience or resources to get out of it and are merely at the mercy of the company to whom you've contracted to get you from point A to point B. We can all sit here and point out that his expectations are out of line with reality, and how he is doing it wrong, but when a relatively minor weather situation results in such an experience, even if some of it is his own responsibility, its a reminder that the system is fragile and its easy to get lost and abused when things break down.
Catbert10 and ATLintheair like this.
noah is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: