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UX flight, forgotten pax item brought to plane after leaving gate, strange experience

UX flight, forgotten pax item brought to plane after leaving gate, strange experience

Old Feb 8, 21, 8:35 am
  #1  
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UX flight, forgotten pax item brought to plane after leaving gate, strange experience

last night I was on a brief flight from ORD-ATW
... about a 30min flight that I have done several times this year, both directions, without issues.....
... 26 people on board

We all board, sit at the gate for about 30 min and pull out - and sit on the tarmac for about another 30 and then told that they cant get the engine started and we need to go back to the gate... more info to follow

we get back (after an extremely scenic tour of all of ORD runways....)
... told to get off and that they found another plane and will depart shortly
get off the plane - walk down a few gates - wait for the new plane (which was done for the day, but available) to be cleaned
... they eventually brought out snacks
... then started quickly boarding

left the gate and then stopped for a few minutes
... apparently there was a guy on the plane, not on the original flight with the rest of us, who had some travel issues, but UA was able to get him on this flight due to the delays....ok... nice of them to make this work (sounded complicated for some reason)

but - here is the zinger.... the reason we stopped is that he left his backpack at the gate and UA had someone drive it out to the plane, the FA opened the ride-sided door and passed off the backpack to the customer.... we then took off

overall, landed about +2 hours later than initially planned.....


yes, the overall communication could have been better, the engine issues are what they are, but then stopping for a backpack - and opening the door of a plane that has already left the gate?

dont want anyone in trouble, in part since I would be grateful if the circumstances were myself.... but then again, considering the problems in sometimes getting stuff left on the plane........

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 8, 21 at 10:17 am Reason: Please create thread titles that are specific and descriptive
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Old Feb 8, 21, 8:42 am
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I would say that this was a memorable short hop, fitting for an episode of a future TV show. The service provided by UA was excellent.
Safe travel.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 8:59 am
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contact customer service

The UA site says your flight was 2 h & 3 mn late "due to a technical issue". It was the last flight of the day.
I have been on many UA flights where the crew go over and above to meet the needs of passengers e.g. on arrival @ EWR, I was asked to wait to deplane so the late connecting passengers could exit first! Unusual, but not unprecedented.
If I was you, I suggest sending a note to UA about how you were inconvenineced by the delay & the lack of communication by the flight service director. IMO, you will get a flight credit - for your next UA adventure!
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Old Feb 8, 21, 9:04 am
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Antonio8069 - yes, I was impressed by how the FA, pilots, local crew really tried to go above and beyond given the circumstances - recognizing that sometimes the limited info we get is all they have also...... debating on whether to say anything to anyone at UA (especially since I seem to get survey's after every flight these days.....)
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Old Feb 8, 21, 9:19 am
  #5  
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During the NYC blizzard, I was rerouted FRA-EWR to FRA-ORD-EWR. (overnight ORD, UA gave me a hotel).

Then ORD-EWR had a 2 hour ground stop, then a 30 minute wait after landing to clean the gate.

I said nothing to UA. I would suggest the same unless its compliments.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
If I was you, I suggest sending a note to UA about how you were inconvenineced by the delay & the lack of communication by the flight service director. IMO, you will get a flight credit - for your next UA adventure!
UA is unlikely to provide comp for a 2-hour delay.

Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
Antonio8069 - yes, I was impressed by how the FA, pilots, local crew really tried to go above and beyond given the circumstances - recognizing that sometimes the limited info we get is all they have also...... debating on whether to say anything to anyone at UA (especially since I seem to get survey's after every flight these days.....)
If I were in that situation, I would write a note praising the crew. It sounds like they went above and beyond.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 10:33 am
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Good on UA.

A very good chance that this did not further delay the arrival of the aircraft. E.g., it was somewhere between push at ORD and brakes locked at ATW, If the aircraft stops for 3 minutes to receive the backup, but that does not further delay the arrival, why not?

The rest of the story is not relevant. E.g., aircraft broke down.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
overall, landed about +2 hours later than initially planned.....
How much of the 2 hours was attributable to the backpack?
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Old Feb 8, 21, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
Antonio8069 - yes, I was impressed by how the FA, pilots, local crew really tried to go above and beyond given the circumstances - recognizing that sometimes the limited info we get is all they have also...... debating on whether to say anything to anyone at UA (especially since I seem to get survey's after every flight these days.....)
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA is unlikely to provide comp for a 2-hour delay.


If I were in that situation, I would write a note praising the crew. It sounds like they went above and beyond.
I agree with jsloan that comp is unlikely, and not really warranted. Aside: it doesn't stop me from trying the unitedcares site, just in case, when I have a moderate delay, though.

And agree again that if the crew went above and beyond, writing in with complements is a nice touch. If you get the survey invitation, then I think it doesn't hurt to add in the constructive criticism (room for improvement with the communication, etc.), but for this I would only proactively write with the praise.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 11:36 am
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2 hour delay on a UX out of ORD in winter? That's pretty good!
I used to be happy if my UX flight even departed ORD at all in winter. It started happening so infrequently (i.e. cancellations) that I now avoid any UX out of ORD in January & February, and rather opt for a one-way car rental even if means a 10 hour drive.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 3:25 pm
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not looking for comp (wouldn't turn it away) - but the entire circumstances were interesting (hence the initial topic title) - specifically, stopping a flight that had already pulled away from a gate, opening the door, and handing off a backpack from a passenger who was already an unusual pass. - meaning he was not on the original flight - was a late addition..... I think the service recovery for everything was great and clearly met my expectations....although a little surprised the engine issues were what they were.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 8:02 pm
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I usually go with the flow, but I would have been uncomfortable with the (1) opening of the plane door after leaving the gate and (2) a backpack being brought on for (3) someone that was not on the original flight. So many things could go wrong with this scenario.

Very nice that United wanted to help this customer, but putting the item on the next flight and then delivering the item to its owner is also nice...and how it is usually done.
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Old Feb 8, 21, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Jane42 View Post
I usually go with the flow, but I would have been uncomfortable with the (1) opening of the plane door after leaving the gate and (2) a backpack being brought on for (3) someone that was not on the original flight. So many things could go wrong with this scenario.

Very nice that United wanted to help this customer, but putting the item on the next flight and then delivering the item to its owner is also nice...and how it is usually done.
Why? Nothing wrong with opening the door. The passenger was manifested on the flight, security screened and obviously the object was easily identifiable as belonging to the passenger.

What's the harm? I think it's AWESOME that they did so. Rather kind and, dare I say, human.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 6:34 am
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Last flight of the day on an express route - enuf said

Originally Posted by dmurphynj View Post
Why? Nothing wrong with opening the door. The passenger was manifested on the flight, security screened and obviously the object was easily identifiable as belonging to the passenger.

What's the harm? I think it's AWESOME that they did so. Rather kind and, dare I say, human.
Relevant fact: Last flight of the day on an express route.
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Old Feb 9, 21, 7:10 am
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"<name> Airline wanting to help passenger" - low probability.
More likely this was some a) US Marshal/or someone with security clearance that either received a late package, or b) bungled part of the work and left this "backpack" somewhere.
a- I watch too many spy movies.
b- I don't watch enough Mr. Bean.
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