United Airlines, why do you fuck me so?

Inflexible Airline Experience #74: I have $400 in travel vouchers on United Airlines from last time I flew. I book a flight home for Christmas, SFO to Washington Dulles. Fare is $667 (insane!). I want to apply my $400 vouchers. OK, first try and book trip online at ual.com. Payment time and there is no input for vouchers. I have to call reservations. LAME. I call, go through automated voice response reservation system which takes forever, doesn’t understand my name. I eject to a human being dialing 0. Human has the reservation. She tells me I have to mail the vouchers in or take them to the airport within 24 hours. EXTREMELY LAME. Eject to a supervisor. I explain vouchers have a unique serial number. You should be able to verify they are valid and issued to me. I offer to give the serial number and bring the paper copies with me to the airport. No can do. It doesn’t work that way. WHY THE FUCK NOT?

United, why are you inconveniencing me with your archaic ways of doing business? How is it I can book a flight online and have nothing but my name and an ID when I show up at the airport? It’s obvious you understand unique serial numbers and ID verification. SO why can I not apply the vouchers the same way? Why must I trust the postal service or make a special trip to the airport to book this flight? Why United Airlines, do you fuck me so?

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  • All airlines are lame – some are lamer than others. American Airlines is less lame than United (in my experience) but only by about half a percentage point. British Airways is one of the lamest of them all.

    Someone should start an “Airways Lameness Quotient” website. Useful information, that.

    My tip, which may or may not work: find out the name and address of someone with exec power of decision at United. Write a letter of complaint with bullet points detailing exactly your experience of their lameness, and how they could improve. Use exec-speak. Be polite. Sign with your real name and your address. You’ll get a reply, though you may not get an apology. You never know – you might spur them to clean up their act, unless it’s been an executive decision in the first place to inconvenience you so you never use your vouchers. In which case United Airlines can go stand in the corner of shame along with British Airways, under the banner of “Airlines I Will Fly Only If You Literally Put A Gun To My Head.”

  • All airlines are lame – some are lamer than others. American Airlines is less lame than United (in my experience) but only by about half a percentage point. British Airways is one of the lamest of them all.

    Someone should start an “Airways Lameness Quotient” website. Useful information, that.

    My tip, which may or may not work: find out the name and address of someone with exec power of decision at United. Write a letter of complaint with bullet points detailing exactly your experience of their lameness, and how they could improve. Use exec-speak. Be polite. Sign with your real name and your address. You’ll get a reply, though you may not get an apology. You never know – you might spur them to clean up their act, unless it’s been an executive decision in the first place to inconvenience you so you never use your vouchers. In which case United Airlines can go stand in the corner of shame along with British Airways, under the banner of “Airlines I Will Fly Only If You Literally Put A Gun To My Head.”

  • Psykomike1

    I live in the former hub city that AA screwed when it raped TWA, and am currently a Milage Plus Premier from last year and well on my way to Premier Executive this year on United. The half-of-a-percent gift in AAs favor is extremely gracious, because they both equally suck in their own non-customer-oreinted ways. But trust me when I tell ya, Exec-speak isn’t gonna do crap with the unimpowered Customer Relations Call center in India, and God help you if you don’t feel like asking them to repeat each sentence three times when you can’t figure out what they are saying.

    The CRRs don’t even have a clue who United’s incompetent President and CEO is (by the way, its Glenn F Tilton, and you can more than likely waste more of your precious time to no avail by addressing a letter to him at the Lack of Customer Relations address at United’s World Headquarters in Chicago, which is apprently a suburb of some metropolis in India, at the following address: P O Box 66100, Chicago, Illinois 60666 (or as I read it 6-0-sign-of-the-devil).

    You can also use their direct-to-India unimpowered Customer Relations voice line at 877.228.1327, option 5, should you desire to speak to a living, breathing, unempowered human being half way around the world that you can’t understand, and cannot relate to you as a severely wronged customer.

    Don’t feel so bad, though: those of us that fly the damn thing 25,000 to 50,000 miles a year get the same indifference and incompetence as you have received. It just seems to be how United Airlines of India, Malaysia and the Philippines does business from its headquarters in the United States.

  • Psykomike1

    I live in the former hub city that AA screwed when it raped TWA, and am currently a Milage Plus Premier from last year and well on my way to Premier Executive this year on United. The half-of-a-percent gift in AAs favor is extremely gracious, because they both equally suck in their own non-customer-oreinted ways. But trust me when I tell ya, Exec-speak isn’t gonna do crap with the unimpowered Customer Relations Call center in India, and God help you if you don’t feel like asking them to repeat each sentence three times when you can’t figure out what they are saying.

    The CRRs don’t even have a clue who United’s incompetent President and CEO is (by the way, its Glenn F Tilton, and you can more than likely waste more of your precious time to no avail by addressing a letter to him at the Lack of Customer Relations address at United’s World Headquarters in Chicago, which is apprently a suburb of some metropolis in India, at the following address: P O Box 66100, Chicago, Illinois 60666 (or as I read it 6-0-sign-of-the-devil).

    You can also use their direct-to-India unimpowered Customer Relations voice line at 877.228.1327, option 5, should you desire to speak to a living, breathing, unempowered human being half way around the world that you can’t understand, and cannot relate to you as a severely wronged customer.

    Don’t feel so bad, though: those of us that fly the damn thing 25,000 to 50,000 miles a year get the same indifference and incompetence as you have received. It just seems to be how United Airlines of India, Malaysia and the Philippines does business from its headquarters in the United States.

  • Psykomike1

    Sorry about the typos on unempowered. The wrong middle finger got all excited when trying to type the word as it is correctly spelled. That seems to happen frequently when anyone brings up the topic of Untied or UnAmerican Airlines. My bad for not proofreading. Best of luck.

  • Psykomike1

    Sorry about the typos on unempowered. The wrong middle finger got all excited when trying to type the word as it is correctly spelled. That seems to happen frequently when anyone brings up the topic of Untied or UnAmerican Airlines. My bad for not proofreading. Best of luck.

  • JILLNESS

    i fucking hate those motherfucking airlines and couldn’t agree more with the guy who classified them as “I would only fly with a gun “

  • JILLNESS

    i fucking hate those motherfucking airlines and couldn’t agree more with the guy who classified them as “I would only fly with a gun “

  • JILLNESS

    ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto…………………………….I will not drive 1 hour to the airport and pay for parking and pay you $15 dollars for “helping” me book my flight using the “Customer Relations” voucher i received because the cabin of the plane FILLED UP WITH SMOKE!!! And I’m not going to take excuse from some douchebag in INDIA!!! At least i can take comfort in that they are probably making less than $2 a day so United is getting what they pay for.

  • JILLNESS

    ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto…………………………….I will not drive 1 hour to the airport and pay for parking and pay you $15 dollars for “helping” me book my flight using the “Customer Relations” voucher i received because the cabin of the plane FILLED UP WITH SMOKE!!! And I’m not going to take excuse from some douchebag in INDIA!!! At least i can take comfort in that they are probably making less than $2 a day so United is getting what they pay for.

  • Sean

    I agree. United has enjoyed fucking me at least twice; the most significant when I had to pay an additional $2500 for a “day of” booking – because although the knew the plane I was supposed to board at 6:30am never arrived at the airport at 10pm the prior evening. They never bothered to contact me. Consequently, I – and a couple hundred other “where the hell is my plane” passengers are staring red-eyed and confused, trying to find other flights. Had we know when THEY knew, no issue. We'd have been happily on our way. Instead, we arrived at the United Counter too late to catch another flight. Their answer: well, here's a $250 voucher for another flight. The math: that's – oh that's right. $2250 in the hole. Fuck you, United. I am counting your future with a sweep second hand.

  • art Gomez

    I had a similar experience this morning with UA. Plane is there, but broken down. Mechanics won't let it fly. Alright, they try to book everyone on other flights. The gate agent is visibly and audibly upset and confrontational with passengers. She can't handle the stress and has to leave for a 15 minute “break”. When she returns it is a pissing contest with her.

    Questions;
    1) Is there minimum training within UA?
    2) Is there adequate management within UA?
    3) Are gate agents paid more than minimum wage?
    4) Is morale low within UA?
    5) Should my safety be of concern? What if this were an emergency situation? How would these people react?

    My company no longer will fly with UA after this experience.

  • boris7000001

    i totally here you, they totally fucked me over, charged me twice for flight, putting me into debt, do they give a fuck, hell no. flights are non refundable, united should be called, get ready to fucked over.

  • pissedoff

    FUCK UNITED!!! I flew biz class from dubai to dulles and the united agent erroneously left my emirates flier number in the reservation. I didn’t notice it and flew home, united will not credit me the miles and emirates has no record of the flight. United will not give me the miles without confirmation from emirates. Circular logic hell. The best part is that this would put me over into 1k territory with this fucking lame ass, incompetent airline. Paying 10k for a ticket and flying 90k miles in a year doesn’t get you service?? I will eventually sort this out somehow, but why the heck should I have to spend time on this crap???

  • Darryl

    United Airlines denied me boarding even though I showed up more than 5 hours before the flight departed. I arrived for check-in just under an hour before the scheduled departure and they would not let me check-in and board claiming that I didn’t arrive in time due to their one-hour cut-off time requirement. Well, the flight was delayed do to computer problems onboard the aircraft. In fact, the flight was delayed by almost 5 hours and despited my repeated attempts to check-in and board, they refused to allow me to be on that flight giving me a whole litany of excuses. They also moved all the passengers and baggage from the aircraft to another gate and replacement aircraft. I tried for 4 hours to see if they would let me on but they refused. If United Airlines cannot find a way to check-in and board a passenger even after his flight was completely deplaned and transferred to another plane, then United Airlines is an incompetent airline and shouldn’t be in business. United can stick their fucking one-hour cut-off time policy up their asses. Other airlines are far more accommodating that United Airlines. Don’t fly with them. They fucking mess with me about something every time I fly with them. Before, they charged me an extra $100 baggage fee just because my standard size suitcase was over by a couple of inches.

  • I agree. Screw united. They are the worst. I bought two round trip tickets to Chicago. Paid $500 for each. As if that was bad enough. When I attempted to change the outbound departure date, they tried to charge me for rebooking($200) plus the difference of the ticket I bought and the new fare. I balked and bought two cheap one way tix on SW for $150 each. Then when I informed United that I was only flying on their airline on the return flight they insisted that I pay the rebooking fee and the difference in the new flight(2x$400). This despite the fact that I was only flying on the return leg. I was only flying one way! These fuckers charged me 1800 for two people to fly one way. They will likely charge some poor sap $1000 for the two departure seats that I never used. Total double screwing

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