18 February 2008

The state of the airline industry

Recently, I flew to Bloomington, IL and back. It was supposed to be four flights: CA to O'Hare, O'Hare to Bloomington and back.

Well, of the 4 flights on United, 2 of the 3 I actually took where >1 hour late because of "crew issues" (i.e., the crew wasn't available). The 3rd late flight, from Bloomington to O'Hare, was late enough for me to miss my other flight. So, United rebooked me on American, adding an extra leg, going from O'Hare to Dallas, then Dallas back to CA, all on the next day. United put me up in one of the worst airport hotels I've been in with no free internet, a shower that barely worked, a turbofan-loud heater and maybe 5 cable channels. Then, I had to wait 4 hours in Dallas, including almost 2 hours in the MD-82 on the tarmac while we waited for the thunderstorm to pass ... during which American loaded more passengers and then delayed the flight more so they could add the latecomers baggage. And then had the gaul to try to hype the cheap-ass food they now sell on all flights (well, both United and American do this), only giving the coach class folks a single beverage on a 3.5 hour flight. The flight attendants were rude and flippant, especially Kay Cee (on AA Flight 1119), who yelled at a number of passengers (including me) who tried to use the bathroom when the seatbelt light was OFF - no explanation, just "Sir, return to your seat!". So, 4 of the 5 flights were VERY late, rude staff, and not even an offer of compensation. No apology. Not even a free bag of pretzels. And you wonder why the legacy carriers like United and American can't make money when they nickel and dime you and make it clear that they don't give a f&%k about their customers. I will gladly use a low-cost carrier in the future or Delta (who looks like they have their act together) than the mess that are United and American.

OK, I'm done with my rant. And of course, I get to fly back to the Midwest next week. On United. Bah!


ScienceWoman said...

Does this mean you are interviewing? If so, congrats.

geobabe said...

if you don't write this in a letter addressed to united customer relations, i will. i'm flying united next week!!