Wow. Check out the comment from Anonymous about Sunday's UA900. You'll need to click on the "Comments" button at the bottom of the post entitled "Sometimes the captain doesn't lead the team..." Yet again, proof that nobody's ever certain that their airline tells the truth--the description I received and the description received by the commenter, a passenger on Sunday's aborted UA900, differ wildly; as a betting man, I'd bet that the passengers were outright lied to (a strong statement, I know, but one I believe that fits in this case), based on what I believe was an accurate description I received from the United representative I spoke with that day. I mean, c'mon United. Put a little effort into it, huh? Cracked windshield? Tell the friggin' truth, huh?
And compensate your passengers for your own incompetence, for Pete's sake. Not even a taxi ride home for a bay area local? You've gotta be kidding me. Oh, and only one agent for all the non-Premiers? I saw that with my own eyes before I left. Sheer ugliness. Pull some folks over from Domestic if you need to. But, c'mon. Try even a little bit, will ya? Airlines wonder why lots of customers don't like them, then they pull something like this. This wasn't a snowstorm at ORD, and this wasn't AA canceling 850 flights for further MD-80 inspections (like they did today). This was one cancelled flight.
I remain very brand loyal to United, since they're my best option to travel the world from SFO. But, every time I hear a story like this, United (or any other brand who pulls something like this) ends up sliding a tiny little bit in my mind. The bar is very low when it comes to customer service on a U.S. flag carrier, but I'm still amazed when the bar is missed by this much.
Here's an idea. If you're a fellow traveler, send a link to either www.heycoop.com or to the initial story (http://www.heycoop.com/2008/04/sometimes-captain-doesnt-lead-team.html) to your traveling colleagues; ask them to have a look at the story about UA900, and make a comment here if they have one. I'd like to get some more commentary from folks who might've been on this particular flight, or just in general on horror stories where you've been mistreated by your carrier. I know that a number of folks who work in the travel industry tune in here.
So, let your voice be heard. No guarantees it'll change anything, but here's your opportunity to vent.
And, to Anonymous, many thanks for your comment!