Customer Service
COMPLAINT: My complaint to @united for a series of outrages at O'Hare. Could've been worse...I c

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Old Apr 11, 2017, 11:25 AM
c_christine_fair c_christine_fair is offline
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 1

Note the photos have been removed because this forum has absurd size restrictions nor will it let me post a link. It's on my twitter feed at cchristinefair.

April 10, 2017

Dear United Customer Service Representative

This letter summarizes several general and specific examples of indolence, insouciance, sloth and disinterest in hygienic standards evidenced by United Airlines uniformed personnel that I encountered at O’Hare Airport on April 9, 2017 between the hours of 2 pm and 8 pm CST, as well as an array of indignities perpetrated by United Airlines that were completely avoidable.

After travelling for well over 24 hours, I arrived in Chicago O’Hare from Hong Kong on UA 986 via Dhaka (Bangladesh).

I proceeded to the lounge in Concourse B. I saddled up to the bar to enjoy a beverage when I observed that the bartender was thrusting her hand into a pot of maraschino cherries without gloves. She transferred a handful of said cherries with her still bare hands into a bowl. I observed that she bothered to cursorily rinse her hands before continuing to make customers’ beverages. I ask you, is this acceptable food handling? My perusal of the City of Chicago’s rules and regulations for food handling would (and no doubt will) take exception to such practices when I complete my report to them. In the meantime, I found this handy online course for food handling practices consistent with the requirements of Illinois: [link removed because this forum has stupid rules]. (You’re welcome). In any event, seeing her handle those cherries deterred me from ordering an Old Fashioned as I had planned.

Next, after having my stomach churned at the bar and wondering what else the bar attendant does with her hands before thrusting them into large jars of fluorescent cherries, I learned that my original flight to Dulles from O’Hare (UA225) was on an indefinite delay due to aircraft maintenance. (Note that such delays seem to be a specialty of United flights at O’Hare, honed it seems through dedicated practice in achieving such delays, which often turn into weather delays or additional delays due to the flight crew’s working hours expiring.) Naturally, there was no customer service representative at Gate B2 to answer any questions whatsoever about the status of this flight much less provide assistance with alternative routing. It should be noted that the flight finally arrived more than five hours late as the below screen capture attests. (However, for reasons noted below, who knows if this is even accurate.)

Being a 1K passenger with some 1.6 million miles endured on your airline with dogged perseverance and questionable judgement, I called the 1K help desk. As usual those customer service representatives are professional and desirous of helping passengers with flight problems. (Why can’t you hire such persons to work at actual airports?) The efficacious 1K service desk professional identified a flight leaving for DCA (UA 624) from Gate B6, which I could easily make as this flight was also on a delay because it was waiting for another flight. However, my bags had to be transferred to this flight. The 1K representative believed that there was adequate time and indeed there was had anyone had O’Hare been interested in competently performing the duties for which they are paid, thanks to repeat sufferers like myself and others who purchase tickets on your airline despite the various media accounts of your various bad decisions.

At 5:15 pm, I went to B6, the gate from which UA 624 was scheduled to depart. The officious and discourteous gate attendant, with the name “Jonathan Williams” on his badge, refused to help transfer me to this flight or initiate the requisite baggage transfer. He simply could not be bothered. It is useful for you to note that he was not besieged with other customers. In fact, no one, except me, was making any demands upon his precious time. [See this picture of Mr. Williams doing absolutely nothing taken moments after I left his gate in abject frustration.]

Given that Mr. Williams was not pressed with the demands of other passengers, I asked him why he was not remotely interested in helping me and reminded him that I am a premium customer (1K, Premier Platinum with over 1.6 million miles endured with United), with a closing window of opportunity to reoptimize my suboptimal travel situation after travelling for more than 24 hours. He said that he did not know how to transfer my bags. Having flown (to remind you again) over 1.6 million miles on this airline, I know that any competent gate agent in a United uniform can do this. (Contractors, in contrast, are more sketchy with less competence in the most basic of tasks much less advanced requirements like “baggage transfer.”) I suggested that he pick up the telephone and make an inquiry. He reacted as if I had asked him to dig a latrine, with a small shovel, while wearing a tuxedo.

Incidentally, I went to the adjacent gate for a flight departing for Canada. That agent confirmed that it can indeed be done but that he could not do it because he was working another flight. He suggested that I go to Customer Service.

I then made the trek to the “Customer Service” desk in Concourse B which, at O’Hare, should be rechristened the “Customer Disservice Desk.” I approached a woman from the Premier line. I explained to her my situation. She outright refused to transfer my baggage. (By the way, I am still on the phone with the customer service representative from the 1K desk who over heard all this chicanery.) The desk agent said that she needed a full hour to make that baggage transfer. By the way, there were 55 minutes left before the plane was scheduled to depart, even after its rescheduling. I requested that she at least try. She simply repeated her “full hour mantra” unhelpfully. I asked her whether she was even going to bother trying. She said, and I quote, “I am not even going to try to get your bags on that flight.”

I asked her for her name and I explained that I will be writing a complaint about her behavior. At first she refused to say her name then, after some suspicious prevarication, offered the name of “Jessica.” (She did not confirm the spelling.) I indicated that this would be inadequate information to write this very complaint letter. I asked if she had a customer representative number to which I may refer since she had no interest in sharing her name. Note, that unlike other personnel, she was not wearing a name tag. She offered the initial “A.” Because I am dubious that this woman is in fact named “Jessica A” I took the below photos of this individual. I asked her to confirm her quoted speech which I had written in my notebook. She confirmed the above-given statement and offered up another pithier one: “I am also not going to help you.” I confirmed this quote as well as she literally stormed away from the Customer Service Desk. Please see the photo of this alleged Ms. Jessica A absconding from her duty after refusing to do her job at all. Also see the photo of her some 15 minutes later when she returned to the area.

I can only imagine how much her fellow employees appreciate her truculent torpor which forces them to fulfill obligations and responsibilities that she neglects. I’m guessing that she can’t be fired or even disciplined because of…hmm…her union?

Now, I ask you this, if this is how these boorish employees of your airline treat a person with 1K status and “over 1 Million Miles flown with United” etc. status, how will they treat a customer who has not made a strategic choice of concentrating all her lifetime airline suffering in one alliance or one who is an infrequent flyer? I suspect that that person would still be wondering from gate to gate seeking help whereas I at least began penning this missive while sitting on the plane that was only delayed by two hours. Of course, a media report from the same day at O’Hare answers that question. Had I been Asian on a flight which you over booked and needed to eject revenue-generating passengers to accommodate United personnel (with the full backing of their asinine union), I could have been pulled off the plane forcibly and bloodied. Here’s the account of that fiasco: [link removed because this forumn won’t let me include the link].

In short, Mr. Williams and Ms. “Jessica A” are not suitable employees for those bus services that the government uses to transport prisoners who have been downgraded from their Super Max prison to lower security facilities (see picture).

However, I also want to express my gratitude to Ms. Nina Long who happily transferred me to this flight and attempted to ensure that my baggage would be transferred to that flight as well. (More on this extended drama below). So, while I do hope, there is appropriate opprobrium issued for the two languorous so-called employees (Mr. Williams and Ms. “Jessica A”) I also hope that Ms. Long receives the apposite approbation for her friendly and efficient efforts to unscrew a passenger that her colleagues screwed.

While all of this was vexing enough, it was not the end of my United Airlines saga on Sunday, April 9. The flight to which I was transferred (UA 624) was also delayed. I want to draw your attention to the fact that the below screen capture shows that your flight status tracker presents misinformation. (Trump enthusiasts may call this an “alternative fact;” others will call it a lie, which according to the Meriam Webster Dictionary is the act of making “an untrue statement with intent to deceive.)

Your flight tracker says that the actual time of departure was “7:25 p.m.” We were at the gate until at least 8:25 pm. In fact, the below screen capture of me message to my husband at 8:25 shows that we had only begun to push away from the gate. This is a full hour after the time your tracking system reports. Kindly see the below graphic which compares what you said happened versus what my phone suggests actually happened.

Once I arrived at DCA, my luggage had not been transferred. Despite the lengthy delays at the gate, my luggage still went to IAD. I filed a baggage complaint (File Reference DCA66165M). When my bags arrived on April 10, I found that one item was broken into myriad pieces and several items had been pilfered.

I filed a complaint about said problems. First, I was told that I had to return to the airport to file a complaint for the broken item. (Really? You’re just finding ways to waste more of my time aren’t you? Why won’t a picture of said broken item suffice?) Then I had to go online to download the form with which I can file a pilferage report. I was appalled to see that I had to choose between “Mrs.” and “Miss.” Is United Airlines living in the nineteenth century? Everyone knows that the appropriate form of address for women in 2017 is “Ms,” an option that was completely missing. You need to fix this. Seriously. It’s astonishing that I even need to point this out to you. If you have mastered the art of making a giant steel bird defy gravity, you should’ve been able to figure this one out!

I look forward to hearing how United is going to address these various matters. I do expect a response and I expect United Airlines to make some effort of making this “right.”

Regards (sort of)

C. Christine Fair
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Old Apr 11, 2017, 1:41 PM
Sidewaysrob Sidewaysrob is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 47

Not cool to abuse the operator of this website. "this forum has absurd size restrictions"

Did you see advertising, click bait, or any other annoying crap?

So probably not a huge profit center? So probably small budget for space.

Definitely not cool
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