United Airlines Informative - United lack of service
OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- Dear United Airlines,
My name is Eric Smith. On Christmas day, I learned my Grandfather was gravely ill and would likely not make it very long. My girlfriend and I immediately searched for an affordable ticket from Los Angles, California, to Omaha, Nebraska. We had never flown with United Airlines before, but after asking around, heard it was a decent airline to fly with. We quickly learned nothing could be further from the truth. To start out with, our flight from Los Angles to Denver on flight 576 to Denver was delayed due to Weather. In no way do I expect United to control the weather, but there was no warning whatsoever.
When we landed in Denver, I had a voicemail telling me that flight 576 was delayed and my connecting flight had been rescheduled for a later flight. However, when I went to look for my original connecting flight, it too had been delayed an hour. Why I would be automatically re-connected without taking account of my connecting flight delay is beyond me, but it would set the tone of things to come. Not only that, we were racing the clock to get to his bedside. When we landed in Omaha on flight 977, our bags were nowhere to be found. We went to the baggage service area and spoke with the gentleman there. He said our bags were on the plane we were rescheduled for. I explained to him I could not wait an hour for the bags and told him we lived in Sioux City. He said not to worry, someone could deliver them there tomorrow. I
t was only after I told him that we were actually in a suburb of Sioux City called Sergeant Bluff that he said it would have to be handled by FedEx, but they will still be overnighted and be there tomorrow. He re-assured me this is how it would happen, and gave me a baggage report. I left and immediately drove the 3 hours north to Brookings, SD where I learned my Grandfather had passed sometime in the last hour, had there been no delay I would have made it. The next day I drove the hundred miles to pick up our bags, but there were no bags. I promptly called 1-800-221-6903 and spoke to an agent there (Did not get his name but it is on my United record).
I asked him if I could just come pick up the luggage, he informed me that it was already given to FedEd and said there was no way the luggage would ever be there by noon the next day. He then supposedly called FedEx and they not only had the luggage on the truck out for delivery, they were making a special drop for us at 10PM on 28DEC07. He gave me their tracking numbers (790905591469 and 790905591470). I looked up these tracking numbers, they showed they hadn’t even left the airport yet, were scheduled for delivery 02JAN08, and were set for 2ND DAY DELIVERY. Hoping that the special delivery was indeed correct, I put my faith in United again. 10PM came and left, and no bags. The next morning I called again. The agent informed me that there was no special delivery scheduled and the luggage had been picked up by FedEx for 2nd day delivery at 10:30PM. This is the only truthful information I have received from United to this day. She then said she was looking at the shipping info and it was on the truck. I asked to speak with her supervisor. Instead of getting him, she also called supposedly called FedEx, and gave me the same answer the agent before had given me with the addition that the bags would be there today between 8AM and 12AM. . I again asked for a supervisor, she put me on hold and hung up. I called back and asked another agent for a supervisor. Finally she connected me with a supervisor named Lee. Lee informed me of many interesting things. One of them was that I couldn’t count, because even though I told him I had called 3 or 4 times, his system shows that I had only called twice, so I must be exaggerating. This same system that has lost my bags is now calling me a liar. Another interesting fact was that our bags were going to be FedEx’ed FOR SURE by noon. He also stated that I could only have a $250 vouchers for United. He said it in such a misleading way I had to ask again. I said verbatim “Did you say two hundred and fifty dollars?”, to which he said yes. I then asked the same question again, and he replied yes. I didn’t think $250 was enough money since it was both of us without clothes for 3 days so far, and he said either that or our clothes, toiletries, and such would be re-reimbursed by United. However, my 600 miles in gas due to this incident will not. He would also file a formal complaint on my behalf and send it to corporate. I told him the $250 travel voucher will be fine if that’s all there is, and I would look forward to my bags at noon. AGAIN noon goes by and no bags. Again I call the 800 number, This time I get Denise. Denise tells me the same thing I have been hearing the whole time, which is my bags are so close I should just hang up and wait for them. This seems to be the plot of the call every time I talk to someone. I ask to speak to Lee again and she puts me on hold. Instead of getting Lee like I asked, she calls FedEx for 10 minutes. She comes back on the line and states that before she gets Lee she wants me to know she called FedEx and my bags are on the way. I again told her I wanted to speak to Lee. She replies that she will go get him but its not going to matter he isn’t going to be able to do anything for me. I will definitely admit it is this point where I started screaming. Denise had ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to tell me what I wanted or needed to do, it seems as though she didn’t even read my notes. After 20 more minutes on hold, she puts me through to Cleo.
At the same time my girlfriend Kristin is on hold with FedEx. Cleo said that unfortunately there is nothing they can do. I asked her to call FedEx and ask them if we could just pick up the bags. She said they would need authorization by the baggage department at Omaha to get the order cancelled. Meanwhile, my girlfriend gets an answer from FedEx, who said the order could have easily been cancelled up until 10:30PM last night, because IT WAS JUST SITTING AT THE AIRPORT THE ENTIRE TIME. Cleo then comes back to me and says she left a VM with the baggage department at Omaha, FedEx cannot give the bags back nor can they overnight them without the baggage departments authorization. So now as it stands my grandfathers funeral is tomorrow, and my military uniform is at a hub in Omaha. What do you have to say for yourselves? This entire time your company has done nothing but lie to us about where our bags are to cover your own individual agent’s asses. If you would have been honest from the very start this could have been avoided and I would have my bags RIGHT NOW.
Instead I have traveled 600 miles, spent the entire time on the phone with your company, and I will now bury my grandfather with no military rights. I don’t even have enough money in my pocket to buy clothes FOR THE FUNERAL, so being reimbursed is not an option (Although with your track record so far, I doubt that reimbursement is likely in the end). A $50 travel voucher may as well be nothing, as it isn’t cash now and its barely a dent in the monetary anguish you have cost us. Your company has taken away something that can never be replaced, and for that not only will I never fly your airline again, I will make it a point to inform EVERYONE I know that you have by far the worst possible customer service and business ethics possible. Although my heart is filled with anger and hatred at your company and they horrible acts you have committed against me, I hope you never have to experience the helplessness felt by burying a loved one during the holidays, only to have your hands tied behind you by a huge unemotional corporate conglomerate.