United Airlines Complaint - Flight Cancellation And Delay
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- On May 31, 2008, my wife, two young children and I planned to travel to Jacksonville, Florida from Washington, DC (Dulles Airport). We were scheduled to depart in the morning. When we tried to check-in, however, we were informed that our flight was canceled because there was not a sufficient flight crew. We were then sent to stand in a line for "additional services". This line was very long and there was only 1 person helping people in this line. We waited for more than 30 minutes. When we finally were helped, we were informed that there were no flights with the 4 seats we needed until after 9pm. There was a flight on another airline, but we were told that we did not have enough time to get through security and get on that flight (due to the long wait in line).
Having our children fly late at night when we would not arrive at our hotel until 1am or so made no sense. The person who helped us told us that United has been cancelling flights that aren't full to save the fuel costs. I find this to be incredibly unfair and irresponsible. I bought tickets on a particular flight and honored my part of the bargain by paying. United ought to have the decency to honor its part of the bargain by flying the plane to its destination. Given that we were only going for a long weekend, the family canceled the trip -- though I still need to travel today (June 1) to Jacksonville because I have business there in the morning. Today I arrived at the airport. Upon arriving at the gate prior to my 4:40 pm flight (flight number 5338) to Jacksonville from Dulles, I was informed that the flight is delayed nearly two hours because there is no flight crew. The plane it just sitting there. I don't know whether the plane will actually fly at the new time or not.
I am having tremendous difficulty formulating into words (without the use of expletives) how angry I am. The trip was supposed to be a nice thing for our family as it is my wife's birthday on June 2nd. We were also supposed to see family on this trip (my uncle is recovering from an operation and was excited about seeing the kids). All of this has been ruined either due to incompetence (the inability to get a flight crew for scheduled flights) or perhaps United willfully choosing to break its obligations to passengers like me due to its business expenses.
I would very much like to receive a real response from United (not just a form letter) explaining how this level of incompetence and/or irresponsibility has come to be the norm at United. If I have any choice in the matter at all, I plan to never do business with United again.
Although if United's service does not change dramatically for the better I suspect it will not be hard to avoid United -- I expect the company to be out of business.