United Airlines Informative - Mechanical Delay & Customer Service
In light of all the airline complaints--and some are very legitimate--I thought I would give some insight into my recent flight from PDX to BOS.
First of all, my trip had two legs--one from PDX to DEN and one from DEN to BOS. The good news was my flight out of PDX was on-time and even arrived 20 minutes early in DEN. Unfortunately I had a 2-Hour layover, but that wasn't too bad. It gave me time to go to Paradise Bakery and eat a pretty good salad, as I knew there would be no food on the flight. Then I received a text message from United about 1/2 hour before my flight was to depart--it had been cancelled due to a mechanical delay.
I went to the counter and was directed to the United Customer Service desk. The line was very long as 2 other flights to BOS had been cancelled that day--all mechanicals. The line moved quickly as they had all stations manned. The agents were all very pleasant and helpful. They put us all up at hotels, gave us meal vouchers and we were transported to the hotels.
The amazing thing was that everyone I talked to was not unhappy, but made the most of the free hotel stay. What are you going to do? I suppose we felt lucky that it was not a weather related delay as then we would have just been stuck.
United added a flight at 6 a.m. for all of us--early, but at the same time considerate--as they knew we would never get on the already full flights the next day. They also let me change my return trip to a day later with no hassle at all.
When I returned home, I e-mailed them and told them I had to pay for a taxi to return to the airport in the a.m., so they sent me a travel voucher good for my next flight. I would like to add that I received a reply to my e-mail the next day. You can't ask for better customer service than that.
I truly think the airlines are really trying to improve. Luggage has always gotten lost, delays--mechanical and weather--have always happened and you can always run into a rude flight attendant or three. It really doesn't do any good to stress out. If you have a problem that wasn't resolved during your trip, use the airline's web site to voice your complaint. You might be pleasantly surprised.
BTW, my other flights were on-time with no delays at all. Three out of four isn't too bad at all!