Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dear United Airlines

This has gone too far.

I was at the airport early and two- count them two - flights were boarding to O'Hare.  With room.  I had no bags to check.  Ready, willing and able to hop on standby.

Except for the $50 fee.  I don't think so.

So I sat in the airport for another hour.  Checked my e-mail.  And my work e-mail.  And Facebook.  And introduced myself to those pretzal M&Ms.  Then my flight boards.  It is packed full and you are turning people away.  You could have made me extra special happy and used my seat to help out someone else and you declined the opportunity with a stupid fee.

Really?  This is how you want to do business?

We all know those hourly flights between O'Hare and Reagan are being cancelled on a regular basis.  Not every day, but I would say 50% of the time that I am on that route, one flight or another is being cancelled.  Once or twice this year, it has been mine.  It is in your best interest to get people out the door when you have the chance.

As I was grumbling about this on the airplane, my seatmate said:  "I heard it was because people were taking advantage.  A couple of jerks working the system ruined it for us all."

Yes.  That happens.  But what was the "taking advantage"?  People booked on the less expensive 9pm flight and then hopped standby on the expensive 5pm flight?  So what?

If someone wants so badly to save money that they are willing to get to the airport four hours early for an opportunity to catch the flight they really want, I say give it to him.  If the seat is available, he should have it.  If it is not - I hope his iPod is charged.  That is the risk/reward for being cheap.

O'Hare and Reagan are notorious for delays and cancellations.  O'Hare because of the weather and Reagan because of the operating rules.  And we all know the problems get worse as the day progresses.  Not moving people when you have the opportunity is just short-sighted.

I hope you will reconsider this lame policy. 

Love, Anne

P.S.  I'll see you in a few weeks.


KB said...

You were almost hostile! To UAL! This is monumental.

Fluffycat said...

United sucks! Friend in LA and I are going to on the same flight, only mine isn't direct and stops at LAX first, and for some reason, mine, the longer more complicated journey is cheaper. Seems like the prices are mostly made up.