Skip to comments.You Blew it! This is What United Airlines Calls First Class?
Posted on 03/31/2014 11:45:47 AM PDT by Kaslin
Last Friday, I flew nonstop on United Airlines from New York to California on a first class ticket. I paid the bellman a nice tip to handle my bags that were labeled priority. I arrived an hour and a half before my flight, so there was plenty of time to get my luggage onboard. The flight was delayed half an hour to allow for passengers with connecting flights to make it on our flight, along with their luggage.
But alas, when I arrived, my two bags were nowhere to be found. After numerous telephone calls to their lost luggage claim center during the next 24 hours, talking with people who clearly spoke with a foreign accent (I was never allowed to speak to the baggage claim people in California or New York) I still could not locate my luggage. Finally, my priority bags arrived the next night at 10 pm. United Airlines refused to offer me a hotel voucher or any other compensation for my trouble.
For years, I have liked to travel on United Airlines. Thirty years ago, I well remember the time I missed my flight back home and was stuck in Chicago, and the United ticket agent handed me a first class ticket for my trouble. I will never forget his act of kindness.
I guess times have changed.
I did notice that in both my bags there were slips of paper from the TSA indicating Notice of Baggage Inspection. Maybe the TSA is the culprit for the delay on my bags, but United Airlines never said.
This is why my family and I (who only fly United) never check our bags. 10 day trip to Hawaii —> all carry on. It’s the art of packing, and it saves you the headache.
Should that read
admission of guilt over violating the 4th Amendment's requirement for warrants?
They definitely don’t give anything for lost luggage or delayed luggage. If they did, they would be even more broke then they are now. Not saying that is right or anything just basic economics. Airlines are dying. I don’t know what they can do to recover. We will probably end up with Southwest when all is said and done.
Last friday was the biggest bust of the TSA and baggage handlers for crime and corruption at LAX.
He is lucky it was just his bags missing.
Personally, I don’t fly at all if I don’t have to. I’d rather drive 99% of the time, unless I’m getting into the realm of 3+ days each way.
When I do have to fly, I pack as light as possible, and go carry-on only, like you state.
I think that the act of checking bags also serves as permission to inspect them That does NOT, by the way, mean that I like it.
Most big businesses have the same problem. Whereas they used to be run by people who understood and enjoyed their chosen industry, today they are all run by Harvard business school types who only care about the Bottom Line, and they only see it if it is on the same page. No heart, no vision, and no enthusiasm for their industry - after all, they can manage ANYTHING can’t they? Go anywhere, any industry? Succeed?
UPS your bags.
I fly 30-50 times a year, sometimes more. ALL work related. While I fly mainly on three airlines, I hit all of them eventually. And it is all just a numbers game. About once every 20 flights or so, something gets screwed up with my baggage. Airline makes no difference. Crappy service afterwards? All of them.
I have become a master a compaction and try to use carry-on baggage whenever possible. You have less legroom, but less chance of loss with one of the smaller jets that you check your bag at the end of the ramp. Even if I am checking baggage, I also have a carry-on that has everything valuable in it as well as enough emergency supplies to get me through a day or two.
Paid the bellman? Bellmen don’t check bags for airlines.
I’m not sure what United Airlines did wrong...
They are subject to the TSA just like the passengers...
TSA?.....How much of his stuff was stolen?................
Delta has started to require more bags be checked. They used to check a quite a few at teh gate for free. Now they are making you go back to the ticket counter and pay the fee.
I think he meant ‘skycap’...................
United frequent flyer here for over a decade. Cr@p happens,1st class or not. He should quit whining.
A year and a half ago, I flew first class on United from Pittsburgh to LA, and had an excellent experience.
Stop the presses!!!! He lost his luggage? Wow, bet that’s never happened before.
UA (and Delta, and the others) are completely different on overseas routes. Not as good as Air France, JAL, Cathay Pacific or Singapore - but pretty good.
Domestic routes? Sh*t.
I saw one of Holders people being carted around on a wheelchair, had 3 or 4 airport employees pushing his lazy ass around straight through the check-in lines (no waiting for people in a wheelchair)
and then he got down to luggage return he got up, picked up his suitcases and walked out of the airport with his BOSSY wife who was yelling orders to everyone to serve her
This should be a crime
I did video it but it did not come out too good, I was too much of an idiot to go up and stick the camera right in his face and confront him.
Red Cap ?
My wife just flew United through Philly. Then a puddle jumper to Connecticut. She ended up spending 8 8 hours there because they cancelled 2 flights in a row at the last minute with no explanation. Then when she got her bags they had been left in the rain and were soaked all the way through.
She had to stay up half the night drying something to wear to her presentation.
Very poor service.
Is that you Phil?
United delivered my luggage 24 hours after I arrived in Arizona, and just dropped the back off without a word
When I went to pick it up it weighed about 100 pounds because everythign was SOAKING WET
My camera and electrical equipment was ruined and the clothes had to be wrung out put in the dryer. I dont just mean damp, but soaking so that I got a gush of water out of every piece of clothing and my shaving kit poured water out
Bastards basically said “too bad” and didnt do anything
8 hours lol
The only way to fly...United, at least.
I take some old clothes and undergarments and throw them away on the trip. More space coming back.
Yup. In the grand scheme of things this is a pretty minor incident. Either it was just a slow news day or the writer must be leading a charmed life to be getting upset over this.
So true. So sad.
A number posters on FR went to Harvard. Some have children at Harvard. No need to trash the school.
The airlines have oversold their frequent flyer miles and so now all you can get for being a loyal flyer is getting on the plane ahead of everyone else.
If you're like me and fly whatever is cheapest, then you're not in one of these programs and you end up at the back of the line praying there is still some space for your carry-on.
When I fly to Hawaii, I take a mostly empty suitcase with me. Then I buy clothes out there. Quality Hawaiian shirts are much cheaper to buy in Hawaii, so long as you stay away from the tourist shacks - like ABC Stores.
I don’t think he is so much whining about “crap” happening as their response to “crap” happening.
United reaffirmed why I don’t fly them this past summer. They couldn’t get me through checking a bag at 6 am in time to clear security and catch a flight. To me and about 150 other people on the flight. Funny thing, the flight was delayed and all it would have taken is one of the staff to simply say: I know you have been waiting in line a long time, but the flight is delayed and you will clear security and not miss the flight.
When airplanes “lost” my luggage they always hand delivered it to where I was the next day. Once it took 2 days on an international flight, they paid me some money maybe $75 or $100
Stop flying... I did and haven’t looked back.
First world problem. Relax. If this is the worst thing that happens to you this year, you’re in good shape.
Me neither. In a few decades of frequent flying, I've never had a single airline offer any form of compensation for misdirected luggage that was found and delivered to me undamaged within a day or two.
The author has weird expectations, seemingly based on the fact that he was flying first class. Whiner.
I flew American Airlines last winter and Jet Blue last spring and United in the summer... AA and Jetblue were phenomenal. Unless I have not choice, United has lost my business, as little as it may be, and I will share when possible how awful they are.
I always flew Continental, and was happy with them.
Alas, the United/Continental merger has proved the truth of the Ice Cream/Dog Poop principle, which states that when you mix a gallon of vanilla ice cream with a tablespoon of dog poop, the resulting mixture tastes a lot more like dog poop than ice cream.
The combined airline is as as bad as United ever was, but now it serves all of Continental’s old routes, so I am stuck flying them out of Newark.
Mark your own bags ‘priority’????
If you are worried about fitting your carry on in the bin then you need to take a lesson from my travel hero Ralph Potts
Around the world with no luggage. He’s a great travel writer as well.
Ah, business travel. During my last trip to Macon, GA, the airline lost my bags; the car rental place lost my reservation; and the hotel lost my room. There I was, with no place to stay, no way to get there, and nothing to change into when I didn’t get there. I remember midnight, standing, exhausted and dirty under the harsh florescent lights, in the 24-Hour Walmart, buying underwear and socks.
Guy arrives at the airline check-in counter for his flight from NYC to SF. He tells the attendant "I have three bags. I want you to send one to Paris, one to Tokyo, and one to Moscow"
She looks at him in amazement and says "Sir, We can't do that."
He says, "I don't see why not. You did it last week."
I had the same experience flying into Dulles, with a connection to Newark. They had our plane at the assigned gate, but then took on of the wheels off, and were tinkering with the brakes. The plane sat there, with one wheel off, for four hours, while United told us the delay was due to weather on a perfectly clear afternoon.
Eventually, they shifted us to another gate, where we were going to be combined with the next flight to Newark, which was half empty. The gate agent there told me that there were seats on the plane, but that the plane had not been released to him to assign the seats. I asked him what would happen if the seats were not released to him before boarding, which was scheduled to happen in about thirty minutes. He told me that the plane would go to Newark half full while twenty people sat around Dulles, to wait for the next plane.
At that point, I could have yelled and hollared, but I decided I was going to be this agent's best friend. I asked him who he might call, and sympathized with his plight. Eventually, he got on the telephone to Chicago, and got authorization to reassign seats. It took about a twenty minutes of cajoling, but I got my family on that flight, as well as the 17 people behind us.
But if I had just sat down, he would have said the same thing to the next hundred people who asked, and we would have all wound up in Dulles overnight, with nothing from United because the delays were because of "weather". Too nice a day to fly, perhaps...
I wouldn’t be picking Delta as a Plan B airline, either.
Cheaper and safer to take advantage of on site hotel laundry services than check baggage. I don’t take a purse just my wallet in my second in lap carry on.
I'll throw this in as well. Most consumers now book their fares online, always searching for the cheapest fares. This forces the airlines to continuously cut their costs in order to compete. What was once an $600 fare is now $224.
Something has to give. So you get a tiny bag of peanuts instead of a meal. You pay $6 for that can of Budweiser. You pay extra for additional luggage and that luggage is handled on the ramp by an ex-felon who's willing to take that $8/hr job because nobody else will hire him. (In the mid 1980s, that job paid $17/hr - I know this because I had that job once!)
During the heyday of flying back in the 1960s, it was comparatively expensive to fly. You flew if you were a businessman with an expense account or you flew for leisure if you were well-to-do. People used to put on a suit or a dress to get on a plane. The planes were spotless and the service was top-notch because like all things, you get what you pay for.
Now we have cattle cars in the sky. I see businessmen getting changed in the bathroom into sweat pants and sneakers to get on a plane and hanging up their suits in that little closet space between first class and coach. I don't blame them. The planes are crowded and dirty.
The whole experience of flying is a hassle. People with their darn carry-ons, trying to jam suitcases into those overhead bins because they don't want to spent 10 extra minutes at the baggage carousel. And I guess who can blame them when ex-felons are now handling the baggage down below.
I can rant for at least a dozen more paragraphs on air travel...but bottom line is we consumers are driving down the fares and as a result, we are getting Greyhound buses with wings.