Upset At United

August 30, 2009

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

Anyone that has flown out of Denver knows that United is always back logged in the ticketing area. It doesn’t matter the day, time…it’s a log jam.

I have arrived 4 hours early for international check-in (Denver to Belfast 3 flights w. International connections) and security — to walk through the door at 7am to find a line that was several thousand people deep. Not only did the line fill up the ticketing area, people had made their own “maze queue” after filling up the ribbon maze — but this line proceeded down the hallway, into the main terminal building…then down the hallway by at least 100 feet. It nearly had wrapped around the next corner of the terminal. So with step after step we shuffled and shuffled…we eventually got to the counter and checked in.

We then proceeded hurriedly to our gate through security. Security had it down, they ran a tight ship. We made it to our gate with about 10 minutes before boarding (forget about eating). I was excited we were flying a BRAND NEW 777. I heard fantastic things about this aircraft. We board the plane and it is PACKED…SOLID with people…about 440 total.

We sit, and sit…I had a window seat; as I look out, I see a lot of people standing around…not doing much of anything. Then after 20 minutes, the pilot comes on the intercom and notifies everyone that they could not get the luggage compartment to seal — so we will have to deboard and find other flights.

440 people unload. 440 people go to the ONE customer service desk — with 2 people.

To say that people were upset was an understatement as the “mechanics slowdown” was headline news that week.

I called United, while waiting in line. I was able to arrange accommodations for another flight, which caused another flight change…and yet a third overseas.

We had to run down the concourse, literally to the other side…which is about 1/2 mile run. The operator said, you have 5 minutes to make the gate or they will leave and you will be stuck in Denver for another day…BOOM…we are off!

We get to the gate. But did UNITED actually tell the flight we were on our way… no. We arrive completely out of breath from our 1/2 mile sprint. We get to the desk, and they can’t find our name on the list.!! WHAT? Oh…that flight was…wait for it…changed to another gate. WHAT? Thankfully this time it was on the opposite side of the same hallway.

Fly over there…WE ARE HERE!!! I yell out as they are closing the door to the concourse. Of course, because we were “instant” travelers I had to strip down and go through my 3rd security “random” screening of the day.

About 20 hours later, and another 3 chapters of this rant with OTHER UNITED FAILURES…we get to Belfast…but our luggage arrived 2 DAYS later.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

saw August 31, 2009 at 8:55 am

If you truly hate united… peek at this 😉


EB September 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Love that video! They've come out with a sequel:
United makes friends wherever they go…


saw September 5, 2009 at 6:26 am

My company actually FORCES me to fly united… Maybe I should tell you about how I was delayed in Dulles for 2 days, and ended up taking a cab to the train station and amtrak-ing it home, only to arrive yet another day ahead of my luggage 😉

Their "partner", USAir, isn't much better – to think that they actually wanted to charge you $2 for water on a plane… dirtbags…


Zach February 1, 2010 at 11:42 am

Just FYI, No UA 777 has anywhere near 440 seats…the largest, domestic configuration, is 348. The smallest, one of the worldwide configurations, is 249. So, unless they had 100-200 standers, your numbers are a bit off.

But, I'll take United of US Airways ANY day…mother of god that US is a bad airline.


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