Four years ago, I was returning back from Beijing to San Francisco with my mother. She had joined me on a business trip as she had never been to China and my father was not a big traveler. So this trip had been a big treat for her and it had gone very well. To celebrate this, we had upgraded our business class seats to first class. You know about first class, right? This is the section of the plane where for a princely sum you get luxurious seats, premium food and wine, and impeccable service. Un-huh.
When we sat down, both of our ‘premium’ seats were broken and outdated. That’s OK, we said – we’ll still enjoy everything else about this special flight. Dumb, dumb, dumb. As we were tucking into our pre-entree salad of leafy greens, my mother grabbed my arm with a death grip and with a whisper said “look at my plate.” I did, and to my horror, saw a very large (and no doubt premium) maggot meandering its way across her plate! Now, to my mom’s credit, she didn’t scream. She didn’t flip out. But we were totally nauseated by the experience and refused to eat their food the rest of the 11 hour ride home (wouldn’t you?).
The United ‘first class’ attendants removed our salad, but to our amazement told NO ONE about what their expensive salads might contain! We did to those around us, but I shudder to think what happened across that packed 777 plane. There never was any sort of apology from the flight crew or the airline until I wrote to them demanding one. And they made it clear they had no intention of providing any refund for our expensive experience in insect reproductive cycles and broken seating. You stay classy, United.