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How Does United Suck? Let Us Count the Ways

May 7, 2012

First some numbers:
1,411,587 miles
almost 10 years of 100k status
premier 1k status (with lifetime gold)
a handful of global premier upgrade blips
4 days in the row flying on United planes (indy, newark, dulles, amsterdam)

Now, try to fly to Amsterdam and use one of the “global premier upgrades.” Did we think it was going to suck in advance? Yes we did. We know that United sucks and nobody is listening. UNITED SUCKS AND NOBODY IS LISTENING!

So, how could it be any worse? Well, pull up a stool and have a listen.

I went to the gate pretty early to discover that I had been dropped from the upgrade list AGAIN. This is the third time the computer has done that for no apparent reason. Nobody can tell me why. Anyway, I got on the upgrade list again way too late (as number one of course)…and lo and behold there was a seat.

30 minutes before takeoff I was upgraded and given a paper boarding pass for BusinessFirst. I boarded. 10 minutes later the gate agent came and asked me to move. “The computer made a mistake.” My economy seat was already occupied, but they made that poor guy move too.

Only later did I find out what really happened from the crew (who were all very nice and who also agree that Jeff Smisek is a crap CEO and he should resign so someone else can “clean up the mess” FWIW). A premier gold had been confirmed upgraded on an earlier flight that he missed when he fell asleep in the Denver red carpet club. That meant he was standby on my later flight. He should have had the last available seat. But he raised such a stink about being in business class (since he was previously confirmed) that the solution was to bump me…a guy with double his status…back to economy?! What an asshole. And what pathetic gate agents. I guess I am just not enough of a jerk to get my way even when I am right? And they were dead wrong about who should have been upgraded. Sadly, I found out too late to stand my ground.

So the awful (and I mean worst ever) gate agents AnaMaria Espimo and Asmara Samery are responsible for my current foul mood. Not to mention the asshole.

Just to pile it on, I was slated to join up with Privium in Amsterdam, but it turns out the that Dutch don’t understand McNames. My passport says “MC NAME” but the application said “MCNAME” so back to square one for that process. Ridiculous. Come to think of it, maybe that is the problem with the United computer?

United sucks enough that it needs a reboot. Start at the top.

8 Responses to “How Does United Suck? Let Us Count the Ways”

  1. showertaker Says:

    I sent a slighty nicer version of this message to Customer Care at United and CC’ed Jeff Smisek. They responded immediately and have been doing reasonable followup.

    Hopefully this will mark a sea change in my treatment by United (and the resulting flames) in 2012.


  2. […] checked in way early after an awful flight and a swing and a miss at Privium (did I mention that United sucks? Oh OK). The College Hotel was kind enough to allow me to shower […]


  3. […] have certainly been ranting about United this year. I would like to stop. But that would require United to […]


  4. […] control gets released to the gate and the list gets mangled and 100k flyers drop off like flies. I was even de-upgraded this year (a word I sadly have to invent for Jeff Smisek’s new broken United)! Ever been […]


  5. […] back story. My horrendous United experience earlier this year when I was de-upgraded by the confluence of an asshole and a pathetic set of gate agents plus all […]


  6. […] by Darkness United Express: Mesa vs Shuttle America, Mesa Loses United Airlines Sucks in Advance How Does United Suck? Let us Count the Ways Frequent Travel is for the Birds: United Still Sucks United International Travel Not What it Used […]

  7. Robert Heath Says:

    United is a total mess. I’m sitting on a brand new United PS 757 in Economy Plus in the front row (row 20). This row has no leg room and no recline despite that United.com marketed this as a limited recline row and that hit was Economy Plus.. They’ve completely misrepresented this row let alone the fact that they’re reduced the total number of Y+ seating on the revamped aircraft. They totally suck!

  8. Tim Frye Says:

    Just posted this on FB

    This Airline Has Gone Too Far…

    Ok,United/Continental (whatever they call themselves now, I honestly don’t care) has officially lost me as a customer going forward, unless they are the only stinking airline that flies to some remote destination I absolutely have to get to in the future.

    Had to cancel a $543 ticket last September because Suzanne was feeling awful, too awful to try and go to her Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party. That means she was feeling bad! So tonight I’m trying to use the credit to buy her a United ticket to Houston for her July scans and check-up with her Oncologist. Found a itinerary for $361, but of course there is a $200 change-fee and then another $50 “agency” fee because I bought the ticket on Expedia or somewhere instead of buying the original ticket directly from United. Anybody else ever heard of this “agency” fee before, that was new to me.

    But the cherry on top is that they won’t even apply the $182 remaining credit ($543 – 361 = 182) to the $250 in fees. They want me to pay the $250 outright and then still have the extra credit sitting out there which of course they’ll probably charge me another $250 to use later.

    I even talked to a supervisor and then another supervisor and explained the circumstances that the ticket had to be cancelled due to effects of Cancer treatment and that I’m trying to use the credit to get Suzanne down to Houston for more check-ups related to her cancer. I was barely finished before she cut in again with the same Blah, blah, blah. “The change fees are a separate fee and not a ticket so I can’t apply the credit and you have to pay the whole $250 right now. If you get a doctor’s note they might refund part of the $200, etc, etc, etc…”

    If most of the airlines are going to continue to think up new ways to screw us with fees, fees and more new fees, why don’t they just go out of business already. United can take they’re whole $543 credit (which is really only worth $111 in this case) and SHOVE IT!!! They’re not getting $250 more from me, I’m going to go use it to buy a ticket on SOUTHWEST instead!

    Feel free to tell your favorite United story here in the comments. I might just send it all to ’em…


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