Arguably the worst job in the world to have right now is public relations for United Airlines, after video footage of a passenger being violently ejected from an overbooked flight shocked the world at large, and the company CEO’s tone deaf half apology, half explanation (apolonation?) was of little help. In fact, the only worse job right now is likely United’s social media manager, as many are using even the most innocuous Facebook and Twitter posts as outlets for outrage and ridicule.
No, this scandal isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And for good reason. What United did to that man touched a nerve with people, because who hasn’t felt mistreated or marginalized by an airline at some point? Case in point, in a recent Ask Reddit thread, someone posed the question: “What’s your bad United Airlines experience?” And not surprisingly, some of the experiences people have had are downright terrible. Sounds like United owes a lot of people a lot of free air miles, to those who would even take them.
Sweetrhymepurereason details every kid (and parent’s) worst nightmare:
Once when I was 7 years old, I flew United as an unaccompanied minor. They bumped me off the flight without calling my family members and I was just sitting terrified at the gate for five hours with nobody talking to me or telling me what was going on. This was before cell phones were a real thing. My mom got to the airport at my destination and panicked when I didn’t get off the plane. They tried to say I never even had a ticket. It took them a few more hours to actually call United at my departure airport, and that was with my mom escalating everything, sobbing, generally freaking out. They put me on the next plane which was another few hours. My parents got free domestic flights for a year but United never once apologized. Not once.
How do you even deny boarding to a freaking toddler, as theWet_Bandits describes here?
Denied boarding to our three year old. We then of course had to volunteer our seats. We think they did this so they would only have to pay one penalty instead of three.
Chalk it up to #FirstWorldProblems, but dougadamking89 should have gotten what he paid for.
I have only flew united a couple of times and didn’t really have any issues. The only time they tried screwing me was when I had a first class ticket and tried telling me they over booked and I had to go to coach, but instead of refunding any money they thought I would just accept an airline credit that can only be used on another flight. Not happening, I paid my own money for it, I want it back. I ended up chewing multiple people out and damn near got arrested, eventually they refunded my whole ticket and I took a different airline home. That was my last time flying with them.
KimmelToe had insult added to injury:
Delayed my flight from seatac, made me miss my connection at Denver, sat around for 12 hours to be delayed again. Gave me a seat in the back row. Didn’t bother to upgrade me.
Had school the next morning, when I landed at 2am
SoundBearier hopefully didn’t have anything fragile in there:
They ran the luggage truck over my suitcase. No reimbursement. There were actual fucking tire tracks on it.
Sounds like katasian here should have just gone to the Philippines (and flown a different airline).
After many delays for the most random things, “we didn’t put enough gas in the plane”, “we accidentally powered the plane on wrong”, “we sat on the runway too long and missed our appointment for take off”, etc. it took 26 HOURS for me and my SO to fly from Kentucky to California. By contrast, a direct flight should have been 4-5 hours.
We had 3 layovers (4 planes) and every delay in the book, which caused us to miss subsequent connections and have to be rescheduled, plus babies screaming on the overnight flights. United did not even so much as give us a meal ticket to compensate. I have literally flown to the Philippines faster, including layovers.
Eggplanton found a detrimental flaw in United’s math and logic:
My seat was in row 42 when there were only 36 rows on the plane.
But skinandtonic wins the prize for the bestworst story, having missed visiting a grandfather on his deathbed, and oh my god this is awful.
I was flying last minute from California to see my grandfather in Florida as his health was rapidly declining and my parents wanted me and my siblings to all see him one final time before he passed away. My dad and brothers flew out on United a few days before to meet other family members, but I had a test in school and had to fly out later than them as an unaccompanied minor. I was 13 at the time, and had to transfer in Chicago which is a nightmareish airport to connect at so my mom arranged for United to have a staff member take me off the first plane and to the gate to catch my connecting flight, which is a service they offer for some sort of fee.
I get to the airport and I’m checking in when they say that because my flight is the last one of the day, the connection accompaniment service isn’t offered, even though we had confirmed booking it on the phone the day before. Even when we asked if I could just make the connection alone they said that not only could they not arrange an accompaniment, but because I was a minor they wouldn’t let me on the flight even though my seat was already booked because they didn’t think I could make the connection on my own and didn’t want to have me cause trouble by getting lost in the connecting airport and potentially delaying the connecting flight.
Even worse, they wouldn’t let me take a flight the next day (or the day after if I remember correctly) or move my ticket to another airline saying we’d have to buy an entirely new ticket and pursue a refund on the first ticket at a later time. We went home from the airport after several hours of trying to get me on any flight going to Florida at all but couldn’t find a single ticket because it was so last minute. I never got to see my grandfather.
We did finally get a refund, just in time to spend that money on my ticket out for his funeral. Never flying United again and I encourage everyone I know not to fly with them either.