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United Airlines

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United Airlines and their evil stepsister TED

  • Mar 25, 2008
  • by
Pros: I have the option of never using them again

Cons: delayed flight schedule, attendants, cancellations and chatting pilots

The Bottom Line: "Leck mich im Arsch"
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Once you realize you’ve been screwed, it’s too late to do anything about it. You are stranded, at their mercy, wherever and whenever they want. All you can do is collectively sigh with your fellow companions and swear loud and long United Airlines and your alter ego TED can fly your own friendly skies.

With all the competition in the flight world today, why does this airline continue to ignore their basic premise, putting your butt in a seat and transporting you to another place. It isn’t like we are leaving from some Podunk airport, Charlotte-Douglas is a fair sized airport. And it isn’t like we are traveling to One Flung Dung, we are going to Reno. Both airports profess to be international airports, so one would assume there would be decent flights to and from these locations.

When did it become a priority to not provide a direct flight anywhere? Instead we are bumble shooted around like some weird pinball machine, from airport to airport. Hell, you can almost drive places faster anymore than fly in a dang plane.

Flying to Reno
Our flight, via United but operated by US Air, left with no trouble. As we started the first leg of our seemingly endless flight to Reno, the US Air portion was enjoyable with pleasant attendants - whatever the current politically correct term is now used to describe those people that offer safety instructions and push the drink cart. Then we landed in San Francisco.

Since this leg of our flight is now being handled by United, we were being shuttled to an entirely different concourse. Not that it mattered, we had plenty of time. In fact, hours, before the second leg of our flight. We could have almost walked to Reno from San Fran in the time we had for our layover. Naturally this flight was late, delayed, lost, whatever. It wasn’t on time which made the wait even longer. Once it made ground, we were met by the most surly attendants I have ever encountered. If you don’t like your job …

Four days later
Our scheduled flight was at 3:20 pm so we arrived in plenty of time to make the flight. Looking at the arrival board, we see our flight will be delayed 45 minutes. This is not a good thing since we were going on to Denver and taking the red eye out to Charlotte. After an exceptionally long time, we finally got to speak to a human and heard the news.

Extremely bad weather had closed the Dallas airport, causing serious flight delays everywhere. Strange, looking again at the arrival/departure board, the only airline having problems seemed to be United. We found out a few minutes later the plane was really being repaired and that was why it was late. Had not a dang thing to do with the weather.

She was quite helpful though and offered to book us on a flight that was loading right then. Sure … we still had to conquer the safety check point and make it to the gate before they closed the doors. Take into account, I’m in wheelchair, so although we do get to move to the front of the line, it still didn’t matter, the door was closed by the time we reached the gate. Yep, the attendant told us, they said you were coming but we couldn’t hold the plane. I wondered why, since the dang thing was late anyway, what’s another 5 minutes.

Schlepping back to the ticket kiosk, we confront the same agent. She admitted she knew we wouldn’t make it which angered me to no end. Her next options were:

1. A flight from Reno to San Fran to Dulles to Charlotte.
2. Stay for the 3:20 flight, pray it arrives somewhat on time, pray we make the connection in Denver. If not, sleep in the Denver airport all night waiting for the morning flight … on standby.
3. Stay in Reno, they will put us in a hotel and give us food vouchers.

The option of a four airport maneuver was totally out of the picture. We could have attempted the Denver route since I have a son in Denver. IF we could get hold of him MAYBE we could have stayed at his apartment. So, that is how we ended up at Circus Circus all night.

Now her other options were our flight out the next day. A 6am flight would take us back to San Fran then on to Charlotte. Fine, let’s do that. OOPS … sorry, booked up. In 3 seconds? Come on. Next option, 11am to San Fran, then Charlotte. Unfortunately, we can’t be seated together on the second leg of the trip which is operated by US Air. We have to go to the US Air kiosk to get the seats changed. Fine, 11am it is.

Get me the frig outta this airport
Bright and early the next morning we arrive for our 11am flight. Stopping off at US Air first to change our seats on the second leg, we wander down to United to check our bags. Da friggin flight has been cancelled. Not delayed, totally cancelled. What now? We end up getting booked on the same 3:20pm flight we were supposed to take the day before. It is now 9am and we have the entire day to lull about in this lousy airport.

After going out for a smoke, we look at the arrival board … our flight is already scheduled to be late. In fact every flight associated with United or TED was late or cancelled. It didn’t really matter, though, because the connecting flight out of Denver was gonna be late too. There’s that.

Yes, we finally caught the plane and got home hours after we were supposed to. Not only was the flight bumpy and uncomfortable but I have absolutely no desire to hear the flight crew chatter on the speakers while they go about their work. As if there isn’t enough noise in a plane, to say nothing of the screeching kid beside us, we have to listen to the pilot talk for 5 hours.

If I were a rich man …**
I’d have my own dang airlines. And you could get where you wanted to go without hassle. And while I am at it, you can smoke on board. If I have to sit next to someone that smells like they fell in a vat of alcohol, then they can smell my cigarettes. Why do we cater to the alcoholics? In fact, there would be no booze at all served on my flights, screw YOU guys for a change. Let’s see some of those boozers go five hours without a drink.

Overall impression
I have only this to say, thanks to Aaron Tippin:

"Why don't you kiss...kiss this
And I don't mean on my rosy red lips
Me and You, oh we are through
And there's only one thing left for you to do
You just come on over here one last time
Pucker up and close your eyes, and kiss this...good bye"


**Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock


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Susi Dawson ()
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United Air Lines, Inc., trading as United Airlines (NASDAQUAUA), is a major airline of the United States.[2] It is a subsidiary of UAL Corporation with corporate offices in Chicago at 77 West Wacker Drive in the Chicago Loop. United's largest hub is O'Hare International Airport, where it has more than 550 daily departures. United also has hubs in Denver International AirportWashington Dulles International AirportSan Francisco International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport. United's route network spans the globe with route authorities in North AmericaEuropeAsiaAustraila, the Middle EastLatin America, the Caribbean, and beginning in May of 2010, United will begin service from Washington D.C. to Accra & Lagos, making it the second US carrier to serve Africa in modern times and one of the few airlines in the world serving all 6 continents except Antarctica. A founding member of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world, United offers connections to over 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries worldwide. [3] United's largest maintenance hub is the Maintenance Operations Center at San Francisco International Airport. United's parent company UAL Corporation announced that it will move its operational base from Elk ...

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