We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

United Airline Sucks!

Overland Park...
1 post
United Airline Sucks!

I just got back from San Francisco and it was my worst travel experience. I had a connecting flight in Chicago. My flight from San Francisco to Chicago was late. When I got in Chicago with 3 other people, we ran to the gate to catch our Kansas City flight. We even told a lady working at United counter to call our gate and let them know we were on our way. When we got to the gate, we were told that they gave our seats away.

They didn’t even start boarding the flight. Everyone was still standing outside, but they gave our seats away. The United employees at the counter even called me stupid when I told him that we ran here to catch our flight.

Even at United Airline customer service people were rude. They tried to book 3 of us through CLE on Continental and one of us in the afternoon on United. There are at least 25 non-stop flights from Chicago to KC, but they tried to stick us on the crappiest connections they could. She even argued with us when I told her that doesn’t work for us.

The funny part is that not once ANY of the United Airline employees even tried to apologize for the inconvenience they caused us. Everyone I talked to in Chicago was rude. People working on the gate and the customer service should know how to handle these kinds of situations better. This was the worst customer service experience I have ever had.

266 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
8,407 posts
51 reviews
1. Re: United Airline Sucks!

I show 7 flights, not sure where your 25 non-stops come from!

Scotland
Destination Expert
for Scotland
Level Contributor
6,897 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: United Airline Sucks!

"We even told a lady working at United counter to call our gate"

uh oh This is the part where I lost sympathy. I might have asked the lady at the gate to call - I wouldn't presume to tell her. A wee bit arrogant

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
24,879 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: United Airline Sucks!

I'm always dubious when people complain that everyone was rude. It makes me wonder what their attitude was, to deserve rude treatment!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
Level Contributor
8,773 posts
39 reviews
4. Re: United Airline Sucks!

Need a top questions posted, airlines to avoid based on one hit wonder posts. Is there any that have not been slamed?

BTW this guy posted this in the Flroida forum first...lol

Edited: 1:12 pm, January 16, 2012
Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
14,322 posts
74 reviews
5. Re: United Airline Sucks!

Hi,

Unfortunate for sure..

"We even told a lady working at United counter to call our gate and let them know we were on our way. When we got to the gate, we were told that they gave our seats away."

==> It would be nice if this were possible, but I'll tell that it's not always the case.. I'll also let you into a secret on the matter.. Some agents don't do so because the "implicit" message is that by calling we (the airline) are now effectively guaranteeing you that we'll hold the plane for you-- and this just isn't the case. I myself have been burned by this before...

I've been asked "hey, can you call XXX gate and let them know we're coming." I did so-- no problems-- but they just didn't make it.. Then weeks later a complaint letter arrives alleging that I told them I'd hold the plane; to which I never did.... So to that end, I see why it's not done.

They didn’t even start boarding the flight. Everyone was still standing outside, but they gave our seats away.

==> This is in fact correct.. United, as most airlines do, have a very detailed timeline as to when things happen.. time boarding starts, time upgrades clear, time the door closes, etc.. and for the sake of the majority of passengers who are on-time (not saying your delay is your fault per se, only that you were late) airlines do their best to leave on time..

The United employees at the counter even called me stupid when I told him that we ran here to catch our flight.

==> IF that's what was said "stupid".. then it's out-of-bounds, improper has no place in the business and should be reported. For most airlines, I strongly suspect it's disciplinary eligible event if proven.

Even at United Airline customer service people were rude. They tried to book 3 of us through CLE on Continental and one of us in the afternoon on United. There are at least 25 non-stop flights from Chicago to KC, but they tried to stick us on the crappiest connections they could. She even argued with us when I told her that doesn’t work for us.

==> As noted, I think the "25 number" is a slight exaggeration, but but I would expect them to put me onto the best *available* flight for which I am eligible. In some cases your ticket may not be eligible for certain flights due to seats left or the like.. We'd have to see what was available at the time to know if there was a deliberate and intentional desire to further inconvenience you.

The funny part is that not once ANY of the United Airline employees even tried to apologize for the inconvenience they caused us.

==> This I don't like.. I see NOTHING wrong with an apology to recognize that you're in a disserviced situation. I do however also recognize that there's a difference between situations that are carrier caused (mechanical for example) and non-carrier controlled (weather) and while to the passenger it may be immaterial, I do think that what's said should be relative to the matter at hand.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 1:24 pm, January 16, 2012
Michigan
Destination Expert
for South Haven, Saugatuck
Level Contributor
4,033 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: United Airline Sucks!

"They didn’t even start boarding the flight. Everyone was still standing outside, but they gave our seats away."

==>" This is in fact correct.. United, as most airlines do, have a very detailed timeline as to when things happen.. time boarding starts, time upgrades clear, time the door closes, etc.. and for the sake of the majority of passengers who are on-time (not saying your delay is your fault per se, only that you were late) airlines do their best to leave on time.. "

I'm assuming the OP had checked into the second flight in San Francisco and was holding boarding passes for the second flight. If United hadn't started boarding the flight and none of the boarding passes had been scaned yet how did they even know the OP was late? I could see giving the seats away probably if they hadn't checked in yet but I've never seen boarding pass holders seats given away until the last minute after most had been scaned in.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
14,322 posts
74 reviews
7. Re: United Airline Sucks!

Hi,

Rono,

I suspect UA has like most carriers do an 'interactive flow-based' passenger chart,.

What this means is that the flights gate-side computer will show the GA-- be that by code, color, or the like, any passenger who is either an: a) known miss-connection (mathematically impossible to make it) or b) a passenger who is 'at risk' (those who will be close and might make it, or might not)..

Remembering that most all carriers do require you to be PRESENT for boarding by a specified time, if they were full or even in a potential overbook situation, I can see the use of filtering out known miss-connection (group a) passengers and taking a hard look at potential miss-connection (group b) passengers to see how many denied boardings may occur.,

Again, there's lots of issues in play here and we'd have to see the whole series of events to know for sure.. but I would note that while the commonly use cut-off is the 'door closes at X time', it's not the ONLY time that can in fact be used.

Travel Safe,

Worldwide
Level Contributor
2,681 posts
853 reviews
8. Re: United Airline Sucks!

To the OP: The next time you feel you're being treated nastily by the airline, ask around in the boarding area for the local "talk radio" station - one that might like to cover the situation. Phone the station and describe your situation. With luck, the host on the show will ask the right questions (attempting to get a balanced view of the situation, rather than just your report while you're in a state of heightened emotion) and you might wind up with some ideas on (1) calming down rather than escalating the situation and (2) ultimately getting a better result.

Edited: 3:43 pm, January 16, 2012
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9,265 posts
99 reviews
9. Re: United Airline Sucks!

The United employees at the counter even called me stupid when I told him that we ran here to catch our flight.

*************

Somehow, I find this very hard to believe.

When you miss a flight, the airline has to try and find you available seats wherever they can. Even from your one-sided account, it appears UA tried to do that. This cannot possibly be considered "rude". You usually have the option to cancel for a refund and rebook your own flight, if the delay is the airline's fault. Remember that for the future.

They can't "kick off" people who show up at the gate on time so you can have a seat on what you consider a more convenient flight.

Flights out of SFO have frequent weather delays, especially at certain times of the year; it's just the way it is unfortunately.

It's funny, but I've always have pretty good customer service from UA, especially at ORD. Sometimes you get what you give.

Edited: 5:38 pm, January 16, 2012
Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
40,859 posts
928 reviews
10. Re: United Airline Sucks!

Another shining example of why TA does not accept reviews for airlines.

Tony A just joined today, most likely just to vent . . .

>> Even at United Airline customer service people were rude. // Everyone I talked to in Chicago was rude.<<

Tony, and you were polite, pleasant, and calm? Somehow I doubt it. Many times people confuse employees being "rude" with "not getting the answers they want" ;-)

Reply to: United Airline Sucks!
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted