2006/12/25

Deceit By United Or Fraud By American

So after 20 months of blogging, I finally have a post with the immediacy for which weblogs were created... We're stuck in Denver. Not because of weather or even the supposed mechanical failure that scuttled our connection. Nope we're stuck because United and American f*cked around, passed the buck so many times that by day's end there was no way to make it to our destination. Here's how it went down:

9:00a - Arrive in Denver to find our connection's been cancelled. The first United agent we speak with claims mechanical trouble. We learn later that 3 or 4 United Express crews just didn't show up for work.

10:00a - United agent 2, a polite gent named Phil, offers us some alternatives (but no non-stops) for the same day. We finally accept "rebooking" on American.

11:00a - American agent 1, from whom we try to get seat assignments, refuses because we're 2 hours too early but also lets us know that every American flights from Denver to Dallas is booked full, and if we try to get seats they're going to simply refuse. She also claims that our "tickets" are not valid.

12:15p - Back at United Customer Service to ask, "What the f*ck!?" Phil informs us that, "...no, the tickets really are legit because American released 14 seats to him, and we got two." Though, he doesn't bother to check back with American.

1:45p - American follows through on their threat. An arrogant little ass named Rick informs us that 1) The flight is full 2) United never asked for the seats and American never released them 3) Even if United had, he would seat his stand-by passengers first despite the "tickets" in our hands.

At this point we had to head back to United, wait 2 more hours, and find that there are no other Untied flights to our destination before Wednesday (that's a delay of 48 hours). So we're booked on airline number 3, Frontier, tomorrow at 8:00a. I'm not hopeful. But here's the thing... During the course of the day either United was willfully deceitful in order to foist a problem of their own making off on another airline, or...American committed fraud. "How?" you may ask. Well, once our rebooked tickets were issued, our reservation belonged to American. It was in their system. Effectively money changed hands between the two airlines. For them to deny us a boarding-pass...at that point...is fraud, plain and simple.

Pick your poison, but this is why the two biggest airlines in the nation deserve to go the way of the dodo. You pay your money, and you takes yer chances with no guarantee that they'll even get you to your destination. United is already in receivership, let's hope American follows.

24 Comments:

We make a couple trips, sometimes more, to Orange County, CA, each year. To sum it up, "been there, got that screwing." And no other airline is any better, despite their claims. It's just hope "this one is having a good day."

I never thought I'd find anybody that lies as much, or worse than a car salesman, but I have. Airline agents, and Airlines themselves.

And wait until you might try to sue them. You will not believe the immunity they have.....all given under the guise of 9/11. Short of murdering you while you stand in line, there's not a hell of a lot they are accountable for.

If it's 800 miles or less, we drive. We've found we can make far better time, and have much better tempers when we arrive.
You've just provided a few more reasons for me not to fly. you know those mechanical crews didn't show up for work cuz it's xmas & holiday pay was enough for them. There's no justificaiton for the other screw-ups. I hope the airlines at least gave you hotel vouchers. ahahaha, who am I kidding? You are in airport hell, Kvatch. I guess you would have driven from Denver down, except the road conditions are pretty bad now. And then they probably would've dicked around with a refund for your unused portion of your tickets. Just keep it in perspective. And plot revenge. ~~ D.K.
Deregulation, the gift from Raygun that keeps on giving. Hope you make it home soon.
I'm going to guess you got vouchers, but that isn't really the point.

We had our flight cancelled coming back from Portugal. No annoucement, and they even let everyone line up to check in and then opened the windows just about an hour before the flight. Of course the process was slow but eventually we got sent to the desk of another airline and none too soon. We ended up running through the airport and sitting seperately which could have been avoided, but hey, at least we got home.

Good luck today!
Oh, I am so sorry you are having all this trouble. Flying is so stressful and I think it's going to get worse. I remember the days when flying was a pleasure and travelers were not cattle. Take care of yourselves, cause they sure aren't going to do it.
This goes a long way towards explaining why I got layed off from United and why they're in the financial bind that they're in. My dog could've run an airline better.
Oh, that sucks! Hope you made it despite the lies, fraud and screw-ups.
I made the decision after the last fake "terror attempt" (the one where they made it illegal to bring toothpaste on board) that I will not fly again until the rules and regulations on PASSENGERS (PAYING customers) are eliminated and the airlines begin to treat us as customers and not potential terrorists again.

The only POSSIBLE exception would be if my Dad became seriously ill - but even then, I can get down to Florida on Amtrak more reliably than on the airlines, lately.
I am thinking of one of my favorite movie lines of all time, when Chaucer (Paul Bettany) in A Knight's Tale warns the Summoner and the Pardoner, "I will eviscerate you in fiction." Except here, Kvatch, you can eviscerate your tormentors in a blog. Give 'em hell. They deserve it. I have my own gripes about American, but I'll save those.
One of the many reasons I don't fly and don't ever see a need to. I love the train, have traveled quite a few places and don't feel the need to stress myself out.

Mom and I were watching Raiders of the Lost Ark the other night and Indy's plane flight looked civilized, not like he was cattle.

Good luck and I hope you make the reunion!

D
Air travel in the US used to be fairly civilized and pleasant, but now it stinks. While I love seeing new places, I hate flying US airlines to get there. Even first class isn't as good as it used to be (the MD-80 is a lousy plane to sit in). Give me anyone...KLM, BOAC, any European airline (except for the Russians). Continental stinks now too.
Sorry you had troubles over the holidays Frog

I agree the airlines need to go the way of the dodo. Why we don't have bullet trains linking every majory American City is beyond me.

What pissed me off even more is the number of times these asshole airlines have filed bankruptcty, gotten gummint handouts, gave their execs HUGE bonuses, and STILL have fucked up service.

I cannot fathom how an airline cannot be profitable except for one reason and that's graft. All the execs and upper management are grafting off the profit then crying about their soaring costs and over head.

There's enough fucking demand for air travel, you would think there would be a decent supply.

Isn't that the way a fucking free market capitalims is supposed to work?

And why is it ok for Coporations like airlines to get welfare and bailouts but if The People get them it's called a waste of tax payer dollars by Republicans?

Best of luck Frog. I hope you get to your lily pad ASAP
Ahhh...capitalism at it's finest. With all the mergers and bankruptcies, it's only going to get worse.

I hope you made it home safely and managed to de-stress yourself with a little eggnog. Happy belated holiday to you and the missus.
Damn 9/11! The airlines were ran so well and were so trustworthy before then. If the government hadn't put that bail out package together, the airlines may have had to try good management and customer service to continue.

Hopefully it doesn't ruin your holidays.
"And wait until you might try to sue them. You will not believe the immunity they have.....all given under the guise of 9/11. Short of murdering you while you stand in line, there's not a hell of a lot they are accountable for."

YEP!

"Deregulation, the gift from Raygun that keeps on giving. Hope you make it home soon."

AND YEP!

The average U.S. citizen is pretty much screwed these days.

I am truly sorry for your troubles. I am truly frustrated that we can't help each other. Short of all-out revolution, this country is on the express elevator...going down.
See, this is EXACTLY why I don't fly anymore. This is just crap. And they KNOW there's not one damn thing you can do about it, too.
We're planning on going Marlin fishing in Cabo San Luca, Mexico, next year.
How are we getting there? By horseback, if we have to.
WILL.NOT.FLY.
That really sucks. I'm dreading our own flight coming up in about a week. We're flying from Seattle to Hawaii via Salt Lake City (go figure). I'm dreading the possibility of spending part of our vacation at the Salt Lake City airport instead of Hawaii.

The only time I fly is crossing the ocean. The rest of the time, I drive.
what an utter absolute nightmare. it makes me so angry that companies like this can muck with people's lives, their agents are nast, and they won't ever be held accountable. are they paying to put you up somewhere or do you just have to sit there and wait? or did just have to head home?

we're roadtrippers. i couldn't get my partner on a plane if i tried.
and after hearing this i can't imagine giving any of these asses any money.

on another note - i thought i'd had you blogrolled this whole time. come to find out, i don't even have you subscribed on my bloglines! bad me. changing that now...
Soooo sorry for the hassle. Be careful of your blood pressure and take deep breaths. As if I would take that advice...but I thought I should tell you that.
Holy smokes...I heard that flying was an absolute nightmare this week. Hope you found your way home OK! I'm with all the others who say they don't fly any more...except I'm flying next week. I hope the various airlines work out their snafu's by then!!!
Thanks for all the supportive comments, I'm going to post this in a minute, but the Frogette and got to West Texas yesterday on Frontier.

So safe in sound in the dry country.
Good Lord this is an incredible nightmare of a tale...I am so sorry- no one, and No Frog and Frogette should ever have to go through such Hell.....( makes me grateful that I have this No FLy List thing to deal with until I am 83)..Bless you- glad you made it out...
Still missing your new posts. Sigh...
Myself, I don't like to fly. If I'm too go I'd rather go on the ground were they could scrape me up for burial, rather than from a plane accident where they never would find all of me.

The last time I flew was for a funeral and since I had to pay cash {last minute notice for funeral} I got extra searchs both going and returnning home.

The time before that the plane I was on sat at the gate for an extra hour before we were took off and sent to another airline for our destination. During that hour I watched people walking under the wing pointing up at the engines. Not a comforting thought in my head after seeing that.

I'd rather drive or take a train if I have to go anywhere now.

Besides, I don't think the airlines and flying is any safer since 9/11 and all the extra crap they put people through before getting on a plane don't mean shit. If someone wants to take a plane down I'm sure they'd find a way too do so.

You can not stop those who want too hurt americans if there determined to do so. You might prolong an incident, but eventually one will occur.

Hope you made it safely and had a good holiday.

God Bless

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