United Airlines customer service

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by JOhnH, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Seems that most of UAL's problem is poor problem solving skills by its front line employees. Maybe they need to give their gate agents and stews an IQ test before hiring.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
  2. MadseasoN

    MadseasoN Line Up and Wait

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    Here's what I learned from a UAL flight attendant a couple of months ago:
    Passengers are stupid and don't know anything about 'how the airline industry works'.
    Passengers must always 'follow our commands' with no questions asked.
    The man who refused to deplane should've been put in prison.
    ... other irrelevant details about the man's personal history (which turned out to be false).

    This was a Facebook discussion. I don't know this person but she had some nice personal insults for me. I was simply asking about the Contract of Carriage.

    I've had problems with desk agents (NEWARK AIRPORT!) but never flights attendants. Nice to know what some of them think about us though.
     
  3. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    Once again, and I certainly don't condone it, but that is a "5 dollars doesn't buy my undivided attention, Robert" dynamic. Underemployment is rampant in customer service, since we gave up the baby a long time ago to globalization. Now you have a highly economically stressed demographic, and a refusal for both industry and government to pay for retraining the domestic casualties of globalization in earnest (the German model comes to mind). Yet people want devotion and attention to detail from these modern day "shackles without physical shackles" american version of slaves? Nope, not gonna happen. Maslow may be BS to pilots, since many live-to-work as aspiring airline pilots and traveling workers getting paid in ILSs, but most of Americans don't live like that, so they won't smile and gaf for 35k/yr in metro airline hub usa because regional jets are neat-o, or potato.

    As to flight attendants having contempt for their customers, same deal, and nothing new. Even nurses, who get paid much better in the aggregate, suffer from serious contempt for their job because what attracted them to the profession are essentially the wrong reasons (money without consideration for the nature of the job). My wife is currently doing her clinical rotations (one year to go, Lord I can't wait for her school to be over), and though she has committed instructors, many of the nursing staff she interacts with are cynical, contemptful towards their job and patients when in private, and some brazenly admit they entered it for the money and otherwise wish they'd get paid the same to sit around in an office, or hell who are we kidding, many are just searching for the next doctor victim to their hypergamous stay at home wife life goal. And I digress before the feminists get triggered.

    At any rate, they might as well let the passengers volunteer to stew for discounted tickets to travel somewhere, because that's essentially how flight attendants view their job in private. Like my all-female cohort of townie coworkers at JCPenney back in grad school, pulling enough hours to qualify for the employee discount, because they're not doing it for the paltry hourly rate. See, when I did that job it was to save for my IR and Cpl while in grad school, but I knew every day of my life there that I didn't need the job, and that it was going to end, so giving AF and not taking it out on the customer was not an indignity for me. But for folks for whom this is as good as it gets? Absolutely I understand the crappy attitude. Again not condoning it, but I live in the world of what things are, not the world of how things should be. My opinion is we re gonna end up with basic income in 100 years or less, if global population trends continue unabated and the economy continues to automate.

    Ask yourself why the proverbial emirates flight attendant experience is so pleasant and quaint, and domestics are outright hostile. The difference in the demographic and life dynamics of these two work groups working across the ocean holds the reason for the difference in outcome for the passenger. Don't shoot the messenger, just food for thought.
     
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  4. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    AA from Mexico recently on a CRJ had a huge, battleaxe stew that was so obviously contemptual (sp?) of her job it was disgusting. Should be slinging hash at a truck stop where her tips would reflect her attitude. Second flight with normal crew - they finished their required duties as quickly as possible then retreated to the back, closed the curtain and didn't want to be bothered. Guess it's back to UA for me.....
     
  5. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That's how some of our stews are. They have such lousy attitudes and hate the job. No one stuck a gun to their heads and told them to take the job. But to their defense, the amount of idiot, rude, and condescending pax they have to deal with on a daily basis is pretty rough. I could never do their job. A few days ago we had a black passenger accuse our black FA of being racist because we didn't have any blankets left for her. You can't make this stuff up!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
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  6. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Worst FA I remember: Years ago, a couple of airlines had just merged, and the FAs with one airline lost seniority. I can't remember how much they lost, but the work hardened FA that was complaining to all the pax within hearing distance was letting us know about it.

    Other than her (and one particular Continental gate agent...yeah, I haven't forgotten her), I can't remember having a bad experience on any airline with FAs or gate agents. They have to deal with a lot of crappy attitudes from crappy pax all day long, and very few of them actually snap. Keeping that in mind when interacting can go a long way toward having a civil conversation.
     
  7. Warlock

    Warlock Line Up and Wait

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    I married to a United FA...hope some day you have her on a flight...always has 3-4 passenger letters complementing a year through through the company...cant stand some attitudes, but she's the one who makes up for it. Although she only works 5-7 days a month those days can be long. Today she on the last day of a four day that stated with a 03:30 pickup at the Hotel in Vancouver and currently set to land in Houston at 1830 on her third leg...home around 2000.. snapped a pick her leaving July 4th...we celebrate 33 years of marriage next month. The stories she can tell would keep you rolling in laughter...
    upload_2017-7-7_17-11-52.png
     
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  8. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Warlock, that sounds just great. I mean it too.
     
  9. Warlock

    Warlock Line Up and Wait

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    She had to use 5 out of six O2 bottles on a passenger on her last flight today who's portable device failed so they did not have to divert...stuff you never hear about...
     
  10. catmandu

    catmandu Line Up and Wait

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    I blame the passenger for bringing a faulty device. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    Here they go again......

    "This week, United Airlines Inc. is quietly unveiling a new technology platform that it will use to manage the problem of oversold flights—and, in the same breath, turn them into a profit opportunity.

    With the help of its new Flex-Schedule Program, the airline is piloting a way to buck the trend of involuntary bumping—the term for kicking passengers off oversold flights—without necessarily offering four-figure payouts to passengers at the gate, or curbing their practice of overselling inventory. (The airline suffered a publicity black eye earlier this year when police dragged a man off an overbooked plane, and has since promised to offer high-price rewards to fliers who agree to change flights at the last minute.)
    Instead, it’ll simply offer buyouts earlier—up to five days in advance. The upside for United? The chance to resell your ticket at a wider profit margin."
     
  12. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Much like the cable companies, a fair amount of the airline's problems are of their own making.

    In part, then, the airline's decision to make the tickets with substantial restrictions (that the airline agents themselves often don't understand - they must consult the tariff desk) is a big part of the problem. Like the "fine print" on a credit card or other offer, most passengers don't read the rules (on some airlines they're hard to find in the first place), and even if they do they may well not understand them.

    Look at the tickets sold as "discount first class" tickets, and represented to the public in the sale process as first class.... they are frequently coach tickets with instant upgrades. Which means that in irregular operations (canceled flights and the like) the rebooking is often into coach, not always with the upgrade because that cabin is already full. It is deceitful to offer the tickets that way, but yet it persists.

    Yes, I understand the whole story about how deregulation brought some of this about, and how Sir Freddie Laker caused the legacy airlines to create new restricted tickets for international travel. I also understand how the airlines are trying to use the regulatory process to keep out competitors that may offer better service (and trying to control ATC to keep GA out). All that underlies the fact that this complex fare rule system is of the airline's own creation. (and don't get me wrong - other industries do it too, from cell companies that have contracts to home alarm companies that have auto-renew contracts to cable companies to timeshares. Just cause others do it doesn't make it better for the customer... and begets further regulation).

    Some airlines already do such a thing. United is a latecomer to that game.