Welcome To The Un-Friendly Sky

Ever since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, air travel in the U.S. has become much more difficult due to increased regulations and security requirements.  But the latest incident on United Airline flight 3411 from Chicago O’Hare to Louisville, Ky. this past Sunday definitely takes the cake.

“United Passenger Dragged From Overbooked Flight” reads the New York Times headline.  Judging from the video footage taken by other passengers on the flight, for sure no one wishes this would happen to them.  At least not with United.

Overbooking is a standard practice by the airlines for business reason.  So you would think the airlines know how to handle it as part of the business, especially when the airline advertises itself as “fly the friendly sky.”

Dragging a seated passenger off the plane to make room for United Airline’s staff is the antithesis of customer service. Maybe United Airline is making too much profits and can care less about losing customers.

What is your experience with airlines or customer service in general?

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5 Responses to Welcome To The Un-Friendly Sky

  1. Gabasphere says:

    I’ve seen the video too and although I don’t know all the details it was pretty awful. But I think that airlines in general don’t really care about their customers. Last year on the way from NYC to Michigan our evening flight was cancelled and the next flight (well 3 flights, 2 changes in Boston and Detroit instead of a direct flight) was the next day. We had to wait for about 16 hours at the airport overnight and nobody from the staff was willing to talk to us or give us any advice. I though we had a right for accommodation or at least some food, but they just said no to everything and couldn’t care less. One feels really powerless and frustrated :-/

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    • terryshen says:

      Wow Gaba,

      16 hours! that is a real ordeal. Experiences as such generally leave quite an impression. So you would think smart airline would seize the opportunity to make a positive impression, right? Unfortunately business is cutting costs so much that the cut comes out of the customers. I am curious to see if the United stock price or ticket sales would be affected by their poor service.

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      • Gabasphere says:

        I wish they would so they’d realised it might be nice to treat customers better, but I’m not sure the ticket sales will drop, or at least not significantly :-/

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  2. 50in50marathonquest says:

    Totally with you on this one…i had a horrendous experience with United last year that I intended to blog about but never got around to it…now I wish I had. While I was not dragged off a plane I was made to feel like a complete idiot by a boarding agent after their app had sent me and my wife to the wrong gate in Houston, resulting in us rushing a mile through the terminal to try to find the right place. I blasted them on twitter and got a lame response saying they should do better. No shit. I may well go write that post given this latest news!

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    • terryshen says:

      I think United is getting too big and complacent,James. Its practices go against not only good business policies but also universal principle of taking care the customer. And a consequence, its stock price fell more than 3% as of this morning according to Marketwatch.com.

      Liked by 1 person

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