So the blizzard here in Denver pretty much messed up lots of peoples Xmas travel plans.
My GF being one of them. Here flight on Wednesday night was canceled so we immediately called to book a new flight. We were hung up on probably, I'm not joking, 10-20 times before reaching a person. When we got a person it was a person in India. Now I'm sorry these people are incredibly nice but they have no clue what a blizzard is and are probably Hindu so Xmas means nothing to them I'm sure. Anyways they refused to put her on a flight even though there were seats because it was a 1st class ticket. We argued for about 2 hours before they caved and said "We will give you a seat on a flight for Thursday." I asked for a friday or saturday flight because I was sure the airport would still be closed.
I said to the agent "Are you sure this flight won't be canceled. Its a blizzard here and I doubt the airport will be open."
"Yes I'm sure"
"Are you positive cause I don't wanna book her on a flight tomorrow if its just gonna be canceled"
"There is no reason they would cancel it"
So ok I figure I can trust the airline representative to tell me the truth and not just make things up.
Well 1 hour later the flight is canceled. Wooo
So we spend the next 8 hours trying to call united to get ANOTHER flight. Well when we call they have no seats anywhere (Of course whenever you call they say this then you argue for an hour and a seat magically appears.)
No luck again.
So my girlfriend calls at 5AM our time to India to try again. She is in tears so I get on the phone and tell the agent I don't want to talk to her I want to talk to a Supervisor. 45 minutes later after hearing 5 minutes the supervisor will be here 8 times. The supervisor gets on. I explain that Your Agent told me that the flight was guaranteed not to be canceled and that they screwed up because I wanted another flight that I knew would not be canceled but they turned me down and gave me this one.
She responded over and over saying that there were no flights to DC with seats. I said ok how about in NC or Pennsylvania? Nope she said because those are more then 150 air miles of the original destination! WTH...Who cares!! I yelled at her for about 30 minutes and said she needed to put us in the 1st class seats we see online. Well she refused for another 20 minutes I yelled at her telling her that United is a huge airline and they should put her on the flight its an open seat who cares if its first class.
Well My GF then got on the phone and yelled for 30 minutes and the person finally said "Fine hold on"
She comes back with a flight booked from Denver, to San Fran, to DC
On Saturday in 1st class.
Anyways the point of my story is that United sucks. They outsource their work to people who don't understand the geography of the US. The website just says "Your flight is canceled rebook thanks"
They have 2 hour hold times, they hang up on your 75% of the time. Then they lie to you to get you off the phone.
For example my GF just found more flights direct to DC so she called back why can't I be on this flight. The liar said OH I'll put you on that flight but I can't assign a seat you do that at the gate.
I said that sounds fishy. My GF calls back and Yea they didn't put her on that flight. Its ridiculous.
United is horrible horible horrible. So my GF is currently on the phone trying to figure out why they keep lying to her. And of course they say there are no more seats so we ask them to look up a specific flight number and what do they see!! Seats Open!! So basically we have to look up the flight and beg them to look it up and find seats.
Anyways its a total mess... I will never ever ever fly United again and if you value your sanity I think you shouldn't either.
BTW I called Airtran for my flight (Which is canceled) and they picked up in 5 minutes. Had people who understood the situation etc. and tried to help me although they couldn't cause Airtran is a small airline.
I'm a fairly frequent flyer, and I just assume that I am going to have to deal with rude/inept/ignorant/lazy idiots, no matter the airline, because it really comes with the territory. Anytime I travel, I consciously acknowledge that something at some point could go wrong, the airline will do nothing to fix it (and will likely make matters worse), and it will cause general unpleasantness.
It's a shame the market doesn't seem to be "fixing" the airlines' customer service either. When people need to fly, they need to fly, so the airlines can put jack-arses in their customer service positions and it doesn't matter because (like ACS and his girl), you can't NOT fly in many instances.