After having a less than wonderful trip experience from LAX to HNL a few weeks ago I finally decided to take all of you guy’s advice and write a letter to United voicing my frustration and dissatisfaction with my inflight experience. Being a new United flyer, I just assumed that this was standard customer service, I mean after all, since the merge, I have heard almost nothing good about the United/Continental team.
Now before I go any further, let me preface my astonishment. I am accustomed to dealing with the Delta and American customer service teams. Thankfully, with their very active twitter teams, I am used to a very quick turnaround in complaints/compliments/comments. Furthermore, if I do write a letter to customer service, I usually hear back from customer service within 3 business days, however oftentimes I hear back within 3 days, including weekends. So now that you know what I’m “used” to you can see why this might bother me.
I wrote my letter to United on September 3rd in the late hours of the evening. I was very direct in my letter and stuck to the facts; after all, United.com limits your comments to 2500 characters. After submitting my complaint, I received an automatic reply informing that United received my compliant and a member of their team would be in contact with me shortly. Now 10 days later, I FINALLY received a fairly generic, not very exciting, email back from United.
Dear Mr. Horan:
Thank you for contacting Customer Care. Please excuse the delay in my
response; we are experiencing a high volume of email.
I very much regret learning of your disappointment in our performance
and welcome the opportunity to address your concerns.
At United Airlines, we believe all customers and co-workers are to be
treated with dignity and respect. This philosophy is deeply woven into
everything we do. There is never an excuse for unprofessional behavior,
and I am very sorry this was your experience of the services received
from our flight attendant on our flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu on
August 23, 2012.
I realize my apology cannot erase what happened, but I hope it helps to
know we take your concerns very seriously. It was especially helpful
that you were able to supply such a detailed description. Please be
assured your comments will be forwarded to appropriate senior management
within Inflight Crew Services for internal review and necessary
Additionally, I regret that you were not satisfied with the vegetarian
meal served in our United First cabin. Our world-class chefs are
dedicated to providing exceptional service. This important feedback will
be shared with our Food Services Division for internal review and
For more information on our meal and beverage services, please visit
Mr. Horan, I do understand the value of your decision to fly with us and
assure you we will make every effort to leave you with a better
impression when we again have the privilege of serving you. I ask that
you accept my apology and allow us that opportunity.
We appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming you on board a
future United Airlines flight.
Corporate Customer Care
After reading the email I honestly laughed out loud to myself. First off, “At United Airlines, we believe all customers and co-workers are to be treated with dignity and respect. This philosophy is deeply woven into everything we do.” When did this ever happen? From the moment I arrived at the airport I was treated like a minion. Secondly, the flight attendant was rude to me and most of the 1st class cabin from the minute we boarded the plane. And finally, my complaint was not about the meal itself, despite it being small and lacking protein, but it’s funny to mention that they have “World Class Chefs” serving me steamed rice and vegetables as a meal; where is the world class rating here?! The complaint I wrote to United was about the way the FA handled the situation when I asked for something with protein, lied to me, and then later called me a hoarder and greedy when I helped myself to 2 miniature cliff bars and a bag of nuts from the snack basket.
Well that’s it folks! I feel like even voicing my concerns to United has fallen on deaf ears. Furthermore, I am shocked that United didn’t offer me any form of compensation for my troubles. Again, it maybe because I’m so used to Delta and American, and even Alaska and Virgin; but never before have I written such a detailed complaint about such an unpleasant situation and have not at least received a few thousand bonus miles to try to regain loyalty and remedy the situation.
So I have to wonder, what has your experience been with United Customer Service? With Delta, I have received everything from bonus miles, credits, and even a gift basket once! Have you received bonus miles or some other form of an apology in the past for problems such as these on United, or is this typical? What would you do now?