Never again, I promise, will I fly with United.  Over the last few years I have consistently had issues with them.  Price hikes, canceled flights, broken planes, poor customer service…you name it, they got it.  My recent trip to Ireland was the most egregious example of everything wrong with this airline.

United 5105 on 6/25 – delayed 1.5 hours due to mechanical issue.  We finally get off the ground, but arrive at IAD about 10 minutes after our connection to Dublin left.  No way we are getting to Dublin on Friday now and that non-refundable hotel we paid for, we lose that money.  We get an email that we are automatically rebooked.  Okay, good.  Except….I paid for an upgrade on my original flight and the rebooking did not include it, even though there were plenty of upgraded seats available.  Oh, and we now have to get on a plane at 6am to fly to Newark and spend 9+ hours there waiting for another overnight flight.  Have you ever been stuck at Newark, people?  I don’t recommend it.  So off to the customer service line we go.  Our goal:  get my upgrade applied and vouchers for a hotel.

We arrive at the customer service line to find one rep working (a rep, I might add who was highly incompetent – more on that in a bit) and a line sooooo long.  Apparently lots of people had issues.


This man had been helping the same person for 30 minutes by the time we’d arrived.  Seriously. 30 minutes?  It gets worse.  One rep working on one customer and a whole line of people?  Are you kidding me?  I tweeted United to notify of the issue.  Did I get a response?  An apology?  A “we’re on it”?  Nope.  Not a word.  We ask several workers at gates to notify a supervisor.  Did we get any help?  None.  A few people in line called the customer service line.  Still no help.  After waiting for an hour 2-3 more reps came over.  The original rep?  You guessed it….he still had not resolved the issue of his original customer he’d been helping for 1.5 hours.  We wait.  And we wait some more.

Finally, we get to the front of the line….2 hours later….and guess which rep finally finished with his original customer?  Yep, HIM!  Guess who his next customer was?  Me, of course.  I’m so lucky.  I approach the desk, with a smile on my face, and explain the situation.  I am told that I can’t have an upgrade.  You know, the one I paid for.  What?  Seats are still available, I don’t understand.  I am told in exact words “no one can give you an upgrade, it’s just not possible.”  But, I don’t want you to GIVE me anything, I only want the seat I paid for on my original flight.  Please.  No?  Okay, give me a refund.  So that’s settled, though certainly not in a satisfactory way.  That conversation took 20 minutes.

Now, I need a voucher.  His response:  miss, my boss told me to leave, you need to get back in line.  Huh?  You get to leave before you finish a case and I have to go back in line?  That’s not going to work.  He stays.  Reluctantly.  I advise that I am traveling with a friend and we now have an early morning flight, so we’d like to be close and in the same hotel if possible.  His response:  “I’m doing you a favor by staying and doing this.”  I nearly lost it at that point, I really, really did.  His co-worker gave him a dirty look upon hearing his response.  I was shocked.  And tired. And nearly in tears.  20 minutes later I get a voucher for a hotel 20 minutes away (not where my friend was staying), 1 taxi voucher (not two to pay for both ways) and a $7 meal voucher.

Listen, I don’t want anything for free.  Ever.  I work hard and I pay for nice things.  United is not nice.  They were rude.  They cost me over $300, a day of my vacation and caused much angst and frustration.  What’s worse – they don’t respond and their customer service reps make the situation worse.  I will never fly United again and I hope you will consider doing the same and sharing my story.  Something has to change in the airline industry.