My First United Airlines Experience

You may also want to read our post on “How to Write an Airline Complaint Letter” – a great synopsis on how to handle the complaint filing process.

Until yesterday I had never flown on United Airlines. I had to take a trip for work to Cincinnati and it just so happened that United had the best flight for my scenario. I booked the ticket and was excited to try out their customer service, their aircraft, and everything else they have to offer.

Let’s be honest, it wasn’t the best experience I’ve ever had when it comes to an airline. First of all my flight was delayed because the plane had mechanical problems the night before.  I missed a connecting flight and was forced to take an additional route on my way to Cincinnati.

To make matters worse, they also lost my bag that I had checked and it did not arrive at Cincinnati with me. Luckily the hotel gave me a toothbrush toothpaste and other things I needed so that I could go to sleep without my bag.

I’m willing to give United Airlines the opportunity to try again. However I’m still going to ask them if they will compensate me for the difficulties that I had on my first flight with them. I’ll include a copy of the letter that I sent and I will let you know as soon as I hear from their customer service representative.

On a good note, I am staying at a Springhill Suites by Marriott. Their fitness center is excellent, the breakfast was delicious, and the room is clean. It is my first time staying in one of these hotels but I really like it. It is nice to start accruing Marriott rewards points as they are very valuable for small-town locations.

Here’s my letter:

I’m always leery of trying new companies.  Sticking with the status quo is generally just easier. Since I normally fly Delta or American, I went out on a limb booking my ticket with United for my this trip. I felt somewhat excited as I would be trying something new, and hoped for a good experience.  Unfortunately, so far I’ve been let down.

The first incident was that my plane took off two hours late from IDA because of a mechanical problem.  I obviously missed my connecting flight. Missing the connecting flight meant that I needed to take an additional leg of the flight and made me reach my destination almost five hours after I was originally scheduled to arrive. The time that I had planned to spend catching up with friends and watching the Super Bowl was drastically reduced.

On top of arriving late to my destination I also had a problem with a lost piece of luggage. I had checked it in Denver and they promised that it would be checked to my final destination. I took their word for it and to my dismay the bag never arrived on the carousel. Disappointed, I approached the lost bag desk.

The gentleman at the desk located my bag and discovered that it had been left in Chicago (my unnecessary stop). He explained that there were two additional flights coming to CVG and it would probably arrive on the first flight, which would be arriving at 9:30 PM. Realizing that mistakes can be made I explained that I understood, and he mentioned that I would probably have my bag by 11:00 or so. It never showed up until 6:00am.

Needless to say, I wish that my first experience with your company would have been a good one, but unfortunately it was disappointing. I understand that there are issues from time to time, but I feel like I got a triple-whammy. I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that I’d never fly United again, but I can’t help but feel like I’d hesitate.  Perhaps I’m out of line, but I do feel like I’m due some sort of compensation. Would you please review my case and see if I’m entitled to a voucher or some other form of acknowledgement?

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2 Responses to My First United Airlines Experience

  1. i don’t think you’re too harsh on them at all — especially since you say you are willing to give them another try. you are definitely well within your right to ask for compensation due to a mechanical delay (and lost baggage), imho. good luck!

    sorry your first united experience was so bad 🙁 i hope your next trip with them will be better! (not trying to be a shill; i’d just like to think that everyone deserves a second chance.)

    disclaimer: i’m a united flyer, premier exec, and have been for the most part quite pleased with them.

  2. Pingback: United’s Response to My Complaint |

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