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United Airlines will lose their shirts again


BytheBay2

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In the 1960s, you couldn't beat United Airlines for traveling. Since that time, they have steadily gone downhill. I believe we can now assume that they are close to the end of their existance.

 

Approximently one week ago, a disabled woman arrived at one of the U.S airports to travel to see relatives in another state. It was obvious that she could not go through the security check the way all other passengers were and yet the United Airlines clerk asked her not once but twice why she could not go through the procedure. Finally she was asked to sit in a clear cubical and remove her shoes so that the clerk could check them. This should have happened from the very beginning.

 

The 1st plane she was getting on was a shuttle flight. She ended up having to manuver the narrow staircase to the cabin of the plane by herself dispite the fact that there was wheelchair assistance available.

 

At the next stop where she would be changing planes, there was a mix-up concerning wheelchair assistance for her. While she spoke to the flight attendent about the problem, the pilot appeared from the cockpit. He asked what the problem was but when the women tried to explain above the roar of the engines, the pilot told her that there was no reason for her to get "short" with him. Then the flight attendent told her to be quiet because the pilot could ban her from ever flying again.

 

The woman made it to her final destination but with red eyes from crying.

 

It's true that the 9-11 tragedy has put people in the field of air travel on edge but it's gone way over what should be acceptable. Valued customers are being treated as 2nd class citizens and sometimes worse than that. Are the Airline companies trying to get rid of their clients? Do they want their companies to go into bankruptcy? If you look at the way Untied is treating their customers, your answer would be yes, they don't want to be in business anymore.

:confused:

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In the 1960s, you couldn't beat United Airlines for traveling. Since that time, they have steadily gone downhill. I believe we can now assume that they are close to the end of their existance.

 

Approximently one week ago, a disabled woman arrived at one of the U.S airports to travel to see relatives in another state. It was obvious that she could not go through the security check the way all other passengers were and yet the United Airlines clerk asked her not once but twice why she could not go through the procedure. Finally she was asked to sit in a clear cubical and remove her shoes so that the clerk could check them. This should have happened from the very beginning.

 

The 1st plane she was getting on was a shuttle flight. She ended up having to manuver the narrow staircase to the cabin of the plane by herself dispite the fact that there was wheelchair assistance available.

 

At the next stop where she would be changing planes, there was a mix-up concerning wheelchair assistance for her. While she spoke to the flight attendent about the problem, the pilot appeared from the cockpit. He asked what the problem was but when the women tried to explain above the roar of the engines, the pilot told her that there was no reason for her to get "short" with him. Then the flight attendent told her to be quiet because the pilot could ban her from ever flying again.

 

The woman made it to her final destination but with red eyes from crying.

 

It's true that the 9-11 tragedy has put people in the field of air travel on edge but it's gone way over what should be acceptable. Valued customers are being treated as 2nd class citizens and sometimes worse than that. Are the Airline companies trying to get rid of their clients? Do they want their companies to go into bankruptcy? If you look at the way Untied is treating their customers, your answer would be yes, they don't want to be in business anymore.

:confused:

I don't know what airport or this reportitly took place but two weeks ago I flew United SD to FLL and we had a stopover in Chicago. I travel with a scooter and I can say that the airline staff in all three cities took extra time and did everything they humanly could to accomadate my needs.

Even though there was a mixup in Chicago about the scooter getting off there for me to use the people in the terminal were most helpful to set things straight and reasuring to keep me from going postal.

My hat is off to United and their people for giving me a good experience in my first travel with my scooter.

As for the secutity checks we were given a complete check because we had one way tickets but if you treat the people doing the checks with respect they will treat you the same. I am suspect when I see reports like this and wonder what was the attitude of the person that caused this. I find in life that people mirror the attitude that you present so maybe this lady had a chip on her shoulder in the first place (we will never know.)

Since this message is presented as hearsay not as a personal experience I question the motive of the person for posting it.

That is my two cents and I want change

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I have flown with United once with my scooter, and once, with a folding wheelchair. The only problem I had was that one of the flight attendants refused to even consider putting my chair in the closet because "that's where we put OUR bags"! I could have argued, but didn't. It didn't really matter, as they delivered it to me right outside the door when I left the plane.

I think that their ground crews were all very helpful. When travelling through security, someone should have pointed out that there is usually a separate line for handicapped people, flight crews, and even sometimes, first class travellers. I have found this line to be very convenient. The security people DO check out my chair or scooter very thoroughly, and I do have to take off my shoes, and be subjected to a wand search. I don't mind, as I'd rather be safer. This has been especially prevalent since explosives were found in a woman's clothing. As I said, I don't mind this, but can understand that the OP's case, if she had not flown recently, could have been upsetting. It also sounds like she got involved with an unsympathetic flight crew.

I dont understand the narrow staircase to the cabin of the plane statement. How could there by wheelchair assistance up the stairs? Do you mean that they could have loaded her on a platform to the plane level? I have seen that done in Burbank, CA, where they only have stairways from the tarmac into the airplane.

I hope she'll give it another chance, and not tar the whole airline with the brush that the nasty few deserve. I notice that this was OP's first post, so think it must have been herself that was so upset. We truly have found most airline personnel, on about five different airlines that we have flown when we needed assistance, very cooperative and helpful. We have flown United, American, Alaska, Delta, and Southwest since I have needed assistance.

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I have not read the original complaint, however I do have to point out one error -- the TSA (not the airlines) are responsible for security checkpoints. The airlines have nothing to do with it. The TSA as a fed agency is not subject to the requirements of the ACAA, however they have developed their own guidelines and practices. Here is a link re: their procedures with PWDs:

http://www.tsa.gov/public/display?theme=156

 

As for United being better or worse than other US Airlines for PWDs, well I get kudos and complaints on all airlines equally. And I get a lot of them. It’s pretty much the luck of the draw (as other posters who have not have problems with UAL posted here).

 

When you say "shuttle flight" - how big was the plane? In some cases level or lift boarding is not mandated (under the ACAA) and since we don't have all the facts it's rather hard to judge. UAL may have just been operating under the existing regs.

 

Did this woman request wheelchair assistance (for connections) when she made her reservations or did she just assume she could get it once she got off the plane?

 

As for the conversation with the pilot and flight attendant, well again I don't think we have all the facts.

 

I'm not saying that there are no problems with air travel, but I don't think we have enough facts in this case to make a judgment.

 

Candy

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The airline has nothing to do with security. I took my mom to Hawaii in December. My mother was made to remove her shoes. Which is the norm anymore. I was ready to put my mom's shoes back on after I got mine back on but to my amazement the security personal did it for her. Security have never done that for my mom before. I teased the security woman that I wanted her to put my shoes on too. :D She laughed that she only did it for handicapped.

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I think jukeboxy has it right "Since this message is presented as hearsay not as a personal experience I question the motive of the person for posting it."

 

OP registered only yesterday, posted and has not returned to the boards. If OP has more info maybe it could be believable.

 

However, he/she is making the statement as a bystander that just happened to be with the disabled woman on both flights. There is more to the story than what has been told. Methinks there is an axe to grind.

 

Charlie the Skeptic :rolleyes:

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I don't know what airport or this reportitly took place but two weeks ago I flew United SD to FLL and we had a stopover in Chicago. I travel with a scooter and I can say that the airline staff in all three cities took extra time and did everything they humanly could to accomadate my needs.

Even though there was a mixup in Chicago about the scooter getting off there for me to use the people in the terminal were most helpful to set things straight and reasuring to keep me from going postal.

My hat is off to United and their people for giving me a good experience in my first travel with my scooter.

As for the secutity checks we were given a complete check because we had one way tickets but if you treat the people doing the checks with respect they will treat you the same. I am suspect when I see reports like this and wonder what was the attitude of the person that caused this. I find in life that people mirror the attitude that you present so maybe this lady had a chip on her shoulder in the first place (we will never know.)

Since this message is presented as hearsay not as a personal experience I question the motive of the person for posting it.

That is my two cents and I want change

 

The original post was about me so it was a personal account of what happened. I didn't write about everything because I was afraid of exactly what happened in the reply posts plus there may be a time in the future when I won't have any other choice but to take a flight using United Airlines.

 

I'm glad there are some that are having a good experience with United. I wish I could be one of them. I am not a hateful person. My brother was the one who made the reservations and he did ask that wheelchair assistance be available for me. I understood that mixups do happen (by the way, what happened to me was also at O'Hara). I wouldn't have been upset at all if the pilot hadn't been rude and the flight attendant hadn't threatened me. I would have chalked it up to it just being a Saturday.

 

I worked as a patient rep. at a state hospital for over 10 years so I do know how to treat others so that I get decent treatment in return. The treatment I received from United was sloppy, unprofessional, and frightening.

 

Do I have a chip on my shoulder? Or could it be that I'm upset because I was not treated with the respect that you have obviously gotten just because I can walk (with a cane)?

 

What happened to me was terrifying. Companies who work so closely with individuals should treat their clients/customers better than this.

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BytheBay2,

I totally agree with you that the flight attendant and pilot need not have been nasty! I think I've had that flight attendant on a flight. :)

I'm sorry that your trip wasn't pleasant, but I do hope that you'll travel again. The wheelchair assistants are employed by the airport, or all of the airlines, and are not employed by the particular airline itself. The wheelchair "pushers" are usually so nice, and one thing I do, is that about half hour before we are to land, I ask the flight attendant if it is possible for her/him to check on the wheelchair that is supposed to be waiting for me. I make sure I do this before they get all involved with landing responsibilities.

The TSA people are usually considerate, and are used to dealing with folks that need a little different treatment, but every once in a while..........

I still don't understand the stairs into the airplane. Was this at a very small regional airport? Did they offer you no assistance? Boy, if that was me, that would have been the end of the trip, as I cannot climb more than two or three steps, and usually have trouble with those. I use a scooter or a chair as I cannot walk very far, nor stand for very long, but can walk through a security machine, and stand to be wanded..........if I have my cane. And what would someone do that absolutely could NOT stand????

I hope that you will share a good experience the next time you travel. I also would suggest that when you do, you call the airline reservations number a few days before you go, and make SURE that your need for a wheelchair is noted in their records.

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BytheBay2,

I totally agree with you that the flight attendant and pilot need not have been nasty! I think I've had that flight attendant on a flight. :)

I'm sorry that your trip wasn't pleasant, but I do hope that you'll travel again. The wheelchair assistants are employed by the airport, or all of the airlines, and are not employed by the particular airline itself. The wheelchair "pushers" are usually so nice, and one thing I do, is that about half hour before we are to land, I ask the flight attendant if it is possible for her/him to check on the wheelchair that is supposed to be waiting for me. I make sure I do this before they get all involved with landing responsibilities.

The TSA people are usually considerate, and are used to dealing with folks that need a little different treatment, but every once in a while..........

I still don't understand the stairs into the airplane. Was this at a very small regional airport? Did they offer you no assistance? Boy, if that was me, that would have been the end of the trip, as I cannot climb more than two or three steps, and usually have trouble with those. I use a scooter or a chair as I cannot walk very far, nor stand for very long, but can walk through a security machine, and stand to be wanded..........if I have my cane. And what would someone do that absolutely could NOT stand????

I hope that you will share a good experience the next time you travel. I also would suggest that when you do, you call the airline reservations number a few days before you go, and make SURE that your need for a wheelchair is noted in their records.

 

I was beginning to think I was living in a nightmare when I read the other posts. Finally, someone who can put themselves in my shoes. Could it be that the others don't wear shoes that are like ours? Possibly.

 

Yes, the steep stairs were are a regional airport. One of the very few drawbacks of living in rural America. As I had stated before, my brother made the reservations and he request wheelchair assistance not only to help me out but to make it a little easier on him when I arrived. I also requested assistance when I was at the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. I ended up walking to the gate so that I wouldn't miss my flight.

 

I good for walking (as long as I have my cane) for about 3 city blocks. After that the bottom of my feet, my right ankle, and my right calf start throbbing with pain. If it hadn't been for those stairs and the crumby attitudes of that pilot and attentent, I probably would have been just fine and would have enjoyed the travel.

 

At the airports I was at, I got along very well with everyone. The ones who push the wheelchairs are extremely friendly and helpful. The people at the security machines were pleasant too. You're suppose to walk through without your shoes on but I need the support of my shoes to walk even with a cane. They just directed me to the clear-glass cubical, had me sit down and take off my shoes so they could run them through the machine and used the wand on me. One of them even tied my shoes for me.

 

No, I'm not angry at all airlines or the airports. I'm just angry with the one airline. Next time I fly someplace, I'll just use another airline. ;)

 

Again, thank you

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Not to burst anybody's bubble, and I'm hardly a fan of United Airllines, but after many years of extensive travel, it's safe to say that aside from Jet Blue, we have encountered rude employees on every domestic airlines, whether it's on the phone, at check-in, the gate or flight attendents. There are also many nice people who work for all the different airlines - I just don't think one can generalize anymore about any particular airlilne. After a couple of miserable United experiences I swore I'd never fly them again, then American was even worse. Then we had the rudest flight attendent on a recent Continental flight (in First class no less). And then on our last United flight they were unbelievably pleasant. You just never know anymore. And as mentioned, the security and wheelchair people don't work for the airlines, so that's going to vary anyway. With the current state of air travel, unfortunately we are not left with many choices unless we choose to drive instead which is not always feasible.

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I just booked a flight from Houston to St. Louis on Continental for my family (Mom in w/c, sis, nephew, and I). I called Continental to ensure that the flight would be able to accomodate my mom since she cannot walk for more than a couple steps and stairs are out of the question. The woman I spoke with put me on hold while she spoke to the St. Louis airport about arrangements. St. Louis confirmed that they had appropriate equipment in place so I made the bookings.

 

I have had an identity theft in the past so I make it a point to check my credit card statements online at least every couple days. Imagine my surprise when I checked my credit card statement and only three tickets had been charged. I checked the Continental website and only sis, nephew, and I were now listed on the itinerary. All four of us were there previously.

 

I called Continental and was told that a supervisor had decided that the St. Louis airport was not suitable for wheelchairs and cancelled my mom's ticket. No one called me, e-mailed me, or issued a new e-ticket to let me know about the change. I insisted on speaking with a supervisor who also called St. Louis and determined the information I had previously been given was correct. She reinstated the ticket at the previous price (it had gone up).

 

I still cannot believe that Continental would allow someone to cancel a ticket without contacting that person just because someone assumed the person could not board the plane. Supposedly Continental is looking into the matter, but I doubt there will be any reprimands coming.

 

If I hadn't been paying attention, we would have shown up at the airport with the original e-ticket that listed all four of us not realizing that my mom had been canceled.

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Too bad the way things are. My husband is in w/c and needs to be pushed. Cant walk. WE went through seattle coming back from cruise and they asked us to take shoes off and we did. Then security told us to move because we were blocking the line. I told them you had us take shoes off and my husband cant put his back on by himself and i sure can push him out of the way without my shoes on with w/c and carry ons and if they wanted us to move they would have to push husband to nearest chairs or wait until i put my shoes back on.

As far as i am concerned this is assine the way security is. The people behind us started to cheer over securites rudeness and someone finally pushed him ot of the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been busy for awhile. When I came back to see if there were any more replies to my post, I was shocked to see 2 more because I thought the subject had died. I am also shocked to read that there are people in the airline industry that would have the nerve to treat people worse than what I was treated.

 

To debkjw and kyriecat:

I am so sorry for the nightmares you have gone through. I am hoping that this entire post reaches people in the airline industry whose jobs involve working directly with the customers. Maybe, just maybe it will chance some things. I know, fat change but you never can tell.

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