My consulting group Exigent, of which I am President, spent just over 200k last year among 3 airlines, United, American, and Delta. As a company, we have been discussing shifting the majority of our business to United due to more non stops to the markets we engage in.
However after this morning, that plan is now cancelled. In bulleted form here is what happened:
- booked two first class tickets to Memphis from Denver for my wife to be with her mother after devastating cancer diagnosis.
- flight departure was at 10:56am (left gate at 11.03)
- we arrived at baggage skycap at 10.08 (48 min prior)
- skycap was talking to partner and seemed to have trouble with the computer system asking us to wait. After about 3 minutes he slowly started doing our checkin.
- after 5 more minutes he tells "well sorry they cut me off before I could get your bags in, but here are your boarding passes.
- inside ticket agent Erica told us she would not be able to help us get a single bag to the plane in time, even though the plane was still loading baggage 30 mins after she told me that.
- I sent my wife on without baggage, I then cancelled my flight with United instead of rebooking, went to Delta counter and paid $1100 for a one way first class seat. All future flights with United have now been cancelled as well.
My complaint with United is that they failed to show any interest in trying to help two first class paying (not upgrade) customers in their time of need. That might sound trivial except that as a million miler with Delta I have several occurrences of above and beyond efforts from that airline over the years. Recently a Delta gate agent called me when they changed the flight departure time to 10 mins earlier than scheduled and had a red coat meet and escort me through security. Not a robot, a human gate agent called my cell phone as I was parking, and made sure that I made the flight as if I was the most important customer they have! Now that is an airline that looks beyond standard policy for the customers that give them high revenue!
I suppose this is less of a complaint about United (in the end they just proved how little they care, like other airlines) and more of an applause for Delta!