I have nearly 1m miles on united alone. Recently, My wife and I were scheduled from Baltimore to Maui on united. Unfortunately I came down with the stomach flu on the way to the airport. Trying to be the considerate passenger, the last thing that I thought united would want is exposing the passengers and crew to a nasty bug.
Well now I know why sick and contagious passengers fly.
I explained that I had the stomach flu to the first united representative who asked if that meant that I would be missing our flight, and from what I could figure out, she had either limited knowledge of the English language, or was completely void of any compassion. Thankfully, the Second rep that I spoke to was much better. She indicted that there would be a $900 charge per passenger to make the change,and that was more than I had paid for the original tickets.
So my immediate impulse was to get back in the car, take the flight, and the heck with the passengers and crew. Luckily for them sanity returned and we went home.
Thinking about it - and Im sure this is not exclusive to united, the airlines make it very difficult to do the right thing. So I had the stomach flu - but we read all the time about contagious diseases spreading via cabins. These kinds of business practices seriously enable the spread of disease.
So at least the next time a passenger who is obviously ill is seated next to me, I'll have some compassion for the trade off that the airlines create between doing what is right and monetary gain. But I won't like it.