So back on May 23’rd of this year I was flying home out of Schiphol Airport after two long weeks working two separate trade shows in Europe. I arrived at the airport almost three hours early and was one of the first in line to check in.
The check in crew showed up all smiles laughing and joking with each other and seemed to really enjoy themselves for about 30 minutes while about 50 people in line watched and wondered why they weren’t taking their stations and helping us.
Finally they open. I get to the counter and asked the United agent if I could change my seat from a window to an aisle. She was very polite but told me the only aisle seats were premium seats and it would cost me 100 + euros to upgrade. I had a long flight ahead and didn’t want to get stuck in the window like I had on the way over so I agreed and paid the fee to upgrade.
A couple of hours later I get on the plane and notice the plane is more than half empty and there are tons of aisle seats available all over the aircraft.
When we land in Chicago I tell the agent at the gate what had happened. She tells me there is nothing she can do and sends me to another counter. I talk to the agent there, she says nothing she can do and I will have to call their main number when I get back home. I ask for a supervisor. She comes over, I tell the story for a third time and she tells me there is nothing she can do and turns he back and walks away from me while I am still talking.
I was stunned. United Airlines just straight up ripped me off! I was going to do this blog post when I got home and tell the story but noticed United was on Twitter. So I sent them a Tweet. Go a reply within a day or so. Told the person the story via DM and never heard back.
Now today I come across this fantastic United Breaks Guitars video. Dave Carroll who wrote the song and created the video definitely lost more than I did but was basically treated the exact same way. Dave plans to eventually air three videos and get to one million page views. He is already over 200,000 page views (and nearly 2,500 comments) in two days so I think its a pretty safe bet he is going to make this goal. I for one will do everything I can to help him get there and hope Dave is able to come play this song live at BlogWorld in October. Maybe Dave could use several thousand of us all singing the “United Breaks Guitars” chorus together and use it in one of his videos?.
Do you have a story to tell about how United gave you the short end of the stick?
If so please leave a comment below or send us a link to your own post and we will link back to you here.
If any of you have ever heard my Social Media 101 talk you have heard me say “If you treat your customers badly then you deserved to be punished for it and social media allows your customers to do that”.
Well United you deserved to be punished for your actions but take heart. Social media also allows you to make up for your poor service and complete disregard for your customers like Dave and my welfare and do it in a very public way.
I for one am not to proud to forgive and Dave strikes as the forgiving kind of guy as well. Hell he gave you nine months to try and make it right!
btw, you can read the full story on Dave Carroll’s website here.
So what’s your United Airlines customer service nightmare story?
I know lots of you have them.