On Lufthansa, two flight attendants assembled a bassinet for our infant daughter, complete with fresh linens. On Swiss, a single flight attendant struggle to install a bassinet, and then asked us to use a blanket as linen. On United, we were given a heavy plastic sleeping bag to put our baby in, and told to put the bag on the floor!
United also has this bizarre habit of turning the "fasten seat belt" sign on for most of the flight. The moment the slightest amount of turbulence occurs, the light goes on, and stays on for up to an hour! The fight attendants make announcements that passengers should return to their seats for their own safety, however they themselves continue to roam about the cabin. Trash is collected, meals are served, and hot coffee is poured, all while it is too dangerous for passengers to leave their seats. It is as if they believe the laws of physics don't apply to themselves. We finally got up the nerve to ask a flight attendant why it is too dangerous for passengers to stand up, yet safe enough for the flight attendants. Frankly, I considered that we might be arrested for merely asking such a question. The flight attendant explained that they have to be up and about because that is their job.
There you have it. Either United is lying to their passengers about the danger of turbulence in order to allow the flight attendance a little elbow room while they server the meal, or they have a complete disregard for the safety of their crew, or both.
Upon arriving at Washington Dulles from
The pattern was clear, United personnel would only tell us to speak to someone else or refuse to assist us.
We understand that mechanical problems can occur, however United should have:
1. Been honest with us about the nature of the cancellation
2. Rebooked us on the next available flight automatically, or at least provide adequately staffed customer service counters with the ability to print out vouchers, especially at it’s Dulles hub.
3. Made some attempt to seat us together, rather than have us beg our fellow passengers.
Our final insult came shortly after takeoff, when a flight attendant singled out my wife to tell her that she could not have the lasagna she ordered. My wife, who is breast feeding our child, explained that this meal would be vital to her ability to feed our child, and that the salad would not be sufficient. I asked the flight attendant to at least ask some other passengers if they would prefer the salad, yet the flight attendant refused to do so and told us that “We have 100k travelers on board, and not enough meals.” Incredulously, I asked the flight attendant if 100k travelers take priority over a nursing mother, and was told point blank, “Yes, they do.”
In United’s marketing and description of it’s business class product, I have yet to see an asterisk denoting that travelers ticketed with award seats are not entitled to be treated like other international business class passengers, let alone with a minimum of service and decency. It’s service stands in stark contrast to the excellent experience we had in business class on United’s partners Lufthansa and Swiss.
It is outrageous that United personnel repeatedly went out it’s way to remind us that we were ticketed in business class with a mileage award, and are otherwise third class passengers.
From now on I will avoid United at all costs. Even if they are less expensive than other carriers, and that is a big if, I refuse to pay them to insult us.