You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

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PaleoLiberal
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:07 am

United has it's own hierarchy of customers:

From top to bottom:

1. First class passengers. These board in Group 1.
1 A Business class where applicable.

2. United 1k passengers (flew over 100k miles the previous year on their FF program)

3. Platinum FF passengers (over 75k the previous year)

4. Gold (over 50 k)

5. Silver (25k) (1-5 have special lines at the airport ticketing, customer service, etc. Premiere Access)

6. Explorer cardholders in the FF program. (2-6 enter in boarding group 2)

7. FF members who did not use an Explorer card to purchase the ticket, treated as higher grade cattle.

8. Everyone else, aka cattle, and treated as cattle.

For most airlines I am on level 7 or 8. For United I went from 7 to 6 to 5 within the past year, and the way I am treated has improved quite a bit. On one flight I was upgraded to Business Class, and was actually treated like a human.

The problem is, the good doctor was level 8, otherwise they would never have kicked him off the plane. He was used to the world outside the airport, where being a doctor with patients who depended on him made him special.

The thing is, if there were suddenly a medical emergency on the plane, the doctor would immediately become the most important passenger on the plane.

I am just describing the way United operates, not passing any judgment.

Different airlines do things differently. I know some Germans with Doctoral degrees, equiv. to the American PhD, and have Doctor as part of their name on their passport. Luftanasa treats them like VIPs, are referred to as "Herr Doktor", and sometimes get upgrades to first class. The good doctor would've had a very, very different experience with Luftansa rather than United.

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby Cadfael » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:16 am

PaleoLiberal wrote: The good doctor would've had a very, very different experience with Luftansa rather than United.

Perhaps any airline not based in the US would have been a better choice.

Henry Vilas
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:25 am

Do foreign based airlines fly between two U.S. cities?

PaleoLiberal
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby PaleoLiberal » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:33 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Do foreign based airlines fly between two U.S. cities?


Generally not.

There may be exceptions, such as if an international flight has several stops in the US.

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby Roy » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:13 pm

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fennel
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby fennel » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:56 pm

"He was warned. he was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted."

"... so we sicked the dogs on him."

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:03 pm

Cadfael wrote:
PaleoLiberal wrote: The good doctor would've had a very, very different experience with Luftansa rather than United.

Perhaps any airline not based in the US would have been a better choice.


According to NPR this evening, passenger rights laws in Europe are far stronger than in the US, and given a choice most people would be better off choosing a European carrier. As with most consumer rights (privacy rights on the internet, for instance), we're lagging drastically.

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby Cadfael » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:07 pm

fennel wrote:"He was warned. he was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted."

"... so we sicked the dogs on him."

Funny part is, the dogs were trained and paid by taxes. And he's a taxpayer.

What a country!

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby fennel » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:12 pm

A related article in the L.A. Times. This time, it was a wealthy man who just wasn't wealthy enough.

PaleoLiberal
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby PaleoLiberal » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:45 am

As I mentioned earlier, I flew over 25,000 miles with United last year. I expect to fly somewhat more this year.

I also flew a few thousand miles with SW.

Listening to other passengers, I can say United had a horrible reputation for customer service. It comes from the top of the company.

United is known for having improved their efficiency and process, which does help the passengers. But they just don't always treat passengers as real people.

I still don't think Munoz gets it. He finally promised to stop dragging passengers off the plane, like that is a major concession. (Sadly, it is from their POV).

If he really got it, he would launch a campaign to improve the customer service.

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby jman111 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:30 pm

PaleoLiberal wrote:If he really got it, he would launch a campaign to improve the customer service.

In today's business world, customer service is readily disregarded in the quest for short-term profits. Decisions are seemingly driven solely by quarterly financials, not long-term projections.

When success is measured in mergers and acquisitions, why be concerned about something as silly as customer service? Acquire enough market share and customers will pay out of necessity, not choice.

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby gargantua » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:54 pm

All I can say is that Southwest won my business. How? They treated me like they wanted it. It really didn't take all that much.

PaleoLiberal
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby PaleoLiberal » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:07 pm

I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say SW has better customer service than United.

Because, they do.

I used to work in NYC, and the flights from MKE to LA on SW were nice. One time the flight was massively delayed, so vouchers for everyone, which I used on my last trip to LGA.

Problem is, United flies to a lot more cities, including Madison. Some of the places I've flown for business have been Newark, San Francisco and London, and it is easy to fly to all from United from Madison.

If you are already a FF on United, and you already have say, over 25,000 miles for the previous year, then United starts to treat you decently. They are decent to their biggest customers, but treat everyone else like cattle.

Which begs the question, how do you get someone to be a loyal customer if you treat them like cattle until they are your loyal customer?

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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby fennel » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:25 pm

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Henry Vilas
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Re: You're Not Mad at United Airlines; You're Mad at America

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:00 pm

gargantua wrote:All I can say is that Southwest won my business.

I've flown on them a few times and I would use them even more if only they flew out of Madison.


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