Thursday, July 6, 2017

United Airlines officially sucks...

I woke up this morning to read yet another horror story about United Airlines.  This time, it involves a hapless mother of a toddler who was forced to hold her son on her lap for hours on a flight because United gave away the seat she purchased for him.  This story is just one of several that have come out over the past few months about how United is no longer selling the concept of flying "the friendly skies".

Nancy is no longer in the aircraft...

Anyway, Shirley Yamauchi, the lady involved in this unfortunate incident, said she was too afraid to speak up too loudly about being ripped off by the airline because she feared being kicked off the plane.  She had visions of Dr. David Dao in her head.  He's the guy who was famously dragged off of an airplane kicking and screaming as his teeth were knocked out.  So she didn't raise a holy stink when a man flying standby took the seat that she had bought for her son.  Instead, she went to the press.  Good for her.

United says it has reached out to Ms. Yamauchi and will compensate as "a gesture of goodwill."  Are you fucking serious?  How about reimbursing her because she didn't get what she paid for?!  I get that the airlines are in serious trouble right now, but this practice of double booking seats is bullshit.  Ms. Yamauchi paid about $1000 for that seat.  United needs to cough up the money.

Moreover, United says the child's seat was given away because his ticket was "incorrectly scanned".  How the hell does that happen?  How was the child allowed on the plane if his ticket wasn't scanned correctly?  And how is it safe for a twenty-five pound two year old toddler to sit on his mother's lap for hours with no seatbelt?  Especially when it says right there on United's Web site that kids over age  two must have their own seat?  Below is a direct quote:

Once infants turn two years old, they are required to have a purchased ticket and occupy a seat. Infants who reach their second birthday after their outbound flight must have a purchased ticket and occupy a seat for their return flight(s).

I have a flight to Scotland booked in September.  It's in business class.  I bought two seats, one for me and one for Bill, and I paid extra to ensure that we will be seated together.  There is a chance Bill won't get to come with me on this trip.  We are flying British Airways and it looks like they do a lot of the same shit the American airlines do.  This will be my first time on British Airways.  Hopefully, they live up to their reality show and treat me right.

Oh well.  It's only money, right?  I hate flying.  


  1. I'm usually not eager to involve our government in anything, but I think congress needs to investigate the airlines. Requiring parents to buy tickets for toddlers, but then making the two-year-old mother who bought a seat for her child hold the kid on her lap for the entire flight is bullshit. Instead of the spokespersons giving those flippant answers about how "as a gesture of goodwill," they're reaching out to the mother, the executives need to be answering pointed questions about the practices in senate subcommittee hearings.

    I agree that the mother was smart to handle it the way she did. And they're obviously lying about the ticket being scanned incorrectly. They're blatant liars. Perhaps a large-scale boycott of United should happen, at least for long enough to force them to offer really good deals and lose a bit of revenue. I still think they need a formal investigation with some extremely heavy fines or worse, though.

    1. I much prefer European carriers. They are a lot better.

  2. I think I flew on RyanAir once a long time ago. Anything else would have been an American carrier.

    1. I hear Ryanair is bad, too.

    2. It probably is. I was little enough when I was on it that I probably wouldn't have known the difference, and I think none of the airlines were quite so bad back then, either.


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