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30 May 2012

United fails to deliver food and is mean to an infant

Date: 26 April 2012
Location: Newark, NJ
Airline: United, flights UA 6127 and UA 26

(Addressed to United Customer Care)

I am writing to you regarding a recent trip that my husband, my three-month old daughter and I made to New York, Newark, with United Airlines.

Our tickets were purchased through Expedia and the flight numbers are as follows (UA 6127 and return UA 26).

On our outward journey my husband had booked a vegetarian meal for himself and a seafood meal for me from the available drop down menu. Shortly into the journey we were informed in a less than apologetic manner that there was neither. In fact there was nothing on board for us to eat. We were not on the list for special meals despite a phone call through Expedia confirming meals with United prior to the outward flight.  We were quite surprised and eventually some cheese and crackers were found. On a transatlantic flight I really do not think that this is acceptable.

On our return journey my husband had again checked that there would be a meal on the flight. He had been advised by outward cabin crew to go on to the United Airlines website to confirm the return meals, which he did.  He spoke to "Alex" the virtual advisor and joined the United Airlines membership and "edited his profile including meal preferences!" this was confirmed online.

We paid $394 extra for upgraded seats and were at the front of the economy cabin against the bulkhead. (Return journey seat numbers were 8F and 9E.)There was a male member of your cabin crew who was very helpful, Mr Josh Hollifield, (International Service Manager), he did provide us with a sky cot for our daughter.

However, despite being subjected yet again to your United Airlines promotional video staring "Jeff" , your CEO, telling his captive audience how all passengers on United Airlines are very well looked
after while on board one of his flights, there was again nothing to eat! Surely not twice?

Now you may be starting to think that this letter is simply from two grumpy passengers who had to survive six hours each way on a micro bag of salty pretzels. This however is not the case.

My three-month old daughter slept for most of the journey and she did not at any point need anything at all. Fortunate as there probably would
not have been a meal! I did not even have to ask for a bottle to be warmed as I am breast feeding. (I could go down the breast feeding mother needing food as a priority route but I'm afraid that just isn't me.) So all I'm highlighting is that I did not have to pace the aisle trying to comfort her or cause any extra work for your crew.

When we landed we asked for the stroller to be brought to the door of the plane so that the journey through customs would be easier. We waited while the majority of passengers left the aircraft and the ground staff at Birmingham located the stroller which was in a travel bag and brought it to the aircraft door. When it arrived my husband went to remove it from the bag and get it ready.

To my horror at this point one of your female crew, Ms Mary H., stomped back onto the aircraft and without realising that I was within earshot said in an angry tone of voice "Yes, and he's opening the buggy like it's Christmas morning!"

I interpreted this to mean that he was being very slow and holding her up as she was extremely keen to leave the aircraft. I stood up and asked her what she meant and on realising that I, and her colleagues had also heard her, she was acutely embarrassed. Eventually she apologised but this did not negate the fact that we were clearly delaying her and looking after us was certainly not on her list of priorities. Josh was horrified by his fellow colleague's behaviour and apologised profusely. We suggest you look into this cabin crew members conduct personally.

I have two other children aged 6 years and 8 years and have travelled withvarious airlines all over the world with them.  I have NEVER in all that time come across such unhelpful, rude and unprofessional cabin crew. I am extremely angry at the manner in which we were treated and would appreciate it very much if you could run this experience past "Jeff" and ask him if he believes that any ofthis experience is of the standard he expects for his customers.

We are appalled and do not feel your airline has provided good customer service or value for money. The airline certainly cannot justify the premium economy upgrade costs we were charged and we expect this to be refunded in full as a minimum.


1 comment:

  1. A mega corporation was mean to an infant? I bet that infant grows up to be a real meanie right back to corporate America. When will we all just get along?