I used to fly these guys almost exclusively. I spent 4 years as a 1K member and was generally treated very well. I switched to American when I was lured away by a nice Executive Platinum status match. It seems I was just in time.
Several weeks ago I was on a multi-city ticket and departing from a city in New York. I won’t say where to protect the gate agent involved, but I was on the volunteer list. At check in I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for $150 and both Katy and I said yes, of course. I took my normal stance at the gate and when the gate agent arrived we exchanged pleasantries and I indicated that we were her two volunteers. The agent indicated she needed only one and Katy and I confirmed we would split up and meet in Savannah. The agent heard us and said she would move us both to another flight, but only compensate one of us. That was new to me, but I wasn’t complaining. The offer had increased by $250 moving from the checkin to the gate without any haggling necessary. And she confirmed both of us on a different carrier within the Star Alliance. That has to cost the company money.
We got to crunch time waiting for one missing passenger and the gate agent was actually cheering for us and the arrival of the missing passenger, so we would get bumped. She openly announced that she loves to stick it to United Airlines whenever she can and hoped we would be re-accommodated.
Now I realize she probably works for a feeder carrier, but it showed me the relationship between management and the rank and file. I asked her if it was since the merger that she had the issues and she confirmed yes it was. I’m not going to bad mouth this employee as I don’t know all the circumstances of her actual employer but the situations has deteriorated to the point where somebody that has the ability to give out compensation and determine its amount, is rooting for the passenger and not the parent company. And BTW, she did a good job with the flight.
We didn’t get bumped and were the last two onboard.
I really don’t know how to react other than sadness that it has gone this far with the employees and those associated with United. I hope they can get their act back together somehow, but from this encounter, it seems a long way in the future.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.