Wednesday, June 25, 2008

*&@$#%! Airlines!

Amazing. Utterly amazing.

If you have a few bucks laying around, and are thinking about investing in an airline, DON'T DO IT!

Just got off the phone with Ruiz, at United Airlines. It seems that United just managed to find a bag that had been misdirected.

'Course, the flight that it was supposed to arrive on arrived on time at Washington Dulles International Airport ten months ago tomorrow!!!

That's right. United will be returning a bag (my mother's) from a flight from ten months ago.

You see, last summer, the Youngs took a trip to Alaska. For reasons discussed elsewhere, my mother came along.

On the way back, her single bag was misdirected.

Now, we were pretty sure as to what happened. When we got back to Dulles, and noticed that only her bag (among the seven checked by the five of us) was missing, I noticed that we had an errant baggage claim check. There was a different name on it, and it was for a woman (in the military) traveling on to Kuwait, as was our flight.

Well, we of course reported that information when we went to the Baggage Office for United to complain.

Thus began six weeks of conversations with people on the United toll-free line. 'Cept English wasn't their first language. And they weren't in the United States. Noooo, they were in New Delhi. Yeah. In India. And we begged them to contact Kuwait, and to have someone physically look for the bag. "No can do," we were told. We begged them for the phone number of the terminal in Kuwait, so we could do that which they wouldn't. No luck. It was so bad that I seriously contemplated asking a friend from church --- a Marine officer on his way to Afghanistan --- to check for the bag when he went through Kuwait. Figuring he had better things to do --- and having been assured by United that they had, indeed, checked in Kuwait, I declined to do so.

To make a long story a bit shorter, we received a check for about $1,200.00 about six weeks later. But no bag.

And now, one day short of ten months to the day after we returned home, United has finally found.

I'm sure that my mother will be delighted.

As for me, I have little doubt anymore as to the reasons for the sad state of American airlines.


Whackette said...

Do you have to give the money back?

I hope not.

James Young said...

Apparently not; that's kinda my point: instead of looking for the bag (I begged, screamed, and berated, but couldn't get the number in Kuwait myself). In any case, I would charge it as a rental fee for the loss of the goods.

Leslie Carbone said...

United lost my bag when I was going to a job interview, and they couldn't have cared less. One customer abuse agent actually asked me, "What do you expect me to do about it?" And this airline is now charging passengers $15 per checked bag. Think how irate people will be when they've actually paid extra to have their bags lost.