Can I just rant about my day from HELL?!?

lilian

Member
Jan 3, 2006
1,207
3
I've never been one to post rants, but today was possibly the worst day I've had in a long time. Please, just let me get it out.

I was supposed to leave LA for New York this morning at 6:50, arrive in New York by 6 pm, and then go to where I needed to be and unpack and move into my new place. I got to LAX at 5:10ish, just under 2 hours early for the flight, like you're supposed to. I see this enormous line of people waiting to check in, but I thought "whatever, I have 2 hours"...I waited in this line for 50 minutes, and it was so slow because it was one of those automated check-in lines, and there were only 2 people there to help the 32938902 people trying to check themselves in with their problems.

So, at 5:55ish, I think "at this rate, I'm not going to make my 45 minute check-in cut off..maybe I should go talk to someone". I was thinking this only because in my past experience of almost missing a flight (this has happened to my family twice in my entire lifetime, so its not an often occurrence, but I've been through it), we told an agent that we were most likely going to miss the flight and they tried their best to help us out i.e. both times we've been ushered to the front of the check-in line by an agent because it was urgent.

So I go talk to a United employee, who says "no, you should try waiting in the line...you'll be fine". I was like "ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have 10 minutes and like at least 30 people in front of me!" She tells me to wait in the line anyway and it will be fine. Of course, I try to check in and it won't let me because I'm past the 45 minutes. I ask another agent (one of the few available to help people having difficulty with the machines) and she says "go over there" (points to her general left). I was like "where is THERE? what line?" and she says, "Ma'am, I told you to go over there" (point to general nothingness again). I'm frustrated at this point so I just go to the left, where I ask another agent where to go. She tells me to to Special Services. Special Services says (quote) "This isn't my problem". I go back to the same agent, and she says "oh, my bad, go to ticketing...since you're getting a new ticket". I wait in the ticketing line forever, only to be told that I have to go into the assisted check-in line (this is the fourth line I've waited in if you're counting).

I wait in THAT line for over an hour (this time because there are automated kiosks again and the four agents that are supposed to be checking people in are helping people learn to use the machines). I finally get to the front and they rebook me for another flight (which doesn't get me to New York until 11:30 local time, at which point I'm stranded and need to pay for a hotel for that night) and tell me that there is a $75 charge. I would understand this, but I missed my flight because I was waiting in their stupid line! A line that only exists because they don't have enough people working (there were soo many empty stations, it was driving me insane)! Shouldn't airlines KNOW how many people are going to show up on a given day since people actually buy the tickets in advance? Why would you not have all of your employees working on a day that you know you're going to be really busy?

While I was waiting for my new flight, I talked to a bunch of people also waiting and a lot of them were rebooked for the same reason, so it was nice to know I wasn't alone. The annoying thing was, not everyone was charged for the rebooking...some people were, but some weren't, and there really was no rhyme or reason to who was or wasn't. Whether or not it's a fair charge, why isn't it just applied to everyone?! How do some people get off? :cursing::cursing::cursing:

Anyway, 17 hours of bouncing from airport to airport later I'm stranded in some random town in upstate New York and I have no idea how I'm going to get to where I need to be tomorrow. I'm sure it will all work out, but I'm just SO glad that this terrible day is over. Never flying United again!
 

twin53

O.G.
Jan 24, 2007
5,320
4
i feel your pain. flying has been royal you-know-what since 9/11....can you try to claim a refund later on for the rebooking fee? worth a try.
 

hlfinn

ASO The Today Show
O.G.
Nov 3, 2006
19,611
8
aw i am so sorry. flying STINKS these days. i flew on delta last weekend and it was a nightmare. no one wants to help you at the airport. they just try and pass you off on someone else.

that makes no sense that they have to rebook so many people for an error that their's. well, it does bc they overbook every flight and don't care if someone doesn't make it bc they'll just give away their seat. so frustrating.

once you're where you need to be and settled i would call united and complain. write a letter. you never know.

i hope you get where you're going and get to relax!
 

lovinalotofbags

In for the long haul
O.G.
Mar 6, 2008
2,856
38
South Carolina
My family has been in the same situation. My aunt had to pay extra for another flight. It was not even her fault. Customer service is pathetic at some airports. There should be some accommodation when you miss your connecting flight because of weather or anything not related to you. We cannot control weather or a plane arriving late. thanks for sharing, b/c next time, I will add another hour or two to my 2 hour early arrival and just wait in the airport.
 

Pursegrrl

Oh no she di-int!!
O.G.
Jun 1, 2006
28,070
75
53
Seattle
Oh man, so sorry about this!!! I feel your anger coming out of the computer screen...

I hate crappy customer service...the whole oh too bad so sad and pointing to nothingness saying to go 'over there.' WTF does that mean? How about something like 'see where that gentleman in the red jacket is standing by that xxxxx sign? Go over to that line.'

I hope you get to your destination soon and can REST!
 

sweetneet

over the moon
Aug 8, 2007
6,119
13
TX
i feel your pain. flying these days SUCKS. i used to enjoy traveling, but the airline part annoys the hell out of me so much now i don't look forward to it as much. i have experienced so many flight horror stories it is not even funny. one of them was when i was stranded in Detroit (from SF to Boston) because of NWA's system went down due to a blackout (have airlines never heard of BACKUP systems??? ). i remember seeing families with small children who were scrambling to find a hotel for the night for their family (screaming children w/o sleep or food cuz everything is closed). i remember i had to wait for like 3 hours to beg an NWA worker to give us vouchers for a hotel + food. i was a poor starving student then so i could not have afforded a taxi out of there + a night of hotel at a moment's notice.

i don't have kids and air travel is already hard enough. i cannot imagine the difficulty of air travel with young children. esp with all the restrictions on liquids this and that, worrying about bags w/ essential items getting lost (so then u have to put it in carry-on, but now they limit THAT severely), or getting stuck somewhere for hours and having to scramble and find diapers, baby food, etc. argh...

anyway so sorry u had to go thru all that. hope u could get reimbursed in some way.
 

redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
13,971
4,801
Sorry you had to go through this. LAX has notoriously long lines...ridiculous! Next time, are you able to check in online and print your boarding pass at home, before you leave for the airport? Anything to do to avoid those horrible lines!
 

VuittonsLover

Cartier Crazy
O.G.
Sep 11, 2007
5,907
26
NJ/NYC
wow.. thats terrible. I never heard of not getting straight in.... at lax. i have literally shown up.. with less then 45 minutes.. till my flight and gotten on.... this was ofcourse about a year ago.. I guess things have changed.


I would write a letter about the 75.00 and get some sort of credit.. cause thats ridiculous.
 

boxermom

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
27,084
591
North Carolina
That is why I dread the idea of flying anymore. Even though driving is expensive, it's easier than dealing with all the hassle at the airport and with the airlines, security, etc. The airline people are no help at all and every rule is stacked against the passenger. That sounds completely unfair to you--nothing was your fault.

I don't know if United is the absolute worst, but their customer service has sucked for years. The employees are unhappy and take it out on customers. Dh worked for United for 37 years and retired early because he couldn't take the poor treatment from management any longer.

The last time I flew United I went to a "passenger service" counter with a woman behind the counter. I was the only one there; I asked her if she was a customer service agent, she said yes, I asked her a question about flights (don't even recall what about) and her reply was "I'm not allowed to answer any questions". I said, "then you're not really customer service, are you?" and walked away. I heard her calling after me, but I kept walking.

Flying these days is torture. Maybe the few who can afford first class and wait in the VIP lounges don't mind it so much, but I truly hate it.

You have my sympathy.
 

twiggers

O.G.
May 7, 2006
33,070
29
YOu can call United Customer service. They WILL NOT refund your CC, but they'll give you a voucher for the $75 + additional amounts (depending on how much you complain). I've received anywhere from $75-200 from complaining.
 

lilian

Member
Jan 3, 2006
1,207
3
Thanks guys. I've cooled down a bit, but I still can't get over it. I don't have a lot of money since I'm a student, and this whole thing has cost me close to $300 extra (for the hotel that I had to get so that I could sleep after the whole episode, the rental car that I was forced to get to get me to where my school is since there is no bus route and I missed the shuttle, and the stupid fee). I want to write a complaint letter, but I start law school in 4 days so I'm not sure if between that and unpacking my stuff I'll be able to put something together in time.

Also, I keep thinking even if they refund my money, it will most likely be in the form of a credit to use on a future flight, right? If that's true, I would rather walk the entire way from New York to LA rather than take a United flight on my way home ever again.

I've never actually had a problem with LAX before, and now that I think about I think it's because I don't usually fly with big airlines (most of my trips are either Jetblue and Virgin America, or Westjet when I go back to Canada). For everyone that says they don't travel anymore because of the hassle, those airlines are sooo much better. The difference is literally night/day. I feel like the United employees were all walking around with a little black cloud above their heads...like someone else said, they just hated their jobs and took it out on you. I think the big airlines just can't handle the volume and are trying to economize (i.e. by having only 4 out of a possible 15 counters open where all of them should really be open). I wish I could avoid the whole flying hassle again but I have to do it because of the distance between school/home, so for anyone who has to put up with this, please try the smaller airlines! They're amazing!

I'll try to make time to write some kind of complaint anyway, so thanks for the links pidgeon. I'll keep you guys posted on how this goes.
 

chessmont

O.G.
Aug 22, 2006
12,111
1,847
CA
The last time I flew United I went to a "passenger service" counter with a woman behind the counter. I was the only one there; I asked her if she was a customer service agent, she said yes, I asked her a question about flights (don't even recall what about) and her reply was "I'm not allowed to answer any questions". I said, "then you're not really customer service, are you?" and walked away. I heard her calling after me, but I kept walking.

--OMG boxermo, that's awful,, but I hate to say, I started laughing because it sounded like the start of a Monty Python skit!
 

boxermom

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
27,084
591
North Carolina
The last time I flew United I went to a "passenger service" counter with a woman behind the counter. I was the only one there; I asked her if she was a customer service agent, she said yes, I asked her a question about flights (don't even recall what about) and her reply was "I'm not allowed to answer any questions". I said, "then you're not really customer service, are you?" and walked away. I heard her calling after me, but I kept walking.

--OMG boxermo, that's awful,, but I hate to say, I started laughing because it sounded like the start of a Monty Python skit!
I know! At the time, I remembered a Seinfeld episode where he had a confirmation # for a rental car and they tried to justify why there was no car:nuts:.
 

prof ash

O.G.
Jun 10, 2007
2,419
413
USA
That is so frustrating :cursing: This is what I don't understand about airlines. Travelling costs money as it is, and people are on specific schedules. Because of what happened to you, you ended up having to pay money not only at the airport, but for the rental car AND hotel. That ticks me off; it's like they do NOT care about customers in anyway. Travelling and schedules are planned and need to be followed! You'd think an airline would get that. I find similarly obnoxious things happen at doctor's offices with waiting time, paperwork, stuff like that.

I'm glad you are in NY now and settled. Good luck at school, girl!! :smile: