The last time I flew on a United aircraft was in June of 2017. That’s almost 3 years. At the beginning of 2018, I decided that we wouldn’t be flying with them anymore. It wasn’t a decision I made because of any problems we had on a United flight. Instead, it was my way to say that I felt United’s management didn’t appreciate or even care about their passengers. After beating passengers, killing pets, and leggingsgate (well not so much this one), I didn’t want to reward the company with any of my bookings.
Here’s what I said about my decision:
So here I am, making the only decision I can make as a customer. Walk with my money. Not give it to them anymore. Cut ties with places that do, like getting rid of my co-brand credit card with Chase and telling them why I am doing so. No longer using the United shopping portal or Mileage Plus X app. Dropping the dining program. Not earning any more miles in their program. PERIOD! (Well, I’ll earn just enough miles to keep my account active). Otherwise, I’m done. I’m out.
I caught a bunch of grief about my decision.
From the haters
terrible, lazily researched and written article. United has been just the opposite for me and my family, showing nothing but promise and positivity. Check out the stock price too as Wall Street agrees with me. Your loss in avoiding a great airline.
to the basic trolls
and United’s Fanboys
This article is absurd. I fly United about 2-3 times per month (based at ORD) and have not had a bad flight with them in years. They’ve worked very hard to improve their service and on-time performance. I can be a picky traveler, but I haven’t had any issues with any UA employees. They’re generally very courteous and professional. And I’ve flown through every one of their hubs in the past year. No issues.
I hate to tell all of you, but I was right.
My chief complaint with United was with their management, not with their day to day workers. I felt that the corporate suite wasn’t making the right decisions and that customer-unfriendly policies work their way through corporate DNA.
Unless changes were made at the top, nothing would change. Events this weekend prove my point.
Amid the biggest crisis for the travel industry since 9/11, United changed their policy with regards to issuing refunds due to schedule changes. As per this post on Frequent Miler:
In the past, United Airlines allowed you to get a refund if they changed your flight schedule and it would get you to your destination more than two hours after the original arrival time. They’ve now changed this policy so that if they change your flights, you’ll only be eligible for a refund if it results in you arriving at your destination 25 hours or more after your original arrival time.
Social media channels blew up, blasting United for a sudden change in policy. United was canceling flights due to decreased demand while passengers were looking to rebook flights due to fear of illness. Perfect time to make a considerable change to the rules.
United realized that they weren’t going to get away with this, so they suddenly (again) changed their policy. Gary from View From the Wing writes:
After a swift backlash in social media, United will now let customers cancel and retain a travel credit without a change fee in the event United changes flight schedules 2 or more hours. The credit must be used within 15 months of the original ticketing date (up from the usual 12 months for a credit). United still won’t give refunds unless the schedule change is at least 25 hours. A two-hour schedule change had entitled a customer to a refund before this policy change.
Guess what? I am sure glad I didn’t have any flights booked with United. Delta allowed me to change a flight for free when my plans were changed. I was also able to cancel a flight on Southwest and get all my miles refunded for free, which is their usual policy.
Only United has instituted policies that are more strict in the middle of this crisis. It just goes to show that the only thing they care about is the bottom line. Passengers are only a means to reach that end, and it matters not if we’re inconvenienced by the changes they make to hold onto their revenue.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary