Oct062013

United Airlines email apologizes for nature

Yesterday I was on a United Airlines flight with a bit of turbulence as we crossed over the western states and Rocky Mountains. Since I have flown a couple million miles over the past 25 years, this event did not seem too severe or unusual to me.

So I was surprised to find this in my email today.

I realize how distressing it can be to experience unexpected turbulence during flight as we encountered this morning.  Please know that United utilizes some of the best technology available to help ensure smooth air for our customers.  Even so, turbulence can at times be unforeseen and simply unavoidable.  That is one reason why United takes great care to ensure all of our flight crews are well-trained and able to handle any adverse situations.  I can certainly appreciate any concern and anxiety you may have felt personally or on behalf of others.  Thank you for your understanding of this unusual in-flight event.
Your satisfaction and business mean a great deal to United Airlines, and we look forward to our next opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,

Sherri Hermance
United Airlines
Customer Care

When I think of unusual turbulence, I recall a flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco where we bounced for at least eight hours one trip.

The most severe turbulence I recall was a Los Angeles-San Francisco United Express flight back in the early 90s in a Pacific winter storm. There were several passengers screaming hysterically fearing for their lives and prayers being spoken out loud as the tiny propeller plane bounced like a rubber ball on the air current downdrafts. I kind of enjoyed the carnival ride myself with earplugs firmly in place.

I find it kind of amusing that United customer care sent an email notice out for yesterday’s flight. The most disruptive aspect of the turbulence was the limited time available for getting out of the seat to use the bathroom, but it was only about an hour or so. I even worked on my computer editing photos the entire time the plane bounced.

Nice gesture from United Airlines. Though I would have appreciated the email more if accompanied with a $25 coupon for a future flight.

Hertz Clusterf*ck

What I would really like to see in my email box is an apology letter from Hertz Rental Car for the one hour wait as more than 50 people waited for cars with only two agents working the counter for 45 minutes before a customer volunteered to assist with the video kiosks for central reservations assistance so the third Hertz agent could work the counter to process customers. It seemed to me that half the processing time for each customer was trying to upsell renters to higher category cars and all the other add-ons before giving up the car keys for the car already reserved.

Hertz should cough up a $50 future rental coupon for their clusterf*ck customer service.

Makes me wish I had the time this trip to simply drive my own car across the states.

Travel can be trying.

But it is all good now.

And at least I was not trying to drive my car through Wyoming and South Dakota this weekend with four feet of snow falling from the recent blizzard. That was my original travel itinerary I planned for this weekend back in August.

 

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. We had a bad experience with Hertz in Kauai. Upon arrival, we couldn’t find our name on the hertz #1 board, so we have to go inside, where we found the hertz gold line was much longer than the regular line because only one agent is helping vs two helping the regular line. After waited 40 min, we go our car, with no car seats offered (and I reserved one), car wasn’t bought to us, and there were workers chatting in the parking lot instead of helping etc etc. Bad experience! I twitted hertz right afterwards and was asked to DM them the rental info. The station manager called the next morning at 7am(!!!!!) and woke everyone up! They can’t seem to get it right.

    In the end, we were offered a free tank of gas and $50 off on the next rental which we used in Maui.

  2. I considered tweeting at the time yesterday, but I didn’t.

    What I found so annoying was after waiting all that time was listening to the barrage of upsell offers delaying me even more from getting out of the Denver airport.

    Throw in free GPS rather than asking me to pay more for items I did not reserve at the time of booking.

  3. Another reason to hate rental cars, which i avoid if the public transportation is good. But when i need a car, your experience is why i go with the National emerald aisle, even though it costs me more.

  4. I had an experience just like that with Budget at MCO. They had 4 or 5 people working the checkouts, but they spent so much time not just upselling, but chatting to the customers as well. After I’ve been in line an hour (and my husband and 2 kids are waiting in the seating area within sight of the counter) the very last thing I want is someone saying, “so, what brings you to the Orlando area?” and “the line is so long, because our prices are so great”. I would’ve paid another $50 to not start my vacation like that.
    I also shut my hand in the door during the crazy rushed return procedure. Not exactly their fault, but it’s a bit stressful when there is a huge line of cars and they are right at your window the moment you stop asking you for the paperwork or something.
    Other than that we had a great vacation. 😉

  5. This why National Emerald Isle is the best option. I hate the constant up-selling I get at other rental agencies. I only choose them if they are much cheaper, my strategy is to just tell them give me the car I reserved because that is the car I want.

  6. To top off the whole rental process was the Hertz Rental Car Survey I received by email this morning. I tend to ignore company surveys, but I was looking forward to sharing my views on this particular rental.

    After the first question which asked if my rental was business or leisure/personal, the response came back that it looked like I already had done the survey and I was blocked out from receiving more questions or the opportunity to give any feedback.

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