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.
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.
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.