Sunday, July 26, 2009

United Airlines Steals Luggage

United Airlines

To Whom it May Concern:

You’ve denied my claim. I understand you don’t cover electronic equipment. That’s why I never check my bags. On this flight I had to check it at the gate because there was no overhead space left. The customer service agent and the baggage guy were having a loud argument on the jetway and when I set my bag down the customer service agent told me I didn’t need a claim ticket and that I should get back on the plane or it would “leave without me.”

When I got to Chicago my bag did not appear back on the jetway. It also didn’t appear at baggage claim. I immediately filed a claim. We followed up on several occasions (you never initiated a call, email or anything to let me know what happened). Finally, we got a call that my bag had “appeared” in the baggage claim office in Chicago. The bag was delivered to me by United. We had already been informed that the electronics had been stolen.

Here’s the problem. The bag never left UNITED Airline's possession. It was checked at the gate in Los Angeles. It did not reappear at the gate in Chicago. So, YOU stole my stuff. I realize it wasn’t the person who is reading this (if by some miracle it is read), it was one of the folks who works in baggage handling in Los Angeles or Chicago. They work for YOU. So UNITED AIRLINES STOLE MY STUFF.

Now, you’re not even willing to pay a claim. I would understand this if I’d checked the bag on the curb with a skycap, or even through the standard baggage claim process. I do not understand it under these circumstances.

In truth, I would have been surprised if things had turned out better. My sense is that United couldn’t care less about the customer experience. I understand times are hard. What with fuel prices, lower ridership, cost cutting, etc., it’s not easy. Here’s the problem. If you fail to care about your customers, your customers will fail to care about you … With lots of options in the sky, that can only lead to one place.

Unbelievable … and sad. United used to be one of the world's great airlines.


Kevin Swan said...

Sorry, mate. Obviously, UA made the small-minded, short-sighted decision on this one. I'll tweet it. Hopefully, getting the word out will force them to compete.

dougphoto said...

you need to write a song about it and put it up on youtube, it worked for the united broke my guitar guy.

susan solo said...

Oh I would love to hear a Jim C. original tune about this ordeal. Or since a song has already been done...a rap, perhaps?

I had a problem with United recently, too. It wasn't quite as devastating as your incident, but it was terribly inconvenient. Having been in some kind of customer-facing role nearly two-thirds of my life now I am *extremely* patient and understanding, but I was not happy with how United handled my issue, and I'm even more disappointed with how they handled yours. Awful.