Thursday, October 2, 2014

My "Awesome" Experience With US Airlines - American Airlines and United Airlines

Today, today (actually it's last week) is really a history in my life. I’m usually the type where if I think I’m not getting the right service, I will stand up for my rights and make sure I get what I want. If I still don’t get it, normally I am fine with it because at least I know I’ve tried.

But today, today is just pure fantastic. So my flight back to KL was with American Airlines because Etihad has a codeshare with them. Nope, no issue at all on that.
My original flight connections are like this:

Houston (IAH) --> Chicago (IAD) --> Abu Dhabi --> KL

But it has to happen that today, the air traffic control in Chicago O'Hare Airport caught fire and they have to cancel ALL the 700 plus flights going into and out of Chicago. 
That's where all the issues started. I might sound like an annoying bitch after this but if you were me, I bet you'd be pissed as hell too.



Knowing that my flight to Chicago is canceled, I walked up to the American Airlines counter to find out the status and if they could put me on another flight.
The ordeal with AA lasted for more than half an hour because all other flights out of Houston today is full and the ground crew had to keep checking for availability. For that, I'm thankful because she's obviously trying her best to help me.

Then, she found a flight. 4 hours from my actual departure time in Houston but it's with United Airlines, not AA and that's not the only catch. The new route with United would be:

Houston (IAH) --> Los Angeles (LAX) --> Hong Kong --> KL

United doesn't have codeshare with Etihad, but with Cathay Pacific. BUT, my flight from IAH to LAX with United would be in Economy whereas the remaining connecting flights with Cathay would be in Business, which is as booked with Etihad.
The AA lady said there's no more Biz class seat available for IAH to LAX. Since it's only a 2-hour flight, of course I'm ok.
But...I've already paid (technically my company is the one who paid) for the Biz class and you're now putting me on Economy class. I asked her if I can get a refund for it.
She said: "No. AA is already giving them (United) the sales by transferring you to their flight so AA cannot be refunding your loss since we are not earning from you already." Then who the hell is supposed to be responsible?! Wait till I get to the part on United.

Then, what about my luggage? Now that I'm in Economy to LAX, do I have to pay more for checking in my luggage when the Biz class booked by my company earlier already included 2 check-in luggage allowances?
She said I'll have to check with them because maybe only 1 luggage is free and the other one needs to charge (I have 2 luggage with me).
So fine, I took my carry-ons (1 backpack with laptop and a handbag) and my 2 luggage all the way to the other terminal to check in to United. Bear in mind, the terminals are connected using a shuttle train, which means I have to carry/drag all my bags up and down and all the way to Terminal C to check in via the shuttle.




When I reached the check-in point for United flights, I went to the counter and before I managed to say a word, a lady came to me and took my flight details and started punching in the booking number etc because United's check-in in that terminal was more like kiosk type, instead of counter.
So I promptly told her, my case is a little special because originally, I'm not with United and I had to tell them about the check-in luggage etc.

YOU KNOW WHAT THAT ***** TOLD ME?

She said in a smug kinda way, "Well, guess what, everyone's here is special too, not just you."
I'm like, okay....that's quite an attitude to be serving your airline customer.
So she went ahead with the kiosk and I thought to myself, fine, go ahead and I'll just wait and see if you can get me through smoothly since she didn't let me talk.
Up till one point, the kiosk showed that it needs an employee to proceed with my booking.
So she was like, "Let me check what the issue is."
I said to her, "Exactly what I was trying to tell you bitch." Ok, I didn't say bitch but that word was in my head.
She said apparently the AA lady booked me on 2 different flights out of Houston and she said I have to go all the way back to Terminal A to sort it out with AA.

This is where I lost my patience. I said to her, that's not right.
I'm a customer and you're expecting your customer to go back to where I came from, not to mention to drag all my luggage and carry-ons up and down again and take the shuttle train back to Terminal A just to talk to the AA lady and then make my way back to Terminal C because you guys just can't seem to do your work properly? I have a freaking 60 kg of bags, goodness sake!
I said to her, can't you just give AA a call and sort it out? She said, "Well, it's not our mistake, it's AA's." 
I was fuming already. This lady here in United is truly testing my patience.

Then she said she'll try to cancel the other booking. Then when she succeeded, she again smugly told me, it's done now because of her. I'm like, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
I don't need to freaking know whether you managed to successfully cancel for me because that's what you were there for?? What do you think your job scope is if not to help your airline customers? 
How about you trying to cancel it for me first before asking me to go back to AA to talk to them?

After that, she said go ahead and weigh my luggage. Then somehow she found out that my luggage was supposed to stop at Hong Kong and it'll not go to KL unless I check in again in Hong Kong.
I'm like WTF? Is this stupid or what? If I'm booked all the way to KL, why is my luggage stopping at HK? Guess what she said?
"I don't know, it's booked by AA. They're the one who booked your flight." 
Well, that's very helpful of you, thanks.

I was standing there, thinking to myself - "This could possibly be the worst day of my trip. I have had so many "highlights" in this month alone in US and right before I leave, I have to also go through this ordeal."
Then she proceeded behind the kiosk again and said she'll try and see if she can correct it.
Very well, she did it! Hurray! *pops a champagne........Please. That's just a sarcasm because then she said, "I fixed it for you." with a show-off tone and facial expression. 
Guess what lady, that sounds like your job too!! FTS.
She then said to me, next time, fly with United, not AA. 

I'm like really, lady?? Really? Look at yourself in the first place. Being all so stuck up and if this is the kind of treatment I'm getting from United, then guess what, I sure as hell won't fly with United, too.

As for the AA lady who served me, well, thanks for booking me on 2 different flights instead of one and caused my ordeal with United. And I still think AA should freaking give me (or rather, my company) a refund because after all, my company freaking paid for Biz class!

To be honest, I am not sure if the AA lady did anything wrong because she was really trying to help me and I can't tell if she booked wrongly because the screen on United's kiosk showed the correct booking as far as I'm concerned. 
The United lady probably read it wrongly and trying to pretend as if she managed to solve it for me or something I don't know.

But to be fair, I'm seriously very pissed and I'm pretty sure I won't take either airline anymore if I could.
Things might not be that bad if it wasn't for the kind of attitude I'm getting from the front desk people.

PS: Photos taken from Google engine search.

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