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January 11, 2008 in problems, Travel | 8 comments
…for a website to be as unreliable as United’s.
Imagine running airplanes with the same level of reliability.
Dave Snowden on January 11, 2008 at 9:45 am
But they do, I have more lost luggage on United than an other airline. Not only that the check in and transfer process has been subject to an outbreak of consultancy. If you are doing anything unusual then it can take an hour for them to sort it out and you miss connections (twice last year on round the world trips).
Shawn Powers on January 11, 2008 at 10:36 am
Doc, I think you’re being a little harsh. I mean, their servers have to fit into a 3 ounce case, and be contained in a ziplock bag.
Doc Searls on January 11, 2008 at 11:46 am
On the whole I’m not unhappy with United. In fact I’m a fairly satisfied customer. That is, one who hasn’t had an awful experience yet.
There have been plenty of opportunities. I’m approaching a million miles with United. I’ve been a 1K flier for a couple of years, and close to that level for most of the last two decades. They’ve never lost my luggage; and it’s been so long since the last time I had a luggage problem that I can’t even remember when that was.
My complaints are few.
1) They cheap out on coffee and food in their Red Carpet Clubs. (Where I’m a lifetime member, thanks to a smart purchase by my wife 18 years ago.) Their old cappuccino machines at least made something resembling a cappuccino. Their new ones, now several years old, make several sugary drinks that are all terrible. And the machines are usually broken. Their pastries in the morning are the kind that come in sticky bags that you’d expect find in bad vending machines.
2) One can’t specify preferred seating when putting in for upgrades. As a result I usually don’t get upgraded, because I don’t put in for it. I’d rather keep a window in coach than have a nonwindow seat in business or first.
3) Their website is slow. They also recently subtracted more value when they stopped offering itineraries in iCal file form as well as in text and tables.
4) Their Easy Update system is broken. It used to be useful and informative. Now it makes mistakes and often doesn’t call at all.
5) The audio jacks on many seats os many planes are so worn that they barely work.
On the plus side, they go to many places, treat me well and still offer cockpit chatter on an audio channel — something no other airline does, and which I like a lot.
Hans Veldhuizen on January 11, 2008 at 12:39 pm
Just tried to book a roundtrip ticket from LAX to SLC on the United Website. After searching for my flight and trying to pay for it I learned that the US site doesn’t accept my European Amex card. Digging around a bit on the site, I found out they had a Dutch version of the site!!! Great. The only problem is, it’s impossible to book a ticket because the site keeps telling me that my postal code (Dutch zip code) is wrong. Well, I really do know what that code is and I sure didn’t make any mistakes with it. Tried several ways to fill in the code, non worked…
So, off to Orbitz. Did the job for the flight I wanted in minutes. Even offered me a great hotel deal…
Jay Deragon on January 11, 2008 at 7:45 pm
Try getting a real person to talk to when you attemtp to engage a covnersation with social networking platform operators like Linkedin and Facebook……impossible….
The users of the platforms have taken the medium and are using it to engage while the operators are treating it like any business treats its customers.
docduke on January 11, 2008 at 10:29 pm
Actually, there is an excuse …
It reminds me of: “If GM had developed technology like Microsoft…”
Fortunately, Snopes has tracked down the details:
I’m very glad United puts its emphasis on aircraft maintenance, instead of website development. Now if we were willing to add another $20 to each ticket and earmark it “for website development” 😉
JTH (Chip) on January 13, 2008 at 11:08 am
1) Daughter just got screwed over on flight from Vancouver, son-in-law to be lost luggage (sorry) on flight from London.
Daughter decided to tell United that she’d rather fly Aeroflot!
2) NYTimes on frequent flyer mess:
Sounds like VRM issue
Doc Searls on January 13, 2008 at 6:30 pm
I got it, Jay.
We’re a long way from even beginning to humanize computing as much as we’ll need to.
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