Dear United, plz go die. Kthx.

22 10 2008

I don’t think I’m breaking any news here when I say that air travel has become a pretty miserable goddam experience lately.  

Between the delays, the fees, the lost bags and the troubling proximity to “other people” it’s tempting to give the whole industry a hearty “Up Yours,” but really, most of the time, what can you do? A couple of months back I needed to go to Portland for work. What was I going to do? Walk? 

But I think we have a choice more often than we realize.

Recently I was getting set to book my ticket home for the holidays / LittleSister’s Elaborate Wedding Extravaganza. Fortunately, Christmas and the EWE fall close enough together that I’ll be able to roll it all into one trip, and it was looking like I’d be able to score a pretty reasonable fare.

Not so fast.

When I travel, my so-called “personal item” is often a scruffy little 16-lb terrier named Mr. Henry, who travels in a soft-sided carrier under the seat in front of me and is pretty much always passed out before takeoff. For this privilege, United wants to charge me $175. Each. Way.

So, United, up yours. You’ve finally nickle and dimed me to the point where I’m just going to say, Fuck it. I’m driving, from Los Angeles to Denver. Happy goddam holidays.

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4 responses

22 10 2008
Flaime

It’s better to drive anyway. My dogs hate airplanes. I hate airplanes. And driving i-70 with 2 feet of snow on it is exhilarating!;)..

Oh, Blame TJ for me being here to make this comment.

22 10 2008
Christopher

Another visitor by way of TJ. Hello!

I’ve flown at least 5 million miles in my somewhat short life on this insignificant speck, and that’s probably a low-ball estimate. As such, I’ve developed similar distastes for certain airlines, which I absolutely will not fly under any circumstances. United is one such airline.

Dateline: London. 1997. My family is being transferred from Ye Olde Londone Towne to Houston. My mom and I have to drop everything, fly to Houston, find a house, and get me enrolled in school in three days. BAM, we set it up, we go. United’s our taxi to the US.

To my delight, they’ve put us on one of their new 777s. I’m a plane guy, and love this kind of hardware. I hadn’t been on a triple-7 yet, though, so I was stoked. It would have been really, really awesome, too, if the entertainment system was installed. Or the climate control system worked beyond ZOMGHOT! Or they loaded food onto the plane.

United put us on a brand new airplane that was not air-ready. We were all cooking in the plane, without food, and nothing to do save what we brought with us. Never again, I said.

Later that year, my brother and my dad follow in our wake. They also fly United. When they land and head out to collect the baggage, my brother’s bag does not get off the carousel. We submit a tracking claim, and they tell us they’ll get back to us. The next day they call and tell us they’ve located our bag and will have it to us tomorrow. Oka — wait, tomorrow?

Us: “What’s the hold up? Why not today?”
Them: “Your bag was routed to Manilla.”
Us: “Manilla… Kansas? Or Manilla, PHILIPPINES?”
Them: “Philippines.”

The conversation ended, us entirely in disbelief. That’s not even the right hemisphere. Is not a firm grasp of geography a critical competency of a GLOBAL AIRLINE? Never again, we said.

The mind truly does boggle sometimes.

23 10 2008
Brierley

You should also check Amtrak and Greyhound. I know Amtrak allows pets, and since I took the route from LA to Denver you would be stopping and changing trains in New Mexico but it means not having to drive yourself which is nice. Not sure about greyhound since I preferred Amtrak since the station was a lot closer to my house.

3 12 2008
Christmas Networking 2.0 « U R B Z E N

[…] that way. What’s the matter with you? Perv.) Anyhow, between shopping and decorating and the many tribulations of holiday travel, it’s easy to put off one of the most important things you’ll do this holiday season: […]

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