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Old Post : An Open Letter to United Airlines Employees

Before I had this wordpress blog, I had another blog on a private server. The server went away and I didn’t bother trying to pick it up right away because I had other things to do. However, I saved some of the posts. I’m archiving them here because I still like them. Or, I’m still pissed.

Dear United Airlines and “Ted” Airlines employees working in the Denver airport on the evening of November 1, 2004 around 9PM,

Fuck you.

Let me begin again. I know your jobs are hard. I know that you have to deal with a lot of crap from irate passengers, their families, and the world in general. That doesn’t give you license to run your airlines badly, nor to be rude, useless, and condescending.

First of all, whose bright idea was it to schedule a flight out of one of your major hubs leaving less than an hour from when several of your flights through “Ted” were supposed to arrive? The plane out of Phoenix was late to begin with, giving those connecting a scant 13 minutes to get to their connecting flights. That’s bad planning all around.

Secondly, whose idea was it to put Ted flights in terminal A and United flights in terminal B in an airport where you need to take a train to get from one terminal to another? If Ted’s only use is to force people to connect through one of your hubs, then you’d damn well better schedule departures so that people have plenty of time to get from one terminal to the next.

Thirdly, when someone gets off of a flight that was late and asks the employee at the gate if they can hold the connecting flight for 5 more minutes, the correct response is not: “They won’t hold the plane for you. You won’t make it. You’d better run.” A better response would be: “I’ll call them and ask if they can wait for 5 minutes. But please hurry.” I’m already stressed about the plane being late and if I will make my connection, I don’t need attitude from Miss Perky Hair or her sidekick, Smirky Man.

Fourthly, if United airport workers see passengers running to get their gate (as they were told to do) and doesn’t want them to run, the correct action is not to get on the PA and ‘remind’ passengers not to run on the concourse. The correct response is to make it so passengers don’t have to fucking run.

Fifthly, if you are working at the gate where the connecting flight is located and you see 6 people running up to the gate, you make another announcement that the plane is boarding. Especially if the gate area is full of people waiting for an unrelated flight. Making an announcement in the concourse that the plane is waiting for its last few passengers would help. Don’t just let the people sit there for five minutes while you look at your watch and wonder when they will get a clue and board.

Sixthly, don’t claim that you’ve made many announcements that the flight was boarding, because I know you haven’t made one in the last five minutes.

Seventhly, if a passenger expresses frustration with the airline to the person taking the boarding passes, the correct response is not: “We held the plane for you, I hope you appreciate that,” in a snarky tone. If I hadn’t been in a hurry to board my plane, I would have smacked you, consequences be damned. It would have been nice of you to tell the “Ted” people in terminal A that information. Perhaps they would have passed it on to us.

Finally, but slightly unrelated, “Ted” is not a cute name for an airline. It’s also not cute when the safety video people keep saying things like: “Ted asks that you stay in your seat when the seat belt sign is lit.” and “Ted hopes you enjoy your flight.” Ted can suck my ass, along with the rest of the United airport employees working the Denver airport on the night of November 1, 2004.

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