Saturday, December 30, 2006

How to speak nice about bad things!

I dont like negativity, and I think it is destructive... Thinking of all this stuff I've been going thru lately, and with the ever increasing number of people having problems with customer service, two new words popped into my mind; two words that can drastically reduce the negativity of me talking about UAL.

The first word is Screwice™ (Copyright © 2006, 2007, All Rights Reserved, left, up, down, top, bottom, every direction!), which I define to be a great dis-service or a service performed while screwing you royally.

The second word, Screwlation™ (copyrighted and trade marked as above!) is defined to mean a relation with the intent to harm, or to have or continue a relation to maintain and/or foster your advantage over the other.

So, now, with the definition of these new words, I can talk about what GREAT Customer Screwice my parents have received from UAL, without the negativity attached with the use of words like "Lousy," "Horrible" or "Terrible."

Like wise, UAL seems to be having WONDERFUL Customer Screwlations! See, how easy it is to talk about bad things in a good way!

Sadly, a google search I did last night (12/31/06) revealed that these 2 words have been used before... I will, however, use my re-definition of these word though.

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Communication with UAL

This is the last letter I wrote to UAL, hot off the press as of yesterday. I hope this will be resolved soon, but I doubt it. On the bright side, at least I have a New Years Resolution!!!

Click the links below for the tickets.

How to break both legs!

Omaha to Denver, Denver to Los Angeles - The Good Legs!

Los Angeles to Singapore - The Broken Leg!

Singapore to Colombo - The Other Broken Leg!

Click the links below for the receipts of the newly purchased tickets.

New Tickets purchased in Los Angeles

New Tickets purchased in Singapore

Communication from United Air Lines

This is the first letter I received from UAL after my complaint. I tried to blocking out the names and address with a sharpie, but it was still visible, so I had to cut it out. Please note their admission of having no problems with the reservation and that they were in the midst of a computer system change with SLAL. Please click on the image to view a larger image.

This is the second letter I received. Pretty much saying, I'm SOL diplomatically.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Big Bad united Air Lines

Shame on you for taking advantage of frail, elderly people having undergone surgery.
What United Airlines has done amounts to extortion, breach of contract and abuse of the elderly!

I created this blog to broadcast to the world, the unethical and evil doings of United Air Lines (UAL) that my parents have had the misfortune of having to experience.

Their story began as any other normal international travel plan that they had undergone for the past 14+ years... purchase the tickets in Colombo, Sri Lanka through a travel agent that they had become very well acquainted with, just based on their 14+ years of annual visits to the USA to see their children. Usually they have been flying Singapore Airlines or Malaysian Air Lines, but this time, they had selected UAL as the primary carier and Sri Lankan Airlines (SLAL) as UAL's code share partner (part of Star Alliance) to fly them from Sri Lanka to the USA.

Upon arrival and having spent some time in Omaha, Nebraska, where they usually reside with relatives , my father had to undergo surgery for the removal of kidney stones. As advised by the doctors, they were forced to delay their travel plans back to Sri Lanka on medical grounds. Having failed to resolve the matter of re-scheduling the flights back to Sri Lanka, my father had asked me to contact UAL and resolve the matter.

I tried to contact UAL and tried to change the flight plans, but quickly got frustrated with the automated system that seems to discourage talking with a human being, and the one I finally managed to get hold of was very rude and the call got "cut off" before she could do anything for me. I'm not the one to give up so easily, so I found a service address for UAL and wrote them a letter, asking that the tickets be extended on medical grounds. About a week later, I received a letter from UAL stating theat they cannot do anything about it, but if I go to the UAL counter at any airport, they will be able to help me. At the time, I was in San Diego, so I went to the San Diego International airport and a very helpful gentleman made arraigements to have the flight schedule changed, without charge on medical grounds. He also changed the flight plans for SLAL as they are part of the Star Alliance and code share partner for UAL. I was amazed at how nice and considerate and helpful this gentleman was and filled out a customer survery form, stating how proud UAL should be to have employees such as him. I had forgiven UAL for the rudeness of the previous employee I had the misfortune of speaking on the phone and I was extremely pleased with UAL; however this satisfaction was short lived, at about 2 months.

My father, being very cautious of everthing, contacted UAL few weeks prior to departure to ensure that the travel plans are as they should be. There seemed to be some confusion on the UAL's scheduling system as there were 2 dates for departure. My father and an uncle promptly visited the airport in Omaha, Nebraska and finally had the issue resolved, having spent about an hour and a half working with a UAL representative. Everthing was now clear for take off, or so it seemed.

The first day of travel was uneventful; they boarded the UAL flight at Omaha and landed safely at the Los Angeles International airport, and spent 2 days with an uncle. Next leg of the flight was from Los Angeles to Singapore. My uncle had dropped them off at the airport early at 7am and headed off to his work. After the checkin counters had opened, my parents had gone to check in their baggage and collect the boarding passes. This is where the real story begins.

Big Bad United Air Lines (Continued)

(Continued from the previous blog)

When my parents tried to collect their boarding passes for the flight from Los Angeles to Singapore, they were told that their tickets are not valid and that they are required to purchase new tickets to fly from Los Angeles to Singapore, and possibly from Singapore to Sri Lanka as well. My father had tried to explain that they had new tickets issued by UAL, and that the matter was resolved twice, once in San Diego, California by me and once more in Omaha, Nebraska, and that they had no problem flying in from Omaha to Los Angeles on UAL (the friendly skies). UAL still refused to accept the very same tickets that were issued by itself, and stood the ground that if my parents were to fly, they would have to purchase new tickets (the unfriendly skies!). Their position was that the tickets were not approved, authorized or authenticated! This from the very same company that made these changes in San Diego and Omaha, and had no problem flying my parents from Omaha to Los Angeles on the very same tickets! So, this raises the question that UAL may have been flying my parents from Omaha to Los Angeles on unapproved, unauthorized, and unauthenticated tickets? If so, is this a serious breach in security that should be reported to the Department of Homeland Security? If UAL can’t track their own changes between divisions and can’t authenticate their own changes, what hope do we have as citizens of the USA against the terrorists? I truly hope that the work that the Department of Homeland Security is doing is not in vein, all foiled by the inability of UAL to authenticate their own tickets!!!

Having no alternative, with feelings of ridicule and shame running high due to people staring at them like criminals, and being stranded in an airport with no one to help and no real option of re-scheduling the flight, they had to give in and purchase new tickets at a cost of $500 per person. UAL also refused to check their baggage to Sri Lanka, claiming that the same might happen again when they board the SLAL flight from Singapore, despite having corrected this twice. This was just too much of a strain to put on some one that had undergone surgery, but UAL was without compassion, and unwilling to check their own computer system to resolve the matter. My parents landed safely in Singapore and collected the baggage, weary from a 11 hour flight and surgery. When they were ready to check in to SLAL, the code share partner for UAL, the same story repeated itself, this time having to pay a price of Singapore $1409 per person (total US$ 1860 for both) to travel from Singapore to Sri Lanka. The total cost to my parents for that trip was US$2860, which was an expense that they did not have to pay at all. This is also the price of 2 round trip tickets at around $1400 each! They carry no credit cards, and fortunately they had some money with them, without which they would have been stranded due UAL’s mistake.

Since I heard of this story from my parents, I have been trying to resolve this matter with UAL, so far without success. I have been juggling my move from San Diego to Atlanta, as well as having a very demanding job. So, my time is very limited and valuable; however, I have not given up, and I will not. I will work tirelessly till justice is served! I am currently in the process of exploring legal options. I have given UAL ample opportunity to resolve this matter fairly, yet they have failed to comply. I will give UAL one more opportunity to resolve this matter fairly, and if they refuse, I will have the judicial system resolve this matter, taking all punitive damages into account as well.

I will upload copies of my communication with UAL for others that may have experienced similar situations such as this. If you or any one you know has experienced injustices similar to this one, please write a comment and leave me a way to contact you.

I have been very resonable and extrememly patient with UAL, to no avail. I am just trying to get back what was stolen from my parents. I am not alone in situations like this one. If you do a google search, you will find numerous others that are very unhappy with UAL. If you want to read more about why I am making this blog, please take a look here

I am not alone!

To see a full list of customer complaints against United Air Lines, go to the link below, select a month and a year and press the "View Database" button.

Customer Complaints
Consumer reviews for United Airlines

Here is a list of other people who has had problems with United Air Lines

United Airlines Laughs At Traveller's Plight
United Airlines (UAL) Sucks
United Airlines sucks (part 22)
UA Suck
Unfriendly skies
Off Limits
Mo'Nique calls for boycott of United Airlines
United Airlines sucks
United airlines == big bag of shite....
United Airlines Sucks
United Airlines Sucks (redux) - updated
Why United Airlines is Destined for Bankruptcy

ok, I'm tired of typing all this... there are just too many. How come a company has pissed off so many? Here is the google link.
United Airlines Suck

Why am I doing this?

Since the the profile dosent give much info, I wanted to write up a bit more to explain why I am doing this, and what irks me to make a blog about why "United Air Lines Sucks!"

I am thankful for being a citizen of the USA, for having the ability to speak my mind freely. I am thankful for the founding fathers of this country that gave the people the gift of freedom of speech (among the many other freedoms that we are entitled to). It is up to us to protect these rights, least they get stolen from us. Allthough the current state of affairs have been disappointing, we still have the ability to express ourselves and a lot of the freedom that we take for granted. If UAL was in an oppressive country, they might even have me killed for making this blog! ;-)

I am thankful for Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web, responsible for breaking down communication barriers around the world. I am thankful to all the people who make the www work everyday, and the Google people that made blogging so easy to empower the average person.

Given all this freedom and the wonderful tools for the www, it would be a sin for me to stay silent while UAL has been robbing my parents for nearly $3000, while making the invalid assumption that they would be the average 70+ year olds that can be screwed easily. I intend to fully take advantage of broadcasting to the world, the struggle of my story against UAL in getting every penny that they stole from my parents.

This would not have mattered as much to me if it they did it to me. I would have probably given up after some time, as my time is more valuable to me and I can easily earn that money. But then again, its $3000 and I don’t like any one stealing a penny from me! Additionally, my parents have been visiting us for over a decade, making their annual trip for the love of their children. They are retired and have no income coming in, and this is a plain case of a big greedy company screwing the helpless... royally. I have tried to work with UAL, writing them several letters, requesting that they return the money that was wrongfully charged to my parents. Even though UAL admitted to having problems with their and Sri Lankan Airlines computer systems, and have given us coupons worth $600 to make us “happy,” they have refused to refund the money. I have saved these coupons to produce them in a court of law, along with all the communication that I have had with them. At this point, I have no recourse, but to pursue legal means for recovering that money, which I fully intend to pursue and I have made it my personal crusade to recover every penny that UAL has stolen from my parents. Even if I don’t succeed, I would have tried and broadcasted my attempts to others that might have faced similar injustices by companies such as this.