The Hubs & The United Airlines Guy

There are times when I shake my head and wonder if the Hubs has marbles for brains and then other times I see pure genius in him and I remember why I love him.  Sunday was such a day.

We were at the Orlando Airport getting ready to head back to Kansas.  We only had carry on luggage, but we did have 2 booster seats that we wanted to check.  We were directed to a self help kiosk and this is where our story begins:

Hubs to United Guy:  I don't see where I can check booster seats.  They should be free and this thing wants to charge me for baggage.

UG:  Hmm....I'm not sure.  Let's take a look.  He starts poking selections on the screen to find booster seats.  Is it like a stroller?  

Hubs:  No.  They're booster seats.  They're right here.  He points to our two large boosters.  (I'm a worrier, remember?  I make my kids ride in full on booster seats that I could fit in.)

UG:  Oh.  OK.  Hmm....  He pokes some more.  (Have you never checked a booster seat before?  Really?)

UG:  Oh!  Here we go.  Carseats or booster.  He pushes the correct buttons and our baggage sticker things pop out.

Hubs:  Great.  Where are the bags to pack them in?

UG:  Bags?

Hubs:  Yes, the plastic bags that keep them from getting all dirty.  

UG:  Ohhh.  Let me check.  He looks around uncertainly and spots a supervisor.  He calls him over and asks him about the bags.  

Super:  We don't have any.  He snapped at us.  They're on back order.  (The supervisor is an absolute dick.)  Our partners don't have any either.  We haven't had any for a while now.

Hubs:  OK.  So when my carseats get ruined United will buy me two new ones, right?

Super:  Absolutely not, sir.  We check your carseats as a courtesy.  We're not responsible for damage.  It's a courtesy!  (Yeah, we get it.  It must be a real courtesy, you said it twice.)

Hubs:  Then find me some bags.

Super:  Sir, I told you.  They're on back order.  We don't have any.

Hubs:  Are you kidding me?  We're in ORLANDO!  All that comes through here are kids and carseats.  You can't possibly be out of bags.  Find me one.  Get me something.  Get me a trash bag if you have to.  Go to Costco and buy a box of them.  My carseat will be ruined if you don't put it in a bag.  (I love the Hubs.)

Super:  Sir, it's a courtesy!  We don't have any bags!  (This guy is a broken record.)

Hubs:  Fine!  I'll just call United's 1-800 number right now and complain about the service I'm receiving...  He starts to dial his phone.  (The Hubs does not make idle threats, Mr. Supervisor.  I hope you don't mind when he gets you fired.)

Super:  OK, OK!  We might have some plastic bags for golf bags.  They could probably fit in there.  He jumps behind the counter and starts pulling out giant plastic bags.  (WTF, dude?  You had these all along?)

Another passenger who has been checking in this whole times says:  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  He didn't have bags a minute ago and now all a sudden he does?

Hubs:  It would appear so.  

Passenger:  Unbelievable.  (You said it!)

Our boosters made it to Kansas in their plastic golf bags.  Our pink one had grease all over the plastic bag.  So glad the Hubs raised a stink, because I would have had a fit.

The Supervisor was right, it is a courtesy for them to check our boosters for free, but you know what?  There are a lot of airlines out there and they're all hungry for passengers and I chose United as a "courtesy."  Just because we're not frequent fliers or business travelers doesn't mean they should be able to treat us poorly.  

Plus, what a way to run your business, United.  You would think that when you're in an airport in a city that is built on family-friendly destinations you would have a plethora of bags for the carseats and booster seats that you are checking as a courtesy.  Don't hold back those precious bags for your golfing customers.  I looked around that check in counter and all I saw were families with boosters and carseats.  I didn't see one set of golf clubs.  Don't be so stingy, United.  Get your shit together and look at the big picture:  yes you're not responsible for damage, but do you want a bunch of angry parents with expensive carseats that are ruined because you couldn't keep plastic bags in stock?   Oh yeah, and train your people better when it comes to customer service - that supervisor in Orlando was a real dick and I wish we got his name.  He dodged a bullet on that one.  

Check out my newest Babble post.

Would you mind voting for me again?  Only a couple more days!


102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go Hubs! Glad to see there are still good men out there still willing to stand up for what is right! You should still file a complaint to United. There is no reason why this so-called supervisor should have treated you or anyone in this manner! What a jerk! Even though you don't have his name I'd still let them know this happened. Maybe someone else got his name and had a similar complaint!

Anonymous said...

Voted, again!! I love you!!!

Laura said...

As a travel agent, I find that not surprising. Kudos to your hubs! Love your blog!

Amanda @ Life, Experience Needed said...

I'd complain for sure! I've flown a few times with carseats and it's automatic to give you a bag with them, they don't even ask anymore. You show up with a carseat and they hand you a bag. What an ass!

Anonymous said...

I was vote #3200! You are rackin' up!!!

[email protected] said...

Even without his name, i'll just bet United could find it easily.

Becky said...

You aren't the only ones who have had problems with United. A local band had serious problems with United throwing - YES THROWING - their guitars and breaking them. They received horrible service from United regarding this, and finally made you tube videos about it in order for United to FINALLY take responsibility. Google "United Breaks Guitars" if you are interested in the whole story.

Sue said...

So, from this we're left to believe that while United thinks it's perfectly okay for children to sit in soiled booster seats, it's totally awful for a golfer to carry a dirty golf bag around a course. Yup. Makes sense to me! (And wasn't United the same airline that broke a guy's guitar, resulting in a very popular YouTube video?)

smartyshorts said...

Well that just helped me make a decision. I am flying cross country later this summer (No children or booster seats though), and I haven't bought my ticket yet. I will avoiding United. Customer service COUNTS "Supervisor".

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's just United. We just traveled on Southwest recently, and had HORRIBLE customer service when our snowboard was ruined. We did get a free voucher "for our trouble," but never an apology. Customer service has gone down the crapper everywhere...it's so sad! I've said that out loud at least 10 times in the past two weeks! Maybe everyone needs a vacation?

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of those who work with the public fail to remember the importance of customer service. Assholes will not prevail if people refuse to take full of shit, lackadaisical responses to simple requests. I love that the 'super' was called out on his dickheadedness in front of another customer. Your hubs is awesome!

Anonymous said...

I do corporate travel for a living and sent a link to your post to United. Perhaps they'd like to respond.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Hubs for standing his ground. I flew United once three years ago and, after receiving THE WORST service by the entire flight crew - captain included, I vowed never to fly them again. In fact, on the anniversary of that miserable flight I sent them a letter informing them that the 20+ flights I'd taken during that year, totaling more than $10,000, had been with Delta. Shockingly, I never heard back from them.

Anonymous said...

I love your hubs :)

perkiwindy said...

We spend a small fortune on our carseats. I ALWAYS demand a bag. My husband brings his own fancy padded bag for his golf clubs. Any smart golfer would. Those cost a fortune as well. You should find his name and complain.

Unknown said...

There is definitely something about airports that fuels men's testosterone. My husband is an extremely calm person and the only times I see him ready to punch someone is at the airport. It never fails.

allison said...

Exactly!!! Let me guess - you have to pay to check a golf bag? Whereas you don't pay to check a car seat?

Anonymous said...

United is the worst airline for traveling families. When returning from New Zealand many years ago with our then 2 year old son (who is now 15) we had to beg the United flight attendant to bring our son's morning meal. This was an overnight 15 hour flight and her response when we asked was a disgusted "It will be the the same thing he had last night!" To which we said "Yes, 8 hours ago! The child still needs to eat." They treated anyone with children horribly. We received an disgusted comment when we boarded the plane from "Oh my I don't envy you traveling with him!" Our son had traveled to NZ 3 weeks earlier with out a peep and never made a fuss on the flight back either he was a model 2 year old but because he was a 2 year old United reps chose to belittle us and him and treat us horribly. We witnessed them treat all families as such. My mother in law had been given free air vouchers because she had assisted with a medical emergency on our flight to NZ between Denver and LA. Upon our return from NZ she wrote a scathing letter to United and returned her $800 worth of vouchers and told them she would never ever fly United again. Guess what she got no response and no apology and of course they kept those vouchers! Luckily we had flown Air New Zealand on our way across the Pacific and by the way they treated families like royalty. Our family has never flown United again. Kudos to your husband.

Red said...

I deal with upset "visitors" every day, especially during the summer. My rule of thumb, that I try to instill in my staff is: If the answer is no, offer an alternative.

"I'm sorry, open fires are not permitted, but you are welcome to bring a gas or charcoal grill."
"That entrance to the beach is closed due to excessively high tides, but there is an open entrance at..."

"We seem to be out of booster-seat bags. Would a golf-club bag be okay?"

What a moron.

Xanders_Mommie said...

Haha! That's awesome :)

Savanna said...

When we flew almost 3 years ago, the airline told us they didn't have bags anymore for carseats. We had 2 full size carseats. Luckily they didn't get ruined. One was a little dirty when we got home...that was after 4 different flights altogether. I don't remember who we flew with. But next time I'll be asking for a golf club bag! Haha!

Anonymous said...

I had to confirm this but we flew US Air out to St. Louis last summer, it was fine. Our return flights were through United - NEVER AGAIN. First we did have baggage to check and when I tried to on-line (less expensive) it only had my ticket confirmed. I was flying with HUBs and child too - they both had bags too! I had to call my travel agent to get that straight. When we got to the airport again - there was issued because we didn't have a ticket for HUBS and child. Finally we got on the flight and had a stop and another to get home. Our flight out of Dullas - a puddle jump of 20 minutes to home town. Well, first we were delayed due to the plane needing to be "cooled down". Then we get on the plane and they spent 30 minutes taxying on the runway, stoping and starting, turning the air on then off. It was swealtering in the plane. Finally we get up in the air and then land. The flight - 15 minutes, the wait for our baggage - another 40 minutes? And it was cooler during the heat wave outside that plane than inside! I was livid and I am the bitch that bitches and I don't care who I offend. In St. Louis - more flights coming in than this tiny airport and it took us perhaps 15 minutes to get our baggage. Fourty minutes to get your baggage in a small airport? That is unexceptable. The whole bag for the booster seats/car seats - well I for one could see that with United. As I said - NEVER will I fly with them again.

Julie said...

I was thinking the same thing. Airport and time of day is probably all they need.

JennyMacMac said...

Follow up to a previous post...Dave Carroll from Sons of Maxwell wrote his smash viral hit United Breaks Guitars and then did 2 follow-up songs detailing his customer non-service from United. Worth checking out his songs on YouTube.com. Thumbs up to the hubs for sticking to his guns.

BetseeT said...

I hope this makes it back to United. Honestly, if I have a choice, I will never fly ever again.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to check booster seats. Take them through security, and give them to the airline guy right before you get on the plane at the end of the walkway, like people do with strollers. They put them in the belly of the plane or something (where they put all the carryons that won't fit). You don't have to wait for them on the luggage carousel. They'll be there as soon as you get off the plane.

Lauren said...

I spent a small fortune on my daughter's carseat, and a little bit more to buy a bag because I was constantly receiving the "we don't have any" excuse. My husband bought a bag for his clubs. We fly so often that spending the extra money to ensure they would be protected was okay. I am with everyone else on United Airlines as a whole... total disrespect for their customers. I used to fly Continental all the time and now that they've been bought out by United, I'm sad to say I can't fly them anymore.

Tina said...

We've turned into that grumpy family that drives everywhere within the continental U.S. (yes, even with these gas prices) because of the airlines' God-awful customer service. The last time I flew Delta (11 years ago!), I was told to "pick a seat, sit down & shut up." (This was after three gate changes & two cancelled flights, which resulted in two flights' passengers being put on one larger plane...& none of us had tickets with corresponding seat numbers for that type of plane.) I've flown probably a hundred times since then, & haven't used Delta since.

Anonymous said...

Voted. :-)

Kelley said...

i am not a fan of United... did you see the story in 2009 about United breaking the guitar? http://consumerist.com/2009/07/united-breaks-guitars.html

Trina said...

I'm always surprised by a lack of customer service skills in a time when jobs aren't so easy to cine by...

Trina said...

Darn auto correct! Cine = come

RachRiot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

Hmmmm.... Not sure about this one. I bought my own bag for the carseat that I use for air travel.

Cynthia said...

lol - this is the first thing that I thought about. I thought that United would have learned their lesson after the United Breaks Guitars video went viral.

RachRiot said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA8Of2_5bsI

RachRiot said...

Aw hell naw! Good for hubs. I had two, count 'em TWO Britax car seats, and you know how expensive those emmer effers are. Those days are over but I never went without a large bag for the booster seats when travelling.

RachRiot said...

^^ That was supposed to be a link to "Ooh cat" saying "Ooh" from the movie Puss In Boots.. :(

Cyndi said...

I agree totally. I'm a New Zealander by birth, and live in Australia. I have flown Air New Zealand, Qantas, Virgin Australia and United from Australia and New Zealand to LA, and the United flight (last August) wa.s by far the worst.

I'm flying home to Australia this August, and opted to pay an extra $200 to fly Qantas over United

Kim Furnell said...

I've joined the ranks of those who have all but given up on the airlines. I just got sick and tired of being treated like they were doing me a huge favor by "allowing" me on their precious airplane in the first place. We now drive on our vacations, it's easier, I can stop when I want, I know I'm going to get to where I'm going (eventually), my luggage stays with me, plus I get to see things that I probably wouldn't have seen flying over it, plus I don't have the added expense of a car rental.

Megan McKinley said...

Have you ever seen the videos that the musician who had his guitar broken by United made? Here's the first one. I'm sure you'll appreciate it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

vudean said...

Don't mess with a world renowned blogger :)

Jimbo said...

I did go over to vote for you as requested and WOW, you are kicking ass in the vote. I won't congratulate you because I don't want to give you any bad karma. But I will say way to go!

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

Just out of curiosity, since my daughter hasn't flown since last year when she was 4 months, why weren't the kids sitting in the boosters on the plane? I'm confused, but I am sure there is a reason?

Anonymous said...

I had a United flight attendant start screaming at me because I put my carry on bag wheels facing out (like southwest tells you to do) and the overhead compartment wouldn't close. He was yelling so loudly at me other passengers stepped in and told him he was out of line. Being 4 months pregnant with twins at the time had me hormonal so I cried whole flight from Los Angeles to KS. When I landed I called United and they told me they don't take complaints over the phone. That was enough for me-I promptly canceled my United Platinum Credit card and filed an electronic complaint. When they emailed me a $100 voucher I printed it out, mailed it back to them and told them what they could do with it. I travel weekly for work and since that day, I have yet to take another United flight and I never will again.

Rachel said...

I use car seat bags from Babies r Us and then pack the extras with the car seat. Things like diapers and kids blankets. Somehow this makes me feel better like I'm sticking right back to them by maximizing the use of my car seat bag.
Too bad for such a miserable moment. Just think of it as fuel for the blog.

Gwendolynn said...

I'm so glad you ask for votes daily, otherwise I'd forget! LOVE your blog!

Kristen said...

This coming summer we are flying from Baltimore to Lake Tahoe. My husband and his daughters will be on United; my son and I will be flying Southwest. I am a loyal Southwest customer and have never had a bad experience with them (even when circumstances are crappy they all manage to keep things cheerful, including delays, turbulence, and missing luggage). Whenever I fly on another airline because of where they go, I miss Southwest. I am fully expecting DH to be cranky and annoyed after both trips as he often is with his business travel. I think when you use an airline which is generally more geared towards family and vacation travel than business travel - which doesn't even have a first class or business class designation - you're bound to get better service as a family traveler. They run on the caste system at United, and if you're not in that top tier with the corporate full-fare flyers, expect to be treated like dirt.

Anonymous said...

I hate Delta personally. When flying for a military move from Baltimore to Hawaii with my 6 year old son (husband was in TX at the time) I was told that the ticket agent was "tired of the military taking advantage of their airline" when I presented a copy of my orders entitling us to free checked baggage. Then our flight was late and we missed the connection and had to spend the night in Atlanta with nothing in compensation but 2 $6 meal vouchers.

Ali said...

I love you for this post. To show how dumb I am, I'm flying with my daughter in May from NY to FL to visit family. I'll be renting a car when I get there, so I have to bring her booster seat. I didn't even KNOW that they make bags to check the car seats! I'm glad I didn't show up at the airport like a dumbass like, what bag? lol. I'm flying JetBlue. I've never had a bad experience and I haven't flown anything BUT JetBlue since they debuted.

Anonymous said...

Hate to be a pita, but it isn't the airlines responsibility to have bags for you. Do you show up at the airport with all of your belongings and expect them to have a suitcase for you? Of course not. So why expect them to have a bag for anything else? Be a courteous traveler and carry your own trash bags to put your boosters in.

Anonymous said...

airlines are always dicks and it doesn't matter if you're a business traveler or frequent flyer. there's not enough competition for airlines so they have us all by the ballz.

most people are too busy to follow up this type of incident (since they are trying to catch a plane) plus they know if they complain too vigorously they might be prevented from flying.

Paula G said...

Brilliant idea Rachel!! I'd never thought to shove extra stuff in with my car seats (mind you only done it once before), but I'm flying on Saturday with two seats to check, so gonna be using this idea

Paula G said...

Must admit, I bought the expensive bags for my two cars seats. We've only used them once so far but we travel from US to England at least twice a year so they get a good work out. But wait till you see the baggage guys throwing those things around... friggen frightening.
I don't use them on the plane as I use a http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&sugexp=crnk_fspiked&gs_nf=1&tok=PoOHK-3J9RGUBKfTn_Q3ig&cp=6&gs_id=n&xhr=t&q=cares+child+aviation+restraint+system+review&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1920&bih=997&bs=1&wrapid=tljp1331755304784014&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=15813719639364884306&sa=X&ei=K_lgT7T7CsHi2QWfpPyICA&sqi=2&ved=0CFcQ8wIwAg# harness for my kids. They get more room and I don't have to carry the seats through the airport on my own.
Wish me luck, 10hr flight on my own with 2 kids under 5 this weekend!

Anonymous said...

I flew United home from NYC to St Louis a few months ago. I do not fly much and I accidentally got in the first class line to check in. The United worker humiliated me in front of everyone. She loudly told me what an idiot I was and when I asked for my Id back so I could get into the coach line she slapped my hand. Are you f-ing serious, slapped my hand off of my ID and told me that she should not even be helping me but she would check me in as a courtesy. I totally filed a big stinking compaint to United, if that bitch is still working there it is a miracle!

Amber Nicole said...

checked them as a courtesy?! Psht! Eff that shit!! that's like saying "if you travel with your kids we MIGHT be nice enough to ship their carseats with them"
I hate most airlines.
I once had a FLIGHT ATTENDANT tell the guy behind me (when I was traveling with my 2 toddlers), "i bet you hope they're not sitting near you, huh?!". This guy without missing a beat says, "i have kids. I wouldn't mind"... he's also helping me carry some of our stuff to our seats.
Stupid asshat flight attendant.
When we got off the plane, she said "wow! they were really well behaved"
But every time a kid made a noise she immediately looked over at me. Psht. Grr. makes me angry just thinking about it.

JenGo said...

I was vote #3351! We'll see how AirTran does with our KC to Orlando (and back) in 37 days. We bought a backless booster for the rental car. I wonder (if the hubs didn't already recycle it) if they would ship it in the original box. hmmm.

Cosmic Cowgirl said...

My daughter and her fiance are both high powered business travelers who are in the sky more than on the ground. They both fly first class wherever they go; for business or pleasure. Neither one of them would ever book a flight with United or Continental because of repeated incidences of poor on-time performance and horrid customer service. Contact with their offices, even through corporate channels, was disgusting.

Expat-Mom said...

Uhm... I feel totally ripped off. I've traveled on several different airlines and every time I get the same answer. "We don't have bags." Stingy turds! Give a good punch to the throat from me too:)

pam said...

That's why I bought my own heavy duty nylon bags years ago from The Right Start (I think). They came with shoulder straps, which we needed because we put the kids in the car seats on the plane.

They're still in good enough shape to pass down to my SIL, and I don't have to depend on airline employees' help!

Might be worth the investment if you fly a lot...

pam said...

I also bought my own bags years ago. Why depend on an employee's knowledge of procedures/supplies?

pam said...

Boosters raise your kids up to the proper height for the shoulder strap to fit properly. Since airline seats only have a lap belt, you don't need a booster.

If the kids are still in car seats in a car (toddler age) they should be in car seats on a plane.

Booster seats in a car=no car seat on a plane.

This lesson was learned the first time we brought our booster seat onto the airplane!

Monkey's Mama said...

That is horrible! Unfortunately, I'm flying Delta tomorrow :( Agh!

BNo said...

This isn't a booster seat/checked baggage issue. This is a United Airlines issue. We flew with them to Orlando last Nov. We checked in online, but still got three separate seats-meaning that my daughter, who is three, was going to be sitting by herself. The ticketing agent apparently could not fix this, and told us to check with the gate agent. When I went up to the gate agent to ask she yelled at me to come back sometime later because she was busy with the current flight. Since we had two hours till our flight I asked her if she could give me a time frame so I didn't need to come bother her every 15 minutes and she yelled at me again. So I told her I was pretty sure it wasn't my responsibility to make sure that my daughter was sitting with an adult, that it was the airlines responsibility to properly book seats for minors.
We will never fly united again. Others are bad but they are the worse.

Kat said...

you have to have seen this http://www.UnitedBreaksGuitars.com
you should totally contact him and tell your story, because then you'd be the funniest blogger on the Internet, who;s been in huffington post, AND you'd have a song about you - that would totally elevate your status to super-social-media-giant. you are hysterical - it's like you live in my head and blog all the stuff i think :)

Michelle said...

I think you should do a punch in the throat to grocery shopping. Have you ever realized how odious a chore this is? Think about it. If you get it right I'll comment.

Liz said...

I agree. I didn't even know this was an option. We bought a bag to carry ours in. We always fly Delta, though, (we live in Cincinnati where they are the only option) so other airlines may be more accommodating.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jen. Of course sorry for your troubles. I just wanted to say kudos for keeping your kids in booster seats. I'm a certified car seat technician, and I can't tell you the number of kids who SHOULD be in booster seats but aren't. It's terribly alarming, but parents just don't seem to get it sometimes. We flew down here to Orlando last Friday, and there were many children on our flight from handheld infants to toddlers. MY child was the only one in a car seat on the plane. I'm not trying to brag, but I was stopped twice by airline personnel wanting to make sure my Britax was FAA approved. Now, they were in no way shape or form worried about any of the kids who weren't in car seats at all - they just wanted to make sure my car seat was approved. And yes, assholes, it was approved and don't mess with a car seat technician! Luckily our travel experience was good overall - we'll see how our return flight goes on Friday! And don't worry - you're not a worried Mom, you're a good one!

Anonymous said...

When we flew Delta last month from MSP to MCO...they said if we wsnted a bag it would be $5.

LWSpotts said...

We do the same thing. We have a huge duffle bag that we use for our booster, and then we put coats, jackets, extras, gifts, etc. in with it. I don't feel one bit bad about it, either!

Tatjana said...

You don't pay to check a car seat, because it is a necessity whereas a golf bag is a luxury item not vital for traveling.

Unknown said...

I hate to fly because of rude customer service and terrorists!! Both make me wanna punch someone in the throat as well. Luckily I live 2 hours from Disney so we will be fighting the morons on 95 next weekend instead of the dicks at the airlines!! Good for the hubs!!!

JenF said...

United's rudeness is a HUGE reason we started flying a lot more on Southwest and United is missing in ton of business. We go away a lot and there are six of us! Oh and my Hubs is a HUGE frequent flyer (full fare) on United but has become more on one on American so take that you United AssHats!!!

JenF said...

Or all the kids riding in the front seat who do not weigh the correct amount. People are so stupid with their safety and the safety of their children. makes me sick.

TNMom said...

See, I guess I need some balls cause I probably would have said "well, dang ok, I guess if you don't have any bags then there is nothing we can do". Glad I am flying Southwest next weekend with my two under 5, and my BFF has carseats we can use while there.

Unknown said...

You are a GENIUS!!! Wish I had thought of this for our trip to Disney World last year!

Unknown said...

I agree that bags should have been brought...but I don't agree with the supervisor's attitude at all, or with his unwillingness to help.

As a customer service rep. IN CHARGE, his first response should have been to inform Jen and her family that they didn't have carseat bags, and then the next response should have been to offer another option, like a golf club bag. If that was out of the question (maybe they have a policy about not using golf club bags, or something stupid like that), he should have at least apologized, and acted like he cared. I work in the customer service industry, and I think anyone who is rude to a customer deserves to eat their words. Be nice, and people have more tolerance for things that are out of your control.

Unknown said...

What a sucky experience! I'm glad you got bags in the end, though. Yay for persistence! :)

Side note: The first time I had flown in like 13 years, I traveled with my son and nephew (for his Make-A-Wish trip!!). I didn't even think about bags to cover the booster seats, but luckily the girl at the check-in counter thought to cover them with garbage bags, and tape it all up. Judging by her attitude to the people in front of us, I'm pretty sure she only felt compelled to do it because my son was standing there in his MAW shirt with a feeding tube sticking out his nose, talking excitedly about his wish trip, and it hit a nerve...but I'm glad she did! Those things were COVERED in grease when we picked them up.

Tekglr33 said...

I have to say I had no idea that they supplied bags. Although my guy is still in a car seat so I guess it makes sense since I've never actually checked it. I get that they don't want to be out of golf bag covers but you would think the brainiacs that work there would have doubled their "golf cover" plastic bag order if they actually have different types of bags until the other covers came in.

My pet peeve is the weight on the bags. They may do it different now but last time I flew home to the States (we live overseas) I brought one full suitcase and one half empty to bring stuff home in. When checking my bags the full one was 5 pounds over the weight limit and were going to actually make me pay for it so in the middle of the counter I opened both bags and threw some stuff in the half empty one. I mean I get they don't want their people breaking their backs but 5 pounds?!? So you can bring two full 50 pound bags but not a 55 pound one and a 15 pound one? Use your brain people! This is not advanced critical thinking or anything.

Denny said...

Apparently, I am in the minority, but why is it the airlines bag to supply a bag for your carseat? Your carseats = your bag. Sorry, Jen, I don't agree with you on this one...

Denny said...

^^^that should have read... responsibility-- why is it the airline's responsibility to supply a bag for your carseat.

Momma O said...

Courtesy!? Really? NO, it was a business decision, not a "courtesy" check car seats for free. WTF!? GO Hubby!

Regan said...

Good job to your hubs! I am SO GLAD that I am not the only one that will threaten (and follow through) to call customer service, etc. I can't stand getting lip from people...I ask you nicely for something, explaining why = you do what I ask. SIMPLE. Also, I HATE United. My hubs and I only fly SOuthwest. So, if SW doesn't go somehwere, neither do we.

Unknown said...

This is what I always did when my kids were young with strollers and car seats. We did it again last summer when we took all the kids to FL and the grand baby was along. Southwest out of KCI every time! The only other airline I have flown with any regularity is Northwest. I think they are Continental now. Hate United. Would not go rather than fly United.

sonyay said...

I have a 14 yr old, so I am way past the carseat stage, but I have to ask if the rest of us want to check bags on , there is no courtesy . Airtran charges $25 for a suitcase, so I have to put a spark in this convo by asking why you should get them checked on for free in the first place ? Someone else stated that she puts hers Ina bag and puts other stuff in with it. Great for her, but the rest of us have to PAY to check our stuff. I LOVE your blog and read it every day, but I have to say this I don't agree with at all. They charge to check on everything else. Next time I fly I will borrow some car seats, pre bag them and fill them with my extra clothes.
At any rate, air travel is a rip off and they got us all bythe gonads !

Anonymous said...

Yes, front seat riders are another one - your kid is NOT supposed to be in the front seat until he/she is 13. Period. Done. I don't understand why people risk these things.

Anonymous said...

American Airlines sucks, too. They *destroyed * our booster seat and acted like total jerks about it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Corporate Traveler Person, you ROCK!!

Lauren Marie said...

The best part about this post is that you're so popular these days, its going to get back to United! AWESOME! Keep it up Jen!!

Anonymous said...

Poor Gomer. Reading about his dentist experience made me feel so bad for him. I am pediatric speech therapist and it isn't uncommon for children that were born premature to have a sensitive gag reflex. She is lucky he didn't vomit all over her and even let her go near his mouth!

Jen Piwtpitt said...

I'm not sure what the reasoning is. I think it's because car seats are required by law for kids to ride in. A lot of people with younger children carry them on the plane and sit their kids in them for the ride. Since we had booster seats, that wouldn't be comfortable or necessary since boosters only adjust the height of a shoulder belt. If they made the overhead bins big enough for my boosters, I'd happily carry them on as one of my allotted carry ons and stow them there.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how but I accidently posted my comment on the wrong article. It was meant for the article posted March 15th. I like to blame my phone when I do stupid things like this.

Anonymous said...

Originally from Alaska, we drove even from there! At least three LONG days before the vacation began but still worth it to avoid the airlines. We will take a cruise ship to Hawaii before we would ever consider flying!

Sharyn said...

So there, United!

Unknown said...

Search 'United Breaks Guitars' on YouTube. It's a true song/story that, unfortunately for United, went viral. The songwriter is now a customer service 'expert' who travels all over, speaking to groups about customer service. And United even contacted him about using his video for their training. Sounds like Mr. Orlando supervisor was absent the day they showed it.

Melisa S. said...

I agree here as well. Your seats, bring your own bags. I do and I always pack extra in case the bag gets too destroyed to use it on the return trip. And the last time I asked the airline for a bag...they wanted to charge me 5$.

Tracy said...

Throwing luggage around and breaking things is not the same as providing a plastic bag. Maybe it's just me, and it very well could be, as I do work in customer service, and I am a bit touchy at times. Customers in general have become a nightmare with their entitled attitudes. It's Orlando....God only knows how many carseats come through there daily, and it's probably why they ran out. I check all of the baggage/checked item rules before I fly. I am well aware that the airline is not required to provide the packing materials that I pack things in. I bring my own suitcase to pack my clothes, I would think I would be responsible for packing my own booster seat. While it SEEMS that the airline personnel were a bit rude about it, there's 3 sides to every story. There's a reason we have had to start recording all calls at work, and that is because so many customers exaggerate (or outright LIE) about how the person on the phone dealt with them. They're angry because they aren't getting what they want, and then nothing you say to them, no matter how nicely it is said, gets through. I still think it's ridiculous to expect the airline to provide a bag. If you INSIST on a bag, then BRING a bag. I try not to encourage treating people badly, whether they are impolite or not.

Anonymous said...

Have not flown United, but have flown numerous times with children, car seats, strollers and prams and would have thought if I wanted my car seat in a bag, I would put it in a bag myself, it would not enter my mind to demand the airline supply one.
Kerry

GeorgeWTF said...

let me preface this by saying I adore your blog and im not a parent. I also believe the staff at United behaved poorly.... HOWEVER, I do have a hard time understanding when people complain about free or 'courtesy' service. Yes, I realize you spend a great deal of money buying these booster chairs but perhaps you can purchase your own bags to avoid drama or expecting a free one at the airport? again, im not hating or trolling. just thinking out loud... at any rate, I still believe the staff behaved like morons and your husband did right by getting upset. Golf bags don't fly free, so i'm assuming that's why they have those bags in stock, as opposed to specific bags that are meant for free booster seats that cost them money to handle anyway.

Anonymous said...

p.s. thanks to this post I now ask for a gilf bag for my hiking pack, thank you for the idea hubs... :-)

Anonymous said...

golf

Unknown said...

The booster seats should just be taken to the gate and put on the plane because they would be considered "crashed" (you saw what the bag looked like after the flight) and would need to be replaced. And yes, if it is a car seat it should be taken on the plane and the child should be placed in it.
I have yet to find an airline to be truly accommodating to the needs of flying with kids. Booo.

8 Ways to Say "F*ck You"

8 Ways to Say "Fuck You" I've noticed a real trend on the internet lately. The passive aggressive "fuck you". W...

Popular Posts