going to boston/ letter to United Airlines
During my travels from Boston to Charlottesville yesterday, a delay forced me to take a flight that was scheduled to have left earlier than the one I was originally booked on, but which was delayed, in order to make my connection at Dulles into Charlottesville. Somehow, during this connection, my baggage apparently failed to make it onto my flight into Charlottesville. This is understandable to a certain extent. Upon my arrival and subsequent discovery of the mix-up, the man at the counter (apparently the only United/ Colgen Air employee in the building, as he was also the thrower who reported to me that there was no more baggage to arrive) did an admirable job of assuring me that he was aware of the location of my bag (Dulles, unsurprisingly) and that it would be placed on the first flight into Charlottesville the following morning. He said that it would be delivered to me directly. Though many items critical to my daily life were within the bag, I was unconcerned because I knew that United has early flights into CHO and that I would probably have my bag by late afternoon. This was not the case. Furthermore, no United representative has contacted me to let me know what the status of the search is. When I try to be proactive (a burden that I do not believe rests on the customer whose bag has been lost), I am told to contact the Bag Track telephone number (800-221-6903). Upon calling this number, I was made furious by the fact that, first, it is a recorded voice. Machines are, by default, less capable of handling these sorts of problems than humans. I spoke all manner of information into the phone, as clearly and slowly as I could manage considering my evaporating patience, and had to redial four times in order to arrive at the fact that there was apparently no option for speaking to a person who might be able to clarify such issues as how I might be reimbursed for things that I am being forced to purchase in order to continue with my life without my belongings. If indeed such a policy does exist (and I assume it does since there is reference to it on United's website, I would like to know how I might take advantage of it. Perhaps a CS Representative could answer my questions regarding when a bag is considered lost permanently and how, in that case, a reimbursement is arranged. Instead, I spoke to an automaton who constantly apologized for his faults, but was unable to correct them. If this is the sort of customer service that I have to look forward to from United, then perhaps its time I look for another airline to give my allegiance to. I have always enjoyed flying United and its treatment of loyal customers, but this sort of communication barrier is unacceptable. On the plane, I read about United's recent hire of a new head of Customer Relations. If I may be so bold, I would suggest that this issue be directed to her, if not in full detail, at least in so much as this theme is concerned. Baggage is lost. Passengers are made unhappy. These things are unavaidable in such a competitive industry. What makes people more furious than anything, however, is a slow, one-way flow of communication that must be mitigated by machines. In short, I would like to know where my bag is. The details are above. I would like to know how to go about being reimbursed for the mounting pile of junk I'm buying to replace the perfectly good things that have been lost in my bag. But mostly, I would like to hear from a human who maybe doesn't apologize all the time like that robot-man, but who can at least understand my (rather clear, I think) voice. To whomever has the unpleasant duty of responding to these messages, I realize this is not your fault. If, by some chance company protocol sees fit to have you call me, know that I will not attack you directly, but only if I deem things to be going exceptionally poorly. I come in peace, or whatever. Otherwise, I wish you a pleasant day (Unless you are a letter-answering robot, in which case I hope you fry a transistor and must be replaced by a person). Thanks.