Tuesday, July 17, 2012

United Airlines, Who Else?

A mutiny ensued among furious, exhausted United Airlines passengers stuck for days in Shanghai, trying to get to Newark. United, of course, is downplaying the trouble but is nevertheless offering the stranded passengers a voucher.

Here's the report on the latest United fiasco, in the Newark Star-Ledger newspaper.

United put its deputy PR shitstorm first-responder Rahsaan Johnson on the case. Johnson is the guy they trot out on these occasions, and he's the least respected PR guy in the airline business, which is saying something. Says Johnson, ".... the situation clearly didn’t go as smoothly as we would like. We did not meet these customers’ expectations. We hope they will give us another chance." He added that the United stalwarts "did their best under those circumstances."


1 comment:

ChefNick said...

I was just in Shanghai less than 5 days ago. First time, on my way to Japan. I thought, "Wow! Now I can finally say I've ben to Shanghai!"

I expected, as probably any normal traveller just passing through on their way somewhere else, in my case, Japan from Canada) that I'd just have a small or long walk to my new gate.

Everyone else on board was being given immigration forms. the stewardesses had no idea or not whether I needed one. Air Canada stewardesses, not Air Shanghai stewardesses.

I got off the plane. A pot-bellied Air Canada steward had no idea what I should do. "I"m going to go get drunk," was his comment.

Well, all the signs to "International Transfer" led me to an unmanned counter in the middle of nowhere. My new airline, ANA, wasn't even listed.

So I slogged my way all the way back. Had to go through customs. Had to fill out my "length of stay, address while in China."

"Osaka! Japan!" I kept waving my boarding pass and passport in front of anyone who would stop. No one spoke a goddamn word of English.

I hadn't had a drink since February 1st. As soon as I went through immigration and got to the general area of my gate I had a beer. A warm beer. Followed by another warm beer. They were served by surly waitresses with hefty attitudes.

I made my flight owing to no one but my own navigating skills.

My advice to anyone contemplating a flight to China, for any reason: Don't.