Dear United Airlines

To Whom It May Concern at United Airlines,

My father passed away on December 19, 2012.

Why does this concern you? Because I was supposed to leave to visit my in-laws in Hawaii on December 20, 2012. When my husband called to change my flight, as I sat crying with my daughter, he was told that we would pay the flight change fee and be reimbursed. He WAS NOT told that my return flight would be cancelled as well. He WAS NOT told that I would have to pay for the difference in fares, to get back onto a flight that I had already booked.

When he called, we weren’t sure when the funeral would be so we were given a number and told to call back when we had more information.

When I called back, after my husband and my daughter had already made it onto the original flight, I learned of the cruelty of the way you operate. What gave you the right to cancel my return flight, and then ask me to pay an additional $1300-$1500 to change my itinerary? How dare you charge me for a flight I already paid for?

I don’t usually cry, scream and swear to people doing their jobs. This time I did. I lost my father and your policies didn’t have any respect that life happens. The poor man on the other end managed to find me a flight which would only cost me an additional $200+ but left and arrived at evil times, and wasn’t with my family. In my opinion, YOU OWE ME that money.

I have never understood how airlines get away with over booking flights. It’s not legal to sell the same seat to two different patrons at the theatre, and on the rare occasions when that happens, a new seat is always found. It’s not legal to sell the same car to two different people at the same time. How can you legally sell seats to many people at the same time? How can you legally try to have someone pay again for seats she already bought?

As I flew, I watched your advertisements about your new and improved plane. I also witnessed the most unpleasant, unsmiling flight attendants I’ve seen in a long time. I sat in your uncomfortable seats as your expensive food moved down the aisles. I paid the fees for luggage, only to have to wait for almost an hour upon arriving in Hawaii for my luggage to appear. On the last flight, as I returned home, my headphones didn’t work properly (the channel they play on wouldn’t come in although others would)  so I couldn’t watch the movies. I suppose I could have asked for help, but this was also the flight with the unpleasant, unsmiling, and quite bitchy flight attendants.

You grow bigger every day, and I realize that gives you power. You don’t care what my voice says. You don’t care about my fares, because I don’t pay for first class. You should.

Kindness matters. From this day forward, if I can avoid flying with you, I will, even with your innovations in aircraft. I will also tell everyone I know to choose another airline. I may not have the power of an airline, but I have the power of my words, and I have the power to choose.

I choose to fly with people who respect all of their passengers, not just the ones who can afford first class tickets.


Lisa A. Kramer, A Very Dissatisfied Customer

United Airlines




32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Taochild
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:07:56

    Post this link to united airlines Twitter page (I am sure they have one) as well as any other customer service options they have. I would also post it on various news sites, and even any sites devoted to rating area services. Let em have it!! 😀


  2. Andra Watkins
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:26:32

    Tweeted it to them personally. Everyone else on twitter should share this and @UnitedAirlines. 🙂


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:28:58

      Thanks Andra. 🙂


      • Andra Watkins
        Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:33:26

        I’m really sorry you went through that, Lisa. So very unfair under normal circumstances, but in your situation, it seems at least one human being could muster some decent human sympathy and compassion.


        • Lisa Wields Words
          Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:36:13

          You would think that. To be fair, the poor man on the other end of the phone was trying, but he kept saying “we have limited abilities . . . we have restrictions . . . yada yada yada” He didn’t charge me the change fee. I felt bad for screaming at him but I have always been one of those travelers who go with the flow and treat delays and things with kindness . . . I guess it doesn’t go both ways.


    • Michael Bean
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 16:04:03

      On twitter United Airlines mostly goes by @united (@unitedairlines – – says “This Twitter handle is no longer active.”). @united – – appears to be the active account. If you go to twitter’s search box & type in – to:@united – then select ALL next to TWEETS you will see hundreds of angry tweets from people getting screwed over like you all did.

      @lisaspiral – the BBB is useless when it comes to United, it’s the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) that rules over United:

      **NOTE**: All complaints are entered in DOT’s computerized aviation industry monitoring system, and are charged to the company in question in the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report.
      This report is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and the general public so that consumers and air travel companies can compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators.

      These complaints are reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in compliance with federal aviation consumer protection regulations. This system also serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Where appropriate, letters and web form submissions will be forwarded to an official at the airline for further consideration.

      You can lodge a DoT complaint here:

      Contact info for United Airlines, UAL’s Corporation Operations Center and United Airline’s World Headquarters can be found by way of this web site (from consumer advocate Christopher Elliott):

      All the info above plus more is on my United Sucks Facebook page: (NO s)


  3. Taochild
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:29:56

    Reblogged this on The odd ramblings of a mind that does not quite fit and commented:
    It is time that the big money maker’s remember where their money comes from. It’s a simple matter of respect for your customers …


  4. Mark G Pakulak
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:30:58

    My wife and I met while both working for Continental Airlines. We both worked in Customer Service and dealt with people travelling for bereavement purposes all the time. At least when we worked there, they would do everything possible to make your trip as stress-free as possible. (This was in the early 90’s) I have heard horror stories about United and some of the other legacy carriers and we cringed when United gobbled up Continental. Sorry you had to deal with this crap, but not totally unexpected since they seem to only care about money, and not building customer loyalty. 😦


  5. lisaspiral
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:38:02

    Good letter I hope you sent it, not just to the airline but to the better business bureau and your local paper.


  6. deborahbidwell
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:47:50

    Reblogged this on DeborahBidwell's Blog and commented:
    if anyone that reads my blogs has any influence with United and can help Lisa with this please get in touch with her


  7. deborahbidwell
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:49:26

    I reblogged and tweeted, hope you can get some help from someone with this horrible experience.


  8. joannevalentinesimson
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 15:54:10

    Air flight is now horrible anywhere and everywhere unless you travel first class. Two years ago, I vowed never to fly across the ocean again unless someone paid me to go first or business class. Since then, I have not gone abroad and I now travel around the U.S. either by RV or train. Unfortunately, you can’t get to Hawaii by either of those means. But what about checking out a cruise ship for your next trip over?


  9. Stuart Nager
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 17:12:46

    I’m so sorry you went through this. Twitted it out as well


  10. Kelley Zinge
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 17:28:58

    Yikes, that totally sucks Lisa! I’m so sorry for the stress and inconvenience that they caused you and I’m so sorry for the loss of your father! Thinking good thoughts for you and evil little voodoo doll curses for United. May their computer servers continually crash and their coffee taste like vinegar until they start treating their customers better! 🙂


  11. Barbarann Ayars
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 18:25:19

    Air travel used to be a pleasant part of getting there. It is so bad now that whenever possible everyone I know who must travel, tries to avoid flying any line. In my opinion, flight attendants earn the abuse they get. They forget that if those seats are not occupied, there is no purpose they serve. The c arrier does not care. They just make up their losses by increasing prices. I must also say that in this country service provision Is poorly delivered in most Venues. We expect service. We don’t provide it.


  12. Cheryl Treiber-Kawaoka
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 18:54:54

    I hope that someone in United replies and gives you your money back…plus some.
    I am glad the you worked something out to get here – we, your friends in Hawaii, were so very glad to see you and Nathan and Sarah. We hold your family in our hearts.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 18:58:32

      Thanks Cheryl. That means a lot. United has actually reached out and asked for my contact information . . . we shall see. However, it seems they think I should rely on my flight insurance through my credit card, which sounds like an excuse for them to get paid twice while someone else takes the hit. Hmmm.


  13. thelifeofjamie
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 20:48:14

    So sorry Lisa! I was lucky…southwest allowed me to change my flight from a round trip to two one way tickets- one for me and one for my mom when I brought him back to CA after she died. F united airlines. They should have a heart and try to make things easier on you…not charge you for the entire tank of fuel for the flight. I think you should take this s high as you can…try to talk to someone high up.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Jan 03, 2013 @ 21:28:10

      The wheels are turning. They contacted me through Twitter and asked for my contact information. I doubt anything will come of it, because my guess is they will offer me miles. I don’t want miles, I want my money back.


  14. Trackback: Put the “Customer” back into “Customer Service” | The odd ramblings of a mind that does not quite fit
  15. Trackback: Dear United Airlines Part 2: The Power of Social Media « Woman Wielding Words
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  17. Trackback: Dear United Airlines, Part 3: A Slap in the Face « Woman Wielding Words

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