Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate United Airlines 2

I am currently padding around my well appointed Union Square hotel room in San Francisco in my underwear.  Having purchased a large bottle of Mike Hess Brewing India Pale Ale Grapefruit Solis at a corner store was a good idea.  Discovering I didn’t have a bottle opener in the room and using the handle of the dresser proved to be a bad idea as the bottle exploded over my pant legs, hence my now more relaxed attire.  I considered donning the complimentary hotel fluffy bathrobe, but I thought it a bit much.  I am quite hungry and wouldn’t mind filling out a loan application to see if I could buy some room service.  A club sandwich at this hotel costs as much as a late model domestic used car.  However, I don’t want some kind of weird scene when the overworked Mexican busboy delivers the food and I am the creep in a robe that answers the door. Best just to leave the whole situation alone. 

I am on a real sleepless jag.  I might have a physical collapse.  I arrived last night at 1:38 am, or 4:38 am my body clock time.  Our good friends at United Airlines once again dashed my hopes and dreams at O’Hare Airport stranding me there on a 4.5 hour delay Friday night.  My absolute favorite part of United Airlines “customer service” is now they have stopped with even the pretense of giving one single fuck.  Without a real explanation they delayed the flight numerous times until announcing everyone would have to line up to be re-seated.  The rationale was never explained.  Thus an entire plane full of Boeing 777 passengers had to line up single file and go one by one to A) complain about the delay B) complain about their new seat location C) and make idle threats. 

The official reason for the delay was “air traffic control”, which I think is an airport version of “because we said so”.  It was never made clear.  When they announced a delay for the sixth time, United brought out the big guns.  An elderly Asian man rolled out a small metal cart.  Without any fanfare or announcement he opened up two drawers and opened a box with Cheez-Its and one box with Nutrigrain bars.  Then he silently walked away from the cart much as you would if feeding hyenas at the zoo.  On the side of the cart was a United logo with the phrase “Enjoy a snack”.  Most people had given up all self respect by this point and descended on the food like jackals.  There were approximately 20 bags of Cheez-Its for 300 passengers.  It was a snack food version of The Octagon.

Now I’m not saying I don’t appreciate this small gesture.  However, I am thinking that maybe 4.5 hours of my time might be worth more than the opportunity of fighting off a woman in yoga pants for a .78 cent bag of crackers.  How about some frequent flier miles or maybe a comp upgrade in my future?  That’s not United’s game though.  Their move is to give you the absolute bare minimum for failure to provide service and hope you don’t bitch.  If you do, they will offer another small premium.  This will continue as they ratchet up the line of defense at each level until people tire of the struggle.  After last week’s episode with that old man getting his ass kicked, I would think twice about complaining about not getting any Cheez-Its. 

My 6:58p departure left at about 11:15p.  My plan was to arrive here in San Francisco at my little wine class crisp and refreshed on Saturday morning so I could enhance my admittedly slim chance of passing the Impossible Wine Test this June.  Instead I went to sleep around 230a to get up at 7a so I could walk into a windowless conference room to blind taste 6 wines and provide in depth tasting notes.  I would describe my condition as “tired as fuck”.  I knew I was doing poorly when the best I could figure out on the first three wines was they tasted like “red wines”.  I will also tell you that if you haven’t slept, a lecture on soil compositions in Sonoma County is not what you are looking for to rivet your attention.  As I am picking up the expense of the flight and hotel just so I can try to soak in this information, I feel a bit “disappointed” in United Airlines for failing to live up to their end of the bargain in getting me here at a reasonable time.  I thought about showing up at the airport for my sure-to-be-delayed return flight in yellow shooting sunglasses and a tire iron smashing up their Customer Service area while screaming “See what you get United?  You see what you get for fucking a stranger in the ass?  This is what you get!  This is what you get for fucking a stranger in the ass!”.  However after seeing the video of the goons they have employed deep in the bowels of the airport, I thought again. 

I’d better just shut up and wait for my Cheez-Its.       


At April 23, 2017 at 10:21:00 AM EDT , Blogger kk said...

Could've been worse. Could've been Lorna Doones.

At April 23, 2017 at 11:11:00 AM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I actually mentioned that fact to a bystander that became increasingly alarmed as I continued with the story. Impending death is usually a bad topic waiting for a delayed flight.


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