United Airlines Apologizes For Laughing At Traveler’s Plight

A reader received an apology and a $100 travel voucher in response to his complaint we cross-posted.

After difficulties with a connecting United Airlines flight, Wade had to recheck his bags. At the check-in counter, the e-ticket terminals thwarted him.

His attempts to get help using the e-ticketing terminals were met with indifference or laughter. When Wade asked one of the ticket agents who laughed at him what his name was, the agent said his name was, “Juice Box.”

The original story is here. United Airline’s response is inside. Wade says, “Take it for what it’s worth.” Somehow we think Wade won’t be flying United any time soon…

    “———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: UACustomerCare24 Reply
    Date: Nov 20, 2006 11:27 PM
    Subject: RE: Re: Customer Relations email from Wade [redacted] ([redacted]) -Ref#: [redacted]
    To: [redacted]

    Dear Mr. Courtney,

    Thank you for contacting us again. I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

    Mr. Courtney, first of all I would like to apologize for the problems you experienced on Nov 13. We’re sorry to have given you such a poor impression of our operation.

    You mention many problems you have experienced with United’s operation. I apologize for these experiences. We appreciate your taking time to comment on your experience, and realize you select an airline based on its quality of service. I’m sorry that you received a poor impression of United’s ability to serve you. Your comments trouble me because, as a company, all United employees have a commitment to a customer satisfaction philosophy that emphasizes the importance in responding to the needs of each customer. United staff has the training and ability to do a far better job than your comments indicate. So I have forwarded your comments to the appropriate department for their review. Please know that your good comments will help us improve our efforts to continually meet your expectations.

    Your comments let us know what we need to accomplish to prevent a recurrence of this type of experience. We have quality measures in place, but will continue to work to improve procedures so we may provide the high quality service our customers deserve. So as a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience caused, I’m offering you a travel certificate. It will reach you within 7-10 business days via mail. Meanwhile, your patience and understanding is appreciated.

    Mr. Courtney, your business is important to us, so we hope this experience will not discourage you from traveling with us again. We’ll do our utmost to make your future contacts with United satisfactory in every respect.


    Reegan Ozukum
    United Airlines Customer Relations

    This message is intended only for the use of the Addressee and may contain information that is PRIVATE and CONFIDENTIAL. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please erase all copies of the message and its attachments and notify the sender immediately. Thank you. “


Previously: United Airlines Laughs At Traveler’s Plight


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    This is a surprisingly empathetic letter. I think they did right by him with this. Getting sucky service sucks but when you get a very personal letter like this that apologizes 3 times in the first two paragraphs, I’d call that a win; ESPECIALLY from an airline!

  2. Hoss says:

    Balls-up Yankee, it’s not “Traveller” to you

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Same dif but whatever.

  4. pete says:

    Read it again – United isn’t actually apologizing for their poor service. The CSR says that United actually has a great operation; however, Mr. Courtney hasn’t perceived it correctly. Total BS that a company tries to pass off this no-fault legalese as an “apology.” If they really cared, they’d have given him a refund.

  5. matt1978 says:

    pete’s right! United could care less.

  6. homerjay says:

    Oh I’m sure United couldn’t care less, thats not in question. Its not like they’re going to change based on this letter, but I’m not sure that you’re giving them enough credit, Pete. This is a huge stretch for an airline. They’re answering his concerns personally now. This is not a form letter. That, to me, is a pretty big deal.

  7. matt1978 says:

    That’s got be a form letter. Just take out the name and date, and you have a great letter to send any traveller. If they had actually mentioned “JuiceBox” or “offensive laughter” in the letter, I would be impressed. That letter is as personal as the drive-thru person saying hello.

  8. homerjay says:

    Okay, after reading it for the 5th time, I stand corrected. You’re right…..

    Apparently I’m easily pacified.

  9. I find it funny you left on the privacy disclaimer at the end.

  10. DutchFlat says:

    I’d like to say that United Airlines customer service is terrible, but since it is essentially nonexistent, I can’t. United Airlines raped me, and about a thousand other travelers, last summer. It was so bad it was inbelievable. United Airlines tooke three days to get me from Chicago to Sacramento. It took them six days to get my luggage there. I will never fly United again. You’re better off walking. Screw United Airlines.

  11. XilefTheOriginal says:

    I normally choose Southwest Airlines for travel
    because I generally know what I’m buying. For an
    unknown reason SW has quit booking reservations from
    Tulsa to Boise although the flights are still

    So I chose to book with United instead.
    What a nightmare! I have never dealt with so many
    apathetic individuals in one company in my life. They
    oversold my flight, bumped me, stranded me in Denver,
    let 7 planes to my destination take off without me, a
    gate agent actually walked away when I asked if I was
    getting on the 6th flight and when she returned 10
    minutes later told me she had already answered my
    question when she had said “I just got here” then
    walked away again. The original gate supervisor responsible for bumping me, Andy Wysocki, laughed when I asked for compensation. They’re ignoring my emails
    requesting compensation for UAL deliberately selling
    my reserved seat to someone else. At one point I was
    45th on the standby list for three days worth of
    overbooked flights and there were people lower on the

    I did everything I was supposed to: reserved my
    seat, paid, got to airport and gate on time, yet UAL
    ignores all that and flies me when they want to and
    strands me for 27 hours in a place where a sticky bun
    costs $4.00 and a Coke $2.50, all the while carrying
    my 40 pounds of luggage, ’cause you can’t set it down
    or the Homeland Security agent comes. When I got to
    Boise, I saw another scowling face and asked if he’d
    flown United. He said “of course”. Never fly United.

    Attitude is indicitive of why UAL is such a sorry
    airline. I’ve seen minimum wage workers in convenience
    stores worth more than most of UAL’s employees