United couldn’t have been more understanding and helpful after reader Chris’ wife had a seizure as they flew from Sullivan’s Island, SC to Winnipeg. The flight attendants onboard offered to divert the flight to Chicago, but the couple decided instead to power through. United’s staff met them at the gate along with paramedics, and offered to rebook them on the flight of their choice. If they wanted to stay the night, United said they’d be happy to pay for a hotel room. Chris’ takeaway perfectly captures the spirit behind our Above and Beyond posts: “Even if United is a horrible company,” he writes, “there are still nice people there, and sometimes even big companies surprise you.” Chris writes:
My wife and I had booked a week long vacation from chilly Winnipeg to Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina and as much as I hated flying on United, they were the best option for the times we were traveling. I begrudgingly paid the $15 checked bag fee and the wife and I had a nice vacation in the sun for a while. March 1st comes around, and it’s time to leave so we head to the Charleston airport and check in to our flight. We take off towards Chicago, where we’ll have an hour long layover till we fly to Winnipeg.
This is where the trip gets stressful. We’re about an hour outside of Chicago, when out of the blue, my wife suddenly blacks out and goes in to a minor seizure. As far as either of us know, she’s got no history of this. So, I’m panicking, and I flag down a flight attendant (Fatima), who without blinking an eye grabs the first responder flight attendant (Ryan D). My wife comes around, feeling sick and panicky and both the flight attendants were extremely kind and helpful, grabbing ice and water and towels to try to keep my wife cool while Ryan checks her vitals. We’re given the option to divert the flight from Chicago (how cool is that?) to a closer airport, but we opt to keep flying since the time won’t be that different. We land, and taxi to the gate where there is an ambulance and a firetruck waiting, the paramedics come on board and assist my wife and I in leaving the plane. Now is where United really shines. I’m fully expecting to be screwed here, so when there is a United agent waiting at the gate for us, I’m expecting to sign a waiver of responsibility and told to have a nice day. She pulls me aside and tells me that they are going to rebook our flight, for free, for a later flight, or a flight the next day. And if we stay for the next day, they’ll put us up at the airport Hilton for the night, free.
I check with the paramedics, and my wife is doing a fair bit better but we still opt to stay the night and fly out in the morning. They rebook us, give us the hotel confirmation number, and we have a pleasant stay for the night. Even checking in the next morning went smoothly, although the people next to us were getting an earful from an aptly named agent: Mrs. Colon.
I just want to let you guys know, and everybody if you post this, that even if United is a horrible company, there are still nice people there, and sometimes even big companies surprise you.
(Photo: So Cal Metro)