The holidays must be near, because the gift of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• AVOID! I'd like to begin this entry with "Screw United Airlines," easily the worst airline going. They bring nothing but misery, and just don't give a fuck. I'd rather eat a piece of shit encrusted with pubic hair than to ever give United Airlines one cent of my money.
• Ware. Chris Ware is one of my favorite living artists. His work provides insight into the human condition in a way few people can match. This is his latest...
As if that wasn't gift enough, a "behind the scenes" exploration of the cover has been ANIMATED over at the New York Times website. Absolutely worth a watch. Click here immediately to experience it.
• Rescue. Speaking of cats... essential viewing...
Catfishing! Amazing that somebody probably abandoned the poor things out there.
• SvB. Oh gawd. The Superman vs. Batman film looks even worse than I imagined. Even worse than the pile of shit that was Man of Steel. How could DC have fucked this up so bad? Oh... Zack Snyder... that's right. Let's overdramatize the shit out of even the most mundane moments. People love that. Barf...
This makes Superman IV: Quest for Peace look like total genius... because at least that turd had Gene Hackman in it. Jesse Eisenberg's "Lex Luthor" is a fucking embarrassment. I can't help but wonder if this movie fucking tanks... as it rightfully should... what happens to the DC cinematic universe? Hopefully it gets flushed down the toilet so somebody who gives a shit about the comics can start over.
• Regerts. A kitten who regretted his life choice...
Does it GET cuter than this?
• Diamonds. Dayamn! No pressure...
And also... WAR AGAINST CHRISTMAS!!!
I'm spent. No more bullets for you.
And so... I'm home.
And my bag is here with me.
No thanks to United Airlines... the fucking assholes.
Never, ever, fly with United.
Much like Janice in Accounting*, United Airlines don't give a fuck.
It all started when I missed a conference call on Monday morning because I had to buy clothes for work. The only time I could reschedule the call was for Thursday, but I would need to be back home because the later date would require access to some design sheets I didn't have with me. No problem, right? I just call United and explain the situation.
Except it ended up being a huge problem, because United wouldn't agree to put me on an earlier flight home. THEY lose my luggage, necessitating all these changes, but it's going to cost ME a $200 change fee plus $450 for the ticket cost difference. I politely explain that it's not my fault the luggage was lost and I shouldn't have to pay anything... but they disagree. Talking to a supervisor gets me a "one time offer" to waive the $200 change fee, but not the $450.
Needless to say, I'm livid.
It costs United nothing to make the situation right and get me home over a situation they cause... there's empty seats... but they don't give a fuck about my situation.
So I regretfully start yelling at the supervisor over United's shitty policy and eventually she finds a flight to get me home in time in an effort to get me to shut the hell up. Which is so damn stupid. Why the fuck can't they do the right thing to begin with? Why does it take somebody screaming at them before they'll reluctantly solve a problem THEY created?
But that was yesterday, surely things will go better today. Right?
Nope. It just gets worse.
As I mentioned, my luggage was lost. I made it to Portland, but my bag did not. So I reported the problem, only to be told that they have no idea if/when my bag would show up. Discouraging, but that's the way it goes. Ironically, I stopped flying United a couple decades ago because they lost my luggage (permanently) twice in six months. Now, the first time flying the airline in years, and they lose my luggage again. Except this time I actually ended up getting it back...
You will never leave my side again, Saltalamacchia!
When I check in for my flight, I naturally tell them I'd like the baggage fee waived since I never got to see my bag the entire time I was here.
Essentially, they blame this on me because I didn't know where I'd be in order for them to have delivered my suitcase yesterday. I explain that this is hardly my fault... that's the way my job works, and not knowing where I'll be is not something I can control... but United don't give a fuck.
Instead they offer me a $25 certificate good for my next flight.
Which I refuse, because I'll never be flying with this piece of shit airline ever again. I mean, first I had to pay $240 for last-minute clothes, now they expect me to pay $25 MORE for clothes I never got to use? Fuck that.
And so I vow to make this the most expensive $25 baggage fee they've ever collected. I will pass up no opportunity to badmouth United Airlines from this day forward. Everybody I run across will come to understand what fucking assholes are running the show at United, and how much I fucking hate the entire United Airlines organization.
Those feelings were doubled when I realized that my bag was not checked all the way home, but terminated in Seattle (despite the guy helping me having said it would be transferred to Alaska Airlines). Which means I paid $25 to get my bag home, and it's not even going to get home. I tied to get that resolved, but the United representative at the gate don't give a fuck either. Essentially, United booked me on a connecting flight home that doesn't exist (the 11:10 doesn't fly on Wednesdays). So I had to politely beg Alaska Airlines to put me on a flight that does exist. But in United's computer, THAT'S the flight that doesn't exist. Never mind that I show them my boarding pass for a flight that obviously exists since I've checked in for it... there's nothing they can do. So I ask if there's somebody I can speak to who CAN do something... only to get an epic eye-roll. She then calls a supervisor and says "I have a customer here demanding that I check his bags onto a flight that doesn't exist..."
"Demanding?" Fuck you. All I did was ask a damn question and show you proof that the flight does exist! I tell her to forget it, that I'll just collect my bag in Seattle and re-check it.
I'd like to say that things get better from there, but they didn't.**
All in all, United provided me one of the worst experiences I have ever had in 25 years of near constant travel. I hate... HATE... the company and everything they stand for. If no other airline can get me where I need to go, I would rather drive through a fucking blizzard than to ever fly United again.
And everybody is going to know it.
*Janice is from This Week Tonight with John Oliver... a show that you should be watching if you haven't been.
**A crappy hotel, another canceled flight, weather delays, winter storm advisory, and a complete douche nearly ramming into my car in the airport parking lot awaited me.
I travel a lot.
Now, "a lot" is relative, and there are people who travel even more than I do... but I definitely get around. Last year it was to the tune of 138,000 miles flown. This year I'm already within spitting distance of frequent flier Platinum status, and the year is only half over.
My point is, when it comes to airplane-related incidents, I've just about seen it all. I've been on a plane where a fire broke out. I've seen a drunken asshole have to be restrained and eventually removed. I've been in an uncontrolled landing. I've been through a bird strike. And a lightning storm. Twice. I've been stuck on the tarmac. I've been stranded, rerouted, and rejected. The list goes on and on.
Of course I've had my luggage lost. And damaged.
Once my luggage was lost as I was flying to a meeting in San Frncisco. The airline kept promising me that the luggage would turn up, and told me not to buy any new clothes because mine were on the way. Finally, after a dozen phone calls over two days with no suitcase, I explained that I had to buy a new suit for my meeting. And since the airline made me wait so long, there was no time for alterations... I had to find a suit off the rack that would fit. And the only one I could find was a $1100 Calvin Klein.
Naturally, the airline categorically refused to pay for that large of an expense... even though it was entirely their fault. It was their fault they lost my luggage. It was their fault they lied about getting it to me. It was their fault they made me wait until it was too late to alter a cheaper suit. It took months of negotiation before I came to a settlement that covered only half my expenses, but the airlines were such assholes about the whole ordeal that I felt lucky to get that much.
So when I see this really cool video by Dave Carroll making the rounds on the internet, I can sympathize...
Of course, we don't know United's side of things here... but this seems so typical that I don't doubt the guy's story one bit. There were witnesses as to the abusive handling, and he did try to report it before the plane even took off, so it's not like United can claim it was "normal wear and tear." They fucked up. They should have to pay for it.
And so now they are.
With a public relations nightmare that's only going to get worse as this thing goes viral (and it will, because the video is so well done that people are going to want to watch it, even if they choose to ignore the message).
So sad that it always seems to have to come to this, but that's modern customer service for you.
UPDATE: And that didn't take long... apparently NOW United Airlines is interested in doing the right thing. But you just know that there are lots of people out there who aren't going to get a fair shake because they don't have the talent Dave Carroll does to make a video. Sad, really.