October 21, 2009

Dear United & It Feels So Goooooood...

Dear friends!  This past week I went to upstate New York and had a splendiferous time with Mommy! (my mother), The Skirtboy (my brother), Meggie (his beautiful girlfriend) and The Sweet Lovin' Man.  On my way home tragedy struck by way of United Airlines... The following is a letter written from me to those dear, fine people who took away precious hours of my life. 

My knickers have since unbunched themselves (I think writing the letter was therapeutic) and I've begun taking deep breaths again.  Yay me!  Ultimately I view the whole ordeal as being ridiculously funny... BUT unacceptable.  Please forgive me for the MandiCrocker you know momentarily became MandiCrackWhore... and United don't care! (Get it?  Like 'Jimmy crack corn and I don't care?'  Nevermind). Here is the letter...


Dear United,

I’m going to keep this as short & as sweet as humanly possible because you’ve already taken up enough of my time & money. Here’s what you did wrong:

1) You delayed my United 659 5:58pm flight from Albany to Los Angeles (thru Chicago) for an hour due to mechanical issues. Then by two hours. Delays happen, I’m an understanding person. I can deal. After the problem was fixed, the plane leaves from Chicago to Albany. Hallelujah. We wait a great deal longer just happy the plane is in the air & finally coming for us. Then after waiting hours & hours, you cancel the flight. The crew would have too many hours in the sky. That’s not the problem for me—of course your employees deserve to be done after their hourly allowance is up. It’s the amount of time it took you to FIGURE THAT OUT. Everyone looked around & was like, “They seriously couldn’t have figured that out an hour & a half ago when the plane took off???” Infuriating. It was obvious the ball was dropped.

2) Thanks to your wonderful flight cancellation, I missed Monday’s workday. As a person that lives paycheck to paycheck you don’t even know how badly this affected me or the domino affect it’s going to have. AWESOME.

3) Then we get put up in the Albany Best Western. The hotel was shady, felt unclean and we were afraid to lie down. Hurray.  We could hear entire conversations through the wall and in case you were wondering, our neighbors microwaved hot pockets for dinner.  The pockets were ‘soooo good’ but 'they probably aren't really.'  They were just super hungry & 'anything tastes good to me right now.' Also, they regretted not getting the ice cream they talked about at the store. So sad.

4) The shuttle service was ridiculous. They only had one van so they had a 15 minute interval sign up list. By the time we found out about said list, the shuttles were full & we’d have to be on a 4am shuttle to make it to the airport on time. In response, a bunch of us took a cab. This cab ride was $95 for a 5 minute drive for four people. One of the riders took a cab from the airport to the hotel the night before & said it cost four of them $10 total. While I can’t blame you for the extortion of a cab company I can blame you for booking us in a shoddy hotel that gives out the number of a crap taxi service. Another added expense due to this cancellation.

5) Finally we all get on the freakin’ plane & land in Chicago. You got that right. Good for you. I was on standby (with 60-90) other people all day long trying to get a flight to Los Angeles. LAME. Finally I was booked on a 3:20 flight & we landed in LA. You’re not gonna believe this but I was actually in a good mood. I viewed it as a crazy adventure. I knew from the night before I was booked on the 3:20 flight so I just did my best to grin & bare it & not think about the financial or professional ramifications of the situation. I was nice & respectful to all of your employees and I would like to give Kudos to David Noel (?) and the Albany staff because they had to put up with a lot of bad attitudes & were very nice. I would have been able to have forgotten this whole thing completely except… *sigh*…

6) I got to the baggage claim & no bag. David told me that although I was booked on the 3:20 flight out, I could try standby all day & try and get an earlier flight. And just in case, he’d send my bag on the first flight to LA. So I kinda wasn’t expecting it to be there. I went to visit baggage claim. I told him the situation, walked around the baggage room & finally gave him my ticket so he could look it up. He gave me a strange look and said—waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait for it—

"Have you been in MAUI?”

Could it get any freakin’ more WRONG???? MAUI, PEOPLE!!!

I said “NA-HOOOOO!!!”

And he said, “Well, it looks like your bag arrived in LA & then they sent it to Maui. I have no idea why they’d do that.”

So someone picked my bag off the claim and for poodelys & hee-haws decided to send it to Maui????? What the F* BOMB, BATMAN???? He told me to check with the baggage attendant outside in the claim area & she said the same thing. MAUI. I filled out the proper paper work & was told my bag would arrive the next day. They would call me when it got there.

Okay, ladies and germs. It is getting pretty intense so I'm taking a 'Time Out.' I want you to know this next part may not be suitable for gentle, puritan ears. It was a 'moment.' A very real 'moment' that I had. To deny it is to deny the wind of the sky and the canyons of their water. I could show you only the good, decent and humane parts of MandiCrocker but that would be a lie. MandiCrocker does not run from her humanity! --No! She grabs it drunkenly by the necktie and lays on it a big, sloppy wet kiss saying, "Here I am, World! Take me or leave me!" *hiccup* So, onward we go like a hooker with a heart of gold in the storytelling of this beautiful disaster... I invite your prayers.

7) THIS is the BEST part. This is where I turned from a nice, caring, loving ‘It’s all a big adventure!’ girl with rosy cheeks and blond locks into a demonic, monster whose soul screamed, “For the love of all that is good and holy I do this day swear that generations upon generations of my children will know of the horror and decimation that manifests itself when you fly United Airlines!!!"

Tuesday rolls around & no bag. No surprise at this point.

This is really, MOST ABSOLUTELY, the best part.
 You should sit down…

WHAT THE F********************************CK KIND OF BUSINESS ARE YOU RUNNING!!!??????

I only answered because I thought it was an emergency!!! My boyfriend’s diabetic & occasionally he calls if there’s an incident. (Thanks for that heart attack)!! Then some dufus buttnugget gets on the phone:

Dufus: “Hey, we’ve got your bag here. We’re gonna deliver it right now is that cool? We’ve got another delivery in the area, so…”

I was utterly, completely dumbfounded & writhing with anger. “NOOOOO!!! YOU CAN’T FREAKING DELIVER MY BAG NOW!!!!!!!!” It took everything in me to not use every expletive I’ve ever heard in my life at this person.

He tries to work out another time & I’m so FREAKING dumbfounded & angry that at 1:45 in the morning I barely make sense. And why the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-HELL would he not GET OFF THE PHONE and call me back at a RESPECTFUL time the next day when he heard my reaction!!??????????? SERIOUSLY!!! HOW FREAKIN’ AUDACIOUS!!!??? THEY SOUNDED LIKE THEY DO THIS ALL THE TIME!!! DO THEY DO THIS ALL THE TIME??!!!  TELL ME THEY DON’T DO THIS ALL THE TIME!!!

He hands the phone over to some other woman, “Hi ma’am. We’re making deliveries to Studio City & we’re gonna drop off your bag tonight!” Like she’s doing me a favor. HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, just flabbergasted, ‘NO!!! YOU’RE NOT!!!” And she says, “Well, we’ll be really busy tomorrow so we won’t get it to you til really late.”

I had a doctor’s appointment late afternoon & just KNEW if I postponed this delivery I’d never see my bag again. So I finally just said “FINE, DELIVER THE FREAKIN’ BAG.”

“They’re on their way!”

My blood is so boiled that I’m now wide awake & just decide to wait up for my bag. Late at night it takes 30 minutes max to get from LAX to my house. Your incompetent employees took TWO HOURS. If they had 12 deliveries ahead of time they shouldn’t have said, “They’re on their way.” They should have said “IT’LL BE TWO HOURS. GOOD LUCK.”

So!!! Not only did you manage to make me lose a work day but you also made me drop dead tired & basically lethargic for ANOTHER work day. Unbelievable.

I’m just…I’m flabbergasted. Stunned. MAD. FREAKING EXHAUSTED. All of the above.

Delays, cancellations… whatever, they happen. I really AM (I try) a nice person and I don’t write letters like this ever. But the whole bag situation & calling me in the middle of the night… when at this point United should be pussyfooting around me because of all the wretched mistakes you've made.



Look, I don’t know what kind of twinkly little magical apology letter it is that you do but it better be the most amazing apology letter of all time. Because as of right now I’ve been telling everyone I can about this story & to never fly United. I’ve got a blog, I’ve got a zillion friends on Facebook, thousands on Twitter… I’m calling you up at 1:45 in the morning & asking you how this story ends. You tell me… cause as of right now, I wouldn’t DREAAAAAAAAAAM of flying with you again. It makes me want to write Mr. Noel & beg him to convert to Southwest!!!!


And you know what?  It really was the phone call. You had a chance to redeem yourselves with the bag in Maui thing but you do NOT mess with my sleep when I already work two jobs. I’m already exhausted… you didn’t need to add to it. But... ya did.


The end. This wasn’t short at all.  And I am sooo not spellchecking.


818-555-5555 ( You might want to think 'bank hours' before you try to use this!)


Miss Daisy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyn said...

oh my Lord, Mandi! What a crazy story! Keep us updated on what happens!

Anonymous said...

Oh, stink!! I'm so sorry all that happened to you except I'm not because that was the most entertaining story I've heard in...in...well that's the most entertaining story I've ever hoid! :)) You certainly don't mince the words, do you?! A-hem.

Looking forward to part deux!

Mel said...

Unfortunately, they do that all the time. I've had lost luggage incidents a handful of times and for some reason they do like to deliver late at night or in the middle of the night. I agree that the airlines (and not just United) really need to work on common courtesy. I hope you actually send the letter to them! Maybe they will at least try to make it up to you somehow (blood of virgins LOL)! Will probably be a travel voucher though, and you probably don't care to do that again anytime soon!

Marie said...

Wow, Mandi!! That's the most awesome complaint letter I've ever read!! (or written) I'm so proud when people stand up to "the man" or "the plane." wahooo!!! I want everyone on the planet to read this letter!!

Miss Daisy said...

You forgot to mention that they billed me twice for our bags. They cost $40 on Sunday for a flight that never showed up. And they charged us $60(!!!!) for the same two bags the next morning. (Why the price discrepancy? I have no idea.) And they never took those charges off for Sunday. Isn't that priceless?

Family of Food said...

Oh Mandi Crocker... I know your hatred for United oh so well.

You are not alone. Several years ago, Husband of Food and I took a December 24th flight from LA to Jackson Hole WY in hopes of spending a lovely Christmas Eve with fam in the snow. United flew to Jackson through Denver and decided that it was too icy to land in Jackson, so they turned the plane around and landed back in Denver. That's OK, weather happens.

They held us in the airport for hours claiming that we would fly again as soon as it cleared up. It did clear up, but guess what... the crew had been there too long and they didn't have anyone to fly us to Jackson that night. Christmas Eve.

They gave the two of us a $25 voucher to try and find sustanance with at 9:00 at night on Christmas Eve in the airport. "Excuse me, you got any Figgie Pudding back there behind the McNuggets?"

Then they sent us on shuttles to to a crappy hotel where we spent Christmas Eve in a room with a broken and overflowing toilet.

The next morning they had us meet the shuttles before dawn to get back to the airport for our flight...

Only there was no flight. After waiting in the terminal for hours, they DROVE us to Jackson Hole. We spent 11 hours on a bus, missing Christmas Day entirely, for the price of 2 full fare plane tickets. If I wanted to drive to Jackson, I would have gone Greyhound and saved the cash.

All that and, not only did no apology or compensation ever come, I got YELLED at on the phone when I called to try to rebook when we were stuck in the Denver Airport.

I avoid United like the plague. Fight the Power MandiCrocker! Make 'em pay. For all of us.

MandiCrocker said...

Wow, all these 'I have a story, too!' comments. Who knew!! I thought they were just old & washed up. But no! They're legitimately the devil.


stacy marie said...

Lady, start a freakin' crusade. Get on twitter, put it twitter as an @unitedairlines or #unitedairlines or &%^@*)!!!

seriously, start putting this story out there as you are not alone. the airlines can not keep treating people like assholes.

geesh. stupid united.

Darci said...

Holy freakin mackeral. I don't even know what to say. I always share your blog whenever you write one, but this one's IMPORTANT! I'm furious FOR you.

They are soooooooooo lucky I wasn't the one you were travelling with. Can you imagine? I'd be in jail right now picking their flesh and bones out of my teeth.