Tag Archives: United Airlines

Does everybody hate the airlines?

Airlines have had a bad rap lately in the press – battered passengers, stranded kids and drunken pilots.  It’s a wonder anybody is flying at all.  Seems, however, from speaking to colleagues in the industry and reading the travel press, the public is not really going to change its plans – because really – what choice do we have?

To get anywhere these days you usually have to take a flight.  Even people who are terrified of flying still do it.  They take the pills, they go to the therapy, but in today’s world flying has become a necessity – albeit an evil one for some.

It’s funny for me when I hear people complaining that the worst part of their vacation is the flight because (honestly) I really enjoy flying.  There is just something so exciting about being in an airport, hearing your flight called, getting on the plane.  Once on board I love getting settled into my seat armed with my ipad and my bottle of water.  I rarely watch the inflight entertainment but I always do take my own earphones (just in case there is a blockbuster that I want to see).  Mostly I just enjoy the ability to sit back and enjoy 3-10 hours of uninterrupted peace and quiet.  My goodness – sounds like I live in a madhouse.  Sometimes it feels like that.
Image result for peace and quiet

So I am wondering what changes, if any, will be made in the airline industry to reassure the travelling public.

Sobriety testing for pilots prior to flights still seems to be raising problems according to a recent article.  http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/is-your-airline-pilot-drunk-unions-are-making-it-hard-for-the-airline-to-be-sure

And flight community insiders are taking an interesting tack on the overbooking scandal.  I found a very I interesting blog post by a pilot’s wife titled – I know you’re mad at United but…. Which does show the situation from another perspective.  https://thepilotwifelife.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/i-know-youre-mad-at-united-but-thoughts-from-a-pilot-wife-about-flight-3411/

But now it is all going to be OK as Westjet has just announced a new no-frills airline.  Goodness me – I thought the frills had gone long ago.  Maybe they are following the path of notorious no friller Ryan Air.  It will be an interesting ride for sure.

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Maybe you heard about the two girls denied boarding on a United Airlines flight because they were wearing leggings.


After this was reported then Twitter got involved in the act – as it usually does – (“Sad!)

Lots of comments were posted by people who said that this was discrimination against these poor girls’ clothing choice.  However you have to remember that these girls were travelling on a “pass” from United Airlines which means that either they were employed by the airline or were relatives or friends of an airline employee.

Now this is not something new that United suddenly pulled out of its hat to make life difficult for these girls.  Their policy is quite clear and for those interested these are the guidelines.

Pass attire

It always makes me chuckle (or sometimes grimace) when I see posts on facebook where someone is asking their wide range of acquaintances for a buddy pass.  As a travel agent I do not get the same benefit as the friend of an airline employee. I have paid for just about every airline ticket I can think of.   Contrary to popular belief – being a travel agent does not open the door to free travel.

I was on a Westjet flight once from Nassau where a small group of friends were travelling on buddy passes.  They were all pretty badly dressed but the one guy had some weird bandana type headband / hat.  The flight attendant (knowing that they were using buddy passes) asked him to remove his headgear.  He refused.  She asked him a couple of times and then had to ask the Captain to come down and ask him.  When we got off the flight in Calgary the police were waiting.  Hmm.

Now for paying passengers they can wear what they like – almost.  There has been a lot in the press about people being denied boarding because of wearing shirts with swear words or bare midriffs but honestly there are a lot of people getting on flights and then taking off their clothes – and I would rather have leggings than this….
passenger shaming

or this

passenger shaming 2

or this

passenger shaming 3

Twits, tweets and putty tats

Following upon yesterday’s blog about the craziness of twitterdom I laughed when I read an article about a twitter account named #unitedairlanes which has nothing to do with United Airlines.  People were sending their Angry Tweets to this handle and getting hilarious replies from the pseudo United rep –

ANGRY TWEET – Shout out to @unitedairlanes for stranding my wife at YWG for nearly 12 hour for a short flight to Chicago. Excellent service.
RESPONSE – After the first six hours, she technically belonged to us. You’re just lucky we met our monthly quota.

or this one….ANGRY TWEET – Hey @unitedairlanes Our new player Clint wasn’t on the flight to EWR. Can you double check stowage?

RESPONSE –  The crew’s telling me that he’s back here, and he’s scared. Somehow got himself locked into a pet carrier and flat-out panicked.
pepe 1You’d think people would check before they tweet.  I think birds are smarter than people.  My cockatiel Pepe thinks so too!  He doesn’t tweet indiscriminately like some of these people.  If he tweets it’s for a reason.  He lets us know when someone is coming up the driveway or if we forget to turn the light off when we go to bed (has to be dark for him to sleep).
There are some intelligent tweets – like those of Chris Hadfield – one of his had me thinking for a while – “Growing up, I memorized the planet names by “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas”. Without Pluto, what should we use instead?”
So maybe there needs to be an intelligent version of Twitter – how about naming it after cats.  (Not my idea – this comes directly from Nala the cat after a crazed evening on catnip.)
nala catnip
She thinks there should be a new service called Putty Tat.   The basic premise would be that any Tattles (can’t call them Tweets can we) would be devoted to issues such as sleep, food, birds, squirrels and catnip – not necessarily in that order.