United Airlines: Happy to Fuck You Over

This post is getting some serious memage, so I apologize to those of you who are having a repeat experience, but I cannot NOT repost this.

Here’s the post. Here’s the gist: a disabled woman was fucked over at every turn by pretty much every level of United Airline’s staff. The pilot didn’t come back and insult her mother, but that’s about all she was spared. Some highlights:

The wheelchair left me off at the door and after making sure I had all of my belongings, he turned around and left. I boarded the plane and made my way back to my aisle seat where I set down my special seat cushion and lumbar brace before looking around for a flight attendant to help me put my luggage in the overhead compartment. The attendant standing in the front section of economy was a blonde woman probably in her late 40s-50s and I called her over to explain that I needed her assistance because I wasn’t capable of lifting my luggage due to my disability. To my surprise, the attendant rejected my request while excusing it by saying: "If I helped everyone do that all day then MY back would be killing me by the end of the day!" I asked her how I was supposed to get my luggage stowed and her answer was: "You’ll just have to wait for someone from your row to come back here and ask them to give you a hand." When I asked what would happen if no one would, her response to me was: "Well, normally a passenger is around to overhear something like this and they’ll offer to help with it on their own. You’ll just have to ask someone when they get back here." Then she turned back around and went up to the front seats where she waited to "assist" other passengers.

This is repeated several times, in variations. She also waits forever at each point for wheelchairs while elderly people (who look sick) get them instead. And here’s the lovely Dina, whom I hope is fired by the end of the day:

At this point, Dina was getting more and more irate with every question I asked regarding United’s disability policies and my accusations of discriminating against me to the point of telling me I needed to make other travel arrangements. She accused me of not listening to anything she said, but I cut her off and told her that I understood her perfectly, she was only repeating herself. I repeated her words that I had "no recourse" and that the lack of help "wasn’t actionable." In addition, I repeated that she’d said several times she wouldn’t apologize and wasn’t sorry for what happened to me because it "wasn’t in their contract to provide assistance." All Dina said in answer to that was that I had the option of writing a letter which I told her I had every intention of doing since coming to file a complain in person turned out to be completely futile and a waste of time, energy, and emotional wellbeing. I also told her I’d be mentioning her and the fact that the combined actions of everyone I’d encountered from United had guaranteed I wouldn’t be flying with you at any point in the future.

Dina quite literally turned up her nose at me at that point and said: "You, of course, have the option to choose who you want to fly with, but again, it’s not in our contract. Besides, there’s a note that says your bag was heavy." I cut her off before she could say more and asked her who it was that said that. She told me it would have had to be someone at the ticket counter in Seattle, and I flat out told her that was amazing considering that there wasn’t a single, solitary person involved with United at either airport who’d laid a hand on my bag. Not one. So not only was I dealing with the immensely upsetting experience of being told it was my own fault I was in pain for not making arrangements to fly without luggage since I knew I was disabled and needed assistance, I was also dealing with having someone lie about the weight of my luggage in some sort of bizarre effort to explain their lack of help. I hope you’re able to appreciate how much more this upset and angered me.

This is the same classy outfit that broke Dave Carroll’s guitar. That was downright hilarious in comparison. I don’t even know what to say about this. That I won’t be flying United, ever, is a given. I guess I just hope it takes off on the Internet. I really, really hope some people get fired.

I really, really hope this never happens to anyone else again.

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