Should United send these out?

So after my delay and misconnection this past weekend, United sent me the following email:

Dear Mr. Lucky:

You have the right to expect great service from us, and we know we were not at our best during your flight with us on February 01, 2009. Please accept my personal apology for  the delay and misconnection from Chicago to Tampa.

We know how important a relaxed and hassle-free experience is to you when you choose United for your travel needs. We are working hard to ensure your next trip is better, from the moment you make your reservation to the time you retrieve your luggage.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve you better soon.

Sincerely,
Customer Relations Team

While I appreciate when they send me these and attach a “gesture of goodwill,” I’m kind of annoyed when they send them without offering anything. It would be one thing if it were a sincere apology without anything attached, but at United it’s a form letter without anything attached. Notice how they can’t even copy and paste properly. The bolded part above shows just how bad of a form letter this is. Notice how there are two spaces between “for” and the,” which shows where the form letter is interrupted for the person to type in the problem. Idiots.

Comments

  1. Let me introduce you to that little button labeled “Delete” (sometimes also has a trashcan icon) in your mail program… 😉

    No, I don’t think every apology needs to come with a hand-out.

    And I think United isn’t doing all that poorly if the blogoshphere is now talking about an extra space in a form letter 😉

  2. Fair (and funny) enough, Oliver. 😀

    I guess my issue is that they keep saying that they’re working hard to make my next trip better, yet I get about a dozen of these a year.

  3. Well, I made 1K last year (with only about 106k miles, though virtually all on UA) and didn’t get a single apology email. But… I also didn’t have a single problem that would have required one. Admittedly the bulk of my mileage is coming from international travel, which is maybe a bit more reliable (or at least it means more miles per departure, so more overall fewer chances for cancellation or delay).

  4. 106k and no problems. Is there another United I don’t know about? Either you’re more lucky than Lucky, or as laid back as the new UA C and are not worried about delays, lost baggage, bad service, etc.

    I’ve just got through writing to UA to complain about delays – 7of my last 9 UA flights arrived late. As I said in the mail, “an apology is what I expect to hear from the pilot on the PA as we taxi to the gate, when delays are this regular you need to do something better”.

  5. Well, as a humble 1P, I would be pleased to simply receive a message — haven’t even gotten that, during one of my many delays on United.

  6. What bugs me most is that I get mails for very long delays or sometimes nothing at all while on the other had I have gotten 4K to 8K miles posted to my account for delays only a couple hours long. This inconsistency is just redicuolus. Was just delayed 5 hours in ORD a week ago and not even an email, the week before got 4000 miles for a slight delay out of SFO.

  7. I got one of these emails and replied to say that the delay was actually welcome as it allowed me to connect from another late flight.

    CS wrote back and gave me 7,000 miles. Go figure.

  8. I’m hit and miss with these emails. They’re so inconsistent that it’s hard to know what to make of the entire process. Sometimes I get an apology plus thousands of RDMs for relatively short weather-related delays that are in no way UA’s fault, other times I get nothing for serious mech delays that are UA’s fault. On the other hand, I don’t think UA needs to compensate people for every little glitch, and an email that acknowledges the problem is good enough.

    Once I was on a flight that was delayed for 3 hours due to ATC. We boarded and de-boarded twice before finally getting on and departing. Annoying, but I didn’t blame UA. Got a “we’re sorry” email + 5k RDM. I think the point is that if pax get upset, regardless of who is to blame, they are likely to transfer some of that ill will to UA, and since RDMs are worth so little to UA, why not give them out?

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