United Airlines Disrespects Quincy

Quincy

Today my husband left Stuttgart for Frankfurt and after a layover of 5 hours, onward travel to Dulles Airport in Washingon, D.C. with our cats; Bandit(epileptic) in the cabin and Quincy in baggage.  We decided not to drug Quincy because, although he is a fraidy cat, he is 7 years old and we didn’t want to risk it.

This afternoon I was contacted by Lufthansa Airlines about Quincy who had not been picked up at the baggage claim.  The airline representative told me that United refused to accept Quincy unless the owner personally presented the cat at United check-in.  Of course I was incredulous after all the time we spent on the phone with the United “Pet Safe” people, who neglected to inform us that we must claim the cat and then check it in with United.  My husband, cellphoneless at the airport, had no way of knowing this.  Lufthansa tried repeatedly to page him with no results.

I attempted to call United Airlines at the Frankfurt airport but each time was transferred to the United Airlines Call Center in Houston, Texas.  I spent over 2 hours, closer to 3, on the phone with numerous “representatives” who transferred me around from person to person who were unable to contact a United employee in Frankfurt.  In the end, the last person broke the connection.  That had to be an accident I keep telling myself.

I called Lufthansa and explained to them that the people at United were not helpful and, in fact, were probably not the brightest bulbs in the box.  Long story short, Lufthansa found my husband and told him about Quincy.  Unfortunately, it was too late to check Quincy onto the United flight and my just out of the hospital husband has reclaimed Quincy and is spending the night in Frankfurt to catch a flight at noon tomorrow.  B*****ds!  I hope you see this you incompetents!  Poor, poor Quincy.

About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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45 Responses to United Airlines Disrespects Quincy

  1. Susan says:

    Shared in Facebook. Outraged dear chef.

  2. Laura says:

    What an awful story! Travelling with pets is not easy, for sure, but the jerks at United really didn’t help matters. So glad Lufthansa was sane and found Kevin and all could be organized. Hope he gets them to comfy surroundings in Honesdale soon!

  3. kathysimmons says:

    of course they hung up on you Rose. no doubt. what an unecessary ridiculous homecoming. the bastards at United should be paying hotel and bar bills. for the rest of Quincy’s life. This is a pet nightmare story. I promise you, I will be boycotting this carrier with or without pets.

    • I couldn’t believe it trying to talk to those people. It was like, “not the U.S., we know nothing.” Yet they have airplanes flying from Europe. Our education system needs a serious revamp!

  4. Stephan says:

    I have had nothing but bad stories about United for years. I finally gave up and stopped doing business with them altogether. My life has been happier ever since.

  5. Jatin Adlakha says:

    This is so f**king crazy. Good 4 nothing, people. Feel sad for Quincy…
    Hanging up the phone and passing from person to person…how ignorant can one be? :(

    http://wanderingjatin.wordpress.com/

  6. This is terrible! This is what worries us the most when we move back to the UK. It’s several years out so I have a feeling we’ll have a few years without pets before the move because I’m afraid this will happen.

  7. This is so awful – how horrible for all of you. Luckily we are currently driving from Spain to England and back so the pets stay with us, but I dread the day we ever have to put them on a flight :(

  8. Ellen Fallon says:

    I haven’t flown United in quite a while. They don’t respect their human passengers either.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  9. Mad Dog says:

    I hope you can sue United – that’s completely unacceptable!

  10. Laura Hanson says:

    Shared on my Facebook page. What a scary story. We have two cats and two dogs! Best wishes for a safe reunion for all! Laura

    • Thanks for sharing that Laura. All I could think of was how horrified my husband would have been on arriving in D.C. and finding out that Quincy was not on the plane. I told him not to lose my cat :D

  11. andmorefood says:

    good lord what a nightmare! some airlines can be such a pain (which is why I stick to the Asian/ middle eastern ones :d)

  12. Joyce says:

    Between the way they treat our beloved pets and then the TSA treats us about as bad…..the reason I refuse to fly anymore. I refuse to subject any of us to such outrage. We are saying prayers for Quincy and you guys too.

  13. Michael Bean says:

    Hi Rosemary, I saw your post on United Airline’s Facebook page about the problems you had with your cat and UA’s PetSafe program. I hope your cat is going to be OK.

    Unfortunately I’m not surprised by your experience as I’ve been displaying horror stories regarding UA’s PetSafe program on my “UA’s PetSafe is NOT Safe” web page @ http://www.uatipsandsecrets.com/UA-s-PetSafe-is-NOT-Safe.html

    On my web page you will find an address and phone number to report animal mistreatment by airline personnel.

    You may want to check out the FB page: “United Airlines Almost Killed My Greyhound” @ https://www.facebook.com/UnitedAirlinesAlmostKilledMyGreyhound
    As Janet had her cat and dog mistreated by UA in their PetSafe program that resulted in her dog spending 3 days in intensive care to save its life, mostly due to dehydration. Luckily her cat fared much better and avoided intensive care.

    Earlier this year hundreds of people flooded to UA’s FB page to express their anger, their frustrations and to say they were upset with UA’s PetSafe program for the deaths of at least 3 dogs and the mistreatment and abuse of other pets since last summer after hearing about the latest incident involving the Greyhound.

    Please be sure to file a formal complaint with United and if you do then please make sure you do it through Customer Care and using this form:

    https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/Contact/customer/default.aspx

    Please note that the minimum response time to hear back from the Customer Care team is 3 – 5 weeks (depending on status) so don’t expect an immediate response. Make sure if you do file a report with the CC team that you get a CASE ID NUMBER as the CC team should send an automated response confirming receipt of your report. Within this receipt there is a Case ID number. If you are not in receipt of this then United will tell you to please submit your request again.
    .
    .
    You should also make sure to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement agency and this is why:

    All complaints are entered in DOT’s computerized aviation industry monitoring system, and are charged to the company in question in the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and the general public so that consumers and air travel companies can compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. These complaints are reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in compliance with federal aviation consumer protection regulations. This system also serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Where appropriate, letters and web form submissions will be forwarded to an official at the airline for further consideration.

    Complaints are broken down into 3 categories: Safety and Security Complaints / Airline Service Complaints and Comments / Disability and Discrimination Complaints and you can reach all 3 at this link:

    http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint

    You have 3 options when it comes to submitting a complaint: you can call, write or use their web form.

    The DOT has been cracking down on airlines recently for not reporting all incidents of pet/animal deaths, injury and those lost as they are required to do by law.
    .
    .
    You should know that very little goes from Facebook/Twitter (the Social Media Team) to the executives who really need to know about these problems and issues. If you wish to contact United’s headquarters to let them know you’re not happy with the service you received then you can find plenty of UA HQ contact info (email, phone & address) for people and departments on my UA Tips & Secrets web page @ http://www.uatipsandsecrets.com/Tips—Secrets.html

    Good Luck!
    Michael Bean

  14. A pile of shit. I hope you’re all OK!

  15. Poor you and your loved ones – that really is too bad!! Another reason on my list for not wanting to fly United – ever!

  16. Poor Quincy. I’m glad he’s ok. Love Bandit too (great name). Just the thought of Miles our rescue cat having to fly makes me feel anxious. Emma.

  17. Glad Quincy is OK. We hired a company who specialized in international pet travel when we moved to England. I don’t know what we would have done without them. Yet we still ran into problems on the way back. It is such a challenge and so scary for your pets.

    • I think United is the problem. I’ve traveled for over 30 years with animals and this was the first and last time on United.

      • We had a good experience with United, but it was interesting that the consultant we used had very specific requirements about which flight we used. She seemed to know which flights were the best for handling animals. In any case, both trips were very stressful – worrying about our dog. She lost most of her hearing on the flight back (BA), which I am convinced was avoidable (I could see her cage on the luggage ramp near the running engines prior to boarding). It is not an experience that I ever want to repeat!

  18. Mary Frances says:

    That’s terrible! I’m glad he’s finally safe and sound, but that must’ve been a harrowing day.

  19. reggiorif says:

    You have reminded me again why I only take my dog in the cabin with me…. maybe it’s the airline staff that got drugged!?

  20. Well I’m certainly glad to hear that both Quincy and Kevin are okay, but what a nightmare. Our cats are our babies, so I’d be hanging from the ceiling.

  21. This is unbelievable! Please don’t think my liking this post means that I like the complete lack or service or responsiveness (or even logic or reason) on United’s part. I just didn’t know how else to express solidarity with you. There should be more buttons!

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