United Turns Up The Heat On National Travel TV Personality

Someone at United Airlines had to know that when they trotted out “Flyer Friendly” as their marketing campaign, they were going to get some pot shots for it.

Well, it turns out that they flew a recent LAX-JFK flight without any air-conditioning in the premium cabin.  And, a TV personality (who happens to specialize in travel) happened to have paid for an upgrade to the premium cabin.


It then appears she asked for a refund of what she paid for the premium upgrade.  United decided this wasn’t a sufficient inconvenience to offer any compensation.



Now, I wasn’t there, and I certainly don’t work for United.  But, if United actually did know they had this problem before the flight boarded, the right decision would have been to at least notify the customers.  Further, why not just offer a travel voucher and be done with it?  This is the type of issue that’s easily handled before things get crazy.  Maybe they thought the cabin wouldn’t get too hot.

In a revenue-based program, cash is king.  The customer that pays for an upgrade would seem to be the one United wants to target with their current structure.

United.  Flyer Friendly.

Oh, and one more tweet from me on this.  Feh, typos.





  1. So sad to those mongrel dogs at UA treat people like this, the airline has gone downhill for a long while. If someone other than me has a deep pocket, we should sue them for false advertising. “Flyer friendly”. What the? There’s nothing flyer friendly abut these mongrels, it’s all about them and the old boilers and Nancy’s running up and down their very tight aisles in their crappy old aircraft.

  2. Ed, thank you for the post sharing my shock & disappointment about United’s customer service. Having traveled to more than 60 countries I fly all the time & when the air-conditioning didn’t work in the prem seats are for the entire 6 hour flight it was miserable. Flights attendant was very sympathetic said they knew about the problem BEFORE taking off and urged me to file a complaint and gave me the paperwork. I did, merely asking for my $79 refund for my premium upgrade since NOT a premium experience, I didn’t ask for entire flight refund, upgrades or miles just the refund I had paid extra for so was really shocked to hear back they were sorry for discomfort but wouldn’t do the refund. We all have choices when we travel and I just felt people should know about this before making their own travel plans in the future so I appreciate you sharing.

    1. Karen, United could easily have offered you some miles if they didn’t want to refund your money. But, I am still a bit surprised they didn’t just refund the upgrade. It’s sad, but United has had a precipitous fall when it comes to customer service over the past few years. Sorry to hear it was such a rough flight. And, like I said earlier, AA has a really nice premium product on that transcon route.

  3. Ed, like you say cash is king & since United insists on cash to upgrade to those seats if something goes wrong they should refund that cash. I should of have been asking for an refund on entire flight since that six hours was ROUGH & finding out from flight attendant they apparently knew before taking off about the problem just rubs salt in the wound. #NotFriendly

    1. Karen, even if they offered you a travel voucher or some miles, something they only incur cost on if you fly them again in the future. It’s such an easy problem to solve from a customer service perspective. In related news, American Airlines is offering status challenges. 🙂

  4. Hey Karen — I feel ya! We have a $150 credit that we received from United after my husband was stranded for 18 or so hours and I don’t even want to use it!!!

    1. Lauren- exactly! It’s like a doctor who messed up once and offered me my next visit free, ummm, NO. Looks like I’ll be checking into Americans status challenges Ed talked about…

      1. Okay, any doctor who messes up and offers a freebie is off the list. Kinda like choosing the cheapest laser eye surgeon you can find and wondering why things went wrong.

  5. UNITED UPDATE: I just got a call this morning from customer service, same person who denied my claim for $79 refund for the prem seat after no air-conditioning in that section for entire 6 hour flight & flight attendant told me they knew before take-off and I should file a complaint. BUT instead of making things right customer service started giving me a hard time about filing the complaint! Once again I was stunned. She talked about how unreasonable I was being saying I had paid for 5 inches of extra leg room and they had given me that why was I complaining. I again explained how hot the flight was, uncomfortable without air in that section and not a prem experience so that’s why I wanted refund and she got madder saying I had paid for leg room not air-conditioning and I had no reason to complain or ask for anything. UH WOW…finally I said I didn’t know why she was calling to give me a hard time, we can agree to disagree and I’ll take this to someone else. I couldn’t believe they took the time to call to give me a hard time and deny my claim again, lecturing me about the legroom I got, etc, etc…WOW! #NotFriendly

    1. @karen are you SERIOUS? They called you back again after denying your claim the first time JUST to tell you again they were denying your claim? I wish you had audio of that call. That is insanity.

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