I'm currently broadcasting from a very small hotel room in Houston, TX. My flight out of SFO was delayed (Blue Angels and other traffic) which caused me to miss my flight into Tampa. Ugh.
United automatically booked me on a flight leaving IAH at 1 getting into Tampa at 4:14, PM. To top it off, they wouldn't cover my hotel room, they said it "wasn't there fault" that the reason was "Air Traffic Control" (i.e. Blue Angels and stuff) so they weren't responsible. No food voucher, no hotel voucher. Thanks United. Reminds me of work sometimes where someone just points the finger at someone else..."it's the database" or "it's the network" or some other way to shift blame. Whatever.
I understand that it wasn't there fault. If it were me though, I would have helped out more. Pilar, from United at IAH, was very helpful, but I believe she was handcuffed by their corporate policy, you know, shift the blame. Pilar did put me on standby for an earlier flight (7:22 AM) and did book me on an earlier flight that gets in at 1:30 PM. Better than 4:14 PM.
I'll miss out on taking the kids to school. I'll miss out on katezilla's speech therapy meeting and I won't get to pick up my son from school (assuming I don't get on the standby flight). The 1:30 arrival also puts me in jeopardy of not being able to pick up katezilla. Sucks.
I know travel is hard. I expect things like this to happen once in awhile. I don't blame United for the traffic at SFO and I don't think it was their fault. However, I think they could have done a bit more to keep the customer happy. If I were in their shoes, I would have. It seems like a moment to make a great fan and they missed it. Had they helped in the smallest of ways, I would be singing their praises...opportunity lost.