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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Dear United;

I’m sitting in a gate at O’Hare airport waiting to board my flight to Sacramento. We are delayed. No surprise there, like I said it is O’Hare and a savvy traveler shouldn’t expect to leave on time.

What is a surprise is that we boarded the plane completely before you told us our pilots weren’t on the plane. Our pilots aren’t finishing dinner and will be here any minute, our pilots are still 70 minutes away from O’Hare in another plane.

After the staff completely boarded the plane, the gate attendant (poor woman, she is clearly frazzled) came onto the plane to tell the flight attendants that we wouldn’t be leaving for at least 90 minutes. The flight crew then gave us permission to disembark and wait in the gate area, because who wants to spend 90 minutes in a non-moving plane.

Having sat on a tarmac for hours, maybe on United, maybe Jet Blue, I appreciate being allowed to leave the plane. However, a man on the plane got an alert either from United or his travel agent before we boarded that the flight would be delayed 90 minutes. How is it that your customers have better flight information than you share with your crew?

I’m not sure what the point of this open letter is. I’m not particularly angry. In fact, I’m happy to be away from the couple who was very annoyed to have to sit by me. They were sharing a box of Hot Tamales and the smell was overwhelming, so I’m happy to be here in the gate area while they eat that movie-sized box of cinnamon candy.

But maybe, just maybe, you should update the equipment your staff uses so customers don’t get alerts before your staff and don’t waste everyone’s time by boarding an entire plane and then having the entire plane disembark.



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