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Airline loses couple's 10-year-old daughter

 
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catman



Joined: 18 Jul 2004

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Airline loses couple's 10-year-old daughter Reply with quote

Quote:
The parents of a 10-year-old girl in the U.S. have made public details of the appalling service they got when United Airlines "lost" their daughter midway through her trip from San Francisco to Traverse City, Mich., for summer camp.

Annie and Perry Klebahn of San Francisco have made public a complaint letter to the airline detailing how the company lost track of their daughter, Phoebe, on a June 30 flight during a transfer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. The journey would become a harrowing one for the family involving a byzantine set of phone calls to locate their missing child as well as her luggage.

Phoebe was expressedly told “only go with someone with a United badge on and that she would be accompanied at all times,” according to the couple.

The Klebahns were worried when the camp in Michigan called to say their daughter had not arrived.

According to the letter, Annie Klebahn called a customer line which connected her with United’s service centre in India. After a 20-minute wait, the person on the line told the Klebahns that their daughter had arrived in Traverse City. When Annie Klebahn got upset, she was put on hold again – for 10 minutes – and was then told Phoebe was indeed in Chicago and had missed her connection.

Meanwhile, Perry Klebahn, who is a United Premier member, had called a different line – getting hold of a customer service representative in the U.S.

She told him the “unaccompanied minor service" in Chicago “forgot to show up” to transfer Phoebe to the next flight.

The Klebahns said in their complaint letter they had never been told “that United outsourced the unaccompanied minor services to a third party vendor. “

When he begged the person to locate his daughter, she said she was going off shift and could not help. He pleaded with her, asking if she was a mother. When she said yes, he asked what would she do if she couldn’t locate her child for 45 minutes. In 15 minutes, the employee found Phoebe.

Asked 3 times to use the phone
In speaking with their daughter, the Klebahns discovered:

When Phoebe landed, no one was there to get her.

-The attendants told their daughter they could not help her and to wait.
She asked three times to use a phone and they told her to wait.

-Phoebe then missed her flight and informed a United employee and asked them to make sure the camp in Michigan knew she was late. She was told United would “take care of it.”

-Phoebe managed to arrive four hours later – sans luggage. That marked yet another saga for the Klebahns, who say they sent camp officials to the airport in Michigan five times before the luggage arrived.

The Klebahns asked for a refund of the $99 charge for the unaccompanied minor service – they had paid the camp $25 every time to go to the airport for the luggage.

The couple filed a formal complaint with the airline in mid-July and addressed a letter to the airline’s CEO. At the time, the couple could not get a response concerning their complaint.

The Klebahns called it their worst customer service experience, ever – spending an estimated 18 hours on the phone.

When local news in San Francisco took an interest in the Klebahn’s story in August, the airline responded. And on Aug. 13, company officials released a statement saying they had apologized to the family and are “reviewing the matter."

“What the Klebahns describe is not the service we aim to deliver to our customers. We are redepositing the miles used to purchase the ticket back into Mr. Klebahn’s account in addition to refunding the unaccompanied minor charge”



Notice the airline only took responsibility after the media got hold of the story.
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fosterman



Joined: 16 Nov 2011

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, that's just appalling!!!
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sad that the company can't step up and do something... without the threat of the press.
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Jeonmunka



Joined: 05 Oct 2009

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never, never fly United.
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luckylady



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Location: u.s. of occupied territories

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seriously tho, they KNEW there was a transfer involved in her flight - why on earth did they ever trust total strangers to take care of her? for what, a lousy $100 fee they think that's sufficient to put the life of their child in someone else's hands? an airline no less??

I've paid more for an extra suitcase. really.

not excusing the airline at all, just sayin' what do you expect these days? where was the reputation published that airlines anywhere in the U.S. can be trusted ??
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeonmunka wrote:
Never, never fly United.


I fly United very frequently. Never had a problem. Americans have a habit of pissing and moaning about their airlines/airports but I have never had a problem.
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alongway



Joined: 02 Jan 2012

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:
Jeonmunka wrote:
Never, never fly United.


I fly United very frequently. Never had a problem. Americans have a habit of pissing and moaning about their airlines/airports but I have never had a problem.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terrible. That'd piss me off.

Maybe I'm an outlier? I fly almost weekly, and have for several years now. I fly either AA or United. To the big airports (JKF, MIA, Chicago, Atlanta etc though never LAX which I'm told is the very worst). I have never ever had a problem. Once in Chicago I had a late flight that was cancelled b/c of weather. They put me up in a hotel and bought me dinner even though they'd didn't have to cause it was weather related. Last week in NYC flight was delayed 5 hours cause of weather and then a mechanical issue. That's it. No lost bags, no rude service, no serious delays. Smooth, predicable travel. Lots is wrong with US infrastructure, but air travel is darn good. All the major cities should have a rail link to the downtown core. That's a flaw.

Sure, it's not as good as East Asia, but those airlines and airports are either owned by the state (Singapore etc) or heavily subsidized in ways that American carriers aren't.
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luckylady



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Location: u.s. of occupied territories

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Titus wrote:

Sure, it's not as good as East Asia, but those airlines and airports are either owned by the state (Singapore etc) or heavily subsidized in ways that American carriers aren't.


hmm, what was that again?

Quote:
St. Cloud woos regional airlines with subsidies


Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
Updated: August 13, 2012 - 9:00 PM

The business community has also come up with more than $6 million in pledges to buy tickets.

Millions of dollars in business pledges and public subsidies are bait in the latest campaign to lure an airline to St. Cloud Regional Airport.

http://www.startribune.com/local/166060656.html


Quote:
House rejects bid to slash rural airline subsidies


WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has turned back an attempt by a conservative Republican lawmaker to slash taxpayer subsidies for air service to isolated smaller cities and towns that can cost hundreds of dollars a ticket.

http://www.news10.net/news/world/198652/5/House-rejects-bid-to-slash-rural-airline-subsidies



Quote:
House panel approves record budget for subsidies to airlines serving isolated airports

Tea party lawmakers from rural areas were among those fighting the hardest to preserve taxpayer subsidies for airline flights into and out of small towns last year after senior Republicans tried to eliminate the oft-criticized program. Now, the House Appropriations Committee is awarding the program an 11 percent budget hike.

Next year, the subsidies would reach a record $214 million under a bill the GOP-run committee approved Tuesday.

http://us.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=26048&content=74878056&pageNum=-1
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Titus



Joined: 19 May 2012

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I googled "best airlines in the world" and got this:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48192660/The_World_s_Best_International_Airlines_2012

#10 Malaysia Airlines - government owned
#9 Thai Airways - government owned
#8 Emirates - government owned
#7 Turkish Airlines - 49.12% government owned
#6 Etihad Airways - government owned
#5 ANA All Nippon Airways - publicly traded but Japanese, soooo
#4 Cathay Pacific Airways - publicly traded
#3 Singapore Airlines - owned by Temasek - effectively government owned
#2 Asiana Airlines - owned by Korean conglomerate, so take that as you will
#1 Qatar Airways - government owned.
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wishfullthinkng



Joined: 05 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, there's a reason why american airline companies never make it into anywhere close to the top 10 airlines in the world. they are simply awful.

also, parents that send off their 10 year old child alone on an airplane? what fools. instead of paying 100 to united to be incompetent on your behalf, how about paying a few extra hundred and sending a trusted friend or family member to chaperon her?

the stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. these parents sound like they need to attend summer camp for proper parenting to me.
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Cacille



Joined: 05 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't Fly American Airlines!
Don't Fly United!
Don't Fly Delta!
Don't Fly Southwest!

You know, I've heard Every Single one of these -mostly from this website. If we listen to all these "Don't Fly <Company>" cause of the bad customer service or food or policies or whatever the problem is...
Well, we may as well not fly. There's few airlines left besides those four major ones. Especially for the smaller airports like my home city. Sure, it's nice to know the horror stories for the entertainment value, but seriously, there is no point in saying "Don't fly <Company>" cause if we listen, we pretty much can't fly anything. Maybe we should accept the fact that customer service sucks in every company for one person here and there (which, automatically that person becomes Mr/Ms I'm Gonna Tell The World), taking out the idea that oh, 1000 customers, have had no problems.

Sorry, I'm ranting here. I'm just kinda sick of the whiny self-serving attitude that everyone must get the best customer service because they are the most important person in the world. Then again, I've worked in customer service for over 10 years...perhaps I'm just burnt out on whiny me-me-me customers.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wishfullthinkng wrote:
also, parents that send off their 10 year old child alone on an airplane? what fools. instead of paying 100 to united to be incompetent on your behalf, how about paying a few extra hundred and sending a trusted friend or family member to chaperon her?


When I was a kid, starting around age 6 or 7, I flew alone at least a couple times a year to visit my grandparents (no transfer needed though, always a direct flight). I wouldn't call my parents fools.

Of course that was a different time. Up until the Gulf War, you didn't need a ticket to go to the gate (so my parents could basically escort me to the plane and my grandparents could greet me at the gate at the other end). It also didn't cost 100 bucks (in fact it was free).

Quote:
#10 Malaysia Airlines - government owned
#9 Thai Airways - government owned
#8 Emirates - government owned
#7 Turkish Airlines - 49.12% government owned
#6 Etihad Airways - government owned
#5 ANA All Nippon Airways - publicly traded but Japanese, soooo
#4 Cathay Pacific Airways - publicly traded
#3 Singapore Airlines - owned by Temasek - effectively government owned
#2 Asiana Airlines - owned by Korean conglomerate, so take that as you will
#1 Qatar Airways - government owned.


Don't know about Thai, Turkish, or Etihad but the rest of of them are profitable as well. Singapore Air had never lost money until the Great Recession.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cacille wrote:
Don't Fly American Airlines!
Don't Fly United!
Don't Fly Delta!
Don't Fly Southwest!

You know, I've heard Every Single one of these -mostly from this website. If we listen to all these "Don't Fly <Company>" cause of the bad customer service or food or policies or whatever the problem is...
Well, we may as well not fly. There's few airlines left besides those four major ones. Especially for the smaller airports like my home city. Sure, it's nice to know the horror stories for the entertainment value, but seriously, there is no point in saying "Don't fly <Company>" cause if we listen, we pretty much can't fly anything. Maybe we should accept the fact that customer service sucks in every company for one person here and there (which, automatically that person becomes Mr/Ms I'm Gonna Tell The World), taking out the idea that oh, 1000 customers, have had no problems.

Sorry, I'm ranting here. I'm just kinda sick of the whiny self-serving attitude that everyone must get the best customer service because they are the most important person in the world. Then again, I've worked in customer service for over 10 years...perhaps I'm just burnt out on whiny me-me-me customers.


I agree with what you're saying, but I can't say I've EVER heard anyone say, "Dont fly Southwest!" Maybe they've said it's no longer low cost or complained about its boarding procedures, but that's about it. Their customer service is definitely the best and puts the rest to shame. I also think many US carriers have improved recently (except USAir, whose continued existence is one of the biggest mysteries to me)
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