- Jan 5, 2006
- Total Time
Wolf Blitzer ran it on "The Situation Room" today, plus massive hits on YouTube...
I bet United wishes they played this a little differently now
Having been in the same situation, except that mine lived, UAL does not allow carry-on of musical instruments, at least that's what happened to me. Also, as a former musician (oh in a much younger and funner life) I can tell you that every single dollar counts when traveling. Coughing up insurance money time and again adds up. Which also begs the question of why should someone need to insure something that would be fine if the UAL employees did their job as they are supposed to?That being said, does anyone think it a good idea to entrust a $3500 guitar to checked baggage? Also, if the guitar was indeed that valuable, did the passenger have any kind of insurance on the guitar?
I can't buy into your cost of the ticket and the level of customer service one should expect argument. The airline offered the ticket at whatever price he may have paid--low or high! There is no logic to advance any argument that customer service should be any different, depending on what a passenger paid for a ticket. The airlines are selling a service--some pay more than others. The passenger does not set the price--at least not directly. Therefore, all passengers should get the same level of service--unless he paid for a First Class ticket, which hardly ever happens anymore.Wow, that band was awesome. Good tone, good harmonies, good lyrics, I dig it. I need to look into them; I think I need their CD.
However, in a rare moment of lucidity, there are a couple of additional things to consider. I don't habitually defend the company. That being said, does anyone think it a good idea to entrust a $3500 guitar to checked baggage? Also, if the guitar was indeed that valuable, did the passenger have any kind of insurance on the guitar? I wouldn't put a laptop computer in the hands of rampers, much less a $3500 guitar.
You bring up a couple of good points. Usually, liability is limited to a certain dollar amount. However, to the point of the question you pose, most passengers don't have the same insight into the reality of the baggage handling issues that you would. A Taylor runs in that price range.
I don't doubt for a second that he received a terrible customer service experience from United. Given the right circumstances, I think any airline nowadays could treat their customer equally as terrible. That's no excuse, but rather a sad commentary on what the airlines have become.
Finally, as awful as airlines have become in their customer service, the customer, in the third person plural, deserves some of the blame for this situation. If the primary reason a ticket is purchased is the low price of the ticket, which it frankly is the vast majority of the time, then concerns about customer service lose quite a bit of validity. If the quality of his service was truly the most important thing to him, there are a number of fractional providers, or even local part 135 operations that could have done the job.