Many years ago, trying to get home from a business conference somewhere, I missed my United Airlines connecting flight in Denver because of inclement weather. (Snow in Denver – who’da guessed?) A nice United person helped me get re-booked. She also pointed to a nearby counter telling me I could go there and receive a voucher for some food because of the delay. I patiently waited in line. When my turn came, the United Airlines representative spoke to me as if I was a schoolboy disrupting class, telling me they had no control over the weather and were not required to give me anything. When I explained the person who re-booked my flight sent me over, she emphatically repeated they weren’t going to feed me and I should not have expected they would. That was my last flight on United Airlines; I have been able to avoid their friendly skies since that experience.
You may have seen United Airlines in the news recently when they dragged a passenger off a plane after he refused to give up his seat for an airline employee. (Read here why travel writer Joe Brancatelli consistently calls United the “Worst Airline Ever.”) Or the demise of a French Bulldog whose owners were ordered by a flight attendant to be put in an overhead bin. (But don’t get me started about animals on airplanes.)
The trade group Airlines for America and the Trump administration are now doing their best to roll back regulations that made air travel a little less unpleasant, such as:
- Prohibiting airlines keeping passengers on the plane sitting for hours on the tarmac without food, water or access to rest rooms
- Quoted fares must disclose additional fees and taxes
- A refund without penalty if a reservation is canceled within 24 hours
- et cetera
According to United, “Many of the regulations/initiatives adopted or issued at the end of the previous administration are extremely costly, will be unduly burdensome on the airline industry, and should be repealed or permanently terminated.”