Compensation Clinic: Rude Flight Attendant On United


This week the Compensation Clinic case comes from a United flight where the flight attendant had been rude.

Compensation Clinic Rude Flight Attendant On United Airlines

Remember that you can always email meTweet me or send a message via Facebook about the compensation issues that you have had with travel providers.

LoyaltyLobby reader’s feedback to United after a flight:

Message: I was very disappointed with the level of service in Business class from one of your flight attendants – named Samantha.

She never ever smiled, never ever used the words please or thank you and was rude all the time. How is it possible that she works in business class where your best customers deserve way better treatment. She wasn’t willing to serve the ice cream a bit later- she said “I’m serving it now, you can’t have it later. It will melt” Furthermore when I asked for hot tea and commented I received cold tea the previous time, she said that she didn’t brew it, so it wasn’t her fault.

Last but not least a fellow flight guest and myself who were talking in the isle were told to stand somewhere else. The way we were told (and not asked) was very rude. We weren’t bothering anyone – it was about 2 hours before landing.

Why would United hire someone that doesn’t know how to smile, how to talk politely, and put her in business class to deal with your best customers? Clearly Alma doesn’t like her job.

Reply from United:

Thank you for contacting United Airlines Customer Care.  We apologize for the negative impression you received from the flight attendant serving Business class on Flight 71.

The customer’s interactions with our inflight crew should be professional and pleasant, and we appreciate your taking the time to share with us your travel experience on February 7, 2015.  Customer
feedback is very important to us, as it helps us shape, evaluate, and improve the service we offer.  We wanted to let you know that we have included your comments in a report to our Inflight Services management for their training purposes and internal review with the employee involved.  United is focused on delivering great customer service, and we do hope you will notice the difference in the future.

Thank you for your loyalty as a Premier 1K MileagePlus member, Mr. LoyaltyLobby reader. We will make every effort to leave you with a better impression

Reader’s reply to United:

I appreciate your reply. I am sorry that my latest review was a negative one. There are many other positives that I didn’t mention such as quality and quantity of food and the other friendly flight attendants.

Having said that: I know that if a passenger is not treated the way he / she should, you could compensate him/her with some complementary award miles. This way you show you care about your best customers.

Follow up from United:

Thank you for your follow-up email.  While United does not compensate customers for their dissatisfaction with United’s service, we do appreciate your taking the time to let us know about the manner in which the flight attendant addressed your inquiries during Flight 71.

The Customer Care Department is responsible for capturing customers’ feedback/suggestions and then sending that information to the appropriate departments or airline partners.  It is important for our
employees to understand all aspects of the customer’s experience from the customer’s point of view, and we are grateful for your letting us know what our employees need to consider to ensure that our customers receive quality service.  We would like to reassure you that your information has been directed to our Inflight Services team for their training purposes.  By reviewing the concerns you detailed in your email with the management and employee involved, United is taking action to
improve the quality of our service.

Reader’s response:

If you say that it’s important for your customers to leave feedback, then how come you don’t compensate us for such negative experiences? Especially while it was in business class – which should be impeccable. You could learn from your european colleagues such as Lufthansa and
Swiss. Similar complaints from their elite fliers automatically entitles the frequent flier to either miles or other things to compensate. E.g. one time they didn’t have the meal type I requested in first class. I
gave them feedback about it and they sent me 2 bottles of wine + 15000 bonus miles.

Another time I flew business on Swiss and I had a rude flight attendant. After they found out I was rewarded 5000 miles.

You’re policy of not compensating is incredibly strange especially for a 1k passenger such as myself.

I don’t feel you appreciate the fact that I spend a lot of money only on your airlines. I’m also an elite flier on Miles & More (senator until 2017) but I left them for United…

And the response from United:

Thank you for your recent email.  We are sensitive to your concerns, and while United does not compensate passengers because of an employee’s conduct or behavior, we do report your information to the appropriate departments in an effort to ensure that we are delivering a flyer-friendly customer experience.

Mr. LoyaltyLobby teader , United strives to remain competitive, and we are focused on becoming the world’s leading airline.  As an expression of our appreciation for your business, we would like to credit your MileagePlus account with 5,000 MileagePlus miles which are valid for future award
travel.  Please allow at least 5-7 business days for these miles to appear in your MileagePlus account.  In the meantime, your patience is appreciated.

We do understand the value of your decision to fly with us, and we thank you for your loyalty to United, Mr. LoyaltyLobby reader.  We will make every effort to leave you with a better impression.


United Airlines used to compensate its frequent fliers well in case of issued such as this. This all changed when the Continental took over, however.

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