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United Airlines

United Airlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know things are bad when people start using your name as a verb to describe bad customer service.

How bad is United Airlines … really?

I have one friend who refuses to fly United anymore … and another who has constant troubles with them.

Several conversations back and forth over time. And the constant recurring theme seems to be … United Airlines and incompetence … more and more frequently being called getting “Smiseked”.

Jeff Smisek … Chairman, President AND CEO of United Airlines.

Went to Princeton University. Went to Harvard Law School.

He was named Aviation Week’s Person of the Year for 2010.

Seems some feel the trouble is different with legacy United vs legacy Continental flights.

The main areas of trouble that I’ve run into is when leg United people tread on leg Conny turf… and visa versa.

Then there was the post from someone totally frustrated with it all.

More Smisek-y goodness with United — flight from PIT to ORD delayed close to two hours with the umpteenth mechanical this month. Got on to the latest connection to SFO only to find that we are short a pilot for the umpteenth time this month. C’mon, Jeff — time to get your gang on the ball and stop cutting things too close!

Nothing like calling him by his first name. Its almost as if he actually knew … oh wait … he does actually know him. They were classmates at Princeton.

The usual — poor United schedule management on a beautiful day for flying in the US — with the strong possibility of missing my onward connection …

Really makes me wonder why so many people fly the “friendly skies” anymore.

Smiseked again — yet another United flight with maintenance issues, after an overnight flight delayed by being one flight attendant short. At some point really soon I am going to have significant safety worries given United’s apparent inability to maintain its planes and operate its network…

I mean, it is good to be cautious … but when there are this many repeated problems over time … you’ve got to wonder.

Latest update — we are at scheduled departure time and they have just discovered that the flight is overbooked…

And one more Smisek event to be unhappy about.

It all sounds like a bad movie…..time for a private jet!

Yeah, great idea. I’ll just get that out of petty cash and get right on it. What about the rest of us?

OK, you’ll love this — the jet bridge is broken and cannot be retracted. I am not making this up…

And my mind strays to Linda’s trip back from Texas.

… that’s a LOT of trouble going on over there. Maybe time for another company and stay clear from United?