You may have missed it, but Continental Airlines and United Airlines officially tied the knot on Oct. 1. And guess what? You might actually like the new United Airlines.
Chris Romm thinks he will. He wrote to tell me about an experience he’d had with United’s customer service department that may be an indicator of things to come.
Last May, I sent an email to the Helen Chellin, the manager of customer service at United. I shared with her a childhood experience flying to Hawaii on United.
In that email I asked for assistance in planning for the best seats in economy to make the trip as enjoyable as possible or my wife and granddaughter.
I was immediately called and advised that we all had seats together and that all legs had been upgraded to Economy Plus “on the house” for the three of us. To say I was wowed is an understatement.
Makes two of us.
Last week, when he called to confirm his seats he got through to a call center “in India someplace.”
For the life of me I could not understand the accent of that part of India. All I wanted was help in getting three seats together if possible on one of the legs I am flying next week. I explained [that] I like everyone — nothing to do with the fact they were Indian, I could care less where someone is from, we all are on the same planet after all.
So he sent another email to Chellin. Romm said he didn’t mean to complain.
“I just could not understand the people I was speaking with,” he says.
Within five minutes my phone rang. Someone in her office called and the seating issued resolved, Oh yes, the seats were “upgraded” to Economy Plus.
They also told me they were getting a new CEO and that they understood the difficulties of calling India for customer service and one of the things they were looking hard at was bringing customer service back into the country.
I looked at the service records of both United and Continental a few weeks ago, and concluded that the combined airline will be just OK in the customer service department. Maybe I should revise that.
What do you think? A quick poll of more than 200 readers found you’re less impressed.