Well, Chickens, we have an update to the United Airlines story....
Last week I posted that I had been having problems booking award travel with United Airlines, and was so frustrated that I made a little animated movie about it.
Frustrated I was, since I had been checking in with United every day since July 26 about these tickets. So frustrated that I sent a very long VERY snarky letter to Glenn Tilton, CEO of United Airlines. The text of that letter, wth some minor changes, is what became the dialogue of this movie. (If you are having trouble watching the movie on the blog, click here to watch on YouTube)
I sent a copy of the e-mail, which I addressed to The Underling that Reads Glenn Tilton's E-mail, to Charming Suitor who thought it was hilarious, and gave me the names of the guy in charge of Mileage awards and the guy in charge of Customer Relations. I forwarded the e-mail on to them. I got auto-replies that they are both "transitioning out of United", and listed different people to contact. I forwarded the e-mail to the people they recommended. Then I decided to e-mail everyone, every day.
After all, since I was having to look for tickets every day, why should I not keep them informed as to my progress?
For a week, I e-mailed every day. "Still no tickets." "Checked again, pas de billets." and then... "Here is a little movie I made about how there are never any tickets."
Oh yes, Chickens, I did forward my little film to them.
I posted it on Facebook, where several pals indicated both a preference for American Airlines for award travel, and said it must have been cathartic to make the movie.
I Tweeted about it, and several Tweeps said "U go grl."
Charming Suitor's Dad, Reverend Charming, praised me highly which made me blush.
Saturday morning, around 8:30 am, the phone rang out. CS grabbed the receiver (the phone is on his side of the bed) and in one fluid movement threw his arm over and chucked it under my chin.
"Hello?" I said groggily.
"Hello, is this Stacey Ballis?" A perky voice on the other end chirped.
Really? With the early Saturday wake-up solicitation, really? Am I not ON THE DO NOT CALL LIST????
"I'm sorry, did I wake you?"
"Yes." Well, why should I lie to make someone feel better about waking me?
"I'm sorry, this is Tanya from Glen Tilton's office at United Airlines, I can call back at a more convenient time."
Sweet Fancy Moses.
"No, no, don't call back! I'm up." To say that some adrenaline kicked in is an understatement.
"Wonderful. Well, I'm calling to say that Mr. Tilton did receive your e-mail, and that he does read his e-mail and he asked to me call you and see if I can help you get your award travel booked, and that he is very sorry for your frustration."
Squeaky wheel, meet grease.
Tanya was beyond helpful. She was honest about what she could and couldn't do, and set up our tickets in the best way possible. And while it does still annoy me the tiniest bit that the reason the award travel was so difficult is that the destination is popular, and therefore they can often sell the tickets for money..because, um, when we do your mileage reward programs we are essentially pre-paying for the tickets, and so it shouldn't matter if someone might use cash to buy them, we should get access to a rational percentage of them...since I cannot change the policy, at least I can now stop checking every day, and know that our vacation is secure and we didn't have to use double the miles to do it.
Saver Award Mileage Tickets: NOT FAIL
So, I have to give props to Mr. Glenn Tilton, CEO of United Airlines, who read a very snarky e-mail from a very frustrated consumer and sent a little fairy godmother to fix it.
As a result of his kindness, I will not post his e-mail address here.
After we finished laughing about the riduculousness of the award ticket adventure, Charming Suitor and I had a talk and have decided to take our relationship to the next level.
From now on, he is going to feel free to answer the phone at my house.
Game, Set, Match.
If you are in the greater Chicagoland Area, come to The Book Cellar on Lincoln this Friday night at 7pm to see me, Jen Lancaster, Wendy McClure and Claire Zulkey be all sorts of hilarious in our Fourth Annual Witty Women night. Readings, signings, and wine. We'd love to see you there!
Yours in Good Taste, with a rocking vacation to look forward to,