A Letter of #UnitedFrustration to @United Airlines

Dear United Airlines

My name is Don Geronimo. I was told Thursday evening 2/4/2016 that my grandmother, of which I now only have one grandparent living, is dead. I booked UA881 immediately after.

I’ve never been able to pay respects to any of my grandparents from all sides of my family, but I was really counting on UA881 to fly me to her so that, for once in my life I could actually be there for my family to send off our loved ones. I live in Minneapolis, MN, so I got myself on the earliest Spirit flight to Chicago just so I could make UA881. It was the only flight I could afford at such short notice.

As you may know, UA881 was cancelled yesterday, after trying once to take off but a warning light came on, once more trying to take off with the same issue, a pull to the gate to check the equipment, another pull for a flight deck change, and then the eventual cancellation because the pilot has worked too long. The span of time this took was from boarding until about 4 PM Central Standard Time. We were compensated with hotel and food vouchers, but nothing would compensate the time and worry sustained having to drop everything to get to a wake and funeral, and ultimately not making it.

We’ve been rescheduled on UA2030 Saturday, 2/6/2015. Our flight was supposed to depart at 10. It is now 12:05 PM Central Standard Time as I write this and we’ve had baggage delays because TSA required to check our bags again from holding, and then, just before takeoff, we had to return to the gate because the wrong baggage was loaded. You’ve sent a customer service representative to talk with people who have requests. I don’t even know what to ask for, especially now that the last flight to Tokyo Narita from United has left ORD.

All your staff on the plane has performed well and amicably. But what compensation do I ask for? I don’t even know if there’s anything that can be done. I am more lost now than when I learned of my grandmother’s death. I just want to get where I need to be, to support family, to pay my respects with family–not to have to pay respects alone and later, as was the pattern in my life. This flight is eventually taking off again. And it will try again. I have no recourse but to hope I will get to my final destination. Until then, I just want someone from United Airlines to understand my frustrations and sadness and the #UnitedFrustrations of all the passengers of 2/5 UA881 and 2/6 UA2030.

Doing his best to keep kind and calm, yet hiding sadness and tears inside,

Don Geronimo, 2/5 UA881 34H, 2/6 UA2030 34H