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United Flight Kicks Off Passengers Who Paid Least for Tickets

July 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM | by | ()

We love Tuesdays. Why, you ask? Because the day brings many travel tips and quips as "Travel Tuesday" on Twitter, and we're going to share our favorite with you. Got an avid travel twitterer we should follow? Let us know.

What happens when a small United Airlines flight from Burlington to Washington DC oversells its cargo capacity and ends up with a weight problem? Well, when this exact thing happened today for @brucepoontip's flight, the gate agents announce that the passengers who paid the least for the flight will be removed.

How unfair! But even more—how embarrassing, to be punished for scoring a deal perhaps months in advance when someone who paid top dollar the day before gets to remain on the plane. Then you're stuck back in the terminal, without a guaranteed flight for another two days and no hotel allowance from the airline.

This is why Twitter sometimes becomes a priceless tool for customer service. Bruce, Founder of Gap Adventures, began tweeting the drama:

United Airlines Service. Just announced they have a weight problem and have to remove 20 ppl in order of how much you paid for your ticket!

...and continued to relate the ridiculous actions of the United crew:

So uncomfortable with United Airlines removing families and older couples who bought cheap tickets. Sad frankly.

I've now missed my connection in Washington but they said they can only guarantee me a flight out in two days! I can't stay here two days!

[Gate agent] said if we don't get two more [volunteers to get off the flight]... I am going to get a list of the last people that checked in! All passengers sitting nervously!

We managed to reach Bruce via Twitter during the drama to ask about the mood of the kicked-off passengers, and he responded:

It's funny, there is no anger really. People are embarrassed. [The gate agent] has announced that you will be thrown off based on how much u paid.

To see the entire series of tweets about this drama, check out @brucepoontip. We can happily report that United is now reviewing the mess, as their @UnitedAirlines customer service finally noticed and responded to the situation. It will be very interesting to see if anything comes of this. Nightly news?

Related Stories:
· @brucepoontip [Twitter]
· Twitter Travel [Jaunted]

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