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An Open Letter (from the World’s Most Annoying Customer)

An Open Letter (from the World’s Most Annoying Customer)
Drew Troller

Dear United Airlines,

I am deeply disappointed by the service I received from you last Saturday. You may have lost a customer forever, because I cannot believe you’re able to still operate after what you did to me, the World’s Most Annoying Customer.

Where’s the VIP treatment?

First of all, I paid 250 American dollars to take your stupid flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, even though I feel like that should really only cost, like, 50 bucks. I mean, gas prices have gone down at the gas station near my apartment – why aren’t those fuel savings being passed along to the customer?

And you’d think that for the small fortune of $250, you guys would treat me a bit nicer. But you made me check in way before my flight, and then had me show up to the airport an hour before my flight, even though I had obviously already told you I was going.

When I finally got to the airport, I tried to make my very reasonably-sized bag (seen here) a carry-on, but the lady at the counter said I would have to check it. There went another $25 – already I was getting nickel-and-dimed, and I’d only been at the airport for 10 minutes.

Hardly the accommodations I’d expect for someone who paid a quarter of a thousand dollars to fly in style

Where’s the plane?

Then I had to wait in a line to drop off my bag, just to proceed and wait in another line for security. Can’t you guys tell TSA to just do background checks before we all show up and prove that I’m not a terrorist? Such a waste of time to make me take my shoes off – and I could tell the floors hadn’t been mopped in a few hours, so thanks a lot for getting my socks dusty.

The real insanity began when I got to my gate. Apparently, a snow storm meant that my inbound plane was late arriving, and my flight would be delayed. You guys are so incompetent; you’re going to blame the delay on a blizzard?! It’s Los Angeles – it’s like 75 degrees all the time. Don’t insult my intelligence.

How could there be a weather delay for the inbound plane? Look - it's so clear in Los Angeles!
How could there be a weather delay for the inbound plane? Look – it’s so clear in Los Angeles!

Then, the lady at the counter was completely unhelpful to me. When I demanded that I be given a complimentary hotel and first-class upgrade as compensation for the delay, she told me that it “wouldn’t be necessary, sir” and that United “can’t provide first-class upgrades free of charge on a fully booked flight.” Why are you paying this woman $13.71 an hour if not to cater to my every frustrated whim? The gentleman next to her at the counter even had the audacity to ask me to “please lower [my] voice” before I was done screaming at the woman. Unbelievable.

Once the nightmare of this 25-minute delay was final over, the gate agents started boarding customers by group number. I think it’s disgusting that United has no transparency regarding the metrics by which they decide what “group” I am. Really, United – you’re going to tell me that the kid in baggy sweatpants and a dirty t-shirt is more “Group 1” material than I am? And that I’d need to “step aside” until Group 3 is called? Like it’s MY fault I beat everyone else to the front of the line the second you started pre-boarding?

Then, almost an entire hour after ordering the pizza, it finally showed up – and it was lukewarm at best. Sorry, ignore that sentence. That’s left over from an angry rant I sent to Postmates, and I can’t figure out how to delete it.

Where’s my ME space?

Just when I thought the flight couldn’t get any worse, I got to my seat. There I discovered you’d stuck me between a heavyset gentleman and a guy who brought hot food onto the flight. I’m 6-foot-4 and I have an excellent sense of smell… how could you not anticipate that I’d need ample elbow room and clean air on this flight? Did I mention yet that I paid you 250 American dollars for this trip?

To top off the parade of mediocrity that was my United Airlines experience, the flight attendants really phoned it in for their safety demonstration. I’m talking zero quips about our destination’s sports teams. Zero celebrity impressions over the loud-speaker. Zero dad-jokes about how fetching the crew look in yellow flotation vests. Not even a flight attendant who was WAY too into buckling the seat belt and securing the air mask. You had the nerve to ask for my attention before a demonstration. In the future, please make SOME effort to reward that attention.

Your last chance…

If there was one redeeming beacon of hope in this flight, it was the in-flight entertainment. I took solace in the 3 hours of very old episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” that played on your monitors. Sheldon and the gang almost made up for all that turbulence your pilot took us through.

You may have lost my business forever. But if you care about keeping me as a United Airlines customer, the very least you could do is refund the cost of my trip, and offer 250,000 miles toward my frequent flyer account. Anything else is completely unacceptable.


That One D-Bag On Every Flight
aka The World’s Most Annoying Customer


This is a piece of fiction… lest you think I’m a complete monster. Thanks!


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