Unacceptable Disrespect by United Airlines

Below is a letter I sent to United Airlines. I will never fly United again if I can help it. Their agents yelled at a disabled lady...

To Whom it May Concern:

Customer service offered by Shawn/Sean at IAD, gate A3/4 on 4/27 at approx 10pm was unacceptable. I have flown all over the world, and been on hundreds of airplanes, but this was by far the rudest encounter I have ever experienced. According to your web-site's customer service promise, "In the air and on the ground, online and on the telephone, our customers have the right to expect — to demand — respect, courtesy, fairness and honesty from the airline they have selected for travel." Shawn was disrespectful to a women his senior, a woman who PAID to fly with your company. He was NOT courteous nor was he fair. I was looking through the 12 points for customer commitment...are these just to save face or does your company really uphold these standards? If they are for real, then step number 7 needs to be shown to Shawn/Sean.


7. Readily, Capably and Respectfully Accommodate Travelers with Special Needs

United’s commitment:

We will provide our customers who have special needs, including individuals with disabilities and unaccompanied minors, with the level of attention, respect and care they deserve.

Below is the encounter btwn Shawn and the elderly lady who couldn't walk (he yelled at her).

A flight to Allentown was overbooked/overweight so they bumped 8 people. Shawn announced they would bump all those who paid the cheapest fair price. One of those people was an elderly lady who couldn't walk. She had two medical bracelets on her arm, one pink and the other yellow. One said "fall risk." She was told a wheelchair was coming to get her and take her to customer service where she could get on another flight the following morning. When no one showed up she asked a United agent about it when he walked by. He blew her off. She began to get visibly flustered. She got out an inhaler and used it twice. A few minutes later, another passenger reminded Shawn the lady needed a wheelchair, he said one was on it's way. At this point it had been almost 30 minutes, and still no wheelchair. The lady began to get more flustered and started to shake, muttering about how she needed to get home to her son. She took out a portable machine and wrapped it around her wrist. I believe it was a blood pressure machine, because she said she needed water to take her blood pressure medicine. Shawn then yelled across the room at her, saying he told her 30 minutes ago to go to customer service - there was still no wheelchair. She said again that she needed water to take her blood pressure medicine, and he yelled again to go to customer service - STILL no wheelchair. This lady could NOT WALK. How was she supposed to get to customer service? She was waiting for United to provide her the services she required, but instead she is humiliated in front of other passengers. So a few ladies, myself included, went to help her. I got her water. She was shaking so badly that she could barely get the pills and water in her mouth. She spilled it on herself, the chair and the floor because she was shaking so severely. She was slightly disoriented from her blood pressure getting so high and was also beginning to sweat. Shawn never once helped or treated this elderly woman like a human being.

I am APPALLED that your airline would allow this to happen. She had someone escorting her during her other flights, and then because she was bumped, she is left high and dry? This is unacceptable. To treat a helpless, handicapped woman, who cannot walk and obviously has medical problems is an atrocity. I have emailed, twittered and facebooked about this and I plan to continue to. I want everyone to know how United treats it's disabled passengers. It is unacceptable. Shawn needs to be punished or fired. If you claim you don't know who I am talking about, I took a photo of him with my phone, so there is no confusion. Here is a link to the photo: http://s618.photobucket.com/albums/tt266/emtravis/?action=view&current=UnitedShawn.jpg

For Shawn to humiliate this woman the way he did is unacceptable. I have only flown United a few times, and every single time I have been delayed going out of IAD. But the way your personnel treated a PAYING DISABLED passenger has sealed the deal for me. I will never fly United again. And I will NEVER suggest it to anyone. I have already told a number of my friends this story and they have agreed that they cannot fly an airline who treats people this way.

United needs to review the 12 points with their agents. I have never seen such disrespect by any other airline. A number of the passengers on my flight 8009 to Richmond said they plan to write and call as well. I plan to report this event on any other website I can. It is unacceptable. I would be glad to talk to someone.


Describe waterboarding to me. Other than it "simulates drowning," as the media puts it.

Waterboarding consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die.

In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates a gag reflex almost immediately. The technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, ultimately, death. http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/04/05/open-letter-attorney-general-alberto-gonzales

A World War II account:

Chase J. Nielsen, one of the U.S. airmen who flew in the Doolittle raid following the attack on Pearl Harbor, was subjected to waterboarding by his Japanese captors. At their trial for war crimes following the war, he testified "Well, I was put on my back on the floor with my arms and legs stretched out, one guard holding each limb. The towel was wrapped around my face and put across my face and water poured on. They poured water on this towel until I was almost unconscious from strangulation, then they would let up until I'd get my breath, then they'd start over again… I felt more or less like I was drowning, just gasping between life and death."

A more recent account:

In May 2008, journalist Christopher Hitchens had himself waterboarded in order to experience "as nearly as possible what real waterboarding might be like." Though sympathetic to those who believe that "when contrasted to actual torture, waterboarding is more like foreplay."

Hitchens ultimately concluded after being subjected to it twice that "if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture."

You can read Chris' full account here. Or if you are a more visual being, click here to watch the video of his waterboarding experience.

"The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means," said retired Adm. Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence.

"The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

For all those (Dick Chaney, Condoleezza Rice, former-President G. W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, etc.) who claim it's "not torture" and just an "interrogation technique," maybe you should have someone waterboard you.

Bottom line: IT'S TORTURE

Information from The Washington Post, The Columbia Journal for Transnational Law, Human Rights Watch, The New Yorker, ABC News, thinkprogress.org, Vanity Fair, CNN

Way to go Miss California!

I am intrigued by all the publicity Miss California (a.k.a. Carrie Prejean) is getting for her answer at the Miss USA pageant. She was asked by Perez Hilton (self described queen of media) if she thought every state should follow Vermont in their decision to legalize same-sex marriage. He ended with "Why or why not?"

Apparently he didn't really want her opinion. Carrie told him and the rest of the nation tuning in that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman.

"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite[-sex] marriage. And you know what? I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman -- no offense to anybody out there -- but that's how I was raised and ... I think that it should be between a man and a woman."

Regardless if you agree or not, there is no reason to bash her (Perez). Perez asked her a question, followed by "why or why not?" What did he expect? Her to answer the way HE wanted her to? Then it's no longer a question of "why or why not?" she believes in something...maybe he should have just told her what to say? But then it wouldn't be a question...

There is speculation that her answer (which she was asked for HER opinion) lost her the crown. She finished runner-up to Miss North Carolina, but she says she has no regrets about her answer.

Being from California where the high court legalized "gay marriage" last year only to have voters reverse that ruling by passing Proposition 8 adds to the controversy surrounding her comments.

"By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith," Carrie told Fox News. "I'm glad I stayed true to myself."

She told NBC's "Today" show, "It's not about being politically correct. For me, it was being biblically correct." She added, regarding her missed opportunity to win the crown, "It wasn't what God wanted for my life that night."

I commend Carrie for standing up for what she believes in. I think everyone should - regardless if it's "politically correct" or not. That's the beauty of our country, you are free to give your opinion. But what's not a beauty is when your answer goes against some sort of "status quo" and you are then mocked for your OPINION. Please.

Prejean is a student at San Diego Christian College in El Cajon just outside San Diego and a volunteer at Shadow Mountain Community Church's International Ministry Center, where she helps refugees learn English, the Christian Examiner reported. Shadow Mountain is where popular TV and radio minister David Jeremiah is pastor.

(some material taken from bpnews.net)

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