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Delores Espinosa Saves United Airlines November 19, 2009

Posted by bernardrosauer in Uncategorized.
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Let me set the stage.  I had a red eye out of San Francisco and then a connection in Chicago to my final destination.  My meetings ended early so I thought to get to the airport and standby for an earlier flight.  Good fortune came my way and I was able to grab a flight to Chicago 7 hours earlier than my scheduled flight.  Cool.

I get to Chicago and see there’s a flight out to Green Bay, which is near Appleton, WI.  Now, my ticket was for Appleton, but GB is only a half hour drive away and my ride had no problem with the extra half hour drive.  Unfortunately United Airlines wouldnt let me go on standby!  I stopped by two ticket counters and the UA information counter and was told that because it was a different airport and because my original flight was for the next morning/day, those would be two big rules they would be breaking and it would cost me $150 – to take a seat that had not been taken!  No standby allowed. Hmph. 

I called UA’s 1800# and was told the same thing but made the person on the phone defer to a manager…who behind the scenes said no.  I saw that coming.  The kind person  on the phone then told me that I should visit another UA counter because the decision was ‘an airport decision’. 

I went back to the gate and spoke with another person, Delores Espinosa.  The plane was boarding.  I explained everything, she checked my boarding pass, saw she had 4 seats unfilled, and put me on the plane.

On my flight I thought about creating a website where people can report great front-line employees who are supported by crummy systems.   Any one of the prior employees could have handled the problem but it was Delores, the busiest of them all, who was left to make the call.  Classic lead time process failure for all you ‘lean’ characters out there.    Anyway, thanks Delores!

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