Monday, June 18, 2007

An open letter to Midwest Airlines

UPDATED I got to my hotel at 10pm.

I am currently sitting at the Milwaukee airport in Terminal D - Gate 49 it is currently 2:16pm. My day started on a Midwest flight from Kansas City at 5:50am. My business partner did not make this flight because they told her they "downsized" the plane in Milwaukee, leaving her visibly upset in Kansas City I thought I'd try to make it to Tampa and keep our business meetings. I arrived at this airport from Kansas City at 7:30am with 20 minutes to make a connecting flight(YX805) to Tampa. I arrive at the gate to be told there is a delay. I get to the gate and find 3 lines of about 30 people each. I get to the front of one of the lines and the Midwest representative tells me to go to the middle line, she will be handling the Tampa questions. After 2.5 hours of waiting in this line I arrive at the front to be told that I could take the "replacement" flight at 3:30 or take a flight to Dallas that gets me into Tampa at 12:05am Tuesday. I ask the Midwest representative, Leng, what he would do. He says, "I would go to Dallas, you will receive a $10 meal voucher and a complimentary roundtrip ticket." I ask what form of compensation I'll receive for taking my original flight 805 that is 8 hours delayed. I am told that Leng's supervisor has said, "at this time there is no compensation." So I ask for the name of the supervisor and his number so I can talk to him directly, because he hasn't been to the desk during any of this delay. I am told his name, Michael, but not his number, I then leave my business card with Leng to have Michael contact me. I forgot to mention that during my wait in line that there was not one announcement or update, every piece of information I received was heresy from someone farther up in line. After I leave the desk I call Midwest customer relations to tell them what has happened, I tell them I'd like them to contact a local supervisor in Milwaukee and she is amazed that I haven't been offered any form of compensation. We hang up and I return to the gate to ask to speak to a supervisor. Michael shows up thirty minutes later and prepares a "meal" cart. Soda, water for 6 people, potato chips, and various other snack food. No announcement of this "meal" cart was made and Michael returned to the cart ten minutes later with ice. I then tell him that the lady I spoke with on the phone had said we should be offered meal tickets, he then tells another MW employee, Mitch, that he should take care of this. Again, this is done with no announcement for the other 40-50 people waiting around. I receive my $10 meal voucher and ask about a flight re-imbursement. Michael says that we will receive a voucher for one round-trip flight when we board the plane at 3:30pm. Fast forward to 2:45 as I am sitting here typing next to a lady and her 7 month old child who have been here just as long as I have. I've checked now see that our flight has been delayed until 5:15, this is news to me because there has been no announcement or update.
So I plan on sending this bit of information to every single person I know, the only person that has treated me like a human being was Stephanie in customer relations. I have missed valuable meetings today that I do not have time to make up and have been offered a meal voucher and a flight. This is the ultimate low in service, something I hold very high.

I am flying to Boston in 2 weeks with family for a week of vacation and do not know what to expect. I am appalled how this situation has been handled and will sit waiting patiently until 5:15pm when I "might" take off.

Lucas Schnoebelen

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