What would you do?

AJ, Maggie and I just returned from a week long vacation on Jersey shore.    I was ready to write a fun and exciting blog about our adventures.  Instead, I have to vent.

You can choose which version you would like to read, the short version or the long version.

Short Version:

We flew Continental Airlines back from Newark, NJ.  There was a lady sitting in the row next to me, during the flight she informed the flight attendant that there was a ton of heat  coming from the side of the plane.  The flight attendant checked it out and didn’t know why there was so much heat.  The flight attendant informed the Captain, he said everything was fine.  Then the captain decided to talk over the loud speaker and tell everyone that there wasn’t a problem and anyone who thought there was or wanted to spread rumors, was an idiot!  WTF!  An idiot!

Now I would like to complain to Continental but how do I even begin?  Or do I complain to United because they just bought Continental. Any ideas?

Long Version:

On our flight back to LA there was a nice family sitting in the row next to ours.  We chatted for a few moments when we were waiting on the runway to take off.  There little boy just turned 3 and they were on their way to visit friends in California.  AJ and I were having to entertain Maggie in order to postpone her bottle feeding until take off.   Everything was going great.  We finally take off after a 30 minute delay.  Maggie fell asleep on my lap and the nice family next to us began to entertain their son.

I didn’t feel like paying $8 for the Direct TV, so I opted to read my Kindle.  After about 30 minutes the lady next to us called the flight attendant over.  I wasn’t really paying attention, so I didn’t hear their first interaction…and they were also speaking softly.  A few minutes later the flight attendant came back and asked the family to stand and she climbed into their row.  Still not drawing any attention to themselves, the situation could have been anything…broken TV, window shade stuck, seat recliner broken.  After the flight attendant climbed back out of the row I heard her say she had know idea where the heat was coming from and that she would ask the Captain.  Now I started listening.  The family climbed back into their seat and the lady told me that there was a lot of heat on her feet and she just wanted to know why.  If it wasn’t supposed to be hot, then she wanted the flight attendants to know.  Honestly, I agree with her, if I was sitting in a window seat and heat was eminating from the side of the plane, I’d tell the flight attendant as well.  Isn’t this what the airlines want?  If something seems fishy, as passengers should we calmly tell the flight attendant and let them make the appropriate decisions?

Well this is where it gets weird.  The flight attendant returns and tells the family that the Captain says the heat is normal and there isn’t anything they can do about it.  They can move to other seats but the only thing available is middle seats.  So the option is to split up her family and put a 3 year old in a middle seat with strangers?  The lady tries to come up with another alternative with the flight attendant, and the other alternative was to turn the plane around.  What?  Now this poor lady who was trying to help and also at the same time needed help was being put on the spot and told her other option is to turn the plane around.  She told the flight attendant not to worry about it.  After another 15 minutes her husband was sweating, her son’s face was flushed and sweaty and she was flushed.  Her husband had switched seats with her and said he would sit where the heat was, so that they wouldn’t be causing trouble.  The flight attendant returns and finally asks two girls who were cold to change seats with the family.  This was done quickly and most people hadn’t noticed anything that had happened in the past 30 minutes.

After everyone was comfortable again, the Captain comes over the speaker and decides to discuss the issue with the entire plane.  Again, very few people even knew this was happening.  He proceeds to explain that someone was complaining about the heater on the floor board and that no one should be alarmed because this is normal.  He then states that he knows that person is trying to spread rumors that the plane isn’t safe and that person is an idiot!   WTF!  He really said this.  The captain of the plane rudely just called this lady an idiot over the speaker system.  Everyone gasped!  I’m not kidding the entire plane gasped at his remark.  The lady that had been sitting next to me looked horrified, she hadn’t been spreading rumors, she tried to take care of the situation calmly and without anyone’s knowledge.  What if it had been an actual plane malfunction?  Would the Captain had called her an idiot then?  Not to mention the flight attendant was concerned about the heat because it was really hot.  She didn’t even know why it was that hot.  Several flight attendants checked out the heat and all commented that it was unusually hot.  Again, I know this because I was in the row next to her.  The other rows had no idea what they were saying.

Well, I’m not impressed with Continental/United Airlines.  I’m not impressed with the Captain.  Its scary when the person that is flying the plane, the person in control of your life at that moment, is angry and clearly unstable.  I’m sure that lady won’t get an apology even though she deserves one.  So I’d like to say thank you to her for being so subtle and not trying to alarm anyone.   I don’t know what the Captain’s reasons were for being so rude.

Now in your opinion, how would you complain to Continental?  Or would you even bother?



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