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Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

United Airlines Fails in Customer Service……

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 10, 2012


A United Airlines 737 At The Gate

United Airlines new 737 at Gate

I flew on United Airlines on June 8, 2012 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and then on to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Needless to say it was the trip that would make anyone scream!!! The letter below is to the CEO of United Airlines Jeff Smisek. I have mailed this letter to him and I will let you know what his response is.

Enjoy, as you just can’t make up a story like this one……

June 8, 2012

Mr. Jeff Smisek
CEO United Airlines, Inc.
77 West Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601

Dear Mr. Smisek,

I am a very frustrated customer. I am currently sitting in the Los Angeles airport waiting for the next flight to Chicago because I missed my connection due to no fault of my own. I have started this letter in Los Angeles at LAX airport and will finish it at home in Chicago.

Here is my story. I was booked on United 968 from Las Vegas to Chicago at 11:35PM. My reservation number is MY7XMZ. I was in Las Vegas on business and I finished very early, so I decided to catch an earlier flight home so I could sleep in my own bed instead of sleeping on the plane. So I used the United app on my iPhone and I paid $75 to change my current later flight 968 to flight 197 at 4:10PM to LAX connecting to flight 704 at 6:01PM in LA to Chicago. This would get me home just before midnight and I could have a good nights sleep in my own bed.

This is where the nightmare begins. I arrive at the Las Vegas Airport at 2PM. This is plenty of time to get through security and get to the gate area. I arrived at the gate area at about 2:25PM and I sat down in the gate area to wait for the flight. At 3:30PM I noticed that the aircraft had not arrived, so I started to become concerned. The aircraft arrived about 10 minutes later and we began to board at 4PM. I walked up the gate agent and said to her, “I have a VERY tight connection, do you think I should get on the Plane?” She looked up the connecting flight and told me, Oh, you will make it. I asked if my connecting flight was in the same terminal as my arriving flight from Las Vegas. She said, “Yes it is, don’t worry you will make it!” So I proceeded to board.

I entered the aircraft and I told the flight attendant that I had a VERY, VERY TIGHT CONNECTION, and asked if she could help me out getting off the plane when we landed? She said to me, and I quote “Oh it doesn’t work that way, when we land everybody stands up in the Aisle.” That was not what I expected to hear, in fact I was taken back by her statement. What happened to a little customer service? All I wanted was to be able to be the first one off the plane so I could maybe have a chance, slim as it was, of making my connection. I was taken back by the flight attendant, I said to here “OK” and I proceeded to  find my seat in the rear of the aircraft.  We sat at the gate. And sat, and sat and when it got to be 4:35PM and we were still at the gate I pushed the call button. A flight attendant came to my row and asked what the problem was. I told her that I had a very tight connection and now I know I will miss my flight. I asked if I could get off the plane and have an agent rebook me on another flight out of Las Vegas. The look I received from this flight attendant was that of “How dare you ask to get off the plane.” What the flight attendant proceeded to do was scold me for getting on the plane in the first place and that if I wanted to get off the plane that I would inconvenience this full airplane of people as they would have to match every bag to every passenger. Now I did not have any checked luggage. I had my small carry-on and my computer. So I was about to say forget it to the attendant when she says to me, I will just have to talk to the Captain  and she walked to the front of the aircraft.

It is now 4:40PM and we start to push back. The flight attend comes back to me after we have pushed back and stopped and announces to me. “The Captain has stopped the plane for you.” I looked at her and I said, “FORGET IT! I AM NOT MAKING THIS PLANE GO BACK TO THE GATE.” I felt two feet tall after she scolded me. She went back up the front of the plane and we proceeded to taxi to the runway. The passengers around me consoled me and said, that was not very nice of that fight attendant to do that to you.

We were in the air at about 5:05PM. The captain came over the speaker system and said our flight time was about 45 minutes. So I looked at my watch and figured that if I could get off the flight and run I could make the flight with about 2 minutes to spare. We landed and taxied to the gate area and stopped short of the gate waiting for an aircraft to clear the taxi way. So now I am really concerned. We get to the gate area and I can see that my connecting flight is still at the gate and they were loading the last of the bags. I say to myself, well that flight is not in the same terminal, it was in the next terminal and I don’t know if I could make a mad dash for the plane once I got off. Well, we stopped at the gate and everyone popped up and left me in the rear of the aircraft. Did the flight attendant say “We have a passenger that needs to make a tight connection, please let him out first.” NO, I stood in the Aisle for 14 minutes as everyone took their time to get off the plane. When I did eventually get off the plane, I looked out the terminal window across to the other terminal and saw the jetway was pulled away from the plane. I asked the gate agent to call over to Gate 83. She did and told me the plane is ready to push back. I was furious! I just paid $75 to miss my plane. And no one at United seemed to give a dam. The gate agent said, “Walk over to the customer service desk and get rebooked.” No, “I am really sorry you missed your connection.” Just go get your flight rebooked across the hallway.

This is the worst customer service I have seen in a long time. And I watched you on the in flight TV screen saying “I wish I could greet each and everyone of you and personally shake your hand and thank you for flying United.” Well your company failed me big time. Here is what I would have done if I worked for United. I would have never let me board the plane in the first place and I would have rebooked me on another flight from Las Vegas or let me off the plane first and have one of the golf carts at LAX waiting for me to take me over to gate 83 and call over to flight 704 and tell them I was on the way. I guess what really upset me was that no one cared, no one gave a dam. The only one that had any sympathy for me was the really nice agent at the customer service desk that rebooked my flight. She was the only one that cared, but after what I went through, it was little consolation.

I was rebooked on United Flight 1451 at 7:30PM. I returned to Gate 70 to wait for my new flight to Chicago. I boarded Flight 1451 at 705PM. I was thinking of telling the flight attendant on this new flight when I boarded, “Can You please be nice to me because the last crew didn’t treat me very well.” Well, that went out the window when I saw the flight attendant crew on this Chicago flight was the exact same crew that was on the Las Vegas – LA flight that treated me like dirt. I have to tell you that when I saw the same crew again, the anxiety I experienced on my first flight returned. So I decided to just go to my seat and avoid all contact with the flight attendants during this flight.

Some people want to just complain and not tell you what they want you to do. Well, that’s not me. Here is what I want you to do. I want my $75 refunded to me by way of a credit to my credit card for $75. I had not flown United in a while because I have been flying Southwest. Why do I fly Southwest? Because they know how to treat their customers and they really do give a dam about all of there customers and the “Get It!” I decided to try United again and thought that the merger with Continental would change the airline for the better as I have always liked flying Continental. Boy was I wrong! You have a long road to travel before your service is back to just good. If you want to know what knock you socks off customer service is, look at Zappos. They also have it all right. They know how to treat their customers.

I hope to hear from you soon. And I really hope that you, Mr. Smisek will read and respond to this letter. I hope that you do, it would prove to me that you really meant what you said in your pre-flight announcement. And you really care about everyone of your passengers.

In closing, you have a lot of work to do to bring your airline back. Just remember, ”It’s all about the CUSTOMER!” If you give your customers great customer service then even when things go wrong, your customer will tell you that you went that extra mile for them to make it right! And they will be your customers for life. Let’s see if you can make that happen. For your sake, I hope you can.

 

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Viva Elvis At The Aria Hotel Las Vegas – A Review

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 10, 2011


Viva Elvis show at Aria Hotel

Viva Elvis show at Aria Hotel

I had the opportunity to see the Viva Elvis Circ Du Sole show at the Aira Hotel at City Center in Las Vegas during my visit to Las VI had the opportunity to see the Viva Elvis Circ Du Sole show at the Aira Hotel at City Center in Las Vegas during my visit to Las Vegas on May 17, 2011. I had not heard much about the show, but I enjoy the music of Elvis and thought it would be a worth while investment of time and money.

I purchased my tickets from Tix4Tonight, which is a discount ticket office that has locations along the strip. They sell the unsold tickets for shows in Las Vegas for up to 50% off box office prices. I have been using Tix4Tonight for a number of years now and always have had a very good experience with them.  As in the past, I received a very good deal.

The Viva Elvis Theater is located on the upper level of the Casino at the Aria Hotel, a large but comfortable room with very good sight lines throughout. The show itself follows Elvis from the beginning of his singing career to his last days in Las Vegas. It is narrated by “The Colonel” who makes his entrance at a desk that floats in from stage left about 25 feet in the air.  Some entrance!

The show is fast moving with non-stop action, 90 minutes with no intermission. A large video screen is used very effectively throughout the entire show, showing historical clips of Elvis during the early days such as his induction into the military. The Jail House Rock number opens with a full 3 story cell block on stage, where the cast swings and slides between levels. A very visually exciting scene.  The show ends with an elaborate Old Style Vegas show girl set. Lots of Glitz, Lights and Special Effects.

The next time you are in Las Vegas, spend an evening with Elvis at Aria. You will be glad you did!

Posted in Ace Gold Line, bus, Credit Cards, deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, duce, economy, first class, food, Hotels, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, luggage, pillows, restaurant, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Delta Now Running Chicago New York Shuttle

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 11, 2010


Delta Regional Jet

Delta Regional Jet on Runway

Delta Airlines launched new shuttle service from Chicago O’Hare to New York’s LaGuardia airport on June 14. The shuttle service offers 11 daily roundtrips linking Chicago and New York City. The flights depart LaGuardia on the hour between 7AM and 8PM. The Chicago flights depart at 5 minutes after the hour. The new service is operated by Delta’s regional partner Shuttle America using regional jet aircraft.

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SDX Express beats the Deuce Bus on The Las Vegas Strip!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 3, 2010


Ace Gold Bus

SDX Express Bus On Las Vegas Blvd

The SDX Express is the latest in public transportation in the City of Las Vegas. This Express bus, that really looks and acts more like a train is a great addition to the Vegas scene.

So what is the SDX Express anyway? Well, the SDX Express is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route that provides convenient, limited stops and frequent service on Las Vegas Boulevard in the Resort Corridor between the South Strip Transfer Terminal (SSTT) to the South and the Clark County Government Center/Las Vegas Premium Outlets/Symphony Park area to the North.

So this new term BRT or Bus Rapid Transit, what is it? Well Bus Rapid Transit combines the quality of rail transit with the flexibility of a regular bus service. BRT provides enhanced rapid transit service by using bus only traffic lanes, limited stops, off-board fare collection and level boarding stations. That means that you cannot pay your fare on the bus. You must purchase your ticket at the stop/station. These stations have automated  fare vending machines. This makes boarding faster as people can board without having to pay a fare at the entrance of the bus. This is the way transit trains work. You can board more passengers in a shorter amount of time.

This new service is a great way to get up and down the Las Vegas Strip quickly. But remember, this is a limited stop service. So you have to plan your route in advance so you know where you can get on and get off.

I tried the SDX Express service this past April and I was really impressed. The boarding moved much faster then the Deuce Bus due to the fact that you just get on and hold up your fare card to the “Conductor” at the door. That’s right, there is a conductor on this bus, just like on a train. The motorman is in an enclosed cabin and this person drives the ACE.

The prices are the same as the Deuce Bus, $6 for 2 hours pass, $8 for a 24 hour pass, or $20 for a 3 day pass. And you can use your fare card on the Deuce Bus or the SDX Express. So the next time you are in Las Vegas, give the SDX Express a try!

Below is the route map of the SDX Express.

sdx

 

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CSI The Experience Lands at MGM in Las Vegas

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 22, 2009


MGM Hotel in Las Vegas

MGM Hotel in Las Vegas

“CSI: The Experience” which has been touring the country has found a permanent home at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. This new attraction will give visitors the chance to be part of the CSI phenomenon. Guest will be able to survey their own crime scene, analyze evidence and crack the case. The experience starts at one of three crime scenes. After exiting the crime scene, the guests will head to the crime lab with their list of evidence and begin to piece together the mystery.

This is the first permanent exhibit for CSI, which has been touring the country for the past 2 years.

Rather than a “look-and-see” exhibit, this one lets visitors control the action. The interactive nature of the program and the technology are what sets “CSI: The Experience” apart from other museum exhibits

“CSI: The Experience” will be open to its first visitors starting at 10 a.m. Sunday September 13. The exhibit will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with tickets priced at $30.

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Tix4Tonight in Las Vegas – Save Big Bucks!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 12, 2009


 

The Las Vegas Strip looking South from Flamingo Blvd

The Las Vegas Strip looking South from Flamingo Blvd

I love to go to the shows in Las Vegas. Over the past 5 years I have seen some wonderful entertainment. From Elton John & Bette Midler at Caesar’s to Penn & Teller at the Rio, it has been some of the best shows I have ever seen.

 

Tickets to some shows can put you back a few hundred dollars. I am the kind of person that likes to find a way to save money on shows. When I am in New York, I like to go to the Time Sq “Hot Tix” booth and get last minute half price Broadway tickets. Well, they have a ticket service for last minute show tickets in Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip. It’s called “Tix4Tonight” and you can get tickets for loads of shows in Las Vegas for the current evening at up to 50% off the box office price. They also offer up to 50% off a number of Las Vegas Buffets and Restaurants for a $3 charge for the restaurants and $2 for the buffet’s. It is a great way to do dinner and a show for a great price.

 

Tix4Tonight Logo

Tix4Tonight Logo

Here is how it works. You show up at the Tix4Tonight in the morning. Some days the line forms early. They post the current days shows they have tickets for at 9:30AM on 3 TV screens. These list the Show, Hotel, Time of Show and Price. Pick your show and pay for your tickets. It’s that easy. Be advised that there is a $5 service charge added to all the posted prices. Once you pay for the tickets, you will receive a voucher that you have to exchange at the box office of the show you are going to see. I suggest you go to the show box office as soon as you can, but you can exchange the voucher up to 1 hour prior the show time.

 

Now here is the really nifty part. Tix4Tonight wants you to come back. So if you bring your ticket stub and receipt from the previous days show, you get to use the Tix4Tonight VIP line, so you do not have to wait as long to purchase your tickets and you get a $2 discount on your ticket purchase. Such A DEAL! I loved it. I purchased tickets for Howie Mandel  at the MGM for half price and got GREAT SEATS! I also purchased tickets for George Wallace at the Flamingo, Steve Wyrick at Planet Hollywood and The Crazy Horse Review at the MGM all for half price. And they were all great shows and great seats. I figured I saved close to $200 off the retail price.

 

Ticket booth at Fashion Sq Mall

Ticket booth at Fashion Sq Mall

So you are now asking, where are these Tix4Tonight ticket booths. Glad you asked that question. Here are the 6 locations. 1. Fashion Show Mall, strip entrance in front of Neiman Marcus, 2. North Strip Just South of The Riviera Hotel, 3. Showcase Mall, South Strip at the base of the Giant Coke Bottle, 4. Bills Casino on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo next to the Flamingo Hotel. 5. Hawaiian Marketplace, south strip across the street from the new City Center development. 6. Downtown at the 4 Queens Hotel at Fremont St. Experience.

 

Just remember that not all shows are available every night and midweek is better then weekends. But it is a great way to see some of the best shows in town for up to 50% off. I tried it and I just loved it. The people that work at the booths were great and very helpful. So the next time you are in Las Vegas, try Tix4Tonight you won’t regret it! Remember, you can take the Deuce Bus to any of the Tix4Tonight locations.

Posted in deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, economy, food, free, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, lunch, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Deuce Bus Las Vegas – Update

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 11, 2009


 

Alan on The Deuce Bus

Alan on The Deuce Bus

I was in Las Vegas from May 3 thru May 8 and I want to bring you up to date on the changes to the Deuce Bus. 

 

As you may or may not know, the Deuce Bus is the public transportation bus that travels up the Las Vegas strip from the south end to Downtown Las Vegas on the North. The buses are Double Decker and run 24/7. I personally love to ride the Deuce Bus when I am in Las Vegas. The buses are new, clean and very comfortable. The drivers are very friendly and helpful. 

Now for the changes. The Deuce Bus has raised their fares. The one way ride ticket is now $3 (up from $2) while the 24 hours unlimited ride pass is now $7 (up from $5). Since they raised the fares, they have instituted a 3 day pass for $15. This pass is only available from the ticket vending machines. These machines are available at both the north downtown terminal and the south end terminal, plus at the MGM stop northbound. There are also 2 other machines along the route, but I cannot remember where exactly they are.

 

The Deuce Bus at the MGM stop

The Deuce Bus at the MGM stop

If you have an iPhone, use the GPS maps and you can route your trip on the Deuce Bus and get departure and arrival times. It really helped me get between the Monte Carlo Hotel and the Rio Hotel.

 

I have included some new photos of the Deuce Bus. Next time you are in Vegas, take the Deuce Bus and relax. Oh, and try to get the front seats on the second floor. It is the greatest way to see the Strip!

Also, if you are looking for show tickets at up to 50% off. Try Tix4Tonight, here is the link to the blog post I wrote about my experience with the service. https://thetraveldoctor.wordpress.com/2009/05/12/tix4tonight-in-las-vegas-save-big-bucks/

The Great Front Seats on The Deuce Bus

The Great Front Seats on The Deuce Bus

Posted in bus, Coach, deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, duce, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Deuce Bus Las Vegas – Revisited….Or do you Call it The Duce?

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 20, 2008


 

The Deuce on Las Vegas Ave

The Deuce on Las Vegas Blvd

 

The Deuce Logo on the side of the Bus

The Deuce Logo on the side of the Bus

I just returned from my latest trip to Las Vegas and I want to give everyone an update on the great “Deuce Bus” on the Las Vegas Strip. The Duce Bus is the double decker bus that travels up and down the Las Vegas Strip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is run by CAT, the Citizen Area Transit. The Deuce route begins at the Fremont Street Station downtown and ends at the south end of the strip at the South Strip Transfer Terminal which is on the south side of McCarran International Airport. 

I love this bus. It is easy to use and the buses are brand new! You want to make your way up to the second floor and try to get one of the front seats. This is a great way to see the Las Vegas Strip. The bus makes frequent stops along the strip and you can get to any of the Strip Hotels with the Deuce. The bus also is handicap accessible. So if you have a wheel chair, you can ride the Deuce without a problem.

The one way fare is $2 per ride or save money and buy the 24 hour unlimited ride pass for $5. You can ride all day for $5. The best deal for getting around Las Vegas. You can also use the pass on the other public buses in and around Las Vegas. You will need exact change or you can buy your passes at vending machines along the Deuce Bus route. The machines take cash or credit/debit cards.

UPDATE 5-8-09: There has been a fare increase for the Deuce. The new fare is now $3 one way or $7 for a 24 hour all access unlimited ride pass. They have also added a new pass, a 3 day all access unlimited ride pass for $15. These 3 day passes are only available at the vending machines and not on the bus itself.

I took some great pictures of the Deuce Bus so you can all get a good idea of what this service is all about. So the next time you are in Las Vegas, give the Deuce Bus a try. You will Love it!

 

Second Floor on The Deuce Bus Las Vegas

Second Floor on The Deuce Bus Las Vegas

Posted in airlines, airports, bus, car, Coach, deuce bus, Deuce Bus Las Vegas, disabilities, duce, Hotels, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Strip, luggage, news, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

United TED, A Good Idea Gone Bad

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 28, 2008


 

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

TED, was a great idea. Create an airline built on the Southwest model. One type of aircraft, one class of service. All crews can fly any flights as there is only one type of aircraft to be checked out on. Great Idea right! Wrong! United decided not to differentiate Ted and United and the public was confused. The passengers wanted to know what the difference was between the two airlines? Why should they fly TED? Unlike the Cruise industry, United did not keep the two brands separated, so there was no reason to fly TED instead of United. If United did their homework they would have made TED a separate airline and market it that way. But they didn’t and they drove it into the ground. I liked TED. It was a great idea, with friendly crews, clean late model planes and great fares. But just like the rest of the Higher UP’s in the executive offices at United, they just don’t understand how to run an airline let alone two airlines. I really hope that someday, someone with some business and customer service sense becomes the president of United. Until then, I guess we will just watch this once great airline implode piece by piece.

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No Customer Service at United Airlines Reservation Dept

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 30, 2008


 

United Flight Board at O'Hare Airport

United Flight Board at O'Hare

I just got off the phone with a United Reservation agent. I don’t know what country he was in, but it was no where near the United States. I was trying to use a denied boarding compensation ticket voucher I received because I was bumped off a United flight from Seattle to Chicago a few months ago. This agent did not know which end was up. I told him I was flying from Chicago O’Hare to Las Vegas. He then asked me if I was flying out of Ontario CA, I told him I just said I was flying out of O’Hare. He probably has never even been to O’Hare. I told him that I wanted to use my Denied boarding voucher. He told me I would have to mail it to a PO box and have it postmarked by Monday to use it. Well, I told him Monday was a holiday, Labor Day and there was no way I could have it postmarked by Monday Sept 1 as the post office is closed on Sunday and Monday. He said he was sorry but I had to have it postmarked by Monday. I could not believe it. I told him that he was making it very difficult for me to make this reservation and then he insulted me by telling me I was the one that was making it difficult. What a jerk! I then said, OK, I will go to O’Hare tomorrow to pick it up. He said I would have to get it ticketed at O’Hare by 7PM on Sunday as the ticket counter closes at 7PM. I told him that there are flight out of O’Hare after 7PM, how can the ticket counter close at 7PM. He told me people can check in but they cannot buy tickets. Now how ludicrous is that statement. What if you want to take a flight at 9PM but you don’t have a ticket. Well, if you talked to the agent I talked to, you could not buy a ticket. Maybe United should just close up shop and call it quits, as their employees don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Needless to say, I did not get my reservation and I just said thank you and hung up the phone in discuss. I will try this again tomorrow. Maybe I will get someone that can help me and not criticize me.

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, Coach, Hotels, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »