Day two of an ugly computer migration
Joe Brancatelli, the creator of business travel webside Joe Sent Me, warned about the weekend merger of United and Continental computer systems.
Here is his fifth update at 01:45 this morning:
A Shameful Day for United Airlines
Well, hasn't Saturday been fun for anyone flying United Airlines.
With most of the pre-merger United's Saturday flight schedule now in the books, the numbers are simply atrocious: just 46 percent on-time for departures and 56 percent on-time for arrivals.
The numbers are even worse for Chicago/O'Hare and Washington/Dulles, two of the pre-merger United's main hubs.
At Dulles, it was 29 percent on-time departures and 45 percent on-time arrivals. One JoeSentMe member reports his 64-minute Dulles to Greensboro flight this afternoon was delayed by 227 minutes due to "late arriving" aircraft. Before he was able to board his flight, he passed a customer-service station at Dulles with "about two hundred folks in a queue."
At O'Hare, just 26 percent of flights departed on-time on Saturday and just 44 percent arrived on time.
The only thing performing more poorly than United in Chicago on Day One of its supposedly four-times-rehearsed transition to Continental's computers was the Chicago Tribune. In two different stories on Saturday, its reporter swallowed the "everything's just fine" lie being fed to it by a United Airlines spokesman.
Shame on United management for not training its pre-merger United crews properly on the new software. Shame on the United spokesman for blatantly lying about the airline's performance at its most important hub. But shame on the Chicago Tribune for not even sending anyone out to O'Hare–or, apparently, even bothering to surf to any of the easily available flight trackers to find the real numbers.
One final kicker to show you the fantasyland in which airlines now expect passengers to live: The manifestly unhelpful Unitedhub.com site is now telling customers to "consider" not calling the airline because call-center volumes are "higher than normal." It blithely suggests customers use United.com for "self-service." But, of course, United.com continues to change reservation numbers at random, cancel or not display seat assignments and refuse to print boarding passes for many itineraries.
Brancaelli, Joe (2012 February 29) How to Survive United Airlines' Big Computer Switch. Portfolio.com
If you are flying today, FlightStats may be helpful,
Mike "FossilMedic" Ward
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