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Write a letter to protest United's baggage policy!


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#1 photoagent101

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:36 AM

Folks:

I just noticed that United has announced a new baggage policy at
http://www.united.co...2,52481,00.html

Part of it states:
> United is announcing a new checked bag policy for customers who purchase
> nonrefundable domestic economy tickets. Customers purchasing nonrefundable
> domestic economy tickets who do not have status in Mileage Plus or Star
> Alliance may check one bag for free and a second bag for a $25 service fee.
> Customers who have attained Premier status or higher in Mileage Plus or who
> have Silver status and above with a Star Alliance partner, are exempt from
> this policy change. The new policy applies to tickets purchased on or after
> February 4, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008. Please view the Domestic
> baggage questions for additional details on this policy.
>
> All customers traveling on United may check at least one free bag. The number
> of free bags allowed per customer will vary according to your Mileage Plus
> status and/or the type of ticket purchased. The tables below highlight the
> number of bags that customers can check free of charge:


I urge you to take a bit of time to write United to protest this new baggage policy. A few years ago, United (and other airlines) changed their baggage policy from three bags at 70 lbs, to two bags at 70 lb, and then to two bags at 50 lb. We divers and photographers lost the ability to ship 210 lbs of gear to 100 lbs of gear just like that. In the past couple of years, we were able to check in two bags at 70 lb internationally; now it is two bags at 50 lb on most airlines. Now United is trying to squeeze us even more.

I urged my friends and colleagues to write United back when United changed to two bags at 50 pounds. Rather than anyone writing, my pals took the time to write me back stating that "resistance was futile." I wish that they had written United instead.

In essence, if you are not in United's "elite" tier of customers (who travel 25K or more miles with them) and purchase a cheap ticket, then you will only get one bag at 50 lb at no charge. You will have to pay for a second checked bag. This only makes life harder for those of us who make a living with lots of gear or who want to take a vacation with lots of gear.

We all get two bags at 50 lb now. I urge all of you to write United Airlines to protest this. If they get away with this; other airlines will follow suit.

Here are some addresses to write to:

Glenn Tilton , CEO, or

Pamela A. Coslet, General Manager, Customer Relations

United Airlines Customer Relations
P.O. Box 66100
Chicago, IL 60666

phone: 877-228-1327
fax 877-406-1059
You may also contact United Customer Relations via email. The direct link to the "contact us" page is:
http://faq.ua2go.com...amp;r=0.3620066

Here's the letter I just wrote. I am sending this via email, fax, and snail mail. It will take me 15 minutes to do all this. I encourage all of you to write similar letters.

Dear Sirs: I have been a United customer, and a Premier Executive member, for over 20 years. United is my favored airline. However, I must register my very strong opposition to your new baggage policy which limits certain customers to one bag at 50 pounds at no additional charge.

I am a photographer and a diver, rather than a lawyer or a Wall Street banker, and my Premier status proves that I am a valued customer to United Airlines. My profession and my interests require me to travel with more gear than a lawyer or investment banker. United is telling me that my profession is valued less than these other professions, and that United will charge me more than these other professions to travel, either when I am doing my job or traveling for pleasure.

I ask United to review this baggage policy, recognize it for the prejudicial and unfair policy that it is, and cancel this policy as you have cancelled numerous ill-thought policies in the past. I believe this policy to be hurtful to me as a customer despite the fact that it does not directly affect me at this time.

Thank you.

Norbert Wu
Norbert Wu
www.norbertwu.com

#2 rtrski

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:40 PM

Guess they didn't think they could get away with this policy change instead:

> United is announcing a new personal weight allotment policy for customers who purchase
> nonrefundable domestic economy tickets. Customers purchasing nonrefundable
> domestic economy tickets who do not have status in Mileage Plus or Star
> Alliance may travel for free up to 175 lbs of body and clothing mass, and purchase
> additional body mass allotments for $25 per 50 pounds up to a maximum of
> 275 pounds.
> Customers who have attained Premier status or higher in Mileage Plus or who
> have Silver status and above with a Star Alliance partner, are exempt from
> this policy change. The new policy applies to tickets purchased on or after
> February 4, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008. Please view the Domestic
> passenger weight allowance questions for additional details on this policy.
>
....

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#3 TheRealDrew

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:12 PM

Here's the letter I just wrote. I am sending this via email, fax, and snail mail. It will take me 15 minutes to do all this. I encourage all of you to write similar letters.

Dear Sirs: I have been a United customer, and a Premier Executive member, for over 20 years. United is my favored airline. However, I must register my very strong opposition to your new baggage policy which limits certain customers to one bag at 50 pounds at no additional charge.

I am a photographer and a diver, rather than a lawyer or a Wall Street banker, and my Premier status proves that I am a valued customer to United Airlines. My profession and my interests require me to travel with more gear than a lawyer or investment banker. United is telling me that my profession is valued less than these other professions, and that United will charge me more than these other professions to travel, either when I am doing my job or traveling for pleasure.

I ask United to review this baggage policy, recognize it for the prejudicial and unfair policy that it is, and cancel this policy as you have cancelled numerous ill-thought policies in the past. I believe this policy to be hurtful to me as a customer despite the fact that it does not directly affect me at this time.

Thank you.

Norbert Wu


This is starting to become a real problem, but unfortunately the airlines have us all in a bad position.

Good letter and coming from someone who is not affected but is a member of the Premier Status will hopefully carry some weight (no pun intended). Unfortunately the other airlines, as history shows, will probably jump on this trend also.

#4 Scubatooth

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 03:02 AM

I used to fly United but after 2 very bad experiences i said enough is enough and switched to American, where things arent perfect but I have had a much better experience then i ever did with United.

If United thinks that there going to make a 100 million a year off this, they are sorely wrong as this makes them look even worse position considering they are positioning them selves for a merger in the near future that may or may not happen.

Everyone else needs to write there carrier of choice and let them know that they shouldn't take uniteds lead and make the same choice, unless they want to cause a fair number of there FF to leave. If you are a elite flyer this will add more pull to the letter. Even more so if you are someone who can influence air travel contracts that will add a fair amount of pull is as this is where the airlines make a majority of there money is with the FF, not once a year flyer.

The airlines being in the position that they are in is wholey there own fault and it is majority of it is on the executives that have basically plundered the airlines for there own personal gain (executive bonuses on many airlines).

They have done this by going for the lowest common denominator which is the once a year traveler whos looking for a cheap flight, instead of the FF who brings a majority of there income. This has caused a whole host of issues ranging from plain rude cabin crews, very poor customer service and declining values of FF programs, and cabin interiors and service to be very poor condition. Flying in Coach atleast is now for all intensive purposes in the US now is basically flying greyhound service because of all of the comforts have been removed (ie Food, most drink, pillows, blankets, magazines, and inflight entertainment is less then pleasing if it even works) and all at the same ticket levels for going on 10 years. Then lets not even touch that flying is more nerve wracking then ever because of TSA and all of the post 911 enhancements to air travel :wacko: .

Then airlines have yet to be successful in having a fare increase stick or any other surcharges stick because of customers responses. The irony of all of this is that US domestic carriers are in such sad shape while foreign flag carriers are doing just fine and able to provide clean cabins, top service and atmosphere at rough the same price as what the domestic US carriers are charging for both domestic and international.

but unlike the people that emailed norbert back, write to the airlines and make your voice heard or be stuck paying more for a ticket that hasnt changed prices in a very long time but has had all of the comforts removed.

JMHO

#5 allen

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 07:44 AM

Part of me has no problem with this policy. Limiting the number of bags, means less weight (more cargo), faster luggage processing and loading. For the most part this is going to affect only a few people. Especially given that it is for domestic only. However, it is going to nail skiers coming to Denver which is one of their hubs and folks going to AK and HI. Personally, though I like the body mass ticket and have played that card on some puddle jumpers when they have tried to charge me extra weight fees.

#6 TheRealDrew

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:37 AM

Spirit "to address high fuel prices" is increasing charges.


"Instead of raising every fare across our entire network in response to ever increasing fuel prices, we are proud to introduce our new luggage policy, which gives our passengers the opportunity to control their cost of travel by packing lighter,"


http://www.pr-inside...ach-r425418.htm

#7 BoatMoney

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:10 PM

Part of me has no problem with this policy.

I am probably going against the Wetpixel grain here, but:
I think the claim that photographers are undervalued because lawyers don't have to travel with as much baggage is a rationale hanging by it's feet.

Admittedly this is anecdotal, but from my experience the vast majority of domestic travelers do quite well with a checked bag, a carry-on and a personal item.....per ticketed traveler. I do too, when traveling with my photo, scuba, skiing or shooting gear isn't required. I just don't see that many single travelers pulling two checked bags off the carousel. So what is being asked for is not equal treatment, but extra consideration.

Given that we are the exception rather than the norm, United's policy change doesn't seem like it aggrieves the majority of travelers. And 25 bucks, each way, doesn't imply they are ravaging us either. Because of the oft witnessed surliness of their cabin personnel I seldom fly United, but I don't personally see any foul in this particular policy change.

By now most American are well aware of the impact of rising fuel costs. And I agree with you that this policy change is probably more about raising revenue against fuel costs, by increasing non-passenger paid parcel service, than it is about actually lowering fuel use.
Cheers,
Victor