How much is your dignity worth? How much money would it take to help you forget a day of abuse and anxiety? Apparently, United Airlines values my dignity at $100!
Yep, an hour after my blog was posted, a representative of UAL called to discuss my experience and to offer a travel voucher for my troubles. My initial reaction was to say, “No thanks.” My curiosity got the better of me and I gave the representative my email address. The phone call ended with the representative promising to review what happened with the “vendor” and alert the appropriate personnel in Houston and Charlotte.
Shortly thereafter, my $100 voucher arrived by email. United’s less than generous offer clearly answered my question. My dignity is devalued at $100 by UAL. It also raised new questions. Is UAL going to contact the other members of my party who suffered through a days’ worth of emotional distress with me? Is UAL going to reimburse my wife for having to wheel me through Charlotte’s airport? What about those poor souls who sat in the “dumping grounds for the handicapped”? Did someone eventually help them? Are they still sitting there? Is their dignity also worth $100?
My suggestion is to treat everyone as if they were precious. They are! Having the appropriate equipment to assist the handicapped should be a priority. I can’t believe that a company that can fly planes coast to coast can’t have an adequate number of wheelchairs and attendants waiting for arriving planes. A person’s dignity is priceless. If you are going to offer travel voucher, perhaps you could offer a round trip voucher on which you intend to highlight the improvements UAL has made in caring for the handicapped.
Meanwhile, your gate agent in Houston and the young lady pushing one of my friend’s wheelchairs deserve recognition for excellence in performing their jobs. Perhaps you can spend $100 dollars on them as a way of saying thanks.
While being handicapped makes me more fragile and dependent on others, it does not make me any less human! In the future, handle your handicapped customers with care!