National Geographic Update- HDTV Surgery: (United Airlines Sucks!)

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Well the TCA television critics association meeting is over.  What an enormous logistical nightmare this was for me!  AS I previously wrote, I was invited to a press briefing by the amazing folks at National Geographic.  Here’s how it played out.  Unfortunately, United Airlines cancelled my flight at the last moment due to “mechanical difficulties” with my “broken plane”.  Despite literally hours and hours of logistical maneuvering (different flights, all three NY airports, and endless time on hold with UAL customer support in India) there was simply no flight that could get me there before the press session started.  This was without taking the reported 20%-40% on-time record (amazing!) of some of their flights into consideration.  I was unable to attend but happily was able to do some interviews over the phone.   A real highlight was an interview about the show and the technology involved in my procedures with Wired magazine.  I now understand websites like “United Airlines (UAL) Sucks” and United Airlines Sucks: UAL Reaches New Heights in Bad Customer Experiences. 

The customer service was so bad it would have been funny if it was no so pathetic.  I think the low point was a disaster of UAL support from a rep out of India.  After explaining the situation he repeatedly tried to switch me to a flight that would arrive after my meeting would be over.  I explained that i would not switch to a flight that arrived after my meeting was over so he offered to refund my flight out but explained that there was no way UAL would refund the return flight since it was not cancelled.  I explained the absurdity of this to him and how upset I was.  He then asked if he met all of my customer service needs (answer – absolutely not) If I was satisfied with the service (answer- absolutely not) and then without missing a beat asks if I would be interested in renting a car through him for my stay in Los Angeles!   You can read more about the show in the next post. 

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