Would I lie to you?
Would I lie to you honey?
Now would I say somethin' that wasn't true?
I'm askin' you sugar would I lie to you?
-- Annie Lennox and David Stewart

Dishonesty from United

We already know that United treats its most loyal passengers (or as one reader notes, "You should not call them passengers, the people who fly on United... should be called victims") worse than everyone else.

We also know that United takes certain liberties with the truth about supposed "weather delays" to avoid providing compensation to passengers for delays or flight cancellations due to mechanical problems.

And we've recently been asked to swallow the claim that United had no way of getting its top lawyers on a flight to Montreal to appear in a court hearing as part of the airline's SLAPP suit against the operator of this website.

Now, we have proof that United explicitly instructs its own staff to hide the truth from passengers who are owed refunds for non-functioning WiFi service on board: "do not make an announcement"! Should this make us wonder what else United management is trying to hide from passengers?

United routinely lies to its passengers about "weather-related delays". This is simply because under the airline's Contract of Carriage United is not responsible for your lodging and meals when the reason for the cancellation is beyond the airline's control. This informative article from Yahoo Travel explains the games that airlines play with such weather-related excuses to avoid their liability for flight cancellations.

Untied.com offers the following advice to passengers who believe they are being lied to by United:

Here's an example from the web archives:

After United flight 4116 from Cincinnati to Denver was cancelled on Monday, January 6, the United gate staff denied affected travelers hotel and transportation compensation, claiming the flight was delayed due to weather. It was a transparent excuse. A member of the gate staff had already made an announcement saying that the flight would fly empty because no flight attendants could be found for the leg to Cincinnati. On January 7, a member of the gate staff for the flight to Houston said that the flight to Denver was in fact canceled because of crew-related reasons and that compensation may be provided.

In that case--and according to United's own stated policies--United should compensate its travelers for lodging and transportation expenses caused by United's failure to operate its flights as scheduled. In fact, United didn't even respond to a request for compensation after 19 days.

I sent the request 19 days ago for compensation for the transportation and lodging expenses their cancelation and delay caused me to incur and no response what so ever.

Lies? This follows the fact that their employees gave false information at the gate, saying that the flight was canceled due to weather, only for one of their own employees to state that the flight had been canceled due to crew-related reasons the next day.

After more back-and-forth, on February 7, 2014, United issued a travel certificate in the amount requested.