Seattle & Flying United

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days in Seattle for a mix of work and play. My younger brother and his fiance live in Fremont and he toured me around some areas I haven’t seen yet. He also took me to The Land of Nod, the incredibly cute childrens store I wrote about a few weeks ago. So far there are only four stores in the country, with three in Illinois and one in Seattle, so I was stoked to be able to see all the cool merchandise in person. I got a bunch of fun things for the nursery and finally feel like it’s coming together!

At 24 weeks it was a bit of a challenge to travel, mostly because walking a lot and sitting for extended periods of time makes for one sore lady, but all in all it was manageable. However, a couple incidents at the airport pissed off and I thought I’d get the word out for fellow pregnant travelers…

First off, two SFO TSA agents asked me what was in my “pockets” and then patted their bellies. They seemed to be allowing all children and their mothers to go through the regular screening, but even though I was wearing a tight shirt which clearly showed that I am pregnant, they idiotically kept asking me to empty my front pocket and made me go through the full scanner. This was more annoying and silly than anything else.

The second incident really pissed me off. Apparently a lot of airlines have a policy where the flight attendants won’t help you with your luggage due to liability measures, which I was not aware of. I ended up flying to Seattle on Virgin America, who were awesome, and on the way back with United. Since I was carrying a laptop in my suitcase, I didn’t want to check my bag (or pay the fee to), so when I got to the terminal I politely asked the attendant at the counter if I could pre-board and have someone help me lift my luggage into the overhead compartment. Basically I was trying to avoid holding up a ton of people. Not only was the attendant snappy and passive, barely looking up at me to communicate, but she said, “Well you can pre-board if you want to, but we can’t help you with your luggage” (then smirked), “You could see if another passenger will help you”. WTF! What kind of policy is that? Then right after I left the desk she went on the intercom and announced that they were doing free bag checks at her counter. I couldn’t believe 1.) She didn’t even explain United’s policy to me and 2.) She didn’t offer to check my bag.

Not only does this show United’s bad customer service, but it shows how f**king ridiculous certain policies are. There should be a free bag check for people with medical conditions or the elderly. It is unfair to charge people for bag checks who can’t physically lift their bags over their heads.

The whole situation made me angry and saddened for really sick and elderly people, and also upset that a fellow women would not understand the limitations of being pregnant and at least offer to check my bag for me. Needless to say, I’m putting United on my boycott list.




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