Airport Employee Bullies Mommy Blogger in Chicago

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Randomness
November 6, 2009

I was heading home from a blogging event I recently attended (I won’t use their name because they are in no way associated with this incident).  I hung out with Tanya (Mommy Goggles) and both of us were disgusted by one of the United Airlines employees.  Tanya’s experience My experience was scary and left me shaking because this worker had really intimidated and overwhelmed me. 

Tanya, myself, and another blogger (Picky Palate) headed to Chicago from Cleveland and were on a small airplane – United Express.  We had to put our carry-ons on a cart (being stowed under the plane). **Note: I could have totally fit it under the seat in front of me, but whatever.**

We arrive in Chicago and have to walk down the stairs and wait outside the plane for our luggage.  There was no order or communication whatsoever.  We waited outside for about 10 minutes for our luggage.  One of the workers told Tanya and I to go inside and get our luggage.  Idiot!  The guy inside said it should be outside and we had to wait for him to unlock the door so we could go back out to wait and then search for our carry-ons.  They have us huddled like friggin cows and everyone is getting upset.  The luggage finally comes out and everyone frantically searches for their bags (in the dark, no flashlight assistance).

I can’t find my bag and am worried about missing my connecting flight.  With the little cars they drive and cargo holders (I don’t know the correct term), there is a bar connecting the holder and the truck in front of it.  I couldn’t find my bag so went to walk over the bar to the other side.

This grown man yells at me “STOP!!”  He was angry!  Whoa!  OK!  I told him, ok, but he could have said it nicely.  He then proceeded to get in my face (a male employee in a customer’s, yet alone woman’s face).  What the heck??  I said that was fine, I understand, but he didn’t need to yell at me.  He then proceeded to continue to yell at me – wth??  I’m yelling back because I’m feeling intimidated and frightened as heck.  I then walk around the back of the holder, find my bag and proceed to walk back inside with Tanya.  This guy is chasing after me (literally), in my face and yelling at me. 

I don’t know if you’ve seen pictures of me, but I’m not that tall and not that big, and I felt like at any second, he was going to throw me on the ground and start hitting me.  It was really scary. 

I looked at his badge and said I wanted to know his name (I got it by the way) and you’ll be hearing from United headquarters.  He then jumped in my face and was shouting “I want your full name now!  I want to know your full name!”  He said, “What’s your name?”  I told him Shannon.  He then asks how old I am (um like that has anything to do with anything?).  I tell him 30.  He then says he’s tired of people walking all over him and is just doing his job.  OK, I should clarify, he didn’t say this, he yelled it.

Every time I stepped back he would lunge forward.  He then says he’s calling Security and I say good and start walking towards the door.   He’s rattling off the codes into his walkie talkie and says he’s calling his Supervisor.  Great!  One less step I have to take! 

His supervisor walks over and can see that I’m shaken up.  He’s listening to me talk (while Jerome is hovering behind him still yelling that he wants my full name).  He says he’ll talk to him and he shouldn’t have done that.  No crap he shouldn’t have done that.  He shouldn’t have a friggin job!

I walk inside and the flight attendant asks if I’m ok (keep in mind that other customers are watching through the glass as he’s yelling at me and I’m yelling back).  I’m on the verge of tears and my hands are shaking (they’re shaking right now as I’m typing this).

I meet up with Tanya and she tries to talk with me so I feel better – thanks girl!  I head to my gate, call my husband, and he says to file a police report.  I head over to the check-in counter and tell the man (very friendly and understanding) what happened and that I would like to file a police report.  He immediately calls and says someone is heading right over.

15 minutes later, 5 cops show up, 3 of them questioning me.  1 was a woman.  She asks for the guy’s name.  I tell her.  She then says, “Really?  Are you sure?”  The other cop asks her, “Do you know him?”  She says, “Yes, he is such a sweet guy.  I can’t imagine him doing that.”

Are you freakin kidding me lady?  It’s like going up to a woman who’s just been raped or punched and saying, “Really, but he’s such a nice guy.” 

She walked away and the younger police officer took my information down and was very understanding.  He said I probably shouldn’t file a report and press charges because I would have to come back for court.  Both of my parents are retired attorneys, so I’ll be verifying the next steps.

This guy should be nowhere near other human beings!  I am still shaking from the incident!  Thank goodness I have all of you to vent to!

Please note that my flight to Seattle was wonderful, but United really needs to do something about this employee and make it right for the emotional stress I had to endure because of it.

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

35 Responses to “Airport Employee Bullies Mommy Blogger in Chicago”

  1. Christy says:

    That’s ridiculous! I hope the jerk gets fired over it!

  2. Theresa Bertrand says:

    Shannon I am so upset that this happened to you – what a terrible way to end your trip. I have been treated shockingly bad by airline employees in the past, but this takes the cake. I think you posting this may the only way to get someone at the airline to take notice and do something. Let me know if there’s anything I can do!

  3. LeMira says:

    Sorry you had to go through that! At least there were many witnesses. . .

  4. Angela says:

    WOW.. you DID file the report in the end correct? That man SHOULD NOT be working there. I’m sorry you had to endure that, how AWFUL!

  5. Miss Blondie says:

    OMG!! I hope that he suffers sever consequences for this! I would never fly United again!

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  7. You poor thing. Nobody should ever be treated that way!

  8. I’m so sorry that happened! I would have cried if the guy yelled at me…good for you for standing your ground!

  9. Gena says:

    Oh I hope he gets what’s coming to him. How awful!

  10. I have a whole post coming about the 3 issues I had with them. I will WALK before I EVER fly United Airlines.

  11. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Missblondie919: United Airlines Employee Bullies Mommy Blogger!!

  12. Nanette says:

    That is just horrible. I’m sorry you had to go through that. Hopefully, his supervisors will do the right thing.

  13. Marcy Able says:

    Wow Shannon – I can’t even imagine! I would have done the same thing in your place. Glad you are ok:)0 dumb employee. grumble grumble grumble

  14. Brittany says:

    How awful! I think that some people in the service industry forget that without us they would be out of a job. They should treat customers like their jobs depends on it because in actuality it does. I hate it when people are rude!

  15. Tamara B. says:

    I have flown into Chicago so many times in the past and I agree those guys are real idiots! Boy he is so lucky I wasn’t the one with you because his ass would have been in jail and I would be calling my attorney immmediately. I am so sorry you had to experience such a horrible thing but not all Chicagians are like that.

  16. That is absolutely ridiculous you were forced to deal with such disrespect and honestly, assault. Just because it was “verbal” it was still unwanted and please please take further action against this guy.

  17. fancygrlnancy says:

    OMG you poor thing. I agree he needs to be fired. What a jerk!

  18. Ellie says:

    I would be scared to death. He should be fired.

  19. Cat says:

    That is so insane! What was the guy yelling at you? I don’t know how you held back from knocking him out but it was pretty crappy that no one came forward to help you.

  20. Chelle says:

    OMG, Shannon. I am shaking reading this–I cannot imagine how you felt 🙁

    Keep us posted on how this ends…his butt needs to be fired immediately!!!

  21. Noreen says:

    I hope you are ok now. No one should be treated that way!

  22. gosfam says:

    WOW!! That sounds like he was extremely unnecessary–so what exactly was he yelling at you for? Sounds like he just SNAPPED!! Glad you made it home and had a good flight considering. Let us know how it all pans out.

  23. Kris says:

    Wow, talk about poor customer service. It’s no wonder United ranks at the bottom as far as customer satisfaction according to this article from Los Angeles Times (see the reader comments about United employees in Chicago!)

    You know, I’m glad you fought back though and I hope the folks at United read your blog and take action.

  24. Aww. I’m really sorry to hear this. You shouldn’t have been treated like that. You really didn’t deserve it, I’m sure. He really should be jobless. Or atleast work somewhere WITHOUT a bunch of people.
    As for the female cop, it wasn’t very appropriate for her to have said that either.
    I hope that you get to feeling better and that you’re next trip is MUCH better.

  25. Amy says:

    What an UGLY little man! What an unsatisfying and disappointing life he must lead that he has to bully someone else. I’m so sorry you had to go through that Shannon, it must have been awful and as for that lady cop? She obviously is deficient in the compassion department and should be on a desk job.

  26. Carrie says:

    I’m so glad you stood your ground and reported him. No one should be able to treat someone else like that, ever!

  27. kailani says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I can totally relate though. I flew on another airline to a blogging event last year and was totally intimidated by the boarding agent. They didn’t yell at me or anything but they made me and others feel like if we did one wrong thing, we’d be arrested.

    During the flight, a flight attendant totally embarrassed another passenger in front of everyone. I’m usually not the outspoken type but I had to say something to that FA in the passenger’s defense. I was so mad!

    When people fly on the airlines that I work for and say how great and friendly everyone is, I always wonder why. Shouldn’t it be like that all the time? Now I know it’s not. So sad.

  28. Amanda says:

    why was he yelling at you? That all sounds so scary! I too had to have my carry on stored but they brought the bags up to us. They made you guys go outside and get your bag outside in the dark?? for real? That is so crazy!!!

    HUGS!!! I would have stuck up for you.

  29. Amar Twink says:

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  30. Kayla says:

    That is just HORRIBLE! I think it was a very smart thing to file a police report even if there is a possibility of having to come back-I mean I wouldn’t press charges, I would just file the report to make sure people know what happened. Hopefully this will help other people from having to go through the same thing!
    Man, I don’t know what I would have done…I think punching him in the face would have been a little much >.<

  31. Shannon, that is just a horrible thing that happen to you, and the police officer was way out of line.
    I am glad you filed a complaint, and I hope that you are able to follow through and something does become of this. I will NOT be flying United Airlines EVER again if this is the type of behavior that they will allow.

  32. OMGosh my dear I’m so sorry that happened to you! I hope you were able to report it. Yikes hun!

  33. Lin says:

    Oh my gosh, what a jerk face! I cant believe he yelled at you & then proceeded to do it. It’s a good thing you reported it to his supervisor & you should definetly write a letter to their headquarter & let them know how you were harrassed by an employee. It’s horrible that you were treated badly because he was probably having a crappy day.

  34. Michelle M says:

    OMG, I completely missed this post. That is horrible! I hope you got to the bottom of this because no one should be treated like that, especially a paying costumer! What a jerk!

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