There was absolutely NO CALL WHATSOEVER for this.

United forced a 94 year old woman to sit in cattle class, knowing she was in extreme joint pain and had bought a business class seat to have more room.

You read that right. She was not asking to be upgraded. She had a business class ticket in hand.

I have a feeling she will soon have more than enough money to buy all the pain meds she’ll need.

An elderly woman with a degenerative bone disease and severe arthritis was left ‘in distress and pain’ after a flight from LA turned into a 16-hour ordeal thanks to callous United staff, her granddaughter has claimed.

Australian Paz Orquiza, then 94 was returning from what will likely be her last-ever visit to family in Los Angeles on February 2 when her troubles began.

Orquiza’s family had booked her a $3,596.24 business class ticket so she could fly in comfort. Her daughter, Rose Benedicto, was to fly in economy, and help out with feeding and chair adjustments.

But when they got on the plane, staff said Benedicto wouldn’t be allowed to leave economy to help – and staff wouldn’t help either, her granddaughter said.

In her Facebook post, granddaughter Marianne Santos Aguilar says that the family had no problems with Orquiza’s flight from Melbourne, Australia, to LA,

There, the crew made ‘every effort’ to ensure a comfortable flight, she said, and Benedicto was allowed to help out Orquiza with tasks such as opening food and reclining seats.

But on the return flight, staff were far less helpful.

The flight attendant, ‘without any sympathy or compassion,’ told Benedicto that she could either take Orquiza to economy class, buy a business-class ticket for another flight or leave the elderly woman to suffer.

And so the 94-year-old – who spends most of her days bedbound – was moved to the more cramped economy class.

‘My aunt tried to comfort my grandmother, who was in tears, and was horrified to see how much pain she had to endure during this flight,’ Aguilar wrote.

‘Upon arrival to Australia, my grandma’s legs had swollen, she suffered from a stiff neck and her whole body ached.’

‘She was in great distress and pain from this ordeal. She was prescribed stronger pain medication and Valium to help with sleep.

‘Our family is heartbroken that this painful plane ride back to Melbourne will be the last memory of our trip for my grandma, and this has ruined an otherwise incredible family reunion,’ she added.

Orquiza, who turned 95 on February 28, suffered pains for a week after the flight, she said.

But speaking to on Thursday, Aguilar said she is now in good health.

However, she said, the elderly woman ‘does not like to be in the spotlight’ and so being moved in front of other passengers ‘may be something that will stay with her forever.’

She added: ‘My grandma is a strong woman and for her be in tears on that flight upsets the whole family.’

Aguilar also said that the airline had offered to refund $860 of the $3,600 ticket, and had given the family $500 in airline credit that they do not intend to use.

She said United told her the refund was a ‘fare adjustment to reflect the cabin change’ – but said that the numbers did not appear to add up.

The family has still not received the refund, two-and-a-half months after the incident, she said. They received an email two days ago saying it would take several more weeks.

United Airlines has been contacted for comment.

Aguilar’s remarks are part of flurry of bad press that has struck United in the wake of Sunday’s violent ejection of Dr David Dao from a United plane after he was told to leave because it was overbooked.

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  1. Even though Dr. Dao is a Faggot…United had no business in forcibly removing him from the plane. Is United asking to be allowed to commit suicide?

  2. dekare says:

    Not sure if I have the fact right. The elderly woman had a seat in business class (which is actually first class?) but her companion had a seat in coach? Did the younger woman believe she had the right to either keep getting up out of her seat to keep looking in on the elderly woman, or possibly stand next to her for long periods of time while trying to comfort her?

    If what I think is correct, than I may have to side with the airlines here. And believe me, I am pissed at United for what they did with the doctor last week. But if the woman from coach thought she had a right to constantly bother the other passengers in business class with her constant back and forth and possibly long stays in that section, well, she is wrong. What she wanted to do is distracting and dangerous. Either staying up there for long periods is not right, and constantly going back and forth, is not right either. Once or twice, I am sure no one would have said a word. I am betting this woman thought she was special and bothering the other passengers who also paid thousands of dollars to have a more roomier and peaceful flight is on no concern to her. This is no different than a special needs child. If grandma needed constant care, than you buy a seat next to her. You don’t get to buy ONE seat in first class, and then have the right for someone from coach to constantly come to that seat and bug the hell out of everyone there. Sorry, but the words of Spock ring true here. The greatest good for the greatest number outweigh the needs of the few or the one. These snowflake thought it okay to bother everyone in first class because grandma is special and needs special attention.

    Did she consider that maybe some of those people in business class could have been someone like me, who decided to splurge and spend money I normally would not waste to live the good life for a moment, only to have it ruined by constant interruption from someone in steerage. The back and forth, the constant disruptions, and on and on would eventually rub me the wrong way as well. I agree with the airlines, that is, if I have all the facts and have the situation in mind as it actually occurred.

  3. Eskyman says:

    I agree with dekare’s thoughtful comments.

    That said, I too have been screwed over by United, and it does my old heart good to see them being skewered in the Court of Public Opinion!

    In my case, I bought a return trip ticket to Perth, Australia. Getting there was long & arduous, but no problems developed; once I arrived in Sydney, I was transferred to Qantas for the trip to Perth (on the other side of the continent.) Again, no problems (but the Qantas plane was much nicer than the United one, and the service was far better; though I had no particular complaints about United at that time.)

    Then finally it came time for my return trip. I had called Qantas (no United terminals in Perth) to ensure that all was OK; they said it was. So I got to the airport an hour early & checked in- well, I attempted to check in, but the automatic check-in system said I had to see an agent at the counter. So I did: the agent told me (in the nicest possible way) that United had *cancelled* my reservation, so I had no seat on the aircraft about to leave! Oh dear, what to do?

    They told me the only thing that I could do was buy another one-way ticket to Sydney, where I could deal with the United people to straighten it out; but they couldn’t help me as they were only contracted to United. So I bought a ticket to Sydney, and had to rush around the terminal to get boarding passes, clearance from Customs, security check, etc- and Qantas even lent me a young man to expedite the process. He guided me through the whole affair, and I just made it onto the departing plane in time!

    Finally I got to Sydney, where I had to wait hours before the United ticket counter opened; they had an office, but it didn’t open until after the plane I should be on had departed (what? United should have 24/7 office hours just because that’s their business? Ha.)

    When the counter finally opened, an indifferent young lady heard my story. She gave me a boarding pass (based on my original RT ticket) and told me that I’d have to take it up with the main office when I got back. Otherwise, her attitude was that she couldn’t care less. I was just so thankful that at least I had got my ticket back home!

    When I got back, and had gone through the nightmare of returning through customs at LAX, I contacted United. Emails back & forth for months. Long story short, they found no fault in anything they did & blamed it all on Qantas. So I was out around $650 & too bad for me, United don’t care. When I finally go back to Australia I’ll take it up with Qantas; but I already know the outcome:

    They’ll tell me it was all United’s screwup, and although they are sorry, there’s nothing they can do.

    So SCREW UNITED! (And I remain convinced that it was indeed United that screwed the pooch.)

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