EDITOR NOTE–This personal experience is being shared because we felt passengers on United Airlines needed to know about it. We don’t want any coupons as hush money and welcome a corporate response.
The GUARDIAN editor did the BSU-MSU ball game trip over the Labor Day weekend and returned Monday about noon aboard one of the noisiest, rickety, creaky, shaking planes we have ever boarded.
It was a CRJ-7 with United Airlines colors, but operated by the delightful name “GoJet Airlines.” The ticket on the cramped minor league flight cost the same as a seat aboard a Boeing 737 or Airbus 320…sort of like booking a room at the Waldorf and ending up in a “Waldorf operated by No tell Motel” for the same price as the big brand.
Now for the bad news. The water dripping from the headliner (probably moisture from the air conditioner) was mildly disconcerting, but the constant vibration/rattling of the overhead luggage doors, the door to the lavatory, and the oscillating humming prompted more than one passenger to request earplugs, but none were available. We were presented with “please accept our apology” forms good for a “token of our appreciation” at a website.
Upon landing at Boise, the plane felt and sounded like a shopping cart with a wobbly wheel. It was noticeably malfunctioning and made a strange sound. The pilot skill at the landing was smooth.
Upon deplaning we asked the pilot if he noticed the strange behavior of the gear. He acknowledged that both he and the co-pilot noticed it. When asked what it was, if it would be fixed and if he was concerned, he just silently shrugged and gave us a silly grin.
The co-pilot was at the gate and we approached him with the same concerns. He admitted they felt all the vibrations from Chicago to Boise as well as confirming the landing gear needed attention. “We would all like to fly new planes that run smooth, but all we can do is write it up for maintenance to look at. Problem is, this plane just came out of maintenance,” he told us.
Note to anyone who cares or truly wants to check it out: flt UA 3628, O’Hare to Boise Sept. 3, 2012, depart Chicago at 9:13 a.m.
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