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United Airlines I forgive you.


Horton
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About a month ago I flew from Bakersfield to Orlando and back on United Airlines. On the way back I stopped in Denver for a beer (and to change planes). At the Denver airport I was able to see my Sportube being loaded on the plane for Bakersfield. It was clearly destroyed.

 

When I got to Bakersfield I took my crushed Sportube to the ticket counter as soon as it came through baggage claim. I unloaded it in front of the SkyWest staff. My Goode Nano One was CRUSHED and I was out about $2K worth of gear and baggage.

 

SkyWest is a company that works for United in some markets (or something like that). The point is I started and ended at a SkyWest airport. Customer service from this point was mixed. The 1-800 # I was given at the ticket counter to make my claim was useless and rude. The one time I returned to the Bakersfield airport to ask SkyWest for service I was met with a surprising level of hostile disdain. I finally made phone contact with some sort of manager in at the SkyWest office in Bakersfield who was very nice but after two weeks provided no progress toward my loss.

 

While all this was going on I was contacted by a Baller who works for United. (I am not naming this Baller as he may wish to remain anonymous). He advised me and made some phone calls at his end.

 

Somehow my claim got moved to the right office. Perhaps having a Baller on the inside made all the difference. I cannot be sure. All I can say is that within a week of my claim getting to the right people I have a check for the replacement value of my N1 and Sportube.

 

United Baller - You know who you are. Thanks!

 

I will ride my new N1 for the first time tonight.

 

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@Dirt: Your correct also..One of the last Jumbo Jets I flew was the A330 Airbus..Side stick controller, computerized controls, large video screens...Never flew like a real airplane..I swear a Kid that was good with video games could check out in it faster than a good Pilot.

 

Now if we could just get a ski with a 43 off autopilot.

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Who cares about the flight crew? I want a ground crew that will not destroy my ski.

Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

California Ski Ranch ☆ Connelly ☆ Denali ☆ Eden Lake ☆ Goode ☆ HO Syndicate MasterCraft ☆ Masterline ☆ 

Pentalogo ☆ Performance Ski and Surf ☆ Reflex ☆ Radar ☆ Rodics OffCourse ☆ S Lines ☆ Stokes 

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@Horton, my crushed SportTube story is identical to yours, except for the happy ending. And actually, come to think of it, it was SkyWest under contract for United. Same hostile treatment and unhelpful behavior as well as I was given an ultimatum, if I didn't except her meager terms I would not be compensated at all. A very dark ending to a fantastic ski vacation!

 

BTW, those SportTubes seem to be impossible to damage without being run over by a large truck. I don't think I could TRY to crush one and succeed.

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Sport tubes work great except when the TSA doesn't lock it correctly after they do their unnecessary and worthless inspection after already scanning it. I had my vest, rope and a couple towels in it for padding and was mortified when it can down the belt decline to the carrousel totally separated with the ski following behind. It was a mess that no one would accept responsibility for. The TSA approved lock had been reattached in the wrong place even though the locking instruction stickers were in plain view.

 

Fin was bent and a small hole was punched in the bottom. Luckily the crew at Bennett's Waterski School fixed it for me the Sunday before the school started.

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I placed markings (label maker) such as "pin here" and a set of arrows on each half of the case that meet when it's closed to the proper length. They are great big white markers. But, the last trip to MN I watched them do there worthless inspection. The best part was watching them try to close it while it sat on a stainless steel counter. One guy was pushing while the other guy decided to let go of the other end. SportTubes can frign slide when motivated. It took off and slammed into some other stainless shelf on rollers with all kinds of crap on it. The noise echoed throughout the terminal. If I wasn't so worried about my gear I woulda left them to figure it out but instead they let me behind the magic blue rope and I closed it in about 2 seconds. they cut my TSA lock off. I have no idea why.
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It looks like the ski inside the PVC that was featured in another thread about "flying with skis" inside the sports tube would be the way to go. Also somewhere somebody posted that they attach a picture to the outside of the sports tube on exactly how the lock goes back on. Maybe if they can't read they can at least follow the pictures. However if they aren't really interested even pictures wont help.
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My wife and I had suffered the same misfortune mid-summer last year. We had both of our skis in one sportube and Southwest did a great job driving something over it.

 

Southwest did stand up for the damage and paid us decent value for the used skis.

She refuses to fly with her ski now, I still enjoy traveling and skiing too much to leave it at home.

 

My advice is always to check out your ski for damage prior to leaving the airport. Much easier to process and file a claim.

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All these crushed Sportube comments have me thinking, maybe these sportubes are not easy enough to handle?

I'm no pro and do not intend on making sportube look bad, but I've seen one (ok only one) up close, and had the feeling I wouldn't know where to start picking it up? it had little to no handles (one I think in the front) and was evidently heavy as it can be.

 

Maybe going for something that has numerous handles / straps etc will ultimately help the ground crew carrying it around and not throwing it - pushing it - dragging it around?

 

I'm just thinking out loud, and maybe your sportubes had plenty of handles, as I said, i'm no pro ;)

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@BHarwood Just noticed I disliked your post. My picture shows up with a little thumbs down. That seems new. Just an FYI, the dislike button is easily hit by mistake on the Iphone and I don't think it can be undone. Ooooops.

 

@popof i have an older SportTube and it has 2 strong handles. Couldn't think where else to put more. I think it's long heavy and awkward no matter how many handles are attached. I'm sure when baggage handlers see that coming at them, their not to happy about it.

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