Sometimes a company will do something egregious. Something so irritating that it makes me want never to do business with them again. I then put them on a “secret” list, and I do business with them only if absolutely necessary or if they change their ways. This is an introduction to that list.

United Airlines was the first company that made it on the list. It was around the year 2002 and I was flying down to San Diego (from San Francisco) for the wedding of two friends. The wedding was on Sunday, so I flew first thing in the morning on Saturday to have a day at the beach ahead of the nuptials.

I got to the airport and made it through security. Two hours ahead of the flight. Gotta be ready, right? But somehow, the airline had overbooked the flight and kicked us out. It was annoying, sure, but there were plenty flights to San Diego.

The next one came and went. No empty seats, so they wouldn’t seat us. Then the next. Then the next. It was past noon, and we had been sitting at SFO for six hours already. Mind you, we had done everything right: we had bought our tickets well in advance, we had shown up well in advance, we had simply booked a ticket on an airline that sucks.