United Airlines repeatedly told me misinformation regarding my lost luggage. On December 22nd my daughter and I flew out of Frankfurt Germany on Lufthansa Airlines to Denver, then got on my connecting flight to Los Angeles using United Airlines. Unfortunately my two checked bags didn't make it. I made a delayed baggage report, then went home that night.
I called United's lost baggage assistance at 1-800-221-6903 first thing in the morning. The woman on the phone told me that they had located my luggage in Los Angeles and it just needed to go through customs and it would probably be delivered to me that same day. However, that day went by without a call from them. I called the next day, December 24th. This time I talked to a man. He also told me my luggage was at Los Angeles. I explained to him that all of my family's Christmas presents were in my luggage and the Christmas Eve party was that night. He said he'd put a "priority" on my luggage and that I'd be called within 2 hours to arrange a delivery. No one ever called me.
I called again after the party to complain that my luggage never arrived. This time I talked to a woman who told me my luggage was not in Los Angeles at all, but still in Germany. The first two customer service agents had simply told me falsehoods. She said it would be flown to me right away. I waited a couple of days. Again, no call.
On December 27th at 5pm, five days after my luggage was lost, I called their customer service line again. I spoke to a woman who said my luggage was in Denver and would be flying to Los Angeles on Lufthansa flight 456 and reach LAX at 1PM on December 27th. However, after the conversation I looked up Lufthansa flight 456 and saw that such a flight does not even exist between Denver and LAX. It's a flight between Frankfurt and LAX. It was also the flight that was listed on my delayed baggage report as my original baggage routing. It was the number of the flight that I missed in Frankfurt due to delays. There is no LH 456 flight from Denver to LAX.
Once I discovered that misinformation, I called the customer service line again the same evening and spoke with a man. I told him of the wrong information that had been told to me. He said he would help me. When I told him what the last person had told me, he again said that it was in Denver going on Flight LH 456. Just repeating what I had been told. When I told him that flight didn't exist, he changed his story and said my luggage is in Frankfurt. When I asked him why he originally said it was in Denver then later said Frankfurt, he didn't really have an explanation. I kept asking him "You don't really know where my luggage is. Just tell me the truth. Where is my luggage?" I kept asking him this. It was like pulling teeth to try to get him to tell the truth. Finally he admitted they don't know where my luggage is.
Every person I talked to on their customer service line had told me wrong information. Every single one of them. They all had very strong accents, sounding like they were from India. The calling centers may not even be located here in the US, which is probably why they didn't seem to care.
Will I ever see my luggage again? Even if I do get my luggage back, it is still horrible customer service.
This is what ensured on my United Airlines flight to Portland Oregon from Chicago.
So Scenario 1: My 1st piece of luggage, a small rolling suitcase, is stored in the overhead compartment. My 2nd piece is stored under the seat and there is no more space under the seat. I have a SMALL purse with me that is in my lap. The Stewardess comes by and insists that I put my bag up in the overhead compartment. I try SEVERAL times to politely tell her that I NEED my purse because it has my inhaler, and heart meds, which I need during takeoff.
At this point the stewardess gets even more rude and more insistent no matter how much I explain to her that having these items is VITAL to my health and that if I have an asthma attack I WON'T BE ABLE TO REACH THEM in the overhead compartment... Let me specify that she was NEVER even SLIGHTLY nice from the beginning. The man beside me, bless him, FINALLY suggests that I can put my purse under his seat after almost 3-4 minutes of this. She didn't even suggest that. She just kept pushing me to put my purse, my livelihood up in the top compartment where I can't reach it.
Now, I understand the need for her to have to secure other baggage, but instead of suggesting something else like the man beside me did, she kept trying to jeopardize my health by repetitively insisting I do it HER way instead of suggesting an alternative like the man next to me. To show you that I was NOT being unreasonable or overreacting, BOTH men beside me said that she was being incredibly rude to me, with her attitude, mannerisms and how she handled the situation as soon as she walked away.
Scenario 2: United Airlines seats are even smaller than OTHER airlines seats. Literally. Why is this? Well United airlines as 3 levels of seats (instead of the normal 2 types). The 1st is the economy seats, which is what I was in, the Economy PLUS seats (which is the same size as a NORMAL SEAT ON OTHER AIRLINES and only has 6 extra inches to begin with. 6 extra inches!!! OMG!!! That's sooooooo much space!!!) And a First Class section. So to give you an idea, United basically gives you smaller, smaller than ANY other airlines, hoping that you will upgrade to the Economy Plus for 50 extra dollars.
To explain that I am not joking or exaggerating about the smallness of the seats, either, I am only 5'7” and my legs are hitting the seat in front of me uncomfortably. The man beside me is about 6'3”. His legs are SO LONG that one leg is draped off to one side into the other man's leg room, and one leg is draped into my leg room because he simply can't fit his legs in front of him. I don't blame him. So due to the tiny seats, and lack of leg room, after about 45 minutes after takeoff my legs start to cramp up badly. My circulation goes bad in my legs. I have a heart problem. This is NOT good.
(To briefly explain my heart problem, I have P. O.T. S which is a condition in which something in the brain does not send the right signal to the legs in the veins and they don't pump blood right. Because of this it affects the WHOLE body, my lugs, circulation and particularly by raising my heartbeat whenever I go from sitting to standing, or any kind of posture change.) So already I am having leg problems that are affecting my heart. I attempt to explain this to the stewardess who suggests that I walk around. I explain that it will be worse, my heart beat is already up to 115 bpm (I timed it) and that doing that will make it go up even more if I stand up.
The stewardess is again RUDE no matter how many times I explain to her that I'm in distress and feel like I'm going to pass out. I finally ask to speak to someone higher up than her about getting a larger seat where I can stretch out my legs so that I WILL NOT have to stand up and she tells me to go speak to the head stewardess. After another 3-4 minute exchange and going back and forth (again to prove I'm not exaggerating at all on my claim, the two men beside me encouraged me to go up and say something).
Scenario 3: I go to speak to the head stewardess about this problem. I am in noticeable distress. It is a struggle to breathe. I have my fingers on my THROAT to check my pulse as I talk to her and explain the situation. At this point, I am very irritated at how I was treated. I explain to her the situation. She also suggests I stand and walk around (are these people STUPID?!) I explain that I cannot do this because of my heart problem, and that even right now my heartbeat is up to almost 130 bpm at this point. If I don't sit down somewhere where I can correct my circulation ASAP I am GOING to pass out, and then there might seriously be a medical emergency happening.
Woman explains that she could give me a bigger seat but would have to charge me 50 dollars. I am aghast because here I am HAVING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY and she wants to argue over pricing, and to top it all off, my heart problem is classified as a mild disability so she's basically telling me that even though I could be dying and am mildly disabled, she cannot give me this seat unless I pay 50 dollars right now. WHAT THE IS WRONG WITH THIS SITUATION?? Can anyone else tell me?! (Now, I want to state here and now that I NEVER had an issue with paying the money. The money is nothing, it's only 50 dollars.
I have an ISSUE with how I've been treated up to this point!) I tell the woman that I will pay the money AFTER talking to customer service when I get off the plane. This seems to settle it and she tells me that I can go sit in one of the larger seats. At this point, I am even more angry because the head stewardess LAUGHED AT ME while I was explaining how upset I am by this whole situation. This angers me because while I was visibly upset (wouldn't you be too??) I was NOT rude. Whatever. I go to find my seat...
Now, being a reasonable person I choose the seat closest to my luggage I stored in the above compartment. The closest seat is diagonal to that and is an Emergency Exit seat. Thinking nothing of it, I sit down, am able to stretch my legs while sitting down, and start feeling better almost immediately.
Scenario 4: 20-30 minutes or so later, when I'm feeling better and talking to the guy next to me, the Stewardess pulls me aside to talk to me. In her almost exact words she tells me that where ‘m sitting is illegal due to my disability and that the cops “authorities” are waiting to intercept me at landing. What the heck?! Let me clarify: She does NOT politely tell me that where I'm sitting is illegal due to my disability and ask me to move. She DOES tell me it's illegal and say that she's sending the authorities after me because of it. What the heck?!!
So I move, and I tell her so, to avoid that problem. She says if I want to do that to “avoid” that problem, that is fine. I move my seat from the Emergency Exit to another seat by some nice older ladies. They were awesome.
Scenario 5: 4 cops greet me off the plane. FOUR COPS for a girl who is 5'7” and weighs 115 lbs. If they wanted to intimidate me, THEY WIN, because I'm almost in tears at this point out of anger and the unjust situation. The cops are actually NICER AND MORE UNDERSTANDING THAN THE STEWARDESSES. They even explain to one person from customer service that I had a heart problem and couldn't help moving my seats.
At this point in the time stewardess had reported that I changed seats several times without authority. “WITHOUT THE AUTHORITY?” Hmm… doesn't that sound A LITTLE funny considering the head stewardess TOLD me I could get another seat after I told her I would pay the money but wanted to talk to the Customer Service first?? They finally get me to talk to a woman named **. I am in many many tears at this point. I am extremely upset and very angry. ** is nice and very understanding. ** agrees to give me extra miles for my troubles, but STILL MAKES ME PAY the 50 dollars. Let me explain why I am ANGRY about this, at this point!
Firstly, they are making me pay for a seat when I had a medical emergency. SECOND, I only sat in this seat for half of the flight and had to move. THIRD, they are making me pay for a seat I was HARASSED and THREATENED over. Let me be clear. I don't want the extra miles. In fact, considering United could have KILLED ME (worst case scenario) by refusing to let me move in an emergency and jeopardizing my health, I DON'T EVER WANT TO FLY UNITED AGAIN. All I want is my 50 dollars back for my unjust treatment on their flight.
Instead of treating me like a customer with a health emergency and accommodating my needs I was treated like a criminal. Instead of having EMTs meet me at the exit to make sure I was okay, I had the POLICE meet me at the end of the flight... what's wrong with this situation? I could have DIED!
My wife and I booked flights through Priceline from Syracuse, NY to Minneapolis, Minn. flying the "friendly skies" of United. This was not a pleasure trip. My wife suffers from neurological symptoms that local neurologists could not diagnose. We were able to get her an appointment at the world renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The clinic called us on a Friday afternoon telling us we had a following Tuesday morning 7am appointment. We would be spending through Thursday my wife receiving multiple tests daily. We could only afford the package we got through Priceline as all other airlines prices were way out of the range of available monies.
We arrived late Monday night and the journey began early Tuesday morning. Our flight back to Syracuse was set for Friday at 6am. Mid-week our medical itinerary was expanded by the clinic to include testing until Friday afternoon at 4:30pm. I spoke with the doctor about our flight and he assured us that the airlines are all very sensitive to the needs of the patients at the clinic and his patients with similar changes in the past have had no problems changing flights with no additional expenses due to unforeseen medical emergencies. Our worries were briefly relieved as he had obviously never dealt with United Airlines.
When I got back to our hotel I immediately contacted reservations and explained in detail our medical situation and need to fly out on Saturday. The reservations representative kept saying over and over again they could not do anything to change our flight back other than book new flights. I explained what the Dr had told us and our medical, and financial limitations. I asked how could they leave us stranded given the facts. I explained I would immediately fax our official medical itinerary and Dr. name and phone number. She just kept giving company apologies and saying they couldn't do anything. I was transferred to a supervisor after 45 minutes on hold.
Mr. Kapil ** was told exactly the same information. He told me to take it to Priceline they could not help me. I begged him to get us on another flight on Saturday but he said he couldn't.... His company United Airlines had no problem being heartless with the idea that my sick wife and myself were left stranded 17 hours from our 4 children. I became frustrated and asked for his supervisor and was told he was as high as my complaining could go! I asked for a customer complaint phone number and was told that complaints were only taken via e-mail.
What a horribly run company. I hope everyone reading this will understand United Airlines does not care one bit about helping passengers seeing how they ignored our needs. Do as we are and never have anything to do with them again and tell everyone who will listen how they are willing to ignore their passengers needs. I did call Priceline and after checking out my situation by contacting the Mayo clinic switched our flights at a cost of $150 per ticket. They said they would like to waive that fee but guess who gets it, yup United Airlines! I will have to deal with them to get a refund. I won't give up trying.
Dear Friends and fellow consumers, this review comes to you after 3 months of attempts to get things corrected with both my CC company and the United Airlines. During a business trip I was in line at the easy check-in machine. During that experience and while speaking to two of my colleges I was given an opportunity to buy a first class upgrade on my return trip. I was flying from Richmond VA to San Francisco CA. It was two hops to get home, one to Chicago, IL the next back home to San Fran's airport.
The first leg was the shorter trip and the offer was for 145 US dollars, I refused and then the next Upgrade appeared to be 147, for which I thought was for the second longer leg. I accepted the offer. The machine printed my tickets and I immediately looked for my first class ticket. Instead I received a bill for and notice that I had upgraded my miles for an additional 4000 + and it cost me 147 US dollars.
I went to the counter to explain that I had made a mistake and that I wanted my money back. I was told that I couldn't be helped but that here is a number to call. I had some time so I called to find out there is no refund on award miles. How could this be, I am a frequent flier that already has over 250,000 miles to my name. I tried to escalated only to be treated in a hostile manner and then hung up on. The customer service agent when requesting his ID, told me it was "MAN", I hardly believed this to be true.
I called my CC company, American Express, that customer service agent told me that it was not in the system so no dispute could be made. I waited patiently for it to appear on my online statement and I disputed it. I called in and explained the above. Later in the month I saw that the dispute was denied, I called again and the American Express person place the dispute again after hearing the tale that you just read. 30 days later I received a notice from AmEx that I would need to place my dispute in writing. I did with 36 hours mailed my written letter to AmEx.
United came back to say that I had used the "Upgrade" on the flight and they would not return the funds. I called back and explained even in the abstract where I did get the miles, with 250,000 in my account, I could easily have used the first 250,000 and not the last 4000 that I was duped into buying. I have canceled my credit card with AmEx as they did not reach my claim but took United's response at face value.
I have ceased to fly UA from this moment forward and think that everyone should be aware of the gouging that United Airlines uses to take money from weary travelers. Now I am flying AA, let's see if their customer service is geared towards the consumer as well as the bottom line.
I am writing you because I have tried at least a dozen times to find someone at your company to assist me, all to no avail. I have had the worst customer relations experience of my entire life dealing with your organization. Let me quickly relay the facts: On May 17, 2009, I took flights 137 and 705. On May 17th, you lost my baggage and I filed a report: number **. On May 17th (late that night) you delivered my bag to my home. It was left, if a large plastic bag, on my porch. The suitcase was completely destroyed. The contents were heavily soiled and several were damaged beyond repair. Your baggage staff had attempted to shove the contents back in and tape the bag closed.
The next day I spoke with Chana ** and Rishi of your baggage claim staff. They informed me I needed to go to the airport to report the damage, so I went to San Jose Airport that afternoon. (They told me it didn't matter if I went to SFO or San Jose, so I chose San Jose because it is a little closer to my house). I arrived at San Jose airport, went wandering through the baggage area to the office, which was closed and locked with the lights off (this was about 3 pm in the afternoon). At San Jose Airport, the representative at the check in counter told me it would be months, if ever, before I got any assistance from baggage and my best course of action was to take a $300 travel voucher and her condolences.
She also told me I could submit receipts for the damaged items to Passenger Refunds - WHQAK at fax # 1-874-844-7173. I submitted my information, which included receipts for the damaged items (silk blouses) and dry cleaning, the very next day. That was over a month ago and I have heard nothing from United. I called today and was informed your Customer Service line has been disconnected and I should write or email customer service. I emailed customer service on June 10; Customer Service emailed me back and told me they had forwarded my problem to the Chicago baggage department. (Sheri **, Customer Relations Ref #: **)
I called Chicago baggage department today. They told me they could not help me and I needed to contact baggage at San Francisco. (Back to square one). I work in customer service myself, albeit for a much smaller organization and I would be fired immediately if I offered service that was half as bad as the service provided by United. I believe your company's customer service is indicative of this day and age when large companies think they can get the ordinary customer to just go away if they make the system complicated enough to navigate.
I have spoken with ABC 7 On Your Side, a Consumer Affairs Show about my situation. I am also copying my Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, because I believe our federal representatives have the right to know that your organization (which they regulate) treats consumers so poorly. I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
I would like to tell you about the experience my family and I recently received from our United flight. We were on Flight UA903 from Munich, Germany to Denver, Colorado on June 3rd to return from a trip to Poland. We flew Lufthansa on the way to Poland, so this was to be my first United overseas flight. The second we started dealing with United was the second the trip became one nightmare after another.
The very first issue that we had to confront was that United offers no pre-reservation of the bassinet seats. You must do this at the gate when you get your boarding pass. Once we got to the gate and reserved the bassinet seat (we were around the 3rd people in line to get boarding passes because our layover got us there many hours early), they gave me the boarding passes and said we were set with our bassinet seat, but after boarding it ended up being regular seats. When I asked a stewardess, she told me that I'd have to talk to the person that issued the tickets and she didn't have time for it.
So, I fought my way back out of the plane and the person greeting people told me I wasn't allowed to go back up the ramp. I explained the problem and she called the ticket issuers. After a few seconds she told me that I was out of luck because those seats weren't available anymore. So I went back through all the people and found another stewardess and asked if she could have two of the people seated in the bulkhead (infant) area to move. She asked and the passenger told her that he didn't want to switch seats because he wanted to "be able to stretch his legs."
At that moment, it should become rather obvious that they should be told to move. We had a 9 month old infant with requested bassinet seats and one of the employees screwed up and didn't do what they were supposed to. It should have been fixed. Instead, she told me she'd done all she could and it was too bad. A lady on the far side of that row must have heard what was going on, so she volunteered to have her two teenage children moved to where we were sitting so we could take two of the five seats in the infant area.
Rather than help expedite that seat change, the flight attendant simply yelled at us to hurry up because we needed to get in the air. She even went as far as to tell us to leave our items under the seat where we were because she didn't want to help find overhead space. Obviously, we're on an international flight, so where would someone put important papers such as passports? In our carry-on baggage under the seat. So I grabbed the bag that had the important items anyway and we left the baby bag because the stewardess kept yelling at us that we didn't have time.
Once we were seated, we waited for around 15 minutes while the rest of the passengers finished boarding. The next problem to show up was the baby seat belt. Every different airline we've flown on has given us a baby seat belt. It is looped onto the adult seat belt and then goes around the baby (kind of like a seat belt connected to a seat belt). United apparently doesn't offer these. I understand that they are a useless gesture in the event of a crash, but what about depressurization? What about in sudden, rough turbulence? They will serve quite well to make sure the baby doesn't fall off your lap if those things happen.
Once we were airborne, the stewardess brought the bassinet. I'm not really sure what it was supposed to be when it was made, but it was essentially a baby body bag that just gets placed on the floor. Very unusual since our previous flight with Lufthansa (who is partnered with United, but seems MUCH better) actually had a bassinet that mounted to the bulkhead so that the child wasn't simply lying on the floor. It was still better than trying to hold her for the 8 1/2 hour flight though, so we just piled a couple of blankets on it and used it anyway.
Throughout the flight the service was the worst we had ever been subjected to. My wife actually received the brunt of it. When the initial drink cart came around, the flight attendant (I never was able to get his name) was completely rude to everyone. Rather than ask if she wanted a drink, or what she would like to drink, he simply said, "What do you want?" This was not done in a friendly manner. If we weren't in the middle of a long flight, I would have sat him down and explained that you do not treat people, especially my wife, like that without causing problems. The rest of the flight was the same for all situations, drink refills, the main meal, etc.
It also seems that requesting the baby meal a couple of months in advance is still not enough time. They never bothered at any point to bring it, or even ask if we wanted it. We were elated when we were around an hour away from landing in D.C. So we could get off that plane. My wife was starving, I was hungry, the baby was tired of being cooped up, and we would be able to get away from the rude flight attendants. While my wife was in the restroom, they served the snack. The same man was on her side of the isle again. He didn't bother to ask people if they wanted it. He didn't bother to hand it to the person getting it.
The right side of his isle had two seats; he'd set down 2 snacks, expecting that not only does everyone want it, but they'd see to it that it was distributed for him. The left side of his isle had 3 seats; he'd do the same. With my wife in the restroom, he simply set down 2 instead of 3. He didn't ask, didn't care. I tried to ask him for hers, but he was already gone in his race to be a jerk in record time. When my wife came back, he was at the rear of the plane finishing up so she went to ask for hers. He told her, "I don't have any." Nothing about being able to help or that he'd get her one... strange that he'd have run out without even serving everyone.
She started to tell him that he needs to go find one and he interrupted her and said he'd get one. Then the other attendant said that she'd bring one by in just a second since she was heading that way again. She asked my wife to go have a seat and she'd be right there. That moment never came.
We finally landed and deplaned and it's probably very lucky that the flight attendant didn't come off the plane while we were waiting for our stroller because by this point I was boiling mad that he could treat anyone that poorly and not have consequences. If he were anywhere other than in the middle of a flight, I think he would probably have needed police protection from half the plane.
Anyway, much to our elation, we had to change planes in D.C. For our technical stop which meant a new crew. Thank God. We were able to board our next flight with no issues and it went smoothly. We landed in Denver and were so happy to be so close to the end of our return. We were practically finished with one horrible return trip, courtesy of United Airlines. We headed to baggage claim and called our ride and told them we'd be right out. Wrong again! Seemingly just to spite us one last time, United lost one of our bags. Wait, "It's not lost; we know right where it is. It just isn't here and won't be for another few hours."
Wow... I'm glad they were optimistic about not giving us our luggage until the next day. So now, after 25 hours of travel time, we're finally home with a good dose of jet lag... and I get to go to the store since the bag they lost had all the additional diapers beyond what was in the travel bag. We did finally get the bag yesterday and are hoping that there is no way for United to reach across town and find a way to ruin another day. It remains beyond my comprehension how an airline can be allowed to operate at that level. I can understand mechanical problems, but no one should be paying good money to be treated like a prisoner of war.
I have filed a complaint with United, but given this kind of track record, I'm not sure that they'll even read it.
I departed AUS on May 30 @ 11:54am on United Flight 7436, had a layover in IAD and arrived in CLT on May 30 @ 6:55pm on United Flight 7115. When I arrived and went to retrieve my checked luggage it was delayed and was scheduled to arrive on the next flight from IAD at 11:30pm on May 30 and was to be delivered to me that night. It did not come Saturday night and when I called the next morning 5/31/09 they said I would receive my baggage between 8:30am and 12:30pm 5/31. At 10:58am I heard a thud at my door and instantly knew it was my luggage.
When I answered the door I could hear the person running, but where my door is you cannot see the driveway and my luggage was lying over on its side. I brought it in, opened it up and was shocked to find half of my items were missing! Including many clothing items, perfume, jewelry, and sunglasses. Some of those items brand new with tags and receipts in the bag.
I just so happen to have had a Gap Outlet bag in there and I live across the street from Concord Mills Mall, which is the only Gap Outlet in the immediate area. I went to the Gap and informed them of what happened and they had a pile of clothes sitting in their return area behind the register which was the exact items that were missing from my luggage. They pulled the items and used my credit card to pull the receipt and someone had returned them at 2:33pm using my receipt out of my luggage and getting cash, since I paid with my debit card. This is confirmed by the **- Manager on Duty at the Gap Outlet!
I am appalled no one will help, even though I have this proof. I feel extremely violated that someone would ransack my luggage, steal my items and then proceed to return my merchandise, within hours after my baggage delivery and not one person seems to care.
I have been at the airport United baggage claim office 4 times on 5/31/09 to resolve the problem, which they have been to Executive Delivery Services who actually delivered my bag. Executive Delivery Services made the comment they have an employee receiving many complaints, but waiting to "catch" them - what a perfect opportunity. I was directed by Lisa **- United Baggage Claim employee that I would need to go file a report with the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Department. Officer ** informed me they could not help with the situation and I would need to file a report with the Airport Police Prec.
On 5/31 at 9:00 pm I went to the Airport Police Department and she YELLED at me and the United Baggage Claim employee ** that they have better things to do than to do deal with this matter, and that I need to contact the Austin, TX police department and which I did and filed a report (Case # **). The officer told me there was nothing they could do really either, because the items and the larceny happened in Charlotte, NC. I would like to get this situation resolved as soon as possible.
I spent 11 hours on 5/31 dealing with this not to mention all the time I am taking making all of these reports. I have filed a report with Channel 9, they have contacted me to run this story and I would prefer to have this resolved. I am willing to go to all lengths for this to be resolved and that person held responsible. I have over 3,000.00 worth of my items missing.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Last March, I bought a ticket to fly from Denver to Ft. Meyers, Florida for Christmas. I booked the ticket on CheapTickets. It included three segments on United (two of which were code-shared with USAir) and one on Continental. My credit card bill showed United billed for the ticket ($592.80), with a separate charge ($4.99) for CheapTickets.
In the months following, I received a few itinerary changes from CheapTickets and United, all for minor time changes for the United flights. One or two involved new flight numbers; each time I called United for new seat assignments. I received an email confirmation of the entire itinerary from United on August 9 and an e-ticket receipt from United for all four flight segments issued on September 21. In October, CheapTickets sent two more change notices for the United flights, with no change to the Continental leg.
On December 18, 48 hours before departure, I received a notice from CheapTickets of another unspecified itinerary change. I immediately called CheapTickets, and after some confusion on their end, they discovered that the Continental flight had been cancelled. CheapTickets contacted the airlines and told me neither Continental nor United would "protect" me, and CheapTickets wouldn't do anything to get me to my destination, either. So two days before my trip -- on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year -- a ticket I'd bought nine months earlier was useless and my trip cancelled.
I spent more than six hours on the phone (mostly on hold) with United, Continental and CheapTickets. I discovered that the Continental flight actually had been cancelled on August 9. Continental claimed they'd notified United at the time. No one could explain why United sent me a written confirmation of the original Continental flight the day it was cancelled and again the following month, or why it took them more than three months to notify me of the cancellation.
Continental said they couldn't offer an alternative flight because they no longer served that route. Even though United had issued the ticket, they wouldn't reroute me because the cancelled segment was on Continental. United found flights to get me to my destination, but only if I paid an additional $1600. The only alternative they offered was to refund the price of the original ticket, which I had no choice but to accept.
I was incredibly frustrated and angry. I contacted United's "Customer Care" group about the last minute cancellation notice and United's refusal to reroute me to my destination. The reply was somewhat incoherent, much in broken English, and included an apparent "stock" response to itinerary change complaints. "We do our best to minimize schedule changes but when they do occur, we arrange for your alternate flights as close as possible to your original itinerary. I am sorry your itinerary was not satisfactory for you and look forward to your future travel with United."
Since this didn't address my situation, I sent a clarification and received another jumbled response. Finally, I asked to be put in touch with a supervisor. The representative refused, citing "policy reasons beyond our reach." I contacted United's local office in Denver. Their response addressed the details of my situation and was much more coherent, but they still wouldn't take responsibility.
United blamed CheapTickets for not notifying me of the Continental cancellation and said "United could only protect you from Denver to Ft. Meyers on Continental because of the way the fare was calculated point to point. In order to change your routing, this would have required a refund of the original ticket and to start over." I don't understand how United can issue a ticket that includes a segment on another carrier, collect the fare, incorrectly confirm that segment even after it's been cancelled, fail to notify the passenger of the itinerary change for more than three months -- yet takes no responsibility to protect the passenger for that itinerary.
RENO, NEVADA -- To the complaints department, United Airlines. This is a complaint regarding our holiday travel this year which turned into a nightmare for us due to the following actions taken by your airline throughout our journey. Hope you will take appropriate actions after verifying the details I am providing here.
Our family i.e. the following passengers; (1) **; (2)**; (3) **, a seven year old child; was booked on United Airlines flight UA 573 from Reno to San Francisco on 19th December 2008 with departure time 6:20 AM with a connecting flight by Cathay Pacific from San Francisco to Hong Kong flight # CX 879 departure at 12:05 PM the same day with another connecting flight from Hong Kong to Bangalore ON CX 6710 leaving Hong Kong on the 20th December.
Your flight UA 573 got cancelled on the 19th of December 2008 morning. Other airline flights were departing around that time. We called your airlines at 3:00 AM when we got the news of the cancellation on the internet and requested that we be accommodated in the 9 AM flight from Reno to San Francisco on the 19th because of the connecting international flight we had to catch. We were informed that there was no way we could be accommodated in that flight because it was full.
When we asked what we could do because obviously we were going to miss the CX 879 flight out of San Francisco and be no showed on that flight, a Manager from United who appeared to be very helpful on the phone said she was offering us an alternate routing through Chicago via American Airlines flight AA 1750 from Reno to Chicago leaving Reno at 1:15 PM United Airlines flight 938 leaving Chicago at 9:05 PM to London and subsequently British Airways flight 119 from London to Bangalore which would let us arrive in Bangalore on the same day i.e. Early 21st December morning.
We did have onward reservations out of Bangalore on 21st December evening. We accepted the alternate routing and she gave us confirmation numbers on (1) American Airlines out of Reno # **. (2) British Airways flight **. She asked us to get FIM from the United Airlines counter in Reno to travel on the AA1750 flight. We were OK with the alternate routing and presented ourselves at the UA counter in Reno on the 19th of December at 11:15 AM. We were at that time informed that your agent might have made a mistake by rerouting us through Chicago.
We presented our confirmation numbers and said that we had accepted that rerouting. Finally, a FIM was given by United Airlines and our bags (three in number) were checked in all the way to Bangalore at the Reno American Airlines counter. We boarded AA1750 from Reno and reached Chicago. We presented our so called pass PNR: ** to the UA counter in Chicago.
At that time the worse nightmare started. We were informed by the agent in the UA counter at Chicago that we were absolutely not allowed to board UA 938 from Chicago to London because our original ticket was from San Francisco and the agent who had rerouted us with all those confirmation numbers had made a mistake, and we HAD to travel via the west coast because our original ticket was via San Francisco and it was “ILLEGAL ROUTE” to travel via the European route. When we informed the UA agent that our bags were already on their way to Bangalore on the BA flight he said he could not help that.
So, we were not allowed to go to London because of the so called “callous mistake” of your Manager who rerouted us and we were put up in a hotel in Chicago that night. Incidentally your staff in Chicago was extremely rude and did not care that we were traveling with a seven year old child. All they kept repeating was it was absolutely illegal of that Manager to have rerouted us through that route. So in your airline the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. We got no apologies from anybody.
Next day morning we were sent back to San Francisco from Chicago on UA flight 885 (on the 20th of December). So we came all the way back to San Francisco and a day had been lost on which we could be working instead of going through the whims and fancies of your agents. We boarded Cathay Pacific flight CX 879 on the 20th of December, reached Hong Kong and boarded KA 152 (Cathay Pacific) from Hong Kong to Bangalore on the 21st of December and finally reached Bangalore on the 22nd of December 4:00 AM after an extra 24 hours of fruitless traveling as mentioned above.
When we reached Bangalore we only had handbags and none of our luggage checked in by the original UA/British Airways rerouting had reached. We had no clothes, no basic necessities traveling with a seven year old child. We had to cancel our outgoing reservations out of Bangalore that day and checked into a hotel while we had to buy everything from scratch including clothes and all basic necessities.
We were told our bags should be retrieved in 24 to 48 hours. After 48 hours we had to leave Bangalore on our onward journey in India with no luggage. The first bag was located in London and delivered after 96 hours. The other two bags were not located for a while and subsequently found in Chicago. Those were delivered in Bangalore on the 30th December after 9 days. My husband had to come back to Bangalore to collect those bags, disrupting every aspect of our travel schedule.
Now, for the crowning glory of this trip. We had our return reservation by Cathay Pacific flight CX 752 on the 10th January 2009 from New Delhi to Hong Kong, CX 870 from Hong Kong to San Francisco and UA 6588 on the 11th of January 2009 from San Francisco to Reno. When we called Cathay Pacific agents to reconfirm our return we were told our return reservation no longer existed because of no show on our starting flight on CX879 on the 19th of December 2008.
When we told the runaround we were given by United Airlines and the whole story we were informed that UA should have informed Cathay about the cancellation of flight UA 573 on the 19th which you did not and hence the Cathay system promptly no showed us on the 19th and automatically cancelled our return reservation. It sounds like a story of nightmarish proportions but after umpteen phone calls we were reinstated on our return flight on the 10th of January out of New Delhi. So the outcome of all the mismanagement by your agent was:
Loss of wages on the 19th of December and unnecessarily being shunted to Chicago with promise of rerouting only to be refused embarkation in the UA flight from Chicago to London.
The three checked in pieces of luggage going in different directions with one being tracked in London and the two others 10 days later being tracked in Chicago.
Hotel expenses, clothes, travel and every other expense while waiting for the bags to be tracked and sent to us which was done 10 days later in Bangalore even though our return flight was out of New Delhi.
Automatic cancellation of the return on Cathay because of the initial no shows on Cathay because of the UA 573 cancellation on the 19th of December.
Extreme physical and mental anguish on a vacation with a seven year old child because of multiple mistakes by YOUR AGENTS.
I hope you will check the details and get back to me with appropriate compensation. Our whole family vacation has been ruined and I am still suffering nightmares about rerouting flights and not being allowed to board. I also hope you will take action against the Manager who “WRONGFULLY” offered us the initial rerouting with the confirmation numbers AA ** and on BA **. I will be awaiting a prompt response from you.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I had a ticket for a flight out of Chicago (O'Hare) to Los Angeles (LAX) on a Sunday night. I got to the airport to find out that the flight had been overbooked and I was placed on a "confirmed awaiting seating assignments" list. Unfortunately not enough people missed the flight, or volunteered to give up their seats so I was bumped off the flight. In this process of waiting for my seat I was confronted with rude employees, who didn't care to explain the situation to me.
I am only 19 years old and I have never had this occur, I was very confused, and no one cared to help me with my questions. I tried explaining that I had school the next day and medication I needed to take in my luggage, yet the staff waited to tell me that I didn't make it onto the flight after the plane had already taken off. They got me on a flight the next morning, then told me I could choose between $575 or a free round trip flight.
The representative told me that taking the $575 would be smarter, so I did. He then said United would put me up in a hotel room and pay for transportation there. I live with my family and wanted to go home so I asked for transportation money instead. The representative calculated how much a cab fare would cost to my town, and came up with $25 each way. He then gave me two $25 vouchers, one for the way there, one for the way back to the airport.
I have no idea how much cabs cost and believed what I was told, and accepted the vouchers. When I arrived home the cab fare was $80, I was beyond mad. I am a college student who is very low on money, I cannot afford to pay for OTHER PEOPLES MISTAKES. I had to take a cab to the airport the next morning which cost about $80 again.
I talked to several people at the airport and all they told me was basically that since I had accepted the vouchers that there was nothing they could do about it. They also told me that since the economy is so bad that they can only give out $25 vouchers, and that I could call customer service but they would just tell me the same thing. How on earth is a hotel room and transportation equal to two $25 vouchers? When I got to LAX I had to get another cab since the person who was going to pick me up the night before had to work now. All these cab rides cost me around $250, once again, I am a college student who has very little money.
So basically United screwed me over, I was unable to fly out on Sunday night, I missed school on Monday, I could not take my medication and now have to see a doctor to try to somehow fix this, I had to pay $250 in extra cab fares, I didn't have my clothing, medication, and other things I needed that were in my luggage which was on the plane, I was faced with several rude employees and I wasted hours of my time waiting at the airport. I will never fly United again and hope those of you reading this will choose a different airline as well. Thank you.