United Airlines Informative - Booking Award Travel trouble - illegal open-jaw
Tried to book an award reservation that was open-jaw FLL-JAC with return JAC-ORD. Open-jaw award reservations are fine, according to the rules, as long as the unflown portion (ORD-FLL in my case) is of a shorter distance than the flown distance (JAC-ORD in my case). Well, in my case, my open jaw was illegal because the my flown distance was 12 miles shorter than my flown distance. So, I spent at least 4 hours on the phone, speaking to at least seven people, put on hold forever, dropped calls, told to call multiple different numbers - often in a circle, all in an effort to find somebody, anybody, who could make an exception, overlook the 12 miles, and let me book my travel. But, alas, no one would budge. Hence the following problems:
1) In my humble opinion, award travel is a gift to loyal customers - a reward. It should be fun and like a good gift, make you want more. Being on the phone this long is not an award.
2) Being told to call the people that just told you to call the person you're speaking to always sucks. As do phone numbers that transfer you to other numbers.
3) 12 miles! 12 MILES!!!! No one would budge on this...ridiculous.
4) United's open jaw rule encourages customers to fly longer distances rather than shorter distances. When the company is giving away travel, why would it want to encourage customers to take longer flights - flights which cost them, United, more money?
5) In order to get around the open-jaw rule, I booked my return flight instead to SBN - South Bend, IN - which, of course, has a connection through ORD. So, when I get to ORD, I'm just going to walk off the flight and leave United with an unfilled, unsellable seat from ORD to SBN. This of course translates into more lost revenue for United. I told them this on the phone and they still wouldn't overlook the 12 miles - I don't get it. So in the end they took a ton of my time, pissed me off, and put themselves in a position to loose revenue - all over 12 miles.