United Airlines Informative - Lost Baggage & Refusal To Reimburse For Expenses
RE: Customer Service?
This was supposed to be a lovely trip to Europe, my Granddaughters graduation present that she was very excited about. The trip started out in Pittsburgh United Flight #7824 that was to leave at 4:05 p.m., I had to check my carry on at the gangway because it was a small plane and had a full load, we left about 1/2 hour late, upon arrival at Dulles at about 5:05 p.m., we de-planed on the tarmac and were told to wait near the front of the plane for our hand luggage that was checked during boarding, I told the United rep that I only had a few minutes to make my connection, thinking he would be decent enough to hand me my bag as it was right there, nope! He did however give a mother her stroller so she could walk around the airport for the next hour till she had to catch her flight, nice guy that he was.
Well we missed our flight #918 to London, and were not allowed to go on the next one going out which was boarding at that time, just two gates down, because they could not get our luggage loaded on that plane in that short of a time, but then we all know the luggage was still on flight #918 and on it's way to London. Get this (and please keep this in the back of your mind) YOUR LUGGAGE IS NOT ALLOWED TO FLY WITHOUT YOU! We were sent to the customer service line to get re-booked. They had 3 people on the counter and no less than 200 people in line, needless to say we were going to be there awhile. Would have been but after an hour in line a lady with a medical condition raised cane with someone at United, and they sent two more representatives that took the international passengers to another counter, since there were only about 12 that helped move it along.
Finally it was our turn. We had a very nice agent, she would put us on Virgin Airline flight #56 that was leaving at 11:10, she called Virgin, set it up, asked their people if they saw the reservation on their screen, they did, she gave us tickets and we ran and walked as fast as we could all the way to the other side of the airport to their terminal, I am guessing it took at least a good 20-30 minutes even with moving walkways. When we arrived there, handed our tickets to the agent, he said they had no reservations for us, and would not call United to confirm it, he said our tickets were not valid! I asked him to call his supervisor, he said he could not do that, that I needed to go back to United, they could not take tickets issued by United for Virgin Airlines. What is this? Is this another new way to anger customers? Well it was back to United...across the airport...found the same agent and told her what they said. She called Virgin, got a "supervisor" told them the problem, this person said we did have reservations and gave us this MAGIC reference number FZK2PP that would apparently get us on the flight, well the clock is ticking, its going on 10:00 p.m.. So it's back to Virgin....across the airport...agent at the desk said they closed boarding 20 minutes prior to our arrival! I lost it! Told the "supervisor" there, I wanted to talk to her supervisor she said she did not have one to which I replied bull, said I know you have a supervisor and I want to talk to them.
Well I got no where, did get her name and the other agent and will be sending letters. Anyway it is now going on 11:00 p.m., back to United...want to know how tired and angry I am? Back to the customer service counter, where there was a new agent, I did not get in line which I was told about, and I let her know this was my third trip back and I was not getting in line again. She booked us on a flight out the next day at 6:10. Since it is now past 1 1:30, trying to find a room for the night is another nightmare. We finally found one that was a $65.00 cab ride away. Thank you United! Since our luggage is off to London and we have no personal items because of all the restrictions we will have to find toothpaste, etc small enough to travel with or else we will have to toss it. Thanks again United! Now we have lost a whole day we had planned in London. We did get the flight but sit on the runway for 2 1/2 hours due to storms in the Atlantic. We finally got to London and guess what, our luggage did not fly with us. We had to take an hour out to file a lost luggage claim. We called the number for lost luggage as we would be leaving London early the next morning for Paris. They had not located it yet. We made several calls to United's Lost Luggage and to our AAA agent trying to find someone who could give us some definite information as to where our luggage was and when we might get it.
We did not allot time for shopping for clothes and necessities into our schedule and resent very much the amount of time that was taking. We gave United the address where we would be in Paris and the phone number they could reach us at. United had called to tell us they had found our luggage and it would be delivered to hotel in Paris. We were ready to leave Paris and still no luggage. We called United the 15th to be sure they had our address in Barcelona and when we would be there. We need to find a charger for the rental phone as the battery is almost dead and the charger is in our "lost luggage". It is now seven days and still no luggage! We had to shop for some clothes, still a time consuming and not an easy task. We have been calling United several times a day looking for the luggage, personally I think they are lying when they say they found it and will deliver it to our hotel. We have heard that several times now, but still no luggage! We had a flight to Rome, so there went the shampoo etc. We keep United updated as to where we will be and when we will be there just in case they find the luggage.
We called the travel agent and had her get us a day later departure from London since we lost a whole on the front. We got back to London on the 21st, still no luggage, I haven't been able to use my movie camera, which is one of the most disappointing parts of this trip, since Paris, my charger is in my missing luggage and no one carries them. Left London on the 23rd, got to Dulles, had only about 1 hour to make connection to Pittsburgh, but had to get through customs first. What a zoo that was, a very poorly run operation, you could not put one foot in front of the other, let alone claim your luggage. Because this airline is not able to schedule connecting flights with enough time between them to get through the customs mess, missed that flight just as many others do. We were put on standby for the 11:00 flight. We did make that. I am never flying United again. By the way I got my luggage during the night of the 25th. The delivery service left it in the garage sometime in the middle of the night. Probably because someone twisted the handle off of it, a brand new suitcase too. My granddaughter did not get hers until August 14. 2007, 36 days!!. Half of her things were soaking wet, including the two new books she had in there. Guess you lied to us when you said our luggage was not allowed to fly without us.
Needless to say , I am less than happy with the way we were treated, not only about the “lost luggage” but the way the delay and booking through Virgin Airlines was handled. That was so unprofessional. I cannot believe that you can accept that kind of business practice much less subject your customers to it. If the airlines continue to think they can abuse the pubic and their customers like they are now, you are in for a rude awakening. Speaking for myself and my granddaughter we are not flying United or Virgin Airlines for any reason. There are other carriers out there. I incurred expenses totaling $3858.62 all backed up with receipts.