75 min. int'l layover due to cancellation - UA won't change?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by jaw_24, Sep 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    I have a return award flight from PEK to IAH connecting through SFO which just suffered a cancellation on the SFO-IAH leg and bumped me up to UA1604 leaving at 11:30AM. My arrival from PEK is 10:15AM. Now, this might be doable (any thoughts?) but we will also have 3 kiddos in tow, 3/4/7 y.o.

    Called United line and they won't change or reroute my return without a nice little change fee (it is an award ticket), but just a reassurance that 'they'll accommodate me if I'm delayed'. Is there any other way I can go about this, or should I be worried? If it was just me and the wife I'd go with the flow, but with kids, a few extra hours in an airport can really kill the mood.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What are the other flights you're interested in?

    Most agents will accommodate you if you can reasonably explain that you booked with the longer layover to account for kids, checked bags, etc. That said, you seem to be suggesting that you want extra time in the airport so you don't have to spend extra time in the airport. That's a bit confusing even though I am pretty sure I know what you mean. But if you're explaining it to the agent that way I could understand them balking.
     
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  3. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Do you and wife have global entry? That would help a lot!
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not really, since they also have the kids with them.

    Or would you have mom & dad use GE and leave the 3 kids in line?? ;)
     
  5. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I'm guessing that your M+ status is Gold or less. Plat and higher have no fee award changes. It does seem that it would be in UA's best interest to change you now, however, since it's hard to imagine clearing immigration and customs prior to a connection that leaves 45 minutes after your arrival.

    Sadly, this is one of those cases where IME you would probably benefit from calling repeatedly until you get the answer that you want (need).
     
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  6. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I believe with global entry children are allowed to "cut the line" with their parents - at least that's what I've read.
     
  7. Sunshine7

    Sunshine7 Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, not according to the FAQs for the program (http://www.globalentry.gov/faq.html#20):

    Q: As a Global Entry program member, or NEXUS or SENTRI member with the Global Entry benefit, can I extend my expedited benefit to my travel companion(s) (children, spouse, or co-traveler) who is/are not part of the Global Entry program?
    A: Global Entry benefits are member specific and cannot be extended to others.

    I think the OP might have to get an understanding agent. I've had experience with an understanding agent (I think the layover was less than an hour from an international arrival), but I've also been told that the 75 minute layover after another international arrival was a "valid schedule," whatever that means. I wound up making the connection, but it was a race from gate to gate.
     
  8. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    So sorry for the incorrect information:oops: So much for my memory - and thanks for going the the authoritative source!
     
  9. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    I see from your info that you have a couple of hotel affiliations.. I would have a reservation at the easiest choice. Maybe at Day Room rates. Depends on cancellation time of course. Then you can decide on the day if you need to get the kiddos bathed / to bed for a couple of hours, or not.

    And depending on how long the delay is, you could talk to UA about assisting with the cost. If that fails, at least the family will be fresher for the next leg. 15000 points & $70 could be a small price to pay?
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Estnet's original post is correct in this situation. While non-GE members may not use the GE equipment, if all the adults in a travel party are GE members and have children with them all below the age eligible for GE, upon presenting themselves at the GE kiosk area, they will be directed to the front of the queue at the nearest traditional immigration window.

    This is "unpublished," but is in fact part of the program. This has been explained to me by several agents in the GE areas, and was explained to me unsolicited when I did my interview. I've seen people do it a few times at different ports.
     
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  11. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I had a similar problem on Delta, though made more complicated that it was for award travel entirely on AF.

    A call to DL SMS found a sympathetic agent, but yielded no results. I had plenty of time before my flight - so I wrote a letter to HQ. They moved me to exactly the flights I wanted.

    I talked about missing the only onward flight, having several small children, etc.

    If you have time, you might consider the same.
     
  12. brfong

    brfong Silver Member

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    I received the same information during my GE interview. I haven't tried it yet.
     
  13. Sunshine7

    Sunshine7 Silver Member

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    Interesting, since this seems to directly contradict what actually is published. Though I agree that this policy would make sense, especially when it comes to young children.

    Global entry is wonderful, though I've found that the time saved can be almost completely undone by waiting for checked luggage to go through customs. If OP can somehow avoid checking luggage, that may help with time.
     
  14. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    FYI, I am not an elite member of any sort with United, and don't have GE, so can't help out there. Also for info, I had to book this trip on multiple reservations to use miles across different accounts, including with Aeroplan. That turned out to be an interesting twist...

    I spoke with an agent yesterday, found an acceptable routing leaving a day earlier on Air China via LAX connecting to IAH on the 787 :) with 5 seats available, but she wouldn't book it without a fee as I mentioned. Well, apparently the agent subsequently changed one of our reservations to the new routing - leaving 2 kids and my wife on the old route.

    I didn't know about the change until AwardWallet notified me this morning, so I called back and explained that one of my reservations was changed due to cancellation and I needed the others to match, and shazaam, it was done! Only problem is that she couldn't reissue the Aeroplan award ticket for my wife, but noted a change on the flight. Called Aeroplan, apparently the rep. didn't find the notes on the itinerary change and had to speak with a supervisor to approve a ticket exchange with United (or something like that). Now, just waiting on the exchange to go through, so apparently it should all work out.

    Appreciate all of the info and ideas, I was prepared to call back again until AwardWallet notified me of the unexpected change. I know that I may seem paranoid, but with an 18 hour travel day x 3 kids, things need to go smooth and as planned or there will be people complaining about crying kids on some future flight.

    As a bonus, excited to try out the 787, for at least a few hours :)
     
  15. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    You're not getting Global Entry for the entire family. You're just getting to skip the queue for regular immigration if all pax in your party who are old enough for GE have it, but you also have youngsters with you who are below the age to sign up for GE.

    You can call any airport Global Entry office and they would confirm the same.
     
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  16. Sunshine7

    Sunshine7 Silver Member

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    How handy!
     
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    CBP's solution makes complete sense from "first principles", since to deny GE to parents with children who are still too young to be eligible would go against the most basic standard of fairness or decent society.
     
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  18. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    You can sign the kids up for Global Entry- there is no more age limit. Given that, I don't know if one can go to the front of the line anymore if their kids don't have it.
     

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