Canceled flight, postmortem (of sorts)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by amf09, Nov 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. amf09
    Original Member

    amf09 Silver Member

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    I just went through a situation and am looking for some constructive criticism on what I did right, what
    I did wrong, and what I should do the next time I face something like this, as well as what I still need to do.

    Background: I have no status.

    I was originally scheduled for OGG-SFO-JFK on Monday night at 10PM. At 10 AM that morning I received an email from Travelocity (where we got the tickets, FWIW) that my itinerary was 'significantly' changed (I will add that I did add the reservation to my UA account, but never received any notification from them). My departure was moved from Monday night to Wednesday night. As I was on vacation and needed to get back to work a two day delay was not acceptable.

    My first move was to call Travelocity, but when I got through the audio was terrible distorted. I even tried from my wife's phone but that didn't work either.

    My second move was to call UA directly. As I was doing this I was searching for alternatives myself. I got someone in India (presumably) and talked about the situation. To avoid a skyscraper post, I was eventually transferred to his supervisor. I saw that there was availability on HNL-EWR and asked if we could be switched to that. He said yes, but that he could not get us to HNL, even on HA. His system wasn't showing him any availability and that he would not be allowed to buy F inventory. Online we saw F inventory and one flight in Y (which he said was probably an oversell situation which prevented him from seeing it). We made the decision to switch to HNL-EWR and we would get ourselves to HNL.

    I ended up calling and getting two F tickets on HA (their rep did not see the Y inventory, and for various reasons did not want to go through my phone to order) since the price was not stupid expensive ($103 for Y AFAIK, and $169 AI for F each).

    I then had to change my car service to pick me up at EWR and take me to Long Island, for an additional ~$50 or so.

    What I think that still need to do is to follow up with customer service on getting some of these costs back. First was the OGG-SFO E+ buy up that I did a couple weeks ago. Second is the cost of the airfare from OGG-HNL (we'd accept at Y level reimbursement) and hopefully the extra cost of the car service (maybe in voucher form). I am not sure what UA would have owed me if I accepted the original reschedule, but I have to think some of my out of pocket costs would have been less?

    ETA: One thing that did work well, that I can tell, is that the F buy got our luggage check through to EWR without any bag fees. My guess is that would have been $17 for HA + $25 for UA.

    Thank you.

    P.S. I am curious why both SFO-OGG flights were cancelled on Monday, there was no weather that I was aware of. Did both 753s go MX?
     
  2. amf09
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    amf09 Silver Member

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    One thing I would like to know is what are UAs obligations, or not, in the situation in general? There seemed to be plenty of other carriers flying out of OGG and HNL. For a cancelled flight do they have to try to move me to other carriers if I ask? I don't know if any partners (US?) would have had inventory to get me to NYC.
     
  3. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    Book directly through UA, not 3rd Party Sites, if the same fare is available.

    Why was the scheduled changed? It sounds like your original flight was cancelled for some reason, which is why they rebooked you on Wednesday. If the cancellation was due to weather, then you are not entitled to any compensation. If it was cancelled due to mechanical or crew, then you can send an email to customer service detailing your expenses and see they will reimburse you for them.

    Even if there is no weather in SFO-OGG, there would be weather in other areas of the country that prevented them from getting to SFO. You could have checked this on united.com.
     
  4. Steve GadFly
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    Steve GadFly Gold Member

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    Were these issues this past Monday or perhaps the Monday during the hurricaine?
     
  5. amf09
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    amf09 Silver Member

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    We usually do, but this fare+hotel was way cheaper than doing separately.

    I do not know why it was cancelled. I did as best I could to find it on United.com but was unable to. Did I miss something?

    I did check the weather on United and did not see anything of note. All I remember was low ceiling at LGA, which I think did not apply. Certainly nothing applicable to the hubs.

    This past Monday, 11/12.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Well, if there are no other flights in the same cabin you originally booked - before any upgrades may have been applied - even on other carriers then the company does not have to rebook you in a different cabin just to get you home. They've become quite a bit more aggressive on this position lately IME, even with the Global Services line. They've gone so far as to insist that even on UA metal MX IRROPs can only be rebooked in biz if there is R inventory and the appropriate instrument is used, if required. So if there was nothing else available in Y then they probably don't owe you too much. But this was last Monday and we have no idea what the options were on AA, US or HA back to the mainland and then connecting on to NYC.

    I'd say you have a chance at a goodwill gesture certificate but I'm not so sure they actually owe you anything. It sucks, but that's what travel insurance is for.

    Oh, and you're definitely due the E+ fee back if you didn't sit in E+ on the flight you took. There's a refund form online which should handle that; I'd address that part separately so they don't get confused by the different issues.
     
    amf09 likes this.

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