Changing A Ticket on United...WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by avflyer, Oct 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    Old fare $508. New fare $343. So, I expect that I will pay the $200 change fee and get a cert for $508-$343. Rep comes back asking me for $246 all in. Two curve balls here.
    1. We used a $100 e-cert for the fare reducing it to $408.
    2. We applied an RPU (wait-listed) to the original fare.
    After 25 minutes we got it squared away. It makes me wonder how people who don't quite know what they are doing (and I certainly am no expert) prevent getting ripped off by CSRs that don't understand what they are doing.
     
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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    There's an article in tomorrow's Washington Post travel section describing how some people would rather no-show on a booked ticket than cancel it, due to the out-of-control ticket change fees on airlines such as United:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...bdc612-32a5-11e3-8627-c5d7de0a046b_story.html
    Compare that to Southwest Airlines, that charges nothing at all for a ticket change. The author of the Washington Post article suggests that if airline ticket change fees continue to climb, then the federal government should step in.
     
  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    what status are you with UA?

    I ask as when I was a 1K, nearly every agent was terrific in terms of knowing the rules. I barely had ended the sentence of what I wanted and the agent was on it.

    Now that I'm gold, agents can not complete the most basic task in a timely fashion or even know how to do certain tasks. Simply put, the UA agents I get as a gold over the past few years are utterly atrocious.
     
  4. mre5765

    mre5765 Silver Member

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    As a 1K, for those times when I do call, I am pleasantly astonished how good the service is. If you get one that isn't lazy, and you know what you want (e.g. Give them the segments for a mixed LH/UA F award) it is over in a few minutes.
     
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  5. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    I am 1K and I was talking to the 1K desk.
     
  6. avflyer
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    avflyer Silver Member

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    Specified all the segments, she had to go away for 10 minutes just to"price it out".
     
  7. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    Not being familiar with the 1K desk anymore, is it possible the 1K agents were busy and you were shuffled off to a lower tier agent?

    Isn't it FT MP policy to simply end a call if agent isn't capable and call back :)
     
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  8. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I am 1K. I had a flight delay for an early Sunday morning flight for which I was notified at around 11:30 PM Saturday night. The delay made my connection impossible, so I called the 1K desk.

    Judging from the accent, I thought I was talking to a call center in India. I've had some great call centers in India for various things, but most have left me unimpressed. This one fell into the latter category. The agent insisted that I would have to take the delayed flight from DFW-IAH, arrive in Houston at 8:45 AM, then wait all day at the airport for a 6:04 PM flight. Huh?!?!?!

    After getting absolutely nowhere (and with no empathy or sympathy, I might add) I opted for the Milepoint-learned practice of HUACA (hang up and call again).

    The next agent was obviously based in the USA. When asked, she confirmed that they do now have an India call center. She jumped through hoops I never expected or asked for, including putting me on AA, DL or US, but with no significant gain in arrival time available. I gratefully declined the offers to go on OALs, and finally got booked out of DFW at 2:22 PM with a reasonable connection time at IAH. I arrived home in SJO 9 hours later than originally scheduled, but it wasn't because the U.S. based UA agent didn't try everything possible. She made me feel good about a very inconvenient experience.

    I often say that the people at UA are the one biggest asset they have. The second agent proved my theory true, but I'm concerned about their choice of off-shore call centers. I've had some pretty bad experiences with the Philippines, and now India call centers. If they can't match the service levels offered at home, they need to wait until they learn how to do so.

    Full disclosure: I am the owner of an American company that has 100% of our non-product operations in Central and South America. Competing in today's competitive market is a challenge that businesses have to get creative to meet. That said, it is not OK to use customers as the training ground for ramping up of such operations, and UA should walk very carefully down this path in order to avoid the loss of their one consistent area of operational excellence.
     
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  9. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    I went to the Premiere Counter at EWR 2 weeks ago to make a same-day change to a flight; I wanted to move to an earlier flight that had plenty of availability in all fare buckets. When I was there, the counter was armed with nothing but a team of Chinese agents whom spoke limited English. I asked to be moved to an earlier flight and she tried to charge me a $200 change fee + fare difference; I told her I'm SDC'ing and to look in her computer for help. She seem annoyed (or puzzled...not sure if she understood much English) and called the help desk, who confirmed to her, so she says, I needed to pay a change fee and fare difference. Normally I'd call in myself, but I had a bag with me that I needed to check and only these agents could do that. The agent ended by saying "if you think you're able to change flights, you should call the elite desk." So i had her check my bag on the original later flight and headed to the United Club. Where an agent was able to move me to the flight I wanted...and had a new bag tag attached to my bag down in the baggage area for me. All without a fee.

    So even in-person at the airport, I felt like I was a training exercise for some new international agents. I understand a need to get people up to speed, but perhaps they should try them out on non-status folks who may have less "complicated" needs like SDC'ing. I had a much easier time navigating a tricky itinerary in Beijing with Air China agents than I did here in EWR with the Chinese UA agents.
     
  10. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    Is there a difference anymore between 1k and gold? I always get premier desk when I call 1k number...used to be 1k line..
     
  11. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Do they answer the phone differently? I'm just curious, as I always just call and speak to the person who answers. I've never really paid attention to how they answer. They usually end by thanking me for "flying on United so often," which I guess is a canned line taught in their agent school. The off-shore agents don't do that, however. I know a lot less than most people posting here, but I know a lot more than the off-shore agents I've encountered.
     
  12. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    As a MP member without status, this is who answers the phone when I call. So yes things a different when you have status.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    I've spoken to that guy when calling the 1K desk! I was actually asking about the difference in phone answering terminology between Premier Gold agents and Premier 1K agents. Thee first thing I always ask, however, no matter WHO answers is, "DYKWIA?!?!" :p
     
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  14. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    And just wait until you meet the airline's baggage handler!:


    [​IMG]
     
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