Discontinued service out of DAL - what recourse do I have for cancelled UA itinerary?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by OilGuyFlyer, Feb 18, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. OilGuyFlyer

    OilGuyFlyer Active Member

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    In December 2014, I used points to book tickets departing out of DAL for multi-city tickets to Europe: Economy class outbound flights: DAL - IAH - FRA - PRG, returning 4/21/15 Business Class LHR - IAH - DAL. I received a call from the Premier Desk informing me that UA announced they will no longer be flying out of DAL starting April 1st, my tickets are no longer valid, and must be rebooked out of DFW. Looking to rebook on my requested dates out of DFW, no economy saver awards are available for my outbound leg or the return LHR - IAH - DFW flying Business Class on the 787 (basically the same flight from my original itinerary). I realize that these are Award tickets and the likelihood of receiving any compensation for UA cancelling my itinerary is slim, but has anyone had any experience in a similar situation? Will UA honor my tickets and book similar class for the same points I originally spent? If economy class is unavailable, any possibility to be bumped to business class for outbound?
     
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  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I'd request to keep the tatl and rebook the domestic out of dfw, including opening up space if needed.
     
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  3. chrislacey
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    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

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    I wouldn't anticipate an upgrade from economy to business on the outbound, but I would ask for space to be opened from DFW to IAH on both ends of your trip. Lots of mainline frequency between these cities. I would be surprised if they wouldn't do it. The rest of your trip IAH-FRA-PRG and LHR-IAH can be preserved as-is.
     
  4. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Yup, UA is able to open up award seats for you on their own flights. HUACA if you get an agent who says no or escalate to a sup.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If there are UA seats for sale - revenue, not just awards - on the affected flights then UA can force them as part of your award. And only the DFW-IAH-DFW segments need to be touched at all. You should be fine.
     
  6. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    When there is a schedule change, UA is at your mercy you generally have the upper hand -- they have to make the ticket whole again. You don't need to scramble to find new award space.

    A supervisor can absolutely open the award space that you need DFW-IAH-DFW, as long as there is some bookable space in the required cabin. I've done this before, but you may have to be persistent and HUACA and/or escalate. No change to dates or your other segments should be necessary.

    Now, once you have the right person on the phone (and assuming you're willing to pay the extra points), you could try politely asking if they can open BF saver space (offer to pay the points difference) to make up for the inconvenience of having to switch airports. I'd still expect no for answer, but you might get lucky and if you don't ask that's the answer anyway. ;)

    ETA: fixed bad choice of words.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Or simply cancel the ticket and refund. The CoC allows for that as well so don't be a schmuck about the situation and go crazy demanding things. Mostly because there's no need to be that way (ever, really) but also because it could very easily backfire on you.
     
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  8. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    Oh come on now, who's going crazy here? Clearly with "make the ticket whole again", it should be within reason. Switching DAL to DFW fits within what anyone would consider reasonable and that's all that was ever proposed here. Even a different (again reasonable) routing is fair game. But in any case, UA does have the obligation to provide a usable, equivalent option.

    And sure, one can elect to get a full refund, but clearly the OP wants to take the trip, so that's not really relevant here.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, it does not.

    The company usually (nearly always, really) WILL do that but it is not obligated to.

    http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/contract.aspx

    That is the obligation. The contract is clearly skewed in favor of the company in terms of obligation.

    But my point was more that starting the phone call with a demand to have the ticket fixed rather than asking nicely could end in rather less than desirable results.
     
  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    No, as @Wandering Aramean mentioned, they have the obligation to transport the passenger ("make the ticket whole") or refund the ticket. Of course they do normally go beyond that for reasonable requests, made reasonably, but UA is most definitely not "at the OP's mercy" and treating them like they are would be supremely foolish.
     
  11. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    I never said demand. Honey always beats vinegar, that's Airline 101. Being nice vs. being firm/persistent and escalating when needed are not mutually exclusive.

    What are we even arguing about? Are you really disagreeing with me that we don't have the upper hand when it comes to fixing/modifying tickets after a schedule change?
     
  12. ParanoiaTX
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    ParanoiaTX Gold Member

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    Fine, "mercy" is the wrong word. But there is no doubt that one generally has the upper hand when making change requests after the airline has changed their schedule (vs. the normal case of change fees/no changes allowed). I didn't think I needed to spell out the nuances of "reasonable" given the limited context of the changes the OP was seeking (DAL -> DFW).
     
  13. OilGuyFlyer

    OilGuyFlyer Active Member

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    Thank you for all the advice. They opened up the DFW - IAH legs for me. Although switching airports will be a pain, I was happy they opened up seats for us to complete the tickets and didn't ask for anything for my troubles. I offered extra miles to upgrade to Business for outbound leg, but they didn't have any saver seats available for that leg.

    Side question - never flown LH trans-Atlantic...how miserable will we be in coach on the 380? My GF is 6'0 and I'm 6'5" so I'd imagine we will be pretty squeezed in. Any seat upgrades I could pay for by calling LH? Maybe their equivalent to UA's economy plus?
     
  14. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    LH doesn't have "Economy Plus" but they do have real Premium Economy that is different from what UA offers with improved seating, updated wine offerings, and a slightly better meal than economy class. Oh and you can't upgrade with Lufthansa on an award ticket so I would suggest keeping an eye open for Award inventory until their J is released for the flight and change your reward ticket.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But there are exit rows with extra leg room. And the OP would do well to buy up to that given the option.
     

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