Hiccup with CO Award Booking -- but good CS to the rescue!

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by daemon14, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    This might be a long story, but it ultimately has a good ending, so I'll try to be as concise as possible.

    On Wed 1/12, I put 2 Y tickets on hold for India (2 tickets were coming out to $4900 for the days we needed -- miles to the rescue!). The hold was valid until 11:59PM Thursday night in Los Angeles.

    On Thursday 1/12, I transfered points from Chase UR -> UA -> CO (the direct method wasn't working). I went through and purchased the 2 tickets, and received an email from Continental stating "We are processing your reservation and will send you an e-ticket receipt confirming you reservation once your processing is complete, which may take up to 3 hours."

    I have ticketed through CO before and have had to wait a few hours to get the e-ticket, especially with legs on other *A carriers, so I thought nothing of it at the time.

    By 10pm, no email had come, so I tried to call Continental, except their OnePass office was closed and their other phone lines weren't taking any new calls due to weather problems (I, being in Los Angeles, am unaware of these "weather problems").

    Today, 1/13, I called Continental in order to see if the e-tkt was processed, and if so, to get the confirmation numbers for the legs on TK and LH (the itinerary was TK LAX-IST-BOM, LH PNQ-FRA, UA FRA-SFO-LAX). The representative told me that the ticket had been canceled.

    I told her that I had ticketed this reservation well in advance of the expiration (in fact, 5+ hours in advance on a 24-hour hold) and that it should not be canceled, especially since I got an email from Continental saying that ticketing was in progress. Luckily, the TK and LH legs were still available available, but there was nothing coming from FRA to LAX until the day after on either LH or UA. The problem was, I transferred about 100,000 Chase UR points to this account specifically because the exact timing and flights I wanted were available. Also, to kick me while I was down, the rep said that if she were to rebook the ticket, she'd have to charge another $25 pp for the phone ticketing fee. :mad:

    Because I didn't want the TK and LH availability to disappear, I went online and made another reservation with those legs and a leg from FRA the day after via IAD, but it was not what I had originally reserved.

    After 90 minutes on the phone, I asked to escalate this to a supervisor. She asked me the following:

    -Were there enough miles in your account?
    Me: I transferred Chase points to United and I have an email at 6:42pm confirming transfer from my Mileage Plus to my Continental Onepass account. I logged out, logged back in, saw the updated balance, ticketed at 6:45pm, and got the processing email at 6:47pm.

    -Why didn't you contact us after 3 hours?
    Me: Your OnePass office closes at 8:30pm Central Time and due to weather yesterday, I was unable to get through to any agent about my itinerary. Plus, I ticketed this after your office had closed anyway, since I'm on Pacific time. I got an email saying that ticketing was in progress, which one would assume would mean that I did everything on my end to get the ticketing completed.

    Basically, she figured out that it was the CO booking engine that had failed here, and that I wasn't at fault for having the ticket canceled. She was very apologetic and was able to get UA to open up the original seats I had on the FRA-SFO-LAX flight and changed them without a fee. If I were an elite with UA/CO, I definitely would have tried to give her a Job Well Done (or whatever the equivalent is here).

    I guess this story really reinforces rules with award tickets -- confirm, reconfirm, and reconfirm again! I was actually only calling in the first place to get the PNR codes for the TK and LH segments! Luckily, those didn't disappear!

    You can tell that this is an itinerary I'm going to be checking every single day from now on :eek:

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