Involuntarily reassigned seat in paid Business on UA

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by gobluetwo, Apr 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gobluetwo
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    gobluetwo Silver Member

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    I'm definitely going to write in and complain about this, but wondering how I should calibrate my expectations. Think they'll offer any sort of compensation for a 1P who was flying on the CO Gold number? Or just a "sorry for your experience we'll look into it" email?

    Had a TATL flight the other day in paid C. Printed out my BP (even though I used my mobile BP, I've been reading too many threads about mobile BP not working at the TSA checkpoints!) about an hour before boarding and had my pre-selected seat assignment. Hung out in the ORD C terminal lounge until boarding and when they scanned my phone, beeped. GA did a little typing and handed me a new BP with a new seat assignment (from 13A to 9A on an old 777). I was confused, but ok at first. When asked, the GA was clueless as to why it changed and just said I was assigned a new seat. Then, I sat down and realized there was no window right next to the seat (had to lean forward to see out the window). Annoying, but I could live with it, as I'd hopefully be sleeping for much of the flight Then, after dinner, realized that my seat didn't recline all the way. Did NOT help (actually hurt) with the sleeping situation.

    The culprit? I'm guessing the dude in 13B somehow pulled some strings to get me reassigned for his busty significant other. And yes, her shirt was low cut enough to plainly see that she was quite well-endowed. Maybe he/she is famous, or GS, or whatever. Still, I was annoyed b/c that's just BS. So obviously also my first time flying C in the 777, or I would've raised a bigger stink about it with the GA.
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    The focus of your complaint shouldn't be the change to your pre-asigned seat, but that you had a broken seat that wouldn't recline.

    The thing to do at the time would have been to point this out to a flight attendant onboard (and I always test my seat before takeoff, since if there are any nonrevs on the aircraft they can swap your seat prior to departure).

    But now that you're sending an email, I'll just suggest that you even leave out the seat swap. That's what United will focus on, cut-and-paste that seat assignments aren't guaranteed, and lose the plot. Complaints should avoid extraneous detail and highlight the major issue/problem which in this case wasn't placement of the window but non-recline of seat. When you're precisely buying business in order to recline and sleep on a transatlantic flight.
     
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  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    You are definitely due compensation and I agree with Gleff to focus on the broken seat. It is maddening when your seat gets re-assigned, unfortunately UA will show little sympathy for that. :(
     
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  4. qasr
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    qasr Silver Member

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    People knowingly pay for old UA business on transatlantic flights? Wow.
     
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  5. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Definitely leave out the comments about who were sitting in 13A and B.

    I would make bigger hay over the busted seat, and use the re-assignment thing as an icing on the cake thing, and not the main focus.

    (personally, I'd take 9A over 13A any day).
     
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  6. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    The OP didn't say his seat didn't function properly, only that the recline was limited. Seatguru doesn't indicate a reduced recline for those seats, so I'm wondering what the issue might have been.

    Are you sure that everyone else reclined more than your seat did? The old C are just the recliner seats, they don't go flat or anywhere near it.

    If there was an issue with the seat, the FA should have been notified immediately. Often they can see something you can't and fix it for you on the spot, or offer you compensation if it was indeed a faulty seat issue
     
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  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Indeed, I suppose this is a question for the OP, I may have read it wrong when gobluetwo wrote
    I assumed that the seat didn't recline as far as it was supposed to rather than reading it literally as the seat didn't recline all the way (i.e. flat).

    I assume it was a broken seat issue, rather than a complaint about the design of the old C seats themselves!

    If I'm mistaken, and the seat was functioning properly for an old C seat on the 777 (good chance though, that as an old C seat on the 777, it wasn't functioning properly!) then there's probably not a real complaint here. Though goodness knows that folks have been compensated by United for far less than being moved to a different business class seat!

    I'd leave the physical features of other passengers in the cabin out of the discussion regardless, ;)
     
  8. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I think they'll come back at you and say that you still sat in the cabin you paid for. Tread with caution with communicating with them. I dont think they will be compelled to help. And if you come off too aggressively you run the risk of being flagged.
     
  9. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    If the seat was broken United will compensate. In general they aren't as generous as they once were but a broken seat in paid international business class has to still be worth a $200 e-cert even if not a 1K.
     
  10. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    They definitely will compensate you... Lets talk about other issues other than the broken seat...

    When I get reassigned I always expect it to be exactly the same or better... If I pick a window seat, I picked that seat for a reason, therefore I expect the seat to have a window and the GAs know well which seats are good and which are not. In this case the GA moved you into a not so good seat that does not have a window and what if I am claustrophobic and on purpose picked a window seat with a window?

    The GA should have NOT shuffled you around without calling you and asking if you wouldn't mind moving so a couple could sit together... Or give you an operational upgrade and be done with it, after all, almost all the time F is employee class anyway...

    The only time it is understandable to not ask the customer is when they need to accommodate a FAM, certain people, etc... I don't care if that passenger is a GS, a celebrity, a politician, or Smisek's brother's best friend's fiancee's cousin, etc...
     
  11. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    It's strange to just reassign without talking first. We had one flight that our 2 year old was auto-assigned a seat well away from us. GA talked with several passengers around us and worked out a good result. Even though the 2 year old would not have been allowed to sit by self the GA still tried to find a voluntary way around the problem.
     
  12. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    The OP said he stayed in the lounge until he boarded, so it could've have been they called him but he wasn't there to hear his name, then they just made the change anyway.
     
  13. jason8612
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    jason8612 Gold Member

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    I would really point out about the broken seat, not about the seat swap.
    You'll get a lot father on that then seat change.
     
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  14. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I had a seat swap the other day on a TPAC flight, I wasn't thrilled but my new location in C was about the same as my previous. Agree with other posters that the focus of your seat not working is the only thing that will go anywhere.
     
  15. Critic
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    Critic Silver Member

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    Coming from the pmCO side, I don't know a whole lot about the higher tiers of the MP program, but I seem to recall posts on FT that implied that Global Services members could request to be moved to certain seats on DoD, regardless of how far ahead the original owner of the seat booked his itinerary...so maybe 13B was GS, and pulled some strings to get 13A for his companion...?
     
  16. German Expat
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    German Expat Silver Member

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    I never heard about a GS being able to move people around to get a better seat and this should under no circumstances be allowed without agreement of the previous seat holder. And I am GS :)
     
  17. scott6067
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    scott6067 Silver Member

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    As a person working for United I have found that seats are reassigned anytime there is an aircraft swap and there is no followup it seems witht the customer, in addition, they dont seem to put seats back together.

    Perfect example. Couple came to checkin and they bought economy plus in Oct. UA chnaged plane in Feb and one PAX stayed in E+ and the other in E-. Day of departure all seats full. pax called res. center told seats changed. Checked in with me and still the same seats. I at first had no solution but in the end found someone able to move an elite from E+ to business so the E+ purchasers could seat together.
     
  18. German Expat
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    German Expat Silver Member

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    In this case the customer had the boarding pass already though. I have been shuffled around quite often already during a plane change. But in this case the passenger had checked in and it did not look like the plane was changed.
     

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