United has a new CEO?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by alwayslearning, Jul 22, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. alwayslearning

    alwayslearning Silver Member

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    Not really - but it sure seems that way. And it's name is "THE COMPUTER."

    On a recent trip my wife and I (both 1K) took our daughter along (Premier Silver). As per the UA website and past experience I was on one itinerary, my wife and daughter were on another. I got an upgrade at the 1K cutoff, they did not. The clerk at the 1K check-in desk (Denver) said FC looked full, the gate agent would let us know. No big deal. I gave my FC seat to my daughter, my wife and I would sit in coach.

    Didn't work that way. When we got to the gate they had upgraded my wife, and left my daughter in coach. We tried to have them reverse that decision - no luck. Once again, no big deal. The kid sitting next to me in coach (remember, I gave my upgrade to my daughter) was pretty excited to switch with my wife to sit in FC.

    Then came the return segment. Seems that when they issued the automatic upgrade to my wife they also automatically separated the reservation: one for my wife as 1K, the other for my daughter as Premier Silver (almost no chance of a complimentary upgrade). Once again no big deal - call United and have them recombine the reservations:

    Perhaps when Jeff Smisek was running the company that was possible, but now with "THE COMPUTER" running the company it's prohibited! Long story short: I spoke to four different supervisors who each said they were not allowed to override a decision made by "THE COMPUTER," no matter how unjust the action, no matter how upset the customer. Once the computer has rendered a decision it cannot be overridden! One of them (obviously exasperated) gave me Mr. Smisek's email address - said perhaps he could, but she didn't know of anyone else.

    So ... now we have some programmer somewhere (Chicago/Houston/India?) deciding company policy that's at odds with past practices and policies clearly defined on their website. Once they start the game of "I would love to address your problem but THE COMPUTER has spoken and it's decision is final" it is the beginning of the end of what was once a very fine company! I hope they fix this problem and do so quickly.

    BTW, this is not the only reservation we have with problems they refuse to address. So perhaps more to follow ....
     
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  2. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" ;)
     
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  3. paladin87
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    paladin87 Silver Member

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    Actually...when the computer decides some things, they are not final...like when it decides to give you 4 mile tickets to HKG. :D
     
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  4. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    So scary and so true!:D
     
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  5. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    The feared PNR splitting. You can have your 'comp' upgrade or you can keep the PNR intact. But at UA you can't have both.
     
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  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Once a PNR is split, it cannot be recombined. At best they can be "linked" which may or may not do anything for you. When upgrades are processed past when the 24 h check-in window opens, you must split your PNR in order to remain on the upgrade list. So... If you want all three people to get upgraded, then that better happen before check-in. Or you have to remove yourself from the upgrade standby list.

    I actually like that the online check-in now asks if you want to remain on the upgrade standby list and warns you that it will result in splitting your PNR. I'm not saying I like the procedure, but I do appreciate the warning. pmCO did not have such a warning when you checked in.
     
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  7. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    At the old UA you could. Sadly, no longer.
     
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  8. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    Not a pretty story, sorry for your loss. BUT - -
    When someone says, " long story short" it already is.
    Now, back to our regular scheduled programming.
     
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  9. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    Forgive me. My cynical side should have written: ... at COdbaUA you can't have both.
     
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  10. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    My biggest issue with the new United is all the extra time everything takes because their systems are messed up. Most old United employees are still trying their best. Like at the clubs, now you don't have to show your Id anymore, just scan your BP
     
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  11. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    I think the old CO employees are trying as well. I don't think most of the problems are located at the staff level. Sure you still get some of the "proud CO staff" or "real UA crew" gibberish but that's to be expected.
     
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  12. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    And especially where you know my first name ;) :D
     
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  13. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

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    The Captain on my flight this morning definitely hasn't checked his paycheck for a while. Delayed as usual (which is the new UA trademark), absolutely no information and when he finally came on the horn when he turned on the seat belt sign, his words were "This proud Continental crew would like to thank you for flying with us".

    On a positive note, there was a UA FA deadheading and she was treated well by the crew, they were hanging out in the galley when the F service was done, so yes, some are really trying while others needs a serious attitude adjustment.
     
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  14. stephenbgarvan

    stephenbgarvan Silver Member

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    "when will it ever end"??
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I ran into this last weekend and I found the whole thing rather confusing (even though it all ended well without any manual intervention). Here's the situation in my case: three travelers, me (1K), wife (Gold) and friend (nobody) on a short domestic flight. I booked us on two PNRs to increase our upgrade chances:

    PNR1: 1K + nobody
    PNR2: Gold

    On the outbound trip, PNR1 got upgraded to F at T-100ish. I picked F seats for both of us. PNR2 got upgraded some time before online checkin.

    During online checkin for PNR1 I get this weird question about whether I want to be upgraded and that it will result in splitting the PNR. I was confused because I thought I was already upgraded. Since I was on the iPhone and in a hurry, I chose yes. Nothing unusual for the outbound -- we all flew in F.

    I then looked at our reservations and noticed that I now had three PNRs to manage. Mr. Nobody had been split off my PNR1 into his own PNR3.

    For the return flight, my PNR1 got upgraded at T-100. I started worrying about PNR3 and Mr. Nobody getting kicked out of E+. But I was too busy to deal with it and figured worst case I'd just swap seats with Mr. Nobody and use my drink chits to keep myself happy for an hour in seat 27E.

    At OLCI time for the return flight, I noticed that PNR2 had been upgraded and that PNR3 was on the upgrade list. So somehow my shiny 1K status must have rubbed off on his PNR3. In the end he cleared at the gate and we all flew in those luxurious temporary 737 seats from Vegas to SFO ;)

    So long story short... the outcome was fine, but the entire process is terribly confusing. Fortunately I don't usually fly with non-status people and won't have to deal with this again any time soon.
     
  16. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Shiny 1K rubs off, but still complicates the process as you mentioned. The bigger risk, and I know I'm being picky here, is that I either want us both to upgrade or neither of us. You can't do that with the new system if UAdbaCO is holding back seats until after OLCI. At least with pmUA they would upgrade both of us after check-in on the same PNR, or if it had to wait until the gate, they'd call me up and ask if we wanted to be separated.

    Megan prefers we sit together. It's easier to do that if we're sitting in the same cabin. Even when I try to go back and give my F seat to someone in coach, I sometimes get refusals.

    One lesson from your story is that you should try to book one-ways if you think you might need to opt-out of an upgrade to continue sitting together. That way if the OLCI splits your PNR on the outbound, you can still make a separate call on the return journey.
     
  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I generally prefer to sit with my wife, too. Domestic F isn't that much better than Exit row.

    Good point.

    The thing is: I don't understand, even after posting all the details, why I was asked about the split during OLCI for the outbound. Were they asking about the upgrade for the return, given that the outbound had already cleared for BOTH of us? What would have happened if I had declined? Upgrade on outbound taken away? Or if the question was about the return, why was it necessary to split the PNR then? It's just very bizarre.
     
  18. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    That is strange, and I don't think I've had that experience yet. My guess would be that it's because you still had other flights in your itinerary (the return) for which you were not yet upgraded. If you had declined, you would have kept the upgrades on the outbound, for which you'd already been confirmed, but lost the opportunity on the return.

    As for why they had to split the PNR then and not later, I have no clue. Maybe because the computer likes to offer the opportunity to automatically check-in for the return flight.
     
  19. Sedosi

    Sedosi Gold Member

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    We all know where this is going.....

    [​IMG]
     
  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And that didn't work properly either. I accepted the offer and received emails for all three PNRs on the return. But when I then went online to print the BPs, PNR2 (my wife) appeared to not be checked in. Maybe because she was upgraded after the email went out? I dunno.
     
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  21. alwayslearning

    alwayslearning Silver Member

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    Even gets worse when the itineraries are split and there are other airlines involved. Every time our [split] future itinerary has a change (such as when they cancelled the DME-IAD flight and substituted FRA-IAD without any way of getting from DME to FRA), the outbound flight on Austrian Airlines (IAD-VIE) had the seats changed and my wife and I were no longer together. IOW, they apparently refresh the complete reservation (including requesting seats on other metal) whenever there is the slightest change. May not be the case, but since I've asked Austrian Airlines for new seat assignments about 7-8 times (and counting) ... there sure is enough evidence to think that's what is happening.

    As one UA (CO?) representative expressed to me: "if you want to sit next to your travel partner make sure you do not get upgraded."
     
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