United: passing up revenue for fun and profit

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by traveltoomuch, May 3, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Today's example: making it hard for AA to sign over a ticket and put a pax (me!) in an empty seat. End result: the UA flight left with empty space, UA didn't get the revenue, and I got to my destination quite a bit later than planned.

    I was flying on an AA ticket this week. AA cancelled a segment, rebooking me on a more painful routing. UA had a very pleasant earlier routing, I could get to the airport in time for it, and AA was willing to sign my ticket over.

    The problem: the flight was sold even. Not oversold, just even. AA couldn't get inventory. UA phone agents were no help. UA counter agents said "check at the gate". And the UA gate agent flatly said "no" - by the time she knew she had an empty seat, about 30 minutes before departure, she was unwilling to accept a passenger to fill it. Meanwhile, my hard-working AA phone agent was patiently waiting on hold with UA, trying to secure that seat and get my ticket signed over. UA estimated his hold time as 12 minutes as I watched the UA gate agent (the one who didn't want to accept me anyway) close her flight and send it on its way.

    Compare, of course, to this thread in which many are grousing about UA's unwillingness to sign over tickets to other carriers.

    Trying to turn this thread to something more useful than just whining: was there any way I might have made this more likely to work? (AA had no one on the airside of this relatively small terminal, hence dealing with them by phone.)
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I don't blame UA at all in this scenario. They didn't know until the last minute that they had the inventory available. Not all flights are authorized to be oversold all the time. Would UA sell you a ticket directly?

    I am impressed how you've managed to blame UA for AA having a problem which got you to your destination late.
     
  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    About two hours before departure, UA would not (over-)sell a ticket. Within the last thirty minutes, when the gate agent said she would not accept a new pax anyway, UA would sell the ticket. (Limited datapoints; I was not watching continuously.)

    Thank you. I tend to think it's more about mocking or taunting than blame.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Sounds about right to me.
     
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  5. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    An empty seat earns no money for whomever. I think that's a valid point from the OP.
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And an oversold seat which ultimately requires a bump costs money. No airline is perfect at filling all of the seats all of the time. Sucks when it works against you but I'm not all that surprised that UA didn't want to force a flight to an oversell situation with less than two hours until departure.
     
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  7. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    Next time have AA book you on a later UA flight and then go to the gate of the earlier flight and ask the agent to stand you by. AA does the same thing to other airlines-they will not overbook a flight for another airline's customer. In fact if their reservation agent sells us a seat but the flight is actually overbooked, the airport agents will turn away the customer and send them back to us. AA at the airport will not rebook or accept the customer, period.
     
  8. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Indeed, air carriers are supposed to ensure that offline reprotects will not inadvertently result in oversales or other difficulties for the receiving carrier.
     
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  9. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Thank you for that suggestion! (AA might have balked in this case, since the later UA flight actually got in after the protection booking on AA, but that's a quirk of the tiny market I was in. And, given how cooperative AA was being, it might also have worked.)
     
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