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United Flyers Say Delays & Cancellations Added $16K to Vacation

Frankfurt, Germany - July 17, 2014: United Airlines aircraft logo at an aircraft in Frankfurt. United Airlines is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

One family is accusing United Airlines and Air Canada of turning a relaxing vacation into a tense nightmare consisting of 96 boarding passes and lost luggage.
A family of flyers trying to get to Greece aboard United Airlines and Air Canada say a circus of rerouting and lost luggage ultimately added an additional $16,000 to their trip.


Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA reports the Virginia flyers are accusing the Chicago-based carrier and Star Alliance partner Air Canada of not only losing their luggage but also forcing them aboard more than five different flights.


Nightmare Trip Includes Delays, Cancellations and Lost Luggage 

Natalie Ramos told her story to the TV station, claiming the trouble started with their first flight. She says the family began planning the vacation to Athens two years prior and were looking forward to the getaway.


However, they say problems began when their flight was delayed due to mechanical issues at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). As a result, they missed their connection in Montreal to Athens, forcing them to re-route through Brussels and Zurich instead.


Once they arrived in Athens, Ramos claims the airline lost all of their luggage, including bags containing their clothes and laptop computers. When it came time to come back, the family says they experienced all the same issues – including a trip re-routed from Athens to Montreal, then Boston, Charlotte, before coming home to Virginia. Overall, they say what was supposed to be four flights ended up with over 90 boarding passes and $16,000 in unplanned expenses, including new clothes and $3,000 for a flight from Charlotte to IAD.


“We cried so much. All the kids were breaking down,” Ramos told WJLA. “They were exhausted. We were in the same clothes for over three days.”


Although Ramos is filing claims for the lost items with both the airline and her travel insurance provider, she is calling on both Air Canada and United to reimburse her for all the unplanned expenses. Until the claims come through, she says she’s forced to pay the credit card bills on her own.


The station reached out to both United and Air Canada for comment. While United did not provide a response, a spokesperson for Air Canada told WJLA: “As has been well reported in the media, the global air transport industry is currently challenged due to issues with airport capacity issues, airport-managed baggage systems and third-party providers of such services as passenger screening, customs, and air navigation. We are working hard with these partners and governments to resolve these issues as they are affecting the performance of airlines.”


Family’s Case Latest Accusation of Airlines Not Looking Out for Flyers

The Ramos family story is just the latest instance of flyers saying the airlines aren’t doing enough for them. In another vacation-related story, another family of travelers claim an ill-advised flight change from American Airlines forced them to spend $30,000 in changes.

chavala July 22, 2022

Checked laptops? That's pretty stupid

MERCAMG July 21, 2022

One more "mistake"...UA flys nonstop from Dulles to Athens.  Why in heavens name would you connect through Montreal, especially wirh a group?

jayer July 20, 2022

Mistake #1--(Counting on a connection same day as longhaul.  Be in the jumping off point the night before.
Mistake #2--(Apparently) not having significant clothing in a carry on.  Checked bags are for what you can do without.  
Mistake #3--Checking electronics.  Liability is most likley specifically excluded, and you just checked lithium batteries into the cargo hold.  (Might have even been the reason baggage got pulled off the plane).
Mistake #4--(Apparently) not filing a lost baggage claim timely.
MIstake #5--How can you spend $16,000 on replacment clothes?

RRROOO July 20, 2022

Enough of the hysteria!!!  Every day new articles how 'the airline done me wrong'. 

Did you book through a travel agent?  This is why people should . They become your point of contact and rebooking. Go ahead and stand in line--wait on the phone. A  good travel agent will have the tools (and special phone numbers) to cut through the red tape.

7Continents July 20, 2022

Agree most of this is unrealistic, but I can chime in on last minute missed flights and cancelations: It is impossible to rebook by phone and many times even at the airport. I wasn't told immigration to the US in YYZ was closed and not to cross over to the US gates, even though my flight was still there waiting for me. I then had to reclear immigration on the international side of YYZ. Had i stayed domestic and had the domestic check ins, I believe life would have been easier.