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United Airlines

United Airlines Passengers Forced to Fight for Promised Refunds

United Airlines Passengers Forced to Fight for Promised Refunds
Joe Cortez

Airline returns cash and refunds after flyers turn to newspaper for help.

A pair of New Jersey-based United Flyers are publicly denouncing United Airlines after they claim the carrier only granted part of their promised refund after a flight cancellation. reports that Brad and Michelle Nolan reached out for help when the carrier their promised to offer assistance after a canceled flight forced them to drive to another airport to get home.

The couple redeemed 75,000 United MileagePlus miles for a trip to Florida, traveling from Newark to Fort Lauderdale, followed by a connection to Key West aboard regional partner Silver Airlines. The flight to the destination went well, but the troubles began on the way home.

The flyers claim that their bad experience began when they were told to pay a $25 checked luggage fee on Silver, which gate agents claimed would be refunded by United for holding the MileagePlus credit card. The flight was then delayed for nearly three hours, after they say an attendant “needed to get settled,” followed by a ground stop due to weather. The flight was ultimately canceled and Silver referred the flyers to United for assistance.

After a call to United to get rebooked, the Nolans say the gate agent at Silver became combative, claiming they could not board their new flight and it was United’s problem. After another call, a second United representative suggested another option: rent a car from Key West to Fort Lauderdale and fly direct to Newark. The couple accepted the offer on the understanding that United would refund their expenses.

Upon returning home, the couple submitted their expenses to United, but no refund came. Over a month of negotiation with United agents, the airline went back on their original offer, instead only offering $200 in credits towards future travel. Frustrated, the two reached out to for help.

After a brief investigation, the couple was ultimately refunded their rental car fees and given an additional $125 in credits and 40,000 MileagePlus miles. Although they accepted the offer, the couple said it should have never reached the point of asking for help.

“It really just seemed like they didn’t know what they were doing,” Brad Nolan told “One person would say everything is approved and is going to be a few days and a few days goes by and another person says there is no record of anything […] Their reps shouldn’t be promising things that the company can’t fulfill.”

View Comments (4)


  1. DEN

    September 13, 2017 at 5:55 am

    The root of the problem is United’s insistence to do business with these tiny airlines who have poor service and often unreliable schedules. Silver and Great Lakes are two who come to mind.

    I learned the hard way the difference between “Operated by United Express/ XXXXX Airways” and “Operated by XXXXX Airways”. (United Express vs Code Share Partner)

    The rest of the issues fall on United….trying to connect the promise made to the result can be frustrating.


  2. exwannabe

    September 14, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Under IROPS UA suggested they rent a car for a leg and they would reimburse. UA ponies up a $200 voucher. The amount looks about right, but should have been cash.

    UA was wrong, but on the 0-10 scale this does not even move the needle.

  3. coinboy66

    September 17, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Paragraph 6 – should have a Y at the end of “the” to make “they”.

    Are these articles even edited?

  4. flyerCO

    September 22, 2017 at 6:40 am

    …Michelle Nolan reached out for help when the carrier their promised …

    Coinboy66 – that’s better at least then the quoted portion of sentence above.

    A paid writter wrote that. However, sadly not limited to FT. I’ve read articles written by AP/Reuters that have many more mistakes.

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