UA Snafu

Old Apr 27, 13, 11:33 pm
  #1  
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UA Snafu

Just wanted to relate a recent situation and see if any others experienced a similar issue and how it was handled.

Was traveling on an AP reward ticket on the return portion. HKG>SIN>LHR>YYT.

HKG>SIN with UA
SIN>LHR with SQ
LHR>YYT with AC

First portion with UA had a tight stopover....1 hour. Sat on the tarmac in HKG as the UA flight waited for connecting passengers from EWR. Waited a good 45 minutes for 4 passengers and at this time figured I would miss my connection with SQ. Sure enough, landed at SIN about an hour late and flight to LHR had already left. This was 1am mind you. Was directed to Transfer area B by SQ ground staff. No UA ground staff to meet arriving passengers. Was told by SQ attendant that I would have to wait until 4 am for UA personnel to show up. Other passengers with similar missed connections were in the same boat. Since it was UA faux pas it was their responsibility. SQ staff could not rebook. I wasn't very happy with this situation. Fortunately I had lounge access and used the 24 hour star gold lounge and tried to get a bit of rest.

I was really looking forward to flying with SQ for my first time as they are a 5* airline and wasn't happy about being downgraded to a 2* (my opinion) UA flight pattern. But what choice did I have? Furthermore there was no one I could even talk to until 3 hours later. Wasn't happy at all.

Waited until 4am and went down to the transfer desk and there were two SQ employees at the UA desk. I guess UA contracts out the service. They called down to the UA check in and I was told I could only connect SIN>NRT>EWR>YYT and all with middle seats. I had a window seat on my SQ flight but was told there was nothing else available for the 5 and 11 hour legs but middle seats. Now I was really annoyed. Not only was I downgraded in airline quality but lost my window seat on these long flights. The UA staff at check in counter relayed to the SQ attendant that there were no other options. I wasn't satisfied and asked for compensation. It was relayed to me that none would be offered and I would have to make a complaint via the UA website. I didn't accept the offer and went downstairs and cleared immigration and proceeded to the UA check in. Two UA uniformed employees were not helpful and after much arguing finally agreed to give me a $200 voucher.

So, I lost my leisurely 2 stop itinerary with one segment on a 5* airline and had a 3 stop nightmare on cattle car UA and arrived home 9 hours past my scheduled time and for this inconvenience all I received was $200 travel voucher that I had to beg for.

I will register a complaint with UA, whatever good that will do. I cannot understand why there was no UA representative to meet arriving passengers, instead just leaving them there sitting for hours. I also called AP using my personal phone in SIN and was told by AP that it was UA's responsibility and there was nothing they could do.

Anyone experience anything similar?
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Old Apr 27, 13, 11:37 pm
  #2  
alc
 
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maybe this thread should move to the UA forum, OP might get better answer their
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Old Apr 27, 13, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by alc View Post
maybe this thread should move to the UA forum, OP might get better answer their
Thanks. The reason I posted it here was because it was an Aeroplan award ticket and was wondering if anyone had experienced similar. Also, most of my legs of the roundtrip were with AC and one with SQ.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 3:54 am
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Originally Posted by alc View Post
maybe this thread should move to the UA forum, OP might get better answer their
+1

Originally Posted by Baley View Post
Thanks. The reason I posted it here was because it was an Aeroplan award ticket and was wondering if anyone had experienced similar. Also, most of my legs of the roundtrip were with AC and one with SQ.
Yes, but the issue is UA compensation on a problem with an award ticket.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 9:02 am
  #5  
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If this was a Y/J ticket, and you have no UA status, you will get $200
If this was a J ticket, and you have status, you will get $500.

Now, I dont understand why you just sat around, why did you not call United from the lounge via Skype???


Why didnt you spend the time actively looking for connections that YOU found acceptable, instead of relying on United agents, who will of course rebook you on what suits them. If you were proactive and demanded being rebooked on SQ - they would have had to accommodate you.

Bottom line is you booked transport from A to B - and thats what you got - perceived "quality" of airline doesnt really matter here - but if you wanted to be rebooked on SQ - you should have presented the agents with that option, and not accept the other - when there is a delay - you are in total control - and UA has always been more than accomodating in these situations, even changing the destination.


Silver lining - you probably got rebooked in revenue classes, and will earn mileage.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
If this was a Y/J ticket, and you have no UA status, you will get $200
If this was a J ticket, and you have status, you will get $500.

Now, I dont understand why you just sat around, why did you not call United from the lounge via Skype???


Why didnt you spend the time actively looking for connections that YOU found acceptable, instead of relying on United agents, who will of course rebook you on what suits them. If you were proactive and demanded being rebooked on SQ - they would have had to accommodate you.

Bottom line is you booked transport from A to B - and thats what you got - perceived "quality" of airline doesnt really matter here - but if you wanted to be rebooked on SQ - you should have presented the agents with that option, and not accept the other - when there is a delay - you are in total control - and UA has always been more than accomodating in these situations, even changing the destination.


Silver lining - you probably got rebooked in revenue classes, and will earn mileage.
Yeah....I guess.
I certainly don't think having an agent of the airline that caused the issue being available is too much to ask? Sq agents were there...why weren't UA? As for the Skype thing...yes...maybe I could have done that. Will keep that in mind for next time if in a similar situation.
I did request flying to sq but would not have been able to connect to my final destination on the same day so was left with little choice.

It would be a great silver lining if I would receive the miles but looking at my boarding pass it says 'x' in the fare class so I'm assuming it is still reward class with no miles.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 2:39 pm
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Once you accept compensation, you're done.

If $200 was unacceptable, you should have refused.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Baley View Post
Yeah....I guess.
I certainly don't think having an agent of the airline that caused the issue being available is too much to ask? Sq agents were there...why weren't UA? As for the Skype thing...yes...maybe I could have done that. Will keep that in mind for next time if in a similar situation.
I did request flying to sq but would not have been able to connect to my final destination on the same day so was left with little choice.

It would be a great silver lining if I would receive the miles but looking at my boarding pass it says 'x' in the fare class so I'm assuming it is still reward class with no miles.

because UA has what, two flights a day from SIN? Leaving in the morning.
Its an SQ hub - of course they will have agents available!

Do you expect AC agents to be hanging out 24/7 in lets say SYD where they have one flight a day?

Wait, so you requested SQ, and had a choice of taking SQ, but it was unacceptable to you because of scheduling, so what were they supposed to do? Charter an SQ plane to make sure you get there in the time needed?
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Old Apr 28, 13, 5:52 pm
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The lesson learned is that one always needs to have alternatives in mind and Skype access as well.

It doesn't matter one whit that there were no UA employees physically present. There are many outstations where UA has no employees at all and contracts everything to a local ground handler.

If you've got your alternatives on a piece of paper in front of you, reach UA via Skype, explain your predicament and propose what you want, UA will generally do what it can to meet it.

As to compensation, you got the standard and accepted it. So far as UA is concerned, they are done with you.

Incidentally, this is a good example of why all those rants on FT about not "holding" flights are problematic. Here, 4 inbound pax from EWR caused how many misconnects to those on the outbound?
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Old Apr 28, 13, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Wait, so you requested SQ, and had a choice of taking SQ, but it was unacceptable to you because of scheduling, so what were they supposed to do? Charter an SQ plane to make sure you get there in the time needed?
Haha, of course, if UA delayed the HKG-SIN for connecting passengers, surely SQ can fly a mis-connect passenger early to LHR!

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Incidentally, this is a good example of why all those rants on FT about not "holding" flights are problematic. Here, 4 inbound pax from EWR caused how many misconnects to those on the outbound?
It's really UA's call on what to hold. Who knows who the 4 inbound passengers are, perhaps all full-fare GS; UA might think protecting revenue from GS might be more worthwhile than those on reward ticket and connecting on SQ. (Since UA and SQ are never really close, they don't even code-share)
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Old Apr 28, 13, 6:25 pm
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post

It's really UA's call on what to hold. Who knows who the 4 inbound passengers are, perhaps all full-fare GS; UA might think protecting revenue from GS might be more worthwhile than those on reward ticket and connecting on SQ. (Since UA and SQ are never really close, they don't even code-share)
Also the UA flight arrives at like past midnight. It is, for most pax, a destination flight, and most pax connect from the US. I doubt many people (I would even go as far as saying OP was the only one) were connecting from UA to SQ in the middle of the night.

HKG-SIN has a number of SQ flights - pax connecting to SQ would be on those, not a late night UA 737.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 7:09 pm
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Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
It's really UA's call on what to hold. Who knows who the 4 inbound passengers are, perhaps all full-fare GS; UA might think protecting revenue from GS might be more worthwhile than those on reward ticket and connecting on SQ. (Since UA and SQ are never really close, they don't even code-share)
I would have to guess that there weren't many connecting passengers who would be affected by a 1 hour delay. Regardless of fares or status, you're not going to cause 50 misconnects for 4 full J (or whatever UA's equivalent is) GS passengers.
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Old Apr 28, 13, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Also the UA flight arrives at like past midnight. It is, for most pax, a destination flight, and most pax connect from the US. I doubt many people (I would even go as far as saying OP was the only one) were connecting from UA to SQ in the middle of the night.

HKG-SIN has a number of SQ flights - pax connecting to SQ would be on those, not a late night UA 737.
BS There was a connecting passenger to SYD on SQ who missed his flight as well
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Old Apr 28, 13, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Baley View Post
BS There was a connecting passenger to SYD on SQ who missed his flight as well
ok, so 2 people - one of which would have just departed on SQ to SYD in early AM, and the other, you, who was given the option of SQ, but CHOSE not to take it because of timing issues.

vs

UA's own 4 pax connecting from TPAC flights that would have had to be put up overnight to catch next flight to SIN next day.


If it was me - after 30-40 minutes, I would have asked to be offloaded in HKG - and dealt with the UA gate agent there, and skipped SIN altogether knowing I'll miss a 1am connection. There are late night/early AM flights from HKG to LHR/FRA that would have still connected with the original LHR-USA
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Old Apr 28, 13, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
because UA has what, two flights a day from SIN? Leaving in the morning.
Its an SQ hub - of course they will have agents available!

Do you expect AC agents to be hanging out 24/7 in lets say SYD where they have one flight a day?

Wait, so you requested SQ, and had a choice of taking SQ, but it was unacceptable to you because of scheduling, so what were they supposed to do? Charter an SQ plane to make sure you get there in the time needed?
Listen, my beef is they waited for 4 connecting passengers from EWR and misplaced many passengers to other connecting flights. Besides the guy traveling to SYD there were two others traveling to Japan and countless others. Waiting for four passengers screwed the rest of us.

No, I don't expect UA to have agents hanging out 24/7 but would think they would have someone to meet disconnected passengers upon arrival. But I guess, following your logic perhaps a sign on a post as you enter the terminal to call UA on skype and rebook your own flights resembles sufficient service.

Yes, I didn't opt for the SQ routing as arriving home a day later and scheduling IS important to me. I haven't got a day or so to dicker around in an airport.
I guess it all depends on experience with the airline in question. Mine hasn't been positive. I and about a dozen others from various flights missed a connection to hong kong from ORD by about 20 minutes last year. It was solely a UA flight and no one was waiting for me! But in this case they decided to wait for 4 passengers and misplaced many more. And incidentally, at least 2 of the passengers walked right past me in Y so they certainly weren't all J passengers.

I feel the situation could have been handled better.
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