Denied E+ after seats changed - 7 hour flight

Old Mar 6, 12, 12:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, CO - for now..
Programs: UA - Silver and dropping...
Posts: 80
Denied E+ after seats changed - 7 hour flight

Premier Gold here. Booked EWR - DUB RT on .bomb for myself and my significant other. First time traveling internationally, ever.

Flight to DUB was fine. Flight back today (3/6/12) was a nightmare. When I booked back in January, it showed a 757 CO flight (no e+ option) so I had booked 21a/b (exit row). Yesterday, I got an email notification that my seats had been changed. When I checked into airport I was told exit row seats were gone, too bad and they gave me 38a/b and a boarding pass with zone 3 on it.

Chatted with GA, got the same story. As I board the plane.. i see there are E+ seats!! I immediately ask the FA who greets me at the door if there are e+ seats available, she responds with "oh, yes. plenty. they do cost additional, though".

I told her I was PG, explained that they had already kicked me out of my exit row seats and that I believe I should get e+ for free.. based on elite benefits alone. She says NO!! I insist, she says that it's not the case for international flights. She then gets on the loudspeaker.. as I'm standing next to her and offers e+ seats for an additional fee to the airplane. As a nice touch, at the end of the announcement, she says something along the lines of, you cannot move into e+ without paying and that the people currently sitting there ACTUALLY paid to sit there.

Thought maybe she was right (first INT flight, so who knows). I sulk over to my 38a/b. Flight takes off, of course all seats in front of me lay back after double chime.. can't use the laptop now. 7 hour flight!

I called UA when I landed at EWR - they confirmed that I should get E+ on the flight, can't say why my seats were changed and get this.. say they aren't showing the aircraft even had E+ on it?!?!

They advised that I contact customer relations.. which I'm doing. Has this happened to anyone else lately?

Last edited by HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying; Mar 6, 12 at 12:47 pm Reason: grammar
HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying is offline  
Old Mar 6, 12, 12:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Washington, D.C.
Programs: UA Premier 1K: PlAAtinum; DL SM, MM; Marriott Gold; CO Plat Emeritus; NW Plat Emeritus
Posts: 4,603
Hasn't happened to me like this, but I'm told all 75s have E+ now.

I think the F/A was right insofar as they don't have the authority to move you up for free. (Most of them don't know much about MP, status etc.) But checkin or gate agent should have done so - you were definitely entitled.

You'll probably get some comp.
Alpha Golf is offline  
Old Mar 6, 12, 12:51 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: BGM/ PHL
Programs: US (Silver, *A Silver), AA, Starbucks (Gold)
Posts: 2,242
Originally Posted by HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying View Post
Premier Gold here. Booked EWR - DUB RT on .bomb for myself and my significant other. First time traveling internationally, ever.

Flight to DUB was fine. Flight back today (3/6/12) was a nightmare. When I booked back in January, it showed a 757 CO flight (no e+ option) so I had booked 21a/b (exit row). Yesterday, I got an email notification that my seats had been changed. When I checked into airport I was told exit row seats were gone, too bad and they gave me 38a/b and a boarding pass with zone 3 on it.

Chatted with GA, got the same story. As I board the plane.. i see there are E+ seats!! I immediately ask the FA who greets me at the door if there are e+ seats available, she responds with "oh, yes. plenty. they do cost additional, though".

I told her I was PG, explained that they had already kicked me out of my exit row seats and that I believe I should get e+ for free.. based on elite benefits alone. She says NO!! I insist, she says that it's not the case for international flights. She then gets on the loudspeaker.. as I'm standing next to her and offers e+ seats for an additional fee to the airplane. As a nice touch, at the end of the announcement, she says something along the lines of, you cannot move into e+ without paying and that the people currently sitting there ACTUALLY paid to sit there.

Thought maybe she was right (first INT flight, so who knows). I sulk over to my 38a/b. Flight takes off, of course all seats in front of me lay back after double chime.. can't use the laptop now. 7 hour flight!

I called UA when I landed at EWR - they confirmed that I should get E+ on the flight, can't say why my seats were changed and get this.. say they aren't showing the aircraft even had E+ on it?!?!

They advised that I contact customer relations.. which I'm doing. Has this happened to anyone else lately?
I would have paid, and sent a copy of your receipt and elite card requesting a refund.
thomwithanh is offline  
Old Mar 6, 12, 12:52 pm
  #4  
Senior Moderator/Moderator: United MileagePlus
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: UA Plat/2MM [23-yr. 1K, now emeritus] WN-A List; MR LT Titanium; HY Whateverist.
Posts: 12,134
As far as the earlier seat change, this has affected others. Here is UA Insider's statement on this, found here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18114732-post1.html

Seats
Sporadic Seat Assignment Issues. We continue to see sporadic cases where some pre-assigned seats were lost. Were working on a process to automatically assign seats back in these cases, but, there may be times when the originally assigned seat is no longer available. We recommend using united.com to confirm or change your seat assignments for any upcoming trips.
Ocn Vw 1K is offline  
Old Mar 6, 12, 12:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Aussie in ORD
Programs: Marriott Plat, Ua Gold, GE.. Sucker for punishment
Posts: 3,720
Does not help us Silvers that lost out E+.. Yeah I know we are not entitled to it but we were led to believe that seat assignments will stick.. I am now scared to go in and change seats as only my return flight is affected... my outgoing (LAX-MEL no less) still has E+...
cyclogenesis is offline  
Old Mar 6, 12, 1:08 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, CO - for now..
Programs: UA - Silver and dropping...
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by Ocn Vw 1K View Post
As far as the earlier seat change, this has affected others. Here is UA Insider's statement on this, found here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18114732-post1.html

Seats
Sporadic Seat Assignment Issues. We continue to see sporadic cases where some pre-assigned seats were lost. Were working on a process to automatically assign seats back in these cases, but, there may be times when the originally assigned seat is no longer available. We recommend using united.com to confirm or change your seat assignments for any upcoming trips.
Once I received the email that seat changes had been made.. I did log in but the site told me I had to call to change any details of the flight. I spent 30 minutes on hold before giving up and putting faith into getting it resolved at the airport.

It's just part of the merger. For me and many others, some mishaps are just going to happen. Unfortunately, this was a 7 hour flight mishap during a vacation with my lady.

I should have paid and sent in the receipt. However, the FA's announcement didn't make me want to deal with her anymore. Too much sarcasm. Ego was bigger than my seat today..... :P
HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 6:40 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, CO - for now..
Programs: UA - Silver and dropping...
Posts: 80
Had sent a letter into CS, addressing my situation - and that it was an unpleasant experience for myself and my SO on my first International trip with United.. here's the response I got back. Just an apology....

"Dear Mr. HEISAUDIHERE:

We regret that you didn't get the seat you expected on your recent flight, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. You are correct Economy Plus is complimentary for Premier Gold; unfortunately, there was no way for the Flight Attendant or Gate Agent to verify this on the new computer system. At this time, we cannot offer anything except an apology. The computers are being synchronized and senior management is aware of the problem.


We are able to fulfill our guests' seat requests the majority of the time, and we hope to be able to do so for you in the future. We appreciate this opportunity to respond and look forward to serving you.

Regards,

XXXX XXXX
United Airlines Customer Care"

Last edited by iluv2fly; Mar 14, 12 at 6:45 pm Reason: per policy
HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 6:46 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: HNL
Programs: United 1K
Posts: 1,574
I'm not sure, but I believe you are due something more than just an apology. Maybe UA Insider can help.
love_to_travel is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 6:57 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: SNA
Posts: 164
That response from UA is garbage. I hope they get their crap together ASAP or else there will be a thinning of the elite herd due to poor service.
VWGuru is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 7:00 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: CVG
Programs: UA Silver, AA, DL, Marriott Silver
Posts: 11,754
FA is the wrong person to talk to about getting seats in E+. The GA has the authority to change your seat assignments to E+ without a fee, but not the FA.

The FA's have enough to do to prep the flight without knowing the whole who is entitled to E+. If you wanted E+, and knew there were seats available, should have gone back up the jetway to ask the GA for E+. They would have likely happily moved you. I know hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully you don't need this advice for next time.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 7:14 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hawaii
Programs: United 1K 2 MM
Posts: 1,081
Originally Posted by HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying View Post
Had sent a letter into CS, addressing my situation - and that it was an unpleasant experience for myself and my SO on my first International trip with United.. here's the response I got back. Just an apology....

"Dear Mr. HEISAUDIHERE:

We regret that you didn't get the seat you expected on your recent flight, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. You are correct Economy Plus is complimentary for Premier Gold; unfortunately, there was no way for the Flight Attendant or Gate Agent to verify this on the new computer system. At this time, we cannot offer anything except an apology. The computers are being synchronized and senior management is aware of the problem.


We are able to fulfill our guests' seat requests the majority of the time, and we hope to be able to do so for you in the future. We appreciate this opportunity to respond and look forward to serving you.

Regards,

XXXX XXXX
United Airlines Customer Care"
What a disgusting response: if it isn't too painful to get on the phone and request compensation I would keep calling. No point in an e-mail: I am waiting months for communications I sent UA in January.
mmack is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 8:33 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Programs: AA PLT,AS,UA PP,J6,FB,EY,LH,SQ,HH Dmd,Hyatt Expl,Marriott Plat,IHG Plat,Accor Gold
Posts: 10,478
Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
FA is the wrong person to talk to about getting seats in E+. The GA has the authority to change your seat assignments to E+ without a fee, but not the FA.

The FA's have enough to do to prep the flight without knowing the whole who is entitled to E+. If you wanted E+, and knew there were seats available, should have gone back up the jetway to ask the GA for E+. They would have likely happily moved you. I know hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully you don't need this advice for next time.
Agreed, but a responsible, professional FA would have told the OP that this matter was under the GA's control, not that of the FA, and that the OP could quickly get back to the gate and try to get it resolved.

Originally Posted by mmack View Post
What a disgusting response: if it isn't too painful to get on the phone and request compensation I would keep calling. No point in an e-mail: I am waiting months for communications I sent UA in January.
Good advice
Thunderroad is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 9:13 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: UA 1P MM
Posts: 112
"We regret that you didn't get the seat you expected on your recent flight, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. You are correct Economy Plus is complimentary for Premier Gold; unfortunately, there was no way for the Flight Attendant or Gate Agent to verify this on the new computer system. At this time, we cannot offer anything except an apology. The computers are being synchronized and senior management is aware of the problem."

Translation: Due to poor implementation of our change of reservation systems, our gate agent was not able to verify your status online. Due to incompetence of our gate agent, she did not understand our actual policies. Due to your incompetence by choosing a carrier that has demonstrated it does not intend to keep its commitments to its frequent flyers, it is your own fault and you are not due anything more than an apology. Yes, pretty disgusting.
USC_FT@LAX is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 9:18 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LHR (sometimes CLE, SFO, BOS, LAX, SEA)
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 5,796
You should have paid and requested a refund.

Ideally you would have asked the agent to write her employee number on the back of your Premier Gold card.
mherdeg is offline  
Old Mar 14, 12, 9:28 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, CO - for now..
Programs: UA - Silver and dropping...
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
FA is the wrong person to talk to about getting seats in E+. The GA has the authority to change your seat assignments to E+ without a fee, but not the FA.

The FA's have enough to do to prep the flight without knowing the whole who is entitled to E+. If you wanted E+, and knew there were seats available, should have gone back up the jetway to ask the GA for E+. They would have likely happily moved you. I know hindsight is 20/20, and hopefully you don't need this advice for next time.
I did ask the GA before boarding. In the response from CS, she mentions that the GA did not have that information because of the new system. Ah, well... either way, it was bad timing. I'm not satisfied with the response but I'm not really sure what I expected anyway.
HeIsAudiHereUnlessHesFlying is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: