Ridiculous UA service at YHZ

Old Feb 23, 13, 4:36 pm
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Ridiculous UA service at YHZ

What an absolute farce of a day.

I was booked in UA4689/18 on YHZ/EWR/LHR, which made me happy to avoid the red-eye.

I was late for the first leg, through no fault of my own. There were 2 checking-in agents, and one of them took 40 minutes to deal with a single passenger, by which time, I had been bumped, as it was overbooked due to a cancellation.

So, I was bumped to UA1340/928 (red-eye via ORD), with 90 minutes connection time. 1340 sat on the tarmac for an hour, asking for volunteers to take a later flight. I knew there was no chance of making my connection, so I took the $600, and looked forward to bed (stinking cold/cough kept me awake last night), rebooked tomorrow lunchtime, via EWR.

OK, happens, and it was partly my fault. But there were FOUR UA staff in the entire airport, who first had to clear 1340, then the next flight, before dealing with my (and several other people's) voucher, rebooking and hotels, because there was no one else who could escort me back through US immigration (pre-clearance at YHZ). Not only that, they seemed to have no idea what they were doing. It took about 1 3/4 hours between deboarding and exiting the terminal.

Now, because I volunteered for the second bump, I foolishly assumed they would have treated me with some level of dignity. Oh no. Quality Inn reservation (motel), wait for the complimentary shuttle, laughed when I suggest an upgrade for the transatlantic instead of the money and hotel (OK, expected, but worth a try). I finally walked out the terminal at around 1630, after 11 hours.

So, I'm pretty p*ssed off (and there is still scope for more delay to the current 32 hour late ETA. Do I have recourse, or shall I put it down to experience?

Last edited by iluv2fly; Feb 24, 13 at 12:39 am Reason: language
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Old Feb 23, 13, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by akhill View Post
What an absolute farce of a day.

I was booked in UA4689/18 on YHZ/EWR/LHR, which made me happy to avoid the red-eye.

I was late for the first leg, through no fault of my own. There were 2 checking-in agents, and one of them took 40 minutes to deal with a single passenger, by which time, I had been bumped, as it was overbooked due to a cancellation.

So, I was bumped to UA1340/928 (red-eye via ORD), with 90 minutes connection time. 1340 sat on the tarmac for an hour, asking for volunteers to take a later flight. I knew there was no chance of making my connection, so I took the $600, and looked forward to bed (stinking cold/cough kept me awake last night), rebooked tomorrow lunchtime, via EWR.

OK, happens, and it was partly my fault. But there were FOUR UA staff in the entire airport, who first had to clear 1340, then the next flight, before dealing with my (and several other people's) voucher, rebooking and hotels, because there was no one else who could escort me back through US immigration (pre-clearance at YHZ). Not only that, they seemed to have no idea what they were doing. It took about 1 3/4 hours between deboarding and exiting the terminal.

Now, because I volunteered for the second bump, I foolishly assumed they would have treated me with some level of dignity. Oh no. Quality Inn reservation (motel), wait for the complimentary shuttle, laughed when I suggest an upgrade for the transatlantic instead of the money and hotel (OK, expected, but worth a try). I finally walked out the terminal at around 1630, after 11 hours.

So, I'm pretty p*ssed off (and there is still scope for more delay to the current 32 hour late ETA. Do I have recourse, or shall I put it down to experience?
You were late and you missed your flight. And they re-scheduled you (for free I assume) to a different flight (they did not have to do that, btw)

You should be happy that you got to fly and apparently they paid for food and motel. When you volunteered out of the freely rescheduled flight. Plus you got $600 out of it.

And you want more? Because you were late and missed your flight?

And how much staff do you expect UA to have in foreign airports?

Gee

Last edited by iluv2fly; Feb 24, 13 at 12:40 am Reason: quote
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Old Feb 23, 13, 5:11 pm
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I don't know, it doesn't sound to bad to me. And $600 is a great voucher. Sometimes there are problems that take time to be fixed, and if you cannot check in electronically (or choose not to), there is a risk with check in clerks unless you arrive 2 hours ahead of time like the recommend...
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Old Feb 23, 13, 5:39 pm
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Originally Posted by northpole999 View Post
I don't know, it doesn't sound to bad to me. And $600 is a great voucher. Sometimes there are problems that take time to be fixed, and if you cannot check in electronically (or choose not to), there is a risk with check in clerks unless you arrive 2 hours ahead of time like the recommend...
What he said.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 5:50 pm
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i have never been to YHZ, but i assume they have checkin kiosks. did you check in on the kiosk as soon as possible, then try to get the attention of one of the staff to verify your documents?

if so, and you checked in on the kiosk at least an hour - hour and a half in advance, you might have a beef. if you didnt, or you arrived less than an hour before an international flight, sorry but i think you are out of luck.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 6:04 pm
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Entirely valid points. But bribing me with $600 and rebooking for nothing is no excuse to treat me like utter cr*p, for the sake of finding 5 minutes to escort me from the terminal.

Anyway, it seems like I am in a minority with that opinion, so I shall retire to bed.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 9:32 pm
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Originally Posted by akhill View Post
What an absolute farce of a day.

I was booked in UA4689/18 on YHZ/EWR/LHR, which made me happy to avoid the red-eye.

I was late for the first leg, through no fault of my own. There were 2 checking-in agents, and one of them took 40 minutes to deal with a single passenger, by which time, I had been bumped, as it was overbooked due to a cancellation.

So, I was bumped to UA1340/928 (red-eye via ORD), with 90 minutes connection time. 1340 sat on the tarmac for an hour, asking for volunteers to take a later flight. I knew there was no chance of making my connection, so I took the $600, and looked forward to bed (stinking cold/cough kept me awake last night), rebooked tomorrow lunchtime, via EWR.

OK, sh*t happens, and it was partly my fault. But there were FOUR UA staff in the entire airport, who first had to clear 1340, then the next flight, before dealing with my (and several other people's) voucher, rebooking and hotels, because there was no one else who could escort me back through US immigration (pre-clearance at YHZ). Not only that, they seemed to have no idea what they were doing. It took about 1 3/4 hours between deboarding and exiting the terminal.

Now, because I volunteered for the second bump, I foolishly assumed they would have treated me with some level of dignity. Oh no. Quality Inn reservation (motel), wait for the complimentary shuttle, laughed when I suggest an upgrade for the transatlantic instead of the money and hotel (OK, expected, but worth a try). I finally walked out the terminal at around 1630, after 11 hours.

So, I'm pretty p*ssed off (and there is still scope for more delay to the current 32 hour late ETA. Do I have recourse, or shall I put it down to experience?
I have read your post three times - and for the life of me i can't see any reason to be the least bit p.o. There is nothing wrong with the Quality Inn YHZ. It is clean and the staff is generally friendly. Moreover, rather than being rushed out of the concourse, you got to enjoy some time watching gate operations and aircraft movements. And you got $600 voucher besides - a really good amount these days. What could be better? I wish I had been in your place.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by akhill View Post
I was late for the first leg, through no fault of my own. There were 2 checking-in agents, and one of them took 40 minutes to deal with a single passenger, by which time, I had been bumped, as it was overbooked due to a cancellation.
When this happens (and it usually only happens at smaller stations), I usually try to capture the check-in agent's attention in a polite manner and simply state I am getting close to the cutoff time for a flight.

Originally Posted by Indelaware View Post
I have read your post three times - and for the life of me i can't see any reason to be the least bit p.o. There is nothing wrong with the Quality Inn YHZ. It is clean and the staff is generally friendly. Moreover, rather than being rushed out of the concourse, you got to enjoy some time watching gate operations and aircraft movements. And you got $600 voucher besides - a really good amount these days. What could be better? I wish I had been in your place.
Meh, I can't think of a situation in which I would trade a >24hr delay for $600. To each his own as always.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by gengar View Post
Meh, I can't think of a situation in which I would trade a >24hr delay for $600. To each his own as always.
OP is based in UK which was OP's destination. So its not so much a delay in travelling - it is a free extention of one's time away from home - a free increase in travel. Better than free with the voucher.
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Old Feb 23, 13, 9:44 pm
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Did you ask them to rebook you on the AC nonstop?
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Old Feb 23, 13, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Indelaware View Post
OP is based in UK which was OP's destination. So its not so much a delay in travelling - it is a free extention of one's time away from home - a free increase in travel. Better than free with the voucher.
As I already noted, to each his own. You might somehow for whatever reason consider it a "free" vacation, but the OP might not; it's impossible to make a blanket statement. For example, I don't have the odd habit of planning my trips short whether it's for business or leisure, so >24 hours late getting home is def not worth $600 for me.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 4:01 am
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Originally Posted by akhill View Post
I was late for the first leg, through no fault of my own. There were 2 checking-in agents, and one of them took 40 minutes to deal with a single passenger, by which time, I had been bumped, as it was overbooked due to a cancellation.
It is your responsibility to check-in before cutoff, not UA's responsibility to make sure you can check-in before cutoff.

Originally Posted by akhill View Post
It took about 1 3/4 hours between deboarding and exiting the terminal.
That was exactly why you got $600 ETC - your time.

Originally Posted by akhill View Post
...Quality Inn reservation (motel)...
What UA obligated was a place to stay. In some cases (such as where you are from the city of your residence), UA can in fact refuse to provide lodging.

Originally Posted by akhill View Post
...laughed when I suggest an upgrade for the transatlantic instead of the money and hotel...
They should not laughed. It was okay to ask. I once read in FT knowing that a person was able to get GPUs instead of vouchers for VDB compensation.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 8:18 am
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I've had a frustrating time at YHZ with the staff. They're all early 20's and I stood at the premier kiosk waiting for 10 minutes for them to tag my bag and such while 3 of them helped a single kettle. None of them seemed to have a clue running the computer system.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 8:58 am
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Originally Posted by Hadrian35 View Post
I've had a frustrating time at YHZ with the staff. They're all early 20's and I stood at the premier kiosk waiting for 10 minutes for them to tag my bag and such while 3 of them helped a single kettle. None of them seemed to have a clue running the computer system.
I'm guessing not UA staff at YHZ. Not that its an excuse. But don't believe mainline services YHZ, so would likely be contracted out. Maybe things work differently in smaller Canadian stations - I'm only familiar with YYZ, who have some great UA staff working there.
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Old Feb 24, 13, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I'm guessing not UA staff at YHZ. Not that its an excuse. But don't believe mainline services YHZ, so would likely be contracted out. Maybe things work differently in smaller Canadian stations - I'm only familiar with YYZ, who have some great UA staff working there.
They were pleasant with me when they finally got around to handling me. They were merely clueless and I felt their youth and the fact that there was a lack of someone more senior to provide some guidance was good enough excuse for me. Carelessness in customer service is irksome but I try to be patient and understanding...tho, three people to help one kettle... really, kids?

As I said, they were pleasant and that went a long way to placating me. The one young man that checked my bag was also operating as the GA. and he remembered my name from check in and greeted me by name before looking at my ticket. Nice touch.

A $600 voucher for my own screw up... I would view that as an overall pleasant end to a bothersome wait on line.
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