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Boarding door closed and seat given away 25 mins before departure. Any recourse?

Boarding door closed and seat given away 25 mins before departure. Any recourse?

Old Dec 31, 15, 8:45 am
  #16  
 
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Some of the United Express carriers don't have electronic ACARS which means paper weight and balance. They're closing the door more than ten minutes before departure, if you're there or not. Also, with the weather at the various hubs this week, there could have been a call for release program. If you have a 2pm departure, the pilots call and request 2pm and are told they're released at 2pm, they're going to tell the gate agent they need to be moving no later than 1:50. If they're doing paper weight and balance, it means she's closing the door 1:35-1:40pm.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 8:51 am
  #17  
 
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flyersky1,
i would be curious to see if the flight was oversold, my bet is that the agent may or may not have asked for a volunteer. if no one wanted to volunteer then quick load it up and close the door. i would now consider you to be involuntaringly denied boarding from the flight and be compensated accordingly whether the flight was full or not as you adhered to the cofc. let us know the outcome
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Old Dec 31, 15, 8:53 am
  #18  
 
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I never get to the gate earlier than 5 minutes before the published "boarding starts" time. What is the point of standing in a crowd of gate lice?

Last edited by goalie; Dec 31, 15 at 11:42 am Reason: response to deleted post removed
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:03 am
  #19  
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Thank you for all your responses. Below are the answers to some of your questions.

Originally Posted by SunLover View Post
Was weather involved at origin and/or destination; i.e. bad weather and a decreasing travel window, therefore UX rushed everyone on the bird for takeoff?


SL
No weather at all. Moreover, the plane sat on the tarmac for a while after departure, I could see it from the gate.

Originally Posted by Ari View Post
OP should complain to UA as he was available in the gate area 15 minutes prior to departure and checked in 30 minutes prior to departure. That seems to be all the UA CoC requires of passengers.
Thank you Ari!



Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP -

First, details matter. What was the airport, what was the date, what was the flight number and, if you know, what was the aircraft type? Were you rerouted? If so, when? Did anybody else from UA say anything? That information can help to provide you with better advice.

Second, UA requires that you be at the gate by T-15. Presumably UA's own records will show that you were off-loaded prior to that. Don't worry so much about video and all that stuff, every key stroke typed by an agent is logged and time-stamped.

Third, DOT rules would provide involuntary denied boarding compensation of as much as 400% of the ticket segment price capped at $1,350, if you were off-loaded due to an oversell, the aircraft meets certain capacity requirements, the delay occasioned by the denial meets certain minimum requirements, and there are no other exemptions. If the DOT rule does not apply, there is zero sense in a DOT complaint.

There may be some point in a complaint to UA as the timing is odd. But, again, the detailed facts really matter here. Without them, the advice is speculative and, as you can see from some of what you've got above, pretty useless.

Flight number was 6311. It was a non-stop flight. It was the last flight of the day. It was sold out as was the other flight early in the morning. I'm guessing the GA just wanted to get it done and didn't care. I called the premier line right away and they refunded my ticket as it was still >15 mins before departure. They couldn't do any Idb compensation though and Told me to write feedback on UA's website.


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OP should note how DOT defines an IDB. It's not just a matter of not being allowed to board the plane.
Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
The check in time is yet to be confirmed. Even if the OP checked in online and did not arrive at the airport and begin to clear security until T25, the OP did not meet the minimum check in time.
I checked in in the morning, several hours before departure time. Was at the airport 31 mins before departure and at the gate 21 mins before departure with only a carry on.

Last edited by goalie; Dec 31, 15 at 11:43 am Reason: edited quoted post to match edited original post
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:08 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
OP should note how DOT defines an IDB. It's not just a matter of not being allowed to board the plane.

How would the OP know if the flight was oversold?

Personally I would contact customer relations and spell out the facts and ask them to investigate. Ask for reasonable compensation. If the EQM missed are essential for status, make it clear you want those.

If this does not lead to anything in a reasonable time frame (10 days), file a DOT complaint. State that it may or may not have been a case of IDB (they can work that out), but certainly a violation of the CoC.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:12 am
  #21  
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That's one of my biggest problems. I know if I get to the airport 2 hours earlier I can be on the flight. Those people that were on my flight boarded at least 30 mins earlier, then sat on the plane for 45 mins at least before the flight took off with a flight time of 1h, this almost Doubles sitting on the plane time.

If UA wants me at the gate 30 mins before departure, they can post new guidelines and I will follow them.

Originally Posted by Cargojon View Post
I never get to the gate earlier than 5 minutes before the published "boarding starts" time. What is the point of standing in a crowd of gate lice?

Last edited by goalie; Dec 31, 15 at 11:44 am Reason: edited quoted post to match edited original post
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:16 am
  #22  
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Thank you. I checked on EF, the flight was zeroed out. And using the UA app, I saw people on standby, so it was sold out for sure and most likely overbooked. I will submit the feedback on UA's website and wait for a response.

Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
How would the OP know if the flight was oversold?

Personally I would contact customer relations and spell out the facts and ask them to investigate. Ask for reasonable compensation. If the EQM missed are essential for status, make it clear you want those.

If this does not lead to anything in a reasonable time frame (10 days), file a DOT complaint. State that it may or may not have been a case of IDB (they can work that out), but certainly a violation of the CoC.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:36 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
there is a clear record of when you were offloaded from the flight. Since UX denied you an denied boarding compensation I would write to the DOT with a succinct statement such as: you were at the gate 25 minutes before departure, found the door closed and the GA denied you boarding and/or compensation.
UA will respond to the DOT and you'll get proper compansation.
+1 This is the correct advise. This is a clear IDB and an effort to avoid paying the legally required IDB compensation. OP you are BY LAW owed compensation for being denied boarding. The amount you are owed is shown here:

http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publi...tm#overbooking

But the airlines (and United is perhaps the worst offender) try to avoid paying the compensation. See e.g. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel...ation/7414701/

If you file a complaint here: http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm

United will very very quickly send you the compensation you are owed.



Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
The check in time is yet to be confirmed. Even if the OP checked in online and did not arrive at the airport and begin to clear security until T25, the OP did not meet the minimum check in time.
I am sure just walked through security w/o a ticket! Tried to check in at the gate! Happens to me all the time! Or I show up on an oversold flight at less than 30 min, and UA prints me a boarding pass! People are always trying to rip off United, which does everything it can to be a proactive warm and fuzzy, helpful, need I say "Flyer Friendly" organization. Its just so sad that people pick on United!

Originally Posted by flyersky1 View Post

I called the premier line right away and they refunded my ticket as it was still >15 mins before departure. They couldn't do any Idb compensation though and Told me to write feedback on UA's website.

I checked in in the morning, several hours before departure time. Was at the airport 31 mins before departure and at the gate 21 mins before departure with only a carry on.
OP you were owed IDB compensation, and United telling you to just write feedback is ripping you off, and violates the law. Just file a DOT complaint, its much faster.

Originally Posted by flyersky1 View Post
Thank you. I checked on EF, the flight was zeroed out. And using the UA app, I saw people on standby, so it was sold out for sure and most likely overbooked. I will submit the feedback on UA's website and wait for a response.
submitting "feedback" to United does not fix the problem, nor is it likely to get you anything. A DOT complaint will get you a check, and it will also help put pressure (which is badly needed) on United to stop always ripping off people.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:39 am
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Some strange comments in this thread.

I sympathize with the OP, assuming he was checked in on time and really at the gate, which I tend to believe. No reason to close a flight early if all passengers aren't accounted for.

That said, I also don't understand comments about how a GA shouldn't begin boarding a flight early. For a lot of these UX flights in small airports it makes sense. Try an airport like HPN or BUR. There's nowhere to go but the gate. Often boarding a few minutes early means you can depart a few minutes early, if everyone is accounted for. I like getting home a few minutes early, and no, you don't always have to wait for a gate on arrival. Plus, I'd rather wait at my home airport.

But to be perfectly clear on where I stand...seats should not be given away and the door should not be closed until it's time. Those things should never be done early, if a passenger is unaccounted for.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 9:53 am
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Looks like UA6311 departed TEN minutes early on 12/30, per United website. OP's account sounds very likely - oversold last flight of day to DEN, and GA tried to avoid IDB compensation (though it arrived 2 minutes early anyway, so why get the plane out of the gate early is a mystery).
Good luck!
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Old Dec 31, 15, 10:00 am
  #26  
 
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OP, this has happened to me before so I believe you and feel your pain. Good luck in getting your compensation and please report back!
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Old Dec 31, 15, 10:10 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
Some strange comments in this thread.

I sympathize with the OP, assuming he was checked in on time and really at the gate, which I tend to believe. No reason to close a flight early if all passengers aren't accounted for.
Well said there, I have no problem if UA wants to board a flight early and if 100% of ticketed passengers have boarded, then feel free to close the door early and have push back early. Weather or not the plane can get a new takeoff slot doesn't matter, assuming 100% of ticketed paxs are accounted for and have boarded....but if you the GA boards early and there is 1 pax missing, it doesn't mean you can just end the boarding process earlier.

In either case, UA should have another system to also notify pax not in the gate area - they can text message us delays, why can't a GA text us when boarding begins and if any missing pax to notify them via text for last call?? Seems like a potential digital improvement for UA here.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 11:26 am
  #28  
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It sounds like IDB plus the failure of the GA to inform the OP of his/her IDB rights, as required by DOT. However, OP should be aware that there are exceptions for small aircraft and/or weight and blanche issues.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 11:33 am
  #29  
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This does indeed appear to be an IDB.

Note that the GA's motivation may not have been to avoid giving comp, but rather (a) to get the flight out early because that's how GAs get unscheduled breaks, and (b) avoid the hassle of the VDB/IDB process, which would have virtually guaranteed no unscheduled break.

Sometimes employee conduct which tends here to be ascribed to a broad UA conspiracy to screw its passengers can be explained at a more personal level
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Old Dec 31, 15, 11:42 am
  #30  
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Originally Posted by flyersky1 View Post
.....
Flight number was 6311. ....
If this was 30 Dec 2015
Departed: Lincoln, NE (LNK)
Date: Wed., Dec. 30, 2015
Scheduled: 8:25 PM
Actual: 8:15 PM
....
Aircraft:
Canadair CRJ-200 | #0
Operated by Skywest Airlines dba United Express
The wiki of http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...solidated.html listed the key elements of IDB.

CRJ-200 appears to be the scheduled aircraft and there was no downsizing.
The 60 seat IDB limitation only applies if a weight restricted flight.
The check-in/gate time seems to be the only criteria for UA to claim for exemption.

Sounds like a over zealous, under trained UX GA but the offloading time stamp will be critical.

Complain to UA , ask to for IDB and flight credit.
If no resolution in 5 days, contact DoT would be my path.
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