Flight Cancelled - What's Typical?

Old Apr 29, 16, 11:22 am
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Flight Cancelled - What's Typical?

Hi

Unlike a lot of you, I've not experienced a lot of cancellations with UA. Today was much different. Curious about several twists and turns and what is or isn't SOP.

1. IAD - DEN - PDX got cancelled. I'm traveling with my SO on same PNR.

2. Go to CS line and find out through app that UA has rebooked us - but on 2 separate flights. I'm 1k and she is general status. They rebook her on the next flight out. I get rebooked on a flight that gets me in 5 hours later.

3. While in CS line I call UA. They say that there are no seats left on the earlier flight. It's the 1k desk. She says that's all she can do.

4. Get to the CS agent who is awesome. Get's us on UA to SFO and then AS to PDX - (I didn't think they would ever rebook you on a different airline? is this new). I asked the CS agent why 1k desk didn't do that? Shrugs.

5. Can't print out AS boarding pass. AS agent doesn't understand why either. I'm in the air so hopefully I actually have a ticket here.

6. App never updates to new boarding info. Still showing I'm booked on the 5pm IAD-PDX.


Mostly curious about the rebooking on Alaska and why they didn't prioritize the rebooking by status (ie gave my SO the better flight). Also really curious why the 1k lady didn't offer the booking on another airline? Other observations?


Thanks!
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Old Apr 29, 16, 11:37 am
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Thoughts...

Did the flight your SO was rebooked on lack Economy Plus availability? Wondering if that played a factor.

That having been said, I've not experienced being split from my travel partner if we're on the same PNR. However, what may have happened is that when you checked in, your PNR's may have been split for upgrade list purposes, which effectively would have made you both solo travelers. See:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...eeds-stop.html

As for rebooking on other airlines, UA has done this for me many times. I've been rebooked onto DL, AA, and US (pre-merger) in the past.

Re: the boarding pass issue, you'll want to make sure that the AS flight was properly ticketed. I've been in a situation before where the UA CS thought she put me on US (before the AA merger), but there was some snafu/miscommunication/mistake which resulted in US never actually ticketing the flight. I can't recall if it was b/c UA didn't properly release or endorse the ticket over, or if US never approved (or whatever the proper terminology is). In the end, it took a call from the UA ticket counter to US to get it sorted, and I think it was US's fault.

If the flight was paid for and not an award booking, also be sure to ask for original routing credit so you get your miles, segments, and dollars.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 11:45 am
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I LOL at the title of this thread as there is absolutely nothing "TYPICAL" about recovery after a flight cancellation. IME it depends on the following:

1. The quality of the agent you speak with when you call
2. Your status (sometimes ranked number 1 when being backed up)
3. See #1

If you get a great agent you can have a great outcome - sometimes even better than your original routing. If you get an indifferent agent, regardless of your status, it can be a nightmare. Honestly wasn't trying to be funny - to me the single greatest - and nearly only - factor in how things are handled is the quality of the agent. Get a good one - UA is great. Get anything else - you won;t be happy...
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:02 pm
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To answer your question, what you experienced IS typical for UA.

They're supposed to prioritize rebooking by status, but as is typical with UA systems since CO took over, things often don't work right. So the General Member got the better flight.

The call center is supposed to rebook on other carriers, but you often have to press them. It costs money for them to do this, so some are more vigilant about denying it or not offering it than others.

The app doesn't always refresh the latest data. Try using the site or mobile site to see what's in your record.

Hopefully UA reissued your ticket so you can get your AS BP. Try doing OLCI on the AS site or AS app using the AS confirmation number (the UA record should show it to you).
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:04 pm
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1. Maybe. They put her in back though.
2. Doesn't the PNR splitting only happen if you select autochekin on the return flight. This was outbound so auto checkin wasn't an issue. I checked us both in together on the app though.
3. I've got an AS reservation number but neither the GA or the AS app would let me check in. Weird. I have receipts but could be some odd issue. AS agent didn't understand what was up either.
4. Regardiing the rebooking this is really good to know about other airlines. Is this only with MX? Do they do this in other situations too?


Originally Posted by gobluetwo View Post
Thoughts...

Did the flight your SO was rebooked on lack Economy Plus availability? Wondering if that played a factor.

That having been said, I've not experienced being split from my travel partner if we're on the same PNR. However, what may have happened is that when you checked in, your PNR's may have been split for upgrade list purposes, which effectively would have made you both solo travelers. See:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...eeds-stop.html

As for rebooking on other airlines, UA has done this for me many times. I've been rebooked onto DL, AA, and US (pre-merger) in the past.

Re: the boarding pass issue, you'll want to make sure that the AS flight was properly ticketed. I've been in a situation before where the UA CS thought she put me on US (before the AA merger), but there was some snafu/miscommunication/mistake which resulted in US never actually ticketing the flight. I can't recall if it was b/c UA didn't properly release or endorse the ticket over, or if US never approved (or whatever the proper terminology is). In the end, it took a call from the UA ticket counter to US to get it sorted, and I think it was US's fault.

If the flight was paid for and not an award booking, also be sure to ask for original routing credit so you get your miles, segments, and dollars.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
4. Regardiing the rebooking this is really good to know about other airlines. Is this only with MX? Do they do this in other situations too?
OAL rebooking is permitted in all irregularity situations (delays and cancellations), regardless of cause.

You may see more willingness to help in MX situations as the airline is also responsible for amenities in those situations. But Star Alliance carriers are required to use OALs in delays or cancellations regardless of the reason.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:13 pm
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Thanks. Good to know about pressing the 1K agents. Tried the AS AP and it says to go to the agent. Seems to see the PRN.

Also learning about that PNR auto split. That's bad news - especially in IRROPs.

Interesting about them also using OALs in delays and cancellations. We really had a super helpful agent. Expressing some empathy for her job probably helped too. Curious if this "policy" is described on UA's webiste anywhere. I'm guessing it's probably not made too explicit.


Originally Posted by channa View Post
To answer your question, what you experienced IS typical for UA.

They're supposed to prioritize rebooking by status, but as is typical with UA systems since CO took over, things often don't work right. So the General Member got the better flight.

The call center is supposed to rebook on other carriers, but you often have to press them. It costs money for them to do this, so some are more vigilant about denying it or not offering it than others.

The app doesn't always refresh the latest data. Try using the site or mobile site to see what's in your record.

Hopefully UA reissued your ticket so you can get your AS BP. Try doing OLCI on the AS site or AS app using the AS confirmation number (the UA record should show it to you).
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
Curious if this "policy" is described on UA's webiste anywhere. I'm guessing it's probably not made too explicit.
It's a Star Alliance policy:

http://rg.starallianceemployees.com/...-handling.html

Rebooking
The policies apply in all irregularity situations.
When a customerís travel plan is disrupted due to a flight irregularity and rebooking is required, the following procedures apply to all Star Alliance member carriers. Alternative transportation may apply when no flights are available on the same day or protection is not acceptable to the customer.

The policies apply to all customers with confirmed reservations and those who have been accepted on the flight.

Rebooking will be done wherever an irregularity takes place; everything else is an exceptional case.
If no common reservations system exists, make same-day rebooking on another airline by phone in order to avoid the risk that bookings may be rejected later.

...

Carrier Order
Rebook in the following carrier order, depending on frequency of flights and the customerís best interest:
  • Own airline
  • Star Alliance member airline
  • Non-Star Alliance member airline (OAL)
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:22 pm
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Very helpful! Thank you.

Originally Posted by channa View Post
It's a Star Alliance policy:

http://rg.starallianceemployees.com/...-handling.html

Rebooking
The policies apply in all irregularity situations.
When a customerís travel plan is disrupted due to a flight irregularity and rebooking is required, the following procedures apply to all Star Alliance member carriers. Alternative transportation may apply when no flights are available on the same day or protection is not acceptable to the customer.

The policies apply to all customers with confirmed reservations and those who have been accepted on the flight.

Rebooking will be done wherever an irregularity takes place; everything else is an exceptional case.
If no common reservations system exists, make same-day rebooking on another airline by phone in order to avoid the risk that bookings may be rejected later.

...

Carrier Order
Rebook in the following carrier order, depending on frequency of flights and the customerís best interest:
  • Own airline
  • Star Alliance member airline
  • Non-Star Alliance member airline (OAL)
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
It's a Star Alliance policy:

http://rg.starallianceemployees.com/...-handling.html

Rebooking
The policies apply in all irregularity situations.
When a customerís travel plan is disrupted due to a flight irregularity and rebooking is required, the following procedures apply to all Star Alliance member carriers. Alternative transportation may apply when no flights are available on the same day or protection is not acceptable to the customer.

The policies apply to all customers with confirmed reservations and those who have been accepted on the flight.

Rebooking will be done wherever an irregularity takes place; everything else is an exceptional case.
If no common reservations system exists, make same-day rebooking on another airline by phone in order to avoid the risk that bookings may be rejected later.

...

Carrier Order
Rebook in the following carrier order, depending on frequency of flights and the customerís best interest:
  • Own airline
  • Star Alliance member airline
  • Non-Star Alliance member airline (OAL)
That's great that they have a policy but what's to make them abide by it? Can we, as customers, file a complaint to the Star Alliance? Complaining to UA will not have any effect.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 12:43 pm
  #11  
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A complaint to DOT will get action usually:

http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm
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Old Apr 29, 16, 1:01 pm
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In my experience, normally United will just look at rebooking you on United. However, I have never had any resistance when asking them to look at other airline options. Some of my experiences on Delta have resulted in an outright refusal to look at other airline options
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Old Apr 29, 16, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by awu25 View Post
Some of my experiences on Delta have resulted in an outright refusal to look at other airline options
Really?!?! That is so counter to most posts on this Board by people who say DL is wonderful......unicorns and rainbows abound, while UA is the devil incarnate
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Old Apr 29, 16, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
The call center is supposed to rebook on other carriers, but you often have to press them. It costs money for them to do this, so some are more vigilant about denying it or not offering it than others.
Yep. Last year my non-stop CDG to SFO was cancelled. I'd done my homework ahead of time, but when I called ... 'well we've got a flight to Dulles leaving this afternoon, connecting to UA XXX which will get you home about midnight. And I can see a flight to EWR, connecting to IAH, which gets you in about 11pm.'

Me: 'Air France still has seats on the non-stop SFO flight that get in at 1pm. Can you please put me on that?'

And she did, without much fuss. The key is doing your research ahead of time and then just asking for what you want.
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Old Apr 29, 16, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bluedemon211 View Post
Really?!?! That is so counter to most posts on this Board by people who say DL is wonderful......unicorns and rainbows abound, while UA is the devil incarnate
Wide a few years ago was flying to SFO on UA with a connection in ORD. Flight was delayed at CVG and she was going to misconnect. I told her to ask for the DL non-stop, which was leaving in a little more than an hour. UA was unable to get them on the phone to get them to accept, so while the agent was on hold with them, wife walked up to the gate, where DL agent basically apparently told her to go away. There were seats available to purchase online - so DL apparently didn't care about taking on an extra pax they had room for. Wide ended up on a different Ua connection.
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