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UA claims I was a "no show" , cancelled rest of itin -- but I did actually fly!!!

UA claims I was a "no show" , cancelled rest of itin -- but I did actually fly!!!

Old Oct 6, 14, 4:24 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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United cancelled my ticket, claimed I was a no-show on 1st leg

Today I received my 'welcome to Premier 1K' gift from United:

Flew IAD-DFW last night (Sunday). Today I happened to log in to check my return flight, which is Thursday, and my ticket had been cancelled. I called the 1K line and was told that my ticket was cancelled because I was a no-show last night. I let them know I was in fact on the IAD-DFW flight, and that I needed my return flight.

After a modest wait, the agent returned and said my ticket had been reinstated because his manager "had determined because I had checked in 23hrs prior to my flight that showed my 'intent' to be on the flight, and since I had 'intent' to be on the flight, my return leg would be reinstated". Clearly there was doubt in their minds whether I was on the flight or not (I guess invisibility is a unadvertised benefit of 1K status - cool!). Unfortunately, my seat in the 1st row of eco-plus was lost, and the only available seat was last row window in economy (I'm 6'08" and I do not physically fit in a standard economy seat on a CRJ-700 - a flight attendant who once saw me try aptly said it was like trying to put 16 oz of water in a 12oz cup, it can't happen without making a mess).

I made this reservation almost 2 months ago, knowing I needed to plan ahead to get 1st row of economy plus to maximize leg room. When I explained this, the agent said there was nothing he could do, but that I might be able to request one of the 2 seats that were currently blocked for disabled passengers, but that it would be a day of change at the airport only and he could not tell me if either seat available. There is an earlier flight Thursday with eco-plus seats (resulting in me losing 5 more billable hours), and I know that flight will sell out by the time I am told whether either of the blocked seats on my flight are open.

Any input on the following would be appreciated:

1) How can I prove I was on this flight? I suspect the next battle will be when the do not give me my miles because I was a 'no-show'. I gate checked a bag, I purchased a drink (the attendant cleared the screen by accident, so I got no receipt, but I will have the charge on my credit card at some point) and I talked at length to another IAD-DFW regular sitting next to me who will certainly attest to the fact that I was on the flight, after all he was less comfortable in his seat as a result.

2) If I am lucky enough to be assigned one of the blocked seats, what type of compensation should I push for because of this debacle (I have lost 2 billable hours so far, and know my best chance to get a seat I can sit in on Thursday will be to get to DFW early, so more lo$t time)?

3) If I do not get one of the blocked seats and either take the earlier flight, or worst case have to stay in DFW until Friday to get a workable seat, what compensation should I push for?

Not matter how you slice it, they have chosen to place all of the burden for correcting their error on my shoulders. Not the welcome I expected for my first r/t flight as a 1K.....

-the Invisible 1K
immax45 is offline  
Old Oct 6, 14, 4:31 pm
  #2  
 
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I am guessing you are on 3784 on Thursday, since that is the only one with 7AB already taken.

The agent was wrong about when/how those seats become available. Check-in exactly at 24 hours before online and then go to select 7CD. They are currently both unoccupied and there is a 99% chance that they will remain that way.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 4:31 pm
  #3  
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This isn't that rare; the system they're using now is very aggressive about downstream cancellations without the boarding process rigor to support it. I've been bit by it in the last couple years.

1) Receipts for anything purchased in DFW just after arrival or the on-board charge. And a copy of the BP, they really like to see the BP for no reason that I can discern.

2) UA doesn't usually pay any compensation for these, and certainly will not consider lost billable hours.

3) The choice of seat you'll accept in your ticketed cabin is yours; UA is very clear that advance seat requests are subject to change at any time for any reason or no reason. There's no typical compensation here either.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 4:31 pm
  #4  
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This happens occasionally. Get a screen shot of your boarding pass for IAD-DFW or save the paper pass for your attempt to get your miles. A parking receipt might also be helpful.

Don't mention the "billable hours" thing. It doesn't come off well.

Good luck!
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Old Oct 6, 14, 4:38 pm
  #5  
 
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I think those biker jackets with the red/yellow reflective stripes embedded my help you invisibility problem.

But yes, most airlines seam to leave "seat recovery" up to the pax. My play would be to be early to the gate and just plead my case to the GA, asking for an assignment to the first good seat that opens from the blocked pool or upgrade. [EDIT: Missed wcj1's comment that the seats will be selectable at T-24, if so that is a no brainer].

Agreed with those who say to leave out the billable hours issue. Comes across poorly.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 4:38 pm
  #6  
 
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Wow, usually I get this on a ZFV train or ABE bus code share, but weird on an actual flight. Im still awaiting my miles and PQD to post from last week's ZFV-EWR-BOS run...the EWR-BOS posted 2nd day after flight but no ZFV yet...
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Old Oct 6, 14, 4:39 pm
  #7  
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You don't need to prove you were on the flight. The system makes these sorts of mistakes all the time.

When your miles don't post, call MPSC and ask them to manually post them. They should. If they give you any grief, ask for a refund instead -- for both the ticket and the on-board purchase.

But as a best practice, always check your return after you fly the outbound, since erroneous cancels happen from time to time.

Last edited by goalie; Oct 6, 14 at 4:56 pm Reason: removed trolling reference to CO systems and SHARES
channa is offline  
Old Oct 6, 14, 5:16 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by immax45 View Post
Today I received my 'welcome to Premier 1K' gift from United:

-the Invisible 1K
If you really are a 1K, I am surprised that none of these things have happened to you before. Things like this and much, much worse seem to happen to the other 1K's on this forum all the time.

You have all my sympathy that being 6'8" must make flying hell. But the contract of carriage (ticket) only entitles you to a seat somewhere on the aircraft in your class of service. Nothing more. If you can't fit in the seat because you are too fat or too tall, that is not United's problem. In the future you may have to fly American to DFW and pay for a first class seat if you don't have room.

What it boils down to is you bought a ticket (not a specific seat) from IAD-DFW and flew the flight. Your return flight reservation was canceled, but reinstated with a different seat. In other words, you bought a ticket for two flights and United is going to fly on those two flights.

They may give you some FF miles as a compensation because you are 1K, but you are not really entitled to anything.
eghansen is offline  
Old Oct 6, 14, 6:35 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by eghansen View Post
If you really are a 1K, I am surprised that none of these things have happened to you before. Things like this and much, much worse seem to happen to the other 1K's on this forum all the time.
I think "all the time" is excessive. I have been 1K for years and only had this happen to me last year for the first time. Not fun. The weird thing was that my boarding pass beeped/scanned just fine at boarding the flight they say I no showed for. The new UA makes you work harder to stay on top of everything, especially unannounced seat or equipment changes, or you suffer the 'less desired seat' consequences. Although I am not 6'8".

That said, I am not anti-UA yet. They have done many things well for me and I stick up for FA's and GA's whenever I hear a passenger complain about the system. I don't let the single issues affect the many great experiences UA has provided for me, even since 3/12.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 7:07 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by azzurro View Post
I think "all the time" is excessive. I have been 1K for years and only had this happen to me last year for the first time.
And I'll take it one more step. I am 1K and have been off and on for a decade. It's never happened to me.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 7:37 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by azzurro View Post
I think "all the time" is excessive. I have been 1K for years and only had this happen to me last year for the first time.
It hasn't been a problem for 1Ks for a long time, only the last 2.5 years or so. That's when my first experience with this happened too; no coincidence.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 7:53 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
It hasn't been a problem for 1Ks for a long time, only the last 2.5 years or so. That's when my first experience with this happened too; no coincidence.

Yup. And while I've never experienced it personally as 1K, I did experience it previously under CO.

And despite not experiencing it personally as 1K, I have benefited several times from it, by way of VDBs when they've had to force others back on the flight after they were victimized by SHARES in this manner.
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Old Oct 6, 14, 8:09 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by eghansen View Post
If you really are a 1K, I am surprised that none of these things have happened to you before. Things like this and much, much worse seem to happen to the other 1K's on this forum all the time.
I've been 1K for 5 years, and PE for 8 years before that, and I've never had UA tell me I wasn't on a flight that I actually flew on.
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Old Oct 7, 14, 5:37 am
  #14  
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Thanks for all of the input. I decided to go to the ticket counter at DFW and the agent was able to get me a workable seat on my scheduled flight.

I get the idea that my ticket entitles me to be on the flight, and my specific seat selection can be change for 'any or no' reason. However, that also holds true for the person who is currently assigned to my original seat. Would it be fair for the airline to reassign them? No, not at all. And while I don't know that persons specific circumstances, my claim to that specific seat should be higher based on the fact I held it for nearly 2 months until it was changed solely due to airline error.

Given recent events, it's a little worrisome that they do not have record of me being on the IAD-DFW flight, and won't acknowledge the fact even after I let them know of their error. If there was a need for all passengers to be contacted (suppose another passenger on my flight had a dangerous, contagious virus), I would not be on the list to contact....
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Old Oct 7, 14, 8:07 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Just wondering, even though you're 1K, would an Economy Plus subscription give you additional peace of mind that you won't ever have to sit in Economy Minus?
flyingnosh is offline  

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