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NYT Article - She Boarded a Plane to See Her Dying Mother. Then Her Ticket Was Cancel

NYT Article - She Boarded a Plane to See Her Dying Mother. Then Her Ticket Was Cancel

Old Jan 26, 18, 1:22 pm
  #31  
 
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How about a policy stating that the airline has full access 24 hours before the flight and "owns" the reservation. At the 25 hour mark the airline verifies that the payment has been received and sends out an e-mail for the passenger to contact their Travel Agent or United if booked directly if there is a problem. That way at the 24 hour mark the online checkin system would work.

For last minute purchases they could have required the landlord to go with her tenant to show the credit card used to authorize the payment and sign a form stating that no fraud was committed that way they could have shown up at the airport early to avoid any issues. The landlord could have been advised that this anti-Fraud policy has been put in place. They do this abroad so if the landlord was advised via an email or on the phone they could have arrived early to process this at the ticketing counter.

Now Colorado Springs is a small station so perhaps the agents were not trained to deal with this and they need further training.

Once a person has been boarded it means that the airline accepted the reservation which was in good standing. The United Agent should have just let the woman board and in between the time the woman was flying to Denver work with the reservations resolution team and the landlord to fix the issue albeit it paying again and getting reimbursed. This is a bad time to deny someone who was allowed to board the flight.

Remember its the customer who comes first and the airline could have seen the ticket history that the charge was approved and processed. I think United should be held liable for any additional costs. The landlord could have booked a Delta Flight and get reimbursed later from United/Third Party Agency to get her to her destination instead of driving both ways. Yes I understand the immediate nature of the issue. I myself would not have the energy to drive under this much stress throughout the night.

Last edited by danielonn; Jan 26, 18 at 1:28 pm
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Old Jan 26, 18, 1:42 pm
  #32  
 
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Here is something I think is a little know fact. If you have the record locator and the passengers last name, you can pretty much do what ever you want with the ticket. You don't have to be signed onto the site to effect changes, such as Seat Changes, Cancel, Change Flights, etc.. I accidentally learned this about 20 years ago, when I manipulated my own ticket on US Air without signing on first. I've confirmed that you seem to have full access to the ticket on United too.

Getting both pieces of information may be difficult, but once you have them, it seems like there is no protection in place.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 2:06 pm
  #33  
 
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I'm not sure why it is said that United won't touch a TA-reservation - in my case they do this whenever I ask them to, e.g. in the event of a schedule change. And in such a case, UA "pulls that reservation" from the agent, so that the full control is with United from that point in time, and no longer with the TA - any further communication comes directly from UA from then on. This all is always way ahead of travel, though, so I have no idea if a SDC that most likely happend here is handled differently...

Greetings - Dirk
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Old Jan 26, 18, 2:06 pm
  #34  
 
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The article should be about the perils of introducing additional parties to a transaction - in this case, a landlord and an OTA. Also who the frak has heard of the Travelers Help Desk??? In this case, they jammed it up really poorly.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 2:16 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I thought Oscar said they weren't doing that anymore except for safety/security issues?
I would say that flying someone without a valid ticket qualifies. I can't imagine the feds being too happy about that either.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 3:25 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by minnyfly View Post
I would say that flying someone without a valid ticket qualifies. I can't imagine the feds being too happy about that either.
This is 100% a security issue for flying internationally. It is less arguably so, but in my opinion still a large security issue domestically. To have a passenger on a plane without their name being on the manifest for the flight opens up so much liability if, heaven forbid, there were some issue and a passenger count was needed or passengers went missing.

Last edited by chermorg; Jan 26, 18 at 3:26 pm Reason: i don't know how to grammar and sentence structure
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Old Jan 26, 18, 3:25 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
I know in the age of "fake news" being hurled around in misleading ways, lots of people can't see good journelism, but there is nothing wrong with the article. It reports Facts. Lady called UA to change flight, was told no issue, passanger boarded, no issue, was yanked off the plane while seated, landlord called UA, offered to pay, UA refused to put her back on the plane for unexplained reasons, UA called to send flowers (a nice touch, trying to get ahead of the story they knew was coming).

Poor woman gets messed over in a horrible way, and lots of blame to go around. That this resonates with (a) united beats passenger to take his seat from him, or (b) united steals seat from toddler, makes him sit on mom's lap for 7 hours, (c) United tosses people for wearing leggings, etc, is not the NYT's fault, its the fault of the airline that just can't seem to get its act together, and as such gets no breaks. United created this, United owns it.
Sorry, spin88, but this IS an example of how people come to the wrong conclusions from not knowing the whole story, not understanding what they read, or both. (a) United did NOT beat Dr. Dao. The police did, and United got blamed. (b) United didn't steal a seat. A different family member no-showed for the flight, then family tried to sit the toddler in the cancelled seat. United got blamed. (c) United enforced dress standards on PASS RIDERS, not paying passengers. United got blamed.

Sometimes you have to go beyond the superficial story to get the real facts.

Moderator Note

While the last statement may be relevant to this discussion and it is clear UA has to realize it has those incidents in its past BUT we are not going re-litigate those previous incidents in this thread, opinions are set in cement and doubtful will change -- futher references will be deleted. Let's stick to this incident.

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UA coModerator

Last edited by Allan38103; Jan 26, 18 at 5:02 pm Reason: Let's stay away from chacterising posters; Moderator Note
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Old Jan 26, 18, 3:54 pm
  #38  
 
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Last edited by Two Bee; Jan 27, 18 at 4:46 am
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Old Jan 26, 18, 4:19 pm
  #39  
 
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I am a travel agent and I can assure you my clients do call United and modify their own bookings - not often - but it can and does happen - especially on day of departure and late at night or on weekends.
That said, if I saw a modification, I would never void a ticket, which by the way can only be done within 24 hours after the sale.
Now I do know all of my clients and don't take new ones without referrals from existing ones but it is very strange that even
an OTA would void a ticket if they saw a record modified.
I am confused that if United changed the record why the e-ticket didn't change to EXCH (exchange) status which would have made it impossible for the agency to change the status to VOID. I guess they could have revalidated it which is a more simple process where the agency can retain control but rarely done any longer.
I would have been nice if the gate would have let her go and follow up with agency accounting later and perhaps issued a debit memo to the agency or whatever was necessary to get her there.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 4:21 pm
  #40  
 
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It's a shame the GA could not or did not take this opportunity toassist the passenger.

These are the situations that can either make an airline shine, or have fingers pointed for the failures and/or lack of sympathy.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 4:45 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post
Yup. A much more useful article might have been "why you should never use a an online travel agent". Many of us have learned that the hard way, yet I don't recall ever seeing an article warning about the many ways things can go wrong with OTAs.
Nothing wrong with travel agents , I have used travel agents for 5 Round The World - Business Class trips,try doing that with the airline directly & you pay several thousand more.

With a travel agent & I am ticketed the same day,seats chosen & most importantly saved several thousand than with booking directly with airlines,

Direct bookings with airlines are ok with easy legs however once you start adding extra stopovers you get burgled by the airlines.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 4:47 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
United does have a fault here. They shouldn't be touching the agency reservation to begin with unless IRROPS.
You will not find many friends of that view here. Many are required to e.g. buy through a corporate TA then UA needs to 'fix' the ticket to e.g. apply an upgrade. Happens all the time. No reason for cancellation ... the TA screwed up, not UA.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 5:15 pm
  #43  
 
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Would the story have ended differently if the passenger had been booked on Delta or American?

As for the article, I think it's reasonable reporting.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 5:20 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by luv2ctheworld View Post
It's a shame the GA could not or did not take this opportunity toassist the passenger.

These are the situations that can either make an airline shine, or have fingers pointed for the failures and/or lack of sympathy.
The GA could have walked aboard the plane and announced, 'We're trying to get a woman to Minnesota to see her dying mother. I can offer $600 in vouchers and confirmation on the next flight to the person who will give up a seat for her.' UA had a chance to look good here.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 5:43 pm
  #45  
 
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Last edited by Two Bee; Jan 27, 18 at 4:45 am
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