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UC agent: “We only help w/ same-day reservations.”

UC agent: “We only help w/ same-day reservations.”

Old Apr 5, 18, 6:20 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post


Since when? Must’ve been since I logged out of my airport computer a couple of hours ago
You heard it first on Flyertalk! Must've been one speedy IT upgrade
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Old Apr 5, 18, 6:48 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by DetroitFlyer View Post
Agents at the airport don't have the same tools as Reservations so it is possible they aren't able to help as easily with future date reservations.
They don't have the same knowledge either. I tried asking for a SDC once and two agents had no idea what that was. I stick to using the club agents for IRROPS or minor things since I figure that is most of their experience and call in for everything else. Though there have been many occasions where there's only one or two agents and someone is tying them up and I am able to call in faster.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:57 am
  #18  
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I've heard that line before. Then again, a few years ago I managed to convince a SFO UC agent to issue a ticket while redeeming a paper voucher. I had to reassure her that the reservation has been built, and she just need to issue the ticket. She completed the ticket, and even gave me the receipt in an old school PMUA silver business class ticket holder.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:30 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
At any station, especially a hub, IRROPS can happen at any time...
The flight boards are right next to the UC help desk. I have never seen a more benign system status as I saw yesterday. At the time 3ish-4ish, every single flight except the ~2:30pm SFO-EWR (short mechanical delay) flight was on time departure. Almost every incoming flight was due before schedule. I strolled by the desk a few times in my 90 minutes there (I usually set up in work carrels and food/drink path goes right past it). Not a soul in sight for 90 minutes, but the 3 agents certainly had a great discussion. The help counter at mid-80s gates was completely void of customers also as I headed for 88..
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Old Apr 5, 18, 10:44 am
  #20  
 
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I've gotten the same response, and I think one of them was for the return leg in a few days. I can understand not using them as a travel agent, but if they are free and it is something that takes an expert answer- and they are just sitting there- the lack of help is kind of infuriating.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 11:54 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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This was one of the things that kept me a US Airways club member: expert help with any US Airways Problem when I needed it. Agents would gladly ticket, change reservations, print receipts and so forth, and that didn’t change well into 2016 in the Admirals Club.

The agents at IAD are still helpful - but often that means they call the help desk, when I could just call the 1K desk myself. Yet another reason I might not be renewing my Club membership in May, along with:
  • Clubs closing and being replaced with Polaris lounges which I can’t get into on domestic flights
  • Lack of clubs where I need them (entire concourses in ORD and IAD, for example)
  • Severe overcrowding at peak times
  • No more discounted spousal membership for spouse of United Club Visa cardholder
  • Increase in membership price
  • More and more alternatives, like multiple Priority Pass and Star Gold lounges in IAD concourses A/B, Airspace in CLE, Amex Centurion in SFO
  • Uncertainty about future scale backs of food
Back in the day of Presidents Clubs, the staff were always very helpful. The staff at CLE still know how to do things like ticket.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:10 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by PushingTin View Post
I've gotten the same response, and I think one of them was for the return leg in a few days. I can understand not using them as a travel agent, but if they are free and it is something that takes an expert answer- and they are just sitting there- the lack of help is kind of infuriating.
Trust me, they really are not ticketing experts.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:37 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
Trust me, they really are not ticketing experts.
I asked for a receipt print in IAD - the agent said, "Hmm, I haven't done one in years... let's see if I remember how. I might have to call the help desk."

She did remember how and a few seconds later the receipt printed out.

My guess is that very few customers really want to do a lot of ticketing, printing receipts, etc. in person in the United Club anymore. The only time they want to really go to the United Club agents is when they want to get home sooner, or else in IRROPS.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 1:43 pm
  #24  
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I've also heard that line before at the SFO Terminal 3 Rotunda UC. The issue with my experience was that before I could even finish saying 'good evening', the agent was already interrupting with "we only help with same day reservations". I couldn't help myself, I rolled my eyes at her and once again began by saying 'good evening, could you help me with tonight's flight'.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 2:02 pm
  #25  
 
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In queuing theory, there are situations were the "arrival rate" can only be described as predictably unpredictable. A bank, the UC, and any other airline lounge belong to that category. And I don't think I'm the only one who's ever experienced being the fourth person arriving simultaneously to a line with three idle agents -- it's not pleasant knowing that I had just become the outlier of the average wait time. So, even though I won't hesitate to ask, I can understand if the agent declines to work on anything but same-day PNR. They've seen plenty facial expressions of the persons waiting behind us.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 3:28 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
In queuing theory, there are situations were the "arrival rate" can only be described as predictably unpredictable...
Simple risk analysis enables taking guesses on "arrival rate". 3 agents with no customers in front of them and arrivals/departure screens totally benign vs screens showing multiple IRROPs - chances (due to the former) were pretty slim 3 other customers would show up in the (less than) 2 minutes needed to address my question. That being said, I was fine with calling and was just wondering if there was an official policy. They could put a placard saying so on the counter if there is an official policy.

We'd all go out of business if all we did was act on an assumption the worst was always going to happen. "We're not going to drill wells anymore because there's always a chance of a dry hole". Balancing risk (a line forming) vs reward (not denying help to a customer w/ a non-immediate problem) shouldn't be a non-starter. Agent is basically saying there's no possibility of win-win and a decision has been made that does not take into account the risk factors (in this case, predominantly IRROPs).
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Apr 5, 18 at 3:37 pm
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Old Apr 5, 18, 4:19 pm
  #27  
 
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Did we get an official answer as to whether this is actual United policy?
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Old Apr 5, 18, 4:23 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I believe the Alaska Lounge (ex-Board Room) has had the same policy systemwide (not that there are very many) for several years.
Different issue at AS. The BR agents are "management" and aren't permitted per the gate / ticketing (whatever the classification is) union contract to perform these functions, and AS won't put qualified/permitted people in the lounges. So, they can look at the screens, spit out BPs, but aren't permitted to do anything else.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 4:50 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Simple risk analysis enables taking guesses on "arrival rate". 3 agents with no customers in front of them and arrivals/departure screens totally benign vs screens showing multiple IRROPs - chances (due to the former) were pretty slim 3 other customers would show up in the (less than) 2 minutes needed to address my question. That being said, I was fine with calling and was just wondering if there was an official policy. They could put a placard saying so on the counter if there is an official policy.
Unquestioningly, people's behavior can be adequately predicted on a protracted time interval (i.e., per hour, as in "how many people are expected to enter the queue between 7 and 8 am? between 3 and 4 pm?"); however, no sophisticated model can predict individual behavior at the instantaneous level. All it takes is a slow walker on the jetway, a spur-of-the-moment trip to the restroom, or even no traffic on US101 to create the seemingly irrational happenstance of 4 people queuing up simultaneously in front of 3 idle agents -- and that's with or without a Christmas-colored departure board. This is why, IMO, queuing remains more of an art than hard science.

Anyway, I doubt it's official UA policy that UC agents can handle only same-day PNRs. More likely, there's a memo somewhere suggesting that agents should limit themselves to same-day PNRs in order to avoid happenstances that can't be predicted, but predictably will eventually happen.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 5:52 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
In queuing theory, there are situations were the "arrival rate" can only be described as predictably unpredictable. A bank, the UC, and any other airline lounge belong to that category. And I don't think I'm the only one who's ever experienced being the fourth person arriving simultaneously to a line with three idle agents -- it's not pleasant knowing that I had just become the outlier of the average wait time. So, even though I won't hesitate to ask, I can understand if the agent declines to work on anything but same-day PNR. They've seen plenty facial expressions of the persons waiting behind us.
So, we should avoid the minute chance someone MIGHT have to wait for help by... refusing to help someone at all?

Besides, if you REALLY have an immediate need for IRROPS handling, unless there's some massive system-wide storm or other failure, you're better off calling in anyway.

* Unless you need vouchers.
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