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Paid Excess Baggage Fees on AA Flight that United Put Me On

Paid Excess Baggage Fees on AA Flight that United Put Me On

Old Aug 25, 19, 3:16 am
  #1  
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Paid Excess Baggage Fees on AA Flight that United Put Me On

I was rebooked by United automatically on an AA flight because the original BUF-ORD was canceled and there were no other UA flights to ORD that would have let me meet my connection (ORD-SFO-SIN). I had to check in my bags again at the AA counter and ended up paying baggage fees because AA was not an alliance partner and could not honor my 1K status. I have been fighting with United to be reimbursed with no success. Is this a lost cause?
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Old Aug 25, 19, 7:27 am
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It depends. I have been successful to claim it back from AA before, but it was on an intl. business class ticket where the ticket receipt with the AA flight # on it said $0 for the bag. UA had put me on AA in Y ORD-BOS because that is all that was available. AA refunded the bag fees. In your case where you are relying on a 1K fee waiver ... that does not apply to AA. You can ask UA which it sounds you already have ... there is no recourse as far as I am concerned. Not the greatest customer service from UA here ...
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Old Aug 25, 19, 10:51 am
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Welcome to FT!. kuosiong

UA typically will handle the refund in this case

Who are you communication with? What part of UA?
What is the reason UA is providing?
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Old Aug 27, 19, 6:24 pm
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I have been emailing [email protected] which I understand is the dedicated email desk for 1K members. While the customer service representative seemed sympathetic to my plight, I have only been offered 10,000 miles in compensation. United claims it is unable to reimburse me the baggage fees because they can only resolve my case "without issuing a refund on another carrier. (i.e. you can't return a Ford to Chevy dealer and ask for a refund)" (I quoted directly from their email).
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Old Aug 27, 19, 6:36 pm
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1K Desk generally does not do refunds but rather compensation. 10K miles if you can use them is worth at $100 to $150. You might be able to get the 1K agent to convert this to ETC for $200.

I would try www.united.com/refunds

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 27, 19 at 6:43 pm Reason: fixed link
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Old Aug 27, 19, 6:52 pm
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AA won't refund the fees because you are a non-status passenger, presumably travelling in domestic Y.

UA has no obligation to cover the fees you paid to AA. Thus, you are seeking a customer service gesture. In that light, either the miles or a voucher would seem to be quite useful. UA has issued me $100 vouchers for the asking for this issue in the past and that seems quite fair in that the bag cost $30 and, as a 1K, you presumably can make good use of the $100.
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Old Aug 27, 19, 7:29 pm
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You got 10k miles and are complaining? Unless the bag fees were astronomical, I think you made out well here.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 7:15 am
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UA basically never hands out cash as a customer service gesture, and the agent is right that issuing a "refund" for fees paid to AA would be an accounting nightmare. 10k miles should more than cover a bag fee, so I would leave it at that.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
UA basically never hands out cash as a customer service gesture, and the agent is right that issuing a "refund" for fees paid to AA would be an accounting nightmare. 10k miles should more than cover a bag fee, so I would leave it at that.
Actually, they do in extreme cases. I have received hotel and meal reimbursements, with a check that had Jeff Smisek's signature on it, albeit computer generated.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 9:53 pm
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
Actually, they do in extreme cases. I have received hotel and meal reimbursements, with a check that had Jeff Smisek's signature on it, albeit computer generated.
I am not sure whether paying $520 (3 overweight bags above 50 lbs) would qualify as an extreme event. But 10,000 miles does seem too little in compensation for $520 worth of baggage fees, whereas I would not have had to pay a single cent had United not screwed up my outbound flight.
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Last edited by kuosiong; Aug 28, 19 at 10:08 pm
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Old Aug 28, 19, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by kuosiong View Post
I am not sure whether paying $520 (3 overweight bags above 50 lbs) would qualify as an extreme event. But 10,000 miles does seem too little in compensation for $520 worth of baggage fees, whereas I would not have had to pay a single cent had United not screwed up my outbound flight.

Would agree in this case. I have always documented this kind of concern in the PNR. Last time was post Sandy and since Alaska only charged $30 I let it go. I wouldn't let it go in your case.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Aug 29, 19 at 12:14 am Reason: repaired quote
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Old Aug 29, 19, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AA won't refund the fees because you are a non-status passenger, presumably travelling in domestic Y.

UA has no obligation to cover the fees you paid to AA.
So, if I buy a ticket on UA, and they can’t fly me to my destination on UA metal and book me on a different airline, and it costs more to fly on the other airline, it isn’t UA’s responsibility to pay the increased cost?
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Old Aug 29, 19, 1:42 am
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Oh this happened to me at LAX when the United flight from London was delayed so I had to go to the AA checkin desk who said $$$ and middle seat.

At that stage I took the endorsed ticket back to United (schlepping my luggage all the way back) gave the endorsed ticket to the check in rep who had originally given it to me and said refund me my airfare I am catching an uber home. I was so annoyed.

I now know that when my original flight with United is delayed I never agree to switch to another airline. Your lesson was more expensive than mine and I caught an uber from LAX to SAN.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by halls120 View Post
So, if I buy a ticket on UA, and they can’t fly me to my destination on UA metal and book me on a different airline, and it costs more to fly on the other airline, it isn’t UA’s responsibility to pay the increased cost?
Well, yes and no.

OP was offered transportation at no charge... and if the bags had already been in UA's possession, they would have transferred them to AA (or, at least, they would have claimed that they would have done so). OP could probably have forced the issue by trying to check the bags in anyway onto the original flight.

Once OP accepted a re-routing and carried the bags to AA, the conditions of the underlying fare apply once again, and OP was entitled to the non-status passenger's allowance.

Now, that said, I would write back, include the receipt, and ask for an ETC to cover it.

Also, why was the BUF-ORD cancelled? If it was weather, UA has a reasonable argument that they actually went beyond their responsibility to put you onto AA in the first place (although, as a 1K myself, I'd expect them to do that).
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Old Aug 29, 19, 2:07 pm
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Ive learned the correct behavior in this specific situation is to insist that UA check, tag, and “send the bag down” before rebooking the flight on AA. Then the bag room gets a reroute and carries the bag over to AA. Otherwise AA is ruthless with collecting bag fees.

On the other hand earlier this year I had an issue where Cayman Airways refused to accept a through-checked bag on a UA->KX itinerary and charged me $20 or $25 to recheck it. Thanks to a 3 hour ,mechanical delay on the UA inbound eating all of my connection time in GCM (KX wound up holding the flight for me and running me through customs) I didn’t have time to argue and KX told me to take it up with UA (I think just to get me to go away)

wrote 1K desk not expecting much/anything (figured maybe a $50 ETC or similarly token) and had a voicemail apologizing the next day, and within a week had a check for the bag fee and a very generous (IMO) ETC in the mail
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