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Missed connection; what is United's policy if next flight is full?

Missed connection; what is United's policy if next flight is full?

Old Sep 20, 19, 6:09 am
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Missed connection; what is United's policy if next flight is full?

UA 2016 Newark to Washington was delayed this morning, apparently due to a missing pilot, meaning my friends will most likely miss their UA 122 flight to London. Today's remaining UA flights to London are all showing as full on Expertflyer. I can only see seats on LH via Frankfurt.

Assuming their two UA flights were on one PNR (not yet confirmed), what is United's obligation to them? Can they be put on another airline that isn't in the Star alliance? BA and others have seats available on direct flights later today.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:34 am
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I do believe that if the delay was UA's fault, and it seems it was, then UA will have to put them on even an airlines not in Star Alliance. Tell your friends to insist on a non stop substitute (like BA) since their flight was a non stop.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by ttama View Post
UA 2016 Newark to Washington was delayed this morning, apparently due to a missing pilot, meaning my friends will most likely miss their UA 122 flight to London. Today's remaining UA flights to London are all showing as full on Expertflyer. I can only see seats on LH via Frankfurt.

Assuming their two UA flights were on one PNR (not yet confirmed), what is United's obligation to them? Can they be put on another airline that isn't in the Star alliance? BA and others have seats available on direct flights later today.
If you hurry, UA 16 (EWR-LHR) appears to have seats tonight.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
I do believe that if the delay was UA's fault, and it seems it was, then UA will have to put them on even an airlines not in Star Alliance. Tell your friends to insist on a non stop substitute (like BA) since their flight was a non stop.
Non stop doesn't help if you have to wait for 9 hours at IAD. After departure of morning flight, there are no transalantic flights until late afternoon. UA will likely send them via ORD or EWR to LHR.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 6:54 am
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This is wholly incorrect. You can look long and hard to find a legal or contract provision suggesting that UA has an obligation to rebook on another carrier, whether in *A or not.

But, the larger issue is that OP has not supplied correct details and this makes advice hard. There is no UA 2016 today. The 08:30 EWR-DCA is anticipated to arrive 32 minutes early and the closest flight to IAD is at 10:25 with a projected arrival 3 minutes early. Beyond that. important to know whether the friends were booked on the same ticket (as opposed to PNR). If two tickets, they may be SOL entirely, although UA may rebook as a courtesy on the next UA flight with availability (whenever that is).

If on the same ticket, UA will reroute in this order: UA, *A, other carriers. Other carriers is really hard if there is anything remotely within *A, with a preference for LH because it is a JV. Best to research the options and have them in hand rather than asking UA. Give consideration to IAD-LHR via other UA hubs such as ORD and via YUL/YYZ on AC. Finally, UA at IAD may well have a good idea of availability on later flights and your friends may well find themselves on a standby list very likely to clear.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:11 am
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Thanks. The first flight was ua2106. They're at Washington now and I'll try to find out more. My information is sketchy. I do know they've been offered $150 vouchers off future flights but aren't too impressed with that. Sounds like they were on a single PNR per passenger. Or rather, they say it was a single flight from Newark to London

Last edited by ttama; Sep 20, 19 at 7:16 am
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This is wholly incorrect. You can look long and hard to find a legal or contract provision suggesting that UA has an obligation to rebook on another carrier, whether in *A or not.

But, the larger issue is that OP has not supplied correct details and this makes advice hard. There is no UA 2016 today. The 08:30 EWR-DCA is anticipated to arrive 32 minutes early and the closest flight to IAD is at 10:25 with a projected arrival 3 minutes early. Beyond that. important to know whether the friends were booked on the same ticket (as opposed to PNR). If two tickets, they may be SOL entirely, although UA may rebook as a courtesy on the next UA flight with availability (whenever that is).

If on the same ticket, UA will reroute in this order: UA, *A, other carriers. Other carriers is really hard if there is anything remotely within *A, with a preference for LH because it is a JV. Best to research the options and have them in hand rather than asking UA. Give consideration to IAD-LHR via other UA hubs such as ORD and via YUL/YYZ on AC. Finally, UA at IAD may well have a good idea of availability on later flights and your friends may well find themselves on a standby list very likely to clear.

I believe she meant UA 2106 - which arrived 2 hours late and if they were on UA 122 it left on time at 8:15 and they missed it by 30+ minutes.

I don't think they have any options that gets them there tonight. Everything else will get them there in the morning at best.

Air Canada thru YYZ or LH thru FRA are p[probably their best hope for a morning arrival

BEST thing is for them to go to the desk with an option or 3 pre picked and ask for XXX - do not go "What do you have" or "What are my options" as you will only get the pre programmed responses as to what is good for UA - if you want a particular routing ask for it.

Last edited by Hipplewm; Sep 20, 19 at 7:25 am
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by TonyBurr View Post
I do believe that if the delay was UA's fault, and it seems it was, then UA will have to put them on even an airlines not in Star Alliance. Tell your friends to insist on a non stop substitute (like BA) since their flight was a non stop.
“Will have to” put them OAL is not correct. There is no provision in the COC that even remotely requires it. The COC requires them to be put on next available UA flight (with same or different routing), and that they ‘may’ put them on another carrier, including *A partners or other airlines that don’t partner with United marketing-wise, but do have an inter line agreement with. BA would be in the latter category. *A is always going to be the next best option.

Depending on the reason for cancelation, UA will be more likely to put them OAL or not, and often (though not always), it requires asking. I’ve actually been protected proactively with a UA (intl) - DL (donestic) connection in the past, though I didn’t end up needing it. I’ve also had times in IRROPS, even with weather and ATC as the reason, where I’ve been put on other carriers, but it requires me specifically asking for specific OAL flights. It’s certainly something one can ask about, but most definitely not required for them to say yes to, so don’t be too pushy about it. You can ask - but ‘insisting’ is a. It much. I’ve found asking nicely with a smile vs. being demanding is far more likely to have a request granted.

Good luck for the pax getting to LHR as soon as they can.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:44 am
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Right.. UA's obligation is to either get them to LHR eventually, through a means of UA's choosing, or to return them to their last ticketed point and refund the ticket. Practically speaking UA will rebook preferentially on their own metal, followed by *A if you ask nicely, followed by OAL if you have a good case for it (and it helps to have status).
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:50 am
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Or back to EWR on the 6pm UA 110 two business class seats in 16 A&C as compensation upgrade


alas there was only 1 sear on the 8:30 am EWR to. LHR, would have been easier this morning
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:52 am
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Why weren’t they offered an option to be put on the EWR-LHR knowing they’d probably miss their DC-LHR?
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:10 am
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Unfortunately you picked the wrong alliance. United agents tend not to want to re-route on other airlines even when the problem is their fault, due to the effort involved. Had you been a Delta passenger they would have gladly re-booked you on either KLM or Air France, American would have rebooked you on British Airway or Iberia but United agents can very stubborn about and will insist on United metal. They won' t even do JV code-shares.

If you want to stay with Star alliance I suggest next time you book though Air Canada. We have a new law in Canada that requires airlines to re-route on ANY airline if they can' t get you out within six hours.

This should be the law everywhere, I don't know why the U.S. does not require airlines to re-route on any flight that would get the passenger sooner ( or face a stiff fine). This would not cost the airlines much as all airlines cancel flights so these extra expenses would cancel each other out in the long run. While I don't favor paying out compensation in these case ( THAT increases fares for the rest of US) I think it's long overdue that the needs of the passenger come first, not the airlines.

Last edited by stevendorechester; Sep 20, 19 at 8:16 am Reason: forgot information
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by cyberjet View Post
Or back to EWR on the 6pm UA 110 two business class seats in 16 A&C as compensation upgrade


alas there was only 1 sear on the 8:30 am EWR to. LHR, would have been easier this morning
It's extremely unlikely that passengers without status would be given a "compensation upgrade" to business class.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:30 am
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I would have warned against ever routing the trip EWR-IAD-LHR in the first place (that's always an option begging for trouble), but that's water under the bridge now. Above all else, highly recommend focusing on getting your friends on a IAD-Europe flight, no more domestic connections


Two Y seats JUST opened on UA918 IAD-LHR @ 625PM. Grab em now!

Besides that, I like the option of LH417/LH 924 (via FRA), dep. 1525 arr. 0740+1. UA agents are most accustomed to using LH flights as the first option for TATL reprotection when UA options are not available. True, the 325PM departure time is not at all friendly to one’s body clock, but the ultimate arrival time in London compares favorably with the later IAD-LON nonstops (and they get moving sooner). LH A330 on IAD-FRA is fairly decent in Eco. Importantly, the flight is showing 9 in many Eco buckets, so if it takes a UA agent some time to complete the rebooking, there’s a good chance avail won’t evaporate in the meantime. FRA's weather looks excellent for tomorrow morning.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
Unfortunately you picked the wrong alliance. United agents tend not to want to re-route on other airlines even when the problem is their fault, due to the effort involved. Had you been a Delta passenger they would have gladly re-booked you on either KLM or Air France, American would have rebooked you on British Airway or Iberia but United agents can very stubborn about and will insist on United metal. They won' t even do JV code-shares.
This is nonsense. It's not any particular effort for UA to rebook onto other carriers. They can and will do so -- especially on their joint venture partners in Lufthansa group, which is basically analogous to the examples you posted for DL and AA.

Yes, sometimes they don't seem to want to do it, especially if the original issue was caused by weather, but they certainly can.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It's extremely unlikely that passengers without status would be given a "compensation upgrade" to business class.
It is extremely unlikely that passengers with status would be given a "compensation upgrade" to business class. Without status, it's more likely that the agent would laugh in their face. (To be fair, that's not likely either.
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