Can't Cancel Ticket

Old Sep 20, 19, 9:29 am
  #1  
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Can't Cancel Ticket

I was scheduled to be on MSY-IAH-SFO yesterday evening. MSY-IAH ended up getting cancelled, so I was routed to a different itin leaving this morning. I had meetings in the Bay Area that I had to make starting at 9am, so I ended up booking the evening Alaska Air direct flight at the last minute.

I'm not sure what I can do about this United ticket. They rebooked me automatically, but I obviously didn't check in or show up for those flights. Whenever I tried to cancel the ticket online (prior to the departure time of the flight), it would direct me to call in. And the wait time to call in has been anywhere from 25 minutes to 60 minutes+, time I just don't have.

What can I do for the value of this ticket? Should I just wait for an off-peak hour to call and keep trying? That's frustrating. I'm flying on LX in F this evening, so I'll have access to the Polaris lounge. Is customer service there good/empowered to do anything with this ticket?

Edit: To clarify, MSY-IAH-SFO was a one-way ticket, so the ticket is basically done at this point.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by sophialite View Post
I was scheduled to be on MSY-IAH-SFO yesterday evening. MSY-IAH ended up getting cancelled, so I was routed to a different itin leaving this morning. I had meetings in the Bay Area that I had to make starting at 9am, so I ended up booking the evening Alaska Air direct flight at the last minute.

I'm not sure what I can do about this United ticket. They rebooked me automatically, but I obviously didn't check in or show up for those flights. Whenever I tried to cancel the ticket online (prior to the departure time of the flight), it would direct me to call in. And the wait time to call in has been anywhere from 25 minutes to 60 minutes+, time I just don't have.

What can I do for the value of this ticket? Should I just wait for an off-peak hour to call and keep trying? That's frustrating. I'm flying on LX in F this evening, so I'll have access to the Polaris lounge. Is customer service there good/empowered to do anything with this ticket?

Edit: To clarify, MSY-IAH-SFO was a one-way ticket, so the ticket is basically done at this point.
If United cancelled your flight and you decide not to fly (instead booking on another carrier), you are legally guaranteed a full refund by DOT regulation. It does not matter whether United auto-rebooked you or not.

If the replacement flights haven't taken off yet, try to cancel them first then request the refund (two steps). If you've already missed those flights, they are already cancelled automatically, so all you need to do is request your refund.

Just call them back when hold times are less, DM them on twitter, or just request the refund at united.com/refunds.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:41 am
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If already past departure, the coupon has probably been voided and there isn't anything terribly time-critical anymore. You were completely unable to cancel online before departure?

It wouldn't hurt to ask the PL staff if they can help (or check the current status for you), but I would just go to united.com/refunds and explain the circumstances in a refund request.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:44 am
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You were completely unable to cancel online before departure?


Well when IAH closed, I immediately knew to call the line (I'm only silver). I actually got someone to pick up immediately, but she said she couldn't cancel the itinerary because none of the flights were cancelled at the time. She could only rebook me for free (which wasn't acceptable).

By the time my flight was cancelled and I was rebooked, I tried calling in four times and each time I was met with a wait of 60 minutes+. This morning I tried calling thinking that the dust had maybe settled from yesterday, and it's still 25+ minutes.

I'll fill out the refund form. Thanks y'all :-)
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Old Sep 20, 19, 11:38 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
If United cancelled your flight and you decide not to fly (instead booking on another carrier), you are legally guaranteed a full refund by DOT regulation. It does not matter whether United auto-rebooked you or not.

If the replacement flights haven't taken off yet, try to cancel them first then request the refund (two steps). If you've already missed those flights, they are already cancelled automatically, so all you need to do is request your refund.

Just call them back when hold times are less, DM them on twitter, or just request the refund at united.com/refunds.
OP is entitled to a refund under UA's contract with the passenger. But, there is no DOT rule such as you refer to.

At this point, it will take a call to UA.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP is entitled to a refund under UA's contract with the passenger. But, there is no DOT rule such as you refer to.
I was relying on the DOT website:

"If your flight is cancelled and you choose to cancel your trip as a result, you are entitled to a refund for the unused transportation Ė even for non-refundable tickets."

https://www.transportation.gov/indiv...-cancellations
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Old Sep 21, 19, 9:01 am
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Update: Called in and finally got a wait time below 15 mins. When I spoke to the agent, he said he could process the refund, but all onto one card. That didn't make sense. I paid for the ticket with a corporate card. And separately, used the upsell portion into premium economy with a personal card. The phone operator said he could only refund to one card.

His English was poor, and he didn't seem empowered/interested in investigating the issue. This is a consistent feeling I have with United (even when I was 1K), where operators tell me something can't be done when it can, or when it's contrary to statements made on their own website. Another example is when I was being charged a fee for a same-day change when I was 1K, and the operator refused to waive it until I literally pointed him to a United URL. It was a 1.5 hour call that shouldn't have happened. But it did.

I decided to try my luck at the Polaris lounge yesterday evening. Ironically, for a "world class" lounge, the entire customer service section was empty for more than 45 minutes. It seemed like one agent left her post, because several documents and boarding passes, containing sensitive information like passenger names and so forth, were left on her desk for the world to see. Pathetic.

45 minutes, another agent showed up, seemed a little surprised that no one else was here, but seemed to make no apology for the gap in service. When I explained the situation regarding my refund, she insisted that all she could do is process a refund back to the original cards used. Luckily, this is exactly what I wanted, so it was done.

United is single-handedly becoming the most contemptible airline to experience in the US, and possibly across the oceans. I dread every booking I make with them. And it's such a shame because I used to love Continental. Why anyone has loyalty to this kindergarden act, other than being forced to by being based near a hub, is beyond me.

Last edited by sophialite; Sep 21, 19 at 9:19 am
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Old Sep 22, 19, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by sophialite View Post
United is single-handedly becoming the most contemptible airline to experience in the US, and possibly across the oceans. I dread every booking I make with them. And it's such a shame because I used to love Continental. Why anyone has loyalty to this kindergarden act, other than being forced to by being based near a hub, is beyond me.
Why do you keep flying them if itís as bad as you say? Switch to OW if you think itís so much better, Of course, you may have trouble getting home to London when BA decides to go on strike again
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Old Sep 22, 19, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by chavala View Post
Why do you keep flying them if itís as bad as you say? Switch to OW if you think itís so much better, Of course, you may have trouble getting home to London when BA decides to go on strike again
Flying out of SF makes it difficult to choose something else domestically.

And I think I'll take being HON over the UA equivalent. As would any European international traveler with half a sense.
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