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United removed my mobile boarding pass and ruined my trip

United removed my mobile boarding pass and ruined my trip

Old Jan 14, 20, 2:37 pm
  #151  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,058
Originally Posted by chavala View Post
Material harm? I recently got a $400 ETC because they ran out of liquor on my flight, another $600 when my overhead light didnít work.
The email UA wrote to the OP is an insult.
ďoh yeah, we deleted your BP. Too bad. Thanks for letting us knowĒ
I didn't intend for that to be taken as if and only if. They definitely get overly generous with compensation when you have status, bought an expensive fare -- or in seemingly random other circumstances as well.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 2:48 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: San Juan Capistrano, CA USA
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
I'm perhaps old school but I 100% of the time print my boarding pass and look at the mobile pass as a backup. Things happen in technology besides this threads scenario and I trust a tangible paper boarding pass.
I concur (and am frequently ridiculed when traveling with my family for stopping and getting a paper copy). But here's the funny part; flying last month from Nice to Madrid my boarding pass refused to scan, but my mobile pass did! Who would believe! Had I not had it, I could already see I would have been pulled aside and "dealt with" as a packed flight filled - probably forcing me to check my carry-on bag. So it IS really good to have both at hand!
SJC Road Warrior is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 2:50 pm
  #153  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Always screenshot bp

Always screenshot b.p.
davidgree1 is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 2:51 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: United
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Another reason - to get into the airport

I was flying home from Bangalore, India. They don't even let you in the airport building unless you can show them a boarding pass. I was having a hard time getting any data connectivity outside the building, either WiFi or SIM card. I thought I wasn't going to be able to get home. Now I print boarding passes.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 3:16 pm
  #155  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: Northwest
Posts: 5
Domestic - Mobile boarding pass only - I never print paper. I have had my phone brick while standing in line to board and the GA just asks for my drivers license and printed my BP on the spot.
International - Mobile boarding pass is primary and paper is my secondary.

This strategy hasn't failed me.........yet.
FastEddie is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:25 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA canít delete those, but you could still have your phone run out of juice.
I'm seeing a lot of comments mentioning phones running out of juice. That still happens to folks? I have 1 of those little phone power packs in my backpack at all times. This exact boarding pass scenario has happened to me in the past so now I too screenshot my boarding pass as well as place it in the wallet (yes redundancy redundancy). I haven't had a dead cell phone in years because I have the backup power pack.

But I'm a road warrior....I even have a portable power pack for my laptop...(thanks to being burned by American Airlines old USAir 321's that don't have power!)
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MiscMel70 is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:35 pm
  #157  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
UA canít delete those, but you could still have your phone run out of juice.
You can't have your phone run out of juice if you manage your phone properly (but that's obviously a debate outside this thread).
John Darcy is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:41 pm
  #158  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: OMA
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
OP here .

1. You Should Have Called

There are some good pointers and tips on this thread, but this one is not. I had no idea how long the call time would take (5 mins or 10 mins or 20 mins). Remember, I was playing a game of minutes at this point. Also, I had no idea if they could help. Maybe the agent says, "Sir, we have no way of pushing some new boarding pass to your phone, are you insane? Go to gate agents." I have a feeling if I wrote this post but told everyone I stood in front of security waiting on hold with United and then missed my flight, I would be equally pilloried. And deservedly so.
There was a 3rd option in between here too. I realize I'm saying this with the benefit of hindsight and not being blindsided in the moment, but I probably would've stepped aside for a minute or two to see if I could get through to someone on the 800 number right away or not. Where the middle ground comes in is that I'd sure has heck be on the phone all the way up to the point I had human contact with an agent/rep at the airport. At that point you've essentially put yourself in two waiting lines; and I'm doubting the call wait would've been significant. I've had very good luck over the phone in situations where I needed to talk to someone while at the airport including being rebooked on an alternate flight by the time the second person in a 70 person physical line had been.
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Last edited by Mr.Nuke; Jan 14, 20 at 10:06 pm Reason: corrected a typo
Mr.Nuke is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:44 pm
  #159  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by Kannai View Post
This! I'm amazed at all the people who say their phone might die. Why would anyone travel without a portable battery?
Over the last 9 years I have had 3 iPhones literally die.

One from unfortunately been dropped, smashing the screen and rendering the keyboard completely inoperable.

Two died by shutting down mid-use while fully charged and were never able to be resuscitated.

Yes, I always carry multiple chargers and a battery pack, and now a 2nd phone!

And yes I *always* make sure that I am carry a pepper BP, no matter where in the world my flight is.
TheFlyingBrick is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:46 pm
  #160  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: HNL
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post

But my issue isn't an error. It's a policy of deleting boarding passes from their app.
I think the thread title phrases it better - removed. United removed your boarding pass for the flight for which you were no longer checked in.

The good news, it was only a 1 hour 50 minute inconvenience - and steps to avoid this are easy:

1) Check in on the app.
2) Click - email my boarding pass as the last step during mobile check in

You will still have the mobile boarding pass. You will also have an electronic backup that can only be deleted by you.
HNLbasedFlyer is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 3:46 pm
  #161  
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Originally Posted by MiscMel70 View Post
I'm seeing a lot of comments mentioning phones running out of juice. That still happens to folks? I have 1 of those little phone power packs in my backpack at all times. This exact boarding pass scenario has happened to me in the past so now I too screenshot my boarding pass as well as place it in the wallet (yes redundancy redundancy). I haven't had a dead cell phone in years because I have the backup power pack.

But I'm a road warrior....I even have a portable power pack for my laptop...(thanks to being burned by American Airlines old USAir 321's that don't have power!)
Originally Posted by John Darcy View Post
You can't have your phone run out of juice if you manage your phone properly (but that's obviously a debate outside this thread).
Answered upthread, but it's a long thread: running out of battery power is only one possibility. I've had my phone turn itself off, with no warning, and refuse to respond for about ten minutes, before finally reacting to the power button and powering up fine. The battery level was over 60% and it worked normally afterwards.

The moral of the story is, I see very little upside to the mobile boarding passes, and an awful lot of downside.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 4:13 pm
  #162  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The moral of the story is, I see very little upside to the mobile boarding passes, and an awful lot of downside.
There's little downside to using mobile passes. They're incredibly convenient, since you typically are on your phone while you are near the gate. What has very little upside and an awful lot of downside is failing to print a paper BP, even when you plan to use a mobile BP. Like with anything else, it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
STS-134 is offline  
Old Jan 14, 20, 4:17 pm
  #163  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,817
UA's policy is not to show boarding passes for people who aren't checked in. You weren't checked in, because your ticket was out of sync. Your ticket was out of sync because UA tried to help you by giving you a protection flight.
Yes, that is a bad policy, and that is the point of this thread. There should not be a requirement that your reservation be in sync to get through TSA, especially if it was in sync when you got in the TSA line and you did not initiate any changes.

Whichever software engineer wrote the app thought to themselves "passenger shouldn't be able to board with an out-of-sync reservation, we'll make the app not display anything". That was a bad programming decision, and cost OP the connection.

It could instead, for example, display the last valid BP and also an out-of-sync warning saying "your reservation is out of sync, please see an agent to fix your reservation." This would be more analogous to how paper BPs work, where you generally get to keep the old BP until you are handed a new one. It is bad UX to have a BP disappear without warning.

And to everyone who is saying "your phone could run out of juice!": If that had happened, OP wouldn't be blaming United. OP would say "hey my phone ran out of juice! My bad, should have charged my phone or printed a BP". In point of fact, OP's phone did not fail -- United has a piece of software that behaves poorly and in a particularly unexpected and surprising way.

You can give advice about flying defensively but don't lose sight of the fact that it's United's decisions -- bad decisions -- that led to the problem.
threeoh is online now  
Old Jan 14, 20, 4:45 pm
  #164  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Whichever software engineer wrote the app thought to themselves "passenger shouldn't be able to board with an out-of-sync reservation, we'll make the app not display anything". That was a bad programming decision, and cost OP the connection.
Yes, the gate scanner would prevent the pax from boarding in that scenario anyway, so the app doesn't need to make that call.
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Old Jan 14, 20, 4:47 pm
  #165  
 
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post

Whichever software engineer wrote the app thought to themselves "passenger shouldn't be able to board with an out-of-sync reservation, we'll make the app not display anything". That was a bad programming decision, and cost OP the connection.
Software engineers at airlines just don't take it upon themselves to make those decisions on their own.

It is either - the way it works is UA's policy, a bug, or consequences of instructing the app to only display valid boarding passes.

Certainly, UA knows about this by the response by Customer Care. I lean on it is UA's policy to only display valid boarding passes within the app and whether that is bad policy or not is up for debate - they may have their reasons, for instance, don't let an invalid boarding make it all the way to scanner, reject it, tell passenger to go back to gate agent and sort it out - all while the boarding process has started.
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