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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 12, 20, 6:39 pm
  #16  
 
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I work in the tech field, but this is something I still won't give over tech. Paper BP's all of the time. My phone could fail. The app. Who knows? Last night, as I was going to the terrible Ravens game, I needed to pull up my ticket in the ticketmaster app-required, no more paper tix. Not even screen shots. The in app ticket has a blue bar that bounces back and forth across the barcode to show its an active ticket-not a copy. I couldn't connect due to network issues with verizon. I finally got it, was veru frustrating. (On 2nd thought, may have been better if I didnt make it!)
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:45 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I don’t mean to pile on, but OP doesn’t appear to have done much due diligence about how best to make a 90-minute connection at IAH, yet also doesn’t seem to have had a very high tolerance for the (entirely expected, IMO) resulting delay.

If I selected that connection, and it didn’t work out, I don’t think I’d then post about how United “ruined my trip.”
Let’s not abuse the OP for a close connection. Only last week in Denver I was the recipient of a close connection (40 minutes) normally not an issue until you add a family member who is mobility impaired and a 22 minute arrival delay and gates at each end of the concourse. The only reason we made the connection was the flight was held @ 5 minutes for us.
That said with batteries and other issues I always have paper BPs.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:52 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
Regardless of a tight, but legal, connection, that's not protecting you. That's peremptorily putting you on a later flight.
No, OP was protected. If OP had preemptively been put onto a later flight, the new BP would have appeared.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
......and OP apparently would have caught the originally scheduled connecting flight if the boarding pass hadn't been deleted, or alternatively if UA hadn't decided to rebook him while he could still make the flight.

If the original domestic flight was overbooked, this should be an IDB.
OP did not appear at the gate in time. This is not IDB.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It sounds to me as though UA changed OP to the later flight, rather than protecting him on it, while preserving the original reservation. This is also consistent with its standard practice, e.g. not protecting and preserving for other than GS and other very specific situations.
Not true.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would send a short note to UA. Cut out all the irrelevant stuff and note that UA should not have offloaded until T-15. UA may toss something OP's way, but that's really it.
There is no evidence that OP was offloaded.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
With that said, you should not have been removed from the flight until you actually miss the boarding window (despite what the UA algorithms may falsely calculate) and should complain. You could also submit a complaint with the DOT if they don't give you the proper compensation.
There is no compensation. OP was not removed from the flight.

Originally Posted by Dublin_rfk View Post
Let’s not abuse the OP for a close connection.
I’m not abusing anyone for anything. But I do question booking this flight and then complaining about UA when it didn’t work out, despite the fact that UA did everything in their power to try to make it work.

The app will remove your boarding pass when the ticket is out of sync. The ticket was out of sync because both IAH-DEN flights were on it simultaneously. As soon as OP called, it could have been handled. Alternatively, it would have been handled at the gate. The person who did this protection didn’t realize that OP was relying on mobile boarding passes (and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to them that the mobile app works this way, but it does).
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:15 pm
  #19  
 
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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.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:18 pm
  #20  
 
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I dont trust the mobile apps to work in times of need, so adding the pass to your mobile wallet is the first line of defense.

Printing is smart too, although I would rather travel with a battery and keep my phone charged...since I will need to do that anyway. Good advice tho.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:31 pm
  #21  
 
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Screen shot and I try to bring it up on my iPad and screenshot it there. Things happen and only seems to happen when in dire situations.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:17 pm
  #22  
 
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It seems unclear what happened here.
You can of course be "protected" on a later flight without being booted off the first. If you are rebooked, however, it doesn't matter if you had a paper boarding pass or a mobile one. The paper boarding pass wouldn't have allowed you to board either. So "that's why I print out my boarding passes" wouldn't necessarily have helped here. The GA would have scanned it and said "I'm sorry this isn't valid".
I'm not sure which happened here, but could be either the app to blame or not app related at all.

Either way, I agree it seems histrionics to say it "ruined your trip" when a flight delay on a close connection results in taking a IAH-DEN flight less than 2 hours later. I doubt there was some sort of important meeting tomorrow that made the difference between arriving in DEN at 930pm v. 1125pm on a sunday such a major travesty. Nor would either arrival have much quality time with young kids.

If a 2-hour delay "ruins" your trip, you planned poorly.

Last edited by Adam1222; Jan 12, 20 at 8:24 pm
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:22 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
I often use my Apple wallet. I don't think UA can delete those ones? I'm getting away from paper BPs nowadays, but like to have 'em in app and wallet. I like redundancy. I like redundancy.
I have had a boarding pass stored in the Apple wallet “automatically updated” and rendered unusable. I always save a screenshot now. Not sure if it is still the case, but a year or so ago it was possible to “lose” a saved bp from the wallet.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:24 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
The paper boarding pass wouldn't have allowed you to board either.
But it would have got the OP through security, which was what he was actually talking about.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:25 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by bart889 View Post
But it would have got the OP through security, which was what he was actually talking about.
I thought he was complaining about dogs and lines at transit security. Glad you were able to better discern.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:25 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Adam1222 View Post
It seems unclear what happened here.
You can of course be "protected" on a later flight without being booted off the first. If you are rebooked, however, it doesn't matter if you had a paper boarding pass or a mobile one. The paper boarding pass wouldn't have allowed you to board either. So "that's why I print out my boarding passes" wouldn't necessarily have helped here. The GA would have scanned it and said "I'm sorry this isn't valid".
I'm not sure which happened here, but could be either the app to blame or not app related at all.

Either way, I agree it seems histrionics to say it "ruined your trip" when a flight delay on a close connection results in taking a IAH-DEN flight less than 2 hours later. I doubt there was some sort of important meeting tomorrow that made the difference between arriving in DEN at 930pm v. 1125pm on a sunday such a major travesty. Nor would either arrival have much quality time with young kids.

If a 2-hour delay "ruins" your trip, you planned poorly.
With a (paper or whatever) boarding pass, OP would have been able to run to the gate before the flight closed and ask to have his reserved and ticketed seat restored.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:26 pm
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
With a (paper or whatever) boarding pass, OP would have been able to run to the gate before the flight closed and ask to have his reserved and ticketed seat restored.
Maybe! Not sure how you can be so sure about that given the timing here.

Inbound flight was 24 min late, making his 90 min connection 66 min. He said he waited on a variety of lines before this issue for 50 min. Boarding is typically closed 16 min before scheduled departure. Even if it wasn't, I'm not so confident they would hold the plane to re-rebook.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:39 pm
  #28  
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OP here, wanting to clear things up.

Main Point
My post had some superfluous complaints. My central point is this: My travel day would have been fine, but for United taking away my boarding pass to “help” me. I was at the metal defectors T-15 from start of boarding. I am athletic and only had a backpack on. There is *zero* chance I would have missed the flight if they did not delete my boarding pass. This is not a complaint about missing a tight connection due to delays/lines/normal stuff. My only issue is them deleting my bp without notice or consent. They removed my ability to pass through security as a checked-in customer. Horribly annoying.

just print it
Fair point. I’m a hopeless millennial. I don’t own a printer. I never check a bag. I rely on apps for banking, flying, trading stocks, etc. without thinking twice. It’s excellent practical advice, but part of me is like what’s the point of using the app if I still have to go the kiosks and wait in line. Also, if you ever can’t bring up your bp, you can just go to the gate agent or charge your phone, so it’s usually not a huge risk IMO.

Wrecking the trip
Yeah ok, this was probably some exaggeration. I was unhappy that I got kicked off my flight.

What really happened behind the scenes
Ok more detail: there was no “boarding pass” option on the app for my flight. But, when I went into “my flights” it would show both flights (my booked one and the later one). But I could *not* get a bp for the later flight either. As that would have solved my problem.

when I got to the United kiosk it flashed red saying “issue with ticket”’or something to that extent. The lady then brought me to the desk and started typing. She said, “they decided to protect you by putting you on the later flight. You have both flights reserved, but you can’t get the boarding passes” or something like that. So I don’t know what happened.

Transfer at IAH
it’s so bad, and I feel sorry for everyone sitting there as it feels like have to go thorough there. And it’s awful. So int’l flyers stuck in a forever line. Then dogs. Then another line. Now I know I can just leave that hellacape and go to a regular clear/pre line, but I feel sorry for the throngs of people who are funneled in there.

Overall
I hope that helps clear it up a little. Yeah, semi-right connection that would have been 100% fine but for United proactively removing my bp. Which honestly feels kind of violating or something. Thank you all!

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Old Jan 12, 20, 8:40 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I don’t mean to pile on, but OP doesn’t appear to have done much due diligence about how best to make a 90-minute connection at IAH, yet also doesn’t seem to have had a very high tolerance for the (entirely expected, IMO) resulting delay.

If I selected that connection, and it didn’t work out, I don’t think I’d then post about how United “ruined my trip.”
Yeh, Airline sells a 90 minute connection. It is actually more than the published MCT (had he looked it up, my guess is that like 99.9% of people he did not). OP knows he has Global Entry, etc. When the airline is late landing (as someone above suggested) but you would have made the plane anyway, but the airline"cancelled" your boarding passes, stranding you, IMHO it is 110% on the airline.

If the airline sells the ticket, they are responsible when there is (a) a delay w/i their control, or (b) some type of situation they create, causing you to miss your connection. Yet the rule appears to be that only marks fly on UA, so they deserve what they get, unless they have protected themselves.

In this case, United has outdated computer systems, which they went with to try to save $$$$. These systems - evidently - resulted in UA cancelling OP's ticket when they thought he would miss his flight, but when he did not, because the system has a limitation that I don't know of any other airline having. I certainly know that flying UA pre-2012 that I routinely had UA back me up on a later flight, but my boarding pass was good even with the back up. I certainly ran up to lots of flights right at door closing. Never was told I was off-loaded.

The idea that unless you have a graduate degree in airline-management, and have spend hours figuring out what UA will do, that it is your fault when UA does something strange (and unique to UA) that messes you over is beyond me.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 9:13 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
just print it
Fair point. I’m a hopeless millennial. I don’t own a printer. I never check a bag. I rely on apps for banking, flying, trading stocks, etc. without thinking twice. It’s excellent practical advice, but part of me is like what’s the point of using the app if I still have to go the kiosks and wait in line. Also, if you ever can’t bring up your bp, you can just go to the gate agent or charge your phone, so it’s usually not a huge risk IMO.
Okay, but who said you had to own a printer to hold a paper BP? At every airport I've ever been to, you can either get paper BPs at the kiosks, or have an agent print them for you, for your entire journey that day. Since your origin was outside of the US, I'm not sure if there were any UA kiosks, but you'd definitely be able to have an agent print a set of BPs for you.

Personally, I do own a printer and prefer to have paper BPs in hand when I arrive at the airport, so that just in case the UA servers crash, my phone dies, my prepaid SIM card runs out of data in a foreign country and there's no Wi-Fi, or any number of other reasons I wouldn't be able to pull up the mobile BP, I at least have evidence that I should be allowed past security. Heck, I'm a fellow millennial who works in software, and I don't trust software and phones to always work. I was at SJU one time when the power went out and the GAs were boarding the planes by looking at paper BPs and checking names off on paper. When traveling, I do not always have access to a printer, so in that case, I will always visit the kiosk or an agent at the beginning of my journey to get paper BPs. But in any case, I've never felt comfortable only having my BPs on a device that can crash, run out of batteries, freeze up at just the wrong time, etc.

Last edited by STS-134; Jan 12, 20 at 9:30 pm
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