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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, 10:17 pm
  #31  
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Based on OP's data , it was 111 mins connect with 80 min MCT. And OP made no mention of any arrival delay but flight status shows 24 delay, leave 87 min connection -- so booking was 111 min was eroded by delay.

And as the new info as the OP explained, it appears the reservation was not canceled but protected but that appeared to create app BP issue. Sounds like an app issue, not a canceled reservation. OP never stated they were offloaded.

Lots of jumping to answer/ conclusion by many. Some filling in the information gaps appears to have been wrong.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 10:19 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
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.
Thank you. This is exactly my point. What’s more, it feels slightly icky that they reach into your digital wallet and take it away. I feel like I paid for the flight, I checked in, I got the boarding pass, then out of nowhere United takes it out of my digital wallet without telling me.

And yes, with no checked luggage, global access, premier access, and precheck I wasn’t terribly concerned with 90 mins. Even with a few bumps today (slight delay inbound, horrible transit security) I still would have been fine.

I was at the metal detectors before boarding *started* so I had 25 mins til boarding ended. No chance I would have missed it.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 10:33 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
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 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.
that’s all great and I do the same, for similar reasons. And I usually use the paper boarding pass at security and often at the gate because quite frankly once I have the piece of paper in my pocket it is actually easier to use than fumbling with the phone/app/wallet while balancing a backpack on one shoulder and a rollaboard in the other hand. And if I don’t have paper, I have a screenshot.

However... do we or United actually want this to be standard procedure, in the year 2020? Do they want everyone to line up and and print/request a paper boarding pass? What happened to the OP simply should not happen. UA should address this problem.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:09 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
And as the new info as the OP explained, it appears the reservation was not canceled but protected but that appeared to create app BP issue. Sounds like an app issue, not a canceled reservation. OP never stated they were offloaded.

Lots of jumping to answer/ conclusion by many. Some filling in the information gaps appears to have been wrong.
The reason I think it was more than just an app glitch is that when I went back the kiosk to reprint, it started flashing red and said “need agent assist - issue with ticket” or something to that effect.

So if it was a glitch, it appears to be a whole system glitch rather than a small app issue.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:10 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by mctaste View Post
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.
This! I'm amazed at all the people who say their phone might die. Why would anyone travel without a portable battery?
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:22 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
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.
The airline didn’t cancel anything.

Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
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.
And OP wasn’t offloaded either, despite the histrionics in this thread. OP had a perfectly valid ticket and would have been able to board the plane if he had gotten to the gate. And he would have been able to get to the gate if he had called UA and had them sync the reservation.

Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
Thank you. This is exactly my point. What’s more, it feels slightly icky that they reach into your digital wallet and take it away. I feel like I paid for the flight, I checked in, I got the boarding pass, then out of nowhere United takes it out of my digital wallet without telling me.
They didn’t. They stopped displaying it within the application because it wasn’t valid anymore, because your ticket was out of sync.

Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
The reason I think it was more than just an app glitch is that when I went back the kiosk to reprint, it started flashing red and said “need agent assist - issue with ticket” or something to that effect.
That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to explain. UA helped you out by giving you a second booking, in case you missed your flight — probably due to your Silver status. The “issue” is that you had two confirmed flights on your reservation, but only one coupon to cover them. The person who did this for you assumed that you’d straighten it out when you got to the gate. Sure, you know that you would have been able to make the flight, but they didn’t.

After waiting through this long line, you elected to go back past everybody, then wait for the attention of a UA agent, instead of calling them. The lesson: call. (Did you then wait through the security line again?)

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?
I’ve had my iPhone turn itself off, apropos of absolutely nothing, and refuse all efforts to turn it back on for 10-15 minutes, until suddenly it responded to the power switch and started up as if nothing were wrong.

It only takes s moment to stop at a kiosk and print a boarding pass.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:23 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
that’s all great and I do the same, for similar reasons. And I usually use the paper boarding pass at security and often at the gate because quite frankly once I have the piece of paper in my pocket it is actually easier to use than fumbling with the phone/app/wallet while balancing a backpack on one shoulder and a rollaboard in the other hand. And if I don’t have paper, I have a screenshot.

However... do we or United actually want this to be standard procedure, in the year 2020? Do they want everyone to line up and and print/request a paper boarding pass? What happened to the OP simply should not happen. UA should address this problem.
It should always be standard procedure to have a backup system in case the computer system goes down. Anyone who places absolute trust in 100% uptime of a computer system, the people who designed its hardware, the people who wrote its software, the people who designed the networks around it, the people who designed the cellular or wifi equipment near the airport, the manufacturer of the phone, and the people who wrote the phone's operating system...well, if you'll trust ALL of those to never break down, please don't ever design a car or plane I have to ride in.

Nobody should be lining up to get paper BPs though. There should be a kiosk at the airport where you can scan a barcode on the United app, which then prints paper copies of your BPs. And it should take 30 seconds or less to complete the process.

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?
You act like a dead battery is the only thing that could put a phone out of commission. I've had some phones that literally just died. As in the screen went blank, or the system froze, and would never boot up again without a system board replacement.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:36 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
And OP wasn’t offloaded either, despite the histrionics in this thread. OP had a perfectly valid ticket and would have been able to board the plane if he had gotten to the gate. And he would have been able to get to the gate if he had called UA and had them sync the reservation.

That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to explain. UA helped you out by giving you a second booking, in case you missed your flight — probably due to your Silver status. The “issue” is that you had two confirmed flights on your reservation, but only one coupon to cover them. The person who did this for you assumed that you’d straighten it out when you got to the gate. Sure, you know that you would have been able to make the flight, but they didn’t.

After waiting through this long line, you elected to go back past everybody, then wait for the attention of a UA agent, instead of calling them. The lesson: call. (Did you then wait through the security line again?)
Wait. Are you seriously suggesting that someone whose boarding pass suddenly stops working/disappears while at the airport standing in a security line waiting to get their BP scanned should, logically, call UA on the phone (the process which takes at least a minute or two to find the phone number and dial it, then another minute or so get through the menu options to say representative, followed by anywhere from 2 to 45 minutes on hold) rather than walking right over to the check-in counter? That’s one of the most ridiculous suggestions I’ve read.

But here you are basically ridiculing the OP for not doing it.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:41 pm
  #39  
 
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It took me quite a while to come around to trust mobile phone boarding passes but, in no time at all, this has me back to paper.
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Last edited by EricH; Jan 13, 20 at 3:26 pm
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:47 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by rmadisonwi View Post
Wait. Are you seriously suggesting that someone whose boarding pass suddenly stops working/disappears while at the airport standing in a security line waiting to get their BP scanned should, logically, call UA on the phone (the process which takes at least a minute or two to find the phone number and dial it, then another minute or so get through the menu options to say representative, followed by anywhere from 2 to 45 minutes on hold) rather than walking right over to the check-in counter? That’s one of the most ridiculous suggestions I’ve read.
.... Yes, I am, especially considering all of the other factors that OP already mentioned, including extremely long waits to get to his position in line. He could have stepped to the side while making his call.

The phone number is available in the app, and is tappable. It should recognize OP’s Premier status and route him accordingly. Two words are likely needed: “Yes” (“I see that you have a flight today from Houston to Denver; are you calling about that flight?”) and “representative.” (“How can I help you? You can say flight status, MileagePlus account servicing, or for everything else, say “representative.”)

99 times out of 100, the behavior that the OP experienced is exactly what you’d want; people want protection, and they’d prefer to clear the extra flight prior to getting to the gate when time is less pressing. Having the boarding pass disappear is a harsh reminder to fix the ticket, but at least it forces action. Yes, the OP ran into the 1 time out of 100, but then doesn’t seem to have done anything, really, to address the situation. If OP was at the metal detectors 10 minutes prior to boarding, it should still have been possible to make the flight, even with all of the other factors. Heck, even with going back to the kiosk, if he had insisted upon an escort to the front of the line — “I’ve already waited through this line once,” — or used the time to look up faster routes through security at IAH, he’d probably still have made the flight.

OP: You can certainly write to Premier Voice about your experience and express your dissatisfaction. They might throw you an ETC. Do not mention “denied boarding” (you weren’t) or use overly emotional language. Try to keep it in three sentences or less: “By the time I got to the front of the line, my boarding pass had mysteriously disappeared from the app, and I had to go back to find an agent to get it resolved.”
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Old Jan 12, 20, 11:49 pm
  #41  
 
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If you save the boarding pass to your wallet on iOS they don't disappear - only the copy retained within the app itself is deleted if a reservation is changed.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 12:06 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by bsb7140 View Post
If you save the boarding pass to your wallet on iOS they don't disappear - only the copy retained within the app itself is deleted if a reservation is changed.
This

I always save the digital bp to my iPhone wallet and always get kiosk issued tickets for international trips.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 12:12 am
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post

They didn’t. They stopped displaying it within the application because it wasn’t valid anymore, because your ticket was out of sync.


Clearly a backup boarding pass would have been good, and maybe OP (and others...) will do that from now on. But, as said above, isn't the point of the mobile boarding, in part, to not have to do that? ... And whatever you think about that, it's splitting hairs to say that United didn't remove the boarding pass from the app, but instead "stopped displaying it" in the app because "it wasn't valid anymore" because the ticket was "out of sync". If the ticket was still valid (which it seems it was because it was not canceled, he was not offloaded, and was allegedly on original flight and protected on another, then there does not seem to be anything that would indicate that anything has gone wrong with the BP and it seems very reasonable to expect the BP will appear in the app. I'm not aware of anything that would alert someone to the issue of BPs being out of sync.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 14, 20 at 1:16 am Reason: OMNI content removed
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Old Jan 13, 20, 12:24 am
  #44  
 
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1: Expect moderne technology to fail, particularly if it has an "App" in its name. Have you ever noticed the frequency at which software updates are coming out, more frequently than not to correct some sort of error? Software is pushed out the door before it is finished, that's just the name of the game in a world where patches lives on top of patches, with still more patches forming the foundation, and being first to market is literally all that counts. It's a miracle when it actually works, and one should expect it to fail at the most inopportune moment. As it frequently does.

2. Paper will never run out of battery, be subject to a sudden soft- or hardware crash or a 3rd party messing with the data.

Be smart, print paper, sod Thunberg.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 12:27 am
  #45  
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The criticism of OP in this thread is unwarranted.
Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
I often use my Apple wallet. I don't think UA can delete those ones?
Yes, UA can deactivate them so the bar code is gone. AA does it immediately after the flight. You have to screenshot to preserve it.
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