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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, 5:57 pm
  #1  
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United removed my mobile boarding pass and ruined my trip

Flying back home to my wife and kids. SJO-IAH-DEN.

90 minute connection.

Everything is fine at IAH. I have global entry, clear, premier, etc. Waste 30 minutes in the “transit” security getting sniffed by dogs. Get up to the metal detectors and there is only one line. First class, precheck, clear, don’t matter. I wait in that line for 20 minutes.

Then disaster strikes. I pull up my United app to show my boarding pass and there is no button for boarding pass. Just “trip details” and “map to gate.” I fumble and mumble to the tsa guy how this can’t be. I’m in the middle of my journey and my flight boards in 10 minutes.

simply nothing.

I run all the way back past all the people to the United desk. Wait in another line there. Starting to make some noises.

The lady said this is what happened: United “protected” me by putting me also on a later flight. But, you can never have two boarding passes. So when they protected me, they took away my boarding pass. What a nightmare.

now I’ve missed my flight and am stuck, all because United snatched away my bp. Lesson to self to always always screenshot and/or get paper BPs

what the heck, united?
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:04 pm
  #2  
 
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Ouch. I always get a my BPs printed. For other reasons but I never thought I would run into this.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:11 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
90 minute connection.
That’s a very tight connection for I-D. (The minimum allowable is 80 minutes). I’m guessing you were on the afternoon flight, which arrived 24 minutes late?

Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
Everything is fine at IAH. I have global entry, clear, premier, etc. Waste 30 minutes in the “transit” security getting sniffed by dogs. Get up to the metal detectors and there is only one line. First class, precheck, clear, don’t matter. I wait in that line for 20 minutes.
As you found out the hard way, at IAH, it can sometimes be faster to go to a different terminal to re-enter security, rather than try to re-check at the international arrivals area,

Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
Then disaster strikes. I pull up my United app to show my boarding pass and there is no button for boarding pass. Just “trip details” and “map to gate.” I fumble and mumble to the tsa guy how this can’t be. I’m in the middle of my journey and my flight boards in 10 minutes.

simply nothing.

I run all the way back past all the people to the United desk. Wait in another line there. Starting to make some noises.

The lady said this is what happened: United “protected” me by putting me also on a later flight. But, you can never have two boarding passes. So when they protected me, they took away my boarding pass. What a nightmare.

now I’ve missed my flight and am stuck, all because United snatched away my bp. Lesson to self to always always screenshot and/or get paper BPs

what the heck, united?
File this under “no good deed goes unpunished.”

It would have been no different if your phone’s battery had died, etc. Yes, you should always have paper copies of your boarding documents. This is only one of the myriad reasons why.

That said, if you had called United, they would have been able to fix up the record and you could have gotten through.

Basically, UA did their best to try to get you to your destination on time, despite the fact that you booked a very tight connection and had a late arrival.

If this constitutes “ruining your trip,” I’m not sure what to tell you.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:21 pm
  #4  
 
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Two of the many things I've learned during my years of travel are: 1) Printed BPs are a great backup 2) Always bypass transit security at IAH and go through the normal security checkpoints.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:31 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
Two of the many things I've learned during my years of travel are: 1) Printed BPs are a great backup 2) Always bypass transit security at IAH and go through the normal security checkpoints.
I don't even bother printing BP's; I just take a screenshot of them.

As for security at IAH - I always drop bags and then take the exit on the left; go out and use the regular security. So, so much better - CLEAR and PreCheck both available that way!
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
...As you found out the hard way, at IAH, it can sometimes be faster to go to a different terminal to re-enter security, rather than try to re-check at the international arrivals area...
..or exit arrivals secure area through sliding doors and go upstairs in same E terminal to west TSA checkpoint. It's got a great view of the trapped east TSA mob across the way
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:55 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That’s a very tight connection for I-D. (The minimum allowable is 80 minutes). I’m guessing you were on the afternoon flight, which arrived 24 minutes late?


As you found out the hard way, at IAH, it can sometimes be faster to go to a different terminal to re-enter security, rather than try to re-check at the international arrivals area,


File this under “no good deed goes unpunished.”

It would have been no different if your phone’s battery had died, etc. Yes, you should always have paper copies of your boarding documents. This is only one of the myriad reasons why.

That said, if you had called United, they would have been able to fix up the record and you could have gotten through.

Basically, UA did their best to try to get you to your destination on time, despite the fact that you booked a very tight connection and had a late arrival.

If this constitutes “ruining your trip,” I’m not sure what to tell you.
Let's not blame the OP for selecting a 90 minute connection (with GE, CLEAR and PreCheck) when MCT is 80 minutes.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 6:59 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Let's not blame the OP for selecting a 90 minute connection (with GE, CLEAR and PreCheck) when MCT is 80 minutes.
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.”
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:02 pm
  #9  
 
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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.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:06 pm
  #10  
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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.
UA can’t delete those, but you could still have your phone run out of juice.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:07 pm
  #11  
 
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The lady said this is what happened: United “protected” me by putting me also on a later flight. But, you can never have two boarding passes. So when they protected me, they took away my boarding pass. What a nightmare.
Regardless of a tight, but legal, connection, that's not protecting you. That's peremptorily putting you on a later flight.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:10 pm
  #12  
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......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.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:23 pm
  #13  
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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.

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.

Definitely save BP's to one's wallet as they can't be pulled back by the carrier, although you do have to go in and manually delete them at some point as they tend to pile up.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:24 pm
  #14  
 
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Ugh. That’s not fun OP. Totally get your frustration. I get paper boarding passes in the event my phone goes bananas on me or runs out of juice. Never thought about this reason. Just another reason I’ll keep getting paper.
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Old Jan 12, 20, 7:35 pm
  #15  
 
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For this (and seat shenanigans reasons) I *always* print a BP from the kiosk at the airport, even if I have a mobile BP on my phone which I intend to use.

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.
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