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Incompetent UA can't add lap infant to OS award reservation

Incompetent UA can't add lap infant to OS award reservation

Old Feb 20, 20, 11:35 am
  #1  
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Incompetent UA can't add lap infant to OS award reservation

I spent over an hour and a half on the phone with United today trying to add a lap infant to an award reservation on OS (Austrian Airlines.) Ironically, I already paid for this same infant on the previous award reservation that was changed to this award reservation when the previous flight was canceled, but was willing to pay again to expedite things. Until of course they insisted that the price for a lap child is $90, when I could buy AN ENTIRE SEAT for $83. (And no, the full fare on this economy seat isn't $900 - its a short hop intra european flight.) They literally have no idea what they are going and are completely incompetent.

For the record, Austrian Airlines charges 5 Euros for lap infants.

As I don't have any status with United, how do I get ahold of someone competent over there to do this most basic function and get this resolved? What is the best method if calling is failing?
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:47 am
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Before anything else, just try calling again. That is the solution in the majority of cases. If it does not go well, early -- just disengage. Never a good idea to battle endlessly with an agent that does not understand what needs to be done. Better to HUCA (HangUp {politely) and Call Again)

There are tens of thousands customer service agents and some are not worth spending your time on.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 12:52 pm
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This is infuriating at this point, they left the booking reference in my account for the Lap Infant ticket saying it is $90. I literally could go to Austrian Air, but an Adult PLUS an Infant and pay only $77 total, inclusive of both+taxes. I am trying twitter right now because I can send them pictures, and someone finally understood what I am saying (because I could screenshot the 5 Euro infant price and the low adult price) and they are "looking into it."

They must waste so much money on these awards with their incompetent agents, I've had two tied up for over 2.5 hours today. They could have comped me the ticket and saved on salaries!

And to top it off the only reason I'm buying an award ticket valued at $77 is because I had five $175 award tickets booked at 8k points each (and < $20 for the lap infant) before they canceled the flight and I'm left with almost no options for the flight change!
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by miadeals View Post
This is infuriating at this point, they left the booking reference in my account for the Lap Infant ticket saying it is $90. I literally could go to Austrian Air, but an Adult PLUS an Infant and pay only $77 total, inclusive of both+taxes. I am trying twitter right now because I can send them pictures, and someone finally understood what I am saying (because I could screenshot the 5 Euro infant price and the low adult price) and they are "looking into it." ...
UA'sTwitter does tend to have better agents. But what OS charges does not matter, UA will us the IATA 10% of fare available today international lap child fare rule. But as you say, $90 is still greater than that.

Sounds like you may have pushed a bit too hard with the first agent and they made a note in the PNR. Best to break off a discussion versus pushing back too many times. Because once the agent decides to document the discussion, it becomes very hard to get the next agent to override. This is true with UA, this is true with many other organizations. If the discussion is not going well, break off and get a fresh start with a new agent. You will see this advice across many FT forums.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:10 pm
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This is an extraordinary situation where you are asking a regular US-based UA agent to process a "domestic" intra-EU infant ticket on a different airline. It's a once-in-a-lifetime scenario that a regular agent will likely never encounter again. The agents you talked to probably assumed automatically that the infant ticket falls under international rules because it involves OS. To save the misery of wasted time, tell the next agent right off the bat that you need them to look up the procedures for processing an intra-EU infant ticket. If that still fails, and considering the time already wasted in this matter, you might be better just getting the ticket at the OS counter.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
This is an extraordinary situation where you are asking a regular US-based UA agent to process a "domestic" intra-EU infant ticket on a different airline. It's a once-in-a-lifetime scenario that a regular agent will likely never encounter again. The agents you talked to probably assumed automatically that the infant ticket falls under international rules because it involves OS. To save the misery of wasted time, tell the next agent right off the bat that you need them to look up the procedures for processing an intra-EU infant ticket. If that still fails, and considering the time already wasted in this matter, you might be better just getting the ticket at the OS counter.
What do you mean, the OS counter? The day of flight? Is that possible? I called Austrian and they said they wouldn't touch it on the phone today, it was United's problem, my concern was if I get to the airport with a surprise infant on an award ticket...

I wish I had your other advice before I got myself in this mess, I thought as they answer thousands of calls they have seen it all, I have kids on dozens of flights, award and regular, usually not a problem.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
UA'sTwitter does tend to have better agents. But what OS charges does not matter, UA will us the IATA 10% of fare available today international lap child fare rule. But as you say, $90 is still greater than that.

Sounds like you may have pushed a bit too hard with the first agent and they made a note in the PNR. Best to break off a discussion versus pushing back too many times. Because once the agent decides to document the discussion, it becomes very hard to get the next agent to override. This is true with UA, this is true with many other organizations. If the discussion is not going well, break off and get a fresh start with a new agent. You will see this advice across many FT forums.
Yeah it was probably dumb to argue with them, I was furious that I had already invested 2.5hrs between two calls and they still couldn't figure this out.

Where do I find the IATA price? Matrix? What's the ticket code? What should United be charging in this case if its not an international flight but an intra-europe price? They literally can charge anything they want, right? What does OS charge them? I know I've had to pony up on tickets that were $1000, $2000, etc, but this is insane here. They are clearly charging me the full fare. Business class Flex isn't even $400, much less $900!

Last edited by miadeals; Feb 20, 20 at 1:24 pm
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:24 pm
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OS itself does not provide information for intra-European infant tickets on its US website.

While it is true that OS cannot touch the ticket now, once it takes control on the day of travel, it can do anything with the ticket that it can do with an OS-issued ticket. Again, you got the right answer to the wrong question.

This is one where, as noted, one politely and without argument hangs up or asks for a supervisor who can reach the rates desk.

This advice holds for all unusual ticketing issues. They don't get better through argument or the passage of time.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by miadeals View Post
.... Where do I find the IATA price? Matrix? What's the ticket code? What should United be charging in this case if its not an international flight but an intra-europe price? They literally can charge anything they want, right? What does OS charge them? I know I've had to pony up on tickets that were $1000, $2000, etc, but this is insane here. They are clearly charging me the full fare. Business class Flex isn't even $400, much less $900!
The advice above asking about the intra-europe lap child fare rule is good. Additionally, the advice is an unusual corner case that most junior agents may not be aware of. That is outside my area of experience and if you ask the agent and they are not aware -- either call again or ask for a supervisor.

BTW, $900 is not an uncommon full fare for intra-European economy (per ExpertFlyer) -- Full Y FRA - SZG is higher than that. And IATA international rule is 10%. So the $90 is not so crazy or insane. The question is what is the right rule and the right fare to be looking at and that is probably beyond a junior agent.

There is an issue buying intra-Europe fares on an LH Group (LH, LX, OS, ...) on UA ticket stock unless connected to TATL ticket -- UA agents, for intra-Europe only segments have access to full fares. What you are quoting is a ticket on a non-UA ticket stock. Those are unfortunately not available to UA agents.

So this is a bit more complex than it might seem on the surface and this might not be the best way to go forward,
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Old Feb 20, 20, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OS itself does not provide information for intra-European infant tickets on its US website.

While it is true that OS cannot touch the ticket now, once it takes control on the day of travel, it can do anything with the ticket that it can do with an OS-issued ticket. Again, you got the right answer to the wrong question.

This is one where, as noted, one politely and without argument hangs up or asks for a supervisor who can reach the rates desk.

This advice holds for all unusual ticketing issues. They don't get better through argument or the passage of time.
Fair enough but I can't go back in time and I have angered the agent I was stuck on the phone with for 1.5hrs and now its on my permanent record.

Do I understand correctly that when they take control of the tickets the day of they can add the Lap Infant in the airport? When do they usually take control of the tickets, 24 hours before, midnight, etc?

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The advice above asking about the intra-europe lap child fare rule is good. Additionally, the advice is an unusual corner case that most junior agents may not be aware of. That is outside my area of experience and if you ask the agent and they are not aware -- either call again or ask for a supervisor.

BTW, $900 is not an uncommon full fare for intra-European economy (per ExpertFlyer) -- Full Y FRA - SZG is higher than that. And IATA international rule is 10%. So the $90 is not so crazy or insane. The question is what is the right rule and the right fare to be looking at and that is probably beyond a junior agent.

There is an issue buying intra-Europe fares on an LH Group (LH, LX, OS, ...) on UA ticket stock unless connected to TATL ticket -- UA agents, for intra-Europe only segments have access to full fares. What you are quoting is a ticket on a non-UA ticket stock. Those are unfortunately not available to UA agents.

So this is a bit more complex than it might seem on the surface and this might not be the best way to go forward,
Full Y is 520 Euro via the Matrix. With fees its still works out to less than $90.

Anyways I have no choice, I have an entire months long trip booked for 6 people and they canceled a flight right in the middle of it, its actually amazing I was able to use the points set aside on a flight from a different city to the correct location and we were able to leave yet a third city to make it to the alternate airport a day early.

This is all insane. And I can't even book the infant into her own seat now because the rest of us have seats already. Insane.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 2:11 pm
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Best now to wait to hear back from the Twitter folks -- this is an unusual situation -- not clear why the infant ticket was not handled at the same time as the other tickets after the segment cancellation, but now that is a "separate" issue and the complexities of adding a single intra-European lap child ticket on an UA ticket, needs an experienced agent or guidance from someone with who has walked this path.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by miadeals View Post
Full Y is 520 Euro via the Matrix. With fees its still works out to less than $90.
What's the route? You may get more useful feedback with that.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes View Post
What's the route? You may get more useful feedback with that.
NAP VIE
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Old Feb 20, 20, 3:23 pm
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Cough up the $83 and be done with it?
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Old Feb 20, 20, 3:28 pm
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Originally Posted by miadeals View Post
NAP VIE
has OW fares in excess of $900 -- atleast for mid-March



So depends on which fares UA has access to as a single intra-European segment
No longer able to book LH Group intra-Europe only flights on UA 016 ticket stock

Hope a good agent can find a way to attached the lap child ticket to the TATL segement and get past this issue.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
has OW fares in excess of $900 -- atleast for mid-March
Just to expand on this, the cheapest one-way fare for that route that I can find that can be issued on United ticket stock is YFF77WW. I just priced an infant ticket for a random date in May in Sabre, and it came out to exactly $90 including taxes and fees.

There may be ways to get it cheaper (United may be able to get an exception from OS), but United's logic is sound.

Code:
WPETRĄQYFF77WWĄPINF
BASE FARE EQUIV AMT TAXES/FEES/CHARGES
1- EUR83.00 USD90.00 USD90.00INF
83.00 90.00 0.00
TOTAL:
USD90.00

FOP FEES PER TICKET MAY APPLY
INF-1 YFF77WW/IN90
NAP OS VIE92.53NUC92.53END ROE0.896951
RATE USED 1EUR-1.0817516USD
REQUIRES ACCOMPANYING ADT PASSENGER
FARE RESTRICTION MAY APPLY
EACH INF REQUIRES ACCOMPANYING ADT PASSENGER
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