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Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..

Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..

Old Jan 16, 19, 8:15 am
  #1  
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Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..

This experience may be instructive for other FTers. Moral of the story: do not change your UA reservations using the online tool.

Story: This morning I watched/helped my wife change the return of an expensive economy IAH<->EWR trip. She was leaving this morning, needed to change the return to first thing tomorrow morning. She was checked in for the outbound, and had an outbound upgrade into a lie flight seat on a wide body.

We make the change, and an hour later she calls from the airport. When she printed out a paper boarding pass for her outbound, she had an economy seat!

I called the 1K line. Turns out the online tool had cancelled her entire ticket, and reissued it into a different fare class (both outbound and return, though the search was only on outbound, and no additional $$ was collected, nor was there a refund). Upgrade gone. Even though she was already checked in outbound. Luckily, the phone agent was able to give her the last seat in first.

Moral of the story: never make changes online. A human agent would never cancel an entire ticket, killing an upgrade outbound, when a customer is only asking for a change on the return, without at least asking, "Are you sure you want to do this?". The online tool seems happy to do all sorts of weird things to your ticket/reservation (I've had the tool split a reservation as a result of just making a search). Call instead.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:24 am
  #2  
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I think you're wildly overoptimistic about human agents.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:32 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by cjermain View Post
A human agent would never cancel an entire ticket, killing an upgrade outbound, when a customer is only asking for a change on the return, without at least asking, "Are you sure you want to do this?".
Sure they would. You have to be very careful doing this and make sure the agent knows what he or she is doing before you authorize a change to a ticket with an upgraded segment.

More generally, when you change the ticket it's going to reissue. That's why you get an email with a new ticket number whenever you make a change to your itinerary.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:40 am
  #4  
 
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This would be expected behavior. The mistake you made was changing the ticket before the outbound was flown. If your wife had flown the outbound first they could have easily changed the return for just the change fee, and possibly any fare difference if the fare was higher.

Whenever you change a ticket that includes re-booking the same outbound you are re-pricing the entire trip. That puts you back in coach (the fare class booked into) and back onto the upgrade list.

Sure, you could have called an agent and asked to change just the return but they, too, would have had to re-price the entire ticket and re-issue it. Most, if not all agents, are not able to hold the upgraded seat for you since the ticket is re-issued.

Again, the only way to ensure the upgrade remained in place was to fly it first and then call when your wife got to her destination to change the return.

-RM
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:43 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by cjermain View Post
A human agent would never cancel an entire ticket, killing an upgrade outbound, when a customer is only asking for a change on the return, without at least asking, "Are you sure you want to do this?".
That is not my experience, and I don't believe I have ever had a CSA ask me if I was sure (about anything).
Calling in for changes has me always mention my request several times, and possibly even ask the CSA to confirm. I often use phraseology such as: "Before you make ANY changes at all, could you please...." just to make sure I don't get some unwanted results.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 8:51 am
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OK, interesting, live and learn. I guess the thing to do would to have waited a couple of hours until she was on the plane, and then while she was in the air, change the return.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 9:00 am
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I think that is a good lesson. I attempted to upgrade my upcoming outbound EWR-MCO to first on the app. It was $157 for the upgrade on the 757-200 (lie flat). I am traveling alone with a lap infant and when I attempted to do the upgrade it tried to charge me for TWO passengers. Gave up on that and called the customer service agents who were able to make the change at the $157. Always look twice before you make a change online. The system is far from perfect.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 10:15 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by cjermain View Post
I guess the thing to do would to have waited a couple of hours until she was on the plane, and then while she was in the air, change the return.
I've changed itineraries with upgraded segments quite a few times. I make sure to discuss explicitly with the agent that I want to preserve the upgrade. If I have any doubts about the agent's competence, I bail.
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Old Mar 31, 20, 11:33 pm
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Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..

Future Flight Credit (FFC) issues?? I tried to utilize the FFC from a trip I cancelled within a valid waiver period.... trip was for Mar 27-30, cancelled when the waiver covered any reservation booked before March 2 for trips scheduled before Mar 31. Issue came up when I clicked through the the "Use FFC" link in the cancelled trip section... system repeatedly came back no flight schedule available under the search scenario (doubled check all the inputs).. when I did a standard booking search, had no problems with the system giving me flight schedules for the same dates I was looking for. Anyone have any experiences to share trying to book with the FFC?
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Old Apr 1, 20, 12:09 am
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Originally Posted by Brostman View Post
.... Anyone have any experiences to share trying to book with the FFC?
The problem is the rebooking tool. Find your desired new flight and with that information, call and have an agent make use of the credit. The online rebooking tool is flaky, if it does not work you have to call.
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Old Apr 1, 20, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The problem is the rebooking tool. Find your desired new flight and with that information, call and have an agent make use of the credit. The online rebooking tool is flaky, if it does not work you have to call.
Thank you!
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Old Apr 11, 20, 11:40 pm
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I read somewhere that you could use FFC on any flights that show up on the united website. Interestingly the flight I search (without using the FFC) shows up as per normal with Swiss Airlines but when I use the FFC and then do the exact same search for that flight, it doesn't appear in the search results. What appears are very limited options about 10x the price of the normal search.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 12:23 am
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Originally Posted by skeeo View Post
I read somewhere that you could use FFC on any flights that show up on the united website. Interestingly the flight I search (without using the FFC) shows up as per normal with Swiss Airlines but when I use the FFC and then do the exact same search for that flight, it doesn't appear in the search results. What appears are very limited options about 10x the price of the normal search.
The online change flight search is flaky. Easiest solution is to find the flight you want via the normal search and then call -- the phone agent can then rebook the desired flight
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Old Apr 12, 20, 11:24 am
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Rebooking/travel credit Flight Search Results page not sorting lowest fares

tl;dr
United's fare sort is broke for changes/travel credit usage.. I think it could cause people to rebook with a fare difference when they actually have a same or lower itinerary.


I have a flight that isn't happening that I'm looking to rebook in November.
I got to the payment page before I decided to check Google Flights if Aer lingus had a entire new trip for less than the fare difference, and there I saw UA had the flight I wanted for the exact fare of my travel credit.

Steps....
I open up the canceled flight, click "Use future flight credit", punch in new dates and get the usual-looking search results page.

I sort by Premium Economy, first is highest to lowest and I get this. Highest fare $2747



Then, click the header again, which should show the lowest fare first. $833 is the indicated lowest fare difference.


But, if I scroll down, mixed in with Not available flights, I find a $0 difference fare. Actually find 5-6 of them. And if I click the bottom "Show all flights" I see even more $0 fares.




This is Firefox with nothing fancy enabled.. Anyone want to try on Chrome or something else?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 12, 20 at 11:56 am Reason: moved to exisiting thread
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Old Apr 12, 20, 11:28 am
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It's a well-known problem and yes, it will likely lead to many UA customers overpaying, which is what UA wants. Has been ongoing for years and since it generated additional revenue there is no reason for UA to fix this problem until they find themselves in a major social media sh!tstorn.

The workaround is to call to re-book. Then you get the lower fares.

Maybe the mods can move this thread to the other reports of these issues.
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