Old Sep 22, 2022, 4:10 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: mahasamatman
United Consolidated Compensation Thread [Archive]
And earlier
United Consolidated Compensation Thread [2017]
United Consolidated Compensation Thread [2016]
United Consolidated Compensation Thread [2015]


Policy change? January 2020
United is no longer proactively offering vouchers to customers on flights delayed fewer than six hours, according to a message sent to employees.
...
Now, for delays between four and six hours, employees will decide what compensation to offer and theyll only give it after customers ask for it, according to the memo. United agents can share compensation through a mobile app on their airline-owned iPhones.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. I think I deserve something from UA -- whom do I contact?

- 1K/GS: Contact UA via the emails on the back of your MP card.
- All others: Customer Care or email [email protected].

Except for a few exceptions (see below), UA is under NO OBLIGATION to provide compensation but may instead provide a goodwill gesture as an appreciation.

2. What is the Customer Appreciation website ?

It is a website dedicated by UA for proactive compensation/goodwill offer.

If you have been:
a. Told inflight to go to this website/Received e-mails from Proactive Recovery Operations Team
b. Received a "We are sorry for the inconvenience" card.

You should go to the website and claim your offer first before contacting Customer Care.

3. What do I get if UA decides to provide me the compensation/goodwill gesture?

UA's compensation/goodwill gesture generally will be provided in a form of ETCs or miles based on your elite status. Currently, the ETCs and miles offered maintain a 2 cpm ratio ($50 ETC =2,500 miles).

4. Should I take miles or ETCs, and which one is better?

It is a personal preference on how you use the miles/ETCs.

Miles don't expire if you have account activity at least once every 18 months or have a qualified Chase UA-branded credit card. ETCs have a 1-year validity from initial issuance and can be used on flights operated by UA or as UA Express ONLY.

Miles are likely to provide greater value than 2 cpm for those booking international premium cabins. ETCs might have greater value for domestic trips. For example, a $100 ETC may be sufficient enough to cover much of the cost of your future trip, its equivalent miles (5,000 miles) does not. And the ETC trip will earn PQDs (no value subtraction), PQM/Ss & RDMs. See Consolidated "Various tips for using an electronic certificate (TCVA & 016)" [Merged] for detail.

For those whose paid travel is usually covered by their employer and their personal travel is via awards, then miles might make more sense.
For those who have paid travel they personally pay for and that travel fits within the restrictions of ETCs, then ETC might make more sense.
For those seeking status, ETCs can be used to fund that travel and earn PQMs, RDMs, and PQDs (ETCs do not reduce the PQDs). Award/mileage travel does not earn mileage.

5. What recourse do I have other than Customer Care?

You should consider everything with Customer Care is final. However, if you want to push further, you can try emailing UA executives (including the CEO). UA is known to respond customers' emails.

UA's Executive Contacts (Credited to Christopher Elliott)

6. What about DOT?

If you believe your issues may fall within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), contact DOT via the Air Travel Complaint - Comment Form.

NOTE - What the DOT does is to refer your complaint to UA and require UA to respond. DOT does not handle complaints unless they involve in violating DOT regulations.

7. What about if I have been "Involuntary Denied Boarding" (IDB) by UA?

See Is this IDB? Am I entitled to IDB compensation? [Consolidated]

8. What if I get downgraded (traveling in a lower cabin then I was booked)?

See Downgraded from First/Business Class on United (Questions, Compensation, etc.) [2016]

9. What about baggage claim?

Contact Baggage Resolution Service Center

10. What about if I have an EC261/2004 claim against UA?

See Best Practices for Filing EU 261 Claims Against United?

11. If you need documentation of delay / cancellation for trip insurance or refunds from hotel / tour / .... operator, try this
Verification letters
Upon request, we can provide a statement of proof that a United flight was delayed or canceled. You may email your request to [email protected]. Be sure to include the names of all customers in your party, confirmation number, flight numbers and dates of travel, phone contact and the email address or mailing address where you would like it sent. Please allow 5-10 business days for processing.
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United Consolidated Compensation Thread

Old Jul 1, 2023, 11:25 pm
  #226  
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Originally Posted by simonsuo
Has anyone ever get a check or cash equivalent like a visa gift card for a mechanic cancellation? ....
Except where required by law, UA does not do that. It uses ETC as it is not a cash outlay and has breakage (non-use before expiration).
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 12:30 am
  #227  
 
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I was delayed 4.5 hours DEN-MCI and arrived after 1 am and missed my ground connection. I emailed customer service for reimbursement for having to hire alternative ground transport but got nothing back yet.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 12:38 am
  #228  
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Airlines causing delay do not provide for "consequential damages" such as alternative ground transportation or hotel cancellation penalties.

That is why some people buy travel insurance.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 1:20 am
  #229  
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer
Airlines causing delay do not provide for "consequential damages" such as alternative ground transportation or hotel cancellation penalties.

That is why some people buy travel insurance.
UA actually reimbursed me earlier this year for extra rental car charges related to a mechanical cancellation. I was stunned. I agree that its not SOP, and OP shouldnt expect it, but it does occasionally happen.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 3:55 pm
  #230  
 
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A working Polaris sound system is a health and safety risk? CSR response

Howdee -

I flew Polaris from AKL to SFO a few weeks back and the sound system was broken. After a few attempts to fix it, the flight attendants said - sorry, the plug is probably broken, again. At the end of the flight, after I asked about compensation, I was offered a $150 flight credit or 6k in points. While I was standing in line to clear customs, I was talking with a couple of other passengers and they told me that there had been an empty seat further up the plane - which I was never offered.

With that information, I wrote to United to ask if they could improve their offer of compensation, given that it would cost them nothing in actual funds. I received a series of surprising responses back. Today's took the cake though and I thought I would share it.

CSR: "We appreciate your business and look forward to providing you with the service you expect and deserve on a future United flight."

Me: "But, correct me if I am wrong, United does not provide any sort of guarantee that said service will be provided. I could book another business class flight and United could fail to provide that service again."

CSR's response: "That is correct. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee departure or arrival times, seat assignments, aircraft type or amenities we offer. There are rare times when a substitution of aircraft could occur to avoid a delay or cancellation so we cannot guarantee United Polaris business class or some of the amenities we offer."

And then added in a screenshot that said. "For the health and safety of all United travelers and employees, some features of United Polaris business class have changed or may be unavailable right now. We look forward to resuming full service as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

Gosh, who knew my having a working sound system was a health and safety risk to other travelers and employees? Lesson learned!

Last edited by seacliffs; Jul 2, 2023 at 4:03 pm
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 4:02 pm
  #231  
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$150 seems fair to me. Did you ask if they had other seats and they said 'no'? Did you indicate to the FA that this was a major issue for you?

What did you expect? Refund of the ticket?
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 4:05 pm
  #232  
 
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Hi Cfischer - what I was hoping for was enough of a credit or points or Pluspoints to be able to upgrade in the future. Given the cost of the ticket, $150 in flight credit struck me as a bit absurd. In terms of asking about a different seat, there had been a sign posted as we entered the plane that the flight was full and no seat changes were available - so I didn't ask. Now I know better.

Yes, I definitely let the FA know.

My reason for posting this was less about the compensation offered and more about the CSR's response. Health and safety? Really?
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 4:16 pm
  #233  
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Originally Posted by seacliffs
Howdee -

I flew Polaris from AKL to SFO a few weeks back and the sound system was broken. After a few attempts to fix it, the flight attendants said - sorry, the plug is probably broken, again. At the end of the flight, after I asked about compensation, I was offered a $150 flight credit or 6k in points. While I was standing in line to clear customs, I was talking with a couple of other passengers and they told me that there had been an empty seat further up the plane - which I was never offered.
Sorry you encountered a less than stellar crew. Last February on a Polaris flight I discovered that the entire entertainment system at my seat was dead. Ask a FA for help, and the Purser came by a few minutes later. She tried to reset it, and came back to tell me that my seat been written up as needing maintenance but unfortunately not been fixed, and she was going to move me to a seat with a working AV. Before the end of the flight, the Purser stopped by again to tell me that she has requested a deposit of 5000 miles to my account to make up for the inconvenience. I thanked her and told her that she didnt have to do that, her response was no, you picked that particular seat because it has great legroom, and I had to move you to a lesser seat.

that kind of cabin service used to be the norm on United, unfortunately, these days it is not.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 4:19 pm
  #234  
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$150 for broken audio is more than reasonable; unclear why you keep engaging.

The other seat could have been more broken.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 9:00 pm
  #235  
 
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Hi Mduell -

Simply that I don't think a $150 future flight credit is "more than reasonable". I paid for a high-quality product and United failed to deliver that. I'm not asking United to spend a penny - I'm simply asking United to provide a way for me to enjoy the high-quality product for which I paid.

Hi Halls120 - yep, definitely not the same flight crew. Glad you had a much more positive experience!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 2, 2023 at 10:38 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 9:52 pm
  #236  
 
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Originally Posted by seacliffs
Hi Mduell -

Simply that I don't think a $150 future flight credit is "more than reasonable". I paid for a high-quality product and United failed to deliver that. I'm not asking United to spend a penny - I'm simply asking United to provide a way for me to enjoy the high-quality product for which I paid.
It costs nothing but your time to keep trying - I see an almost 0% chance they will budge - but who knows. Keep us up to date.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 10:35 pm
  #237  
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Originally Posted by seacliffs
Hi Mduell -

Simply that I don't think a $150 future flight credit is "more than reasonable". I paid for a high-quality product and United failed to deliver that. I'm not asking United to spend a penny - I'm simply asking United to provide a way for me to enjoy the high-quality product for which I paid.
Your expectation is too high. $150 is a way generous offer from UA based on what it has offered for IFE issues. Would suggest taking it, but if you feel strongly the offer should be higher, you can send a followup note to UA.
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Old Jul 2, 2023, 11:04 pm
  #238  
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Originally Posted by seacliffs
]I paid for a high-quality product
No, you didn’t. You paid for United Polaris.

Originally Posted by seacliffs
I'm not asking United to spend a penny - I'm simply asking United to provide a way for me to enjoy the high-quality product for which I paid.
(a) forfeited future revenue is essentially an expense
(b) you got 95% of what you paid for. UA is offering you $150 for the other 5%.

Incidentally, just because other passengers said there was another available seat doesn’t mean it was true. I suspect they were referring to 1A, which is occasionally used for crew rest. UA is not allowed to seat a passenger in a seat reserved for crew rest, even if there’s another one available for a swap.
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 6:53 am
  #239  
 
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Originally Posted by seacliffs
Simply that I don't think a $150 future flight credit is "more than reasonable". I paid for a high-quality product and United failed to deliver that. I'm not asking United to spend a penny - I'm simply asking United to provide a way for me to enjoy the high-quality product for which I paid.
Last time I bought a new car, I had it for about 9 months when a wheel bearing failed causing it to have an annoying grinding noise. The dealer replaced the wheel bearing, not the entire car. When I ordered a portable air conditioner on Amazon it had some cosmetic damage from shipping but still functioned appropriately, Amazon refunded me 20% of the cost due to the damage. When my parents ordered a new refrigerator last fall it had a small dent in the door, they offered to replace the door (with the part being on backorder) or to give them some money back due to the cosmetic damage. Point being, when one part of a product fails the solution often isn't to replace the entire product, especially when you can still utilize the product you purchased. It is to make right either via compensation or replacement of the specific failed portion of the product.

In UA's eyes you still received the majority and fundamental component of the product you purchased - transportation in an enhanced seat/cabin experience that lies flat. Yes it sucks that the IFE wasn't working, but the solution isn't to give you another flight in Polaris for free, but to give compensation for the part of the product that failed - especially as they provide alternative methods to access IFE such as via a personal device, with your seat also providing the ability to keep those devices charged for the length of the flight.

edit: In the latter two situations I mentioned there was obviously the opportunity to return and get a full refund/replacement as well. However if I had done that I wouldn't have the product I purchased. What you're asking for is the equivalent if I had been allowed to keep the damaged refrigerator/air conditioner and gotten a new one for free. Sure companies might do that for cheap $50 products that cost them $5-10 in expenses, but not for things that cost thousands of dollars.
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Last edited by Lux Flyer; Jul 3, 2023 at 6:58 am
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Old Jul 3, 2023, 9:01 am
  #240  
 
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$150 credit seems low for such a long flight to not have IFE. IFE is a part of the entire package, I am not sure why so many people are saying it's "more than reasonable". It's a different route but ZipAir LAX to TYO without IFE is $2,500 for lie-flat business vs. $10k for mainline carriers. Obviously not all of the delta is from IFE but it's probably more than $150 worth.
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