Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Canít talk to customer service agents at DEN?

Canít talk to customer service agents at DEN?

Old Feb 19, 2024, 5:23 pm
  #91  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AS 75K, DL Silver, UA Platinum, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Platinum + LT Gold
Posts: 10,872
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Understandable fairly standard, they made a special, out of their way trip, but when you have multiple customers --- both in the airport --- why would an in-person take precedence over another passenger in a different part of the airport. Agent on Demand is for airport passengers. All that would do is discourage folks from using AOD and instead line up. Seems self-defeating.
With customer service area being off limits, no in-person help is being taken. Why not have a special blocked off area to service virtual help? Having agents station in the customer service area provides the impression there are help available except they cannot help you.

My earlier comment about giving up after no one came online for 30 minutes had nothing to do with being elite and not being an elite. With in-person help, even with long lines, you have an expectation. With virtual help, I had no idea how much longer for the wait; if I had some expectations, I would have stayed on the (digital) line; much like I would have stayed in the (physical) line.
Repooc17 is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2024, 5:42 pm
  #92  
Moderator: United Airlines
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA LT Plat 2MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Plat
Posts: 67,616
Originally Posted by Repooc17
With customer service area being off limits, no in-person help is being taken. Why not have a special blocked off area to service virtual help? Having agents station in the customer service area provides the impression there are help available except they cannot help you. ..
Agree the opitics are bad but all the major hubs are chronically short of back office space and it would have been an equally bad decision not to "man" every available workstation if the demand warrantied.

Originally Posted by Repooc17
My earlier comment about giving up after no one came online for 30 minutes had nothing to do with being elite and not being an elite. With in-person help, even with long lines, you have an expectation. With virtual help, I had no idea how much longer for the wait; if I had some expectations, I would have stayed on the (digital) line; much like I would have stayed in the (physical) line.
An estimated waittime would be a good enhancement. Agree a unknown time is more dis concerning that a long "known" time.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2024, 5:51 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CLE, DCA, and 30k feet
Programs: Honors LT Diamond; United 1K; Hertz PC
Posts: 4,293
Originally Posted by nomad420
I guess I need to be more open minded about AOD. Haven't used but I am sure I will. Usually I can get pretty good personal service from the UC agents, at least at SFO. Mercifully I have not had a bad IRROP in months. Seems like many (or at least some) of the comments have a negative impression with AOD beyond access issues.
I've tried AOD 4 times (or rather >4 times but for 4 specific needs). I've successfully accomplished what I wanted to accomplish 0 times. I have been 'hung up on' 3 times, abandoned after "give me a few minutes" twice (defined by me as the agent still being 'conected' but not responsive for >45 minutes), and been given a scary-vague non-answer that prompted an in person visit to the airport the day before travel (along the lines of "not only can't I do the simple thing you're asking me to do, but you should get to the airport extra early in case there are more problems with your reservation")

I would stand in a mile long line for a face-to-face human before I wasted any more time with AOD.
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Feb 19, 2024, 6:30 pm
  #94  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS, UA 2MM, HH LT Diamond, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 1,853
Originally Posted by PTahCha
I am not sure which UC agent was unwilling to assist, since that is a specific benefit of the club membership. At hub airports, the person who can help you is in the club, not the person who checks you in.



UA can certainly rebook you on another carrier. However, the barriers are 1) the front line tool does not make it easy for agents to see availability unless you have specific flights to feed them; 2) this often requires a supervisor to complete the request.



As discussed upthread, they could be assisting customers as virtual agents.
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
So far this year:

C70 club at EWR -- three agents out front, 0 agents inside. All three agents said for rebooking my choice was to waste time with AOD or go to the customer service center. "we can't do anything" -- given this club has the "self-admitting gates" that stuck me as an odd staffing/policy decision as, indeed, it's what I ascribe most of my UC membership value to.

About a week later, C130 club at EWR - three agents out front, 0 agents inside. The one agent who acknowledged my presence when I popped out from inside the cliub claimed they had 'no way to know' and 'crew scheduling wouldn't tell is if we asked' the answer to my "where's the crew we're waiting for coming from" question. Amusingly when I asked a different agent at a different airport when they took that capability away and they showed me three different ways the agent could have pulled that up (in SHARES, in AERO, and in Gate Explorer) -- and the total demonstration took less than 3 minutes.

Oh also the EWR A club has no space for agent assistance in the club (the one agent inside is very explicitly an Air Canada only agent), but so far other than having a BP printed (because the kiosks and I weren't getting along) I haven't needed assistance in A (knock on wood since it looks like that's where I'll be tomorrow afternoon)

On my last pass threw Newark the customer service center UC agent #1 had me use was barricaded off which is a disturbingly increasing trend across the system -- not sur why UA is so hell bent on giving such a visible middle finger to passengers. (Fortunately this was the arrival end of a single segment with nothing remarkable so I didn't need service but just because I got lucky...)
Similar experience in Denver for me, Weather was causing delays out of DEN, coupled with an MX issue meant I'd miss my ORD connection to my TATL leg.At least four out in front of the Club explaining to people how to use the automated gates or scanning their passes for them (self-defeating for an automated process?). I asked one of the yellow scarves there if she could re-book me and she asked if my flight had been cancelled, I said no but explained the situation. She said she couldn't but as she was "working down here" but I was welcome to try my luck inside but it was very, very full . She suggested that I'd be better off calling the MP line. Pathetic CS IMO.
limey1K is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 4:28 am
  #95  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 58,823
Originally Posted by limey1K
Similar experience in Denver for me, Weather was causing delays out of DEN, coupled with an MX issue meant I'd miss my ORD connection to my TATL leg.At least four out in front of the Club explaining to people how to use the automated gates or scanning their passes for them (self-defeating for an automated process?). I asked one of the yellow scarves there if she could re-book me and she asked if my flight had been cancelled, I said no but explained the situation. She said she couldn't but as she was "working down here" but I was welcome to try my luck inside but it was very, very full . She suggested that I'd be better off calling the MP line. Pathetic CS IMO.
Just more affirmation for my decision to drop UC membership, given that one can no longer expect assistance from agents in the club.

More Kirby Kwality kuts.
bocastephen and higher_flyer like this.
halls120 is online now  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 7:38 am
  #96  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: CT/NY
Programs: UA 1K/1MM, AA EXP, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Globalist, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 6,123
Originally Posted by lincolnjkc
So far this year:

C70 club at EWR -- three agents out front, 0 agents inside. All three agents said for rebooking my choice was to waste time with AOD or go to the customer service center. "we can't do anything" -- given this club has the "self-admitting gates" that stuck me as an odd staffing/policy decision as, indeed, it's what I ascribe most of my UC membership value to.

About a week later, C130 club at EWR - three agents out front, 0 agents inside. The one agent who acknowledged my presence when I popped out from inside the cliub claimed they had 'no way to know' and 'crew scheduling wouldn't tell is if we asked' the answer to my "where's the crew we're waiting for coming from" question. Amusingly when I asked a different agent at a different airport when they took that capability away and they showed me three different ways the agent could have pulled that up (in SHARES, in AERO, and in Gate Explorer) -- and the total demonstration took less than 3 minutes.

Oh also the EWR A club has no space for agent assistance in the club (the one agent inside is very explicitly an Air Canada only agent), but so far other than having a BP printed (because the kiosks and I weren't getting along) I haven't needed assistance in A (knock on wood since it looks like that's where I'll be tomorrow afternoon)

On my last pass through Newark the customer service center UC agent #1 had me use was barricaded off which is a disturbing and increasing trend across the system -- not sure why UA is so hellbent on giving such a visible middle finger to passengers. (Fortunately this was the arrival end of a single segment with nothing remarkable so I didn't need service but just because I got lucky...)
This is inside the C123 club last night. Rumors of UA removing agents inside UC is greatly exaggerated.



The helpdesk in A Club is a shared space - there should be both UA and AC agents.


Originally Posted by limey1K
Similar experience in Denver for me, Weather was causing delays out of DEN, coupled with an MX issue meant I'd miss my ORD connection to my TATL leg.At least four out in front of the Club explaining to people how to use the automated gates or scanning their passes for them (self-defeating for an automated process?). I asked one of the yellow scarves there if she could re-book me and she asked if my flight had been cancelled, I said no but explained the situation. She said she couldn't but as she was "working down here" but I was welcome to try my luck inside but it was very, very full . She suggested that I'd be better off calling the MP line. Pathetic CS IMO.
All agents working in UC are premium agents - same level as GS agents - hence the gold scarf/tie. However, if they are working in the check-in position, they are not supposed to handle any reservation related functions, since their primary duty is to check people in and clear any queue.
SPN Lifer likes this.
PTahCha is online now  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 8:20 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS, UA 2MM, HH LT Diamond, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 1,853
Originally Posted by PTahCha
This is inside the C123 club last night. Rumors of UA removing agents inside UC is greatly exaggerated.



The helpdesk in A Club is a shared space - there should be both UA and AC agents.




All agents working in UC are premium agents - same level as GS agents - hence the gold scarf/tie. However, if they are working in the check-in position, they are not supposed to handle any reservation related functions, since their primary duty is to check people in and clear any queue.
I understand that scarf indicates that they are "premium agents" but in reality that's not the same thing as a "real" GS agent IMO.. I also understand that the primary job for agents at the check-in area isn't to re-book people. My point is that they had more people explaining how to use an automated process or actually scanning peoples boarding passes for them than they did helping upstairs. They do have terminals in front of them and could help if they chose to.do so. If one of your "top customers" is going to miss an international connection because of a United issue, don't you think a better response would have been to try and help that customer in-person instead of suggesting they call the MP line?? Do what it takes to keep your customers happy. I do it every day in my line of work. I do all manner of things that are easily filed under "not my job" but my goal is to keep customers happy and spending their money on my company, not a competitor..
limey1K is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 8:38 am
  #98  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CLE, DCA, and 30k feet
Programs: Honors LT Diamond; United 1K; Hertz PC
Posts: 4,293
Originally Posted by PTahCha
This is inside the C123 club last night. Rumors of UA removing agents inside UC is greatly exaggerated.

The helpdesk in A Club is a shared space - there should be both UA and AC agents.

All agents working in UC are premium agents - same level as GS agents - hence the gold scarf/tie. However, if they are working in the check-in position, they are not supposed to handle any reservation related functions, since their primary duty is to check people in and clear any queue.
I've seen C123 inside staffed about as often as it is unstaffed. I've seen C72 inside staffed slightly less often than it is staffed. Both clubs have always had the outside fully staffed.
I have never seen an (obviously) United agent inside A in probably a dozen visits. The one time I asked the single person there -- sitting behind a miniature Canadian flag -- if she could assist with a UA question she explicitly told me Air Canada only and directed me to the desks outside. (This non-observation includes yesterday).

(On the plus side last time I passed through C at ORD they were actually installing a "Customer Service" sign above the desk inside the club which made me hopeful that UA isn't completely abandoning customer service as deplorable as the current state is)

I get if the inside and outside are staffed travel assistance should be sent inside, but when there are no UA staff inside, and no queue outside (does it really take 3 agents to explain how to scan your boarding pass on an automated gate?) I don't think I'm being crazy or unreasonable to expect that a customer service agent, in a lounge I'm paying extra for, should be able to offer customer service. Heck even if it's a "give me a moment and I'll meet you at the desk inside" if you don't want them doing customer service from the exterior of the club would be fine because I can see why you wouldn't want to make the credential desk look like a generic customer service counter that anyone regardless of club status can use.

"No, I'm just going to keep chatting with my coworkers and tell you to get bent" on the other hand is not what I would describe as an acceptable customer service posture and what I've personally experienced when approaching the ONLY UA agents in the vicinity of both clubs with no queue.
choch345, goodeats21 and limey1K like this.
lincolnjkc is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 8:43 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: KUSA
Programs: Whatever AMEX Plat comes with... I buy on price.. Spirit Big Front Seat, want First/buy First
Posts: 1,560
Originally Posted by PTahCha
They are not flight attendants. Gate agents are not trained on how to evacuate an aircraft.
At American they've been trained to hawk credit card apps, so basically the same thing as a flight attendant. Remember, your flight attendants are here primarily for your safety and credit rating.

It arguably would be a better visual for UA to find somewhere else for agents doing remote assist to work other than the visible service counters. I notice half the counters at IAD are completely closed off with computers removed and the QR code signs and IAH has turned them into wheelchair corrals.
JAXPax is offline  
Old Feb 25, 2024, 9:05 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Programs: UA GS, UA 2MM, HH LT Diamond, Bonvoy Titanium
Posts: 1,853
The CS area in DEN is now completely blocked by temporay partitions. You can hear people talking back there, but customers approaching are being told by the guy below to use the kiosks. Some not very happy people asking for a person to speak with and being told to use the kiosk.

SPN Lifer likes this.
limey1K is offline  
Old May 28, 2024, 8:33 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 688
I know I'm late to this thread, but here's some additional perspective:

While the hubs are doing all this experimenting, at LGA (my home station) and at other outstations like BOS, YYZ, etc. there is still a very visible and open Customer Service Center desk. You can see it below in this picture (taken after the last departure, there was still an agent, who stepped away to throw something in the trash).

I would also say, even in hubs, while it's definitely less than ideal, especially given most people want to stay within security, if you really don't want to use AOD, or the Customer Service center is empty, it seems like you can still readily go to "Additional Services" pre-security in the check-in hall. Especially if you need things like hotel vouchers and/or meal/transport vouchers printed in the absence of a smartphone. When I was in EWR last, in Terminal A, I was equally disappointed overhearing someone get told they can't get rebooked anywhere post security, but there was an alternative to AOD given, which was going out of security to Additional Services.


SPN Lifer likes this.
NikoLGA is offline  
Old May 29, 2024, 4:00 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: AADULtArer
Posts: 6,046
Iíll never forget the most awesome DL Gate agent at ALB in the 200x

alb-Msp had CX and she processed a line of 30 pax in ten minutesÖ.bang bang,,,,

here are your options, step aside to decide, step back in when ready, she eliminated all the dawdling and ď I have call my sonĒ jazz.

i wrote her up to mgt as a shining example.
SPN Lifer, tods27 and silverthief2 like this.
LaserSailor is offline  
Old May 29, 2024, 9:57 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Osaka
Programs: United Mileage Plus Premier Executive
Posts: 600
This seems like an issue for the Department of Transporation as well. Airlines should be required to offer in person assistance to all passengers when questions or issues arise. Many times phone connections are bad or someone may not have a charged phone. The options on the app are never as good as what a real person can provide. Even Frontier in Denver still has a customer service center.

If airlines like United are forcing people to use the app then the app needs to be upgraded to match what a real person can do. Hopefully people will complain to the DOT and we will see government intervention to improve United's poor treatment of customers.

One would think there be a class action lawsuit against United if they are not providing the service levels advertised in the United Clubs.
Pi7473000 is offline  
Old May 29, 2024, 12:58 pm
  #104  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Saipan, MP 96950 USA (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands = the CNMI)
Programs: UA Silver, Hilton Silver. Life: UA .58 MM, United & Admirals Clubs (spousal), Marriott Platinum
Posts: 15,574
Lawsuits are not the solution to all the world's problems.
halls120, United747, wrp96 and 2 others like this.
SPN Lifer is online now  
Old May 29, 2024, 2:53 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA MM Plat, UA 1MM, Hilton Lifetime Gold, Marriott Gold, Hertz Gold, CLEAR, AS MVP Gold
Posts: 3,695
Originally Posted by Pi7473000
This seems like an issue for the Department of Transporation as well. Airlines should be required to offer in person assistance to all passengers when questions or issues arise. Many times phone connections are bad or someone may not have a charged phone. The options on the app are never as good as what a real person can provide. Even Frontier in Denver still has a customer service center.

If airlines like United are forcing people to use the app then the app needs to be upgraded to match what a real person can do. Hopefully people will complain to the DOT and we will see government intervention to improve United's poor treatment of customers.

One would think there be a class action lawsuit against United if they are not providing the service levels advertised in the United Clubs.
While I definitely have the app and am basically never without a high end cell phone/computer believe me I know enough people who are, shall I say technically challenged. I actually know people who don't even own a cell phone. Don't take this the wrong way, I think this is fine. I still ask for a paper ticket for example and yes I do hate using the Kiosks. So yes, at this point in time airlines should provide personal assistance when needed and possible. I won't get into the class action lawsuit issue but I could see it happen for sure.
nomad420 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.