Denied Boarding at IAH

Old Jun 4, 2024, 6:57 pm
  #1  
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Denied Boarding at IAH

Hi,

My apologies if this is posted the wrong place. I was frustrated by UA's ground staff and customer service. Trying to find a resolution after UA's denial of boarding forced me to spend a long layover in Houston for the time and financial liability.

Original Itinerary
1 June, 2024 UA6 NRT-IAH (eta 2:50pm)
1 June, 2024 UA2140 IAH-LGA (est. departure 4:20pm)

There was weather in Houston/TX, and UA6 was diverted to SAT to refuel. Sitting on the tarmac. I watched the time pass by and eventually it was 3:30pm ish when I realised I wouldn't be able to make the connection logistically - between SAT-IAH flight time and immigration/security. At that time, however, I did notice another flight under my PNR. It was UA2018 IAH-LGA (est. departure 6:35pm).

I made it to Terminal E and arrived at the Polaris Lounge at around 5:50pm. Since I couldn't check into UA2018 on the mobile - kept getting errors - likely due to the protection, I rushed to the ticketing assistance desk within the Polaris Lounge. An agent there checked me in and issued a pass (see attachment). It was not a standard BP in that I didn't have a seat number assigned. That said, I was indeed confirmed on the flight - according to the agent and later corporate customer care. I arrived at the gate 20min prior to the departure. Saw the plane there, gate "open" and two FAs standing by the gate. The female agent told me I didn't have a seat. When seeing my pass, she said, "You're never on this flight. It's full, so you were on the stand by for a seat. But we don;'t have any seats for the standby." Instead, I was put on the next flight the following day.

After I made it back to NYC, I sent an email to the CEO office. Double shocks, the executive resolution agent was outright denying my request of Denied Boarding comp. Instead, she gave a nothing burger answer with the generic "We hear you, but not really, Go away." language.


We expect all United employees to always be friendly, professional and be knowledgeable about excepted documentation. Based on your comments, we did not meet expectations. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Although I can't provide specific details about the internal investigation, please know we take these concerns very seriously.


I am sorry we did not get you to your destination ontime.

I can certainly understand your disappointment, and I'm going to share your comments with the appropriate teams. We'll use your feedback to review our procedures with your point of view in mind.

On behalf of United, we thank you for reaching out to us and hope to see you on board again soon.

Regards,

[name deleted by moderator]
Executive Solutions Manager
United Airlines
Customer Care



Last edited by l etoile; Jun 5, 2024 at 11:33 am
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:05 pm
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OK, you misconnected on the first flight and got rebooked on the second. The second flight was full and you could not get a BP. But you showed up 20 minutes before departure? IME that is a mistake, at T-30 they will fill any remaining seats with passengers standing by. If there were seats at T-30 they probably called your name but you were not there and the seat went to someone else.

Did you ask the gate agent for a hotel and meal vouchers? For a 1K misconnecting, even for weather delays, you would normally get them. They may also show up on the app. I am not sure how your email read, but it if you send in your hotel bill they will usually reimburse it, sometimes only via ETC.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:09 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by uanj
OK, you misconnected on the first flight and got rebooked on the second. The second flight was full and you could not get a BP. But you showed up 20 minutes before departure? IME that is a mistake, at T-30 they will fill any remaining seats with passengers standing by. If there were seats at T-30 they probably called your name but you were not there and the seat went to someone else.

Did you ask the gate agent for a hotel and meal vouchers? For a 1K misconnecting, even for weather delays, you would normally get them. They may also show up on the app.
The lounge agent and customer service confirmed that I was not on a standby on the second flight UA2018. I was confirmed on UA2018, yet the GA refused to give me a seat. Also, she refused to provide any hotel voucher - I was aware of that benefit. I was frustrated why she wouldn't even give me a hotel voucher.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:11 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by uanj
OK, you misconnected on the first flight and got rebooked on the second. The second flight was full and you could not get a BP. But you showed up 20 minutes before departure? IME that is a mistake, at T-30 they will fill any remaining seats with passengers standing by. If there were seats at T-30 they probably called your name but you were not there and the seat went to someone else.
Domestic standbys are cleared at T-15.

I do suspect that OP was removed from the flight manually at that point to accommodate another passenger, however.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by terryversay
The lounge agent and customer service confirmed that I was not on a standby on the second flight UA2018. I was confirmed on UA2018, yet the GA refused to give me a seat. Also, she refused to provide any hotel voucher - I was aware of that benefit. I was frustrated why she wouldn't even give me a hotel voucher.
If you were not on standby you should be given a hotel for misconnecting. And you would not have gotten that thing resembling a BP. Regardless, send your hotel and uber bill in and ask them for reimbursement explaining briefly (without complaining) the weather delay and resultant misconnects.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:15 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Domestic standbys are cleared at T-15.

I do suspect that OP was removed from the flight manually at that point to accommodate another passenger, however.
That was the theory by the lounge agent too. I detailed this experience - trying to be unbiased - to understand which party is liable for the overnight costs and if I had any right in this situation.

I believe that I was unjustly denied of boarding, but that view was not shared by the customer care rep.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:16 pm
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Originally Posted by uanj
If you were not on standby you should be given a hotel for misconnecting. And you would not have gotten that thing resembling a BP.
Huh? That's a boarding pass, not a standby card. There's no question that OP was on that flight, and if the arrival times were as stated -- T-20 -- then this is probably the first time in several years that one of these "is this IDB?" actually seems like it might be IDB.

Originally Posted by terryversay
I believe that I was unjustly denied of boarding, but that view was not shared by the customer care rep.
Not sure why you started by emailing the CEO, but you're likely not getting any further with them at this point. You'll need to file a DOT complaint.. and you need to be 100% correct about being at the gate 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:19 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Huh? That's a boarding pass, not a standby card. There's no question that OP was on that flight, and if the arrival times were as stated -- T-20 -- then this is probably the first time in several years that one of these "is this IDB?" actually seems like it might be IDB.
Yes, I went back to the Polaris Lounge and had a chat with the agent who issued the "pass" - I don't know the technical name of that. She did specifically called it out, asking me for that piece of paper, and pointed it out "I am sure that you're confirmed on that (UA2018) flight. This is NOT a standby pass. You will see the words 'Stand By' under there if it's the case." as she was pointing out my pass didn't have any "stand by" language.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:23 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Huh? That's a boarding pass, not a standby card. There's no question that OP was on that flight, and if the arrival times were as stated -- T-20 -- then this is probably the first time in several years that one of these "is this IDB?" actually seems like it might be IDB.


Not sure why you started by emailing the CEO, but you're likely not getting any further with them at this point. You'll need to file a DOT complaint.. and you need to be 100% correct about being at the gate 20 minutes prior to scheduled departure.
I was furious about being denied of boarding. Hence emailing the exec office. Had some contact there who was very professional, and fair. This [employee] is not one of such though.
[name deleted by moderator per rules regarding privacy]

Yes, I am very precise on the cutoff time. I arrived at the gate by T-20 to board, had a conversation with GAs and arguing that I had a confirmed seat when they refused to let me board. Seeing that the conversation was not going anywhere, I then took a photo of the monitor to show that I was there before the Gare closure time. If there is security footage, it would easily confirm my presence at T-20.


Last edited by l etoile; Jun 5, 2024 at 11:29 am
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:28 pm
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File a complaint at https://www.transportation.gov/airco...umer-complaint
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:32 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by mariol
Flight 2018 was scheduled for 6:30, not 6:35, which was the estimated departure time.
. Please see the BP and Monitor. 6:35 PM
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 4, 2024 at 10:55 pm Reason: discuss the issue no the poster
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by terryversay
/Please see the BP and Monitor. 6:35 PM
Already deleted it prior to your post. It departs at 6:30 every other day of the week; Saturdays seem to be 6:35.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 4, 2024 at 10:57 pm Reason: quote updated to Moderator edit
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:36 pm
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Actually, OP's flight was delayed by around an hour. Probably worth mentioning.

https://www.flightaware.com/live/fli...345Z/KIAH/KLGA
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:36 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by terryversay
Yes, I went back to the Polaris Lounge and had a chat with the agent who issued the "pass" - I don't know the technical name of that. She did specifically called it out, asking me for that piece of paper, and pointed it out "I am sure that you're confirmed on that (UA2018) flight. This is NOT a standby pass. You will see the words 'Stand By' under there if it's the case." as she was pointing out my pass didn't have any "stand by" language.
Correct, and the seat assignment would be SBY, not ***.

I suspect the flight was full before you were confirmed onto it, but that doesn’t change their responsibility any — a flight that they oversell to handle passenger IRROPS is the same as any other oversold flight. They should have requested volunteers.
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Old Jun 4, 2024, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Correct, and the seat assignment would be SBY, not ***.

I suspect the flight was full before you were confirmed onto it, but that doesn’t change their responsibility any — a flight that they oversell to handle passenger IRROPS is the same as any other oversold flight. They should have requested volunteers.
I didn't check the status of UA2018 after I was denied of boarding. Went back to the lounge for some coffee and chat. Then booked a hotel on my own as the GA didn't even honour the hotel voucher for 1K...

As someone pointed out, that flight on 1 June was actually delayed by an hour. That means all the time I was talking to the GAs at E17, they were waiting (prob for ATC to push back) but just not letting me on, or properly handling the oversell situation.
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