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Improper unboarding, (almost) loses upgrade

Improper unboarding, (almost) loses upgrade

 
Old Mar 20, 10, 5:39 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Improper unboarding, (almost) loses upgrade

Yesterday afternoon I was to fly OMA-DEN-OAK. Upgrades cleared weeks ago. I checked in and printed boarding passes in the morning. Got to the airport to find that the incoming plane was going to be late, making OMA-DEN leg late, causing misconnect. Got email from United saying they had reaccomodated me for 24 hours later. Southwest flight leaving for DEN next gate over at same time, $134 fare, yum-yum. Standing in line, called United and explained: asked to be put back on the DEN-OAK segment, was told "all is well" ... stayed in line to ask gate agent in OMA to "double check" -- she said "it looks okay, but they can't check you in over the phone; I can check you in, here's your new boarding pass" ... I think: what a genius I am for double-checking. Fly to Denver uneventfully. Changing terminals, I get another mail from United saying I've been reaccomodated for 24 hours later. I get to the DEN-OAK gate and ask: am I on this flight? Agent says: no, you're on tomorrow's flight. I explain, and she again reboards me onto the flight and hands over an economy boarding pass. Clearly, when they unboarded me the 2nd time it was close enough to the gate window and they upgraded someone in my place. F was now "checked in full" ... no problem, I say: just find the person who improperly got my upgrade and downgrade them. Agent says: I don't have the power to do that. (Can someone confirm or deny?) I asked her to call someone who could, which she did. Then she started boarding. Supervisor showed up, took my info and story, and agreed: the right thing is to downgrade whoever upgraded last. She went off to do it, clearly not wanting to: it's happened to me before, sitting in your seat, maybe even enjoying a drink, and getting yanked back to coach is yucky. But: fair is fair. Somehow I got 1C instead of 2D (which I picked when the cabin was empty), so: no storage and no window, but I'm not terribly unhappy.

However: I think that the gate agent just didn't want to have to be the one to tell the improperly upgraded person that they had to downgrade. It would have been a lot easier to do it before boarding started -- not just for the customer, but also for the supervisor who ultimately had to do it. However: she was working the flight alone, and I suspect that she was worried that if the other customer put up a fuss that she'd be late in boarding the plane. She was visibly unhappy at the prospect, even though she seemed to agree all along that it was the right thing to do.
jmhayes is offline  
Old Mar 20, 10, 6:47 pm
  #2  
 
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Sounds like you got lucky. I'd bet that most GAs would just tell you tough luck.
IADtoWhere is offline  
Old Mar 20, 10, 7:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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I had similar experience. Looks like UA automated system is quite "pigheaded." Even the GA corrected the "auto-rebooking," the computer will override them back some time later
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Old Mar 20, 10, 7:24 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by howto View Post
I had similar experience. Looks like UA automated system is quite "pigheaded." Even the GA corrected the "auto-rebooking," the computer will override them back some time later
Update: I got a third message from United confirming my reaccomodation and confirming the departure time.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 7:28 pm
  #5  
 
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Was the flight full in E+? The downgraded person might have been stuck back in an E- middle seat.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 7:30 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by IADtoWhere View Post
Was the flight full in E+? The downgraded person might have been stuck back in an E- middle seat.
The downgraded customer got the seat I was originally given at the gate: 7A, it was E+.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 9:57 pm
  #7  
 
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I would have let it go, requested compensation and taken the E+ seat. While I've never been yanked from F, if it happened to me, I'd be horrified and extremely embarrassed.
djlndc is offline  
Old Mar 20, 10, 10:01 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by jmhayes View Post
Update: I got a third message from United confirming my reaccomodation and confirming the departure time.
Jump on another WN flight and take the rebooked flight. Can't let those miles go!
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Old Mar 20, 10, 10:16 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by djlndc View Post
I would have let it go, requested compensation and taken the E+ seat. While I've never been yanked from F, if it happened to me, I'd be horrified and extremely embarrassed.
I would have taken the downgrade as well, and then hoped to score a $200 cert.
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Old Mar 20, 10, 10:58 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by IADtoWhere View Post
Sounds like you got lucky. I'd bet that most GAs would just tell you tough luck.
Indeed. That happened to me on so many occasions and I never got my original upgrade back.

Not even from the GA who made me loose my confirmed ug! Was once bound to fly IAD-ORD-intl, all legs confirmed with companion. IAD-ORD flight was running late, so the GA said that they could put us on the later IAD-intl flight. He didn't succeed as the system gave him trouble .. then asked for our BPs and I was naive enough to hand them over .. he tore them up and gave us IAD-ORD ones in coach and explained that when he wanted to put us on the IAD-intl flight, he first unloaded us from the IAD-ORD flight and hence our ugs were gone... shameless.
weero is offline  
Old Mar 20, 10, 11:43 pm
  #11  
 
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I don't know, but IMO you should have been seated in E+, given that you upgraded Y --> NF (as opposed to buying first class fare). I doubt there were any NF availability by the time you were rebooked onto that flight, and as we know, when you make any changes you would be put back in Y and then upgrade --> NF if there's any NF availability.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 12:34 am
  #12  
 
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I lost an upgrade like this once and was given a CR-1 as compensation. I thought it was fair enough and didn't mind E+ for PVD to ORD.
RI2KH2SU is offline  
Old Mar 21, 10, 12:47 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by futureacnp View Post
I don't know, but IMO you should have been seated in E+, given that you upgraded Y --> NF (as opposed to buying first class fare). I doubt there were any NF availability by the time you were rebooked onto that flight, and as we know, when you make any changes you would be put back in Y and then upgrade --> NF if there's any NF availability.
I think you're missing something key: I made no changes at all; United made the changes, after I had told two of their agents clearly what I wanted. They made a mistake! They can un-make it. End of story.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 6:14 am
  #14  
 
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Fair enough. I'm just saying though, when things like this happen, upgrades are rarely preserved/intact. I think you were lucky that F wasn't fully booked and that the GA was willing to make the change.
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Old Mar 21, 10, 6:30 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by futureacnp View Post
Fair enough. I'm just saying though, when things like this happen, upgrades are rarely preserved/intact. I think you were lucky that F wasn't fully booked and that the GA was willing to make the change.
Nor are revenue seats! I once lost my domestic F seat from an intl. D class tix. After immigration in ORD I receive a text that I have been protected on a later flight but I easily made my original flight. But my seat was gone.

GA wasn't very apologetic about it and emphasized that I was lucky that I'd get E+.
weero is offline  

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