chaos with UA's easy update mails

Old Aug 15, 05, 8:33 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: SFO, USA - UA PE, *A Gold, AF Gold
Posts: 164
chaos with UA's easy update mails

About a week ago I sent the following mail to UA. I haven't heard back from them so I can't post their reply yet. At first I didn't want to complain to UA but then I realized that it actually really bugged me and when the mistake with my girls happened it was really enough.

What do you think their answer will be?
And how come that the UA and LH systems are still not really compatible? They've been partners for a very long time by now.

So here it is for your reading pleasure:

I had a reservation for UA 558 on 6/10/05. At the day of departure I received an easy update at 7:45am informing me that the flight would be on time for departure at 10:44am. I was just getting ready to leave the house when at 8:48am I received an update that he flight would be delayed and the new departure time would be 11:15am. At 9:13am I received another easy update informing me that the flight would be leaving on time at 10:44am. I rushed to the airport arriving at the easy check in machine at 10:15am. The machine refused to let me check in and I had to call a SR who informed me that I would have to check in at a counter. There were long lines and I explained to the SR on the ground that I was running late due to UA contradictory update message but they were reluctant to let me 'jump' the line to get a boarding pass. I asked for a supervisor but none was available.
As a funny side note I would like to mention that while I was trying to check in a colleague who was already at the gate called to inform me that the display at the gate showed that the flight would be delayed until 11:15am. He just finished the sentence when he added:'strange but actually we're boarding NOW'! The flight left on time without me!
Due to UAL's chaotic easy update messages I missed an important client meeting in Seattle! I understand that there can always be a change in schedule but I don't understand why UA's personnel wasn't willing to help me at all!

On another note I would like to mention that I had a reservation for my fiancé and our baby girl on a flight SFO - TXL on UA connecting to LH in FRA. We changed the reservation at SFO in June and double and triple checked with the SR that everything was changed in the system including the segment operated by LH. On their departure date the agent at he check in checked the baggage through to TXL but could not issue a boarding pass for the FRA - TXL segment. I asked over and over if he would be sure that they are still confirmed on that segment. Our daughter is 16 months old and it is not a good idea to get stranded at an airport with a baby! He confirmed it and argued that when the baggage would be checked through they would also have a seat assigned.
Being a frequent flyer I had my doubts about this logic and asked to speak with a supervisor to get his confirmation but the SR refused to call him insisting they would be confirmed on that flight.
When they arrived at FRA they were told that of course they did NOT have a seat assigned! As it turned out my 16 months old daughter (traveling on a paper ticket) was on that flight but without a seat but my fiancé wasn't to be found in the system! Luckily she had a print out of her initial e-ticket and event though she was not to be found in the system the LH SR was assigning her a seat accepting my daughter's paper ticket and her old print out as proof. I have no idea what the UA agent in SFO did when changing the reservation but again I am stunned about the arrogance of the UA ground staff refusing to make sure that the passenger is really booked through.

I used to fly UA a lot and have been premier and premier executive in the past but due to UA's financial situation and related uncertainties I switched to Skyteam for the last few years. Now I thought to give UA another chance but I have to say that I am very disappointed so far and that I have to rethink it!

Axelerator is offline  
Old Aug 15, 05, 9:42 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 10,582
For the first part, UA will just tell you you need to be there for the original scheduled departure time. The updates are info only and can change at any time. To be sure you make your flight, always use the original scheduled departure time.

You found this out the hard way. I only use the updates to figure out how long I am going to have to sit at the airport. I have read too many stories on FT about your exact situation. Guess you have learned now too.

No idea on the scond part of your post.
Baze is offline  

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