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Cancelled return (*A) flight on award ticket using UA Miles - no help from UA

Cancelled return (*A) flight on award ticket using UA Miles - no help from UA

 
Old Jun 29, 09, 5:23 pm
  #1  
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Cancelled return (*A) flight on award ticket using UA Miles - no help from UA

Hi - first post, sorry if it's in the wrong thread. I was just so frustrated that I had to register and share.

In short, I booked a mileage ticket through UA on a Lufthansa flight for my family from Korea to Paris (70k miles X 4tickets). Two weeks before the flight I called UA and found out my return flight was canceled and no reasonable routings available (they wanted me to fly the other direction around the world). Called UA customer relations who basically said they won't do anything but apologize. Do I really want to stay 1K w/ United?

Here's my letter sent today to 1kvoice - I'm new to writing complaint letters and asking for compensation as you can probably tell... will update when I get a reply:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing in response to the situation around my reservation number
XXXXXX with United Airlines.

In December 2008 I made a reservation using my United Airlines miles
on a Lufthansa flight from ICN to CDG, for travel on July 2 to July
14, 2009. On June 22, 2008 I called United to reconfirm my flight and
was told that the return flight had been canceled (in April 2008
Lufthansa canceled the route) yet I was not notified. If I had taken
the flight without reconfirmation my whole family would have been
stuck in Paris without a return ticket. Obviously I was irate at the
situation. I honestly believe the reservations agent did all she and
her supervisor could do to try to find alternative flights that worked
for my family but with the short time frame until the date of
departure it was not possible to re-route.

This morning (June 29) I called United Airlines Customer Relations as
recommended by the UA agent I spoke with on June 22 and talked with
Ms. XXXX. What a horrible experience - how she could be the 1K
supervisor (as she identified herself to be) is beyond reason. This is
a new low in my United Airlines customer service experience.
- After initially explaining the situation she told me that she
doesn't understand what the problem was (unbelievable)
* I then started to explain the situation in complete detail and
cut me off and spoke over me after I repeatedly asked her to let me
finish speaking - I never got to explain the full situation because of
her rude interruptions!
- She insinuated that the whole situation may not even have happened
since she could not look up the reservation details
- She asked if I set up both email and phone notifications, which I did BUT
- She said that since it was a Lufthansa flight that UA wasn't
responsible. If that's the case then why ask if notifications were set
up in the first place! It is because UA failed to provide adequate
notification to me!
- I asked what UA would do to keep me as a 1K UA customer, she replied
all she could do was give an apology - and an empty one at that.

I saved up and used 280,000 UA miles for this trip which was our
family reunion. I have loyally flown United Airlines over 120,000
flight miles each of the last two years. During that time I have
experienced indifference, carelessness, thoughtlessness and
unbelievable rudeness at the hands of United Airlines employees. I am
at my patience end.

What will you do to keep my patronage?

XXXX
UA 1K 0XXXXXXXXX

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jun 30, 09 at 12:26 am Reason: per policy
MochiMochi is offline  
Old Jun 29, 09, 6:28 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by MochiMochi View Post
What will you do to keep my patronage?
You will be lucky if you get anything more than a canned response. It is true, however that LH screwed you, not UA.
weezl is offline  
Old Jun 29, 09, 7:17 pm
  #3  
 
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Welcome to FT, MochiMochi. I think you will get more responses if you ask the Mods to post this as a separate thread. Most people are tired of reading about the many problems with ual.com and so don't visit this thread. I feel for you. I would certainly think that United would treat a 1K better than how you were treated.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 9:32 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by weezl View Post
You will be lucky if you get anything more than a canned response. It is true, however that LH screwed you, not UA.
Not entirely -- it was UA's ticket so they very likely received LHs notification. They should've notified the OP of the flight change/cancellation. It would've given the OP the opportunity to purchase tickets that were not last minute, as well as look for other options. OTOH, the OP should've checked back more than 6 months later. Personally, I don't trust awards and check pretty regularly to see about the status of the flights, etc, esp when there isn't a UA flight included (that's when it won't show up in your my itin list so you need to use other means to pull it up).

I hope UA offers some sort of acceptable apology, but unf will not be holding my breath!

Welcome to FT!
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Old Jun 29, 09, 11:08 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post

I hope UA offers some sort of acceptable apology, but unf will not be holding my breath!
If you read carefully, UA actually offer to let them fly the other way around, which is normally consider as RTW routing, that would require a lot more miles, rather than saying there is no option at all. Normally I don't even see UA would able to offer the option at all if one is not 1K when a segment on *A partner being cancelled. You are basically on your own to deal with that carrier.

To the OP: A word to the wise, when you ticket your itnerary from UA, you should always ask UA for the confirmation number and phone number for the operating carrier, even if there is only one segment on carriers other than UA. LH wouldn't be able to see anything from your UA confirmation number at all. I mean don't you need to choose seats for the LH flight ? When you call them, the operating carrier would ask for your contact information, that is for them to contact you in case of any flight changes. The responsibilites does not fall on UA at all.

Last edited by ORDnHKG; Jun 29, 09 at 11:27 pm
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Old Jun 29, 09, 11:52 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
If you read carefully, UA actually offer to let them fly the other way around, which is normally consider as RTW routing, that would require a lot more miles, rather than saying there is no option at all. Normally I don't even see UA would able to offer the option at all if one is not 1K when a segment on *A partner being cancelled. You are basically on your own to deal with that carrier.

To the OP: A word to the wise, when you ticket your itnerary from UA, you should always ask UA for the confirmation number and phone number for the operating carrier, even if there is only one segment on carriers other than UA. LH wouldn't be able to see anything from your UA confirmation number at all. I mean don't you need to choose seats for the LH flight ? When you call them, the operating carrier would ask for your contact information, that is for them to contact you in case of any flight changes. The responsibilites does not fall on UA at all.
This seems to come up over and over again - how can the responsibility for changing this fall to LH when the UA ticket essentially says no changes unless made by UA? Also, I think it's entirely possible (even probable) that the general unavailability of alternate flights on LH is due to *Net blocking.

MochiMochi - do you want to give us your preferred dates of travel (and city pairs) so someone here can confirm whether United is making this worse by blocking flights Lufthansa has otherwise made available for awards?
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Old Jun 30, 09, 12:29 am
  #7  
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I wonder what notations are in the LH PNR. How can they just cancel without protecting the passenger on alternative flights? It might show they TTYed UA and UA might show they never got it.

Isn't a ticket a contract? How can UA say "good luck" and wash its hands if the operating carrier dropped the flights?

Would the demand be so high that there is just simply no seat? 4 is a lot to ask for Saver - especially during the summer.

It seems the way for UA to resolve it is to find the Standard Award inventory for the OP without charging the extra miles?
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Old Jun 30, 09, 5:39 am
  #8  
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Now, according to the ANA tool, Asiana has at least 4 Y award seats CDG-ICN on July 14. Perhaps *net is blocking it?

OP: I would do some research on your own. Look into all the creative routings you can.
zrs70 is offline  
Old Jun 30, 09, 5:59 am
  #9  
 
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You might review your rights as per this: http://www.evz.de/UNIQ12463630562695...1/doc954A.html and this: http://www.evz.de/mediabig/645A.pdf
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Old Jun 30, 09, 9:30 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
This seems to come up over and over again - how can the responsibility for changing this fall to LH when the UA ticket essentially says no changes unless made by UA?
Well, I guess you have never done award ticket on *A partners. I had experienced when AC cancel the flight, or NH switching aircraft type, or SQ changing the schedules, those carriers call me directly to notify me rather than UA. If you look it up in your UA itnerary, it would also adjusted by itself.

What is so hard about to obtain the *A partner PNR # from UA, call them up and let the operating carrier know your information ? It will make everyone's life much easier rather than pointing finger afterwards. I have done that since the first time I redemm award ticket, this is also apply when you are on codeshare revenue ticket. If the OP had done that process, this thread will never exist. LH or UA at the time of schedule change will accomodate them right then.

Last edited by ORDnHKG; Jun 30, 09 at 9:41 am
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Old Jun 30, 09, 9:45 am
  #11  
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To the OP

If you already sent this letter to 1K voice they may get confused. Look at the dates, specifically years, you note. You suddenly jump back to summer of 2008.
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Old Jun 30, 09, 9:55 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Well, I guess you have never done award ticket on *A partners. I had experienced when AC cancel the flight, or NH switching aircraft type, or SQ changing the schedules, those carriers call me directly to notify me rather than UA. If you look it up in your UA itnerary, it would also adjusted by itself.

What is so hard about to obtain the *A partner PNR # from UA, call them up and let the operating carrier know your information ? It will make everyone's life much easier rather than pointing finger afterwards. I have done that since the first time I redemm award ticket, this is also apply when you are on codeshare revenue ticket. If the OP had done that process, this thread will never exist. LH or UA at the time of schedule change will accomodate them right then.
All of my UA awards have been on *A carriers as I work hard to ensure I can use my miles on carriers that are actually worth flying. On those award tickets, I have experienced schedule changes by SQ, NH, LH and OZ. In all instances, I dealt with UA to deal with the changes.

Most airlines put an endorsement on partner award tickets that says something to the effect of no changes unless made by UA. I can see LH talking to the OP about a schedule change by a few minutes but something that requires reticketing, such as a complete change of flights, would need to be handled by UA. It's UA's ticket and UA is responsible for fulfulling its terms. They probably have done so here by refunding the OP's miles but, given that there are likely tickets available on LH that UA is blocking via *Net, this is yet another example of UA's terrible customer service.
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Old Jun 30, 09, 10:06 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
On those award tickets, I have experienced schedule changes by SQ, NH, LH and OZ. In all instances, I dealt with UA to deal with the changes.
Well at least to me, when NH change from 744 to 77W, NH call me right away and I save myself of bumping from F to C. UA have no access of NH seat allocation or any carriers.
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Old Jun 30, 09, 10:07 am
  #14  
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Welcome to Flyertalk! Sounds like a potential customer customer response issue, along with a cancelled award ticket. A couple of questions:

1) Were you still planning to travel to Paris? If so, sounds like they have offered an alternative (flying through US instead of other European hubs? - need more details here). Have you contacted LH and see what alternate booking they have made for you?

2) It sounds like you may have encountered a frustrated agent, who couldn't figure out what solution would be acceptable to you. What would you like United to do for you when you called? Not to place the blame on you, but just call and vent without a proposed solution doesn't help anyone. Help the agent to help you.
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Old Jun 30, 09, 10:19 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Well at least to me, when NH change from 744 to 77W, NH call me right away and I save myself of bumping from F to C. UA have no access of NH seat allocation or any carriers.
Actually, they do. UA agents have successfully reserved seats for me on NH. But that is not the issue for the OP. He needs to do something that requires reissuing the ticket - which is something LH cannot do. He needs to deal with UA.
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