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My new mission: To be nothing but a cost center to UA

My new mission: To be nothing but a cost center to UA

 

Old Sep 5, 09, 1:45 pm
  #1  
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My new mission: To be nothing but a cost center to UA

So UA crapped all over my labor day weekend and did so with such attitude and ineptness that it really is no wonder they continue to lose money hand over fist. I was to fly SNA-SFO-IAD-MIA and back MIA-MCO-ORD-SNA for a quick dive trip to the keys over the long weekend, well just after boarding SFO-IAD the captain came on and said it was MX and they'd have more info in a bit at the gate so everyone off. My connection was tight in IAD so I knew I was going to need to re-route, I was first off the plane go to the agent explain I will misconnect and she starts looking for options, but tells me they will all be in Y as I was not on a paid-F fair but only a free upgrade after spending a couple minutes time trying to explain to this moron thats not the case I call the 1K desk where a guy is trying to find some options and while thats happening I ask: so what about my bags, am told will have to see the checkin counter and have them pulled. So I figure OK I'll go to the counter now and deal with everything there, at the counter a SUPER nice lady is helping me but can't do much, apparently even though the flight (120) was on decision and no departure time had been set, they had found a new plane and my bags (inc all my dive gear) had already been moved and they wouldn't remove them. My bags would have to fly to IAD on 120 and catch the first flight to MIA on Saturday arriving well into the afternoon and far too late for me to get to the dive boat on key largo thus trashing my weekend. I understand things break but the attitude and downright stupidity of agents w/r/t A fares is kills me, one would think UA doesn't want people to buy premium fares and I don't understand why.

When you have the majority of people on a plane paying less than it costs to move them it is a mathematical fact you must have some others paying considerably more to fill this gap. I will no longer participate in filling said gap. I will no longer tolerate buying A fares to be told I am on a coach fare with an upgrade, if traveling in a premium cabin is going to be a crap-shot I will now gamble with my certs and not my money. I mostly by mid-range (Q/V) coach fares, sometimes unrestricted and the occasional A/Z fare, this will change. I will not say I won't fly UA anymore, from my airport they are the most convenient for where I need to go, but what I will do is NEVER, NEVER buy a premium fare on UA again and further I will try my damnedest to buy fares that I know are cheaper than what it's going to cost to move me A->B. If due to schedules I need to by a last minute ticket, that will be on another carrier, if I am buying a premium ticket that will be on another carrier. All UA will get from me is the cheapest of the cheap tickets, I aim to be a cost center for UA now and not a revenue stream. This will continue until they fix how they handle premium pax.
ryan182 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 1:54 pm
  #2  
 
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Wow - that really sucks. On top of the MX situation, there is nothing more frustrating than the fact that about half of UA still believes that an A fare is nothing more than coach. UA.com calls it "discounted first or business" - which is exactly what it is! Why they would ever re-route you in coach without compensation is beyond me.
kenhawk is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 2:45 pm
  #3  
 
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I too was in SFO this morning traveling on an A fare, and I too encountered an agent (RCC) who said I was traveling on an H fare with an upgrade. I tried to explain to him that was not the case, but to no avail.

From what I hear, most other airlines DO treat UP fares like a coach ticket plus upgrade, so at least with UA, you have a chance with an good agent.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 2:58 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by murphyUA View Post
I too was in SFO this morning traveling on an A fare, and I too encountered an agent (RCC) who said I was traveling on an H fare with an upgrade. I tried to explain to him that was not the case, but to no avail.

From what I hear, most other airlines DO treat UP fares like a coach ticket plus upgrade, so at least with UA, you have a chance with an good agent.
The problem is that they book into A but have (usually) an H fare basis - however they book directly into an F seat bucket. The agents need better training on this. I recently received a lecture (more like a tirade) that was appalling at SFO, when I was on a D fare and asked for an earlier flight (the initial 2 cabin connecting portion) and one agent did it, no problem, and the other gave me attitude about how my fare isn't good for that flight, blah blah blah. (Some of the SFO/LAX book as 3 cabin for int'l connections, some don't - I merely asked for an earlier flight, not knowing particularly which ones may or may not.) He then pulled a 500 miler without my permission, after the other agent gave me my F boarding pass (which posted for C credit, and 1.5 EQMs).

UA would be well-served to do what I think they have in the past, and that is, have an "A" fare basis, not just booking code, such as the AUAMP (or maybe similar) they used to have to Hawaii. Otherwise, it is pretty much false advertising and sales to sell you a discounted F seat, and then be told, no it was a coach seat and you got lucky.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 3:37 pm
  #5  
 
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It happens. Life goes on. Sucks that they weren't friendly/helpful.

As far as reaccomodation in a premium class, I don't know what to tell you. Buy coach, expect to fly coach.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Sep 5, 09 at 6:33 pm Reason: language
SFOtoORD is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 3:42 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by SFOtoORD View Post
Buy coach, expect to fly coach.
And buy first, expect to fly coach?
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Old Sep 5, 09, 3:49 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by SFOtoORD View Post
It happens. Life goes on. Sucks that they weren't friendly/helpful.

As far as reaccomodation in a premium class, I don't know what to tell you. Buy coach, expect to fly coach.
Not only an unhelpful post, but an uninformed one. If you read the OP, you'd know it was an A fare, a discounted first class fare.

More:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...rst-class.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...light-day.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-up-fares.html

Last edited by iluv2fly; Sep 5, 09 at 6:33 pm Reason: quote
fadeforward is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 4:03 pm
  #8  
 
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fadeforward nailed the issue: misunderstanding of -UP fares by ground staff has been documented on this board for several years now, and it is really puzzling that issue persists, especially at IAD where there is a lot of experienced staff. It would seem like this would be an easy performance issue to remedy.

OP: would LAX-MIA or even SNA_SFO-MIA on AA be a future option?
ButIsItArt is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 4:12 pm
  #9  
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Sounds like bad service, but curious why OP wouldn't book a more direct single connection on AA via DFW, CO via IAH, etc. on a tight weekend trip. Usually when I have a tight schedule I try to have fewer connections and more direct routings as delays and mechancals are so typical.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 4:30 pm
  #10  
 
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Sad when the customer knows more about the product than the agents.

But I was uncomfortable with your double connection in both directions with tight connection in IAD on a time-senstive weekend where it all had to come off pretty much without a hitch. Yikes. And I fret about the possibilities of a screw up on a NS.
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Old Sep 5, 09, 4:36 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by ButIsItArt View Post
[B]it is really puzzling that issue persists, especially at IAD where there is a lot of experienced staff
Experienced? IAD? At goofing off, maybe, and telling customers whatever lies to try to get rid of them.

Actually the OP's experience was at SFO, no?
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Old Sep 5, 09, 4:46 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by harryhv View Post
Actually the OP's experience was at SFO, no?
Yes, I think you are right. It looks like OP was referring to being first off for the deboard during the mx at SFO, and not at the arrival at IAD

Experienced? IAD? At goofing off, maybe, and telling customers whatever lies to try to get rid of them.
I've only had one experience with a bad employee at IAD. OTOH, I have several favorite employees at IAD and I always seem to know where to find them when I need assistance
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Old Sep 5, 09, 4:47 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by SFOtoORD View Post
S**t happens. Life goes on. Sucks that they weren't friendly/helpful.

As far as reaccomodation in a premium class, I don't know what to tell you. Buy coach, expect to fly coach.
Wow you could work for UA Yes **IF** I had paid for coach I would expect that, but since I PAID AS IN CASH for first I fully expect that. Period.


Originally Posted by ButIsItArt View Post
OP: would LAX-MIA or even SNA_SFO-MIA on AA be a future option?
Originally Posted by elitetraveler View Post
Sounds like bad service, but curious why OP wouldn't book a more direct single connection on AA via DFW, CO via IAH, etc. on a tight weekend trip. Usually when I have a tight schedule I try to have fewer connections and more direct routings as delays and mechancals are so typical.
Well I almost always fly UA, I figued the A fare bonus miles were a nice bonus, I don't have too many miles on AA (right now anyways) and while it was a double connect my main concern was actually the SNA-SFO flight as those tend to have issues so I booked the early one (which almost always goes out ontime). Besides the fact the UA reps don't understand the concept of giving customers what they paid for there was more than ample time to offload those bags which would have allowed me and my bags to travel on AA.

As to next time, well if I am paying F yes as I stated you can bet your last dollar it will be on AA (or whatever, just not UA) but if I am flying allover the US on $250 transcons, that will be UA
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Old Sep 5, 09, 4:47 pm
  #14  
 
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I hope at the very least you get the difference back between economy and first.

with the margin of error so small these days, i have to agree with those who asked about tight connections. of course, it is disappointing that one has to assume these days that chances are that a snag will happen.

hope your weekend finds some silver lining.
expatinglasgow is offline  
Old Sep 5, 09, 4:48 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ButIsItArt View Post
Yes, I think you are right. It looks like OP was referring to being first off for deboard during the mx at SFO, and not at the arrival at IAD
yes the problems occurred at SFO, only my bags made the trip to IAD (which I just got back, thankfully)
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