14 Responses

  1. mike
    mike at |

    what is this tripalert email you speak of?

  2. Chris
    Chris at |

    My post is going to annoy you Seth, but I think it needs to be posted.

    I find it offensive that you are writing about this.

    You are ALWAYS taking up for COdbaUA and now you want to whine.

    Plus you throw in everyone’s faces that you called Global Services. What a laugh. Remember you did NOT earn GS – it was given to you so you would say nice things about COdbaUA or at least thats what’s said.

    You give a lot of good advice and I respect you a lot for it. But this post is ludicrous. You are now getting a taste of what all of us lowly overentitled folks are getting from UA. They should not have done that for you. In all fairness, they should have required you to buy a full fare ticket to return home. Isn’t that ‘What SMI/J Would Do?’

  3. Noah K
    Noah K at |

    leaving out the personal bias…

    I would say that 5 hours seems like a very long delay, especially if other options are available.

    However, they can only send you on a flight with seats! A free confirmed upgrade is a little unreasonable, especially for such a long flight. Not sure about overselling coach and how that works with elites, upgrades, and stuff (not sure of your status)…but the prospect of you being stuck in a 3rd country is likely not appealing. I think its a little dirty for them to force you to use a SWU, and maybe this warrants a letter, but it sounds like until that point, they did make a good faith effort to find another routing for you…

    But yea, lets hate on UA because they are the worst! If only Jetblue or Southwest would start long-haul, Delta wouldn’t dilute the ranks of elites, AA would spend $1 on their product….blah blah blah

  4. NB
    NB at |

    There does seem to be a disconnect in what’s reasonable in these circumstances.

    As a customer, if I’m late for a flight (assuming I’m on a restricted fare and ignoring the flat tire rule which may or may not be available), I’m hosed. If the airline is late, whether it’s the airline’s fault or not, there seem to be few repercussions.

    I’m totally realistic in that I’m aware that stuff happens, that aeroplanes or seats cannot be produced out of thin air and that making alternative arrangements for 300 passengers does not happen immediately. However airlines generally, and UA specifically, seem to operate on the assumption that it’s ok to inconvenience passengers and it’s ok to make little or no effort to address the situation.

    In most circumstances where there is a delay on a major route, there are plenty of flights going out on a range of airlines. I have no idea of what the arrangements are between airlines, whether partners or not, but I do know that an empty seat is essentially valueless. There has to be a way in which such seats can be exchanged at a sensible price between airlines. Likewise, there has to be an algorithm where they can prioritise who gets what – a combination of fare paid, potential delay and airline status, no doubt.

    As the airlines become worse at this, I am reluctantly drawn to the conclusion that some form of consumer charter is called for. I generally dislike such things, but they are justifiable in one-sided contracts such as those thrust at consumers who have effectively no choice. The EU has a perfectly workable solution under which the compensation an airline pays to its passengers rises with the delays – to my mind if IATA won’t act, then it’s up to governments to do so.

  5. KL
    KL at |

    Is the spend threshold free GS for life having a hard time on COdbaUA? Cry me a river!

  6. Adam
    Adam at |

    I’m only surprised they didn’t try for the buy-up $$$ option (pay the difference in fare class to get to Z and we’ll give you the seat).

  7. Debbie Schroeder
    Debbie Schroeder at |

    Was this flight the 4 mile award mistake?

  8. MilesFromBlighyty
    MilesFromBlighyty at |

    I think you did pretty well – better than this lowly 1K would have done as they would not have opened up space for me. Glad it worked out for you = ‘hosed’? not by a long shot.

  9. Valerie C.
    Valerie C. at |

    Yes, you got hosed. Status or not…same day trip delays take priority over other upgrades. It’s published all over the info around upgrade priority. I regularly take bumps for overbooking and demand upgrades + vouchers with DL. Officially they say supervisor approval is required, but I’ve never had a gate agent speak to anyone to confirm. If the delay was UA’s fault, they should have rebooked you in a higher fare with no cost to you without question.

  10. Xyzzy
    Xyzzy at |

    I ended up in J on the non-stop NRT-EWR flight that they refused to overbook us into Y on but that they magically made one J seat available on in exchange for a GPU. The aircraft left with empty seats in the back.

    The cause of this was operational, and entirely United’s fault. Yet, they were extremely reluctant to put passengers onto anything other than what they had been auto-rebooked onto. We and the other passengers who were unhappy (we only saw a few as we were at the transit desk) were not asking for anything unreasonable. We’d have been fine flying in coach. UA clearly had a seat open on the NRT-EWR flight I was on, for example, but they wouldn’t release it without compensation. Sorry — that was just plain wrong.

  11. Gene
    Gene at |

    What better use could you have gotten from a GPU?

  12. beachfan
    beachfan at |

    I’ve had times when my upgrade has cleared (on AA); it went mechanical and swapped for a smaller plane and I had to be put in coach so I wouldn’t arrive five hours late.

    Hard to imagine that you got in an hour late and upgraded (in a situation where it would never had cleared) and think you were hosed. Really? What were you saving the upgrades for?

    I would be thanking my lucky stars if that happened to me.

  13. Aaexplat
    Aaexplat at |


    To set the record straight, how did you obtain GS status, and what commitment did you make to secure it?