Compensation Clinic: United Airlines (Missed Connection)


A LoyaltyLobby reader forwarded me a problem that he had with United Airlines that was solved satisfactorily.


You can always send me an email about the problems that you have had and how they were resolved. I publish the best ones on Sundays.


A passenger traveling from Asia got caught with long lines at customs and immigration at the Los Angeles International airport and missed their connection to Hawaii.

United agents were willing to re-book the passenger on standby basis the following day, but refused passenger’s request to be re-booked two weeks later due to rescheduling caused by the delay.

The passenger sent a complaint to United and received the following reply:

Dear LoyaltyLobby reader:

Thank you for contacting United Airlines.  I was disappointed to learn you were not able to make your scheduled flight from LAX/OGG on August, 2013.

The United ground staff is proud of our on-time performance and works diligently to maintain it. The departure gate personnel use the last few minutes prior to departure to accommodate any passengers standing by, and once these passengers have boarded, the flight may close a few minutes ahead of schedule.

In your email you state that when you arrived into Los Angeles you were delayed in customs and immigration and this made you miss your connection to flight. The United Airport agent in Los Angeles offered to place you on standby for the next available flight on the following day; however you did not accept this and asked to be placed on a flight 2 weeks later due to your rescheduling. I regret they were not able to honor this request.

If you still would like to be rebooked in a few weeks on a flight from LAX/OGG, I would be glad to make the exception and rebook you or I would like to offer to put 35000 bonus goodwill miles into your  United Airlines Mileage Plus account. Please reply with which option you would prefer.

We know that you have your choice in carriers and we hope to have the opportunity to welcome you aboard another flight soon.


The reader had chosen the miles option that he can use to book one-way from the mainland to Hawaii or any other way he wishes.

United and other US airlines are often very aggressive in closing flights early to record on time departure. I don’t mind holding the flight for few minutes, but more than that and passengers may end up missing their possible connections at the destination.

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