A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email earlier today regarding an issue that many face with United Airlines: the airline’s refusal to properly rebook in case of delays and cancellations.
Here’s the email from Nicholas:
I had a flight from Narita to Chicago that was delayed on the 11th September.
United did not inform me prior to my departure from Singapore that the inbound flight from Chicago to Narita was already delayed. When I landed in Narita I wasn’t informed either but I chanced upon the delay upon checking my United flight app. The original flight was 330pm but the retimed flight was the next morning as they claimed there was a curfew at the airport at night and despite the plane landing it would be not possible to fly out again.
I was offered either a hotel overnight or to take another routing through HNL which would made me arrive Chicago the next morning 12th September instead of 11th September. As I had a customer meeting and United insisting there was no other option I took a cancellation chit instead and managed to get a booking redemption on SQ to LAX and then another flight on United to ORD.
United has not willing to compensate for the redemption flight or the LAX – ORD United leg either. They have only offered through email generically a 3000miles goodwill compensation.
My out of pocket costs
1. SQ redemption worth 1k USD
2. United Flight LAX – ORD 0.6k USD
Is there any chance to even get anything extra back?
Seems that flight UA882 ended up being canceled on September 11, 2016, per one of the online tools.
The agent in Singapore should have noted that the flight from Narita to Chicago was either severely delayed or canceled and rebooked you on the spot to the final destination that in your case was Chicago. Sometimes stations are unwilling to do this and they rather pass the buck to the next one in this case Narita.
United Airlines in Narita should have rebooked you on any available service to your final destination. Claiming that there was no availability cannot be a reason because you were able to book yourself on Singapore Airlines and then on United.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Open a case with DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection united here (can do it online here). Just state the facts; the flight was delayed/canceled & United Airlines refused to rebook on alternate services. State the expenses incurred due to this.
2. If you are living in the US, you can take United Airlines to small claims court. Not sure if there are similar venues if you are based in Singapore. Could be worthwhile to hire a lawyer to pen a letter to them and send it to the Singapore office.
I have said it before and probably keep saying in the future as well. If getting to destination on time is of any concern, you shouldn’t fly with United Airlines (and I have flown more than million miles combined with UA + CO).
There have been terrible incidents in the near past when the flight was diverted for whatever reason and United failed to get the passengers to their destinations for days. It just shows how little respect the airline has towards its customers and how they love leaving passengers stranded on their own for days.