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United Airlines--anyone else have/had issues?

We are going on a 12-day vacation in August. We booked a great deal via United Airlines exactly 3 months to the day before our departure. But the last 2 weeks have been headaches.

I went online to look at our reservation so I could know when to set up our rental car, and saw the departure time had changed. It was moved to 2 hours earlier (departing at 7am instead of 9am), which wouldn't work for us as we weren't in the immediate area of the airport, our hotel was already booked (nonrefundable), etc. We had chosen the 9am flight because we preferred that over 7am or the other options which were later.

The lady was nice and was able to change us to a flight that left at 10am instead, and had the same connection as our 9am flight would've. Great! That was on May 28th.

So we never booked the rental car but were going to today. Today I go in and see that our 10am flight has now been changed to 2:30pm. We arrive at our connection at 4pm... but our connection flight was still the same as before, leaving at 12:30pm! 

I called United and am like, "How are we supposed to depart the 2nd leg of our trip before we've even left for the 1st leg?" The lady goes on to try to change it and then tells me she's going to charge me $150/ticket! Um, for YOUR mistake? HELL NO! then she says she can waive the $150/ticket fee but the difference in the tickets we booked and the new itinerary would be $89 and we'd have to pay that. Again, RIDICULOUS that we'd be expected to pay for their mistake!

So she searches again and comes back and says that she can get us either a 5:45am(!!) outbound flight with a SIX HOUR LAYOVER or a flight that leaves at 7pm and gets us home at 12:30am the following day. NEITHER sounds like a good option. I didn't know when we bought our tix that the day after our return is DD's first day of school, so I don't want to get home at 12:30am (2am by the time we get to our home) on her 1st day. But leaving at 5:45 when we're staying far from the airport would mean leaving our hotel at like 3am! I told her I had no idea what to choose, it was seriously stressing me out. Then I said, "can't you just get us a new 2nd flight and keep the 2:48 outbound flight?!" She put me on hold for like 10 minutes and came back with something that worked (departing at 2:38, landing here at home at 8pm). So we booked it...

But man, we've got 10 more weeks before this trip. So I'm not confident AT ALL that this isn't going to happen again. Has anyone else had horrible experiences with United? I feel so unsettled... 


Hardworking mom to 2 great kids: J 9/04 and L 11/10


Re: United Airlines--anyone else have/had issues?

  • United and Continental just merged in the past year and they are working out the issues of meshing two companies including their booking, reservations, and scheduling (flight crews, aircrafts, etc.) systems.

    It's an answer to your issues, but I know it doesn't actually solve anything for you. Sorry...this really stinks!,0,4326536.story

  • MDGirlMDGirl member
    Ancient Membership 1000 Comments Combo Breaker

    I think United had quite a few 787s, and when those got pulled they had to cancel flights and move people around to other planes that might not be the same size. It sounds like it wasn't fun for you but they did fix your issue. Just keep an eye on the flights.

    FWIW we fly United a ton and I don't think they're worse than any other big domestic airline (although I had a lot of good experiences with Continental's customer service, and I don't think United's held up on that). 

    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
    Mark Twain

    My Travel Blog

  • GilliCGilliC member
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    At least you have a decent flight right now, so yay for the bright side?

    Never fly TAM.  They changed my Christmas flights to Rio so much that in the end I just showed up at the airport and hoped for the best.  I threw a change of clothes in my carry-on and figured I'd get there eventually.

    ...Or Aerolineas Argentinas.  That sh?t be crazy.

  • Sorry for your troubles. I've always been a loyal Continental customer and haven't been too thrilled since they've merged with United. I've had some issues as well but nothing like you've experienced. I really hope they are just still working out the merger and get their act together soon!! 

    If you have time, maybe write a letter detailing your problems and frustrations? I always think it's important for companies to know what their issues are in order to fix them. 

  • That sucks! I know it doesn't help your situation, but I've had these types of problems on most of the major airlines, I don't think it is just a United issue =(
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