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United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: June 25, 2014 12:07PM
So my dad flew from Colorado Springs to Seattle. Then he flew back. The way back went through SFO. His flight from SFO to COS was delayed by a few hours, then a bit more. Everyone was lined up to board, then they canceled the flight.

Then United didn't put them up in a hotel. They gave them a blanket and said to sleep in the airport. My dad is retired...

So then this morning they had another flight for them, but it went to Denver instead. In Denver, they gave him a meal voucher, but that's it and they were done. They wouldn't get him the rest of the way to Colorado Springs. A friend of his is driving up to get him.

I can't believe this. My dad doesn't push back much, and he apparently saw people getting angry with United over this and they still wouldn't do anything. So he's basically just taking it. I told him to dispute the charge with his CC company since he bought a round trip ticket and he never got back to where he was supposed to go.

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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: June 25, 2014 12:25PM
Go on Twitter and raise hell. Public shaming is the only way to get anything out of a big corporation these days. @United, and keep sticking it to them.

I checked United's Contract of Carriage, and they have these weasel words way down the document:

UA will make no refund but may, at its discretion, provide ground transportation to the destination airport without charge when the destination city airport designated on the Passenger’s Ticket and the city airport where the flight terminates are both within any of the following city groups:

...Colorado Springs, CO (COS)/Denver, CO (DEN)

(Emphasis mine.)

They didn't, because they didn't want to. Which while apparently legal, was still a major dick move after having stranded him in an airport overnight already.

Like I said: raise hell.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2014 12:33PM by Will Collier.
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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: June 25, 2014 12:37PM
I feel your Dad's pain. I'm glad he got home safely, although it took more time and certainly more frustration than he bargained for.

First off - United has the worst customer service of any airline and in my experience they have the worst customer service of about any company, period. Going forward I avoid them at all cost.

Very few airlines offer hotel vouchers any more - when they cancel flights what they owe you is either a refund or another flight, but it's on their terms. Your Dad accepted what they offered so there's not much he can ask for in terms of compensation at this point.

The alternative would have been to refuse the flight to Denver and insist on a trip to Col Springs if not with United, then on another carrier. Even then you might not get a flight the same day, and there won't be vouchers. They aren't obligated to put you on another carrier but you can try.

At least he got within 1 1/2 hours of his destination.

I've had days long cancellations and couldn't get within 200 miles of my destination. No help from the airlines.

Flying is a big gamble these days, - when it goes well we just need to celebrate a little.

PS: Flying between Colorado and Seattle I'd use Alaska and/or Delta.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2014 12:40PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: June 25, 2014 12:40PM
This kind of happened to my wife when her flight in to Little Rock was cancelled due to fog (they diverted to Memphis). After landing, everyone disembarked and was told where their luggage would be.

And that was it.

The airport was closed (it was really late). The plane refueled and departed for parts unknown (it had other flights the next day). The airline (though I'm trying like hell to remember I can't) didn't fly out of Memphis, so there was no desk to go see.

My wife and a couple of other women on the flight went to a hotel nearby, some chose to sleep at the airport, but were told by security they had to leave.

Due to the fog, I couldn't drive to Memphis to get her -- it was bad all the way to the ground and all the way to the State line. When I called the State Troopers I was strongly advised to stay put as they were working dozens of accidents along the corridor. (Plus my kids were still little, and it was already pretty late.)

The next morning she and the other ladies made their way to the airport and my wife, being the go-getter she is, got them on a flight to LR through another airline. No charge (inter-airline agreements and all that).

Later I found out the women were actually younger girls -- exchange students, no less, who only spoke German. As luck would have it, my wife had taken a couple of years of German in HS and could converse basically.

But frak airlines. Frak them. What's happened to your Dad, and to my wife, is the norm, not the exception.

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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 25, 2014 01:07PM
Oh wow... I would definitely go VERY viral on them. Retired, hmmm... go viral on AARP's site. Veteran ? Go viral on the veteran sites.

... Airline gives retired veteran a blanket, strands him at airport for the night and then strands him a hundred miles from his destination. "I had better sleeping accommodations when I was at the Chosin reservoir and the Chinese were attacking !"

Write up the story and start posting it ALL over the place. Call the local n00z people, they LOVE stuff like this ! I bet the Colorado Springs people love to hear about it, because the airlines are screwing their town and their airport by doing stuff like this.

You'll end up with apologies and flight tickets... And perhaps drive a rule change.
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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: RonT
Date: June 25, 2014 03:38PM
One more example of how deregulation has made life better.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2014 03:39PM by RonT.
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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: iaJim
Date: June 26, 2014 12:57PM
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Re: United Airlines... I can't believe this... any recourse?
Posted by: richorlin
Date: June 26, 2014 01:19PM
Depends on the reason the the delay/cancellation. If it was weather related, the carrier is under no obligation to give you a hotel voucher or get you on another carrier to your final destination. Mechanical reasons are different and the carrier is obligated to give to a voucher, get you on another flight or give you a refund.

Several years ago I was stuck overnight at Logan airport in Boston. My plane back to Dulles in WASHDC was delayed by weather and by the time it arrived in Boston, the crew ran out of flight time. There wasn't another crew available so United booked us on the first flight out in the morning. They refused hotel voucher due to weather delay. By that time, it was only about six hours later so it wasn't worth taking a cab to a hotel and then back for about two hours sleep. We found a nice quiet, secure spot and took a nap. SO did everyone else who managed to book a monring flight.

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