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Portland man Aug 18, 2008 1:46 AM

Flight cancelled, rebooked, weather delay, mechanical problems.
Following is the complaint I registered with United Airlines for my trip from Portland, Oregon to Charlotte, North Carolina and back Aug. 4, 2008 to Aug. 8, 2008:

I waited a while so I could cool down after the worst trip I have ever taken. My original flight through Denver was cancelled due to mechanical problems so I was rebooked on a later flight through Chicago. The flight sat in Portland for a long time due to weather in Chicago. We started our taxi to take off and had to return to the flight line due to a mechanical problem. My flight finally took off and arrived in Chicago two hours after my connecting flight. I stood in line for over 2 hours to get rebooked. That flight was cancelled due to weather. I started standing in line to get rebooked again. I asked one of the employees who was passing out water if there were any flights into Charlotte. She directed me to a gate, saying there were no guarantees, but ther was one last flight out. We sat in a plane with broken ground air conditioning for over two hours. Partially weather related and then when told we would have to take a detour, went back to get more fuel to make the trip. The starter truck was not available so we sat for some time. Finally the flight crew decided to have us exit the plane because it was cooler outside than in the plane. Passengers were asked if they wanted to get off and catch a flight the next day. Several people did get off. We finally were able to take off and proceed to Charlotte. I arrived over ten hours after I was supposed to be there. Three planes and three mechanical problems. The trip home on Aug. 8th was slightly better. No missed connections due to late arrival and the first leg to Chicago was late, but no so late I missed connections. The flight from Chicago to Portland was alright, except two of the toilets were not fully usable. The pilot calculated we could probably make Portland without trouble if the rear toilets were just used for urinating. We were also told we might have to stop in Denver to change planes or Salt Lake City to effect repairs. Fortunately neither happened and the trip was made to Portland. The only travel problems I have ever had have been on United. My checked baggage on two prior return trips did not arrive at the airport with me and had to be delivered the next day. I will say that your customer service people in Chicago worked hard to help people and that the flight attendants did a pretty good job. The only real miracle that did happen was my checked baggage going to Charlotte arrived on the plane I was on. How that happened I don't know since I was scheduled on one flight (missed) a second flight (cancelled) and got on last minute on the final flight. I will have a really hard time ever flying on United because of this trip. When the pilot on the Portland flight said he that our trip was an adventure. I felt he should have said our trip was a debacle.

I should have included that 3 of the 4 planes actually flown in had mechanical problems. Maybe they are smart enough to figure that out. I will post more if I receive a reply from United.

ftufs Jul 1, 2011 4:11 AM

Wife and kid are stranded in SF and now Denver for going on 3 days with the same bs as you have listed. Once a delayed flight causes you to miss a connecting flight they put you at the bottom of the list to get a flight home. Too bad for you if you expect them to find room or create new flights. Every flight my wife tries to get is stuck with mechanical problems or over booked. How can a major industy gamble so badly with profit margins at the expense of impossible service??? I already gave up flying anywhere anymore, I think my wife and child might be in the same mind set. As United messes with more and more people they will eventually see a shift from people looking for cheap flights to people booking on known reliable vendors.

vaquero Nov 1, 2011 6:19 AM

My family 13 year old triplets my wife had bought tickets three months prior to fly from LAX to Houston then onto London Heathrow. We arived three hours early to LAX> Once we got there we said good bye to my mom and dad who had graciously taken time out of their day to take my family and I to the airport. When we got into the United line they moved us from one line to another. After putting us into the third line two hours had passed. I had called in the night before to confirm five seats. We got right to the front of the line and the agent told us no one else was going on this flight.....?>???? He then put us in a fourth line...the rebooking line, there we waited for 4 hours and when we got to the front I was blown away at how we were treated. They could not book us on another flight, we were treated totally with complete disrespect. They did not give us a flight and told us that we were not going to go anywhere and sent us home. I have since writen to Uniteds CEO Mr Smisek who has passed us from one person to another. 'We have dealt with another higher up by the name of Stacy King who is also giving us the runaround. We ended uo calling my ma and pa back to the airport and in the end did not go on our dream vacation to England. My wife had family there that had taken time off of work her parants were there waiting for us. We were treated line animals by all staff at the United desk. I cannot believe how we were treated. I want my voice to b heard regarding this horrible issue. Does anyone have any advise as to what I should do? Please help us......This should never happen to anyone again...thanks for listening all....DO NOT FLY UNITED OR CONTINENTAL...THEY PROVIDE HORRIBLE SERVICE ESPECIALLY OF OF LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL THEY ARE COMPLETELY DISORGANIZED HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS. WE WERE TREATED HORRIBLY....STACY KING AND CEO MR. SMISEK ARE PASSING US AROUND LIKE ANIMALS NOW....THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN TO ANYONE

jimworcs Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM

There is such a lack of regulation in the US, you only have recourse to Small Claims Court. Is there anyway that you can prove that you turned up 3 hours ahead of the flight? If so, I would pursue them in court. An example of proof of arrival time is if you entered the car park and have a printed receipt for example. United failed you and ought to have assisted you. However, if you are claiming the consequential damages, you may have to explain why you didn't fly the following day. Did United refuse to rebook you on the next available flight?

It is almost never a good idea to fly US based airlines internationally, but particularly to Europe. EU based carriers are covered by regulation 261/2004 which offers much more protection that the US regulations. I realise you probably selected this ticket on price but it is worth paying a little extra and flying with BA or Virgin direct from LAX or take Lufthansa and change in Frankfurt rather than Houston.

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