Old Nov 6, 2007, 3:10 AM
Kikster Kikster is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2
Default Contradictory check in schedule

I and 3 other persons in my family were traveling out of Portland to Burbank via San Francisco in August of 2007 when we arrived to stand in line for baggage check-in, 1 hour prior to flight departure. By the time we arrived at the baggage check in and automated boarding pass dispenser 15 minutes later we were warned that we had missed the flight and would have to check with United Airlines personnel to accomodate us on another flight to get us to our destination. I was informed nothing was available leaving out of Portland for two days! We could try stand by on the next flight out from Portland to San Francisco, but would have to check in our baggage to assure a spot in stand-by. We did not get on, even after checking in with out United Mileage Plus Accounts. Before stand-by was called they were asking for persons to volunteer to give up their seats for the over-booked passengers. It was then I realized all the flights out of Portland had been over-booked for two days.
I was informed at the counter I did not qualify for a refund of the unused fare, even though we were there 1 hour prior to flight departure according to the counter associate. The sign at the beginning of the line state 45 minutes. That was the first contradiction.
After missing the first stand-by and the inablility of United Airlines Representatives to tell us where we stood in the waitlist for the next stand-by 3 hours later we figured we would most likely be bumped for the next two days!
Decided the only way to get home without havig to pay $1200.00 for a chance at another ticket on another airline to get home was to rent a car and drive the long drive from Portland to Burbank Airport where we could pick up our car that was in long-term parking. We all had to be a work meetings the next day and schools.
Upon my return I immediately sent an e-mail to United Airline's Customer Service with all flight information. I received an answer and an attempt to make-good on the contradictory information I was given. They were very sorry and informed that me I would receive a refund for the unused portion of the four airline tickets. I was informed I would see the credit back on the card I had used to pay. I was also given travel vouchers in the amout of $100 per passenger. About two weeks later I contacted the same customer service rep to inform him that I still did not have a refund to my credit card. He replied that I should contact the Refunds Department if I had further questions.
Refunds Department located in India (I asked where they were located) told me that Customer Service did not have the authority to approve refunds...Huh???? They told me that I did not qualify for a refund since I missed my flight, even though I was in line one hour prior to departure (second contradiction).
I insisted and then was told I could speak to a real live person (again in India) in the Customer Service department and that I should request expenses for having been forced to rent a car and extra food. I did not even attempt to ask for the one night in the hotel room. I was denied that because I missed my fllight (3rd contradiction).
I do not want a travel voucher because I do not intend to fly United Airlines again, and I will be cancelling my United Airlines Frequent Flyer account for all 5 family members. I sent another e-mail to customer service re-itering my complaint and pasting the previous e-mails I had received. I still have not heard back and it has been over one month!
It was so disappointing that an airline that was once a flagship of professionalism does not have its departments working in synch. No one has authority to do take care of complaints...meanwhile they keep getting bailouts that I have paid for in taxes!
Hooray for the upstart airlines companies that have figured out what customer service is. I must remember that next time I take a business or personal trip.

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