Old Aug 24, 2010, 8:32 PM
Horrortrip Horrortrip is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
Default A Horror Trip with United and Alitalia

The flight UA 966 took off 2 hours delayed in Washington, DC that I missed my connecting flight in Rome.
At the transfer desk of Alitalia no one was willing to give me the next flight to Tunis even with another airline. After hours of begging and asking I was told that Alitalia does not have any phone numbers of United Airlines and cannot locate us the United Airlines desk at the airport. Finally around 12:00 pm I was told to gate G11 as it is not Alitalia’s fault that I missed the flight. At G11, I was happy to see United and gave them my itinerary and told them the story. The United team at G11 still was not able to issue me a boarding pass. Instead they gave me a voucher for food and also a blue paper that they said it will enable me to get my boarding pass on the flight with Alitalia at 9:30 pm. I went to Alitalia and tried to get my boarding pass for the flight. I was told that it is too early to issue a boarding pass. I should come again after 7 hours, which I did. I again, was told that Alitalia cannot issue a boarding pass because it is again Untied Airline’s responsibility and I should get out of the airport and try to go to the United Airlines office at Terminal 5. When I arrived at Terminal 5 outside of the airport took a bus, I noticed that the United Airline’s desk is closed and I was told by the Italian security guards at the airport that United does not work in the afternoon. There is a phone number that I could call and it is on the wall. I called United’s number from my cell phone, which costs me roaming charges and was connected several times to an Italian speaking automated service. Since I don’t speak Italian, it was not helpful at all.
Since I was unsuccessful with the phone and frustrated, hopeless as I was went to Alitalia desk again at the departure area and was given a stand by ticket for the flight that will leave Rome at 9:30 pm. I had to go back in to the airport and check at the gates. At another transfer desk, I asked to be given a seat and a boarding pass, I was told that there were 20 people on the waiting list that the flight is overbooked and that I should leave the airport and find a hotel and contact United in the morning. Again I was told that it was not Alitalia’s fault that I missed the flight and United should be responsible for the damage done. I had to notify my family members who were so worried using my cell phone. I had also to answer the phone calls from my worried family members. My phone company will charge me for roaming calls.
In the mean time, 12 hours have passed since I arrived and I started crying not knowing what to do. 45 minutes before the flight I went to the gate and cried so much that I the Alitalia employee was so sorry and asked me for the standby ticket and the blue paper that I received from united earlier. He said not to cry and that the waiting list is clearing and I might be able to go.
All this time, no one was able to tell me the whereabouts of my luggage too. Finally, I was able to go on the flight, which also took off delayed at 11:00 pm. I was at the airport for 15 hours with no sleep the prior night. I reached Tunis at midnight and was able to get home at 2:00 am. As the immigration control in Tunis took hours. The wait was too long.
It took me a total of 18 hours at airports plus the flight duration of 10 hours. I was tired, sick and frustrated.
United the #1 in on time arrival ad proved not true at all. I paid $1771.29 for this flight and the service provided was not as indicated on the itinerary.
On the way, back to the US, on Sunday, one of my luggage was lost and is still not delivered as of today. After reporting the lost/delayed baggage, I left the airport because I was told that it would arrive on Monday evening. After waiting for 2 hours at the airport, I decided to go home.
On the next day, the luggage has not still arrived. I contacted the 1800 221 6903 number for lost luggage. I was told that the luggage has been located, but still not scanned that they do not know or confirm when it is going to be delivered.
Since United allows only one luggage, I have paid for this lost luggage 150 Euros and it is still not delivered as of today.
All my clothes are on the lost luggage that I don’t have proper closing to go to work and was also not offered a compensation for the two days where it caused me a lot of inconvenience. I have my personal belongings and clothing that I desperately need.
I checked the website for lost luggage and it shows 6 times that the luggage has been located and is in the process of transporting to the final destination. As of today, I have not received any phone calls from United indicated the delivery time.
I was told the luggage is on the UA flight and it should arrive in the evening. The agents in India confirmed that after several calls. Today, August 24, the automated service routed me to Bagdad and I again talked to an agent and who also transferred me to her supervisor. They would try their best.
I never had this kind of flight in my entire life.
I advise everyone not to use United/Alitalia after this experience.
Old Aug 25, 2010, 3:28 PM
cortney cortney is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 288

i didnt think united/alitalia were partners. i thought alitalia was skyteam. could that be the reason united couldn't get you the boarding pass? i would avoid alitalia at all costs anyway. they are awful and so uncomfortable and the crew was lazy. we just had 8 crewmembers fly them from chicago to rome then onto sicily and all 8 had missing baggage. hope you get your luggage soon
Old Aug 25, 2010, 5:36 PM
Horrortrip Horrortrip is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2

Thank you. The luggage got delivered last night at 11:00 pm. I have written a compliant letter to United. We will see what comes out.

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