Old Nov 18, 2011, 4:42 PM
Crocky Crocky is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7
Default No notification of schedule change.

As I had some frequent flier miles to burn on United, I booked a reservation with them on their website for my upcoming trip from MEM to YOW in order to visit my parents for Christmas. For some odd reason, I had this nagging feeling that I had to check my reservation for that trip. Boy, am I glad I did! For the trip I initially booked, I planned a 3 hour layover at ORD, since they're notorious for delays, plus it's a big terminal, so I wanted to allow plenty of time so I didn't miss my connection. The reservation I saw only gave me THIRTY FIVE MINUTES.

Fortunately, I was able to call their call center in India and get it fixed, but what would have happened if I didn't check my reservation? I got NO notification from United.com that there were any schedule changes (while Delta sends them CONSTANTLY if you book through their website, which I did for my Thanksgiving trip...my trip back to MEM was changed three times since I made the reservation, and I got an email every time), and I would have been SCREWED if I only found out the day before when I would check in for my flight.

I'm glad that this will be the last time I fly with United. Delta is SO much better at handling schedule changes for reservations.
Old Nov 21, 2011, 10:57 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100

I’m so sorry to hear about your layover experience at ORD during your trip to Canada. Considering that you earned enough frequent flyer miles to book this trip, I can assume that you are an experienced traveler. Furthermore, I can also assume that you have your phone number and/or email associated to your frequent flyer account.

If those assumptions are true, the failure of United Airlines to notify you of a schedule change is extremely irresponsible. Schedule changes are absolutely necessary from time to time. Airlines generally contact you by using the same email address in which the original e-ticket was sent to. I suggest checking through your SPAM folders and ensuring that your email carrier and/or software is not to blame. Once you make that determination, you may decide to write in about your experience to United Airlines.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to get any compensation for your stress. Most notably, this is because you arrived at your destination without disruption. The policy clearly states that the airline can make schedule changes without notice. Not fair, but certainly true!

Best of luck to you! Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time with your family.

Old Nov 22, 2011, 1:44 AM
Crocky Crocky is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7

Thanks, Matt.

I do fly at least 2-3 times a year, and I actually flew more this year due to going on job interviews all over the country. Plus, with my dad having over a million miles on Northwest pre-merger, including several trips around the world, I picked up a few things about traveling...especially making sure I trust my gut instinct.

So yeah, I am definitely an experienced traveler, and as a frequent flier on United, you would think that they would communicate via email. What makes it even worse is that I booked the flight through their website, which means I got my original itinerary via email from United.com. But fortunately, I minimized the damage by checking my flights (this is an upcoming trip to visit my parents for Christmas) over a month in advance so if I needed to make changes, I could.

I just wanted to make sure that people had a heads-up that United fails at this aspect of customer service where Delta excels. Every problem I have ever had flying has been on Star Alliance airlines: United, US Airways and Air Canada. So I'm glad that now that I'm in Memphis, although it sounds like Delta is looking to wind down their hub here, there is still a decent selection of Delta flights.
Old Dec 21, 2011, 4:14 PM
jsmithart jsmithart is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 3
Default Same problem only worse

I am fighting the same problem except they had cancelled the front half and back half of my ticket. I originally was flying Des Moines - Denver - Eugene on December 24. Returning the same connection December 31.
So, I had no way to or back from Denver.

After many many calls and emails, I am flying original outbound but have to extend my stay by 2 days with no compensation on the return.

Why do they not have to follow any rules? If I had wanted to make the changes it would have cost me an arm and a leg plus $100 change fee.

I am out the time, hotel, rental car, food, pet sitting fees, parking etc.. for those 2 days.

Unbelievable, from now on I am only going as far as I can drive, or by train.
Old Dec 21, 2011, 4:31 PM
Crocky Crocky is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 7

I know how you feel.

Now to add insult to injury, I had to pay for an Economy Plus seat, because they decided a few days ago to change planes on me for my YOW-ORD leg on the way back (was originally a 1x2 configuration, switched to a 2x2), and that was the only way I could get an aisle seat (I am prone to getting blood clots in my legs, and although I'm on blood thinners, I'm always paranoid about getting another one, so I prefer the aisle so I can walk up and down the aisle about halfway through the flight). Fortunately, I budgeted high in case of any contingencies, but it's still frustrating.
Old Dec 21, 2011, 4:37 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100

You most certainly do have the same problem, and it certainly is worse.

How can this happen? Unfortunately, when you purchased the tickets, you “signed” the airline’s Contract of Carriage. This contract will vary from airline-to-airline, but generally it gives them immunity from any accountability stemming from a schedule change. You can request a refund and get your full fare back—but what good does that do you? With dynamic prices, we all know that airfare increases exponentially as the departure date approaches.

I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. You must be fuming. Keep us posted on how your trip goes, and happy holidays.

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