Old Oct 7, 2017, 12:28 AM
Maddening Maddening is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1
Default Nz10 & nz2

United Airlines
On the United Airlines Website you can select "Book Award Travel" when you are attempting to make a reservation. There is a flight pair from Sydney Australia to Los Angeles connecting through Aukland on Air New Zealand, a United partner airline.
These flights come up frequently as available, in Business Class from Aukland to Los Angeles (Coach from Sydney to Aukland) and the cost is 80,000 points and a small amount of fees and taxes.
When you attempt to book these flights you can get all the way to the final page where you select "Purchase" and you get an error message with the phone number of their website support. I spent 2 hours on the phone with one of their agents and then a Supervisor. Ultimately they told me there was nothing they could do and to try back again in 48 hours.
I have tried back many times now, found the same flights, and keep getting the same error message. I have called and spoken with their Customer Service and written a lengthy letter explaining the issue. In my mind this is the definition of False Advertising if you offer a service and simply cannot provide it. I received a letter back from United Airlines where they admit that this is out of their control. Again, the definition of False Advertising to offer a Goods or Services that you simply cannot provide. It makes them look "Good" because 80,000 points is a good offer for this flight but it's a ruse.
I have multiple screen shots that show the date and time, the flight pair, the mileage offer and the error code. Unfortunately I see that I can't send documentation on this website.
I suggested to United that they could either offer me a "Raincheck" for these flights and then find out why the error code keeps coming up or, more logically, offer me a similar flight on a United flight which they absolutely have control over. They have daily non-stops from Sydney to Los Angeles and you can often find them in Business Class for 70,000 points, 10,000 points less than the offer they can't fulfill. They have repeatedly refused to follow this course of action either.
The airlines have gained notoriety in the past decade for their business practices. One of those practices is to simply tell you there is nothing they can do. They leave people sitting on the tarmac for hours, kick them off of flights for no good reason, and I'm sure the list is much longer. The point being the "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do excuse" is simply not valid.
The Supervisor for website support told me she was going to report this error. That was a week ago and the flights are still showing up. Again, I received a letter from United where they admit they simply can't offer those flights reliably and, in fact, they don't seem to be able to offer them at all. I spoke with Air New Zealand, the partner airline that the flights would be on and they had no idea why United could not fulfill that offer.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Flights.pdf (316.4 KB, 3 views)
File Type: pdf FlightErrors.pdf (238.3 KB, 2 views)
Old Feb 6, 2018, 10:48 PM
jsorochtey jsorochtey is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1
Default Different Day, Same Story

Wish I had read your post before my own torture session with MP Rewards travel.

We had been actively using our Mileage Plus credit card to accumulate miles for a trip to Fiji. Once I had our schedule, inter-island flights, and accommodations lined out, we went online to purchase an itinerary which had been posted on the MP Rewards website for at least two weeks. Six attempts got us all the way through the process only to receive the "Error" message each time. We gave up, and I tried again the next morning, with the same result.

I then spent an hour on the phone with an agent who offered to manually book our flights, only to have her receive the same "Error" message. When she pursued an explanation, she was told that both Air New Zealand flights were sold out. Since our dates are in October, this seemed unlikely, and I complained that the flight availability remained the same online. She said the company was trying to update the information. ("there is no try, only do or not do")

Well, today, one day later, they sure did fix the online info. A one way fare for my selected itinerary has gone from 35K to 80K. The original price and itinerary now appear to be available 2 days later. But do I want to waste even more time trying to coordinate accommodations and inter-island transfers, which were a pile of work to begin with? Not after reading your post.

I am convinced that United does not really want me to use my fairly earned flyer miles. Yes, I can select flights that will take 30+ hrs each way. Or, I can pay 3x as much as what I originally attempted to purchase. Or, I can purchase some of their overpriced merchandise that I can get for 40% less at Best Buy. But customer loyalty is clearly meaningless in the face of the bottom line. False advertising? Check. Bait and switch? Check. Doing business fairly and honestly? A thing of the past.

I am going to use my miles on whatever it takes to zero out my account, and then cancel my card. I don't have the time or the stomach to play this game with United. Apparently, even though corporations are now declared to be people, they don't automatically develop a conscience.

Thanks for sharing my frustration.
false advertising, mileage plus, united

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