#1  
Old Dec 19, 2007, 7:21 PM
KrisT.O. KrisT.O. is offline
 
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Default Boarding nightmare

My issues involve 3 airlines, but I will start with United since the customer service I received with them was the most frustrating. My travel nightmare began on Sunday, December 16 when I missed my connecting Northwest flight from Detroit to Toronto, Canada (I was originally traveling from San Antonio, TX). I was told the next available flight was on an Air Canada flight leaving the next morning (Dec. 17) at 7:10am. I arrived at Detroit International Airport at 5:15am and joined a large lineup for Air Canada/United Airlines - the 2 companies are partners and Air Canada does not have its own check-in in Detroit, so United handles all AC check-ins. I waited 45 minutes to get to an agent. After clicking a few buttons, the very unfriendly agent said "I'm sorry. I can't help you. Northwest has not 'released' your ticket and I can't issue you a boarding pass." She wouldn't explain what "releasing" was and made it clear that she was not going to be helpful, even after I asked "isn't there anything YOU can do?" No. She told me I had to go to the Northwest agent to deal with this. I inquired where Northwest was to be found. Well, Northwest is in an entirely different terminal, requiring a shuttle bus ride to get there. I thought she was kidding. Unfortunately, she wasn't. I started running... down to the Shuttle Bus stop where I had to wait several minutes for one to arrive, then more running from the Shuttle Bus stop at the other terminal inside to the Northwest agent. Luckily, there were no line-ups, and I was able to see an agent quickly. I explained my situation, she hit one button, and then sent me off back to the United Airlines/AC agent. Back to the shuttle bus stop I went (running), took the bus back to Terminal B, and ran back to the United check-in area where there was yet another long line-up. At this point it was 6:30am.. a full half hour was spent in my terminal-hopping adventure. I debated my options and decided that if I wanted to make my flight (there was also a huge line-up through security), I was going to have to butt in front of the line. So I waited for the same unfriendly agent to be free and ran to her station where, after apologizing to the people behind me, I said "Hello. I'm the woman you sent to the Northwest Terminal. May I please have my ticket now?" She looked at me with derision, but decided to cut me a break and printed my boarding pass. I asked about my luggage and she said "I'm sure it's fine" without checking a single thing (and 2 days after arriving in Toronto, I still don't have my luggage). The kicker is that an older gentleman beside me dealing with a different agent had the same issue as I did - a Northwest flight missed, and re-routed on to the same flight as me, a ticket not "released". .. yet he was not asked to run to and from and entirely different terminal and nearly miss the flight.

My issues are these:
- poor customer service from the United agent - rude and unhelpful
- refusal to issue me a boarding pass and make me run to another terminal
- another customer with the same issue treated differently
- total disregard for my concern about my luggage (which turned out to be quite valid)

I made my flight, but no thanks to the United agent..only because it was late leaving Detroit.
  #2  
Old Dec 20, 2007, 12:47 AM
mfwhitepharmd mfwhitepharmd is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 7
Default Get a refund

If I were you, I'd send the same info you posted at this site to United/Air Canada and or Northwest.
When I received outrageously poor treatment from Southwest airline employees, I compalined to management (on line). I received an apology, a promise to look into the employees and their actions and a voucher good for $400 on my next flight.
Be sure to include all flight information: numbers, dates, times, etc.

Good luck!
  #3  
Old Feb 14, 2008, 8:20 AM
Brian Jeth Brian Jeth is offline
 
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Default

I think it's unfair of you to blame it all on the United agent. She couldn't assist you any further and explained to you what needed to be done. If the Northwest agent had done her job properly and released the ticket to United when they had rebooked you, then this wouldn't have been a problem and you wouldn't have had to run back and forth between terminals (also, this is not any carrier's fault the way a city builds its airport).
  #4  
Old Jul 30, 2008, 3:17 PM
HawkeyeDJ HawkeyeDJ is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Jeth View Post
I think it's unfair of you to blame it all on the United agent. She couldn't assist you any further and explained to you what needed to be done. If the Northwest agent had done her job properly and released the ticket to United when they had rebooked you, then this wouldn't have been a problem and you wouldn't have had to run back and forth between terminals.
That's nonsense! The United agent could have made a simple call over to the Northwest terminal and requested the passenger's ticket be 'released'. They do it all the time when they are so inclined. This was simply a case of a lazy and inconsiderate agent refusing to do her job. Since the passenger did not know any better, he/she was at her mercy.

The moment the agent said 'I can't help you' the passenger should have requested to speak to her supervisor to see if the supervisor was any more helpful.
  #5  
Old Oct 7, 2008, 12:16 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Default

It is nonsense, I agree, because the UA agent could have easily "requested control" of the ticket as opposed to NW "sending control" of the ticket. NW failed initially in doing so but the UA agent made you run around for an hour for no reason whatsoever.
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
  #6  
Old Oct 7, 2008, 2:22 PM
Suga00 Suga00 is offline
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Default

Your right, the UA agent could have done that BUT the NW agent that rebooked her could have done it to begin with. The agent simply rebooked her without reissuing the ticket and sent her on her way, leaving the reissuing problems up to her and the UA agent.
Also sometimes one airline can't just simply take control, I've run into the problem where I've tried to get control from another airline and they'll tell us simply "send the passenger to the desk" so don't put the full blame on the UA agent NW shares some of the blame in this.
  #7  
Old Oct 7, 2008, 10:26 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197
Default I cannot understand why you are defending the actions

of the UA agent. Did you read the whole post? It was clearly possible to help in the first place, because another passenger in an identical situation was helped by a different UA agent. The issue isn't the original problem, even if this was caused by a NW oversight. The issue is the attitude of the UA agent and her failure to help a passenger who did'nt understand the system, and was at her mercy. Instead of trying to help this passenger she decided to push the problem away and in doing so didn't care what the customer had already been through, or that she could potentially miss her flight. Many of the complaints on this board are often about agents failing to help passengers who have been the authors of their own mis-fortune (ie, late arrivals at airports, not being at the gate, etc). In those cases, it is legitimate to point out the role the passenger played in their own problem. However, in this case, the passenger had no control over what had happened to her, had already been greatly inconvenienced by the airline and instead of helping her, the agent compounded the problem. It was a nasty, selfish and arrogant thing to do and she should be disciplined. The fact that you try to defend it suggests to me that the attitudes in the airline industry have hardened to such an extent that compassion has been sucked out of the soul of the employees!

Last edited by jimworcs; Oct 7, 2008 at 10:31 PM. Reason: typos
  #8  
Old Oct 8, 2008, 3:35 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suga00 View Post
Your right, the UA agent could have done that BUT the NW agent that rebooked her could have done it to begin with. The agent simply rebooked her without reissuing the ticket and sent her on her way, leaving the reissuing problems up to her and the UA agent.
Also sometimes one airline can't just simply take control, I've run into the problem where I've tried to get control from another airline and they'll tell us simply "send the passenger to the desk" so don't put the full blame on the UA agent NW shares some of the blame in this.
I touched on the NW agent making a mistake in my post. It should have been done. My point is the UA agent made zero effort to help this individual. All it would have taken is to look at any ppwk the pax had and look for the tkt number. Pull up the e-tkt and request control. Very simple.

As far as reissuing....there is none. It is an electronic transfer from NW to UA.

Again, read my post. I didn't put all the blame on the UA agent, I said the NW agent failed initially but that in no way excuses the UA agent from not helping the customer as they are now getting the revenue. If they are getting the money for the trip, they should have to earn it by making a real difficult entry to request control.
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.

Last edited by The_Judge; Oct 8, 2008 at 3:39 AM.
  #9  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 7:37 AM
fastair fastair is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
Again, read my post. I didn't put all the blame on the UA agent, I said the NW agent failed initially but that in no way excuses the UA agent from not helping the customer as they are now getting the revenue. If they are getting the money for the trip, they should have to earn it by making a real difficult entry to request control.
It does, actually. If NW has not "pushed" the ticket over to UA, there is nothing in the computer that UA can do to "request it" The ticket number is great, IF NW had given UA control over it. Had NW not given UA control, the ticket number would show up as not in UA's system, no matter what the UA agent did. UA/NW are NOT partners and don't give each other access to their ticket databases.

In fact, NW (prior to operational consolidation with DL) did not let UA even see their availability to book anything on them for the past few years. All UA agents could see was the NW schedule, but no bookings could be made (the only US network airline that I am aware of that allows schedules to be seen but restricts all bookings was NW.)


So the crux of the situation for both the OP and the other guy in line is NW did not do their job by delivering the passenger to the purchased destination, and UA becomes the bad guy for bailing them out. They bought tickets on NW, NW misconnected them, NW failed to give UA control of the tickets, UA comes thru and delivers the passengers to their destination, and they are mad at UA. Amazing! The fact that a few have said that UA did anything wrong in this situation makes me laugh. What more should the UA agent have done? NW's mistake shouldn't take the UA agents away from their customers, when NW should have a) gotten the customer to the destination, and failing to do that, b) properly reissued the ticket to UA, or pushed control to UA (assuming all of the rules for pushing a ticket without reissue were met.)

As to "where NW could be found?" Didn't they fly you from SAT-to DTW? If you flew in on NW, couldn't you remember where they were? NW is like 75% of all of the DTW airport. It is their "fortress hub".

No thanks to the UA agent? Man, that is crazy. NW passed the buck that they dropped to UA, and the OP blames UA agents (working on behalf of AC). ANd I suppose it was Kuwait's fault for invading Iraq as well!
  #10  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 7:55 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastair
It does, actually. If NW has not "pushed" the ticket over to UA, there is nothing in the computer that UA can do to "request it" The ticket number is great, IF NW had given UA control over it. Had NW not given UA control, the ticket number would show up as not in UA's system, no matter what the UA agent did. UA/NW are NOT partners and don't give each other access to their ticket databases.
Incorrect. All the UA agent would have had to do was pull up the etkt info and request control. It would be an instantaneous response that NW either let UA have the ticket or it would be denied. It would have been better if the NW agent did the work by asking to see the ticket data and putting a little x in the space that says send control and put UA in the box for which airline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastair
In fact, NW (prior to operational consolidation with DL) did not let UA even see their availability to book anything on them for the past few years. All UA agents could see was the NW schedule, but no bookings could be made (the only US network airline that I am aware of that allows schedules to be seen but restricts all bookings was NW)
Incorrect. I booked people on UA all the time and sent control of their etkts to them, pre-DL. Don't know where you're getting your info from but look somewhere else cuz the stuff you're getting is bad.
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
  #11  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 9:20 AM
fastair fastair is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
Incorrect. All the UA agent would have had to do was pull up the etkt info and request control. It would be an instantaneous response that NW either let UA have the ticket or it would be denied. It would have been better if the NW agent did the work by asking to see the ticket data and putting a little x in the space that says send control and put UA in the box for which airline.



Incorrect. I booked people on UA all the time and sent control of their etkts to them, pre-DL. Don't know where you're getting your info from but look somewhere else cuz the stuff you're getting is bad.
There is no "request control" thing with UA. We either have it, or don't. If we pull up the etkt, and it shows in our system, it either has control given to us, or not. We don't need to request it. Instantaneous yes. Are you stating that your computer handles requests for control that weren't granted by a person? Either NW had given control, or they hadn't. If they had, and we tried to use it, it would have worked, if they hadn't, it wouldn't have worked. The extra step if "requesting" is redundant.

The "stuff I am getting" is accurate. You are only seeing YOUR end. I know what is on OUR (UA's) end. Trust me...It was about 4 years ago (best guess) when NW pulled their availability form UA controlled GDS systems. The schedule would show, but there were no booking classes listed, nor any numbers. Yes, NW can still reissue a tkt on UA, as UA did not restrict NW. I am getting "my stuff" from currently doing the job, and have been doing the job since the early 90's. This *MAY* not have been a restriction imposed by NWA, but possibly by UA as NWA was charging a GDS fee for everyone who booked a reservation outside of their system.

For the past year (prior to merging the operations) we could book NW segments using the DL code share number. Now that NW no longer exists, there is only 1 carrier to book, and we can do it.

I can assure you that my "stuff" is correct. Not everything is a 2 way street.

Talk to any UA agent you know and ask them if "pre-DL (and within the last few years,) did UA have access to NW availability?" The answer will become very clear to you.
  #12  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 9:59 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Default

Yes, when I worked, we could request control of an etkt from any airline. I don't know what criteria went into why it was or wasn't granted, I only know we could do it and I have done it numerous times.

As for booking on UA, I did it on plenty of occasions. Couldnt tell you the year or when I did it last, it had been awhile so maybe more than 4 years ago. I've haven't worked for NW for over a year and half now. But I remember very vividly booking people on the morning LAX flights from HNL many a time when our late night flight went in the crapper.

I have no interest in asking any UA agent or otherwise about anything anymore as that part of my life is over, I'm happy to say. Started in 1986 and got out early with some sanity left.

BTW, if you're a current or previous airline employee, you are required to register that you are/were. I'm sure the admin will give leniency due to a bunch of new members but don't forget to do that soon. Here is the link. In case it doesn't work, click on User CP in the links that go across near the top of the screen and then click on Group Memberships in the Miscellaneous subsection on the left side.

Group membership registration
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.

Last edited by The_Judge; Mar 11, 2010 at 10:02 AM.
  #13  
Old Mar 11, 2010, 10:47 AM
fastair fastair is offline
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Default

Thnx for the link...got it on there now. Yea, I know NW could book on UA, got a zillion "invol" reissues from NW over the years, but I bet you didn't see too many from UA...without the ability to book it, we couldn't reissue the tkt, and had to send the passengers to CO/AA/DL. My statements was not that you couldn't access our availability, but the converse. We couldn't access yours, right around the time the NW GDS contract switched payment methods (circa 2005 ish)

Anyway, time for bed. Cheers
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