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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Almost 48 Hours to Get Home

 
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Old Aug 18, 2017, 6:23 PM
409inyourcoffee 409inyourcoffee is offline
 
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Monday was my first experience with United and I would like to express my utter shock and disappointment in the way things were handled. My original flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare was canceled and I was transferred from a British Airways flight to a United flight. My new flight would take me to Washington DC and then on to Chicago. I made my way from one terminal to another (a long if not frustrating journey) before having to wait five hours to board my flight. Once on board, we took off and the journey was pleasant enough. Once we deplaned and made our way through security in Washington DC, we were informed the connecting flight was going to take off without us and we would have to see a British Airways agent to be redirected. The new situation was that I was going to be put in a hotel room for the night and then I would be able to fly to Indianapolis (my intended final destination) the next morning. After waiting 45 minutes with my fellow displaced travelers for the shuttle to our hotel, I was given roughly four hours to sleep and then had to go back to the airport. Once there, I went to a United ticketing booth and the page printed simply said, “This isn’t a boarding pass.” A staff member informed me that I needed to take that information down to another customer service desk. Once I reached a representative at this desk, I was informed they “couldn’t find me in the system.” Exhausted and bewildered, I asked what they meant. They were silent for a time before realizing they were trying to put me back on a flight to London, not Indianapolis. Once this was straightened out, I was handed a boarding pass, given directions to security, and was told “you have plenty of time.” I did not, in fact, have plenty of time. My flight was due to take off in an hour. I made my way to security and was shocked to see hundreds of people attempting to pass through. Before I even made it through the scanner, my plane was boarding. After I made it through, I took my twenty-pound bag, hefted it in one hand, and RAN through the airport following signs for my terminal only to be slowed down yet again by having to take a trolley to my gate. When the trolley stopped, I once again lifted my bag and ran. When I made it to my gate, out of breath and covered in sweat, I was greeted by a United representative who told me I missed my flight and I needed to go to another gate for customer service. The gate was easily a mile walk from where I was. Once I reached Customer Service, I was quickly greeted. I explained the issue and the agent barely acknowledged me. I stood in silence waiting for some kind of answer. Finally, I was told that I could be put on a standby flight at noon and if that didn’t work, guaranteed a flight at five pm. I was given both tickets and left to do whatever I wanted. I went to the gate for my standby flight and before I could even open my mouth, a family of five decided to cut me off and took all the available seats. Even when I protested that my attempt to go home had gone on for more than 24 hours, they demanded their seats. Frustrated and exhausted, I actually started to cry. I once again took the mile hike to Customer Service, this time in tears, hoping that perhaps they could find me ANYTHING else because all I wanted to do was go home. I was not apologized to. No alternatives were offered. Instead, I was told there was literally nothing else to be done and that I could take the flight at five. I once again took the long journey to the other side of the airport, grabbed a snack, and waited the five hours it would take to finally make it for the flight home.
How is any of this acceptable? How did I not receive a single apology? Thankfully I am an able-bodied young person who was physically able to literally run around airports for two days; I can only imagine what would happen if a senior citizen was put through this. There is absolutely no reason why I was given the run around multiple times. Compliant, let alone friendly, customer service was non-existent. This is no way to treat exhausted, paying customers. I can safely say I will not in good conscience ever recommend flying United to any of my friends and family members after this disastrous attempt to get me home.
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