Rant about United Airlines! Abandoned... Pissed.

Trihonda

Straight Flush
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
8,304
Reaction score
9,196
Location
Wisconsin
But I have zero sympathy for anyone as tone deaf as it takes to have made this post below on March 11th, then flew their family on an international vacation, with friends, 3 days later, only to get stranded by international travel restrictions and airline issues. You say this was "before everything blew up", but as multiple people tried to tell you before, no it most certainly was not. My family had already been in quarantine for 2 full weeks by that time. Maybe next time you'll listen when everyone else is telling you that this is series.

OK Travis... ya got me. I was wrong. I appreciate your taking the time to come into this thread to point that out. However, I already admitted in that thread (and in this thread), that my initial opinion was very wrong (so I kinda beat you to it). Not sure how that all relates to this one particular airline screwing over people during the crisis? Are you saying that because (like so many others), I made a wrong assumption about this situation, we deserved to be screwed over by the airlines? This wasn’t a Covid debate (there are already several semi-toxic threads about this). if you want to rant about how right you are (were) about Covid, take it there.
 

Chippy McChiperson

4 of a Kind
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
5,799
Reaction score
9,825
Location
Halethorpe, Md
So similar story, i had a hotel room booked for BBotB (thought it was through the hotel itself but turns out it was through some shady 3rd party site). When i went to cancel, they said it was non-refundable. So I filed a complaint through my bank (Wells Fargo) and they refunded it for me pretty quickly with very little hassle. Just be completely honest when filling out your form and you should hopefully be ok.
 

liftapint

Royal Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
10,583
Reaction score
24,535
Location
Seattle
OK Travis... ya got me. I was wrong. I appreciate your taking the time to come into this thread to point that out. However, I already admitted in that thread (and in this thread), that my initial opinion was very wrong (so I kinda beat you to it). Not sure how that all relates to this one particular airline screwing over people during the crisis? Are you saying that because (like so many others), I made a wrong assumption about this situation, we deserved to be screwed over by the airlines? This wasn’t a Covid debate (there are already several semi-toxic threads about this). if you want to rant about how right you are (were) about Covid, take it there.

I respect the fact that you can admit that you were wrong to downplay how big of a deal this is, despite all of the news to the contrary.
I hope your family remains healthy.
 

softchewy

Full House
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
4,811
Reaction score
7,715
Location
New York
OK, venting here, but also curious if anyone else experienced any recent issues with United Airlines?

TLDR: United abandoned us in the Dominican Republic, then refused to assist in getting us home. Now they are refusing to refund us for the ticket they canceled (when we had to purchase new tickets home out of pocket).

Situation:

On 3/14 we (two families-8ppl total) flew non-stop from Chicago to Punta Cana on United. We flew out before this really blew up. There were cautions about travel, but the Dominican Republic was a very low threat country. The situation escalated quickly, on 3/18, our return flight was ceremoniously canceled by United (for "runway obstruction" issues). We soon discovered that the DR had restricted all incoming travelers to the DR, and was only allowing return flights. later on 3/18 or earlier on 3/19 (I believe) is when the return home order/warning was issued by the State Department. There were still flights going back to the US, but not from United. Tons of travelers were suddenly rushing to get out of the country, and those suddenly abandoned by United, were attempting to book the few remaining flights home (which were all likely full to begin with).

We contacted United, and the earliest they could fly us out was May 6... ? Six weeks? We requested they assist in rebooking with another airline for us. After all, they brought us into the DR, and they had a loose responsibility to get us back home, right? Apparently not. They explained they were not going to be able to assist in booking other flights, and suggested we work with other airlines on our own to arrange return travel??? While other airlines were flying in empty planes to evacuate people, United just canceled all flights and then refused to assist with getting us back home! They did this to 100's of travelers (if not more). We scrambled and did find return flights, but it required we pay for an extra hotel night, and had to pay for the last minute flights out of pocket. An international pandemic crisis, with travelers being evacuated as fast as possible, and United just steps away and says "you're on your own?"... The f&ck?

The remainder of the trip was stressful (not relaxing). We were in constant fear the US would close the boarder and/or the new flight would get canceled. The resort we were staying at scaled back all services, and we essentially stayed in/around our rooms and freaked the eff out... We continually tried to get earlier flights, to no avail.

Upon returning home, we waited a few days to allow some calm to return after the travel orders and such. On Friday, we spend 3 hours on the phone with Cheap Caribbean (who booked the trip). They informed us to contact United to obtain a refund. We confirmed each round trip tix (x4) was $820 (half of which was canceled by United). We then contacted United, and after spending 2 hours on the phone with them, they informed us they had no idea what the ticket breakdown was for the return flight, and they had no way to process a refund, since it was booked in bulk by Cheap Caribbean. Yes, I spoke with supervisors, etc... They directed us back to Cheap Caribbean... Holy Hell!!!! I tried my best to remain calm (it wasn't the phone agent's fault, after all), but this is ridiculous. The DOT regulations require an airline to refund a tix if they cancel it... Apparently they're doing this to a LOT of people, and aren't giving anyone a refund...? Seriously?

News Story About United Not Refunding

We figure our options are to pray United will adhere to DOT regulations and issue a refund? Or we do a claim on our credit card used to book the trip, claiming they failed to provide the services paid for? Not sure the time-limits on something like that?

Ultimately, I mainly happy we got back safely, and we're all healthy. But the $1500 worth of out-of-pocket expenses caused by United, and their dismissive actions in this seriously rub me the wrong way.

Glad you are back home safe.
I understand the frustration, but you should have had an expectation that things would not go smoothly.
You took a big gamble with poor odds that didn't pan out. You were informed but denied/ignored it.
Chalk up the loss to ignorance and consider yourself lucky that all you lost was some cash.
Obviously still attempt to get some refund if possible, but hopefully a relatively small amount of cash is the only fall out from this.
If you are just posting to hear other people say, yeah United sucks.. then, yeah, United sucks.
 
Last edited:

Poker Zombie

Royal Flush
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
13,688
Reaction score
25,635
Location
Nashville-ish
My favorite customer service is Southwest...any word on if they are denying refunds too?
I got an email from Southwest. In short, they are (as always) allowing you to reschedule with no fees. However, they also added:
oCustomers' funds that have expired or will expire between March 1-May 31, 2020, will now expire June 30, 2021.
oAny travel funds created because of a flight cancellation between March 1-May 31, 2020, will have an expiration date of June 30, 2021.

IMO it's really difficult to consider anybody other than Southwest. If they fly there, I'm using Southwest. If they don't fly there, I'm going to think long and hard about going there.
 

BGinGA

Royal Flush
Tourney Director
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
25,682
Reaction score
39,769
Location
Atlanta
ya got me. I was wrong.
I think what they are actually saying is that you were both wrong AND stupid. Just an impartial observation, but I could be mistaken.....

I'm just glad that you finally made it home at all -- it could have been a lot worse outcome. Stay healthy and safe.
 

RainmanTrail

Straight Flush
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
8,365
Reaction score
17,334
Location
CA
OK Travis... ya got me. I was wrong. I appreciate your taking the time to come into this thread to point that out. However, I already admitted in that thread (and in this thread), that my initial opinion was very wrong (so I kinda beat you to it). Not sure how that all relates to this one particular airline screwing over people during the crisis? Are you saying that because (like so many others), I made a wrong assumption about this situation, we deserved to be screwed over by the airlines? This wasn’t a Covid debate (there are already several semi-toxic threads about this). if you want to rant about how right you are (were) about Covid, take it there.

I could have worded it more kindly. I'm happy that you guys are home safe. I couldn't care less about how "right" I was though. My frustration is about people not taking this seriously.
 

BNM

Flush
Joined
Nov 7, 2014
Messages
1,795
Reaction score
1,178
Location
Wash
Circumstances were different, but I recently couldn’t take a flight due to the ongoing situation. I purchased the ticket through a broker (trips.com) and that’s who refunded my money, not the airline, though it was the airline that cancelled their flights. I suspect that’s the route here, as others have said.

Also, I would think hard and do the math regarding the “I’d get a lawyer” idea. The costs rack up very quickly, and any victory is likely to be phyric given the amounts involved, no matter how significant they feel to you. Just my very limited experience.

Glad you are safe home.
 

Trihonda

Straight Flush
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
8,304
Reaction score
9,196
Location
Wisconsin
I could have worded it more kindly. I'm happy that you guys are home safe. I couldn't care less about how "right" I was though. My frustration is about people not taking this seriously.

if it makes you feel any better about how seriously I’m taking it, I made the tough decision to cancel the 7th MTTD...
 

upNdown

Royal Flush
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
12,287
Reaction score
15,541
Location
boston
Circumstances were different, but I recently couldn’t take a flight due to the ongoing situation. I purchased the ticket through a broker (trips.com) and that’s who refunded my money, not the airline, though it was the airline that cancelled their flights. I suspect that’s the route here, as others have said.

Also, I would think hard and do the math regarding the “I’d get a lawyer” idea. The costs rack up very quickly, and any victory is likely to be phyric given the amounts involved, no matter how significant they feel to you. Just my very limited experience.
Glad you are safe home.
Right. A lawyer would probably bill you more for drafting the complaint than you could possibly hope to recover. And if you’re just looking for justice, the travel agency (who has been equally screwed by United and is probably facing bankruptcy) is the only entity you could recover against, in a contract dispute. A creative (and expensive) lawyer could probably find some damages that you could try to recover from United directly. But that’s a long expensive road that would cause you far more grief than it’s worth.
 

Poker Zombie

Royal Flush
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
13,688
Reaction score
25,635
Location
Nashville-ish
You are taking it seriously now. I love that!

That kinda makes you (rightly or wrongly) the whipping post for those that were taking it seriously from the start. Moreover, there are still some that don't take it seriously. This whole thing could have blown over in 2 weeks had everybody taken it seriously from the start. Instead, first responders, doctors, and nurses are subjected to even greater risk because there was such pushback. People calling it "the flu" were deadly wrong.

You were not the sole voice of opposition. I still deal with some of it here at work, and would love to know what finally made you listen to every single scientist in the world. Was it the cancelled flight, was it the headache caused trying to get a refund, or was it deaths in your community? Something must have made you flip the switch from "the media is overhyping this" to "If the media made this sound more important, I would have stayed home."

This certainly isn't meant as an attack post. I seriously want to know if there is anything I could say to a coworker to make him pay attention. His attitude puts me, my wife, and a lot of other people at risk. You are the first person that I heard change their mind. You may hold the key that gets us through all of this sooner rather than later.
 

timinater

Flush
Site Vendor
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
1,263
Reaction score
2,861
Location
SESKATCHWAN
Sorry to hear about the bad experience from United

Regardless of the circumstances, being stranded would be awful. I hope you have some recourse and can at least recoup your other flight.

I would try to be a bit patient with this. This is new for airlines and govts. Keep your records and notes handy. You may find when some time passes and airlines have had a chance to catch up on policy and procedure you might have a better outcome.
 

Jeff

Full House
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
4,916
Reaction score
7,941
Location
Chicagoland
It’s worrisome to be stuck anywhere with your family. No one puts their kids in danger knowingly.

As little as four weeks ago the calculus regarding all this was different.

My family is probably walking away from about $2500 to United and those tickets and are now fine doing it so we don’t die. That was not the decision we were facing when we sweated the decisions a few weeks ago. And thanks for the opportunity to bitch about it to friends here

Regarding it being serious...

My friend from Champaign, Illinois is sick. She and her husband decided it was okay to take the weekend trip they planned months ago to see friends in NY when the reported cases were a handful or two. He is a native New Yorker and they have both worked there at points during their career. She is still running a high fever two weeks later and is not out of the woods yet. Turns out they were wrong in their calculus of the risk at that point, but I can assure you they are far from stupid, or far from denying the reality of what this all means. I just hope she weathers the storm, of her own making or not.

We allowed my son to make his own decision about leaving to go on spring break when the cases in LA were negligible (he made the right decision, BTW) when hindsight says we really should have insta-shut that down as parents. Our thought process was that it would be a shame to deprive him when the risk seemed so remote. Thank god we drew a winning hand when we didnt know the game we were playing. He’s still healthy in Iowa City, knock on wood.

A childhood high school friend and distant cousin is on a respirator right now fighting for his life after catching it at work when nobody appeared ill. He worked at an Ameren, the electric company. He is in Missouri and the is one of the first patients that cropped up in their county.

After it finally appeared unacceptably risky to go to my office, I have spent a week and a half hunkered down in our home, venturing out for groceries and hoping the can of tuna I brought home doesn’t have deadly cooties. Bless those who are continuing to go out and work so we can have necessities like food and the other utilities. They take the risk because their duty or livelihood requires it.

Many of us who are older and not particularly healthy are now rightly concerned for our lives. While we’re doing everything we can to stay healthy and not get it, I realize how difficult that hope will probably turn out to be. Throw into the mix a little regret for whatever I’ve done (or not done) to be unhealthy. Although I might appear to not recognize these things and need some truthin’, a little kindness and compassion spread is a good thing.

And for just a little extra news from Facebook, it looks like Josh’s wife (Indianapolis/Switzerland Josh) caught it, and after a hard couple weeks seems to be looking better.

Here’s to the hope we all catch our flush and dodge this virus.
 

DoubleEagle

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
4,449
Reaction score
6,280
Location
Salina, KS
I just canceled an award ticket booked on United for April. Normally, they charge $125 to re-deposit the miles in you account if you cancel within 60 days. However, they are now waiving that fee as of yesterday. Yippee!
 

Trihonda

Straight Flush
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
8,304
Reaction score
9,196
Location
Wisconsin
You are taking it seriously now. I love that!

That kinda makes you (rightly or wrongly) the whipping post for those that were taking it seriously from the start. Moreover, there are still some that don't take it seriously. This whole thing could have blown over in 2 weeks had everybody taken it seriously from the start. Instead, first responders, doctors, and nurses are subjected to even greater risk because there was such pushback. People calling it "the flu" were deadly wrong.

You were not the sole voice of opposition. I still deal with some of it here at work, and would love to know what finally made you listen to every single scientist in the world. Was it the cancelled flight, was it the headache caused trying to get a refund, or was it deaths in your community? Something must have made you flip the switch from "the media is overhyping this" to "If the media made this sound more important, I would have stayed home."

This certainly isn't meant as an attack post. I seriously want to know if there is anything I could say to a coworker to make him pay attention. His attitude puts me, my wife, and a lot of other people at risk. You are the first person that I heard change their mind. You may hold the key that gets us through all of this sooner rather than later.

to be frank, as I stated before we left, I had doctor & nurse friends that told us it wasn’t a big deal. They were shrugging, like “what’s the big deal, it’s the flu, granted a new strain. But it’s the flu”. When those folks changed their minds. So did we. Coupled with the fact we got stranded in a foreign country. Ya, that’s kinda when it clicked for me. one could look back In a thread here, or on Facebook, or whatever and find some nugget where somone was claiming the world was coming to an end, and I probably glazed right past that. I dont believe much of ANYTHING I see online, and in the days preceding our departure, I was not paying close attention to PCF. And tho I did post in that Covid thread, I didn’t read every post. I didn’t dissect it post by post. I was crazy busy at work and at home. So if somone feels personally slighted that they posted some warning I didn’t heed, well, I apologize.
 

Payback

Full House
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
3,821
Reaction score
6,099
Location
Memphis, TN
One more thing I thought of is if you haven't filed a complaint with the DOT I would encourage you to do so.

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint

DOT law states that they have to offer a full refund for a canceled flight and the DOT is aware some of them are currently breaking the laws. As these airlines want government money, I'd use the government's leverage to get your money back.
 

CraigT78

Royal Flush
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2015
Messages
10,195
Reaction score
22,980
Location
Dallas
Curious if the fact you used a third party booking takes away any of your consumer rights and protections. I haven't a clue.

This is a good lesson to others, don't use third party apps when booking travel. I can't tell you how many times I've been at an airline counter or a hotel checkin desk with an irate customer in front of who's reservations are wrong, cancelled, or whatever. Everytime the employee keeps repeating the problem isn't with us, you have to call Priceline or any other third party. This assumes of course that any of them will still be in business when this crap is all over.
 

tabletalker7

Full House
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
2,767
Reaction score
3,956
Location
Buffalo NY
Curious if the fact you used a third party booking takes away any of your consumer rights and protections. I haven't a clue.

This is a good lesson to others, don't use third party apps when booking travel. I can't tell you how many times I've been at an airline counter or a hotel checkin desk with an irate customer in front of who's reservations are wrong, cancelled, or whatever. Everytime the employee keeps repeating the problem isn't with us, you have to call Priceline or any other third party. This assumes of course that any of them will still be in business when this crap is all over.
Using a third party doesn't take away his consumer rights protections, it transfers those protections to the third party. The travel agent had a responsibility to provide the package they sold. They did not provide that. He should be filing a claim against them.
 

Himewad

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
3,806
Reaction score
8,273
Location
Iowa, USA
I'm no expert on how to get your money back but $1500 to get the four of you home with an extra hotel stay and food during a global pandemic? You got off cheap brother. I hope you can stick it to United.

Also you left on Mar. 14 thinking shit hadn't broken out? No wonder USA is fucked. Our schools were closed on Mar. 12. Didn't the NBA shut down on Mar. 12 also?
Kind of what I was thinking. We cancelled our flights on the 13th from Iowa to Florida because it was obvious what was happening. We were worried about being stuck in Florida if the president decided to ban all domestic travel. If we had a flight out o& the country? Not a chance in hell we go.
 

moose

Full House
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
4,233
Reaction score
7,726
Location
Lockdown
Kind of what I was thinking. We cancelled our flights on the 13th from Iowa to Florida because it was obvious what was happening. We were worried about being stuck in Florida if the president decided to ban all domestic travel. If we had a flight out o& the country? Not a chance in hell we go.

It's mind boggling really. City of New York declares state of emergency on Mar. 12. Florida announced stay at home only today. WTF? They let all the spring breakers show up and spread it all over the country.
 

Poker Zombie

Royal Flush
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
13,688
Reaction score
25,635
Location
Nashville-ish
It's mind boggling really. City of New York declares state of emergency on Mar. 12. Florida announced stay at home only today. WTF? They let all the spring breakers show up and spread it all over the country.
raw.gif
 

Changster

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
7,721
Location
The Fish Pond
They aren't giving refunds cuz they are broke.

It's like if you bought some chips from Paulson with a 30 day money back guarantee, but during the 30 days they went broke... well tough shit, cuz they just don't have the cash to pay you.

It's counterparty risk.
 
Top Bottom