I hate United Airlines, but never more than today

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Dec 19, 2017
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#1
I woke up this morning to find my wife's flight home from China has been changed. Apparently UA88 original plane had an issue so they are using a smaller plane and sending everybody else first to IAD, then to EWR. Since I live in Philly, I can easily drive to IAD, but United has no way of telling my wife not to get on the EWR flight and no way of taking her ticketed luggage off of the plane and it must go to EWR. Instead of picking her up a IAD at 6:30 pm, now I have to pick her up at midnight in Newark. Just once (I know, dreams do not come true except in the movies) can't these meshuganah airlines give true customer service.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#3
instead of a direct flight from PEK to EWR arrive at 5:30 pm, she is flying PEK to IAD to EWR arriving at 11:30 pm. I could drive to Washington, have a beer with Donald Trump, pick her up and still be home well before the time I will get home now.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
At least they are getting her home the same day. When this happens there are often no same day
flights and she would have to stay an extra day.
This is a minor issue.

We just came back from China and had to change planes in China with a 5 hour layover- I’d much rather have to connect through the US.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#5
been there, done that and stayed at the most disgusting hotel that made Motel 6 look like a 7 star hotel. But the point made, was I would rather drive to DC and get her there at dinner time than Newark at midnight. United will not let her luggage off until EWR.
 
Nov 27, 2017
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#6
Ah ha, that is why they routed her to EWR. I don't think United knew which airport would be most convenient for you to pick her up, they just routed her the best way for her to get home and using the original final destination.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 7, 2017
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Um . . . she will have her bags at some point before going to EWR.

You get off the airplane in IAD.

Then you CLEAR ICE in IAD before you transfer to your EWR flight. There is NO reason why you MUST recheck your bags -

Then you have to give your checked bags BACK to United to be placed on the flight to EWR.

Why cant you intercept her on her cell when she is in IAD?

Why don't you try reaching her on social media once she is in the US? Does she buy the internet package?

In any event - start texting her, calling her, hiting on Twitter and FB and generally make a nuisance of yourself.

Hell - you can even try paging her in baggage claim -
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#11
Oh, my, your issue is strange, Dave. How could an airline possibly communicate with the families of their passengers if the passenger can't communicate with her family? I can understand that her changed final destination will be inconvenient for you, but I'd be glad that she's getting home the same day as originally scheduled.

This might be a good time for her to request some miles from UA for the inconvenience. She should compose a polite, concise letter to customer service explaining the inconvenience and requesting some Mileage Plus miles.
 
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Barry Graham

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Jan 7, 2015
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#13
I live in the DC area and I would much rather drive from Philadelphia to EWR than around the beltway especially if I had to be at IAD at 6:30pm which involves driving in the peak of the rush hour.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#14
I live in the DC area and I would much rather drive from Philadelphia to EWR than around the beltway especially if I had to be at IAD at 6:30pm which involves driving in the peak of the rush hour.
My wife just drove from Virginia to NY- she’d prefer to sit st an airport for a couple of hours if she could fly instead of drive. It’s a long time in the car.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#15
will we hear from him again? or did he just want to vent and not have his problem solved?
That's part of the fun of this website, we never know!

A lot of the time people just read the replies and follow the advice or not.

She does have to pick her luggage up to clear customs. Send her a text or leave her a voice message telling her to stay put and call you before she boards the next fight. She'll have enough time and, in this day and age, most people turn on their cell phones.
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#16
This is clearly a moot point at this point, but here's the issue: if the OP drives to IAD, and for some reason his wife doesn't get the message from him until after she's rechecked her bags, then he's got to drive up to EWR to pick her up. Worst case, she doesn't get the message at IAD at all, and she's at EWR, and he's wondering why she hasn't come out of security at IAD...

The time to make this change (have her end the trip at IAD, rather than continue to EWR) would have been before she got on the plane in China.
 
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Dec 7, 2017
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#17
This is clearly a moot point at this point, but here's the issue: if the OP drives to IAD, and for some reason his wife doesn't get the message from him until after she's rechecked her bags, then he's got to drive up to EWR to pick her up. Worst case, she doesn't get the message at IAD at all, and she's at EWR, and he's wondering why she hasn't come out of security at IAD...

The time to make this change (have her end the trip at IAD, rather than continue to EWR) would have been before she got on the plane in China.
I doubt whether UAL would have let her terminate her trip @ IAD without reticketing her and charging her. UA is getting really bad at this - unless you an elite, even if they have an irregular operation, they will not let you change destinations.

I had a colleague ticketed to LAX. He lives near me. They landed at ONT because of some security issue at LAX. They pulled up to an unoccupied gate and they told people to stay in the lounge area. He took his bag, told the gate agent he was leaving, and took Uber home and went to LAX a couple of days later to get his car.

He actually received a demand from UAL for a $200 change fee and ticket fare difference. We're all lawyers so he did what I would have done which was "so sue me," and they went away. He told me just the other day he's waiting to hear from a collection agency. . . .
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#18
I doubt whether UAL would have let her terminate her trip @ IAD without reticketing her and charging her. UA is getting really bad at this - unless you an elite, even if they have an irregular operation, they will not let you change destinations.

I had a colleague ticketed to LAX. He lives near me. They landed at ONT because of some security issue at LAX. They pulled up to an unoccupied gate and they told people to stay in the lounge area. He took his bag, told the gate agent he was leaving, and took Uber home and went to LAX a couple of days later to get his car.

He actually received a demand from UAL for a $200 change fee and ticket fare difference. We're all lawyers so he did what I would have done which was "so sue me," and they went away. He told me just the other day he's waiting to hear from a collection agency. . . .
I certainly wouldn't recommend that she tell them ahead of time. Just pick up your luggage, walk past the recheck, and exit the secure area. While it's theoretically possible that UA would try to come after her, it's very unlikely. Your story is one of VERY few I've ever seen of UA actually pursuing this, unless someone's making a habit of throwaway ticketing.
 
Dec 19, 2017
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#19
Hi guys !

I want to thank everyone for their concern and suggestions. You all realize that life is often more complicated than message boards and for me I had to make life as uncomplicated as possible. I had to go off grid when my first grader came home from school and demanded my attention. Had it been a perfect and easy scenario I would have hopped in the car, driven to IAD, paged my wife and fought 95 traffic home, still arriving hours earlier than I finally arrived home from EWR. There were to many what if's, some of them detailed. The worst possible scenario would be driving with a 6 year old from IAD to EWR to pick up my wife. I am angry that United could not and would not have a gate agent tell my wife take your bag, your husband is waiting for you here. I understand how complicated the airline industry is, but they are failing too many different ways in dealing with customer relations. I picked up my wife at midnight, we were home at 1:30 am and my 6 year old got his first day off from school. Everybody is happy.
 
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Dec 7, 2017
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#20
I certainly wouldn't recommend that she tell them ahead of time. Just pick up your luggage, walk past the recheck, and exit the secure area. While it's theoretically possible that UA would try to come after her, it's very unlikely. Your story is one of VERY few I've ever seen of UA actually pursuing this, unless someone's making a habit of throwaway ticketing.
Yup - he told the agent he was leaving - and the agent tried to tell him all sorts of horrible stories about 'security' and being unable to get back if he changes his mind, and that its prohibited by [law, faa, airline policy and finally 'too much work for me] - he should have just left - eventually the would have paged him a couple of times and that would have been the end of it. Prob just the agent being malicious for having to process the paperwork after being told instead of processing it as a no-show for the 15 min flight to LAX.

I cannot imagine he was the only one to just walk away -