Our dream trip was cancelled without proper notice

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Oct 16, 2018
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#1
On May 29, 2018, my husband and I purchased multi-city flights using United Airlines for our dream trip to Japan and Thailand, in celebration of our wedding anniversary; All Nippon Airlines was included in the transportation plan. We had received an e-mail providing our reservation code and outlining the flights we had booked. The total cost of our flight reservation, including all United and ANA flights, was $2,938.20.

Unfortunately, our entire reservation was cancelled including our United Airlines flights from FLL-SFO, SFO-TYO and TYO-MIA because ANA was unable to confirm our TYO-BKK flight. The e-mail notification that United sent out on June 1 (which went to my husband's junk mail, so we did not see it until recently) only states that our ANA flights had been unconfirmed, not that our United flights were also being cancelled. You can understand what a tremendous shock this was to us, as we'd already made accommodations in Thailand and Japan, many of which are non-refundable.

Additionally, when I spoke to a United Airlines agent regarding our problem , it was explained that ANA flight confirmations and United flights are separate and should not impact each other to the point of an entire reservation cancellation. Our case was described as "very rare" by the agent.

To salvage our trip, we secured new airfare with United but at double the cost yesterday. (This is because we learned that our United Flights had been cancelled on October 15, and our travel date is scheduled for November 8.)

That said, today I spoke to a representative who was able to help us update the pricing of our new reservation, to the original $2,938.20. Unfortunately, this new reservation with United does not include travel from TYO-BKK with ANA, as we were priced out of ANA's airfare due to these circumstances, so you'll notice the total cost does not factor travel between Japan and Thailand like our original itinerary.
We've now had to secure new flights with another airline between Japan and Thailand to mitigate having this issue happen again. So, essentially, our original cost for the entire trip was going to be $2,938.20; between the new United airfare and the new flights we've had to secure elsewhere, our new total for this trip is $4,765.81.

Attached you’ll see the email United sent us back in June, the one explaining our ANA flights hadn’t been confirmed but failing to mention our entire reservation and other United flights would consequently be cancelled as well.
 

Attachments

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#2
The major problem you face is that you were sent an email in June that you just looked at recently. In June your United itinerary probably was still valid as they expected you to call as instructed in the email. When you did not respond United canceled your flights. It is not United's fault that you do not check your junk mail. Junk mail filters often label real and important emails as junk. If you did not receive a confirmation in late May-early June of your entire itinerary, you needed to contact United ASAP regardless of the email you did not look at.

You can begin contacting UInited: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/ per the instructions at the bottom of the linked page.
Email one person per week.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
I am afraid I do not understand. Was this all on one ticket?

If one has a round trip or multi stop ticket A connecting to B Connecting to C stay in C and later travel to D the ticket is A to D — and that is how it is priced — A to D with a stop in C. If the airline can not confirm C to D the entire ticket is canceled as the price is all the stops.

I just booked a United trip which has a code share.

This is what my first email said:


Your itinerary contains one or more flights operated by a partner airline, so we have asked Austrian Airlines to confirm your reservation within the next 24 hours. In rare cases, a partner airline may not be able to confirm the reservation due to rapidly changing availability.
Please review your itinerary and call the United Customer Contact Center if you do not receive a ticketing confirmation within the next 24 hours. You will not be charged until your ticket is issued.


So you likely were never charged.

And you did not follow up with United from June until October? You should have received a similar email but ANA instead of Austrian.
 
Likes: JVillegirl541
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
And if this was all on one ticket you did receive proper notice on June 5th. The email said they could not ticket the reservation JQW....

The ticket reservation is all or nothing and since one part could not be ticketed it defaults to nothing.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,150
14,741
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
So you never received any confirmation when you originally booked? They all went to spam?

You are going to need to book the TYY-BKK separately. Just watch your connection times- leave at least 3 hours after your TYY flight arrives to reconnect. You’ll need plenty of time to collect your bags and re-check in.

You might want to find a travel agent to do this for you.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 27, 2016
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#6
One additional comment: the OP uses the airport code TYO above. That's the general code for Tokyo (as NYC is for New York), but there are two airports covered by that code. When booking the flight to Bangkok, the OP should make sure (unless they're going into Tokyo for a layover, and then to the airport the next day), that the Tokyo-Bangkok flight departs from the same airport (Narita/NRT or Haneda/HND) that their SFO-Tokyo flight arrives at. The two airports are NOT close to each other, it's at least an hour between them.
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#8
Hu
The major problem you face is that you were sent an email in June that you just looked at recently. In June your United itinerary probably was still valid as they expected you to call as instructed in the email. When you did not respond United canceled your flights. It is not United's fault that you do not check your junk mail. Junk mail filters often label real and important emails as junk. If you did not receive a confirmation in late May-early June of your entire itinerary, you needed to contact United ASAP regardless of the email you did not look at.

You can begin contacting UInited: https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/united-airlines/ per the instructions at the bottom of the linked page.
Email one person per week.
Thank you for the feedback and the links.
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#10
One additional comment: the OP uses the airport code TYO above. That's the general code for Tokyo (as NYC is for New York), but there are two airports covered by that code. When booking the flight to Bangkok, the OP should make sure (unless they're going into Tokyo for a layover, and then to the airport the next day), that the Tokyo-Bangkok flight departs from the same airport (Narita/NRT or Haneda/HND) that their SFO-Tokyo flight arrives at. The two airports are NOT close to each other, it's at least an hour between them.
Hi, thank you for the feedback and the clarification point. Our SFO-TYO flight is into Haneda. And our RT flight from BKK to TYO was into Narita.
 
Oct 16, 2018
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#11
So you never received any confirmation when you originally booked? They all went to spam?

You are going to need to book the TYY-BKK separately. Just watch your connection times- leave at least 3 hours after your TYY flight arrives to reconnect. You’ll need plenty of time to collect your bags and re-check in.

You might want to find a travel agent to do this for you.
Hi, thank you for the helpful tips. We received an email outlining our flights booked along with a reservation code, upon booking. The next day, an email about ANA came through (that unfortunately went to junk so we didn’t see it. I know that’s not their fault, it’s just unfortunate). The part that would have made a tremendous difference for us, is another email from United saying our reservation with them was cancelled. Since it didn’t say anything about our reservation being null due to ANA being unable to confirm our seats, we understood our reservation to be secure.
 
Likes: agnostic
Oct 16, 2018
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#12
And if this was all on one ticket you did receive proper notice on June 5th. The email said they could not ticket the reservation JQW....

The ticket reservation is all or nothing and since one part could not be ticketed it defaults to nothing.
Hi thank you for the feedback. While it might be known for more frequent fliers that booking using two or more airlines can result in a total reservation loss (nothing booked) my husband and I did not. Unfortunately that’s not in any of the emails they sent to us. When I spoke to a customer service agent, she explained they are separate airlines and should therefore not impact each other the way they did.
 
Likes: agnostic
Oct 16, 2018
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3
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#13
I am afraid I do not understand. Was this all on one ticket?

If one has a round trip or multi stop ticket A connecting to B Connecting to C stay in C and later travel to D the ticket is A to D — and that is how it is priced — A to D with a stop in C. If the airline can not confirm C to D the entire ticket is canceled as the price is all the stops.

I just booked a United trip which has a code share.

This is what my first email said:


Your itinerary contains one or more flights operated by a partner airline, so we have asked Austrian Airlines to confirm your reservation within the next 24 hours. In rare cases, a partner airline may not be able to confirm the reservation due to rapidly changing availability.
Please review your itinerary and call the United Customer Contact Center if you do not receive a ticketing confirmation within the next 24 hours. You will not be charged until your ticket is issued.


So you likely were never charged.

And you did not follow up with United from June until October? You should have received a similar email but ANA instead of Austrian.
Hi, thank you for the questions and explanations. We just double checked our inbox for an email like yours and we don’t have one.

We used a multi city option. So our itinerary looked like this:

11/8: FLL to SFO on UA
11/9: SFO-TYO (HND) on US
11/15: TYO (NRT)-BKK on ANA
11/25: BKK-TYO (NRT) on ANA
11/27: TYO (HND)-MIA on UA
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#15
Hi, thank you for the questions and explanations. We just double checked our inbox for an email like yours and we don’t have one.

We used a multi city option. So our itinerary looked like this:

11/8: FLL to SFO on UA
11/9: SFO-TYO (HND) on US
11/15: TYO (NRT)-BKK on ANA
11/25: BKK-TYO (NRT) on ANA
11/27: TYO (HND)-MIA on UA
What did the first email say when you got the reservation code number?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#16
Hi thank you for the feedback. While it might be known for more frequent fliers that booking using two or more airlines can result in a total reservation loss (nothing booked) my husband and I did not. Unfortunately that’s not in any of the emails they sent to us. When I spoke to a customer service agent, she explained they are separate airlines and should therefore not impact each other the way they did.
I only found out that there are issues with the reservation systems with several airline when I made a booking this summer and did not get a ticket— same as you.

The difference is that I saw my the email that I did not have a ticket.

You asked the airline to provide a ticket for all the dates and stops. Once they could not they sent an email. The airline has no way of knowing whether you want the flights they could confirm or whether you wanted to book another airline which could confirm everything. You wanted a product that UA could not deliver. So they cannot just substitute another before purchase without your permission that is very different (ie removal of a destination city) and that is what they wanted.

You never tried to sign in to UA to check the seats, check your reservation, anything?

The problem is not checking the spam filter or following up when you never received a receipt with a ticket number.
 
Likes: agnostic
Apr 10, 2017
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#17
I am assuming the credit card was never charged for the ticket? If not that should have been a red flag. A couple of years ago I had booked 2 plane tickets for my husband and me but there was only a charge for 1 ticket on the credit card. This quickly alerted me to a problem as I discovered that while it appeared I had seats on the flights I didn't have a ticket number. I contacted AA and got it straightened out within a couple of days.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
16,150
14,741
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Actually, I wouldn’t have expected the second email to go into spam either - I think if it were me I’d be in the same position you were in, although I do clean out my spam folder weekly after I review it.

So at this point you have seats for everything but TYO- Bkk?

You’ll have to book those tickets separately from n another airline then. Just be careful about the connections- make sure you have plenty of time in between.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
Actually, I wouldn’t have expected the second email to go into spam either - I think if it were me I’d be in the same position you were in, although I do clean out my spam folder weekly after I review it.

So at this point you have seats for everything but TYO- Bkk?

You’ll have to book those tickets separately from n another airline then. Just be careful about the connections- make sure you have plenty of time in between.
Spam filters can be very erratic; I also have to check every week because of emails randomly going in there, even from people that are responding to my emails.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,689
7,497
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San Francisco
#20
I am so sorry for all the angst and the extra tix cost. But I'm also glad that you caught this in time to re-book this very important trip. It's vital to review every single component immediately, and at regular intervals thereafter. I check all my reservations monthly, and in the month before departure, I look at them weekly. The internet is a very efficient way to get things done ... but you have to confirm, check and check again.
 
Likes: ADM