Surprise! You have a second layover in Amsterdam... even though you've already checked in and have your tickets!

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Aug 16, 2018
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#1
I arrived at CDG with my husband and two small children (4 and 1 yr old) for our flight (CDG > FRA > DTW) We checked in online, so we already had our tickets, and just needed to check our luggage at the airport.

At the luggage counter, we just happened to notice that our tags had an additional layover in AMS, one that was NOT on the tickets we checked in for. We informed the gate agent that we were not flying CDG > FRA > AMS > DTW and showed him our tickets which were indeed for CDG > FRA > DTW.

He was very confused. After checking in the system, he informed us that we had been involuntarily removed from our flight and rebooked on this new flight path -- which included the 2nd layover AND arrived at DTW more than 5 hours later than our original flight. We were told to "take it or leave it".

We never received any information about the itinerary change -- not a phone call, not an email. We were never asked if we would accept to be rebooked. And worse yet, if WE hadn't seen the luggage tags said AMS, we would have boarded our flight to FRA and been surprised to learn we had an additional flight and layover in Amsterdam!

We were not immediately offered a solution, instead, our fatigue and stress of flying with small children was preyed on, as if we would simply accept the flights just so we wouldn't be stuck at the airport. A new agent came and after about an hour was able to find us a new flight with Delta with 1 layover (like the flight we originally purchased) but that got us into DTW 3 hours later, plus was in a different terminal that we had to race to in order not to miss that flight.

I should not simply feel thankful that I was able to fly that day. We were not offered any kind of compensation, class upgrade, food vouchers or even help with getting to the Delta terminal.

As a result of this rebooking, my husband and I were seated 12 rows apart for the 8.5 hour flight, each with a kid.

My initial complaint to United received this reply, which I find insufficient, patronizing, and places the "blame" of the situation on me:

I apologize for any misunderstanding about Lufthansa's schedule for your flights August 2, 2018.

I can only imagine the confusion and frustration. As United has partnerships with other airlines, we may not always operate all of the flights we market. You must communicate directly with the operating carrier for details of their flight schedule. You can find the operating carrier information displayed on the e-ticket receipt. This is the carrier you'll need to check-in with on the day of departure and information prior to traveling.

I respectfully decline your request for compensation and upgrades on your return flights.

I appreciate you chose United and our partners for your travel and on behalf of our United family, we hope your next trip with us will deliver the seamless experience you deserve.

Regards,
Elizabeth Lee
Customer Care

I initially requested from United, and was denied, a class upgrade for the long haul portion of our return flight or to be rescheduled on a direct flight from DTW to CDG as compensation. I think this is a fair request and am completely disappointed with the "Customer Care" non-reply. I guess we'll only be flying non-stop Air France from here on out! Anyone have any advice?
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#5
I believe you should be eligible for EU261 compensation.
Yup, although it'll depend on exactly how much they were delayed. The OP says that the new flight got them into DTW "3 hours later." If it actually was three hours, then they're entitled to €300 per passenger, so €1200. If it was 2 hours 59 minutes, they're not entitled to any compensation.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 25, 2016
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#6
Wow, sounds like a nightmare!

Could you post the original flights - airlines and flight #'s -- as well as the revisions? Sounds like possibly you were supposed to fly FRA/DTW on LH, who rebooked you via AMS which I would guess is KL or DL, but specifics would help.

I do agree that communications, or lack thereof, aside, UA has no control whatsoever over the operations of other carriers, so it would seem that you need to go after LH, but that's a guess at this point.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
This is strange -- these were obviously code share flights on Lufthansa. I have noticed that when I have code shares I need to register for text flight notifications with the operating carrier.

What a strange routing. Was the Amsterdam -DTW changed over to Delta?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
No airline is going to give you complimentary upgrades for a rerouting, because they may have to pay EU 261. Did you email and ask for upgrades at the airport?
 
Aug 16, 2018
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#10
Hi all,
Thanks for all the replies. To answer here:

- YES. We checked in online and received our digital tickets
- We bought our tickets on the United website with cash
- Finally arrived in DTW at 3:54 PM on a Delta flight, originally scheduled for arrival at 12:45 PM on a LH flight
- Original Flights:
Thu, 02AUG18
UA9516
PARIS, FRANCE
(CDG) 7:40 AM
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
(FRA) 8:55 AM

UA9196
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
(FRA) 10:05 AM
DETROIT, MI
(DTW) 12:45 PM
 
Last edited:
Aug 16, 2018
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#11
I'm having trouble uploading screenshots of the actual tickets that say CDG > FRA > DTW... but can send to Christopher or an admin as needed.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#12
You can’t upload pictures here but we don’t need them.

It could be they possibly changed plane types and there was a smaller plane substituted and you were bumped. Bumping is based on a lot of things- your status as a frequent flyer, what time you did online check in, where your seats were.

If you’ve been involuntarily bumped you are due compensation. You need to file an EU 261 claim with the operating airline with


From our EU261 information:

My flight is a codeshare. Does EU 261 apply?

The regulation does not explicitly address codeshares. However, the preamble states that the obligations created by the regulation “should rest with the operating air carrier who performs or intends to perform a flight, whether with owned aircraft, under dry or wet lease, or on any other basis.” (The regulation defines an “operating carrier” as “… an air carrier that performs or intends to perform a flight under a contract with a passenger or on behalf of another person, legal or natural, having a contract with that passenger.”)

In theory, this should mean that the regulation applies based on the carrier that actually operates the flight, rather than the carrier that sold the ticket. For a hypothetical flight between the United States and Europe, applicability would depend on the operator of the flight and the direction of travel:


I would suggest you write to the operating airline and request the allowable compensation according to EU 261. If they balk- then you file a complaint directly under EU261.

They don’t owe you upgrades if you weren’t booked in premium seats in the first place.

Here is the information on our site with links to file:

https://www.elliott.org/frequently-asked-questions-about-eu261/#provisions
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
Yes the EU 261 claim should be sent to Lufthansa as these were LH operated flights.

I have to say that original routing has a very short connection in FRA — only 70 minutes — that is optimistic and I would not advise that again.
 
Likes: Mel65
Aug 16, 2018
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#14
Thank you all -- I have filed the complaint for EU261 compensation with Lufthansa. Will keep you updated! As an aside, we narrowly avoided catastrophe yet again, as we never received a check-in notice for our return flight. Upon calling the service line, they bee-ba-booped something on the computer which allowed us to check in online. My guess: because we never took the originating flight, we were considered no-shows in the system and they were going to sell our seats.

Will keep you all updated on the results of my complaint!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#15
Thank you all -- I have filed the complaint for EU261 compensation with Lufthansa. Will keep you updated! As an aside, we narrowly avoided catastrophe yet again, as we never received a check-in notice for our return flight. Upon calling the service line, they bee-ba-booped something on the computer which allowed us to check in online. My guess: because we never took the originating flight, we were considered no-shows in the system and they were going to sell our seats.

Will keep you all updated on the results of my complaint!
Sounds like there was a glitch because of the reroute. You should get the EU 261 --

Nowadays it seems we have to stalk our own reservations to look for changes, sigh
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I assume the travel providers are going to cheat me. My job is to maintain oversight on all my reservations. I can't stop airlines and hotels from changing things, but I can catch it early and make it right. It's kept me out of trouble for many years of travel.
 
Aug 16, 2018
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#17
Here's another update about our return flight: our connection to IAD was delayed, delayed, and delayed again until we were certain to miss our connection to CDG. We asked them to pull our luggage and put us on a direct flight to CDG on Air France. The gate agent was very sweet and did this for us. However, we DID have to wait almost 2 hours for our luggage to arrive on the Oversize belt, in order to recheck on our new flight because according to a luggage handler (who I overheard on the radio) "these passengers are about to be SOL because everyone back here is just bullshittin'" : - | And so, this is my story of the last time I will ever fly United...
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,779
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San Francisco
#19
Here's another update about our return flight: our connection to IAD was delayed, delayed, and delayed again until we were certain to miss our connection to CDG. We asked them to pull our luggage and put us on a direct flight to CDG on Air France. The gate agent was very sweet and did this for us. However, we DID have to wait almost 2 hours for our luggage to arrive on the Oversize belt, in order to recheck on our new flight because according to a luggage handler (who I overheard on the radio) "these passengers are about to be SOL because everyone back here is just bullshittin'" : - | And so, this is my story of the last time I will ever fly United...
Thanks for the best laugh of the weekend, mllenoone. Keep up the good attitude ... after all, you're going to FRANCE!!!