UA cancellation due to plane off runway

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Jun 19, 2019
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#1
On 6/15/19, I was scheduled to leave Bangor for a flight to Newark, NJ. As a result of a plane going off the runway & blowing a tire in Newark, all flights to & fro Newark were cancelled. As a result, I missed my connecting flight to Cleveland, Oh. I was told that vouchers for hotel & meals would not be given since it was an "act of God". Another passenger informed me that he had made a call to United on the 800 # & was told that it wasn't an "act of God". I was forced to spend the night at a hotel in Bangor & eat my evening meal & breakfast in Bangor before departing on a 6am flight on 6/16. I would like to know my first step, who to contact to be reimbursed for my expenses. I have already called United & was informed to Provide Feedback on United.com which I have already done.
I would like to be reimbursed for my hotel and 2 meals as a result of a flight cancelled due to mechanical or pilot error in Newark , N.J. airport. This doesn't appear to be an "Act of God".

Since I travel on credit card miles and I already have over 200,000 miles , I do not want a airplane voucher for my problem. If they
want to offer a plane voucher, I would rather receive it in cash or reimbursement for my hotel and 2 meals.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
On 6/15/19, I was scheduled to leave Bangor for a flight to Newark, NJ. As a result of a plane going off the runway & blowing a tire in Newark, all flights to & fro Newark were cancelled. As a result, I missed my connecting flight to Cleveland, Oh. I was told that vouchers for hotel & meals would not be given since it was an "act of God". Another passenger informed me that he had made a call to United on the 800 # & was told that it wasn't an "act of God". I was forced to spend the night at a hotel in Bangor & eat my evening meal & breakfast in Bangor before departing on a 6am flight on 6/16. I would like to know my first step, who to contact to be reimbursed for my expenses. I have already called United & was informed to Provide Feedback on United.com which I have already done.
I would like to be reimbursed for my hotel and 2 meals as a result of a flight cancelled due to mechanical or pilot error in Newark , N.J. airport. This doesn't appear to be an "Act of God".

Since I travel on credit card miles and I already have over 200,000 miles , I do not want a airplane voucher for my problem. If they
want to offer a plane voucher, I would rather receive it in cash or reimbursement for my hotel and 2 meals.
It will take some time for the cause of the accident to be found -- the FAA and NTSB take time. You can try to write to UA but they are not obligated to reimburse you at this point.

Do you have any travel insurance? That is what it is for.

You have no idea if it was pilot or mechanical error. There could have been debris on the runway -- that is what caused the Concorde to crash.

Bottom line is that you are not entitled to anything at this point. Does the credit card used have travel insurance?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#3
Did you have travel insurance? That would cover your extra expenses.

The cancellations were not a result of anything the airline did- the airline had absolutely no control over the airport being closed. It may not be an Act if God but it is nothing the airline could control- that’s why you aren’t getting anywhere with UA and is what travel insurance is for.

This is from the DOT airline passenger rights:

If my flight is cancelled, is the airline required to provide me with a hotel room, cab fare, a food voucher, or reimbursement for any other non-airline ticket costs associated with my trip?

  • No. Airlines are not required to provide passengers with money or other compensation for costs that fall outside of the cancelled airline ticket and fees tied directly to the airline ticket (such as baggage fees, seat upgrades, etc.) when flights are cancelled.
  • Each airline has its own policies about what it will do for passengers whose flights have been cancelled. If your flight is cancelled, ask the airline staff if they will pay for meals or a hotel room. While some airlines offer these amenities to passengers, others do not provide any amenities to stranded passengers.
https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/flight-delays-cancellations
 
Jan 25, 2016
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Some part of this doesn't add up. It's logical that the airport was closed for some period of time due to the accident, resulting in delays and diversions, but it's very hard to believe that all flights in/out of EWR were cancelled. We don't know what flight OP was booked on, but looking at the recent history of CommutAir 4882, which is a UX carrier, there is a greater than 50% of cancellation or significant delay.

https://heavy.com/news/2019/06/newark-airport-ewr-closed-delays-photos/
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UCA4882/history/20190619/2250Z/KBGR/KEWR

If it were me, I would go up the chain at UA as recommended by Elliott, and rather than harp on the accident at EWR, would rather emphasize the poor reliability of the flight in asking for some sort of compensation (assuming it was 4882).

Another piece of unsolicited, but free, advice to OP, no one at UA is going to be impressed by your 200K miles, especially if they are substantially earned by credit card spend. Stick to the operational issues.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Some part of this doesn't add up. It's logical that the airport was closed for some period of time due to the accident, resulting in delays and diversions, but it's very hard to believe that all flights in/out of EWR were cancelled. We don't know what flight OP was booked on, but looking at the recent history of CommutAir 4882, which is a UX carrier, there is a greater than 50% of cancellation or significant delay.

https://heavy.com/news/2019/06/newark-airport-ewr-closed-delays-photos/
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UCA4882/history/20190619/2250Z/KBGR/KEWR

If it were me, I would go up the chain at UA as recommended by Elliott, and rather than harp on the accident at EWR, would rather emphasize the poor reliability of the flight in asking for some sort of compensation (assuming it was 4882).

Another piece of unsolicited, but free, advice to OP, no one at UA is going to be impressed by your 200K miles, especially if they are substantially earned by credit card spend. Stick to the operational issues.
garkster there is no reason to doubt that the flight cancellation was the result of the disabled aircraft. It stayed on the runway until 11:00 pm.

The flight was supposed to leave at 6:30 pm. Here is what the FAA tweeted at 5:13 pm: delays averaging 5 hours — so the flight was cancelled.
 

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Sep 19, 2015
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#7
It is an unfortunate fact that the NYC airspace is highly congested and bad weather means ATC restrictions.

And when bad weather and traffic management happens often the smaller commuter planes will be cancelled or delayed. Priority will be given to long haul flights in transit so they do not run out of fuel.

I am only too aware of this as I live in NYC and have spent time waiting and waiting for air traffic control restrictions to be lifted when one my way back — often with the plane and crew ready and we just sit. And my most delayed flights have been on regional jets.

That same flight you cite was cancelled yesterday and today — thunderstorms — and more air traffic control limitations which can be verified with the ewr FAA Twitter account.

Is it unpleasant— yes. But what is the option — reduce all flights into the region — which would make prices increases.

But with the ewr incident one runways was not usable until plane towed at 11 pm. The article you posted said flights being diverted at 3 pm. The airport was limited all evening.

I have been delayed, cancelled, rerouted ... this is the reality of airtravel and one needs to be prepared and either have insurance or self insure. And the late small aircrafts are often delayed or cancelled. I do try to avoid them but not possible when flying some routes.

I do agree that no one will be impressed with 200,000 miles.
 
Likes: krisseye
Dec 19, 2014
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#8
Unfortunately, these flight delays and missed connections happen with airplane travel in this day and age.

You can contact United customer support which it appears that you have already done.

The CoC is not on your side:
“When a Passenger's ticket is affected because of a Schedule Irregularity caused by United, United will take the following measures:

(i) Transport the Passenger on its own flights, subject to availability, to the Destination, next Stopover point, or transer point shown on its portion of the Ticket, without Stopover in the same class of service, at no additional cost to the Passenger; or

(ii) At its sole discretion, United may arrange for the passenger to travel on another carrier. United may also, at its sole discretion, and if acceptable to the passenger, arrange for the passenger to travel via ground transportation.”

3) If a Passenger is not transported…the Passenger will be eligible for a refund upon request."

It doesn't matter whether it is an "act of God" or not. The key point is whether the delay was outside of the control of United Airlines. In this situation, EWR ATC issued a ground stop, so there was nothing they could do to get you to Cleveland that night.

A carefully worded letter MAY result in a goodwill gesture of a e-voucher or miles, but a cash reimbursement is not going to happen.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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#9
But what is the option — reduce all flights into the region — which would make prices increases
Speaking purely economically, that is not the case. The airlines made the business decision for smaller but more frequent flights. So they fly an Embraer 145 with 50 seats per flight three times a day instead of an Airbus 321 once. The decision traded off air traffic congestion for shorter connection times in hub/spoke models and greater passenger convenience.

I thin most travelers prefer the greater flexibility (if they even think about it) and I do not fault the airlines for this, but do note that it is a decision, and if congestion ever needed to be reduced, there are ways of doing it.
 
Likes: FrankL183
Jan 25, 2016
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#10
garkster there is no reason to doubt that the flight cancellation was the result of the disabled aircraft. It stayed on the runway until 11:00 pm.

The flight was supposed to leave at 6:30 pm. Here is what the FAA tweeted at 5:13 pm: delays averaging 5 hours — so the flight was cancelled.
Maybe I wasn't clear enough; I was questioning the statement that "all flights in/out of EWR were cancelled", and reporting the fact that the history of 4882 is checkered (cancelled on the 15th, 18th, and 19th, with a 2-hour delay on the 16th), as is unfortunately the case with all too many UX and other regionals. Here at SFO, the slots are so congested that weather causing reduced SFO operational capacity can trigger significant SkyWest/UX cancellations, sometimes cascading for days. In these cases, UA will still fly the mainlines, even if delayed 4+ hours in the West Coast corridor where some aircraft come through SFO multiple times per day.

Thanks for allowing me to clarify.
 
Jan 25, 2016
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#11
Speaking purely economically, that is not the case. The airlines made the business decision for smaller but more frequent flights. So they fly an Embraer 145 with 50 seats per flight three times a day instead of an Airbus 321 once. The decision traded off air traffic congestion for shorter connection times in hub/spoke models and greater passenger convenience.

I thin most travelers prefer the greater flexibility (if they even think about it) and I do not fault the airlines for this, but do note that it is a decision, and if congestion ever needed to be reduced, there are ways of doing it.
This a good assessment of the situation. A number of years ago, things were so bad that the FAA imposed slot controls on LGA and DCA. Potentially some additional airports could be included, like SFO.

One other method the airlines have adopted to deal with this is to pad the schedules where they know from experience that, even on a perfect weather day, ground traffic can cause delays.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#13
rather than harp on the accident at EWR, would rather emphasize the poor reliability of the flight in asking for some sort of compensation (assuming it was 4882).
But the "poor reliability of the flight" has nothing to do with a closure at EWR on that specific date. It's also information that would have been available to the OP before booking. They chose that flight anyway, so complaining about the known performance issues after the fact seems more than a bit disingenuous.
 
May 7, 2019
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#14
I’m sorry, but the mantra “you should have carried insurance” is not at all helpful to this poster. There are myriad perfectly justifiable reasons why frequent travelers — me among them — choose to self-insure for their travel. Even if the poster had insurance, the insurer itself likely would have a reimbursement claim against the carrier. Our poster therefore stands in the shoes of any insurer that might have covered his claim.

So please withhold your “did you purchase insurance” questions and instead offer helpful advice as to how this poster might proceed against the carrier for reimbursement of his claim, assuming no “act of God” or other justification outside the carrier’s control caused our poster’s delay.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#15
I’m sorry, but the mantra “you should have carried insurance” is not at all helpful to this poster. There are myriad perfectly justifiable reasons why frequent travelers — me among them — choose to self-insure for their travel. Even if the poster had insurance, the insurer itself likely would have a reimbursement claim against the carrier. Our poster therefore stands in the shoes of any insurer that might have covered his claim.

So please withhold your “did you purchase insurance” questions and instead offer helpful advice as to how this poster might proceed against the carrier for reimbursement of his claim, assuming no “act of God” or other justification outside the carrier’s control caused our poster’s delay.
Except for the fact that the OP may actually have insurance through his travel CC without being aware that the insurance exists.
For example:
Travel Protection
Go with confidence. When traveling, your United Club Card offers protection and assurance to help you deal with the unexpected.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 3 days.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you're covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses made with your United Club Card, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses made with your United Club Card, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
If you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation.
Travel Accident Insurance
When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your United Club Card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
If you run into a problem away from home, call the Benefit Administrator for legal and medical referrals or other travel and emergency assistance. (You will be responsible for the cost of any goods or services obtained.)
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your United Club Card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
I’m sorry, but the mantra “you should have carried insurance” is not at all helpful to this poster. There are myriad perfectly justifiable reasons why frequent travelers — me among them — choose to self-insure for their travel. Even if the poster had insurance, the insurer itself likely would have a reimbursement claim against the carrier. Our poster therefore stands in the shoes of any insurer that might have covered his claim.

So please withhold your “did you purchase insurance” questions and instead offer helpful advice as to how this poster might proceed against the carrier for reimbursement of his claim, assuming no “act of God” or other justification outside the carrier’s control caused our poster’s delay.
It most certainly IS relevant. This is exactly what insurance is for and if he or she did buy it they may not be aware they need to file a claim for it. That’s why the mention of insurance.

As Weihlac stated, the credit card used might also have insurance to cover this and if it does, OP needs to make a claim.

Many people are not aware that many policies have coverage for this and they never file a claim.
 
May 7, 2019
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#18
weihlac, your is a helpful suggestion (the poster should check whether the credit card he used to purchase his tickets might have insurance that covers his claim). On the other hand, the question the other posters asked — “did you have travel insurance?” — was not.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#19
instead offer helpful advice as to how this poster might proceed against the carrier for reimbursement of his claim, assuming no “act of God” or other justification outside the carrier’s control caused our poster’s delay.
Your request would require us to assume facts not in evidence. It appears in this case the driver of the delay may in fact have been outside the carrier's control. Asking respondents to post only "helpful advice" that may not apply to this particular set of circumstances is unreasonable, especially considering many have already pointed out the limitations of the carrier's responsibility under federal law and the CoC.

Asking whether someone has insurance of any kind is always valid, as the answer either opens or closes the door to other potential options for resolution.

Any traveler who opts to "self-insure" (as you put it; I'm not clear how that differs from being "uninsured") also accepts the full financial, administrative, time-loss, and other consequences insurance coverage can help mitigate. Those who opt against insurance assume that additional risk voluntarily, and while posters here are very good at suggesting potential alternatives when they exist, it is not the responsibility of posters here to provide free advice on how someone can make themselves whole in such circumstances. You may be able to find that kind of advice on another site targeted more specifically to "self-insurers."
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,127
16,265
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#20
weihlac, your is a helpful suggestion (the poster should check whether the credit card he used to purchase his tickets might have insurance that covers his claim). On the other hand, the question the other posters asked — “did you have travel insurance?” — was not.
Of course it is- many people don’t know this should be a covered incident when they DO have insurance and they need to file a claim.