UA Unresponsive to Claim for Payment Error to Connecting Carriers

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Feb 16, 2017
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#1
I have been attempting to obtain reimbursement from United Airlines on behalf of a Brazilian friend whose English is not up to the challenge. She lives in San Francisco and her name is [****].

On June 16, 2016 Ms. **** and her daughter, [***], flew from SFO to Rio de Janeiro on UA. UA was the first carrier on this prepaid round trip flight to Belo Hoizonte in Brazil. But in Rio Ms. **** and her daughter were denied boarding on the connecting flight to Belo Horizonte, operated by Azul Air, which claimed non-receipt of money for the flight. She had to pay approximately $480 out of pocket in Rio to fly to Belo Horizonte.

To return to SFO, she paid out of pocket $2,633.48 to book with Copa Airlines. Once home, she contacted Onetravel.com, through who the trip was booked. They explained that they had remitted the full amount to UA and UA was responsible to make payment to Azul Air. I made the initial request to UA on September 7, 2016, to investigate if UA had made the payment to Azul Air and, if not, to issue a refund to Ms. da Silva for the amounts she had to spent to complete her travel. UA Customer Care acknowledged the request on the same day, assigning a Case ID number of 12934379 (note: this is a new number).

To date UA has been very slow to respond to my repeated queries. In December 2016 they issued two travel certificates to Ms. **** valued at $300 each. Ms. **** has not used these certificates. Instead, on December 8, 2016, I wrote to AU again on her behalf requesting a full investigation of her claim of $3,103.48.

On December 29, 2016, I received the following email reply from UA:

Dear Mr. Hamilton:

We're sorry for your continuing concerns.

We have asked our Refunds department to review this issue further. We ask for your patience while it is reviewed.

Regards,

Joe Libunao

Corporate Customer Care

Case 11432634


As of February 15, 2017 we have received nothing further from UA Corporate Customer Care or UA Refunds Department. This situation has gone on long enough that I suspect that UA will not give a full response or make restitution to Ms. **** without the application of a bit more leverage. To this end I am writing to the Elliott.org/Forum. If you are able to take up this case I can supply you with copies of all my email exchanges with UA and of Ms. ****’s travel documents.

I will make Ms. ****’s contact information available through a secure communication once we get started.

We look forward to hearing from the Forum and thank you in advance for any assistance you may give.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#2
Have you received written proof from Onetravel.com that they, in fact, PAID UA?

That is where I would start. You need payment confirmation numbers for the transaction between Onetravel and United, and you need them FROM Onetravel.

Call your credit card company and see what the cutoff date is for filing a dispute against Onetravel.

As your travel agent, the bottom line is that Onetravel should be handling this disagreement for you, working on your behalf to get you a refund, and they should have been doing it from the VERY beginning. It is entirely possible that United is not responding to you because Onetravel is your travel agent.

You should find out when the dispute period runs out on your credit card and, if you/Onetravel haven't gotten this situation resolved before that end date, you should file a dispute with the credit card company citing non payment by Onetravel. Proof of this situation is the newly purchased air tickets mid itinerary. Let your credit card know that you have been attempting to get answer but Onetravel keeps deflecting you to United, and United isn't being responsive.

Ultimately Onetravel was responsible for ensuring that all legs are paid. If there was an issue, Onetravel should be investigating, demanding refunds on your behalf, and they should be the ones refunding you the money.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
You need to go to the travel agency that booked this. They need to be taking care of this. You didn't book with the airline. The travel agency may say they paid but the airline says not.

This is the responsibility of the agency you used. She has to fight with them. And someone should have checked this agency before you booked - they have 639 complaints. At this point it's been so long she should have done a credit card dispute with the company but it may be too late.



https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/onetravel.html
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#4
You need to go to the travel agency that booked this. They need to be taking care of this. You didn't book with the airline. The travel agency may say they paid but the airline says not.

This is the responsibility of the agency you used. She has to fight with them. And someone should have checked this agency before you booked - they have 639 complaints. At this point it's been so long she should have done a credit card dispute with the company but it may be too late.

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/onetravel.html
Call your credit card company ASAP and be sure to open a dispute before the deadline date!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#7
It's very kind of you to assist your friend. But I'm confused.about the very expensive return with Copa. Why could she not have re-booked the leg on Azul, to catch the United connection home from there? Part of the issue is that your letter is very long and it would be a good idea to boil everything down to a list of the facts in chronological order. It is indeed far too late to file a credit card dispute, unless she paid with an American Express card.

My colleagues are right, this issue is with her travel agent. I'm assuming she acted on her own and didn't contact them with the original problem. I would create a concise list of the facts and have her submit a request for compensation to the travel agency. They have much better resources for dealing with airlines and hotels .... I hope they are a reputable agency and will step up to help her. Time is of the essence, this is a really old issue.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
After reading the links Neil posted, I really think SAS80 asked the right questions. That online booking agency (I refuse to call them a travel agent) seems less than reputable.

Was it all presented as one ticket/reservation? Was the return rebooked on COPA because there was no ticket on Azul? Was there a return ticket on UA?
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 16, 2017
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#9
Many thanks to all of you for your generous time and ideas. I will be meeting with my friend next week and I have asked her to bring all her financial documentation, emails and the rest, if any, travel documents. I'll then draft a more concise letter directed to OneTravel. I agree that they are the ones to go to bat for her.