United did well.....but I have a question

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Jul 7, 2018
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#1
I know this is not the normal post to the forums but I wanted to give United at least some kudos for my recent flights traveling with my grandchildren, a 3 month, and 2-1/2 yr old, and my adult daughter. We flew from SEA to ORD on Aug. 9 and arrived on time. However, our next flight from ORD to MDT was delayed due to mechanical issues at the airport it was coming in from so it was not in Chicago yet. We were fine, able to deal with a delay. However, after a gate change a little while later, the flight was cancelled. By reading these forums I knew what to do. I immediately got in line, thankful I had paid for premier seats, and wondered about a hotel voucher. I also got on the phone while standing in line. I reached a CSR before I even moved up in line. We were rebooked on the same flight to MDT the next day which was to depart at 6:30PM. I didn't like that option with 2 children but there were no earlier flights with 3 seats available. I then asked if there were any flights available that night to PHL or BWI as they were both within driving distance to my final destination and family could pick us up. The CSR was able to get us on a flight to PHL but we had to rush to the gate. We made it only to have thunderstorms delay that flight. We did finally make it to PHL at 12:45AM and the kids were troopers. Grandma was just a little frayed. :)
Here is my question. The next morning I checked my reservation for our return flight on the 14th and our seat assignments in Economy Plus were gone. Once again from following Elliott.org, I had a feeling that somehow this was going to change my flights back to SEA on the 14th. I called and was able to get seat assignments that would work but we had to ask a gate agent on the day of the flight to ask another passenger to exchange seats, aisle for aisle. What I wonder is why did changing my destination during the first flight remove my seat assignments? United knew I accepted the change in final destination and we were not a no show. Does anyone with more knowledge know why this would automatically cause the computers to release our seats. And they were gone before 24 hours had gone by.
As a side note, our bags arrived in Harrisburg the next morning and they were going to deliver them to my sisters home. However, after not seeing them at the airport on my bag tracker I called and found that their scanner was not working but that the bags were there. We drove to Harrisburg and picked them up and United had told me to call when I had them. They then gave me $175 voucher for future travel. And when I got home I noticed on my charge card that I was refunded for the economy plus seating on the flights on the 9th. I did not request anything but feel that given the circumstances, this was the right way to be treated. Just thought I would give a shout out to United for good service instead of what we normally see on this forum. And for those of you who might have read my earlier thread about traveling with the 2 child stroller all went well there too. Thank you Elliott.org for all the great advice and tips you provide travelers with valuable information on what can happen and what to do.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,450
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Did they give you a new reservation number for the rebooked flight? That would be one reason this could have happened- if they gave you a new res and didn’t change the second flight to the new one.

I also applaud you for being so proactive! You did a great job advocating for yourself and understanding the nuances of everything.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jul 7, 2018
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#3
No. The reservation number was still the same. However, on the United app my reservation now read as SEA-PHL rather than SEA-MDT. But the return flights were still MDT-IAD, then IAD-SEA. When I mentioned it to the gate agent at IAD she just said, oh these things happen.

I was so glad I read these forums as I felt like I at least had an idea of what I needed to do and how to ask.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
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San Francisco
#5
I wish I could give you a reason for all this weirdness, Carol. I remember during the merger with Continental, if a flight time changed by 2 minutes I'd lose my seats and have to reselect them. This went on forever, six or seven flights a year. That's where I learned to ride herd on every single res from the moment I book it until I'm on my way to the airport. I just book travel expecting that it will all get bolluxed up and I need to be right there every time to unscrew it. Thanks so much for letting us know that we have made a difference ... music to a volunter advocate's ears!

I remember the dual-stroller thread ... so they just handled it without issues? That's very good to know for our future OPs.
 
Jul 7, 2018
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#6
Yes, it turns out the dual stroller was the least of my concerns. I too had been watching my reservation carefully leading up to our trip. I told my daughter I felt so empowered because I had learned so much from following all your threads and advice. I feel like I learn something everyday. And you know, a lot of times, it's as simple as what not to do.
This trip was to introduce the kids to Great Grandma and it was so worth it. I take the same trip about 3-4 times a year by myself and of course hardly ever have cancelled flights, delays yes, but not cancellations. Only when traveling with little ones. Murphy's law. ;)
Keep up the good work. Volunteers Rock!!! :):)
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
113
San Francisco
#8
Yes, it turns out the dual stroller was the least of my concerns. I too had been watching my reservation carefully leading up to our trip. I told my daughter I felt so empowered because I had learned so much from following all your threads and advice. I feel like I learn something everyday. And you know, a lot of times, it's as simple as what not to do.
This trip was to introduce the kids to Great Grandma and it was so worth it. I take the same trip about 3-4 times a year by myself and of course hardly ever have cancelled flights, delays yes, but not cancellations. Only when traveling with little ones. Murphy's law. ;)
Keep up the good work. Volunteers Rock!!! :):)
Awwwww, the kids were going to visit Great Grandma? This is so cool and I'm so glad we helped. Neil's right, Carol, it was easy to tell from your posts that you had your head on straight about it all ... and I know you're a different traveller now from all the information you picked up.