Everyone has had their United WOES since the merger with Continental, and it was even worse once the airlines merged their systems. However after avoiding United for as long as possible it was my turn for a Untied woe. I recently booked my sister on a flight from San Diego to Manila using my miles. Unlike other airlines, United has VERY liberal change policies. Taking advantage of this, I booked her on a flight that was SAN-SFO-LAX-NRT-MNL. Sadly there are no transpacific star alliance flights from San Diego and a domestic stop would be required. Also when booking there was nothing from SFO available for booking or anything from SAN to LAX direct. So she got what she got, not great but hey for $62 and 65,000 miles it wasn’t bad.
Being the savvy traveler I looked almost daily at flights from San Diego and San Fran trying to rid my sister of an extra stop on her way to the Philippines. After only four days of searching, a direct flight from SAN to LAX opened up. This would save her about 2 hours in travel time and not make her back track. I quickly called up United to make the change.
After getting pass the annoying computer, I was quickly patched through to a representative. I did not encounter the 2 hour hold times that everyone else has been talking about. I explained to the representative what I wanted to do and she quickly secured the new flight information for me. However then the trouble begin. For whatever reason she couldn’t cancel the SAN-SFO-LAX flights.
She was polite and apologized and placed me on hold. The hold time continued to grow and grow when I had to listen to the same annoying elevator music playing on repeat (United really should mix up their music). The representative checked in with me every 10-15 minutes and told me she had a request put in to the help desk and was just awaiting a response from them. Then I would go back to listening to the elevator music.
The hold continued to the 58 minute mark, and FINALLY the representative came back, thanked me for my patience and informed me my ticket had been issued with the new flight numbers but the same reservation number. WALA, an hour of my life wasted to save my sister of couple of hours of travel.
I was glad to see that United changed my flight with no fees; however I wish I could have my hour of time back. It should not take an hour to change one flight segment. I would say, United needs to initiate a call back system. Let the representative fix your problem and then call you back when they are done. My change did not incur any fees so honestly there was no reason to keep me on hold for so long. An automated simple email in fact would have satisfied me.