United Customer Care Gets It Wrong. No one is surprised.

From time to time I deviate from the general theme of the blog to vent. This is one of those times. It seems that every chance I have to interact with a US Airline leaves me with a headache & an hour of time wasted on the phone.

Today, Sally and I went to book tickets from Chicago to Savannah in June. We are spending two weeks stateside to visit the family, and decided that it was more fun to visit them at the beach!

After learning that it would cost me 25 dollars per ticket to book free tickets on miles, we decided that booking online was a better idea. So we selected our flights, Sally on the desktop from her account & I on the laptop from mine. We coordinated to select our seats, filled out the credit card details & hit purchase.

Surprise! Sally's went through, and mine didn't. I grabbed the phone and called customer service. It seems Sally booked the last available seat on the plane for mileage purposes. You know, the airline needed to save room for revenue generating passengers (From the look of the seatmap, there is still PLENTY of room).

After many calls & pleading we were left with three options. Leave at 6:30 am the morning after a wedding we are attending in Chicago (yeah - not an option), pay almost 400 bucks to buy a seat on the "full" flight, or leave the next day. So, I rather begrudgingly asked for Sally's flight to be changed to the next day & the man to book me on it. After more than an hour, I thought I was finished.... But NO! It would STILL cost 25 bucks for him to book my ticket. Yes, he was unable to wave the booking fee that sent me on this long stupid path in the first place... The rest I'm willing to forgive, but seriously, you can't enable your staff to waive the booking fee?


G said...

No offense - but this is why i love india and dont like the US.

Its a really strange money-making system. Always - to get something free you have to pay something- maybe a financial mantra - but India is sooo much easier and convenient and without most terms and conditions that you find in the US. Also, I must add the domestic flights there arent so great.

Oh! AND they charge you for a check-in baggage! As a student in the States I was cutting costs as much as I could and had to pack everything i could in a carry-on which finally broke my back! My mistake that I didnt think of getting one with wheels rather than a duffel!

One last addition.. :P .. I wanted to cancel a phone service because i didnt like it and I'd have had to pay double the amount i paid for setting it up in the first place - so i was forced to stick with it!