As I wrote about in the post entitled The Day United Airlines Flights Were Grounded, I was scheduled to travel to Florida on United Airlines on July 8th. United’s systems were down for many hours that day, so it was a fiasco of a day. I did eventually make it to my destination on a rebooked flight on Delta Airlines.
Yesterday, I submitted a letter on-line to United Airlines complaining about the day, and requesting compensation. I gave all of the pertinent details, including the names of the passengers, their frequent flyer numbers, the confirmation number, the ticket numbers, the date of travel, origination and destination, and flight numbers. I then concisely (but nicely) explained the problem:
… We arrived at the airport, the lines were out to wazoo. We kept getting notifications of delays, and further delays, and further delays for our first flight. It became readily apparent that we would never be able to make our connecting flight. It was impossible to find someone to talk to with knowledge. Customer service was non-existent, whether by phone, in person, or via social media. Finally, after waiting on the phone for what seemed like forever, we were helped, and changed to a flight on Delta. Then we first had to run like crazy people to another terminal and we were seated in Economy seats (our seats for the United flight were in Economy plus).The entire day was mayhem. Although I do not have status at the moment, I was Premier Platinum through early this year, so I know when a service provider conforms to its responsibilities and when it does not. . .
I immediately received a stock email acknowledging receipt of my filing:
Thank you for contacting United Airlines. Our Customer Care team is currently responding to most inquiries within 7-10 business days…
Well, it took less than 7-10 business days for United to respond. In fact, only one hour later, I received this formal response from United’s Corporate Customer Care:
I’m sorry for the inconvenience you experienced on July 8, 2015, as a result of our system-wide network connectivity issues.
Our co-workers worked as quickly as possible to fix the problem and restore regular flight operations to get you back on your way.
I know you were counting on us for on-time performance and we let you down. I’d like to show our appreciation for your patience by issuing an electronic travel certificate for each of you. The electronic travel certificate that will be emailed to you under separate cover within 3-5 business days.
Thank you for flying with us, and we look forward to welcoming you on board another flight soon.
So, United responded promptly and courteously. United acknowledged the problem and informed me that it will be issuing compensation in the form of electronic travel certificates. Pretty good, right?
What I don’t know is the amount of the electronic travel certificate! HOW MUCH?
Anyone care to guess?
Lesson learned: It never hurts to ask, but if you do ask, do it promptly and respectfully, make sure to supply detailed information, and don’t be afraid to follow up on the matter.