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United Airlines / Poor customer service

1 United States Review updated:
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On 4 Sep 08 I took a flight from Boston to Burbank alone with my two children, ages 1 and 2 (I purchased 3 tickets). Since my husband is military, he is often unable to travel with me. When I got to the gate I was surprised to find that United did not offer pre-boarding for those traveling with small children. I asked the woman working at the service counter if I could pre-board as I was alone with my children, or if I could at least have some assistance in carrying the carseats down to my row. The response I received was 'I have 2 children too and you just have to deal with it'. Needless to say, I received no assistance from United down to my seat as I gate checked my stroller, carried 2 carseats, 2 babies, a diaper bag and a backpack. We are lucky nobody got injured in the process of manuevering down the narrow aisles. I also received no help from the crew upon exiting the plane. On our stopover our flight was delayed and it was the same process all over again, no assistance from United. I was excited to arrive at my final destination and leave the whole horrible experience behind me. I retrieved my bags, only to find one was missing. They said they would deliver it by noon the next day to my home. So, off I went to my car only to find that they had somehow damaged my double stroller so it would no longer collapse. We folded down the back seats since that was the only way it would fit and rode home. Since there was no longer room for me due to the stoller issues, I rode home sitting on the floor between my children's seats (there are 2 individual bucket seats in the 2nd row). At noon my bags had still not arrived, so I called United. They stated that they were out for delivery and would be there by 230pm. By 600pm my bags were still not there. We are now at 2 days since we arrived at home and I still do not have my bag. When I call the customer service line, they put me on hold so they can call the Burbank airport. In the four times I have called nobody has picked up the phone at Burbank.

On my travel to Boston from Burbank I flew with American Airlines and they went above and beyond to help me. They pre-boarded us, carried the carseats for me, and even occupied my children while I installed the carseats on the plane. They even told me that when I needed to go to the restroom to just ring the buzzer so they could keep an eye on my children. American (and a few other carriers) also have infant changing tables in their bathrooms, where United does not.

I am a frequent flyer, as our family has never lived near what we call 'home' over the past 9 years (since my husband has been in the service). On average we fly cross- country 6 times per year (24 round trip tickets). In all my years of frequent travel, I had never had such a horrible experience as I have with United. I have never had such poor customer service and would be willing to pay more for a ticket to avoid this airline. I will definately tell everyone I know with families to never use this carrier.

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  • Je
      16th of Oct, 2008

    I used United Airlines to book a ticket from New York to San Francisco. The ticket agent had informed me that there would be $75 in taxes and fees. I agreed to that. They sent me an e-mail receipt to confirm the $75 in taxes and fees.

    When I returned to New York, I checked my mail and checked my credit card statement. United Airlines charged me $75 in taxes and fees and then they charged me $75 again. They charged me for the same thing TWICE!

    So I spoke to customer service at United Airlines 4 or 5 times. Each customer service representative said that they had committed a mistake and each customer service representative transfered me to another line, which was a dead line. Basically there was a robot answering the phone going on about nonsense and finally saying “Blah blah blah blah, press 1, blah blah blah press 2”. None of these options were remotely related at all to my situation.

    Each time I spoke to United Airlines customer service, the people said “I’m sorry sir, we made a mistake. We’ll transfer you to so and so and you can ask for a refund” and each time they sent me to a dead line with a robot answering system. Each time they threatened to transfer me to a dead phone line I specifically told them not to transfer me to a robotic answering system and that I wanted to speak to a human being to resolve this issue. They kept saying “sorry sir, we don’t handle this, I have to transfer you to so and so department” and each time they transferred me to a dead line with a generic robotic answering machine!

    Also, this is not meant to be offensive, but for some reason all the customer service representatives spoke poor English and at times I had to ask them to repeat what they were saying or had to repeat what I was saying.

    Finally I spoke to the dispute resolution department at my credit card company. The lady at my credit card company sounded very sincere and was very helpful. She looked at my statement and saw that United Airlines charged me $75 TWICE. So she called United Airlines, and 20 minutes later got through to someone (a human being, not a robot) who supposedly is the manager in charge.

    The lady from my credit card dispute department stayed on the line and the United Airlines manager (who spoke poor English) started having a conversation with me not related to the dispute I was arguing. I got straight to the point to ask him why he charged $75 TWICE.

    He said “Hmmm….Well…..(Non comprehensible language)….let me pull up your record” and after a while he said that $75 is charged in taxes and fees. I KNOW THAT, BUT WHY DID THEY CHARGE ME $75 in taxes and fees TWICE!

    Basically the guy had me on the phone forever just to tell me what I already know. I know I’m supposed to be charged $75 in taxes and fees, BUT WHY DID THEY CHARGE ME TWICE?????
    I told him that “I ALREADY KNOW THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO BE CHARGED $75, BUT BACK TO MY ORIGINAL QUESTION, WHY DID YOU CHARGE ME $75 TWICE?” to which he replied in some non comprehensible nonsense. The conversation basically went on like this for a while. Finally he said “Hold on sir, let me take a look at this”. Then he finally said “Well, we charged you $75 in taxes and fees, and then we charged you $75 as a cancellation fee”…….WHEN DID I CANCEL A TICKET? WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?

    The first 4 or 5 United Airlines customer service representatives I spoke to said that they had made a mistake. But when I spoke to this manager, because the agent from the dispute department at my credit card company was on the phone line with me, suddenly the United Airlines manager frauduantly claimed that I had canceled an airline ticket.

    When I informed him that I had never canceled an airline ticket and didn’t know where these accusations where coming from, guess what he did? He said “Hold on sir, let me transfer you to so and so” and put me on hold forever.

    My credit card dispute department agent told me that she couldn’t wait anymore and that they would send me a letter of dispute.

    I am awaiting this letter of dispute from my credit card company. I hope I win this. Furthermore, I hope no one ever has to go through this. BOYCOTT UNITED AIRLINES.

    0 Votes
  • Jc
      16th of Jul, 2014

    Arrived at the Airport with 1:15 minutes before departure time. The day before my girlfriend to a flight out and had no lines. Parked in the economy parking and shuttle bus seemed to be broken down. Got to the terminal 45 minutes before the flight. I rushed in and told them that I need assistance cause I was going to miss my international flight. They said sorry sir the line is all the way back there. I went to open First Class desk to see if they could help me. They seemed like they wanted to but then turned me away and said sorry sir you have to wait in the line. Now I have traveled multiple airlines and never was pushed away. Each one I flew they bumped me urgently to the head of the line and assisted me to get on the plane. Even on Christmas I had arrived 5 minutes before the international flight and the airline helped me get through and on the plane. Both my experience and my trip to Reagan National airport was awful. Not one person was willing to budge or help. I flown out of BWI before and things were smooth there. The fact was I was stuck unable to make my flight and I could have easily been helped to make the flight with enough time. My guess is they sell that ticket for more when I don't make it on time and therefore resist being flexible.

    I think they need to read Tony Hsieh book "Delivering Happiness" If more companies realized how they can change peoples lives by trying to help them when things don't go as planned they will find a much more loyal customer for life and that will drive business on its own.

    Sad day for me cause I was suppose to meet up with my sweet heart today as she has been waiting for my arrival and I won't be able to greet her today. Seriously I would never put someone through this.

    I sympathise with anyone suffering through these kinds of situations. I feel your pain.

    Wish everyone well.

    0 Votes

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