Star Alliance — no customer service
I have discovered there is clearly no working relationship between Star Alliance airlines, specifically, United and Thai. My experience demonstrates the Star Alliance to be a fake alliance. I have never had a journey as bad as this in 20 years of traveling.
This is my story:
I left JFK on UA 839 on Sunday 13th July. Departure was delayed by 3.5 hours, arriving in LAX at 11.45pm so missing my connecting flight at LAX by only 35 minutes: TG795 which left at 11.10pm. A common story, perhaps, but what followed, I hope, is rare:
I spent 12 very stressful hours at LAX trying to get both United and Thai to assist me. Whilst a few United staff made positive noises in an attempt to appear to help, neither airline provided hotels nor flight solutions. In fact Thai customer service staff were non-existent at LAX, despite the fact the pilot of UA839 contacted customer services on my behalf to let them know I was on board and arriving late. I received a message back on the flight saying that TG795 would not wait and was departing on time at 2310.
I was well and truly abandoned, Thai saying it was United's responsibility and United saying it was Thai's responsibility. To cap it all United lost my suitcase and at time of writing it is still lost in space.
Twice I was lied to at LAX:
1) At 2am on the 14th United said they would put me on their flight via Narita, then at 8am said they would not.
2) Having finally contacted Thai in LA at 10am (by 40 minutes holding on the phone) they said they would route me back via Seoul on Asiana; then 2 minutes later they retracted this offer.
Extraordinary behavior. I eventually paid United for a one-way to Bangkok (US$ 998.40) via Narita on Tuesday 15th July. It took me 43 hours to travel from Manhatten to Bangkok (door to door) with not a hint of assistance from either Thai or United.
Don't ever fly United. Be very careful if you expect Star Alliance airlines to work together on your behalf. They can't, but what's worse is they won't try to.