So, my recent trip to Toronto was booked on the United Airlines website, and I ended up with three flights (I went via Las Vegas on the way out) all with UA flight codes, although two of them were operated by Air Canada. As is pretty much the norm for United, the flight they operated was late leaving San Francisco (they had to perform last minute repairs at the gate while we sat on the aircraft). That, combined with the 30 minute interval between inter-terminal shuttles at Las Vegas, meant I missed the original flight I had been booked on up to Toronto.
The Air Canada check-in desk staff kindly moved me on to the next flight, and all went well from there. Now I get back and discover that United had credited me with the mileage for SF to Las Vegas, and Toronto to SF, but had missed the flight that was changed. On the rare occasions that their website manages to show past itineraries, I can see the change recorded there, so they know what happened. But apparently they aren’t smart enough to handle the mileage credit too.
So I call customer service to be told that I need to send the boarding pass and a copy of the E-Ticket receipt (which is almost impossible to get to on their website because of repeated errors) to them. Since it is hard to get at online, I ask if they can send me a copy of the receipt since I can’t seem to get to it. “No, sorry, you need to call a different number for that.” OK, can I file a complaint about the ridiculousness of a system where I need to print something generated by a United database and send it back to United? “Yes sir. Let me give you the number for that…”
And why am I sending any of this information to them on paper? This was an online booking, made on their website. They already know that I was moved onto the next flight (because they were late getting to Las Vegas – and from what Air Canada told me, that’s not unusual). They already credited me the miles for 2 out of 3 segments. How hard can this be to fix online?
Is there anything I can do without calling another number? No, apparently not. The customer service desk is apparently just a telephone directory for United’s many other numbers. All he could do was give me other numbers to call. And the first person I spoke to managed to cut me off when I asked to be transferred to her supervisor. The only thing other than a number that I managed to get is an email address for the complaints – firstname.lastname@example.org if anybody is interested.