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A little more than two weeks ago I wrote about booking an award flight to Tampa Bay through Singapore Airlines on United Airlines. The thing that I failed to mention in that post was that I was actually trying to review United Airlines’ 737 MAX aircraft between Houston and Tampa Bay.
I scheduled the trip over last weekend so that I could get back into town for other business. After arriving at the airport, I spoke to the gate agent because my flights departing Dallas and Houston had changed. I ask the agent the reason and she stated that it was weather related. I quickly opened the United app and saw the following:
Weather had indeed pushed all of the flights back which would culminate with my flight arriving in Houston over two hours late. I told the gate agent the sole purpose of the trip and asked if she could provide any compensation for the delayed/missed flight. She stated that she could not because the delay was less than four hours. She instructed me to call United, if I wanted compensation.
I could see that the conversation was not progressing so I asked to speak with her supervisor. He came over and gave me the same lines. Again, I explained the purpose of my trip and he agreed to give me a $200 travel voucher. I asked for three $200 vouchers since three people were on the itinerary. He stated that he could not and referred me to United.
After 30 minutes of talking to the gate agent and her supervisor, I was done. I took the voucher and made my way through security.
I slept on it for a few days but I ultimately decided to reach out to United Airlines on Twitter:
The social media agent was really helpful. I was surprised to have a response in less than an hour. I went to the complaint/refund link that was provided submitted a case.
I received the following response to the complaint:
Dear Mr. Short:
I’m very sorry to read about your flight delay from Dallas.
We know your time is valuable and never intended for this to happen. We want to be your airline of choice, and get you to your destination on-time, but I can tell from your comments we have some work to do. I can only imagine your disappointment. Your feedback will be sent on to our Operations teams for review, so we can determine how to improve our recovery efforts. United works hard to run an on-time airline; however, unforeseen events sometimes challenge us.
While we regret the inconvenience you experienced due to the flight delay, we are often unable to provide compensation for flight delays less than four hours. However, I see an electronic travel certificate was issued for your at the airport. Attached is a copy of it along with the terms and conditions for your review. It is never our intent to inconvenience our passengers, and I am very sorry your valid expectations were not met.
We thank you for your business, loyalty and look forward to seeing you on a future United flight.
While I did not get the answer/compensation that I wanted, I am appreciative that United provided me three options to voice my displeasure. Thanks to the United supervisor who gave me the $200 voucher at the airport, it meant a lot. I hope to get to review the 737 MAX in the near future.