My First Interaction with United Airlines Customer Care Department

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United Airlines (ERJ-175) First Class Houston to Oklahoma City
United Airlines (ERJ-175) Arriving in OKC

If you have been following along on my latest trip report, you know that my travels to Costa Rica were last than ideal. It started with a missed flight in Oklahoma City, another one in Houston, and a final missed flight in Miami. I took it all in stride and eventually made it to my destination. After my trip concluded, I decided to reach out to United Airlines to see if I could receive some sort of compensation for the delays. I did not what specific compensation (this was not a WiFi refund or a missed product review) to request so I sent the following to United’s refunds team:

Good morning,

I was scheduled to fly from OKC to San Jose, CR via Houston on last Tuesday. Due to a check-in issue at OKC, I was bumped to a later flight. That later flight was then delayed, which caused me to miss my connection in Houston.

Speaking to the customer service representative in Houston, she suggested that I fly to Miami (instead of having an eight hour layover) and connect there (on American Airlines) for the 6pm flight to San Jose, CR.

Upon arriving in Miami, I was told that I no longer had a seat on American and that I would be forced to spend the night. I was given a hotel and meal voucher, as well as booked on American for the following day.

The issue that I have with this is that I had a non-refundable booking at the Costa Rica Marriott so I am out of $145. I asking for a $145 travel voucher to cover this loss.

I would like some other form of compensation for the lengthy layover in Houston, which caused this irregular itinerary and a 12hr delay in Miami.

The refund of the entire ticket may have been too much to request since the airline did provide food and hotel vouchers. I was hopeful that there would be a quick response from United. A few days after the refund submission, I received the following:

Dear Roberto Short:

We appreciate you reaching out to us.

We understand your concerns; however, they are best handled by our Customer Care Team. We’ve forwarded your request to them for review. If you need to reach them, you can do so at www.united.com/feedback.

Thank you for choosing United Airlines.

Sincerely,

United Refunds

I did not know what to expect here because I have not dealt with the Customer Care Team in that capacity. To my surprise, I received the following correspondence a day later:

Dear Mr. Short:

I’m sorry we couldn’t get you to your destination on time October 9, 2018.

I can only imagine your frustration. As a token of our apology, and per your request, I’m sending you a $145.00 Electronic Travel Certificate, which should arrive via email in the next few business days. I’m also adding 5,000 miles to your Mileage Plus account. They should post within a few days. Of course, our goal is to operate on schedule – unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. We’re working hard to improve our ability to recover in these situations and provide the customer experience you expect. I hope your next flight on United is smooth and we get the chance to deliver the great customer service we would like to be known for.

Thank you for your business and MileagePlus loyalty as a Premier Platinum Member. We look forward to serving you on your next United flight.

Have a great day

Regards,

Jodi

Wow. I did not expect such a personal response. I would have been fine not receiving any compensation at that point, but I feel like Jodi went above and beyond.

Final Word

If you travel enough, delays will occur. I have found that being professional with agents of an airline goes a long way. Thank you to United’s Customer Care Team, I really appreciate the help.

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