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Bumping me off a booked flight

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Benjamin G. Co, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. I am traveling from San Francisco to San Diego and was recently informed by the airline that they will need to transfer me to another flight 1 hour and 5 minutes later (from 311pm to 416pm). As I am traveling from an international flight from another country and arriving at 1035am in San Francisco, the closest flight from San Francisco to San Diego is the 311pm flight. The reason for transferring me to another flight was that I purchased the business class seat for SFO-SAN a few months ago and it was "cheaper" than the average cost. Is the airline within its right to just shuffle me to another flight? In the first place I did not offer that rate at the time I bought the ticket. They did! What can this situation be solved as a win-win for both the passenger and the airline? I think moving me to a flight over an hour later is too long a wait in SFO.
     
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  2. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    Hi Benjamin, did you flight have a schedule change? For a flight three months away, this sounds more likely than an involuntary bump?
     
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  3. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    They changed the original schedule from 3PM to 311PM but they put me on a 416pm flight. Why did they not just move me to the 311PM flight?
     
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  4. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    I would call the airline and ask them why they made the change? That does seem odd...
     
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  5. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    Thanks Ricky. My travel agent did. They couldn’t give us a good answer. All they replied was - it just is. And that when we bought our tickets, it was a “sale” ticket. It’s stressful and I am just mulling on suing the airline.
     
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  6. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    Just to play devil's advocate. I think the minimum connection time for international to domestic flights at SFO (customs and re-clear security) is 90 minutes. So realistically, it's probably around 12:30ish when you get to your domestic gate. So, you're looking at around 3 hours in the terminal, not 5. Just wanted to be sure that was clear.

    Also, I'd definitely recommend calling the airline yourself. I'm sure your travel agent is great, but he/she has no incentive to push the airline to keep you on that 3pm flight.
     
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  7. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    I actually did! I called the local office of UA in Manila and they couldn’t give a credible answer.

    Their reply was - overbooked first class seats. We paid the cheapest fare which was on sale. They moved the flight schedule. They needed to move us.

    They told me to argue with the counter when I get to SFO. It was a decision of their “revenue unit”.
     
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  8. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Active Member

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    I get that it may be stressful, but I would read the contract of carriage (T&Cs) before suing. Frankly, suing over an hour change is kind of crazy. Is it really worth it? You are still going to get into San Diego the same day. You just don't want to spend an hour extra in SFO?

    It sounds like Ricky may be correct about timing; and that perhaps part of the reason for the schedule change was a combination of more than one flight from SFO to SAN. Maybe 10 daily flights were combined to 9, or even 8. As your ticket was in a lower fare bucket (i.e. a "sale" ticket) revenue management made the choice to move you to a 4:15 flight instead of 3:11. I am not sure, but I think revenue management would be well within its right to do so (if F was now overbooked). Regardless, suing in a US court over this change will get you nowhere. Perhaps you'll have better luck in the Philippines.
     
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  9. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    CBD2D07D-22ED-4AB6-8DD8-DDA52C557A21.jpeg Thanks OCTinPHL.

    I thought about the combining of flights. There’s no change in the total number of daily flights. It’s still the same. After the incident I checked the website of UA daily and the first class was still available, albeit for a heftier price! I bought my tickets for $700 round trip. They were now selling it at $1074. Until yesterday when no one was buying it. They slashed it down to $664. And it was sold within half a day. And it’s a D class thar was purchased. It’s really petty to argue over $374. The point is - the airline should provide a rational explanation for this. Would it have been too much for them to have called me first to ask if it would be alright to move me from a 3pm to a 416pm flight? Did they at least try to reach out and ask if I would be fine getting downgraded to economy plus and they’d refund the difference? No! They didn’t bother. They just have very bad customer service.
     
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  10. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    If your ticket was booked through a travel agent, the airline may have reached out to them to confirm the change. Your travel agent maybe saw the 1 hour change, still confirmed in first class, and approved the change for you
     
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  11. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    You are right. They reached out to her. To inform her of the change. She didn’t approve and got in touch with me. I called the airline. According to them, it’s a system thing. When they overbook the system recognizes who paid the least. And they moved us automatically. They know that. The bottom line to them was everything is system generated. Sadly a bad and pathetic reason. The agent agreed. It was lame. But it’s what she was told to say. There’s nothing they can do on their end.
     
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  12. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite understand. Was there equipment change involved as well? Just changing the time *shouldn't* trigger automatic flight changes.
     
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  13. Benjamin Co

    Benjamin Co New Member

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    • Nope. Still a A319. At least you know where my confusion is coming from. According to UA, it’s the system that triggers it. Whatever! To say I am frustrated is an understatement
     
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  14. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    I would look on Elliott.org about effective ways to advocate for yourself and then reach out to their contacts for UAL. Definitely better than trying to sue.
     
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    Rob in Miami likes this.
  15. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    I definitely see where your frustration is coming from. As you can probably see, we are all sort of taking stabs at trying to understand the situation as well, and no real answers.

    I'd also add though, this stuff happens all the time and is not unique to United. We have a flight on American later this year that just last week was moved 45 minutes earlier and then swapped from an A330 to a 767 - big downgrade! I think Ben posted the other day how he was booked on Icelandair and they literally cancelled the route and haven't notified him yet.

    I guess my point is to recognize that these things happen when you book flights in advance. And personally, I'd be content with getting home 1 hour later with a safe connection and a confirmed First class seat ...
     
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    OCTinPHL likes this.
  16. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Active Member

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    +1. You are talking about suing over spending one extra hour in SFO. Airlines (AA?) make changes like this all the time - crappy changes that piss customers off - that are much worse than what you are dealing with United.
     
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