Here’s a good airline story to kick off the New Year
There are travel sites that promise to go to bat for you should you have an issue with an airline, hotel or some other outfit you may give your money and business to on the road.
Most of the time, that’s not what we do here at StuckatTheAirport.com.
We stick mostly to telling you about great adventures and cool amenities to explore when you’re in an airport, on a plane or in a town.
But if someone asks for advice or help with a travel problem, we do our best to help.
That’s what happened when Annie, a childhood friend of ours, reached out.
She’d had a scary and frustrating trip from Newark to Los Angeles over Thanksgiving and wanted help getting United Airlines to give her and her husband the $10,000 they were offered for volunteering to give up their seats.
Problem was she had no paperwork showing that the hefty vouchers had been promised.
Here’s her story:
On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we were flying from Newark to LA on United.
We were in the air briefly when the pilot announced we were going back to Newark as the plane lost an engine.
Arrived safely. They attempted to fix the plane but gave up after several hours.
When they announced a new plane, we went to the new gate with a newly assigned seat electronically.
Then they announced they needed 50 volunteers to give up their seats at $5k voucher per person. You can imagine many people started scrambling including me. It was chaos. I backed away when I saw the chaos. The flight kept getting delayed as they waited for food service. Then the crew timed out. Then they announced they needed more volunteers.
I got to the front of the line. A supervisor gave me a new boarding pass for the next day that said: “See agent.”
We waited around for a while to see if we would get hotel voucher. It was still chaotic, and some people were getting heated…. No one said how we can claim our vouchers.
We got our own hotel at Newark. I figured I can pay 150.00 if I am going to get 10k. …. I assumed we would hear from United via email.
When we didn’t, I reached out on-line about two weeks ago. I have been dealing with someone from Customer Service who said we should have received the vouchers at Newark. She has been reaching out directly to Newark but hasn’t gotten any response.
Trust me, we didn’t give up our prime seats for no compensation!
Sometimes, things work out!
To be honest, we weren’t at all confident Annie and her husband would be able to collect their vouchers since they had no documentation in hand.
But when we asked our United Airlines contact where to send Annie to get help, they said they’d have Customer Service get in touch.
And they did.
Now we are pleased to report that the Customer Service person who investigated this issue quickly – as in less than a day –on the day before New Year’s, no less – figured out that yes, indeed, these two travelers were in fact due $5,000 each in bump compensation.
Apologies were offered. And now those vouchers have been issued.
Good work United Airlines!!!
Moral of the story?
If you volunteer to be bumped off a flight in exchange for $50 or $5,000, never leave the counter without getting the voucher placed in your hand.