Not feeling the love for United

As I write, I’ve been on the phone with United Airlines for 44 minutes. I’ve been on hold most of this time waiting for the agent to “fix” our tickets for tomorrow’s flights from Cleveland to Toronto, to Frankfurt, to Bucharest. Needless to say, I am not feeling the love for United at the moment.

And now I have been disconnected . . . .

If the phone doesn’t ring soon, I will turn into one of those cartoon characters with smoke coming out of her ears and cheeks the color of smoked salmon. I swear!

Here’s what happened. I went to the United website about an hour ago to print out our itinerary. Cousin Carole (on the same reservation) and I are leaving tomorrow for our Viking River Cruise from Bucharest to Budapest. I knew it was too early to print out a boarding pass, and that all gets tricky with international flights, anyway. I think we have to show our passports at the airport first.

Anyway, in red, bold print it says to contact United because changes were made to our reservation on April 6. Yes, you read that correctly. More than a month ago!

My first thought is, gee, United has no trouble contacting me by email almost daily with “special” flights they’d like me to purchase. I was actually a Continental frequent flyer and had all my points there, but we are all happy UA campers since the merger. I am guessing since this ticket was booked last year, the merger may be the reason why there seems to be a problem today.

So having lost reservationist #1, I am now back at square one, having navigated the menu and answered questions to wait in the queue to talk to reservationist #2. As you may have guessed, I have just a few OTHER things I need to accomplish today. I did not budget for more than an hour on the phone with reservation issues.

I’m not saying Continental Airlines was much different from any other airline, but this merger has not gone smoothly, in my humble opinion. And in my not-so-humble opinion, I miss being an elite traveler on Continental where I was occasionally surprised with upgrades to first class. Not anymore. Too many people in one pot and whoever has the most miles gets the first seat. Drat!

And what was the problem that kept me on the phone with United for more than an hour? The departure times changed on two legs of the trip . . . by two minutes each time. WTF?

One thing I did learn, in case you don’t already know, is that a reservationist can be working on something for you for any length of time, but if you get disconnected for any reason, he or she CANNOT call you back! No, it’s not that they don’t want to finish up the work, necessarily. They are unable to place outgoing calls and the second a call finishes, another comes onto the reservationist’s line. The person who was on hold (like me) is SOL.

I don’t know what happened to the first woman I was talking with, but now that I know what the issue was and how these people must go nuts with no end to call waiting – I think she saw the two minute changes and put me on hold so she could sneak out for a potty break and a smoke. Maybe she needed time to get on her cell to ream out her boyfriend for being an ass last night. Or she didn’t want to miss a last minute bargain with Groupon, or . . . .

About katemahar

Freelance writer and event planner by trade . . . mother/daughter/sister/friend . . . passionate traveler . . . compulsive reader
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