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Should we ask compensation for this lengthy delay?

Should we ask compensation for this lengthy delay?

Jun 28th, 2014, 02:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
Should we ask compensation for this lengthy delay?

Not sure what our 'rights' are when the flight is delayed a day ... any suggestions?

Details: Flew into Houston (3 hour flight) OK, booked first class on UA 4 to London, boarding at 8 PM, leaving at 9 PM.

We board OK but there's a "small problem" with one of the lights that illuminates the escape path in case of an emergency. This is looked at for an hour, then 2 hours, then 3 hours, then almost four hours ... finally at midnight we are told they can't fix it and we will be put on a different plane at a different terminal for the flight to London. So 238 pax catch the sky train to the other terminal and board the 2nd plane.

This one takes off at 1 AM and we are served a meal in first class, then 2 hours into the flight as they are finishing dessert service and we are over Kentucky (per the map on screen) the pilot announces that this plane lacks a certain radio needed to cross the Atlantic (either it isn't on the plane to begin with or it isn't working, dunno).

Instead of continuing on to Newark or Chicago (other United hubs that are closer to London than Houston by now) the plane U-turns to Houston. We land in Houston at 6 AM (about when we were supposed to land in London) and the scramble is on to find new seats ...

A dozen bleary eyed agents were called in to re-book 238 angry pax ... we get re-booked via Chicago, on a flight leaving Houston at about 9 AM, with a five hour layover in Chicago, then on to London in first class.

This flight to Chicago also has a problem (three flights in a row, a record for me). We wait on the tarmac as they check for luggage balance ... after an hour we finally take off to Chicago.

In Chicago we spring for a day room at the Hilton at the airport ($99 + tax), where we take showers and sleep for 2.5 hours (with four alarms set to make SURE we get up and don't miss the London flight). This is our first sleep in almost 40 hours.

We make it to London OK, about an hour before lunch at a pricey highly rated restaurant (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal). We are so tired my wife falls asleep at the table and hits her head (no harm, no foul).

Basically we are out one night's hotel in London (about $400) and $99 + tax for a day room in Chicago.

What should we ask for from United? My wife is Platinum and I'm Silver Elite, if that would make a difference, and we fly overseas several times a year, so we are probably considered great customers.
Bill_H is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 02:21 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,864
Sounds awful.

If you write, you'll probably get some frequent-miles, but that's it. Airlines take no responsibility for expenses incurred by you at your destination like a missed night in a hotel. United *might* have sprung for the day room at the Hilton if OKed beforehand, since the problems were due to a mechanical delay. After the fact, no, they won't reimburse you.

As for:

"A dozen bleary eyed agents were called in to re-book 238 angry pax"

I hope people have their airline's reservation number in their cellphone. Get on the phone and call to make the necessary arrangements in these situations rather than wait in a line with 238 people in it.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 03:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,569
I don't know what you might get back -- but . . . what a shame about Dinner. That should have been a special memory, not a sleep deprived struggle
janisj is online now  
Jun 28th, 2014, 03:21 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,491
So sorry you had such a trying time getting to London. No wonder you were exhausted. I don't know about compensation from the airline, but you should be able to claim your extra out-of-pocket expenses on your travel insurance.
julia1 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 04:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,336
For another perspective, post these thoughts on Flyertalk, specifically here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...leageplus-681/

Flyertalk is the first place I go with an airline-related question or problem.

_____________________________________________
Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 11:41 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,008
I agree that this is where travel insurance can be helpful. You might get an apology and some airline miles but don't see you getting much more.

BUT, it doesn't hurt to try.
bettyk is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 03:42 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
It was equipment failure not weather so it should have been compensated. Delta will give vouchers for meals, hotels etc if it is their fault. UA should also. The hotel in Chicago but not the lost night in London. Travel insurance should give you something but not sure what yours covers. Fine print will tell you.
flpab is offline  
Jul 4th, 2014, 09:49 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,902
At least you weren't in economy!
MissGreen is offline  

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