United overbooking - new tricks?

Old Jun 4th, 2013, 06:49 AM
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United overbooking - new tricks?

We booked a UAL flight 6 months in advance. We had a connection in Denver to another airlines. Now 3 months before the trip, United says the flight is "rescheduled" to an earlier time unacceptable to us. We know our flight has been fully booked for a while because a friend tried to make a reservation on the same flight and she had to book the earlier flight.

United penalizes travelers who change their flights - but United overbook and move people around without giving them compensation.

They sent us a "rescheduling" note with a request to: "Acknowledge & Accept the changes" - when we know it is not a rescheduling but a BUMPING without compensation. They are probably making more money from people who have to switch flights and are paying dearly to get on our flight.

Is this intimidation? What if we do not "accept" to be bumped? anyone with that type of experience or is it the beginning of a new low in Airlines/United treatment of passengers?
zazieflying is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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You are making assumption with no evidence to prove.

If you don't like the new flight, call to get another one or get a full refund.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:05 AM
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If you book a flight that early chances are something will get changed. I have had flight times changed, planes changed(so you don't get the seat you wanted) etc.
If it is an earlier time you will just have more time in Denver. To me not really a problem.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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You're not being bumped. Bumping occurs the day of the flight. Schedules change. That's the risk you take booking so far ahead. You are due a full refund if the times are unacceptable to you. That's the only compensation you can expect. Call and arrange for the refund and book something else. And don't toss around terms like "intimidation" and "trickery" when you talk to them.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Wow where to start... I agree with the others.

<i>"United says the flight is "rescheduled" to an earlier time unacceptable to us."</i>

I'd say maybe 15 to 20% of my flights end up having schedule changes and I typically book within about 3 months of my travel date. If you book a flight out 6 months in advance, that is an extra 3 months for changes to happen. Flight times and equipment change all of the time as MarthaT and Jeff_Coasta_Rica noted. And it isn't some vast conspiracy theory as rkkwan notes.

"<i>We know our flight has been fully booked for a while because a friend tried to make a reservation on the same flight and she had to book the earlier flight.</i>"

No you don't. You are making a <b>huge assumption</b> here.


The odds of flight being 100% sold out 3+ months in advance are extremely slim. More likely, seats were either temporarily unavailable or priced highly uncompetitive due to fare management and existing bookings for the flight.

What is the date of the flight and the United Flight number? There are tools that will make it pretty easy to check availability.


<i>"United penalizes travelers who change their flights"</i>

Except you aren't changing your flights here. United changed their schedule. It is their policy and virtually every other airline's policy that when a schedule change occurs that doesn't work for the customer, they'll either re-accommodate you on a mutually agreed upon flight or they'll refund the ticket.


"<i>but United overbook and move people around without giving them compensation.</i>

Again you have zero evidence this flight was even overbooked in the first place. And hopefully knowing what we've told you now, a schedule change for an overbooked flight would be a pretty silly way to resolve the situation.

<i>They sent us a "rescheduling" note with a request to: "Acknowledge & Accept the changes" -</i>

Very nice of them. Your flight's time changed and they sent you a notice. You don't have to "acnowlege & accept the changes" if you don't want to...

<i>when we know it is not a rescheduling but a BUMPING without compensation. </i>

Again, this would be a pretty ridiculous way of handling an oversold flight for many reasons, but you have no evidence this is an oversold flight.

<i>
"They are probably making more money from people who have to switch flights and are paying dearly to get on our flight."</i>

No in this instance they are potentially losing money. If you don't like the time change, they'll refund your ticket. If you don't book on United again, that is lost revenue. If you accept a change to a different United flight, that is still potentially lost revenue as you're now taking a seat on a different flight that they won't sell (assuming they can't sell the original seat you're giving up).

<i>"anyone with that type of experience or is it the beginning of a new low in Airlines/United treatment of passengers?"</i>

This is actually fairly good treatment from Airlines/United. Many times, I'm not aware of a schedule change until checking my reservations on the airline's website or people who don't do that may not be aware until they go to check-in for their flight. The fact that you apparently were proactively contacted is a good sign.

<i>"Is this intimidation? What if we do not "accept" to be bumped?"</i>

You aren't being bumped. You have 3 options. 1) Accept the time change and fly on your original ticket. 2) Try and work out a different flight with United. 3) Have United refund the ticket. That doesn't seem like airline intimidation to me...
MrNuke is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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I can only assume that you have very little flying experience for you to make those kinds of unsupported assumptions.

I always book my flights to Asia 11 months in advance, and I expect to get notices telling me of schedule changes a number of times before I fly. If they make a schedule change that doesn't work for me (rare) they will re-book me at no cost to me.

As others have said, this has no relationship to bumping, this is simply a schedule change.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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You all have given the OP terrific explanations/set him/her straight. Unfortunately the odds are s/he probably won't ever see them. Registered to post the rant and is likely out posting the same thing on other sites. Any bets what happens when s/he posts on FlyerTalk
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 03:58 AM
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Ufff! FlyerTalk can be brutal in cases like these. Here you'll get informative, straightforward, friendly responses. Over there, you'll get informative, straightforward, sometimes withering responses. Each Internet discussion board has its own norms and culture. Fodor's and FT are very different places.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 05:37 AM
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Many on FT's UA board may actually agree with the OP. They believe Jeff Smisek has ruined everything and will do anything to get you.
rkkwan is offline  
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