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Re: Delayed Baggage from United Flight 5204 on January 2, 2019 (or “How Much Wrong Information Can One Company Give Out in 24 Hours”). BAGGAGE/FILE REFERENCE: **. I never write these sorts of complaints. But my experience with your company was so exceedingly bad that I was compelled to submit a written complaint on this occasion. I was booked and traveled on United Airlines Flight 5204 from Aspen Colorado to Houston Texas – a direct flight. I do not live in Houston. I live in Dallas, but had traveled to/from Aspen/Houston because I spent Christmas in Houston. Flying United from Houston to Aspen direct seemed like the efficient thing to do. That was a big mistake.
On January 2, Flight 5204 was originally scheduled to depart Aspen at 1:40 pm and arrive in Houston at 5:13 pm. However, we were delayed in Aspen multiple times. Nevertheless, I arrived at the airport according to the original departure time, just in case. As a result I checked my bag approximately 3 hours before the ultimate departure time. Once on the plane, take off was further delayed because the plane was too heavy and was required to burn off fuel. (I also suspect that bags were removed and/or not placed on the flight due to weight restrictions.). I did not arrive in Houston until approximately 8 pm. After proceeding to the baggage claim area, I discovered that my bag had not arrived. I proceeded to the baggage claim desk.
WRONG INFORMATION #1 and #2: The United agent at the baggage desk told me my bag was in Denver. She was not able to explain why it was sent to Denver, but my instinct tells me that passengers who were connecting through Houston had their bags placed on the Aspen flight and those of us for whom Houston was deemed the “final” destination, were less urgent and therefore those bags were rerouted through Denver.
I ask if there was a possibility that the bag might yet arrive in Houston that night. The agent said “No, there are no more flights out of Denver tonight. I will direct it to be on the first flight in the morning, leaving Denver at approximately 5:50 am and arriving in Houston at approximately 9:50 am.” (WRONG INFORMATION #1). The agent asked for a local delivery address. I provided my sister's home address in Houston, but I further explained that I lived in Dallas and would be driving home in the morning, with the airport in my direct driving path. The agent said that I would receive a notice when my bag ultimately arrived and that I could ask that it be kept at the airport rather than sent to the outside delivery service (WRONG INFORMATION #2). She provide me with a Delayed Baggage Report and I then left the airport.
WRONG INFORMATION #3, #4, #5 and #6: At 8:33 am the following morning, I received a text message reading “** has picked up your baggage from George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport. You will be notified when your baggage is sent out.” Seeing immediately that this was contrary to what I had been told the previous evening, I called the toll-free number on the Delayed Baggage Report provided by the baggage claim agent. I spoke to Remote Operator 1 at a call center somewhere in India and explained the situation. I said that I had been told that I could ask for the bag to stay at the airport for pickup. She placed me on hold and then returned to explain that it was too late; the bag was already at an offsite warehouse, waiting for pickup by the outside delivery service. She could not provide me with an estimated delivery time. I then asked to be transferred to a supervisor (Supervisor 1).
After explaining the situation to Supervisor 1, he placed me on hold, and then returned to say that he had spoken to the delivery service and that taking my bag back to the airport would take “too long.” He advised that I should stay at the delivery address listed on my claim form. He said that he explained to the delivery service that I needed to drive home to Dallas, and therefore they were placing an “expedited” delivery request on my bag. He said I would receive the bag by 1:30 pm (WRONG INFORMATION #3). He said that I could accurately track the status of my bag's delivery on Wheresmysuitcase.com (WRONG INFORMATION #4). After the call, I went to that website and indeed it told me that the bag was “Out for Delivery” (WRONG INFORMATION #5) and “Delivering 1 bag today by 1:30 pm (WRONG INFORMATION #6).
WRONG INFORMATION #7, #8, #9, and #10: 1:30 pm came and went with no arrival of my bag. At approximately 2:30 pm, I called the toll-free number and was once again routed to a call center in India. After explaining my situation, the Remote Operator 2 said they were experiencing technical difficulties with respect to the delayed baggage database, he could not help me, and could I call back in an hour. Based on the fact that I called back in five minutes and spoke to a Remote Operator 3 in India who did not claim technical difficulties, I suspect this was WRONG INFORMATION #7. Remote Operator 3 told me that my bag was still at the warehouse, was being loaded for delivery, and would be delivered by 5 pm (WRONG INFORMATION #8).
I explained to her that both Supervisor 1 and Wheresmysuitcase.com indicated that the bag was already out for delivery by 1:30 pm. She said, “the website is frequently incorrect”– ACCURATE STATEMENT #1! I asked why United would refer its customers to a website that is “frequently incorrect” and she could not answer. I then asked to speak to a supervisor. She placed me on hold and said she had “spoken to a supervisor” but that he was on another call and could not help me. I asked how she could speak to a supervisor who was on another call, and she could not explain. I opined that there was likely more than one supervisor on duty, and asked to be directed to one who was not “on another call.”
I was placed on hold and ultimately transferred back to Supervisor 1, with whom I had spoken in the morning. I reminded him that he had told me (1) that he had spoken directly to the delivery service and (2) that he/they had said my bag would be delivered by 1:30 pm. He placed me on hold, and then came back to say that “bad weather” in Houston (WRONG INFORMATION #9) had delayed baggage delivery and that my bag was in fact still at the warehouse. I explained that although there had been a light shower in Houston that morning, it was long over, and also not unusual or severe. I asked for local Houston phone number I could call. He said the best he could do was patch in the delivery service.
After placing me on hold, he and another individual purporting to be with the delivery service got on the line together. The delivery service representative confirmed my cell phone number and said he would call me back in 5 minutes (WRONG INFORMATION #10). The call then ended around 3 pm. WRONG INFORMATION #11, #12, #13: By 3:40 pm, I had not received a call back from the local delivery service. I once again called the toll free number and was on hold for some time, waiting for an operator. Meanwhile, the Wheresmysuitcase.com website continued to say that my bag would be delivered by 1:30 pm. (WRONG INFORMATION #11). Once I reached Remote Operator 3, I asked that individual to consult the notes on my account and to transfer me to Supervisor 1. He did so.
I explained to Supervisor 1 that I had not received the call back in 5 minutes previously promised. He place me on hold and returned to say that someone at the delivery service had gotten busy and forgot to call me. While on the line with Supervisor 1, my phone rang with a call from “Samwell” at the delivery service. Like Supervisor 1, Samwell attempted to excuse the delay in delivery on “bad weather” in Houston (WRONG INFORMATION #12). He said that my bag was being delivered by a Miss ** and that it would arrive at my delivery address in Houston by 5:30 pm.
I explained that so far absolutely nothing promised by United or its representatives had transpired as promised. I asked him if the bag was not delivered by 5:30 pm, would I be required to once again go through the Indian call center. He then assured me that my bag would be delivered by 5:30 pm by “Miss **” and he further gave me her phone number. He said if I had any questions or concerns about the delivery I could call the number and speak to Miss **. (WRONG INFORMATION #13). The first time I attempted the number, I received a “this is not a working number” message. The next time I called, I received silence followed by “Please leave your message at the sound of the tone.” I left my name and phone number at the tone and explained the reason for my call, but received no return phone call.
When the delivery person Miss ** finally arrived (after 5:30 pm) she was driving her personal vehicle with only my luggage in her trunk. When I told her everything I had been through and that one of the many excuses I had been given was “bad weather in Houston” she just shook her head and laughed and drove away. She didn't even try to excuse the lies I had been fed. This is the epitome of unprofessionalism and incompetence. I will avoid flying United at all costs in the future.
Cathy ** answered my phone call to my lost iPad when I phoned United baggage lost and found at Newark NY airport and walked and got it herself. She is outstanding, empathetic and found it for me. I am eternally grateful and she is the ideal United employee. Please give her recognition! Thank you.
My flight had been booked for several days. Round trip in one very long day that began at 3 am. Our plane was supposed to board at 6:50. However, after we waited and waited, they announced at 7pm that our flight would be delayed a half hour. I chose to get a meal at a nearby restaurant while I waited for this delay, and reported back by 7:18. However, when I arrived to the gate to check in, I was declined admission and informed that they gave away my seat. We still have several minutes until take off (7:30 pm due to a half hour delay), and I had waited for over 2 hours for this flight.
The attendants unapologetically denied me the $300 seat I had reserved days in advance. They were willing to do absolutely nothing to remediate the situation. It is completely unacceptable that they could unrightfully give away my paid for seat to someone else after they delayed the flight at the last second like they did, and still would not give me my seat despite me being present at the delayed boarding time. I don’t understand how this is acceptable behavior or customer service.
Four days ago I arrived home to Seattle after a round trip flight with United to Sydney Australia, it was undoubtedly the worse travel experience of my life having flown the same route over twenty times. (I am Australian having lived in the USA for forty-two years.) To begin with the flight attendants appeared to be in their late fifties and into their sixties. This wouldn't be a problem as I am in my sixties and still working but their attitudes and level of service was atrocious. They barked at the passengers with not even a hint of civility, they would serve a meal (2 in 15 hours) then twenty minutes later would come down the aisle with something to drink to wash the slop down. Obviously they were short handed as it's usual that a drink cart would immediately follow the food cart, not United.
In addition the Boeing 687 Dreamliner was designed (per United ordered layout), more like a Nightmareliner. The aisle ways are extremely narrow obviously to accommodate more seats but didn`t accommodate the extremely large and wide buttocks of two of the flight attendants (two and of the four in economy in both directions). These wide posteriors would be constantly bashing into passengers sitting in an aisle seat as was I. Obviously United Airlines has low standards for their flight attendants and disdain for their passengers. I will never fly United again and have been making a point of telling everyone I can of this wretched airline.
On 3 January 2019, I flew out of Omaha, NE airport via Denver and Dulles airports and then on to Johannesburg on South African Airways. My status on SAA allowed me 3 bags free of charge. However, when I checked in at the United desk in Omaha, they charged me $250 for extra bag. They allowed me two bags free of charge. No amount of complaining helped. I eventually paid the $250 but called an agent at customer service later who told me that what the agent did was not correct and that I should lodge a request for a refund. I did that and United just told me that there would be no refund. I believe that they are flouting the Star Alliance agreement between airlines that they would respect the other's commitments. The service was shocking!
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I am at the Hayden, Colorado airport today and was planning to take a Delta flight home, until a Hayden/Delta employee crashed into the Engine causing the flight to be cancelled indefinitely. There is a flight that will get me home later tomorrow, and it is a United Flight (a sister company to Delta that allows them to transfer/exchange flights). Delta asked to speak to a representative at the window to help with the transfer and they refused to initiate the request - out of laziness. They were claiming "time" but there was plenty of time.
The first blonde women I approached behind the counter (no name tag present) - I said "hi, may I have some assistance." She shrugged acknowledged my presence and walked to the complete other side. The other woman remaining proceeding to tell me she was so busy on-boarding passengers. Not one passenger passed in my maybe 30 minutes of dealing with them. The Delta Representative quoted an airline guideline "240" I believe in which the transfer initiation should have taken place. The woman on the phone (Kathy **) insisted she knew the code but would not comply. Anyways...I am not stuck in Hayden Airport...indefinitely with these women who can't bear to do their jobs... WAY TO GO UNITED CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
So I booked my flight with United thru JustFly and apparently the two weren't on the same page with my flight itinerary. I arrived at 7 pm. My flight was for 8:20pm (Burbank to Sacramento) to be told by a United Agent that my flight was scheduled to leave at 5 pm earlier (which was cancelled but Never received any info via email, probably because my flight was scheduled at 8:20) therefore she didn't know why I was there and she informed me that because I was so late that my ticket was no longer valid And there are no flights from Burbank to Sacramento for another 3 days that LAX has been experiencing cancellations as well due to the weather. I started to get upset freaking out. (Ended up, Not the case)!
After showing the United Agent my email confirmation of my itinerary she then calls her supervisor and explains the confusion and she all of a sudden was able to book me on the next flight that was leaving within 15 minutes. So I had to rush. The United Agent of course put blame on JustFly. Frankly I blame both. I tried to book a flight from Burbank to Sacramento today and found I could have, in fact United had plenty of available seats for the next few days. United Agent lied to me as far as I'm concerned. For obvious reasons I would not recommend United. I felt the agent could have been more professional offering solutions rather than get a paying customer frazzled. I'm not one who can afford to fly frequently so my overall experience Sucked.
Sequence of events at Approximately 9:30 pm, January 8th, 2019, Flight: United Airlines 818 from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Houston, Texas, USA. During on-boarding, My 68 year old friend was opening closed overhead compartments to find space to stow away her luggage. The flight attendant standing near the bathroom called out to her (in a loud voice) and said something in Spanish. I “assumed” it was to tell her that if a compartment is closed that is because they are full of luggage. My friend continued to walk down the aisle of the plane, and opened more overhead compartments. Why? Because she does not speak Spanish and did not understand what the attendant was telling her. So I proceeded to say to the air hostess, “she does not speak Spanish. So she can’t understand you.” This was the attendant’s response in English, “we use whichever language we can.”
My response was, “this is United Airlines and a flight to the USA, it should therefore have bilingual services.” The humorous factor here is that I am not even an American demanding English! In Canada, we are bilingual. Every service offered is provided with the utmost respect to both our languages in English & French! Flight attendant’s response was to get very close to my physical space with progressively louder tone of voice and start shouting. I don’t recall her exact words this very moment because it is all a blur to me, but the jist of what she said was to try my luck to have it out with her and see what happens. It was a clear and precise threat! I made no eye contact with her and I said, “You are threatening me and making me very uncomfortable. Please step back.” I said it multiple times.
My comments made her more angry. She shouted some more before stepping back to her former station near the bathrooms and yelled, “this is not the United States. We are still in Argentina. We are going to speak Spanish here.” I have travelled to 52 countries and traveled with a zillion airlines in my lifetime. Never once have I experienced any airline host’s unwillingness to communicate in sign language or even broken English or their own language to help travelers understand what they are trying to say. And this woman on United went crazy at my suggestion to switch to English? Why such anger? What happened next was yet more horrifying.
As I sat down and started to settle in my seat, the attendant came over, and tapped on my right shoulder couple of times and said, “... you are not going to get anywhere. You are going to be sitting here the rest of the flight.” Clear and precise vocal and physical threat, violation of my personal space and not to mention clear disrespect. At this point, I got up and headed straight to the main entrance of the flight to find a manager. I was shaking from the threats and disrespectful treatment. A lady serving in first class stopped me and asked what I wanted. She was very nice. I explained and she asked me to wait and called the manager. While I was speaking to the manager, she even offered me a cup of juice. But by then, my hands were shaking and I was in tears to even try anything.
The manager tried to explain, “our clients are Spanish speaking. So we speak in Spanish.” Honestly, I have no issues with anyone even making announcements in Chinese on this plane! I tried to explain to the Manager again what happened and proceeded to even explain to him that I may look like I can speak Spanish, but my ethnic roots are tied back to India. Although it is Bangladesh, I used India so he would understand the proximity at least. I explained this to help him understand that I wasn’t trying to be difficult about not knowing Spanish. I love the language and spent past 3 weeks in South America and really wish I knew how to speak Spanish. I don’t necessarily know if he fully understood the incident. But he said, he apologized for the incident.
I explained to him that I was quite shaken, not looking for an apology but just requesting him to ensure the attendant stayed away from me and that I just want to get home. He asked me who it was, and I pointed her out to him. He then said he will speak to her. The air flight rules and regulations have become more fine tuned over recent times for mutual protection of both travelers and air host/hostesses. However, it seemed here that this individual was very interested in using the rules and regulations to her advantage. United Airlines is not a new company to have this type of unprofessional people released on their airplanes to service their clients. I have documented this incident, emailed a copy to the flight manager on board, and I fully plan to post this in social media. No one should have to experience this type of attacks, disrespect and personal prejudices.
I booked a flight from LAX to San Francisco on December 30th 2018 for Saturday, January 5th 2019 at 6:00 AM. I was on my way to the airport with my husband at 4:00 AM when I received an email saying I had switched my flight to Sunday, January 6th at 6:00 AM. I called right away and they told me I had switched it. I explained to them that I had not switched it and I was on my way to the airport. We went back and forth and they pretended to "help" but they did not do anything for us. We were at the airport from 4 AM to 8:30 AM arguing with the people from United Airlines and on the phone with United. Seriously, it was the most horrible experience we went through. No one cared, no one helped us.
We explained our situation over and over again to different people and they just kept putting us on hold and transferring us around. It ruined our trip and did not end up taking the first trip we had planned for the beginning of the year. It left a bitter taste and we will not travel with United ever again. Of course, we will tell everyone we know about our horrible experience and make sure we avoid a horrible experience for them. Even if you have to pay more, we will never travel with United.
Rude people at the desk. Awful customer service! Flew my daughter out Washington Dulles. I will never fly United Airlines again! Plus $30 for a small single carry on? Since when do you pay for a carry on???
United Airlines expert review by Erika Armstrong
With 723 aircraft in their mainline fleet and an additional 510 aircraft operated regionally, United Airlines has one of the largest passenger fleets in the world.
Easy rewards: United Airlines has one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use rewards programs out there.
Tiered seating: Business-class, first-class and business-first-class seating is available to let travelers relax and stretch out during a flight.
Free checked bag services: Business- and first-class passengers fly with no additional fees for a checked bag, barring oversized luggage.
International travel: In addition to offering domestic flights, United Airlines travels to 57 different countries and offers services such quick checks on visa issues related to travel.
Flight info on the go: United Airlines has an app that lets users book flights, check in, follow flight status info, see seat maps and more.
Best for: International vacationers, business travelers and frequent fliers who want more travel options and upgraded service.
United Airlines Company Information
- Company Name:
- United Airlines
- Year Founded:
- 233 S. Wacker Dr.
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 864-8331