Two nights ago I booked my ticket to attend the Frequent Traveler University seminar to be held in Seattle February 24th – February 26th, 2017. I don’t usually use miles/points to fly within the US, since I’m always able to find very well-priced fares. So as per usual, I purchased my ticket BUT completely forgot that I had a credit from a previous reservation for almost the whole price of this ticket! Silly mistake, yes.
I decided to call United and see if they could help apply that credit to the reservation I had just made. The agent quickly suggested to cancel my reservation, since it still was within 24 hours of purchase, and rebook it using the credit. The problem was that my ticket had increased overnight by almost $200 so she said her hands were tied and wouldn’t be able to proceed any further. Underwhelming at the least, but since I have other trips planned, I didn’t push any further and thought I’d make sure to use the credit on my next reservation, so I thanked her for her assistance (she was very nice on the phone) and the call was over.
Then 10 minutes later -and definitely to my surprise- I received a call from the agent’s supervisor. What?! My initial thought, no joke, was ‘What did I do wrong?’. But then she told me that the original agent I had talked to escalated my situation in hopes that they could help me out. I didn’t know what to say to this… The agent could’ve definitely let this go and get on with her next call, but she didn’t. So after I snapped out of the initial shock, I thanked the supervisor for getting back to me, especially since I hadn’t even requested it. She cancelled my previous reservation and honored the price for me since, as she said, “you evidently booked this at the right time, and we don’t want to penalize you because you forgot to use your airline credit.” Needless to say, I was very happy, and still surprised.
This was a first for me, and I have been on the phone with United many times. This is not what United is known for… or actually, it is, but in a negative way. Are things changing? I certainly hope so! This is the kind of service that will keep customers happy, coming back, and will slow down the online criticism that the airline has faced for years, and with reason. I do have a couple of things I have to talk to United about within the next couple of weeks so I’ll report on those calls and how they compare.
In conclusion, there have been clear strides by United in recent months that signify change for the better. The experience described in this post and my previous post on on-time performance among others, are evidence of this. Then there was the announcement of Basic Economy (Sigh!) United, why do you toy with us? Not sure that how taking a step forward and then one backward moves you forward, but they sure are betting on it. We’ll have to wait and see how things flow once these are implemented, but I’m still hoping there will be adjustments along the way with the customer in mind. For now, I’ll take a few days to enjoy my good experience.