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Well, United Screwed Me Again
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Minor Deity
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The six Sphinx members bought tickets to New Zealand seven months ago. They cost a pretty penny, but it was a good routing. Everyone flies to Houston, then non-stop overnight to NZ. Departure Dec. 2, arriving Dec. 4.

On Nov. 1, a notification popped up on my phone of a route change. Now we would have a *27 hour layover* in Houston, arriving Dec. 5. Because they told me so late, it is too late to change the first day's accommodations, and of course we don't want to spend over a day in Houston.

United kindly offered us the option of canceling the tix and getting a refund, but we are so close to departure that tix are 3X what we paid.

I spent over an hour on the phone to re-route us all through SF. This presents two new problems. First, MS now has to depart from the Raleigh-Durham airport 2 hours from her home in Charlotte, and drive and park at that airport at her expense; it also means she won't have her car because they are flying her back to Charlotte.

The new flight arrives in Auckland three hours later than the original, which means we will miss our flight from Auckland to Queenstown. Rebooking that cost me $400.

Shouldn't it be that if an airline is going to reel you in with a good price 7 months ahead of departure, they ought to have to rebook you on another airline for a comparable routing? Why should they be able to cancel and leave you high and dry?

Sure, we could have bought trip insurance, but it was wildly expensive because Covid. And my experience with this sort of insurance is all you're buying is the right to fight with what might be a sketchy company that has no incentive to do the right thing?

I have taken a bunch of trips this year, and about half of those flights have been canceled for one reason or another. I'm sick of this. I refuse to believe United had no idea it couldn't staff up the flight we bought until yesterday.
 
Posts: 19649 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Minor Deity
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Frowner

I don't have anything helpful to say, except that air travel should be better than it is, but somehow sucks worse than ever.

I'm sorry.


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Posts: 17304 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow that sucks.


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Posts: 33630 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Frowner


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Posts: 33632 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sorry all that carp happened.
Those are the sort of problems that have caused me to avoid United for many years.


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Posts: 24904 | Location: Still living at 9000 feet in the High Rockies of Colorado | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh wow, that’s terrible. I am so sorry. I hate flying now, it’s so stressful. My niece had a flight cancelled from Philadelphia after my dads memorial and it ended up costing her $1000 on another airline to get home (it was either that or wait two days at an airport hotel in Philadelphia)


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Posts: 20189 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of my daughters seems to experience that kind of disruption every time she has a connecting flight. She’s either stranded overnight waiting for her connection, or we have to rebook at a higher cost with another carrier. It’s complete nonsense.

I am not looking forward to this happening at Thanksgiving.
 
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czarina
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I thought I read that New Zealand wasn't open to U.S. travelers until May 2023 ???

I have heard a lot of horror stories about United. Maybe you can contact a travel ombudsman at a magazine or newspaper, like CN Traveler, or the NYT. They field problems like this and get them resolved to customer satisfaction because the companies doen't want the bad publicity.

Anyway, we are hoping to fly for the first time since Dec 2019 this coming February, and had been thinking about going somewhere in the South Pacific, but thought NZ was off limits.... Hmmm.

(All depending on if I can get a horse sitter or horse boarding)


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Posts: 20845 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Pinta & the Santa Maria
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The NZ borders are fully open as of August 2022. I don't think they're even requiring proof of vaccination status. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Cindy - that sucks. We've been yanked around by various airlines, including United, but not to that extent. The other annoying thing with these delays is they will only take responsibility and reschedule flights you booked directly with them, so unless you're in a codeshare situation they will just redo their own flights and leave you to manage everything else. It's the worst.

I seem to recall there was some discussion about setting up some sort of financial reimbursement for super delayed flights, but I don't recall if it went anywhere.

Flying now is the pits.
 
Posts: 34969 | Location: West: North and South! | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Minor Deity
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Yeah, NZ is open. There's not even a requirement of a negative Covid test. Giddyup!

Each time I take a big trip, I consider trip insurance, but I always wind up self-insuring. On the whole, I undoubtedly come out ahead by never buying it, but I sure considered it this time. Part of the reason I didn't was that the Covid protection was a big concern back when we bought the tix last spring. I worried that although the borders opened in Feb. 2022, NZ might close them just when we were about to fly. But no one was offering coverage for that -- just coverage if you caught Covid and couldn't make the trip. Plus, you only have a few days to buy the insurance after you buy your tickets, and I didn't have enough time to vet the companies and read the terms closely.

Has anyone had positive experiences with travel insurance?
 
Posts: 19649 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, and part of what is frustrating is that our international flight is a code share between United and NZ Air. Our domestic flight once we get to NZ is NZ Air. Yet NZ Air doesn't care that the reason we are missing our domestic flight is United, it's codeshare partner for the canceled flight.

Yeah, we could have booked an open jaw (U.S. to Auckland to Queenstown) so that we couldn't be charged $400 in change fees, but that was wildly expensive. And what guarantee would we have that they wouldn't have parked us in Auckland for a few days waiting for six tickets to Queenstown to open up?

The whole system is balanced on the head of a pin, and every single thing that can go wrong is dumped onto the passenger. The airline never is responsible for anything, even when the passenger had nothing to do with the problem.
 
Posts: 19649 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've never considered travel insurance, first of all I travel enough so that it clearly makes more sense to self-insure, secondly I just assume the reasons I'd likely cancel probably wouldn't be covered by the policy.


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Posts: 33630 | Location: On the Hudson | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I bought travel insurance once, pre-covid. As it turned out I had to cancel my trip due to illness. I sent the insurer a copy of a doctor’s bill and received a full and prompt refund.

Jf


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Posts: 17563 | Location: Maine | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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