The rain and fog was bad in SFO yesterday, delaying my US Airways flight from Charlotte for over three hours and causing a misconnect on my way back to PHL. I knew I would miss my connecting flight while still at CLT, so after being kindly rebuffed by US Airways (I fully expected it) I walked over to the United gates where I faced a strategic choice: talk to a United agent or an ex-Con?
I chose to speak to an ex-Con (former Continental agent and readily identifiable by uniform) because I figured she would be more familiar with handling irr/ops in SHARES, the Continental Passenger Service System (PSS) that is now in use for both United and Continental because it is cheaper (no matter what anyone else will tell you). What I did not figure is that she would have the “it’s not possible” Continental-mentality. But she did.
First, she said she couldn’t help me because my first segment was on US Airways. I explained to her this was a UA-issued ticket and she began to type away. I had done my research and there was space on the non-stop flight to Philadelphia the following afternoon, though not any award seats (I had purchased an award ticket to assure first class travel for my uncle). In Apollo in the “good old days” a United agent would have quickly been able to rebook me in full F (though that wasn’t my intention here) on the non-stop the next day.
Her first reaction–“But you’re not going on a non-stop ticket–you are connecting in Chicago. We don’t move people to non-stop flights just because of bad weather. Sorry, I can’t help you.”
Wow. That’s the customer service mentality of pre-merger Continental. I responded, “Well, then book me through Chicago.” She replied, “I can’t.” I said, “What do you mean? You can do whatever you want by typing INVOL.” (which isn’t exactly true, but agent’s do have a great deal of latitude if they know how to work SHARES).
I saw a little grin come across the agent’s face that quickly turned into a scowl as she shook her head and rebooked me through Chicago, on a decent itinerary leaving today at today at noon.
And here’s where I am just speculating, but I am convinced there was some “foul play.” She took a look at me and my bloated, blistered face and already didn’t like me. She didn’t like the fact that I questioned her and called her bluff. She didn’t like having to help me at all it seemed, based on her body language. And so she never “synced” the tickets.
Deliberate or not, by missing that critical step that any Continental agent should have known was necessary, I showed up at SFO this morning and there was no ticket for me. And my flights were now zeroed out.
Then the real hilarity began. But you’ll have to wait till tomorrow to hear about that. Let’s just say I learned a lot about SHARES.
No update today because I ran into drama, and more drama. I finally arrived home this afternoon on am Amtrak train…
But it will be worth the wait.
Ugh Matthew…sorry to hear you had more troubles. Looking forward to hearing the conclusion.
Yes you have got to stay out of the sun or wear a micronized zinc oxide sunblock (check out the PSI Labs Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30) on your face that way you will not run into problems. Or just avoid going to tropical lattitudes and just fly to Canada or Northern Europe and travel in winter when the UV rays are attenuated.
Also get your car tinted because UVA will go through auto glass.
Can’t wait. The CS at this new airline is atrocious.
Sorry to hear you had to go through that. I just don’t understand why so many people think CO was so great, when you consistently hear about the way they treat their customers, even the “best” customers.
Assuming you are well —
What’s the story? March 19th at 2:15 pm eastern and we’re still waiting to hear about Part 2.
Drama makes for good blogging!
Sorry to hear you had trouble! I hope you didn’t have to get home on the Amtrak from Chicago!
I am still thinking about how to properly write part II. It truly was a mess–a total cluster…
Because I don’t want to sound like I am whining and plan to share my post with the folks at UA, I am taking a bit more time to make sure I get it right.
Matt, even without reading your other two posts yet, and after reading posts on ANet…I’m alredy feeling like getting off the United wagon, which I’ve been proudly part of (as a native Chicagoean) since 2005…and maybe joining AA and their program, even though it’s all RJs between BDL and ORD……..sighhhhhhh.
WTH is CO doing to UA?
Oh man…I just noticed too that the RCC/United Club “day passes” have turned into one-time passes.
I used to purchase RCC day passes whenever I’d be traveling with connections, and often it came in handy since the agents are much more helpful there with IrrOps.
This airline is starting to suck.
Last I checked, AA is still “day passes” to Admiral’s Club….it’s tempting to jump ship, but AA’s network seems inferior and their labor strife worries me. IDK what to do …. :/