I may have spoken too soon regarding my smooth sailing with the United Airlines system changeover. Earlier this week, I tried to redeem an e-cert (customer appreciation certificate) online for a new booking and received an error message that the cert couldn’t be found.
I called United and the agent asked me to build a new reservation online without entering the certificate number and on the payment page, select “phone order page.”
Doing so generated a record locator without me having to make a payment and the agent then documented the record, extended the ticketing time limit and asked me to use the united.com/feedback forum to get in touch with customer service so they could research the issue with my cert.
I figured it would take a couple of days for a response and after not hearing anything now on the third day, I decided to call back to see what could be done. This new agent couldn’t find the original reservation – nor was it in my online profile – so I had to start from scratch again, but fortunately I was connected with a “better” agent. The same fare was also still available, fortunately.
After being transferred to web support (thankfully) and spending an hour on hold, this new agent returned to advise that my new reservation was built, it was documented for the ticketing department to deduct $200 from the fare as her research found that my e-cert wasn’t previously used, and she sent me an email with the itinerary. It seemed to be okay.
Then I went online to take a peek and saw a $25 call center fee that wasn’t reflected in the email confirmation.
I called back to contest it as I’m exempt from that fee as a top-tier 1K and this new agent read through all of the documentation and did see a note that it should be waived when the reservation is ticketed, along with confirming the $200 e-cert credit. We’ll see what happens and I’ll definitely make a new post if it doesn’t go as planned.
Now… here’s what I think happened. After the system changeover on March 3, I went in and began to make a new reservation to see if the e-cert would be recognized and it did indeed work and deducted $200 from the quoted fare. I never completed the booking as I was simply testing the process, but I think it deactivated the cert number because it was “used” during a flight booking process. This is total speculation, of course, and I’m too afraid to try another cert in case I encounter the same problem when I’m actually ready to redeem another one.
So… while everything had been smooth sailing for me since the system conversion, this is now my first encountered glitch with the new United. I’m hoping it’s the last.