Quito International Airport. 2:05 am 18 July 2018
Phew. I really didn’t thing we were going to make it out of Quito. Rather than retype I am going to just cut and paste below the Twitter direct message I sent to United when they wanted to know why we were upset.
Suffice it to say that Avianca and United have communication problems and we had to deal with entirely too much stress. But we are all checked in at 2:35 AM for our 5:05 flight. Presuming everything goes as scheduled we should be in Mexico City around noon and in San Miguel de Allende by 4 pm. Hopefully we can catch some sleep on the planes or in the car as we both had only an hour or so.
Pray for us!
We are upset because:
1. Our six month old award booking was changed by your partner Avianca without our knowledge and without any explanation.
2. We have spent 5 hours and 24 minutes on the phone since Saturday evening. Each time we were given the same assurances and promises.
3. This morning I requested that our booking be transferred to Copa flights as I was able to see award availability. The UA agent said this could not be gone. This small effort on UA’s part to do the right thing would have gone a long way to alleviate our stress and frustration as we faced the possibility of being stranded at Quito airport.
4. We had plans to sightsee today but due to the time spent on the phone we instead spent it inside our hotel.
We would appreciate having 1/4 of the points used for these tickets deposited into our two accounts. Given the efforts we made to proactively address what was clearly a communication problem between you and your partner, we believe it only fair.
Below is a summary of the issue and our attempts to resolve it. Do not hesitate to let me know if we can provide any additional information.
We are traveling on UA award tickets on Avianca for the last two legs of our trip (first legs on Copa were fine). My record number in your system is GK1XR0. My husband’s is a separate number but same itinerary. His last name is Burton. I don’t have his number and he is asleep. Since it’s 11:38 pm and the alarm is ringing at 1:00 am to head to the airport I hope you can find it yourself.
On Saturday while checking to confirm the flight time on AV’s app, we discovered they had changed our itinerary. Original was UIO>BOG>MEX. New was UIO>SAL>MEX. (During subsequent phone calls no true explanation of what drove the itinerary change has been offered. At one point it was stated original flights have been canceled but as of this moment both original flights are showing an on-time departure.)
We then called AV to adjust seat assignments after being unable to do so on the app and after 21 minutes on the phone learned that while we had confirmed reservations that because of the itinerary change that the flights would have to be reticketed by UA. but it doesn’t appear they notified UA of the change since as of this moment you are still showing our original itinerary when I pull it up to n the UA app.
We then called UA and the agent attempted to resolve but eventually conferenced in Avianca. At the end of our 1 hour and 15 minute call, Avianca informed both UA and us that we were all confirmed and sent an email as promised.
We tried to check in this morning with Avianca using their app and their website. In both cases got an error message saying “ticket issues”. So we called Avianca and after 40 minutes with them was again told I would have to speak to UA. After spending 2 hours and six minutes on the phone with UA (and Avianca after your rep conference them in) it appeared (again) that the issue was resolved when your agent “released” the tickets to AV. We were told that the new tickets would be “issued” automatically in 2-4 hours and we would receive notification that this had occurred by email.The UA agent said she would be monitoring our reservations and would call us back to confirm all was resolved. (That has not happened)
At 4:30 pm today when nothing had been received, we spent 19 minutes on the phone with AV who said we should just go to the airport to check in. While this answer only increased our frustration, we resigned ourselves to it.
We then called UA one more time in attempt to develop a backup plan should we be unable to board the aircraft. While attempting to be helpful, in the end the agent said that after discussions with the UA support staff, he was “sure” we would be able to check in at the airport. This call lasted 43 minutes.
Sometime after 9pm we recieved an email from Avianca with the new ticket numbers and are now checked in.