Update 2: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back

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This isn’t exactly an update. It’s more of a debate about what my next step should be related to getting my $$$ back from United after being stuck in Oslo due to an approaching winter storm.

Check out what we did during our first day in Oslo here.

A brief recap: Our flight home from Oslo was cancelled and rather than heading to the airport, I called United through Skype. I was able to get our tickets reserved to fly home the following day. After dealing with this, I asked the United rep about accommodations and was told that we were on our own.

In my post about this issue I received a bunch of comments. One of them suggested that I might be entitled to compensation and included a link to the EU Air Passenger Rights. (Norway is not a member of the EU but they still follow the rules of the EU Air Passengers Rights.) After skimming over the rules I thought that we didn’t qualify but turns out I was wrong.

I spoke with United’s only supervisor at Oslo airport and he said that we should’ve been covered. He couldn’t help me on the spot but told me to write in to united.com/feedback to file a claim.

A day after arriving back from Oslo I sent in the message and was told that I would have to wait a ridiculous 14-21 days for a response! I also reached out to United through Twitter but this got me nowhere. I went on to write the post Update: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back.

So now that a week has passed, I am getting a bit antsy. I don’t like standing by and waiting. It just doesn’t feel right. In my opinion, in a situation like this it’s best to deal with the issue now, not in the future.

I see it as having 3 options. I can:

  1. Wait to be contacted by United
  2. Call United and see if there is someone to speak to
  3. Send United an Air Passengers Rights EU Complaint Form

My favorite option is the third one but there is an issue with filing the complaint. According to the form I should wait up to 6 weeks for a response. More waiting… ughhh.

I’m not sure that it pays to file the EU Complaint Form prior to hearing back from United about my initial inquiry. Maybe I should give UA a call to see if I could speak with someone to escalate the matter.

What would you do in my situation? I’m open to opinions and suggestions.

17 thoughts on “Update 2: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back

  1. This is why I don’t fly United anymore. Piss poor customer service. Even at 1K level. It’s not about the money, it’s about what they do for some and not others. What is your status with United?

    1. Kristen- Seems like a popular feeling towards UA! I don’t have status with United but I’m not so sure that it was a factor. I think the phone rep gave me info based on US laws.

  2. Hunner- Gotcha & thanks for clarifying!

    Mark- I’m not trying to jump over others. I do find a 14-21 day response time ridiculous. Had I been given the proper info then I wouldn’t be in a position of waiting.

  3. Check your CC benefits… You probably have some kind of trip protection coverage, and I have found that dealing with banks is easier than dealing with United.

      1. Bummer 🙁 Which card did you use? I was surprised to find that a friend’s USAA MasterCard didn’t provide any coverage.

  4. Thanks Brian.

    Hunner- good points but the claim is not complete since I don’t even know what info they need. $158 is just the hotel cost. From what the supervisor told us, meals should be covered too. This could make the refund even more.

    $158 might not be much to you. Whether it is or isn’t I still want back what they should’ve covered.

    1. You’re missing my point. I never said you shouldn’t be entitled to the money back. Nor did I say you shouldn’t WANT the money back. I’m just saying it’s not thousands of dollars that could be putting someone in a bind. As such, the advice stands…wait for the CS response (in my experience with UA it’s always been faster than 2 weeks) and go from there.

  5. The airline gave you a timeframe in which to expect a response. You may not like waiting. You may think the timeframe is too long. That doesn’t really matter. You’re going to have to just wait it out and roll with the punches. If you end up calling them and they see your pending CS claim, you’re only going to become one of those “annoying, harping complainers” in their eyes and you’ll probably hurt your case, which will result in even MORE follow up and waiting. It’s 158 bucks for crying out loud.

    1. I second this, I see no reason why you should not wait the time frame offered in response to your original inquiry? They told you to wait 14-21 days, why after 7 days do you feel something should have changed?

  6. These types of weather related cancellations are considered extraordinary circumstances under EC261, so no claim for compensation there.

    What should have been provided is a duty of care, so UA should have provided accomodation, transportation, etc.

    So that’s what your claim should be (and is). Nothing more.

    1. Gerard- You are correct! maybe I didn’t clarify in this update and misworded what I was claiming.

      By compensation, I meant my hotel stay and meals like others received. I did not and was not asking for monetary compensation.

      I wasn’t positive that I was even allowed those benefits until the UA supervisor at OSL told me so.

  7. … Because the airlines have wether control devices or something? Just suck it up man. The flight was cancelled for safety reasons beyond the control of united and they rebooked you the next day. Sh*t happens. Why does everyone always think someone else should be liable for something that is nobody’s fault. This article really irked me.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Gustav.

      I am just wondering why should I “just suck it up” when others were covered for their extended stay by UA in the same situation as me? Why was it OK for United to not tell me my rights when they are supposed to do so according to the EU261 laws?

      I am not asking for anything that they weren’t supposed to offer me.

      If I wanted to cancel my flight on UA, they would’ve been very quick to charge me the appropriate fees. When the roles are reversed there seems to be different rules…

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