Update 3: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back

Oslo Map

During our first trip of 2014 to Oslo we got stuck thanks to an approaching winter storm back at home.

Rather than head over to the airport, I called United through Skype and got us rebooked for the following day.  We didn’t mind the extra day in Oslo (we really enjoyed the city), but an extra day meant extra costs.

While rebooking my flight, I had asked the United phone rep who was responsible for our accommodations and she was somewhat rude and matter of fact in telling me that we were.

The following day I found out that 2 other passengers had their hotel stay and meals covered by United! Find out all about it in my post Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back.

I spoke to the airline’s only supervisor in Oslo and he told me to file a claim when I got home and I would be compensated.

It turned out that had we headed on over to the airport, our hotel stay and meals would’ve been covered with little hassle.

When we got back home, I filled out a form on united.com/feedback, expecting to receive a response in a couple of days. Instead the automated message said that the customer care team is currently responding to inquiries within 14-21 business days. Find out more in my post Update: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back.

After finding out that I would have to wait 14-21 days, I debated whether or not I should call United or wait it out for a response. Check out my post Update 2: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back.

Since writing my second update, I decided to sit back and wait for a response.

On February 27, I finally received a response from United.

My first inquiry into this situation was on January 23 so this means that United had me waiting for over one month! (United must be either really busy dealing with complaints or just not care much about customer satisfaction.)

In the e-mail response, the rep asked me to send in original vendor receipts to consider any expense reimbursement. Hmm, this might be a little problem.

Our hotel was booked online so I hoped that printing out the online booking would suffice. This is all I could send in since the hotel did not give us any receipt upon re-checking in or during check out.

As for our meal expenses, I couldn’t figure out what I did with the receipts from over a month back (I don’t even think we got receipts from most of the places) but could send in copies of our credit card statements showing the charges.

Before sending out the info that United asked for, I sent another e-mail explaining the situation. Had there been a phone # included, I would’ve just made a quick call to find out. Instead I was put in the position of waiting once again, this time for around 2 more weeks!

I got a response again on March 10. According to the rep, due to auditing, original receipts were necessary for a cash reimbursement. However, I was offered an electronic travel certificate to help offset some of the expenses.

This offer sounded pretty fair but I wanted to be reimbursed for our hotel stay in cash, not an airline credit. I again sent in an e-mail explaining how the hotel was booked online etc. but I have not received a response back at this point.

I’m tired of waiting so I decided to put together all of the information requested by United.

I also typed up a letter explaining how we booked our hotel online and listed all of our food expenses. I also included a copy of the online booking confirmation and statements from the two credit cards used for meals. I highlighted the charges on the statements to make it easy to see.

So now, my info is on its way to United in Houston. I’m looking forward to seeing what the final outcome is.

Stay tuned…

9 thoughts on “Update 3: Hey United, I Want My $158+ Back

  1. I have to agree with the other Jeff. Weather related delays or cancellations are not normally eligible for accommodation or reimbursement. As someone who is publishing as an expert on travel you should know this and and not have perused hotel and meal reimbursement from UA.

    The fact the you “found out” that two other passengers got hotel and meal vouchers, somehow (remarkably) entitles you to contact United, multiple times, to insist on a cash reimbursement .

    UA was indeed very generous to offer you any travel credit, but you want cash. You want cash even though you don’t have an original receipt for your hotel stay. Your excuse for you having no original receipt is you booked online. This is even more flimsy, as you get receipt when you check out of a hotel not when you book (even with prepays).

    Bottom line your experience hardly warrants your blog title and is a disservice to UA, and you should have thanked them for the travel credit and moved on.

    1. Thanks for you comment & opinion but what you are saying just is not correct.

      United was obligated to tell me my rights which they failed to do when I called in per EU261. Had I known what I was supposed to be provided with, none of this would be going on.

      United has taken an extremely long time to get back to me. I’ve never heard of a response from any sort of business taking over a month.

      As for the hotel, we did not stay in a big chain hotel and upon check out received nothing.
      I don’t see why this is “flimsy”.

  2. I typically forget about the benefits built into Chase and Amex, but have you tried reaching out to your issuing credit card bank for reimbursement as well?

  3. Heather- I actually didn’t expect anything back at first. When I called the airline through Skype, I was told to not go to the airport & that I was responsible for our hotel stay. Had the United rep told me my rights (EU261) then we would’ve headed to OSL and had this sorted out and not been strung along for so long.

    Jeff- I am not seeing what being a travel blogger has to do with anything? I also don’t see how I am acting “remarkably entitled”. Please do explain. Like I stated above, had United explained my rights to me, none of this would’ve happened. I only re-booked after I called in and was told that we were allowed nothing but a free re-booking. I am guessing that you did not read all of the posts to understand the full story…

  4. This seems like a no brainer to me. United appears like it’s being very generous with you here — offering you travel vouchers without receipts for a re-booking that you did yourself (to save yourself the hassle) rather than the airline at the airport when you expected it pay for it. Of course they have the right to expect actual receipts before giving you cash and it seems remarkable that you’d be writing multiple blogs complaining about United’s conduct here. You are a travel blogger and don’t even plan to spend $158 on United in the next year? This whole series sounds remarkably entitled.

  5. I definitely feel for you but if I knew I was staying an extra day due to airline error, I would go out of my way to get/keep receipts associated with extra cross. I don’t know if this is what you were expecting (but this is what I gleaned from your words), but companies face fraudulent claims every day. For you to show much of anything besides a real receipt (even statements) might present a major problem for accounting departments.

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