Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Squeaky Wheels...

Our arrival flight into Cancun on Tuesday was delayed a bit. The incoming aircraft was delayed, so our 9:30AM departure time wasn't going to happen.

They changed it to 10:15AM, so we just waited in the United lounge snacking on some mediocre bagels.

We started boarding around 9:45AM and I ran ahead to be the very first person on the plane. Love that Group 1 Boarding!

Despite getting everyone on the plane and shutting the cabin doors, we continued to just sit at the gate. The pilot came on and explained they were waiting for one final sign off document to be delivered. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. It wasn't until 11:01AM that we finally took off.

By now, we knew we were going to arrive too late to make our planned 3PM ferry from Playa Del Carmen. Even though airlines were smart enough to start padding their official flight times to account for most minor delays (i.e., a flight from Newark to Cancun is actually only 3.5. hours, but they list it as being 4 hours), this time, we missed our 12:30PM arrival time by 90 minutes.

Originally, we were planning to land at 12:30PM, get to our taxi by 1:30PM and drive 50 minutes to Playa Del Carmen in time to catch the 3PM ferry to Cozumel.

After the delay, we quickly flew through immigration, retrieved our checked luggage and met our driver by 2:30PM. We made great time and arrived to PDC Ferry Terminal by 3:30PM, but the next boat to Cozumel wasn't until 5PM.

Not a huge deal.

However, my father likes to push the envelope at times. Since the inconvenience took away some precious Cozumel hours from our trip and caused us to miss our ferry time, we thought we'd let United know we weren't thrilled with the 90 minute delay.

So my father had me send a Twitter message (aka "tweet") to @United.

United's Twitter team responded shortly.

So we followed their advice and went online to and found the Contact Customer Care page here.

My father then took over since his communication skills exceed that of a 3.5 year old.
"Our flight (UA 1050 on 4/21/2015) was delayed excessively (first late inbound aircraft), but even after we boarded, it was further delayed, causing us to miss our ferry when we landed in 90 minutes after schedule in Cancun. Is there any compensation (cash or mileage) that is available for the inconvenience?"
A day later, United responded with the following message:
Dear Mr. Songer
I understand that there were multiple delays of flight 1050 and you missed your ferry in Cancun due to the delay. Please accept my apologies for the described inconvenience and for the negative impression that may have been created. 
While our response is brief, be assured your patronage and goodwill are never taken for granted by our airline and we will always strive to meet and exceed your expectations. As a way of showing our concern I have authorized a deposit of 3,500 miles into each of your MileagePlus accounts. Details will arrive via separate email.
Mr. Songer, as a Premier Gold member you have made a significant contribution to United, and we would like to thank you for your loyalty and support. We trust you will not judge us solely on this experience as it is a privilege to serve you.
Please know that we are looking forward to your next flight with us.
So there you have it, a total of 10,500 United MileagePlus miles sprinkled throughout each of our United accounts. Since we value those at about 2 cents/mile, that's about $210 in rebates. Considering we used our United vouchers (for being bumped in Charleston a few months ago) to pay for our Cancun tickets in the first place, we were getting paid to go on vacation!

Thank you, United for making sure your customers are well taken care of! That's why we're sticking with United even after their frequent flyer program changes.

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