I awoke this morning at 4:25 AM to catch a flight out of Las Vegas at 6:28 AM. I arrived at McCarren Airport at approximately 5:30 AM and proceeded directly to the automated kiosk to get my boarding pass, as I had purchased E-Tickets online. The kiosk asked me several questions relating to seating assignment. After asking me all these questions about flight numbers and seating, at the very end it says we cannot process your pass, please see a United representative.
It gives no reason for this. Thinking the machine made an error, I tried a different kiosk. It was about 5:40 AM at this time. After waiting in United's line for about 15 minutes, I was then informed that it was too late to check in my bags. They have many signs throughout the ticketing area stating that baggage must be checked in 45 minutes prior to departure. It was now 50 minutes before.I asked the United rep if I could just carryon my small bag. She said OK and printed me out a ticket. Now I have to run to Terminal D. I get to Gate D43 as it states on my boarding pass and there are absolutely no United personnel even close to that gate. I asked someone at a nearby Delta gate and they told me it had been changed to Gate D33. I ran down there and was told to go back to D43, someone would be there shortly. So I ran back to gate D43, when some standby passengers informed me the plane had just departed. I went back to United ticketing and after waiting in line for a half-hour I was informed then that my only option would be to fly standby to San Francisco and then fly standby again to Maui, Hawaii.Yeah, right!
At that point, I called Expedia.com and explained the problem to them. They put me on hold for a half-hour and then said something about flying from Las Vegas to Palm Springs to Los Angeles to Hawaii. Then I was put on hold by Expedia again for over 45 minutes. Finally I hung up in disgust at being put on hold for so long and at such poor customer service. I went back to the United line for another 30 minute wait, and was informed they could do nothing to help me, there were no flights they could accommodate me with. I was told I could book a flight for tomorrow but would have to pay an additional $1,000. United got Expedia on the phone and then said it was $500 (which is it? Where do they get these numbers, off the top of their head? They can't even keep their story straight.)
Obviously by now, my whole vacation is ruined. I work my butt off all year to have something like this happen. At this point I can see the unfriendly demeanor of these rotten United representatives is getting me nowhere, so I left and went home. Instead of relaxing on the beach in Maui I'm at home typing this document. I lived in Hawaii for 7 years during the 80's and always flew with United to and from the mainland. This is not the same United Airlines that I once knew and praised. This is now an airline of uncaring employees. I'm glad their pilots took a big pension cut and I hope the same happens with all their ground personnel. More layoffs will be celebrated!
I had also booked my hotel and rent-a-car reservations with Expedia and was told these were non-refundable, even though I missed my flights because of United's beligerance. I don't understand why Expedia doesn't back their customers up, a returning one at that.
Las Vegas, Nevada