We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

United - cancelled flight

Verona, Italy
Level Contributor
17 posts
United - cancelled flight

Hi! Last Saturday my 7 pm United flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt was cancelled. At first there were mechanical problems with the aircraft, then they couldn't put together a crew! We didn't get any accomodation, but only two 7-dollar meal vouchers. We had to spend the night at the airport and fly back the following day at 4 pm (btw, that flight was also late and we really had to run to catch our connecting flight to Italy).

Can we get any compensation? Do you have any tips?

Thanks!

Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
17,205 posts
24 reviews
1. Re: United - cancelled flight

"Can we get any compensation?" - As the flight was from the US on a non EU carrier the EU Regulations 261/2004 do not apply and any compensation will be set out in UA's Terms & Conditions or you could claim on your travel insurance if this provides cover for delays/cancellations.

Verona, Italy
Level Contributor
17 posts
2. Re: United - cancelled flight

We actually bought the ticket via Lufthansa but the flight was operated by United (they belong to Star Alliance). Hopefully we'll get something since we miss one day at work!

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Food and Travel
Level Contributor
4,241 posts
332 reviews
3. Re: United - cancelled flight

information on flight delays and cancellation are posted on UA website:

united.com/CMS/en-US/travel/policy/Pages/Fli…

It appears that complimentary accommodation are now only provided in a connecting city for delays/cancellation exceeding 4 hrs , but you could have been rebooked on another airline if there was one available which has an agreement with UA.

Previously I had a similar situation for a flight from Seattle to HK and the flight was cancelled due to mechanical faults and I was placed on another airline our of Seattle instead of accommodation offered to some other passengers. By the time I arrived HK there was no connecting flights out of HK anymore and I was put up at the airport hotel by UA. Things must have changed over time.

I think it would be hard for you to claim any compensation at this stage from UA, but I find it rather unreasonable if you have to put up in the airport for 21 hrs given that the delay was caused by a mechanical fault and lack of crews. These are within the control of UA as stated on the webpage.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Food and Travel
Level Contributor
4,241 posts
332 reviews
4. Re: United - cancelled flight

Then perhaps you should raise the matter to Lufthansa local office where you purchased the ticket from, they would have similar policy on delays/cancellation stipulated on their website.

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
11,601 posts
16 reviews
5. Re: United - cancelled flight

"We actually bought the ticket via Lufthansa but the flight was operated by United (they belong to Star Alliance)."

Unfortuantely that doesn't matter as far as EU compensation goes since any claim is against the operating carrier.

Leyland, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
30,173 posts
54 reviews
6. Re: United - cancelled flight

Speak to United, but I doubt you'll get anything from them. It's irrelevant who you bought the ticket through. Try your travel insurance. That's what it's there for.

Victoria, Canada
Destination Expert
for Regina
Level Contributor
3,735 posts
92 reviews
7. Re: United - cancelled flight

You can't speak to United about customer service issues. You can however put in your claim on their website and within a month get a reply and quite possibly a little flight credit for your troubles. Source: personal experience.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
25,291 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: United - cancelled flight

According to United's Contract of Carriage you should have received one night's lodging.

"F) Amenities for Delayed Passengers

1) Lodging -

UA will provide one night’s lodging, or a maximum allowance for one night’s lodging as established by each location, when a UA flight on which a Passenger is being transported incurs a Schedule Irregularity and the Passenger incurs a delay that is expected to exceed four hours between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time. Where lodging has been offered but not accepted by a Passenger for whatever reason, UA

is not liable to reimburse the Passenger for expenses relating to alternative lodging secured independently by the Passenger."

Section 24-F on page 35 - united.com/web/…Contract_of_Carriage.pdf

Assuming that San Francisco isn't your home city then you should write to United and cite the above rule. They should have have provided you that accommodation and therefore were violating their own COC. Make the complaint polite and factual and concise. You'll probably get a gesture of goodwill in the forms of miles and/or a voucher (you should have received one already for the delay) and you're now owed another one.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Food and Travel
Level Contributor
4,241 posts
332 reviews
9. Re: United - cancelled flight

USBT, but section 24(1)(a) also stated that:

"EXCEPTION : Lodging will not be furnished:

a)To a Passenger whose trip is interrupted at a city which is his/her permanent domicile, origin point, or stopover point"

How do you interpret the "origin point" in this case, San Francisco? Searched the entire document and this is the only clause that use the term "origin point". In other parts of the document the term "point of origin" is widely used.

Edited: 11:16 pm, August 22, 2014
Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Food and Travel
Level Contributor
4,241 posts
332 reviews
10. Re: United - cancelled flight

sorry, I meant section 24(F)(1)(a) on page 35