“Your advice worked!”

When Barbara Baksa changed her United Airlines tickets, she assumed the upgrade to Economy Plus would transfer to the next flight. Wrong.

“I went round and round with the reservation agent, his supervisor, another customer service representative I was transferred to, and finally that representative’s supervisor,” she says. “I know, I know — I’ve read your column enough to know better than to bother with a phone call but I was really hoping to resolve the matter quickly.”

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The representatives she spoke with were sympathetic, but unable to help. They said her only option was to request a refund of the original upgrade fee through United’s site. Her request was denied.

So now what?

Baska found the names of United’s supervisors and a few tips on how to contact them through On Your Side, my new customer service wiki.

I read through the suggestions on your site and used the link you provided for the email form that could be used to submit a complaint to United’s customer service.

As you suggest, I wrote a polite, firm, and succinct description of my complaint and my requested resolution (I had already purchased the upgrade on the new flight, so I wanted United to refund the amount I paid for the original upgrade).

I fully expected that this would be the start of a long and frustrating process that would end with me stalking United’s CEO, but no! United quickly responded that they would refund the fee. It took another couple of weeks for them to actually issue the refund, but I now have my money back. The whole matter took just under a month to resolve. Your advice worked!

I wanted to thank you and let you know how helpful the advice on your site was.

Good for United for fixing this. Not so good for giving a valuable customer the runaround — but in the end, at least it did the right thing.

(Photo: Telstar Logistics/Flickr Creative Commons)