Why Has United Airlines Taken A Month To Not Process My Ticket Vouchers?

Back in July 2011, Consumerist reader Mary and her husband were awarded a total of $800 worth of ticket vouchers from United after they were bumped from a flight. Problem is, now that she’s trying to actually use those vouchers, no one at United seems to have any idea what to do with them.

The ordeal has actually been going on since mid-March, when Mary made several attempts to contact United’s reservation line, only to be stuck on hold for more than an hour each time.

She eventually got through to a human being — following a 75-minute wait — on March 27, who took the reservation and told Mary to mail in the vouchers. Once they were received and processed, she’d be credited the $800.

“I put both my name and my husband’s name as well as the confirmation number on EACH voucher. I put them in the mail THAT DAY,” writes Mary. The United rep said the airline would e-mail her when the vouchers had been processed. But after a week of not hearing anything from United, she called the airline to see where things stood.

“They had no record of the previous phone call, and supposedly no credit card information either,” she writes. “The representative then put a reservation on hold through my Mileage Plus account. I was told that the reservation would last until April11. They said I should receive an email and it should be ticketed before then, but that if not, I would have to call back and ask for an extension.”

You probably already guessed that nothing happened by April 11, so Mary called once more to file an extension and was told that yes, the vouchers were still being processed. This time, United said all would be resolved by April 15.

It wasn’t.

“Again no voucher and no processing of the ticket,” says Mary. “I was also told that my credit card information is not on file and when they tried to re-enter my card information it tells them that it is not valid. I know my account balance and I know that I have more
than enough funds available (even though the representative repeatedly asked me if I was sure I had enough funds available). I was told that again that my reservation would be put on hold until the vouchers are received. This time I was told that it would be on hold until the date of the trip.”

Finally, on April 24, someone at United confirmed to Mary that the vouchers had been received on April 18 — more than three weeks after they were mailed. But that didn’t mean the issue was resolved.

“Again I was told that no credit card information is on file,” she writes. “I again gave my credit card information and was told that my flight would be processed by a different department that day.”

That was almost a week ago. Mary says she called United earlier today, waited an hour on the phone only to be told that her tickets had still not been issued.

We are attempting to get a comment from United about why in the world it would take so long to process these vouchers. In the unlikely event the airline responds, we will update the story.