United just cancelled my flights for Sept 2020 ESW flights

Just got an email from United that my flights were cancelled. Their nonstop to/from LHR is gone from my home airport. I did a search and there really aren't any good replacement flights. Best options seem to be Lufthansa which adds hours to the flight durations. I suspect I'll wind up cancelling this trip until next year.

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Comments

  • The hits just keep coming don’t they? Sorry to hear, what started this year for most of us with excitement for upcoming trips has turned to heavy disappointment. But we might as well start getting excited and planning next year. Cliche, could be worse, well yes it could, but that doesn’t stop the disappointment.

  • BKMD. Take the opportunity to get your money back from United ASAP, don’t let them offer you a voucher. If they cancel, you are entitled to your money back. Your tour won’t be going in September I can guarantee that. Lufthansa is giving customers the the run around already too. Britain could still be on lockdown in September and they won’t want virus ridden Americans there. They barely tolerate us under normal circumstances.

  • Re UAL, they changed my non-stop flights to/from Seattle in May to 1-stop flights adding hours to my travel. I called them about 3 weeks ago to cancel. I was on hold for under 5 minutes. The rep cancelled my flights right away. My points were back in my account in less than 24 hours. My Visa card was credited in 4 business days. At no time did the rep ask me to take a credit towards future travel . Needless to say I was surprised at how quick and easy the process was. Kudos to United.

  • I already got money back from Delta for one cancelled trip (Japan). Per United, the refund request will have to be made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, as I booked through them, partially with Rewards points and partial cash payment. They are closed weekends, so will call tomorrow. I think I can work that call into my schedule :)

  • BKMD-
    Good luck getting through to Chase Rewards (which is run by Expedia). They have been swamped for weeks.

  • edited April 27

    UAL allows you to change your flights on their website, even if you booked through another agent (just figured this out). Unfortunately, as BKMD says, you can't get a refund through them if you booked through an agent. We booked through Chase Rewards (Expedia). Back in March we pushed our Ireland trip to August from June (for obvious reasons). I had tried to call Chase Rewards several times, but got the "we don't want to talk to you unless your flight is in the next 72 hours" recording. BKMD's post got me thinking that maybe our flights had been canceled. They had not, but I did see a "Change Flights" option on the United website and was able to change the flights to August on the United website. Thanks BKMD for prompting me to take another look. It saved the hassle of a phone call and long wait times (sorry you have to go through that).

    Not surprisingly, when we chose business/first class seats for our flights we had our pick. Only one of the four flights had any seats assigned. Now if they can just get things back to normal before August.

    UPDATE - I had problems with this. See my post on 4/29.

  • edited April 26

    Ken from Vegas
    1:43PM edited 1:44PM

    UAL allows you to change your flights on their websit . . . .

    Had the price changed (gone up or down), and if so did, were you required to pay the difference or get a refund when you changed flights?

  • Alan-
    No price increase on the flights I selected. No savings either. Most route options showed zero dollar cost. Maybe if I had canceled first and then rebooked, I might have saved some money, but not worth the hassle. The route was much better than originally booked. Short hop to San Francisco and then long flight to Dublin in business class comfort.

  • Sorry, but your tour is unlikely to go. There is already a question mark on a September tour we have booked. Believe Dr. Fauci yes, I’m a total pessimist when it co,es to the virus.

  • edited April 26

    British-
    I understand your concerns. I am less optimistic about travel this year than I was when we pushed the trip to August over a month ago. At that time, we were trying to avoid a large cancellation fee on the airline tickets, given that the June tour was likely to be canceled. Since then the airline policies have become much more liberal. So if it goes in August - great. If not, the Tauck and airline policies will make us whole. We also have a trip to Canada in September and theater tickets for Harry Potter in between. Who knows if we'll get to do any of that.

    In the meantime, we are sheltering to the max - only going out to do curbside pickup once a week at the grocery store.

  • It is still pretty dangerous out there for our demographic, and also now for the younger generations with the blood clotting issue!

  • Conde Nast traveler had a pretty useful article on refunds vs vouchers. If the airline cancels and you don't need the money to pay bills, they suggested the voucher was the better option if you were pretty sure you'd be traveling within the time period it was good for and you asked for a bonus -10-20%. The airlines aren't really advertising but it's worth asking. I'd only do that for a major airline that I thought was likely to survive this.

  • Here is a link to the article Claudia was talking about in Conde Nast Traveler in case anyone is interested in reading it.

  • Interesting perspective, Cluadia. Thanks for posting. That said, I'd rather have the cash. The airline industry is so predatory and customer-unfriendly, I don't want to give them an interest free loan, even if there is a 10-20% premium. Odds are the flight will be 10-20% more, or more, when you rebook ;)

  • Hard to predict what prices will look like. In my case I figure I have good odds of a better deal. I had waited too late to book our Sep trip and due to knee issues was willing to pay more for business class. If Tauck cancels our trip this Sep we have a deposit on the same one 29 Aug 2021. Gives me some time to get decent seats and connections for next year. But it is a gamble for sure.

  • I only flew the airplanes, so I know nothing about airline marketing or pricing. But, in the short term I think you are going to see some ‘cheap’ seats while the airlines try to get their customers back. Right now it’s no drinks, no food (or a box), no club lounges or lounges with no drinks or service. There will be some mini’s in my quart bag, and takeout food from the airport. I’m thinking about cancelling my Admirals Club membership until they reopen, but I probably will not. They gave me a great career. I will likely continue to do a small part to help them persevere. In the mean time I will be looking at the cost of upgrades for my next two booked trips.

    .

  • Sealord, I assume you saw the six month membership extension for the Admiral's Club?

  • I get Admirals Club via my AA credit card. Just had to pay the yearly fee, with no reduction even though there is no Admirals Club. That’s so far down their care about list that I don’t even bother to mention it to them.

  • edited April 27

    taxare ... no I did not see the extension. I get the Club via my credit card also, but the annual fee is up to $650 bucks. I have to think about that a little since there are now years I never fly on AA, just other airlines. I’m just supporting the company that supported me. Since they now require an AA ticket for that day to get in, the value is further reduced. I have used the club many times in the past when flying on other airlines. Changes are not always good. The airplane I flew with 148 seats now has 167 seats, or may that’s 176. In the short term that airplane may get reconfigured for 80 or maybe 100.

  • If ( and a big if) our Sep 2020 trip happens I'm going to be pretty annoyed if many of the perks of a business class seat - food, drinks, Sky Club - aren't included.

  • edited April 27

    I’ve been thinking how social distancing would work on A Tauck tour....would they need two buses per tour? Will Tauck have to abandon seat rotation to avoid cleaning the bus thoroughly every day. How will that go down with people when the same ones get the front seats....Will restaurants be open, how would that work at a Welcome dinner with spaced out seating? Will the sites be open and if they are, how long would it take to see them if only so many people at a time are allowed in, everyone will need the ‘whispers’ and so and so on. The UK is pretty much already saying it will be operating social distancing throughout the summer. Will foreigners be allowed to enter the UK for vacations by then?
    Will they have to quarantine somewhere before they are even allowed loose in the country, isn’t Israel saying that already?
    I’m realizing this is way more complicated than we can even imagine.

  • Claudia, when we evacuated Malaysia in March, the lounge in Kuala Lumpur was closed but you could go in and order food from a very limited menu and then they freshly cooked it for you, you collected it and then ate it outside of the lounge, but you could go in the lounge afterwards. We have half experience the changes that were made on the fly when it all started happening.

  • edited April 27

    British
    8:41AM edited 8:43AM

    I’ve been thinking how social distancing would work on A Tauck tour....

    Frankly, if social distancing is still required anywhere when and where a Tauck tour is scheduled, it will not happen. I think the number of active cases and infection rate will need to be drastically reduced or near zero in the places to be visited, or a vaccine is widely available and everyone on the the tour can show proof of inoculation. Social distancing and taking temps don't do enough, especially taking temp- that only tells if you have a fever and possible active case, but not if you are an asymptomatic carrier or in the very early stages of infection. I think testing just revealed that many more sailors on the Roosevelt were infected than they initially thought because there was a large number of the crew who were asymptomatic.

    There is no guarantee that the "Tauck bubble" would be 100% effective, and how do you protect them from each other unless everyone gets a reliable quick test or has been inoculated before joining? It will all just be too hard and there would be too much liability, otherwise.

  • edited April 27

    Ken from Vegas We booked through Chase Rewards (Expedia). Back in March we pushed our Ireland trip to August from June (for obvious reasons). I had tried to call Chase Rewards several times, but got the "we don't want to talk to you unless your flight is in the next 72 hours" recording.

    I tried calling Chase Rewards (Expedia) and had the same issue. If I entered any info related to this flight booking, I was disconnected immediately after a "call back when it is within 7 days of your trip." When I tried the usual tricks (hitting 0 or 00) to bypass the menu, it didn't work.

    So I thought I'd dispute the charge with Chase directly. As the purchase was in December 2019, there was no link online to dispute the charge. I am currently on hold with Chase (estimated hold time 40 minutes).

    "Expect long hold times because several of our call centers are closed."
    This is the IDEAL business where people can work from home. All they need is a phone and computer. Why haven't they configured this? They know this isn't going away any time soon!

  • Does anyone have any insights to something that I've discovered? Tauck has cancelled all tours through the end of June. They say they will call effected parties in order of tour start date. My tour, the Iceland tour, was set to start on June 24th. I haven't heard from Tauck yet, but that isn't surprising based on my tour start date. That isn't the source of my dilemma.

    When I look at various tours, that likely would have start dates in June, they all say for 2020 that they are available July - whenever. This is consistent with Tauck haven't cancelled all tours through June. Then comes my confusion. For the Iceland tour the Tauck tour page stills shows three June dates as being available. I'm wondering if Tauck is holding out hope that Ponant and Iceland will resume travel opportunities such that these June start date tours could still possibly happen?

    Short of calling Tauck I was wondering if anyone has any insights into this oddity.

  • edited April 27

    I think it is probably an oversight, an error, or the webmaster hasn't gotten around to it. They are pretty busy. Two reasons I think that: (1) the tours are in June, and (2) it is a cruise. If you don't want to call, you can send an email to Tauck IT at: Tauck Esupport [email protected]

    There are a number of things that need to be corrected on the website. A small entry on the confirmation email says our 26 Jan 2021 Jordan & Egypt departure will have a different itinerary for the 4 - 5 days we cruise the Nile. We will cruise north to south, opposite to the other Jewels and Jordan & Egypt tours. However, even though this is a significant change, the online itinerary says nothing about it, no alternate itinerary or map, or footnotes Tauck typically adds when there are changes to certain departures.

  • edited April 27

    I think it’s just an error on the tour page. We got our call on Thursday night for a tour that was due to start June 2nd. They called my cell phone which is not the number we like to use for Tauck communication. We still rely on our home phone for anything like that and we were at home. Unlike most people I don’t have my phone close to me most of the time.
    We chose to take a refund of our deposit and we noticed it was already back on our credit card yesterday. The Tauck agent told us they were nearly through calling the June dates and would be starting July soon.

  • edited April 27

    British
    2:16PM

    We got our call on Thursday night for a tour that was due to start June 2nd. They called my cell phone which is not the one we like to use for Tauck communication.

    I never get calls on my cell phone, it has a very short range. Seriously, I'm a selective Luddite and don't have a cell phone (I rely on my wife.)

  • BKMD 8:51AM I am currently on hold with Chase (estimated hold time 40 minutes).

    40 minutes on hold was about right. Response - "We'll mail you a charge back dispute form."
    "No email or online form?"
    "Not if you get paper statements."

    Some things just don't make sense.

    I hope I don't have to do this again with my October 2020 Japan trip (rescheduled once from earlier this month). No more new travel plans for this year for me!

  • I submitted a question to Tauck through the website to see if they can explain it. Ponant has only beached it’s ships through May 15th at this point. They should make an update to that shortly. If they beach their ships through the end of June then that would seal the deal. Will see how Tauck responds. Go figure that the only tour that hasn’t had its dates updated is the one that I’m supposed to take. What are the odds.

    British - I think you’re just a triple A elite customer as to why you got your call already. If I don’t hear from them by May 15th then I will call them.

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