Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A $150 Starbucks Mocha

I missed my flight yesterday in the terminal of my route SEA-IAD-FLL. Unbelievable?! Here is what happened:

I got up 4:30am and managed to get to the Sea-tac Airport. I thought I was safe so I grabbed a cup of Starbucks and the gate closed 2 minutes when I heard my name was called. L

The agent said she paged me 5 times, but I wasn’t able to hear. It’s not sky falling, United managed to rebook me to SEA-IAH-FLL in a late flight. However, I intended to choose IAD(Washington DC) route, because based on gcmap.com it’s 6046 miles and I need 6000 miles to get Elite for 2013. The IAH(Houston) route is only 5679 miles. ( I short for 321 miles, kidding me!!!)

Jesus, since I have no plan for United by end of this year, I might have to rebook my return ticket via Newark which $150 change fee applies. Hence, the title of this post. J

While I had 3 hours lay-over in IAH which is United hub city, there are tons of United clubs in their 5 terminals, I don’t have club access( and I don’t want to waste my one-day pass which you get two when you apply for ChaseUnited MileagePlus card), I sat beside a seat near one of the club, and they have free Wi-Fi. (Hint: if you travel to those airports don’t have free Wi-Fi, approach United clubs to “steal” their free Internet)

In short, if you miss your flight, the ground customer service desk has MORE power than the phone agent and they don’t charge you anything as long as there is an open seat. However, I don’t recommend you to intentionally miss your flight, say, the flight you missed is cheaper than the later flight and you want to take the late flight. Because YMMV. In my case, I apologized for the CSR for my ignorance and asked any alternatives. You never want to yell at CSR, nothing they can do, as the gate is closed. If you are calm and be polite, it always helps you in all circumstance. I don’t really understand people believe if they yell at the CSR, they will treat differently, being in the domain of customer service for the last 10+ years, I know it won’t work, not at all.

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