We stayed in a hotel and had Erin stay with us to drive us to the airport at 4:00 am. We arrived, unloaded 9 suitcases and went to the check in kiosk. My confirmation number would not work on the kiosk so I was sent directly to the check in desk.
"I purchased tickets months ago for me and 4 of my children to fly to Brazil. Our
family is moving there for 3 years. We arrived at the airport yesterday at 4:15 am. The flight departed at 5:47. It took an hour to check in and print boarding passes and luggage claim tickets. We finally received them and ran through security and to the gate. We were denied boarding because there was "an issue" with the boarding passes. 7 of our suitcases made it to Brasilia, but we were denied boarding in Pasco. Over the next 5 hours, as we tried to sort it out and get rebooked, we continually got disconnected from calls and no one would take responsibility for the boarding denial. This morning I was told that the reason we could not rebook to Brazil was because we were entered in the United Airlines system as "no shows". Interesting because I have boarding passes and luggage claim tickets. Even after a customer service representative admitted today that we had in fact checked in, they would not contact Latam Airlines to tell them that it was a United mistake. Our suitcases made it all the way to Brazil and now we have to wait for them to be returned to us. We could not book more flights until next Thursday and had to pay over $6700 to get new flights. That on top of hotel, meals, basic necessities, travel (miles & gas), and more for 5 people for a week. All because our passenger rights were not honored, we were denied boarding, and listed as "no-shows" therefore making it impossible to rebook the last two legs of our itinerary. I was confident that your company would make this right, but I was wrong to believe that. I am angry. I am disappointed. I am exhausted. I am not done fighting.
Latam Airlines wanted to charge us $15000 for new flights. Expedia said the best they could do is new tickets for $7000. I'm crying again. We were now in the time frame that if we wanted any kind of refund from Expedia, we had to request it now. No one at United would help us so we felt that we didn't have a choice. So, Mark requested a refund. They charged us a fee of $150 per ticket to get a refund. We then contacted a travel agent to make new arrangements. I asked them to book us out of Salt Lake City so that we could at least stay with family and be near a larger airport in case something happened again. We would have more options that way. The least expensive tickets were to depart one week later on August 11.
Back on the phone with United to request that they fly me and my four children down to Salt Lake City so that I don't have to drive. "I'm sorry. Your ticket has been refunded. I'm happy to help you rebook new tickets for a price." I tell her "No, I'm not paying. Transfer me to someone who can help me." I get transferred. No one can help me there. I get transferred again, this time supposedly to someone who has authority to help me. "No, your ticket has been refunded. I cannot rebook you without you paying." I ask to talk to her manager. Nope, but she puts me on hold to talk to her manager. Nope. Can't help me.
I'm done. I do some research on Passenger Rights, which I recommend that everyone reads before they fly. I learned a lot of interesting things. You cannot be denied boarding if you have a confirmation number from the airlines. Even if you are not in their system. Interesting. So, I kept all of my reciepts from hotels, food, basic necessities while we waited for our luggage to be returned from Brasilia. We were without stuff for 4 days. I am currently waiting to hear from United Airlines about the claim form that I submitted.
Updates to come...