Saturday, June 20, 2009

United Doesn't TAP to the Star Alliance

Ron had to go from Newark to Lisbon to Frankfurt to Budapest and arrived home at 8:30 PM last night. When he went to check in at Newark, it seems that United had him booked on a TAP flight that was discontinued in May. However, he did not find this out at the check-in desk until they had checked his luggage and sent it off on the belt. They had re-booked him on a flight that now had him over nighting in Lisbon, but no one had forewarned him about this. Needless to say, no one offered to pay or supply a hotel voucher either. This scheduled plane was six hours later than his originally planned flight.
When he told TAP he was never informed of these changes and due to EU rules, he knew he was entitled to be put on a different flight if there were an earlier one out of Lisbon, they said he would have to deal with United. Because this was a frequent flyer ticket, TAP was not able to make the changes. He had the good sense to ask if they were all part of the Star Alliance, why they could not do it themselves, but the TAP rep tap danced around the question, saying they could not.
He went to the United desk in a different terminal, spoke with a rep there, who said she would make the changes, but that TAP should have done this themselves since they are part of the Star Alliance, confirming Ron's thoughts. She then suggested he go back to TAP to retrieve his luggage and recheck it with United.
After returning the the original terminal where TAP is located, he asked for his luggage to be searched for, but the young man who had originally took it gave him the run-around about getting it back. After Ron pressed the issue, the young man supposedly went looking for it, but came back empty handed. Ron claims he was a bit surly about the request, so chances are the man disappeared just to say he did it when he return, but really having done nothing at all.
Ron arrived in Lisbon, had a wait and then had to fly to Frankfurt, before continuing on to Budapest.
The irony of the whole situation is that I had convinced him to bring me home some Italian sausage. I had him deep freeze it, wrap the package in aluminum foil and then in plastic bags, thinking that in the cargo hold, it would make it back partially frozen or ready to cook immediately. Also in the luggage were bagels.
In his carry-on suitcase is a new Windows Home Server, which I paid $700 for, but all of the peripherals, the cords, software, etc are in the big suitcase, along with the ten books on how to teach online and how to be a life coach. Is this a message from the universe?
Needless to say, Ron's luggage did not arrive home with him. There was another flight in last night at midnight, but the luggage was not on it. The next flight is today at 2:00.
I will be in mourning as I throw the sausage into the trash.

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