We are flying back home tomorrow. I will have review of some hotels and restaurants in France and Belgium in the coming days. I will also have review of UAL and Lufthansa flights as well.
But 2 things about United. One very good and one bad.
The bad – They can no longer keep your seat assignment. My wife and I have had 1A&B on flight from IAD to LAX tomorrow for 2 months. I just happened to look as I received the time to check-in notice and saw that we now have 1A & 5B. Since it is an International flight we are taking I can not change Our seat assignments on line (as stated earlier I do not like checking in on line (because usually you can’t)) Plus 1B is now gone. So I will have to deal with this before I check-in in BRU and doubt they can do anything about it. This is a big problem for 2 reasons. One – this is the 4th time it has happened to me in the last 2 months (it had never happened to me in the last 10 years and I have taken 100’s of flights- unless there was a change of aircraft). I have certain seats I like or find more comfortable and therefore book these seats when I book my flight. The 2nd reason and more troubling is my wife will become very angry if we can not sit together (not to say I wouldn’t be if we couldn’t sit together 🙂 – I could get myself in trouble here) She was upset on the FRA-CDG portion of Lufthansa that the middle seat is taken by a tray so there are only window and aisle seats. So that will cause a bigger problem than just the inconvenience of having our seats changed.
I have actually contacted United before about this and one agent said they never heard of this happening and another said it was due to some glitches in United’s and Continental’s merger.
Now for the good thing about United. I redeemed miles for our trip and was actually able to change our out-bound flight a week before we left (for no cost – the tax was the same – btw – it is only free to change award seats on United before a certain period of time for general members of Mileage Plus and Elite Members depending on what level you are. I am 1K, so free) What struck me about this was not that I could do this for free (although that is a great benifit), but that I was able to see available reward seats on their site and they were on a Partner Airline. Further, there we more options than just the LH flight we took. Now coming home there are several other options for free tickets from BRU back to LAX or SAN. And not just for tomorrow’s date and not just in 1st Class. For most the month of June and July in all classes. I also looked into redeeming miles on Delta and American. Delta never had a lower mileage award for any days I looked at. They wanted 320,000 miles for Business Class (I redeemed 67,500 each way on UAL in First) American also didn’t have anything at the lower mileage level (but at least they were just twice that level) until the week before. But then only on British Airways flights and the taxes & fees then would be around $400 (another subject for another day). I looked at several days and several cities. It wasn’t just a coincidence. Now I was able to redeem 2 free tickets in Bus. Class on Korean Air thru Delta this year at their lowest mileage level (also another subject for another day) so it is possible.
But if anyone is starting to fly even a few times a year and deciding which airline to fly (and doesn’t care their seat assignment gets changed 🙂 ) That is something to consider.