My flight from Chicago (ORD) to LaGuardia (LGA), unfortunately the final of the night, was delayed for numerous reasons – a broken sensor, then a mechanical problem on the alternate aircraft that we were switched to, crew time out, searching for new pilots and crew, and then aircraft servicing (whatever that meant at 2AM). Once the delay went over the three hour mark, I decided to take United up on their hotel offer and switched to an early morning flight (I was connecting from abroad), making my entire delay about 10 hours and 15 minutes. They provided dinner and breakfast meal vouchers. If I had waited it out, the delay would have been 4 hours and 12 minutes.

UA Delay

United customer service proactively reached out a few days later (a good thing), but their original offer was $50 for the inconvenience! I responded with my honest comments on the lack of information they provided during the delay and the fact that instead of being honest, they simply delayed the flight in 15 minute increments…for hours. I got a canned response but an upgraded compensation offer – $125 or 5,000 miles. I went with the $125…still a bit underwhelmed for such an extensive delay, but I’m grateful that I got home safely…and got a new hotel trip report out of it.

Recent UA related – Did United Create an Entire Route from EWR for 1 VIP Passenger…for 18 months??

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A March 2, 2015 - 2:03 pm

$125 sounds about right. UA is cheap when it comes to mech delays. I had a 7 hour delay from SEA-IAD a few months ago (plane went mech @ SEA after boarding) this is after coming in from Hong Kong.. Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy and couldn’t get another flight out. In the end, I got a $300 voucher. Not horrible, but I would have much preferred a hotel and a flight to DC in the morning!

Ed March 2, 2015 - 2:19 pm

For comparison purposes, AA offered 8,000 miles for a 9 hour mech delayed flight from Boston to DFW (no monetary compensation).

denise March 2, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Maybe its just me….but at the point that you rescheduled to the next day, and took hotel and food compensation, your ‘delay’ stopped. You were no longer sitting at the airport waiting to leave at any moment, you had a firm departure etc.

so while you were delayed reaching your destination, the airline delay for the flight was only up until you were re ticketed.


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