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Ridiculous Hold Times

Posted Mon March 5, 2012 12:38 pm, by M M. written to United Airlines

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As part of my day to day job duties, I am responsible for booking business travel for my department of 15 people. My travelers often fly via United across the continental United States.

This morning, I had to cancel a reservation that was for travel today due to a medical emergency on behalf of one of my travelers. I attempted to use the online feature to cancel the flight, but was given an error message and instructed to call 1-800-XXX-XXXX for further assistance. I called. I was on hold with that number waiting for any live human whatsoever to answer the phone for 50 minutes.

Thinking that I was lost in the queue, I hung up and called the reservations line at 1-800-XXX-XXXX. I have now been on hold with that line for 1 hour 20 minutes. I know, because my phone has a call timer.

Total hold time spent by me to cancel a reservation: 2 hours 10 minutes.


Staff the call centers with more people. This is ridiculous. After this morning, I will certainly be talking to my travelers about using other carriers.


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by MrsMootz Posted Mon March 5, 2012 @ 6:24 PM

Also, I know they just completed a merger with Continental this
weekend but they knew about this ahead of time for months... and
couldn't plan accordingly?

Thanks for the info, Bill R. I will look into using those two items in
the future.


Mrs. Mootz, Your are welcome. BillR. by Bill R. Mon March 5, 2012 @ 6:55 PM

planning ahead ... doesn't always mean preparation for every known circumstance by PepperElf Mon March 5, 2012 @ 8:28 PM

by Bill R. Posted Mon March 5, 2012 @ 5:55 PM


The answer is staffing and the goal should be wait times less than 3

In the meantime some enterprising folks have come up some apps to side
step the issue:





by MA Bellamy Posted Mon March 12, 2012 @ 12:10 PM

What a cool idea! I always use the "Call Back" feature anytime I call
a business that offers it, but now you can basically do that with ANY

It's too bad more companies don't offer this on the front end!


by PepperElf Posted Mon March 5, 2012 @ 3:08 PM

I don't know but ... I NEVER hang up if I've been waiting a long

Why? Because calls are often FCFS and by hanging up it means you go
back to the end of the queue


hold by MrsMootz Mon March 5, 2012 @ 4:19 PM
by MrsMootz Posted Mon March 5, 2012 @ 1:34 PM

Original letter writer here. I was on hold on the second call for 2
hours, 20 minutes. I asked my coworker to call the same phone number
using her phone. After she was on hold for 20 minutes,she got through
to someone. MY PHONE was still on hold after over 2 hours, so how does
that queue even work?

In addition, the person I spoke with was surly and rude. He didn't
give me the amount of credit to be used for future travel and after
being told I was on hold for over 2 hours, said "well, that's the
queue". I explained that MY phone was still IN queue and I called in
two hours earlier but my coworker's call was answered after 20 minutes
and he still replied, "Well, that's the queue".

All righty then. Stay away from United. Duly noted.


was she calling at the same time as you or did she call AFTER you hung up? by PepperElf Mon March 5, 2012 @ 3:10 PM

After by MrsMootz Mon March 5, 2012 @ 4:11 PM

you said after so you were no longer in queue when the other call got answered by PepperElf Mon March 5, 2012 @ 8:27 PM

no... by MrsMootz Mon March 5, 2012 @ 10:24 PM

maybe it was a glitch then. at any rate it got answered at least n/t by PepperElf Tue March 6, 2012 @ 8:56 AM

Didn't by MrsMootz Tue March 6, 2012 @ 4:41 PM

i meant your office by PepperElf Wed March 7, 2012 @ 9:19 AM

Good idea by cissy Wed March 7, 2012 @ 12:54 PM

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