Over the years, I’ve developed a hate/hate relationship with United Airlines. I think of it as akin to a longtime relationship that ended badly.
When I lived in New Jersey, a mere 20-minute drive to Newark Airport, my airline of choice was Continental. They flew to almost everywhere I wanted from their Newark hub. I collected frequent flyer miles in their MileagePlus program, which I could occasionally use to pay for an award ticket.
Eventually, I moved to Florida and Continental was purchased by United. We both changed and the relationship wasn’t working like it was before. When we visited the NY tri-state area, flying to Newark was no longer the airport of choice. With plenty of options to LGA and JFK, a flight to EWR was only the best choice if visiting family in NJ or if the price was right (which it rarely was.)
United’s management kept making decisions I didn’t like, and I decided to avoid flying the airline. It wasn’t a hard decision, as we did not fly with them often. There were times when a United flight would be more convenient or slightly less expensive. However, if you’re not willing to stick to your guns, even if it means you’re personally inconvenienced, what does that mean about you?
While I wasn’t going to book a flight on United, we still had a bunch of MileagePlus miles in our United accounts. I looked for places to use the points and one of the best options was to book flights on ANA.
I used United miles to book us from Osaka (ITM) to Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco (SFO). The domestic flight was in economy but the TPAC flight was in ANA First. ANA is the only airline we’ve flown international First Class and it was a while ago. Those flights were amazing and from what I’ve read, things have only gotten better since.
When I was writing about what to do when you have reservations that might still be canceled by COVID, I went to look at my United account and found something I didn’t expect.
Part of our itinerary was canceled and no one told us.
I followed the prompts and still didn’t have an answer.
After trying to rebook and having little success, I tried to rebuild the trip. As it turns out, ANA has currently canceled all flights from Osaka to Narita (NRT) and only fly to Haneda (HND).
If I try to rebook the itinerary online, there’s no space in ANA First from NRT to SFO.
If I wanted, I could try to get United to book us on a flight from ITM or KIX to HND and then get from there to Narita in time for our flight. I could also book a $45 ticket on Jetstar but we didn’t have the best of luck with them in Australia.
Fortunately, a part of me is happy about this cancellation because there’s a pretty good chance the trip won’t happen. Now that there’s been a schedule change, it shouldn’t be a problem about canceling the ticket and getting the miles back.
However, I can’t help but think I should have received a text, email, letter or carrier pigeon from United to let me know that the flight connecting to our flight across the Pacific Ocean no longer exists. There’s plenty of time for us to make alternate plans but I’m not looking into those changes if I don’t know the flight was canceled in the first place.
Thanks, United MileagePlus for reminding me why I will never, ever, use you again once I get these miles out of my account. Like Ever.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary