How Did the United Airlines IT Transition Go For You?

I've been dealing with a number of family issues over the last week, so I apologize for the brevity of recent posts and the noticeable gaps between them. Just to warn my six readers, the next couple weeks don't look much better. But, never lose hope. I have so many trip reports and hotel reviews to bring you (some from places I never even mentioned I was traveling to) that I trust will be worth the wait.

Today, a simple question for you: how did the United Airlines transition from Apollo to Shares go for you? Just to give you an idea of how my day went, five hours of it was spent listening to Rhapsody in Blue on hold with United. Thankfully, I can multi-task, so the time was not a complete waste, but here's a few notes from my observation list:

  • Elites seem to be reaching "Ex-Con" (PMCO) agents, presumably because they are "experts" in Shares though it could have just been my bad luck
  • No elite number for Web Support anymore, meaning long, long, hold-times
  • As of yet, I have not been able to reach my friends in the Philippines or India--I trust those call centers have not been closed
  • It took about 14 hours for my United miles and lifetime miles to show up, but all appears a-ok now
  • There is a glitch in redeeming e-certificates (you enter the number on the homepage in the "offer code" box): they only work for round trip itineraries, even though the terms and conditions of the e-certificates explicitly say they are valid for one-way travel.
  • The page was down yesterday, but has returned today
  • Star Alliance award inventory now easily searchable online (no change from Continental's old site)
  • Though not entirely unexpected, there really are no new features on the website--it is just the old Continental website in nearly every way. I loved the interface of the old legacy United site, particularly that both outbound and return were displayed on a single page when booking a trip. With the new United flight search, you cannot see your return flight options until you select an outbound flight. Despite the many problems of the old UA site, I would have liked to see the United interface survive.

What was your experience?


Chris March 5, 2012 at 12:53 am

I wisely chose to fly AA this weekend, but my miles/upgrades/itineraries transfered flawlessly (at least by the time I checked in the late morning).

I'm glad to see someone else likes the old, side-by-side outbound/inbound view of the reservation (even if I know what flights I'm picking from having checked ITA first 99.99% of the time).

Andy March 5, 2012 at 01:21 am

I lost most of my assigned seats. My flight on Tuesday has nothing left but a middle seat on the last row of EMB 120:-/

My miles came through unscathed, but I'm really annoyed with "Premier 1K" because sounds like a bad cereal instead of a frequent flier level. I'm going to ask to be put back to Platinum because it sounds prettier.

Took 10 minutes to get BPs at LGA this afternoon. My friend, also a 1K and in F, had Group 5 printed on her BPs.

Miles, SWUs, CR1s, etc, are still there. I also hate the new boarding passes.. They're so cluttered!

UA-NYC March 5, 2012 at 07:39 am

Now missing 4 RPUs and 1 GPU (like many others) - good thing I have PDFs made of my higher totals from 3/2!

Everything else looks good, magically kept all my seats as well.

worldtraveller2 March 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

poof! just like that, both kids points...gone. plus my husband's too. I'm gonna wait a week or so before I start to panic.

I'm not flying till Friday the 9th, but electronically, all my info and itineraries 'eventaully' showed up on the new system by Sunday morning.....with a thrilling surprise. As a perk to joining an aerospace company, I got a cool 10month Silver Elite membership that was to expire Jan 2012. I was 8,000miles shy of renewing Silver......but when the Reservations System switched over this past weekend, my Silver Premier status was reinstated. Haha! I printed the temp. card out and everything. Looking forward to see how my BDL-LAX trip goes this weekend.

GandC March 5, 2012 at 10:49 am

My son traveled Saturday night from HNL to EWR on an award flight with only a 30 minute delay. Mileage plus came through on Saturday and lifetime miles showed up on Sunday

Goosh March 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

Can't apply my CR-1 to an upcoming JFK-LAX PS flight. Says " Your Regional Premier Upgrade is restricted by market and may not be used on this part of your trip." I'm pretty sure CR-1s are eligible to be used on PS flights regardless of fare bucket. At the very least I should be able to waitlist. I'm dreading having to call in and be on hold for an hour.

RCMeyer March 5, 2012 at 01:55 pm

The continental website is terrible.

@RCMeyer, yes, agreed. The CO site is loud, obnoxious, unrefined, not very intiuitive. I hate it. It reminds me of amateur sites made in FrontPage. BUT, I'm learning that it does share more information with us than the old UA site. HOPEFULLY, they redo the site to evoke much more modern class.

Nick March 5, 2012 at 03:48 pm

The Continental website was always painful from a graphic design standpoint, but it has always been more reliable. I would prefer the look of the old UA site, but can't complain that they went with a more stable web platform so that there will be fewer calls once everyone gets used to it.

My travel on day 1 was not bad, once we checked in manually with a ticket agent. The app, the web and the kiosk weren't working. But the BP was printed and after that all went smoothly on a one-leg domestic flight ex-ORD. Here are details:

Hunt March 6, 2012 at 06:12 pm

Still have not received elite qualifying miles/segment credit from flights the week before the transition which were under my old MP #.

When are we Ex-Cons going to get the super secret 1K phone number?? I can't make any calls to the airline until I get it! Even when I sign in as a 1K, they won't list the number online. It's like they forced me to join their stupid 1K team, but they won't let an ex-Con non-business flier like me play their game.

I will add something positive to counteract my complaints!!! Looks like the issues I was having booking specific fare classes in the last week leading up to the systems merge got sorted out. I had no issues booking flights (I waited until Monday for obvious reasons) and none of my regional/global whatchamacallits were lost. Woo! I just want the secret phone number ;)

Brad March 7, 2012 at 07:37 am

@Elyse, I don't think the fancy 1K number exists any more. I believe that the number on my 1K materials (the same as it was pre-merger for this legacy-United flyer) is no longer exclusive for 1Ks, rather just for all elites.

When calling on Monday, I got through to an agent using that line within 5 minutes, but there was no indication by the automated messages or by the agent I spoke to that it was exclusively for 1K callers.

I would think that by calling whatever elite number you have and putting in your Mileage Plus number, you would be routed appropriately. In my case, calling from the phone in my profile, the automated system recognized that, and confirmed my name.

I hope I'm wrong, but that is how I understand things to be set up.

The airline gods must have heard my complaint! I got my 1K package in the mail today with a SUPERSECRETKPHONENUMBER card included. Now let's see how my first post-merge flight goes Fri morning...

All my United elite miles are gone now, though the segments are there! Odd that they were there and now they are gone...

@Inflight Dish: Lucky you. I hope my card arrives soon! I'm flying JFK-LAX on Friday morning and hope to get the French Toast you enjoyed on your recent EWR-SEA flight.

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