Hundreds of United Passengers Stranded Overnight at O’Hare Were Woken at 4am to Take Blankets Back

Plenty of passengers were stuck spending the night at Chicago O’Hare on Monday night when United delayed flight UA1610 to Portland, Maine more than 10 hours overnight, along with several other flights.

The airline didn’t organize rooms for passengers despite mechanical issues, saying they couldn’t secure rooms but that they would reimburse up to $200 total for room, roundtrip transportation, and meals (if no meal vouchers were provided, in this case $10 vouchers were offered).

Consider this a reminder that many premium credit cards include up to $500 in trip delay coverage. That coverage is secondary to anything the airline provides. But expenses over $200 in this case could be covered. Unfortunately it’s not an embedded American Express benefit. However it’s worth paying attention to which credit card you use to pay for tickets — so you don’t wind up like this:

Here are passengers lined up sleeping on cots. That’s better than sleeping on the floor. So good job for that, United and O’Hare. Some of these passengers may also have come from United 2015 to Denver which was delayed overnight 13 hours and United 5003 to Fort Wayne, Indiana which was delayed overnight 12 hours.

It’s rough enough sleeping in the airport, on a cot, in a brightly lit space, surrounded by strangers. If you’re able to get sleep at all, it’s not going to last. Because passengers were woken at 4 a.m. by security.

Apparently they needed the blankets.

Airports generally accept passengers dozing off, even overnight, and sometimes help make it more comfortable. But they usually don’t like homeless living in airports. It’s a tough distinction to make and I’ve covered homeless living in the Frankfurt airport before, and a homeless man once stumbled on $354,000 in the Paris airport.

Rousting the homeless is a difficult question to wrestle with, but approaches to the homeless aside these are people that were proactively given cots to sleep on, they were invited because their flights were cancelled. Waking them at 4 a.m. and pushing them out when flights wouldn’t leave for many hours seems truly insult to injury. Shame on O’Hare.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Protip: If all the hotels near the airport are booked, take a taxi or an uber to a hotel away from the airport periphery. Plenty of motels within 10 miles of O”Hare that would be covered by $150. Not luxurious, but better than a cot in the airport.

  2. If I were to submit a claim to Chase benefits for a trip delay without claiming any United compensation or reimbursement first would the claim be denied? Especially if delay was mechanical and not weather related.

  3. @Daniel B – yup. I have done this many times. Better to drive an extra 10-15 minutes each way and sleep in a bed than sleep in the airport. And United was even offering to pay for it!

  4. @Luis – in practice it’s unlikely that the travel delay benefit provider will know whether the airline did or did not offer or provide compensation. But you’re making certain representations.

  5. Shame on United. They could have flown in a replacement plane and put on an extra crew. But, they saved money by not doing so and treating their customers like this. What a terrible approach to business

  6. I make it a point never to fly on United, and if they are the only airline flying to a particular location, I just wont’ go.!

  7. My experience is that you’re more likely to get airline coverage ($ reimbursement) if mechanical (Operational) vs an act of god, weather. This holds true for European trip delays as well.

  8. OK, let’s look at the excuse of pulling out the blankets at 4:00am.
    Since the cots were in the gate area how does a homeless person get past security without a airline ticket?
    I bet the restaurants open at 4:00. Might as well take the opportunity to sell everyone breakfast.
    As stated there are 100s of vacant hotel rooms within 5 miles of the airport ( I grew up there) some even have airport shuttles. Why didn’t United customer service get on it in advance and triage book rooms?
    answer: They don’t want the expense, don’t care and aren’t in the customer service business. They prefer freight as expectations are more easily met and no one is there to witnesses their greed or incompetence.

  9. @paul +1 To me it looks like the cots were airside too. But the article didn’t say and I’m not familiar enough with ORD to say for certain. If so, I agree it’s egregious to wake people up at 4 am. Even landside, I should think security should know the difference between the homeless and paying pax!

  10. Have stayed overnight in the O’hare airport. This is not the usual area that has dimable lighting where the “airport” uses for overnighted customers. The first delayed trip leaves at 5:59am – going to a hotel outside of the 15 mile mark would mean getting up at 3:00am. The letter provides, how the customer will be compensated. The only thing left is a 4am wake up – O’hare is a giant airport and it’s customers start entering the terminal about 4:30; these customer do not need to walk around cots (safety) and the airport/airlines do not want the negative reactions of passengers sleeping on cots throughout the day.

    As for taking picture, I certainly find it distasteful posting pictures of strangers (children) in your post.

  11. Should’ve put sand thieving Oscar and his wife in those cots.
    And see how he feels about it.

  12. If you ever need to get a hotel at the last minute, you can use a great app called Hotel Tonight which will show all of the hotels currently available close by.

  13. Wouldn’t the lesson be: BYOD (Bring your own blanket) when flying United? Especially at ORD, in case you are pulled from the airplane, and have to wait overnight for the next flight.
    This is a PR blunder against both ORD and United. Their plane is faulty, and they want to blame ORD, who cooperates, for reclaiming their $1.50 blankets?
    They were probably trying to avoid the embarrassment at 500am of explaining why their customers are sleeping in the wtg area instead of on a plane or at their destination.

  14. Just to be sure we are ALL on the same page – those are NOT UA blankets. The airport authorities provide cots and blankets – the AA psgrs get the same cots & blankets. The O’Hare staff makes make sure they’re returned. I do not see a UA uniform in these pictures asking the blankets being returned. UA gave them a choice to find additional hotels which are NOT part of the company that blocks rooms at nearby hotels for UA.

  15. Reading her tweets they cancelled at 1230am.

    They got a letter with an authorized code with instructions for reimbursement.

    What she doesn’t say…

    The bottom of the letter offers $150 for staying in the airport instead of hotel.

    Sounds like a reasonable policy.

  16. Lots of misinformation here. UNITED did not cancel/delay these flights until it was TOO LATE to leave the airport and get a hotel. They could have done so earlier in the evening and many of these passengers could have gotten rooms. Hotels were not an option after midnight when flights were finally cancelled.
    United agents also lied about hotel compensation. Flight 1610 was given meal vouchers and NO hotel reimbursement at 12:30am.

  17. @Liz – How can it possibly be too late to leave the airport? They do not lock down the airport and require passengers to stay airside. Some passengers may have felt “why bother leaving” although I think that’s a bad decision. Airport hotels may even be sold out, I still think it’s better to go further out for a room.

  18. @gary – our flight was cancelled slightly after 12:30am and delayed until 6am. If you left immediately, you would not even get in a cab until 1am, plus 20 minutes to a hotel? Maybe you get into a hotel room at 1:30/1:45?
    You’d have to leave said hotel room by 4am to make it back for the flight. That’s maybe 2 hours in a hotel bed.
    AND the United agent at the gate at 12:30AM told us we would get NO hotel reimbursement. Only passengers who went and stood in line at customer service (a 20-minute walk) + (huge line) got the reimbursement form AFTER complaining.
    So – a passenger who went straight from the gate to customer service and complained to get reimbursement wouldn’t have made it to a hotel room until about 2-2:30 in the morning.

    I went straight from the gate to customer service, waited in line, and then walked straight to the terminal with cots (20 min walk) and I finally got to the cots at 2:11AM (timestamp on my photos).

  19. @greg
    The $150 for staying overnight at the airport IS a reasonable policy. As is the $200 hotel/taxi/food reimbursement choice.
    The point of this experience is that A) we were NOT given this form upon delay of our flight.
    B) gate agent and customer service rep LIED about the form’s existence to everyone’s faces.
    We were given a $10 food voucher ONLY at the gate at 12:30 in the Morning.
    At the customer service desk later I was AGAIN lied to and told that form does not exist.
    A second agent at another desk finally gave the form to a few passengers.

    Most passengers on my flight never got that form.

    I am a VERY EXPERIENCED traveler. I had multiple hotel rooms ready to book earlier in the night if/when our flight was cancelled but they never called it and offered hotel reimbursement. Gaye agent confirmed at 10pm to me that if I had left tHen to a get a room, United would NOT pay for it.

  20. @Liz, (1) yes a hotel would still be preferable (2) no you wouldn’t have needed to stand in line, you could have dealt with the paperwork later, (3) What credit card did you use to buy your tickets? (4) did you try to rebook yourself onto the 910am or 2pm flights, likely preferable to sleeping in the airport..?

    If United earnestly kept trying to get the flight out, and didn’t cancel until late, how is that a bad thing? If they had succeeded that also would have been better than sleeping at the airport.

    I’m really not sure what your beef with United is here exactly. Although if you said “United should proactively just email the detail of what to do, with claim form, to customers they have that contact info for” I’d agree. There’s no reason why there ought to be a long customer service line to deal with this, it should be automated.

  21. @Liz Got it – the policy mistake was not telling people the reimbursement was available.

    As for the timing of the delay…the maintenance guys probably thought they had a decent shot at fixing it and made a real effort – esp with the crew still clear to fly. It’s not like some bean counter was sitting there saying “let’s drag this on.”

    I’d say you’re due the $150.

  22. @gary – I had no real problem with the situation until the United employees began lying to us.

    Like I said, I’m a seasoned traveler. Seen lots of things. Dealt with a lot with a smile on my face. The way they handled this was really terrible.

    Also – there’s no way I’m putting out money and hoping to get reimbursed later. The gate agent specifically told me at 10pm if I got a hotel before the flight was cancelled or delayed overnight that United would NOT cover it. I don’t have the $ to pay for hotel without confirmed reimbursement.

    And, they told us we were all taking the 6AM flight, same tickets. We were not re-booked. We had the option earlier in the evening to re-book for another flight next day BUT without hotel compensation.

    This situation was bad all around.

  23. Before a flight some years ago, my longest was Phoenix to Boston where Northwest decided at the point where we hit Albany that they had to go back to Detroit so the pilot for an International flight could go to Gatwick. 17 hours.

    But the one that took the cake, was United, flying from Boston to Dulles (supposedly). They loaded up the plane, and took it out on the tarmac – for 3+ hours. Then flew to Richmond Va because Dulles was weather inaccessible. This was after additional delay to re-weigh the plane. The Richmond airport was basically closed when we arrived – tough luck kids! So, it was a matter of sharing a cab with some other passengers to get to the car rental at Dulles, then driving to the hotel for an early morning arrival from a supposed 2 hour flight.

    A fine example of “we don’t give a s**t” customer service!

  24. Lol
    For a person who has lived in Chicago for a number of years, and not waking people sleeping on the L across several seated in rush hour, because, you know, dibs…. You would think Chicago based United would be a bit less terrible. A few years ago I considered defecting from AA to UA. I feel like I am constantly reminded I made the right decision

  25. I had a trip delay in Charlotte because of all the private flights leaving Augusta for the Masters. AA gave me vouchers for some crap hotel and useless food vouchers. I ended up using my Citi trip delay $500 for food and for bottles at the strip club across from my hotel. Pretty useful benefit.

  26. I worked at IAD with United for a short period after retiring as a federal agent(just for fun since I live near IAD and got bored at home). We didn’t have cots to hand out or blanks (I was during 2013). Several of the ramp agents at IAD we homeless and lived at the extremine end of the D gates. The airport never chased them out. There many cases where management would not cancel the flight or tell the PAX the flight was going to be canceled even when we knew we did not have a crew but the ramp agents were told to load the bags on the aircraft so it was ready to go. This security agents enforcing the ORD thing was rediculous and united should have stepped to avoid this happening in the first. Very poor senior United managenment at ORD.

  27. Maybe I value a good night sleep more than most but I would have gone to a hotel and returned the next morning to work out new flights with the staff (or better yet call the 1K line. I am not going to be forced to overnight in a terminal to catch a 6am flight due to airline negligence (mechanical) – they can re-accommodate me on a later flight. too many people accept the first line of BS from airport staff – you have rights and airline generally has flexibility (within reason). It’s not the same as a storm that can gum up the airport for days – or being stuck with a broken plane in a third world country. And as Gary notes this is why we all have credit cards – so we don’t have to sleep in airports. Chicago has plenty of hotels – I know of people who have been “walked” 30 miles when conventions sold out the town, but there are always rooms somewhere.

  28. We had an awful experience with Delta years ago. I didn’t fly Delta again for 15 years and then only because I had no choice unless I was willing to pay twice the price. There were only a couple of airlines flying to where I was going. Even I’m not stubborn enough to pay twice the price to keep my hate on going for Delta. But that was 2 years ago and I haven’t used them since.

    It took us 26 hours to get home for what should have been a no more than 2.5 hour flight and was an experience the three of us will never forget. My husband has traveled a great deal for business so like Liz knows what an airline should do for the passengers they’ve inconvenienced. By midnight when we finally landed for a layover we weren’t originally supposed to have we hadn’t had a meal since breakfast. Thank Heavens our son was 13 so I always had decent snacks or we wouldn’t have had anything but the little bags of pretzels and peanuts to eat the entire day. We were so hungry and tired we weren’t thinking straight and took the hotel accomodations. That late the only place open to eat was a Waffle House a couple blocks away. No one around but yeah that was still pretty scary walking those couple of blocks at 1am in Atlanta. By the time we got back to our hotel room we had 3 hours to sleep and shower. We left in plenty of time to get back to the airport and get some breakfast. But of course while my husband was standing in line to get all of us breakfast Delta announced a gate change that meant we had to immediately hustle clear to the other side of the huge Atlanta airport. So there went our time to get breakfast as by then the lines were so long at all the places open that we couldn’t get food before we had to board because they insisted we had to board early. Then once again we were stuck sitting on a plane that didn’t take off for another couple of hours. My husband and I looked at each other and said this is like the Groundhog Day movie; we keep getting put on planes that just sit and we can’t get off. We later found out that the pilots were in a contract dispute with Delta and were deliberately delaying flights saying a light in the cockpit came on after we’d taxied away from the gate so we couldn’t get off.

    I learned the hard way it isn’t worth getting a hotel if you don’t have at least 6 or 7 hours.

    When we finally got home I called Delta. The agent was extremely rude and said we weren’t entitled to anything. I’m very good at dealing with problems but this going nowhere and I was getting frustrated. My husband was on hold with a business call so was able to hear the conversation. He ended his call and asked me to give him the phone. He was already mad about missing his appointments for the day and having to apologize and reschedule so proceeded to tell the agent you will not speak to my wife like that, we were held hostage on your planes and you will give us the vouchers for a future flight like you should have offered my wife from the start.

    The not so funny part was when we used those vouchers we had another bad Delta experience. We had driven the two hours to get to the airport the night before and left our car at the hotel. It cost us the same as the parking would have and we had an early morning flight. We get to the airport and are standing in the counter area along with probably two hundred other people and there is not a single Delta agent anywhere to be seen. When one finally showed up almost everyone is worried about how they are going to get all of us on our flights in time. The agent proceeds to tell us that the flights are delayed and might even be cancelled until the next day. That the agents and flight crews can’t even get in because it snowed during the night. I’m looking at the other airline counters and see them processing people and point it out to my husband. He shouts out that if it was so bad why were all of us able to get here with no problem? Another guy speaks up and says he called before he left his house to make sure the flights were leaving on time and was told they were. But the agent continues to insist that we might not get out until the next day. Another agent had shown up by then and was trying to back the first one up in what he was saying. The family of five standing next to my husband were leaving on a cruise and would miss it if they didn’t get out that day. The wife laid down on the floor, curled up in a ball and sobbed. At this point my husband was done and this time shouted over everyone grumbling that other airlines had flights going out and that he knew Delta could put us on flights with other airlines.The two agents made a call to a supervisor and were told to do it. Then my husband added that they should take people in the order their flights were scheduled to leave and especially anyone leaving on a cruise first. We were in our early 50’s at the time, the cruise family standing next to us were about 20 years younger and didn’t have my husband’s years of experience traveling. Before they grabbed their bags to take their turn at getting put on flight with another airline leaving that morning they thanked my husband profusely and even the man looked like he was about to cry he was so grateful. We learned that several of Delta’s crews had been over their hours which was why the morning flights were delayed. And most of their remaining flights out that day had very few to no empty seats.

    After that I made the choice not to give my business to Delta in the future. They may neither know nor care that they don’t get my business but I do. And I know just how much business they lost in the 17 years I have refused to fly Delta, with the one exception that it turned out didn’t kill me to have to make. We were flying a minimum of four times a year for vacations. For five of those years I flew 6-8 times a year to visit our son in addition to our vacation flights. I also book my husband’s business flights and our son and his family’s vacation flights.

  29. From an experienced travel agent.
    Any domestic flight delayed more than 2 hours, either refunds the outbound portion of your ticket, or must put you on the next available flight. whether that day or next. you can also look at any available flight and TELL them you want on this/that flight.
    Most airlines with have honor rights with other airlines and put you on x,y or z. United with AA, or Delta with AA etc.
    Even within a 300 mile radius, to get you to your destination. even if you have to drive.
    sitting in an airport for 12 hours is stupidity by most travelers.
    sometimes easier to get as close as possible to destination and drive the rest. you’d be there before the next flight leaves

  30. I love how everyone ignores the facts of the situation and thinks they know better. This was a terrible situation. United made big mistakes. And the passengers had no options that didn’t involve putting out their own money or arriving at the destination far later than we finally did.

    – the gate agent repeatedly told us from 7:30pm on until midnight that we’d be boarding soon. They kept telling everyone it was a minor issue and would be fixed and if not we’d get another plane. She actually promised everyone we’d leave that night no matter what. Even the flight crew returned repeatedly thinking they would board and were turned away. Flight crew was upset as well.

    – lots of us sat near the desk and repeatedly asked questions about what was going on, what was possible, and what United was doing it about. Passengers were complacent, and they complained throughout.

    – united would not allow passengers to change flights without fees until 2 hours after the original flight time. So it was 9:30pm and there were NO other flights to get on until the next day, other airlines included. We asked. And we looked them up. No options that night other than our flight which they said would definitely leave.

    – united agent repeatedly told us that United would NOT cover hotel costs unless the flight was cancelled. There was no way to book a room until 12:30am without paying for it yourself and, even then, the agent told us NO HOTEL reimbursement to which we argued vocally and they still denied us. It took 3 customer service desks/agents later to get someone who said hotel reimbursement would be covered and by then it was 130am. There were huge lines. Multiple flights delayed overnight.

    – The only direct flight (2 hours) the next day was also at 730pm – 24 hours later. All other flights the next morning went through connections and were significantly longer.

    – a LOT of people do not have credit cards that cover these things like travel insurance. Some folks can’t even get these credit cards, or can’t afford the fees.

    – A LOT of people do not have money to just get a hotel room without reimbursement.

    – a LOT of people can’t just choose to fly the next day because they have jobs and other commitments. Even with our overnight delay, our flight still got to Portland earlier than any rebooked flight would have because we left at 6am and arrived at 9am. All the other flights left after that.

    – A LOT of people do not have time to spend hours filling out paperwork to get reimbursed or to make complaints against this service.

    – A LOT of people were traveling with either young children or very old people. It’s not as simple as switching flights or flying 24 hours later when you have kids or a wheelchair in tow.

    – and just in case folks were wondering, it’s a 16 hour drive from Chicago to Portland. That’s not doable overnight by yourself, with little kids (no car seats) or with an elderly relative in a wheelchair. And even if you drove straight through, and you left at 7:30pm (our original flight time), you would have gotten to Portland at 11:30am — AFTER our flight finally arrived.

    There were no good options. And there was no “savvy traveler” solution unless you spent your own money to solve problems.

    This was unacceptable.

  31. You make A LOT of points. But lying agents really isn’t a valid one. Your flight was not cancelled, it was a rolling delay. First a mechanical issue, then other factors (from your points). If the gate agent was given information from the maintenance department the plane would be fixed, how is relaying this a lie? If we continue with this train of thought, no UA should not pay for your hotel, IF the flight hasn’t been cancelled. Once the flight has been retimed to the next day, by all means UA will pay for accommodations, food, and etc (per your photo). I wasn’t there, I do not know ALL the facts, but based on your story, I believe there is another side.

    I do not think any UA employee ever lies to their customers. You make a bold statement, I completely disagree.

  32. @Michael

    The lying part came in after the overnight delay was announced at 12:30pm. Multiple customer service reps lied to my face about their policy and about the reimbursement form.

    We asked about hotels. They said there were none left, which they knew was a lie. They had said differently to another delayed flight about 2 hours earlier – I listened to thier announcement.

    They told different passengers different things about reimbursements and vouchers.

    They denied the existence of the reimbursement form with it directly in front of them. One customer service rep had the form on her desk and when I asked her about it, she looked me straight in the eye and “I don’t know what that is.” And put hers hands up.

    They know what they are doing. They are confusing passengers on purpose so they don’t have to pay compensation for their problems.

    I never said anyone lied about the mechanical issue. Or about the delay. They lied after the flight was delayed overnight and exactly as soon as vouchers and compensation were owed. As soon as it cost them money, they began lying to us. In fact – it wasn’t even the same gate agent as had been truthful to us earlier. They sent over new people to make the bad news announcement. All they gave us at 12:30am was a $10 food voucher. That’s it.

    I’ve never had this much trouble and I’m not a person who is driven to complaint easily. And I’m a well worn traveler. I’ve seen way worse delays and problems. And I have NEVER seen nastier, negative, dishonest customer service as I did that night.

  33. So United doesn’t have a spare plane at their biggest hub/HQ? If so, why are they in business?

  34. The strategy for this situation may have been to get to another hub where you are more likely to get to your destination. The Chicago hub was too far, but perhaps getting to Newark first, or Boston, with perhaps more flights to or near Portland, would have closed the distance enough to get home by 7 am, sleeping on the airplanes instead of the airport.

    There doesn’t seem to be enough spare capacity for airlines to have much flexibility for working with non-frequent flyers. Those end of day flights will more and more frequently make the news due to the likelihood of being delayed overnight or cancelled, with passengers accommodated on other flights, coincidentally much more convenient for the airline, the next day. For UA/AA/DA this is less of a problem than for airlines that only fly out of airports on certain days of the week, such as Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, etc.
    And, whether we know it or not, we have all dealt with gate agents that just don’t care, as well as agents that do care.

  35. Had a similar experience with US back in April. PHX to SGF via IAH. A 10 minute mechanical delay (a “light bulb” issue) for the connecting flight in Houston turned into 40 minutes without an update. Then the update… should board in 20 minutes. Then an equipment and gate change. Then we couldn’t board yet because a crew member forgot something on the other plane and had to go get it. Then we board. Then we taxi. Then we wait and wait and wait. Then the crew times out. Back to the gate. Deplane. No info freely given. when pressed, GA says, No, UA doesn’t have to dio anything for you…apparently the cancellatiin was due to weather in SGF. At this time it is after midnight, nowhere to eat. No shuttles. Gotta be back by 4 for rescheduled flight. Pointless to leave, for the same reasons one doesn’t (shouldn’t) fly to their port of departure on cruise day. The aircraft with the original “light bulb” issue had flown in 12 hours before and been parked at the gate ever since. If UA had maintained it properly and timely, the weather would not have had any beading on the original departure time and I’d have been home well before bedtime on Friday night, instead of 14 hours later without having had sleep or a scent meal.

    Communication. Lacking.

  36. Corrections:

    Had a similar experience with UA (not US) back in April.

    do, not dio

    …the weather would not have had any bearing (not beading) on the original departure time…

  37. The airlines don’t make a profit when there is a long delay, so I don’t really blame United for this. They should have a generous reimbursement policy when the delay is overnight, but $150 or $200 seems reasonable. The passengers are adults, presumably with cell phones, and they can find a hotel by googling “hotels near me.” The low-priced hotels on the periphery of the O’Hare area are never full, except during massive storms.

    O’Hare security should be ashamed of itself. You don’t take blankets away from sleeping people unless you are going to rescue somebody with them. Do they treat their wives or children that way? Well, maybe they do. Once I reported a suspicious abandoned backpack to an O’Hare security worker and he pretended not to hear me and walked the other way.

    By the way, this may seem like an unsympathetic comment, but if you don’t have an extra $100 or $200 for a hotel and cabs in emergencies, you can’t afford to fly. I have never spent a night in an airport. I have never had any trouble getting a hotel. I turn the delay into a mini-vacation, order the best meal on the room service menu or else have something delivered, and visit a local saloon if one is still open. Life is too short not to have fun. Make lemons into lemonade.

  38. @Larry
    – the airlines lose money when they pay for hotel rooms. United reps refused to pay for hotel rooms at the gate when they canceled our flight and they canceled it too late to get a hotel room. I would have been just fine that night with a United-paid-for hotel room – but THAT is not what happened. We were mistreated and lied to.

    – it must be nice to have enough money to pay $150+ for a hotel room and exorbitant room service. Also, hotels that cost under $200 generally do not have room service. And hotel shuttles do not stop at fast food places at 1am in the morning.

    -a LOT people traveling are not just out spending cash having fun. They are flying for business, to see sick relatives, to get surgeries, to go to funerals and weddings, or on vacations they have saved ALL year for. Many smaller business also cannot afford the hotel rooms either when thier employees get delayed on business travel. That’s not to mention the work day everyone on our flight missed the next morning.

    -Most Americans cannot handle a $300 emergency financially because wages have stagnated for decades, and health insurance, housing, and student loans are monsterous.

    Please THINK outside your own privileged perspective.

  39. An update: United airlines customer service called me this afternoon. When I called back, the agent was very pleasant and offered me compensation in the form of flight vouchers and a VISA gift card for the trouble. I’m satisfied they have taken care of this terrible experience at this point for me personally. But I hope that they are compensating the other folks on my flight and the other flights as well. And I hope that they follow up directly with the United staff at O’Hare who treated our flight so poorly.

  40. “I do not think any UA employee ever lies to their customers.“



  41. This is standard procedure at O’Hare. The Wake-Up call is at 4:00 every morning so the cots can be put away before the airport gets busy again. They were offered compensation, but chose to stay. This article is pointless.

  42. I spend a lot of time traveling. O’hare is one of only a couple airports that offers cots for passengers who are stranded overnight. These cots are provided by the city at no charge to the passengers or airlines. Cots are placed out at the request of the airlines when there is a large number of cancellations usually due to weather. One thing Liz neglected to mention was that she was given a complimentary toiletry bag to freshen up with after she had been awakened. It sounds to me that in the wake of the Dr. Dao incident, she is just trying to get as much free stuff from Untied as she can at others peoples expense.

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