For years I’ve extolled the benefits of HUCA, or hang up and call again, when you get an answer from a customer service agent that you don’t agree with.
I argued on a post about United’s devaluation this week that for most people, it isn’t worth spending money on United cards for mid-tier elite status due to the opportunity cost versus putting that spending on more valuable cards where your rewards aren’t subject to devaluation. Even lower tier elite status back in the day meant upgrades to first class, but that’s become an anomaly these days even for higher tier elites. And the opportunity cost may be several times the cost of just buying extra legroom seats when needed.
Commenter UA Premier pushed back and said the main reason he spends on United cards for elite status is the ability to speak to US phone reps and not undertrained reps based abroad.
Phone reps? Have we gone back in time? I never make a phone call if I can avoid it.
Whenever possible, I reach out to airlines via Twitter’s DM service. I don’t have to wait on hold and I find that those reps are usually very efficient in fulfilling my requests.
Plus, they’re even good for a laugh:
But as commenter united points out, you can HUCA with a phone call, but how do you HUCA on Twitter? After all, they can just read what you were previously told.
Luckily, there are other methods of chatting with an airline. Best of all, we don’t even need to change the HUCA acronym. Now it is Hang Up Chat Again 😀
For example, most airlines have chat options on their website and in their app. With some airlines, like United, you can also chat via SMS at 32050. I generally find Twitter reps to be more knowledgeable on average, but chat reps can get the job done as well when you need to HUCA.
For example, when a friend and I booked a ticket on AA using BA Avios, one rep had no problem giving him an extra legroom seat next to me. However another agent said he couldn’t place an upgrade request for him on a BA ticket and another rep wanted to charge $150 to change the seats on my parents and grandparents BA tickets.
So naturally, I used the HUCA route via AA.com desktop chat and it worked great:
Long live HUCA indeed.
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26 Comments On "The Joys Of Modern Day HUCA; Hang Up Chat Again!"
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This should be called HUCHA!
Interesting that they let you speak on behalf of the other people on a different PNR. usually they will not let me switch something that is not in my name.
I signed up for a 100,000 pt bonus for Delta platinum. After spending the required $5000
They refused to give me my points
One of the reps suggested the upgrade from gold to platinum
How do get in touch with the CEO or whomever I need to write to?
Card upgrades rarely get sign-up bonus points, usually it needs to be a new card account…
I’ve been offered points for upgrades on multiple cards
Why not change the seats on your own online?
Because I get free premium seats and we were on different record locators.
For a while I was able to convert United flight credit to ETCs via Twitter DM, the last time they told me they’ve given me too many courtesy exceptions. HUCA on Spirit WhatsApp worked several times.
Hate united? Chat American!
Used HUCA on Chat to get KSML on flight where wasnt avail for order.
Interesting how you wrote about chatting with United and the examples are all AA. Lol
Can be a double edged sword uniteds untrained reps can sometimes be a blessing they’re much easier to give the runaround
I’ve definitely gotten United agents to waive change fees and fare differences for very short delays.
I had a phone rep give me a flight credit whrn cancelling a refundable ticket, and then they couldn’t refund the credit because it had gone into credit mode. I got nowhere with customer service, but decided not to do a credit card dispute as I did not want to get put on a poop list…
Was the ticket purchased through an online travel agency (Amex travel or chase etc)? I had the same recently, and had Amex travel call United and they ended up giving me the ETC
Purchased directly from the United app…
Chat or Twitter DM is very convenient and easy when you need to split PNR’s change a seat or apply an upgrade that would be easy with a Philippines phone rep as well, not when you have a complex situation like cancellation/re-booking or alternative airline booking when having canceled flight, or needing to change fare class from one reservation to another etc. Which would be complicated or sometime impossible to explain or understand thru chat, you need to have the option to speak to a phone rep that would help you out, and unfortunately with United you only get a normal knowledgeable rep with premier dest VS non premier you get Philippines phone reps that just graduated high school and barely speak English.
United delta and JetBlue have great options with iMessage, it’s convenient as you don’t need to keep the page open and get notifications also usually faster then other options ime
Trying get Plan B waitlisted did 4+ HUCA both via phone and text message and still no luck they came back saying it’s not available for your flight!!
You need to show them the United webpage that authorizes it. But, it is really not worth the time anymore, unless you have status.
Why do you need status? Plan B is supposed to work without status on any flight with Saver availability in economy regardless of status.
has anyone had any success at all with plan B? seems obsolete.. even if they set it up for you, getting cleared never seemed to work out.
i just had a story last week where i wanted compensation from united for something i filed a customer care form with them and the agent said i dont deserve anything i filed again and got 20000 miles and 100 voucher from a differnt agent
wow lucky you
I just DM’d on Twitter. Immediate response. practically a conversation. Thanks!
Data point: A United card holder booking basic economy only gets free baggage for him and 1 companion -even if there are more people on the reservation. (domestic flight)
The Twitter rep was wrong. I got free baggage for all 3 people on the reservation.