United hold times are still interminable, especially for non-elites. Continental hold times were always longer than United’s. Combine that with the chaos that’s ensued from the integration of United and Continental computer systems last weekend and United agents – despite training – still being unfamiliar with their new system, and you’ve had some pretty impressive waits.

Rick emailed for help.

IMPOSSIBLE to reach an agent. I’ve tried 3 times with a cumulative hold time of over 6 hours. Do you have insight on a phone number that might work? Or what to do? ( Per the website info, they carried over 4 of my international reservations dropping the second leg of each!)

I suggested calling United reservations in Australia, which if memory serves is answered in Singapore. You can try other international call centers as well.

Rick replied:

I got through to Australia with a 5 minute wait!!! ..Got everything straightened out

  1. Peter S said,

    speechless (in a good way).

  2. Rebecca said,

    Any idea how to get thru quickly to American for a non-elite? I just had friends get stuck in a 3 hour immigration line in MIA and miss their connecting flight. I will be connecting thru MIA school vacation week on the way to Belize and just want to be prepared in case the worst happens. Thanks!

  3. John said,

    Set your clock alarm to 3AM EST on the weekend and call, you could have agents to get things done within 30 minutes.

  4. JoshL said,

    Try using LucyPhone also. lucyphone.com. It’ll let you initiate the call and then hang up and it will play a pre-recorded message (by you) to the agent who answers the phone while it calls you back. No more waiting on hold!!

  5. Carl said,

    The New Zealand number (which UA doesn’t even serve anymore!) is classic:

    0800-747-400

  6. Extra Pack of Peanuts said,

    Thanks for the heads-up. I just spent an hour on hold with United before hanging up in frustration, having never gotten through to anyone. I’ll certainly be using this tip.

    Any idea on if transfers are also progressing slowly. I transferred Chase points to United yesterday and they still haven’t posted. Isn’t this normally instant?

  7. Rick said,

    Here is the information you all need to know that I used after Gary’s FANTASTIC suggestion:

    Australia 011- 61-131-777 ( it goes to the call center in Singapore where the agent Janet was EXTREMELY nice and helpful.

    Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    Sunday, closed

    It doesn’t say which state it is, but I assume the hours are for Sydney which is 18 hours ahead of San Francisco, so 8 – 5 in Sydney are 2-11 pm PDST in San Francisco the day before.

  8. hobo13 said,

    Chaos??? Surely you must jest. We’ve been assured repeatedly that the merger integration activities are now complete and were 100% successful.

  9. Bo said,

    I allways call the office in TLV, Israel (where i live).

    Wait times are really short usually, they speak great english and i find them to be much more professional than the “elite line”…

  10. Dan said,

    My son tried calling and was on hold for 70 minutes. Want to know why he hung up? Well, I called the PremEx (gold) number. That call was picked up at the 30 minute mark! FYI, in the old UA, I never waited more than a couple of minutes; and oftentimes, an agent picked up right away.

    Father and son were in a competition. Smile.

  11. Michael said,

    [Any idea how to get thru quickly to American for a non-elite? I just had friends get stuck in a 3 hour immigration line in MIA and miss their connecting flight. I will be connecting thru MIA school vacation week on the way to Belize and just want to be prepared in case the worst happens. Thanks!]

    Yes, but I need a way to get in touch with you. FT/MP handle?

    Mike

  12. Is United melting down? | The B.A.T. – a news blog for Bay area travelers said,

    [...] Gary Leff says that non-elite travelers are having a tougher time than elites when it comes to getting [...]

  13. Jeff said,

    Those calls are not Toll-free, are they?

  14. Gary said,

    @Jeff Skype

  15. Get Off The Phone With Your Airline Faster By Using This Trick – Finding Out About said,

    [...] service line in Australia and someone picked up&#32&#97&#102ter the first ring! Thanks to Gary for giving him that [...]

  16. How to Get Around Long Hold Times When Calling Airlines | The Points Guy said,

    [...] customer service line in Australia and someone picked up after the first ring! Thanks to Gary for giving him that tip.I’ve been doing this for a while, yet I realized I never wrote about [...]

  17. Jeff said,

    Tried UA Singapore,Australia,New Zealand;call hold time still greater than 20 minutes. No dice:(

  18. Add A Comment

home | top

View from the Wing is a project of Miles and Points Consulting, LLC. This site is for entertainment purpose only. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

Advertiser Disclosure: Many (but not all) of the credit card offers on the site are from banks from which we receive compensation if you are approved. Compensation does not impact the placement of cards other than in banner advertising (we do not currently control the banner advertising on this blog). We don’t include all US credit card offers available on this site. Instead, I write primarily about cards which earn airline miles, hotel points, and some cash back (or have points that can be converted into the same).

Editorial Note: The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine and not provided by any bank including (but not limited to) American Express, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, Barclaycard or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.