How to Get Through to United on the Phone Quickly

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

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 Milepoint.com, 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. 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!

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

  3. 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!!

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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”…

  8. 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.

  9. [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

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