I had a similar problem with my wife.
Before we got married, we flew Northwest from Narita to Seattle with a stop in Honolulu. During customs, we realized that they spelled her name wrong on the ticket: Sakahoto instead of Sakamoto, as it should be, for her family name. Because of this spelling error due to the travel agent that I used for booking the flight, she was delayed in customs for over thirty minutes as they thoroughly searched her baggage, piece by piece.
I waited in the baggage claim in Honolulu for the longest time until she finally came out and met me. Fortunately our flight to the states was delayed by 8 hours due to some mechanical failure on the DC-10 flying MSP
, so that made for some fun plane spotting.
Of course, don't let United fool you.
I have had lots of problems with UAL. My wife flew from Maui to Vancouver, a year or so ago with me, and we were flying Air Canada. The check in was operated by United, thanks to that thing called the Star Alliance (and thanks to that alliance, they operate the Air Canada check in at Seattle which causes me to fly on other airlines like Northwest to Tokyo, even though as much as I enjoy Air Canada). Anyways, because at the time she was on a student visa and had retained her I-94 entry card (as we drove to YVR
for the departing flight a week and a half earlier instead of departing the states altogether) from departing Canada, when we checked in at the UAL counter in Maui for the AC
flight, they took that card out, even though I explained what happened and that we were told to have her keep it in there for immigration purposes due to the way we were flying (SEA
by car, YVR
by car). Because of that, when we drove through the border in Blaine, we were detained and had to pay a fine and have my car searched and all kinds of crap thanks to them ripping out the entry card that she was told to keep in there.
I can name a lot more bad experiences...