Note: I am looking for some feedback from fellow frequent alliance travelers + airline credit card holders.
Both myself and my family find ourselves traveling often many times each year.
Many years ago, I became a loyal UA/LH/Star Alliance traveler since they tended to focus on my destinations that I frequently traveled to (i.e. Eastern Europe and the middle east).
I maintained this blind loyalty to United and the rest of the airlines because I valued their service, their network, and we have a ton of miles with them.
I never liked AA or One World, as AA is worse than an ULCC in my opinion. I worked for them for a period of time when I was younger, and could vouch single handedly for how cheap and bad they were.
I never gave Delta an honest shot, because their prices tended to be more, and I valued my status/mileage with UA/Star Alliance from my city.
Once the pandemic took foot this year, the aviation world was thrown into a tizzy. We found ourselves traveling a lot, as it is a great opportunity to get out and see the world without tons of tourists everywhere. Not to mention the rock bottom prices. However, from my hometown, Delta now seemed to dominate both AA/UA/SW/etc. I mean this in terms of pricing and schedule.
My wife and child had to fly overseas, so we booked a business class ticket on United + Turkish Airlines (Our city) -> IAD -> IST -> (her town). She is traveling with a little baby, so minimal connection time is key. About a week before their departure, United notifies us that their connection in IAD is no longer only 90 minutes, but is now 9 hours. That is insane! With no other options, we had cancel this ticket, and then fly up to New York City, spend the night, then the next day they flew out of JFK with one stop in business on Aeroflot to their destination.
For their return trip home, since options are limited, I had them booked on Turkish/Star Alliance again. This flight routed (Her town) -> IST -> CPH -> IAD -> (Our city). Everything was fine and dandy. My wife had a question about her flight the other day, so I logged into her account to get her the info, and i see a little caution mark next to the dates. I see that her departure flight is now 2 days after her connection in Istanbul. I know what this means. The flight was canceled, yet no one bothered to call or email us to let us know about this change.
After a long wait on the phone with United (who we booked the ticket through), they told me the flight was canceled for January 19th, and they would gladly put her on a new flight ASAP. That date.... February 12th. ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! After a lot of arguing and speaking to supervisors, i was able to get them in business class for the 23rd, but of course, all of this additional time is at our own expense.
I know that COVID is a nightmare for the airline industry, but, I find it hard to believe that after years of flawless travel with UA/Star Alliance, I am now out of pocket many times more paying for last minute business class tickets on other airlines instead of the comfortable prices i paid up-front, long before traveling.
Our personal credit cards and my business cards are all through United in order to reap the benefits of accruing miles, etc. However, after experiencing Delta (8 flights on them so far this year), and how great their service, scheduling, aircraft are, I really think I want to switch to Delta for travel and their credit cards going forward.
My question to the aviation audience is this: Have you ever experienced a situation like this in the past where you had blind loyalty to one airline/alliance, yet after numerous situations, you got so fed up and switched? Thanks for the feedback.