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Update: Success!! Many thanks to Zamina at United's RDU desk. Now leaving on the 20th. Much later than originally planned but high fives were exchanged all around for finally finding a seat on something days earlier than I had been told was possible.

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I was supposed to be in South Africa yesterday. Finally back with my family who I haven’t seen in a year because of autoimmune issues (mine). I was booked to leave on the 14th from RDU to Washington DC on United and then on SAA to South Africa. A two hour delay on my flight out of RDU meant that I would miss my connection to SAA so the wonderful agent at the gate spent two hours trying to find me another seat. Because flights are full, the earliest we could get me out was on the 18th connecting through Amsterdam. My youngest son was upset but understood that it could not be helped.

Today, I called the airline just to confirm everything and learned that yesterday, the 15th, someone who they kept calling ‘the travel agent’, helped themselves to just the Amsterdam to South Africa portion of my journey. Two hours on the phone and United tells me that the best they can do is get me to South Africa on the 25th. Ten days later than I was supposed to arrive. Not because seats aren’t available earlier, in fact I can see seats available on Expedia, but because they aren’t willing to eat any of the cost related to the fact that they allowed ‘the travel agent’ to steal my seat. A seat that they booked, confirmed and gave me an itinerary for.

I asked to speak to a supervisor but the second one picked up and began to introduce herself, she disconnected me.

Anyone with experience know how I should handle this? In 15 years of making this trip regularly, I have never had something like this happen before. I am outraged.

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