On Sunday January 20 I bought a ticket on united airlines for a 4pm flight. I called an hour before and changed my flight till the next day Monday the 21st at 12 noon. I had a business meeting on Monday for a job that I would've earned over 10k on. I got to the airport at over an hour before flight as I only had carry on. Upon arriving I tried to print my boarding pass and it said I wasn't on any flights. By the time I got to the front desk it was about 12. The united employee couldn't find my reservation. Until finally he pulled it up and said they had booked me on the flight the day before at noon by mistake, and that I couldn't make the flight at 12 because they gave my seat away. So the next flight out to my destination was 4 hours later. I needed to be there at 230. I was so upset that I went back to my hotel and rented a car and drove myself back. In an attempt to salvage this new dream job.... I finally arrived at 5pm... Only to find out that I lost the job because of my failure to be there on time.
My question to you is do I have a case against them as united has admitted to me it was there screw up. And how much potentially for. Considering this was a job that could've lasted a lifetime.
I am going to write an email to united customer care but wanted to checkin first.
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your case against United is extremely difficult. You would need to prove that United made the mistake. Given the time you say you called to change your flight, it seems that United booked you on a flight that had already left. That seems odd, and could be used by United to suggest an error in your recollection of the timing of events. You will definitely need really good proof of what happened and when, including phone records showing that you made the call when you said you did.
In addition, your damages may be speculative. You will need to establish that you definitely would have got that job, and that you would have held onto it for a long time. Finally, United did not know about the job interview. In a case based on breach of contract, that lack of knowledge will defeat your claim for damages as to the job.
I understand your frustration, and hope you can get some relief through United's customer care service.
Use google and read the case of Hadley v. Baxendale. It's a fundamental case in English common law that lawyers have to read regarding contract damages.