Marc was in a jam after he accidentally booked his mother on the wrong flights to come visit — he had her starting in her destination city and going back to her starting city. In short, it was a big ol’ mess and he was facing change fees and a fare difference of around $200. But luckily, U.S. Airways reps felt like being kind.
We like to get a positive glow on at the end of the work day, so why not reward the efforts of a few nice customer service reps for helping Marc?
He writes that he booked the flight a few weeks ago for his mom’s visit this week. She lives near Philadelphia and would be flying to him in Boston. But then today he looked at her itinerary and realized he’d done the thing no one ever wants to do — he had her flying from Boston to Philadelphia. Gulp!
My heart sank and I called, expecting to spend many hundreds of dollars for that mistake. I made two calls. First I spoke to someone, whose name I unfortunately neglected to ask for. She quoted me a different itinerary with a fare difference of $208 but stated she was able to waive the change and reservation fees. To me, this was incredibly generous because I knew this was my original mistake and I was grateful for the generosity shown in my situation. I needed to check with my mother first to make sure the new plans were sufficient and specifically asked the agent if I could return to our exact point if I needed to hang up and call back. She said anyone would be able to locate the information with the confirmation number and so I hung up and confirmed with my mother. This is when the confusion began.
I called back and spoke with N., who wasn’t able to find a record of my previous call. I gave her the same flight numbers and the fare difference I was quoted, and she confirmed the fare difference. I mentioned that the last agent I had spoken to said she would waive the fees, and I was told that it would not be possible. Suddenly, my $200 mistake was going to blossom into a $400 mistake! N. was incredibly cordial, and asked two supervisors about the situation but ultimately could not do anything. I wish to stress that she was never in any way rude or inconsiderate of my situation, but seemed to not be able to do anything. I asked to speak to her supervisor myself, and was transferred to D.
At first, D. gave me the same information as N., and I thought I was approaching a dead-end and would have to pay the additional fees on top of the fare difference. I gave her my entire sob story, from purchasing a flight for my mom to come visit, to finding my mistake two days before the flight, to feeling a glimmer of hope that I wouldn’t have to pay AS MUCH more as I thought, and to then again hit a wall thinking I would have to pay it again. She took down my flight information and put me on hold for a few minutes.
When she returned, she told me that she was able to waive the fees as a one-time courtesy! I was floored, and beyond grateful for her concession in this already-sticky situation, which is why I chose to write this e-mail. This particular situation has given me more reason to look at US Air over others for the future.
Perhaps now is a good time to issue a friendly reminder — double and triple and quadruple check your itinerary before you buy it to avoid any nearly-terrible situations.