A young woman who makes $7.40 an hour needed a bit of help to buy a flight to go visit her U.S. Navy boyfriend while he had two weeks of shore duty. So, three months before the planned visit, Katherine’s dad let her use his credit card to purchase a $477 flight on Spirit Airlines through Orbitz. Unfortunately, his name somehow ended up as the traveler.
The Detroit News says the 19-year-old didn’t realize the mistake until a few days before she was set to fly, when she logged on to pay Spirit $30 to check her bag. She claims that she double-checked to make sure her name was on the reservation on the travel website four times before seeing her dad’s name appear.
So let’s see, was Spirit helpful in Katherine’s case? What do you think? Nope. The airline’s communications director told Neal Rubin of the Detroit News that the airline’s policy is to not change names on reservations.
“I was on the phone with them for two hours, crying my eyes out,” said Katherine, adding that her father spent two hours on the phone as well, with no results, and “it’s not like me and my dad are on the no-fly list or something.”
Instead, Katherine spent another $558 for another reservation on the same flight she’d already paid for. Spirit did offer her father a partial credit for another flight in the future in his name only. He happens to never go anywhere, so that won’t be too useful.
Perhaps Katherine’s name wasn’t on the reservation, or maybe it was. Either way, complete and total inflexibility might work for business, but it can’t help a company toward building customer loyalty.
*Thanks for the tip, Mike!
Paying twice no way to fly [Detroit News]