ResortQuest hit William’s wife with over $285 in fees when she canceled less than a day after making her reservation. Over $190 ostensibly went towards taxes, which raised William’s eyebrow and led him to fire off an Executive Email Carpet Bomb demanding an explanation.
What do you do if you have a flight planned on one of the three airlines, ATA, Champion and Aloha, that filed for bankruptcy and terminated all flights this week? First thing to do is if you paid with a credit card company, call them up and ask for a refund. An ATA insider tells us, “When an airline bills you for your ticket, they don’t receive payment–the money’s escrowed until you fly or the terms of the contract are met, i.e. one year validity limit, so the bankruptcy doesn’t affect those customers.” Elliot.org has the run-down of other options: On the press release level, United Airlines has agreed to take on Aloha Airlines passengers, but anecdotal evidence suggests the ground-level customer service reps are bungling the hand-off. Southwest has agreed to rebook ATA passengers, but the language suggests this deal is only good for flights that were codeshares between the two airlines. Lastly, if you bought your ticket with ATA by check or cash, you can claim a refund, for probably a fraction of its value, after the airline is liquidated.
Your nipple piercings are still a threat to national security, but the TSA will let you fly if you “allow a visual inspection of [your] piercings.” The announcement came after TSA officials in Texas forced Mandi Hamlin to remove her nipple piercings with a pair of pliers before allowing her to board her flight. The TSA stopped short of apologizing to Ms. Hamlin, instead saying: “TSA acknowledges that our procedures caused difficulty for the passenger involved and regrets the situation in which she found herself.”
BoltBus offers service between Washington D.C. and New York with fares starting at $1. Each ride comes not just with WiFi, but with power outlets at every seat—a luxury usually confined to Amtrak. The downside? (There are several.)
Reader Laura was nearly stranded in Manchester when Continental canceled her flight two days before a major college test. She politely asked to be rebooked; she begged for another flight; when that failed, she invoked Rule 240. Laura’s experience presents the perfect opportunity to clarify once and for all what Rule 240 is and isn’t. First, her story.
Over 20 passengers watched in horror as their Allegiant Air flight from Huntsville to Fort Lauderdale took off without them. The passengers had lined up at the gate, tickets in hand, when the plane pushed back. Apparently, the single ticketing agent had struggled to handle everyone on time and didn’t tell the plane to wait. Passengers called the airline once they realized they were stranded as kids shouted, “We want to go to Disney World!”
“So, everybody calls Allegiant Air,” Rigas said. “Three people got hung up on.”
Should American Airlines Have Flown Five Overbooked Passengers Across The Atlantic In An Empty Plane?
American Airlines managed to rebook all but five passengers after canceling one of its four daily flights from Chicago to London. The five still needed to get to London, so American rustled up an empty plane and invited everyone up to business class. Seems nice, but Friends of the Earth is outraged that American burned 22,000 gallons of fuel for five passengers. Great customer service or eco-scandal? Vote in our poll, after the jump.
Travel guru Peter Greenberg shares three useful and unexpected questions that can make a huge difference when booking a hotel room. Inside, learn how to avoid digs next to the inevitable construction and instead score the room with a shower strong enough to clean a stinky elephant.
Before leaving for his honeymoon, Derek called Bank of America to make sure he could rely on his debit card while he was in Japan. Bank of America assured him that he would have no problem accessing money. Yet on the third day of his honeymoon, neither he nor his wife could draw cash from their cards, stranding them with only $15 in cash.
If you find yourself identifying with those dames in movies set in the 19th century who always travel with a stagecoach full of steamer trunks, you won’t like US Airways new policy. Starting May 5, US Airways will levy a $25 fee against passengers checking a second bag. United Airlines announced the same thing earlier this month, and is also starting the fee on May 5. We can expect to see more and more of these fees as airlines struggle to make money, making it even harder to comparison shop for tickets. As Upgrade: Travel Better notes, no airfare search engine is equipped to take add-on fees into account (hello, market opportunity somebody?). Inside, the email US Airways sent out to its passengers.
Hotels are starting to to hit smokers with hefty fines for violating their no smoking policies. Take Dan Cole. He didn’t light up in his non-smoking Marriott room, honest. Those butts in his garbage can? Um, he smoked them somewhere else and threw them out in the room?
According to the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report the top 6 most complained about travel agents for 2007 are:
When an airplane is delayed due to the weather, they get out of a lot of obligations, and there’s little oversight over what they get to call a weather-related delay. Elliot.org interviewed industry experts and came up with five interesting things the industry is keeping from you about weather delays…
Meet Tony Tyler, CEO of Cathay Pacific. Reader Jeff sent him an email after Cathay Pacific lost his reservation for a window seat on his flight to Australia and then served him a half-frozen kosher meal. Jeff wanted an upgrade to business class for his return trip, or a refund. Cathay Pacific’s customer service representatives were unwilling to provide either, but then Mr. Tyler intervened.
Rank / Airport / On-time departure percentage
A North Carolina man says that his son’s cremated remains are missing from his suitcase. When he got his luggage at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport after a trip to Orlando, he found his bag was unzipped. Inside, some gadgets items and a box with some of his son’s ashen remains was gone. The family says it has filed complaints with Delta Airlines, the Transportation Security Administration and Orlando International Airport. They should also file a police report, but more importantly, if they have the electronic item’s serial numbers, they should check to see if the gadgets have shown up on eBay. One guy did that, found a guy listing his camera stolen from his luggage, and the thief ended up getting caught and prosecuted.
Unless it’s due to the weather, if there’s a flight delay or cancellation, passengers are entitled to some kind of refund, unless of course it’s due to the weather, but are flight delays as due to the weather as often as airlines say they are? And how would you go about proving otherwise? Well, as a fascinating interview posted over at airline blog Elliot.org informs us, you could always hire the services of a forensic meteorologist.