U.S. Airways Refunds $2200 Tickets For Recently Unemployed Man

Travel expert Christopher Elliott says US Airways refunded a couple $2200 on a pair of nonrefundable tickets to Ireland after the wife wrote to the COO and explained their situation. They tried Expedia first and were refused, and although they had travel insurance it wouldn’t cover unemployment. The wife, Jennifer Bush, says the US Airways rep who responded to their plea “told me that they all felt for my situation and decided to refund the amount of the airfare.”

Elliott says the act of charity “may have lost a little revenue in the short term, but I think it’s earned a customer for life.” A LITTLE revenue? What about all the additional revenue they’ve just lost in checked baggage fees, drink and snack purchases, self-service seatbelt fastening surcharges, pressurized cabin fees, and that collection plate that’s passed around after the flight attendant demonstrates how to put on the oxygen mask?

“Troubled airline refunds nonrefundable ticket to unemployed passenger” [Elliott.org]
(Photo: zonaphoto)


Edit Your Comment

  1. lalaland13 says:

    Cue the Bush jokes.

  2. Tightlines says:

    I’m sure U.S. Airways is embarrassed by this attention and by no means intended for it to be released to the public, aw shucks.

  3. ds143 says:

    @lalaland13: what do you mean? how is bush in any way involved here?

  4. superchou says:

    that was very human of them. Nice to see a happy ending for once

  5. ds143 says:

    okay, call me an idiot. i didn’t read the whole thing.

    flame me all you want, i deserve it now!

  6. gibbersome says:

    Good job US Airways!

  7. battra92 says:

    @ds143: The wife’s name was Jennifer Bush.

  8. Umisaurus says:

    Wow. Even I hate US Airways, but still… they didn’t have to do this, and yet they did it. It’s a good step, and I think all the hyperbole about their other business practices isn’t necessary.

  9. RagingBoehner says:

    @ds143: “The wife, Jennifer Bush,”

  10. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Obligatory “flying used to be a luxury but not anymore” post.

  11. exkon says:

    Next Headline:

    “US Airways fires employee for refunding customers $2200”

  12. backbroken says:

    @exkon: And the next headline after that:

    “$2200 refund check from US Airways bounces.”

  13. malvones says:

    compassion + domestic airline = utter disbelief.

  14. aviationwiz says:

    *sigh*. When an airline does something wrong, everyone is up in arms about it, but on the off chance (such as this) that an airline does something “Above and Beyond” – which this should be under, everyone jokes about other fees the airline charges for various products and services. They did the right thing and went above and beyond their commitment to the customer as per the policies agreed and refunded a non-refundable fare. Can’t people just sit back and say “That’s nice of them.”?

  15. @aviationwiz:

    That was very nice of them.

  16. rjgnyc says:

    @aviationwiz: Of course not. Not doing something is a sign that they don’t care. Doing something is a trick where they’re trying to show they care even though they don’t.

    No win situations for the way corporations act are the Consumerist way.

  17. ImCrying says:

    Unfortunately, most people here aren’t going to make their next flight choice based on this decision. If businesses saw a direct connection between acts like this and increased business, we’d see a lot more of it.

  18. temporaryerror says:

    Gotta wonder if the woman’s name had any bearing on the decision… (Jenn Bush IS one of the first daughters, no?)

  19. krom says:

    Her name is Jen Bush? You don’t think perhaps that had a little to do with it.

    Makes me wish it were 1842.

    OK, no, it doesn’t, but the name match might have been nice.

  20. DrGirlfriend says:

    No, Jenna Bush is one of the first daughters. And the wife in the OP apparently goes by Jennifer.

  21. Michifernication says:

    This was really nice of them, but isn’t this what customer service is all about anyway? They probably oversold the flight anyway by like a million people and these folks did them a favor. This is how it should be ALL the time.

  22. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    Cynical explanation: “We can TOTALLY sell those tix for more than they paid and blame it on increased oil costs. Score!”

  23. LUV2CattleCall says:


    And you just proved why No Child Left Behind is a complete and utter failure ;)!

  24. dirtypanda says:

    Worst Airline ever……

    Multiple cancelled flights (bc they werent sold out not because of weather) and lost luggage have been all my latest results….

    The worst being this past april…a trip scheduled to make me arrive after a 1hr15min flight…..

    I didn’t arrive until 13 hours later…and they lost my & 20 Marines On Leave’s luggage.

    I will NEVER fly them again.

    Way to go USAir.

  25. Titan0 says:

    I’ve flown USAir dozens of times and have never had any trouble. They are my first choice, in fact.

  26. Overheal says:

    US Air are fine but theyre going about compensating for increased fuel costs in the wrong way.

    I’ve flown with USAir many times and have never had a complaint about their services; and I wouldnt mind paying the difference of the new fuel costs to fly with them – but to have those costs hidden in my checkin luggage fee and my glass of coke (when did they stop handing you the can?!) is a bit deplorable.

  27. KarmaChameleon says:

    @ImCrying: Good on them for doing the right thing but I only ever fly US Airways as an absolute last resort or if I get duped because I think I’m buying a fare on Continental and it’s one of those “operated by” things. I’ve just had way too many bad experiences with them, such as a flight last month from PHX to LAS. Their planes are always dirty as hell (when they employ guys like the genius flight attendant on said flight who didn’t actually bring a trash bag around and just took people’s trash in his hand, no wonder), flight attendants are always surly and mean. The one time in 20+ years of flying I’ve ever lost my luggage was on a US Airways flight last spring from PHX to BWI when my aunt died in a car crash and I literally had no clothes to wear for the funeral (I had to borrow from my sis and buy shoes at the mall). They finally delivered my bag to my sister’s house the day I was to fly back to Phoenix.

  28. Lambasted says:

    Wow, this level of kindness is unheard of. U.S. Airways has my support–for now. Thank you U.S. Airways for being compassionate and doing the right thing. No doubt when this couple is back on their financial feet U.S. Air will earn back the $2200 and more from them.

  29. Concerned_Citizen says:

    There is no such thing as a “customer for life”.

  30. mariospants says:

    “self-service seatbelt fastening surcharges, pressurized cabin fees, and that collection plate that’s passed around after the flight attendant demonstrates how to put on the oxygen mask?”

    Ok, now you’re just giving them ideas. Stop that.

  31. Jamie Beckland says:

    Hey Editors,

    Shouldn’t this be tagged with a “Good Company” tag?

    Let’s give credit where credit is due. This was a good call on the company’s part.

    I appreciate a little snark, but fair is fair.

  32. Sagehen says:

    And they tell the rest of us to POUND salt! US Airways has no policy for people who become ill..myself included! And there is so much bad press about them! They would not refund monies to a family with a child who had cancer…It makes me crazy to blame everything else..gas, policy why not just say it like it is…they pick and choose to do whatever they want. We are all hurting because of gas prices…so once again the consumer loses…SHAME ON YOU US AIR!!!

  33. migrabear says:

    Maybe now they can put the smiles back on the planes like PSA used to have before US Air gobbled them up.

    (I grew up in San Diego and am still bitter about the merger, can you tell?)