Passenger Lives In Airport For 8 Days Instead Of Paying Bag Fees

A woman who was set to fly out of San Francisco with only $30 to her name ended up living at the airport after being told the fees for her checked bags were going to be double that amount.

She explains to ABC News that she hadn’t flown in years and the last time she had been on a plane there were no fees for checking your bags. Thus, she didn’t know what to do when U.S. Airways tried to charge her $25 for one bag and $35 for another.

The passenger says she asked if she could pay when she arrived at her destination, but was denied. She also asked about leaving one of her bags behind but the airline told her that would be a security risk.

Attempts to find someone who could help her out with the fees were also unsuccessful and she ended up missing her flight. Now she was facing a $150 change fee in addition to the bag charges.

Without a home to which she could return, the woman hunkered down at the airport, where she learned the next day that U.S. Airways now said she would have to rebook her entire trip for around $1,000.

So over the course of the next eight days, she went through the last of her money while living in the corridors of SFO. She also sought treatment for anxiety at the airport medical clinic.

Eventually, she stumbled upon the Airport Church of Christ, where charitable folks poneyed up a couple of hundred dollars to cover the change fee and the bag fees. U.S. Airways did not ultimately make her rebook the entire flight and she was finally on her way.

In a statement, the airline writes:

We have apologized to [the passenger] for her experience but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund. When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger can not travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements.

Let this be a lesson to you: If you’re going to travel with the last of your money, make sure you can carry on everything you need.

Woman gets stuck at SFO for 8 days over baggage fees [ABClocal via Yahoo]

Thanks to Chuck for the tip!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.