In just the past two weeks, two major airlines have suffered massive technical glitches, bringing their operations to a screeching halt, canceling thousand of flights, and stranding thousands of passengers. But a new report suggests that even more devastating glitches are likely to happen thanks in part to an aging U.S. airline reservation system technology. [More]
In light of today’s attacks in Belgium, several U.S.-based airlines are waiving their typical rebooking penalties and fees for travelers flying from, to, or through Brussels and several other European cities. [More]
Even if you haven’t had to fly anywhere yesterday or today, you’re likely aware that there’s a large storm system currently duffing up air travel across the U.S. Time to break out the leftover egg nog and reconcile yourself to the inevitable nog hangover, travelers, as thousands of flights have been canceled or delayed already. [More]
The Department of Transportation has updated its consumer guide to air travel, which provides a quick summary of what to look for when buying a ticket, and what protections you have during travel. It’s also a good starting point when you have an airline-related problem and need more information before deciding what to do next.
Nelson is a Silver Medallion frequent flyer on Delta, so clearly he’s got some experience with the airline’s usual bag of tricks. This time Delta out-smarted him, though, by cancelling an 8:30 flight and then re-confirming it after he’d seen that it was cancelled. As far as Delta is concerned, it’s not their problem–the weather made them do it, and he should have kept checking in all morning yesterday.
Adam says his brother thought he had car insurance through AAA, but discovered when he was pulled over that the company had dropped him without notifying him. Then he got stuck with two $600 tickets in the same day for driving without insurance.
Yesterday, ECA President Hal Halpin emailed Consumerist and other blogs a formal statement addressing the charges that the ECA is deliberately making it hard for members to break free. I’m printing the letter below, along with a summary of the key points Halpin makes and the issues that remain unanswered.
Some members of the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) are pretty upset that the consumer advocacy group for gamers removed the ability to turn off auto-renewal on member accounts. They’ve also removed the phone number you used to be able to call to cancel. In fact, the only way to cancel your ECA membership now is to mail them a letter–and if your request isn’t processed at least 30 days before your membership is due to renew, you can expect to be charged again. Update: The ECA has responded, but their formal statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
If you signed up for Frontier Communications’ Price Protection Plan—a combo phone and broadband package—between January 2007 and September 2008, and you canceled the agreement and were charged an early termination fee (ETF), you may be getting some cash back.
TicketsNow has a pretty explicit guarantee that if the tickets you buy aren’t good, they’ll refund the money. In Sean’s case, they seem to have found a way to avoid delivering on that promise: they just disconnect whenever he mentions the word “refund.”
We all know that just because a rep on the phone promises you something, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. But in Alan’s case, two different United reps both confirmed, repeatedly—he asked several times before completing the purchase and again before canceling—that he could cancel his tickets within 24 hours of purchase without paying a fee. A week after he canceled, he was hit with a $150 non-refundable fee that one United rep admitted was a new policy that wasn’t in writing—but United still refused to reverse it.
Oh Comcast, you romantic. You were so sorry to see Michal leave that you pretended he didn’t. We get it: he bikes, he blogs, he helps toddlers learn Polish. But after four months of him repeatedly asking you to stop billing him, when you still won’t stop it begins to look a little stalker-ish. Your computers can’t always be down.
[Update: Several commenters have pointed out that “Ontario, CA” actually refers to Ontario, California, which is near L.A. And to be fair to the OP, we’re the ones who misinterpreted Ontario, not her. We’ve updated the post. Also, check out Fly Girl’s insider explanation as to what likely happened.]
Continental canceled one leg of Lesley’s flight from NYC to California without notice—she only discovered it when she went online to check that everything was okay this morning. What’s worse, however, is the alternative flight plan they proposed, which would have her going from NYC to Houston to California and immediately back to Houston to NYC again, depositing her 20+ hours later in Newark, New Jersey—where we presume a gang of Continental employees will be waiting for Lesley at the gate to beat the crap out of her with confiscated water bottles. East Coast hates West Coast, Lesley!
Nicholas had a business trip go bad quickly when USAir canceled a flight and wouldn’t make things right again. His tickets were through Orbitz, and although he had a terrible experience with Orbitz’s first line of CSRs, he eventually managed to find a supervisor who made sure USAir helped solve the problem—even going so far as to let Nicholas secretly listen in on a call with a USAir agent.
United Sells Family's Tickets To Someone Else, Ruins Once-In-A-Lifetime Vacation, Then Won't Admit It To Insurance Company
- Holding $5,000 in tickets from a family for six months, then telling them the day before that the flight has been canceled;
- When confronted with the fact that the flight hasn’t been canceled, telling the family that the reservation has been lost;
- Finally admitting that they’ve bumped the family from the flight and were lying about the cancelation and the lost reservation;
- Offering replacement seats on multiple planes and days, splitting the family up on different flights and depositing them at different islands;
- Offering to get them there 5 days into a 7 day vacation, part of which was scheduled to spend time with a family member who was dying in a hospice in Hawaii;
- Refusing to write a letter on the family’s behalf so that they can collect their insurance payment on the house they rented but never used.
With one act of disregard, United destroyed the vacation, cost the family over $10,000 in house rental fees that they can’t get back, and forced them to cancel the trip. The dying family member they didn’t get to see passed away in early June.
Jonathan wants to know how long an airline can blame a cancellation on bad weather, and whether there’s any way to get such a claim rejected when it’s used inappropriately. Is it legitimate, for example, to say tomorrow’s flight is canceled due to weather, when what you really mean is an isolated thunderstorm the day before—which evidently affected no other airlines in the area—triggered a domino effect in getting a certain plane to the right airport a full day later?