It’s hard to keep track of all the extra fees airlines have invented to pad a ticket purchase, especially since they keep introducing new ones; USA TODAY says revenue from added fees have jumped nearly 16% from a year ago. The newspaper reviewed fees from 13 airlines in the U.S. and compiled this handy reference chart of current fee schedules, to make comparison shopping a little bit easier. As expected, Southwest continues to be one of the best values.
Kiplinger has posted six travel scams you should be aware of, including “Be your own travel agent!” and “Join our travel club!” The key thing to remember is to stay away from unfamiliar travel agencies or websites, or at least do some research and try to find evidence that they’re legit before handing over your money. You should also make sure that any travel insurance you buy comes from a licensed insurer.
Ticketmaster has settled with the FTC over charges that it used “deceptive bait-and-switch” tactics when selling concert tickets, reports the Los Angeles Times. As usual for this kind of settlement, Ticketmaster admits no wrongdoing. For instance, the FTC noted that in one case “the same set of 38 tickets for the Springsteen concert in Washington were sold and resold 1,600 times,” and Ticketmaster waited as long as three months to let affected customers know, which is a clear example of not doing anything wrong.
Yesterday a bunch of consumer advocates and anti-trust people held a press conference on Capitol Hill and asked the Department of Justice to block the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. If you, too, feel that this spells nothing but trouble for consumers–that a Ticketmaster-Live Nation monopoly would ruin competition and increase ticket prices–then check out the website TicketDisaster.org. From there, you can contact the DOJ to voice your opinion about the proposed merger, read up on reasons why the merger sucks for consumers and for the concert industry, and sign up for updates. (Thanks to JammingEcono!)
Here’s a heartwarming email from reader Joy. She accidentally booked tickets from Baltimore instead of Philly and AirTran not only fixed this mistake — they didn’t charge her extra.
Evan’s on the large side and wants to buy two adjoining seats, but Delta doesn’t seem to care whether or not he inconveniences other passengers. The airline won’t assign two seats to the same passenger name, and if he buys a second seat under a different name, it won’t necessarily adjoin the first. Delta also warned that “they will give [his] second seat away if they need it, even if [he] paid for it.” One agent thought he had a solution, but it was going to cost Evan $200 more than Delta’s online fares.
Vinay’s StubHub tickets to see Lady Gaga never arrived in his inbox, but StubHub insists that they delivered the goods and refuses to issue a refund. StubHub’s only communication with Vinay was a short confirmation email promising that the real tickets would arrive via SubHub’s e-LMS system. The tickets still hadn’t arrived the day of the concert, and armed with only a confirmation email in hand, Vinay was turned away from the venue.
After waiting in line ~10 minutes I swipe my credit card only to get the following message “Tickets cannot be found, please try another machine.” After trying several other machines, I quickly realize that nobody can find their tickets.
Ticketmaster is an evil monopoly that steals cash from defenseless consumers. They are infinitely more evil than their hated 30% surcharge would suggest, and they must be destroyed.
On his Cool Tools blog, Kevin Kelly describes his love for Brown Paper Tickets, a teensy ticketing David to the Ticketmaster Goliath. They don’t gouge customers with outrageous fees, and they’re fair to venues as well, he writes, providing great service and paying promptly.
Dave did something really stupid last weekend (no offense Dave), and bought two tickets to see “Iron Man” on the wrong day. He didn’t realize his mistake until Saturday, when he thought he was going to go see the movie. We would have never even bothered to call Regal to beg for ticket leniency, but Dave tried it anyway—and the theater actually exchanged the expired tickets for two new ones.
United Airlines announced today that they are raising their ticket change fee to $150—up from $100, “in an effort to combat high fuel costs.”
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.”
Remember RMG Technologies, the horrible little company that made five-year-olds cry by snatching up all the Hannah Montana tickets? Boaz Lissauer, a New Jesery plastic surgeon, recently sued them and other ticket resellers after paying $195 for nosebleed seats worth $63 to see the Police in Madison Square Garden. Lissauer is now asking a Pittsburgh court for class action status.
Ever go to check in for the next leg of your flight, only to find that there is no check-in for the airline you’re supposed to be on? That’s what happened to Michael and Joyce Ludmer.