Under federal laws, airlines are prohibited from forcing passengers to sit on a plane for more than three hours. Frontier Airlines barely missed that deadline in Philadelphia this week, where passengers say they were stranded on a plane for just under three hours after enduring a series of delays. [More]
Reader Aaron is annoyed at Groupon. He bought a voucher for a local restaurant: a sushi place, to be exact, but the type of business doesn’t matter all that much. What does matter is that he paid for a voucher, which required that he make a reservation at the restaurant through Groupon’s app. This wouldn’t be a problem if he could get a reservation. [More]
There might have been thousands of people who received vouchers from Walmart during Thanksgiving weekend that entitled them to order a television online at a certain price. For many of them, the voucher didn’t work, so they called the toll-free number on the voucher. For some reason that isn’t clear to anyone yet, this number was forwarded to a spa in Wisconsin. [More]
If you spend a lot of money at Toys ‘R’ Us, the chain’s rewards program may appeal to you. You earn rewards vouchers through in-store or online purchases, which you can exchange for even more toys after the holiday season. Why would anyone have a problem with that? Well, because you can only use them in-store. Employees recruited customers for the program in the chain’s holiday season pop-up stores, in areas that don’t have a year-round Toys R Us store. Now that the pop-up stores are gone, they just have some useless pieces of paper. [More]
Back in July 2011, Consumerist reader Mary and her husband were awarded a total of $800 worth of ticket vouchers from United after they were bumped from a flight. Problem is, now that she’s trying to actually use those vouchers, no one at United seems to have any idea what to do with them.
Airlines might give you a travel voucher when if you’re bumped from a flight or there was a fare reduction, but not all vouchers are created equal. The fine print can vary from airline to airline, with different expiration dates and fees. Airfarewatchdog has a got a cheat-sheet table for you breaking down all the vouchers so you can save your eyes from bleeding.
Angela won a “Wish List” contest from American Express, which let her buy a $100 JetBlue gift card for $70. JetBlue managed to wipe out that $30 savings and any good will Angela might have felt by making her waste 129 minutes trying to redeem the card–and then charging her $15 for the service. At the end of her letter to AmEx and JetBlue, Angela writes, “I don’t know about other AmEx cardholders, but spending almost two hours on hold in order to be able to use something you’ve already paid for is not on my Wish List.”
Reader Kelsea’s flight was delayed getting to O’Hare and when she got there for her connection to LA she encountered rudeness and general crappy service from American Airlines. One of the employees even went so far as to suggest she not request to be moved up the stand-by list because they would probably move her down “out of frustration.” Hey, that may be true but you probably shouldn’t tell the customers you’re going to try to spite them. Don’t worry though, the story has a happy ending.
The PayPal plus rewards card earns points which can be traded for vouchers which can be used like cash to buy stuff. You have to be careful, though, and make sure that the price is the same or greater than the voucher amount. Any unused dollars on the voucher get forfeited after the purchase. Tricky! Reads those terms and conditions close, folks.
If you’re planning on taking advantage of the Cash 4 Clunkers program you’d better do it sooner rather than later, says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The program is running out of money and the administration says that in the next two days they will outline a plan to gracefully wind it down.
A fluid leak forced Deepak’s Southwest flight from Oakland to Seattle back to the airport. Southwest shifted passengers to a waiting plane, and everyone made it to Seattle about two hours late. Within a week, Southwest sent passengers an extraordinarily honest and informative letter detailing exactly what went wrong, and by way of apology, tossed in a $175 voucher.
It took a little negotiating but reader Noah was able to get United Airlines to honor the agreement that their CSR made, despite the fact that it was a violation of some kind of deeply sacred policy.
Over a quarter-million passengers were bumped from flights in the past eight months, a number that is set to grow as airlines try to boost anemic profits by slashing fleets. The Department of Transportation requires airlines to compensate bumped passengers with cash or vouchers, but savvy passengers can leverage their situation to negotiate heftier payments…
TSA, can you at least train your agents to do their jobs properly? We’d appreciate it even more if you’d discipline (read: fire) those who go all stupidly power-mad and think they have to “win” every encounter, even when it means making up new rules on the spot. Here’s a story of a soldier who lost a day of leave because one of your agents caused so much trouble. In the end, the soldier says he’s happy with the outcome—”Using standard Consumerist customer service doctrine (polite, patient, proper channels and then EECB), I won”—but we’re still floored by how difficult you made his trip home. Oh, and NWA, you were no help either.
Armed guards ordered 274 stranded passengers out of the Punta Cana airport with no place to go after bad weather forced U.S. Airways to cancel its flight from the Dominican Republic to Philadelphia. Several passengers ended up sleeping in a bus after the airline responded to Tropical Storm Fay by asking passengers to pick up their luggage and get lost.