Screwed over by the airlines...

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MrsRoos
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Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by MrsRoos » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:35 am

We were recently on vacation in Tahiti and our travel with AirFrance was a nightmare. Both to and from trips were delayed by 2-3 hours on the departure and return due to security hold-up of some passengers, technical problems and weather.

On our return trip, we missed our domestic flight on Southwest back to our home city because AirFrance was delayed leaving Tahiti and landed in the US about 1.5 hours later. This left us very little time to get through customs/immigration, baggage pickup AND notify Southwest that we can't make our scheduled flight. Of course, when I had the ability to call Southwest (post-immigration lines and good enough cell reception), the phone wait time was 57 minutes! Since I wasn't able to get hold of any Southwest agents, I decided to cancel our pre-booked trip using my phone since I didn't want to violate their No Show Policy (which is you have to cancel 10 mins before flight departure, otherwise you will lose all travel funds). When we finally made our way to the Southwest counter, the agent told us that we shouldn't have canceled our trip as they can place us on the next available flight for the same price and now we'll have to re-purchase our tickets at a much higher price for the last flight of the day, which contradicts their No Show Policy. We had originally paid ~$65/tix (which I had canceled) and the new price for the last flight is $220/tix. By then, my blood was boiling and I was feeling very cheated...

I've filed complaints with both AirFrance (for their delay, causing us to miss our domestic flight) and Southwest (for not being clear and transparent about their policies). I have not heard back from AirFrance and Southwest has already responded that they can't honor the original ticket price. What else can I do? FYI, the flights were purchased on my Chase Sapphire Reserve, not sure if the Trip Delay insurance will cover losses under these circumstances?
Last edited by MrsRoos on Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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whodidntante
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by whodidntante » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:43 am

I fly a lot so I feel your pain. I've had worse.

Some tips for the future:
Fly on a single ticket, when possible.
When you can't do the above, use a travel agent to make the reservation. Upon a delay or cancellation, they will negotiate on your behalf with the carriers, sometimes before you even ask them to.

xPat
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by xPat » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:26 am

That stinks and is frustrating, but I don't believe you were cheated by either airline. You took a gamble to fly on two cheap tickets and lost. I've done exactly what you've done (flying on two separate tickets because it's cheaper) but the liability is my responsibility when there is a delay that forces a misconnect. Am I right to presume that you still came out ahead -- even with the more expensive SW ticket -- than you would have paid for a ticket from your home city to Tahiti?

One thing to consider in situations like this in the future is that airlines like Southwest* usually won't penalize you if you miss your flight and still show up within an hour or two of the departure time. Often there is an informal "flat tire" rule for missed flights -- you show up and kindly explain what happened and ask for their mercy to get you on a later flight without paying more out of pocket. The SW counter agents have soooo much leeway (as long as you still have your discount ticket). Their "no show" rule is intended for people who buy cheap tickets, miss the flights, don't go to the airport at all, and then want a refund.

* I can't promise that this would work with airlines that are openly hostile to their customers (*cough*Spirit*cough*) though...

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:39 am

It's called the "flat tire" rule and not documented by Southwest (or anyone else, as far as I know) likely because it would encourage abuse (book cheap earlier flight , "miss it", get rebooked for free on later expensive flight). Also risky to rely on because many flights these days are just full.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/southwe ... fares.html

Air France is not responsible for delivering you on time to an unrelated connecting flight. Hence the recommendation to book connections on one ticket. Wouldn't have worked with Southwest since they don't interline with anyone, but Delta might have worked. In that case AF would have been responsible for getting you to your final destination if it arrived late at LAX. What did you ask for in your complaint to them? I don't think there is much of a chance that they will cover the cost differential for your Southwest flights. Maybe they'll give you some travel credit for a future AF flight.

You might want to review regulation EU 261/2004. I suspect it won't give you anything as it sounds like the delay wasn't long enough and they might argue weather was the main factor, but it's been a while since I read it.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/ ... ERV:l24173

On the bright side... you got to go to Tahiti!

Cruise
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Cruise » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:42 am

I think you will find that the CSR trip interruption insurance may pay in this instance.

bluebolt
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by bluebolt » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:25 am

If this is your definition of a travel nightmare and getting screwed over, you must not travel much.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by AlohaJoe » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:36 am

bluebolt wrote:If this is your definition of a travel nightmare and getting screwed over, you must not travel much.
I thought the same thing.

Here's my "travel nightmare" story, though it happened to a coworker and not me.

He was flying from Gdansk, Poland, to Sydney, Australia. In the best of times that's already a 27 hour flight that requires 2 or 3 stopovers. Gdansk to Amsterdam. Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi to Sydney.

There was fog or a sandstorm or something in Abu Dhabi. Dozens of flights had to be diverted and were delayed for hours. By the time he made it to Abu Dhabi, chaos reigned supreme. Think about it: each of those planes holds hundreds of people. Multiplied by dozens of flights. Thousands of people had missed their connections.

The hotel airport only has 200 rooms or so.

To leave the airport requires you have a visa. Suddenly the line to get a visa is thousands of people long.

No airline has thousands of empty seats on existing flights. Nor do they have planes just sitting around unused.

He spent 2 days stuck in the airport. After the first day, some customer agent took pity on him and gave him lounge access so he had somewhere slightly more comfortable to sleep.

He -- like all the other stranded passengers -- had to queue for hours to get food vouchers.

All that for a one week business trip. By the time he got to Sydney, he had to fly back to Poland after 2 days.

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StevieG72
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by StevieG72 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:47 am

I can feel your frustration.....

Sounds like my luck! You did everything you could & would have been better off if you had done nothing!

Report back on your credit card coverage, hopefully you will find relief there.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

traveltoomuch
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by traveltoomuch » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:10 am

I'm sorry you had a bad travel day. I would have hoped for a better response from Southwest. I'm sorry that didn't work.

Honestly, I'd chalk this up to "lesson learned" and walk away. The most productive path might be to poke Southwest again.

I might try filing a claim with the CSR card, but don't expect anything. Their Trip Delay protection is about providing you with food and lodging during a delay, not the extra cost of a rebooking a missed/cancelled/something flight. The Trip Cancellation protection is about covering the cost of the trip if you cancel the whole thing because you get sick (or, alternatively, have to interrupt the trip for similar reasons). While I have had both types of coverage pay out, I don't think either will pay out for this.

protagonist
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by protagonist » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:18 am

TravelGeek wrote:
On the bright side... you got to go to Tahiti!
+1 (hoping you are laughing, OP....)

OP, please let us know if Chase Sapphire Reserve pulls through for you, and how much hassle you had to go through to get the coverage. Since you canceled your trip with SW, like TravelGeek, I imagine it won't be covered....canceling would probably be viewed as your mistake. But maybe they will be nice. It would be great to know just how much we get for our $450/year.

Thanks.
Last edited by protagonist on Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bottlecap
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by bottlecap » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:22 am

At least you didn't spend half of you vacation without your luggage. That won't have been worse and happened to me on my last international trip.

Airlines don't reimburse you for delays. They are normal. Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems?

Southwest doesn't have a responsibility, either, really. They are simply applying their rules.

It stinks, but if you got home safely and relatively on time after a nice international vacation, I wouldn't let a little extra cost bother you or mar the memories.

JT

protagonist
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by protagonist » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:41 am

bottlecap wrote: Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems?
Decisions regarding which flights to cancel are often not security-related....they are often related to the airline's bottom line. Haven't you noticed that sometimes an airline will cancel some of their flights "due to weather" while letting others take off? Here is a partial explanation (I read the same in a major publication somewhere a few years ago...I forget which..). https://www.budgettravel.com/article/wh ... hers_11300

That was my experience years ago when an Aerolineas Argentinas flight on which I was scheduled to Buenos Aires was canceled due to rain in the departure city though its planned departure time was about a half hour AFTER the rain had ceased, DESPITE the fact that they had other flights that were not canceled. I was offered no compensation and had to wait 24 hours to get on another flight.

lernd
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by lernd » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:48 am

protagonist wrote:
bottlecap wrote: Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems?
Decisions regarding which flights to cancel are often not security-related....they are often related to the airline's bottom line. Haven't you noticed that sometimes an airline will cancel some of their flights "due to weather" while letting others take off?
I have always interpreted this as more to do with the destination city than the departure city. I have had plenty of flights back home (I live in New England) cancelled while scores of planes are taking off at the same airport that happens to be in the Florida.

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bottlecap
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by bottlecap » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:31 am

protagonist wrote:
bottlecap wrote: Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems?
Decisions regarding which flights to cancel are often not security-related....they are often related to the airline's bottom line. Haven't you noticed that sometimes an airline will cancel some of their flights "due to weather" while letting others take off? Here is a partial explanation (I read the same in a major publication somewhere a few years ago...I forget which..). https://www.budgettravel.com/article/wh ... hers_11300

That was my experience years ago when an Aerolineas Argentinas flight on which I was scheduled to Buenos Aires was canceled due to rain in the departure city though its planned departure time was about a half hour AFTER the rain had ceased, DESPITE the fact that they had other flights that were not canceled. I was offered no compensation and had to wait 24 hours to get on another flight.
OP's flight was not cancelled.

JT

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:00 am

Look at it from their perspectives:
What did AirFrance do wrong? Weather delays, maintenance delays, security delays are pretty normal these days on ALL airlines and they will do everything they can to get to were you need to get to even if later than expected - they got you to your destinations. (Personally I'm not a fan of AirFrance - I once booked a first-class ticket with them only to find out their idea of first class was simply to give you a regular coach seat in the front with the middle seat simply blocked off - but in your case I'm not sure how they are at fault).
Same question about Southwest - what did they do wrong that caused you to have to cancel? You were the one that was late for their flight at no fault of Southwest. If you have status on Southwest they might be willing to give you a travel voucher on a future flight - if you don't have status I doubt they care (they are a discount airline after-all).
I would just move on. Unfortunately sometimes trying to save money ends up costing you more money. I would never book two separate airlines for a single direction routing for this reason. You are taking a HUGE risk - one airline won't assume the liability of another unless you booked through a single fare. If I couldn't afford to book through a single airline - I wouldn't take the trip.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:13 am

That does suck! Travel delays and other travel hiccups just suck. Plain and simple.

For people that don't travel a lot any delays seem huge. Plus, when you are in the midst of the problem it truly seems like the end of the world. Each "mistake" that is made, or rule that isn't clear, or whatever gets compounded in your mind. We had that last year on a trip to Hawaii; both ways. By the time you get home you think you were the most wronged person in the history of the world. However, for people that travel a lot delays of a few hours are common place. As others have pointed out this is a great lesson for all of us. Buy your flights on one ticket and/or use a travel agent and/or know all the rules that exist (written or unwritten). Heck, it's a full time job to keep up with all of it! Better luck next time!

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:36 am

protagonist wrote:
bottlecap wrote: Do you really want to fly on an airline that skimps on security, ignores weather, and takes risks with mechanical problems?
Decisions regarding which flights to cancel are often not security-related....they are often related to the airline's bottom line. Haven't you noticed that sometimes an airline will cancel some of their flights "due to weather" while letting others take off? Here is a partial explanation (I read the same in a major publication somewhere a few years ago...I forget which..). https://www.budgettravel.com/article/wh ... hers_11300
That strikes me as an unlikely criteria. There are other factors to consider. Usually when airlines cancel a flight XYZ-ABC, that means the aircraft isn't available for its next flight from ABC to DEF, and then for the next flight flight from DEF to GHI and so on. In other words, there is a chain of events, and the airline still has to get all those passengers to their destinations.

Take SFO as an example. When the weather is bad, they have to shut down one runway for arrivals, cutting capacity. What does United, the main carrier do? It will primarily delay or cancel small regional jets instead of impacting flights with larger jets. Why? Many of the international routes have only a few alternatives for affected passengers, and more importantly, a smaller plane with 50 or 70 passengers takes up just as much runway capacity as a 747 with 350. So better to impact 50-70 than 350.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by researcher » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:41 am

MrsRoos wrote:Both to and from trips were delayed by 2-3 hours on the departure and return due to security hold-up of some passengers, technical problems and weather.
What exactly do you feel AirFrance should have done to avoid the delay...
- Allow a potential terrorist on the plane by not fully vetting the passengers?
- Take off on a long flight with a plane experiencing technical/mechanical issues?
- Fly in dangerous weather?

These delays don't appear to be avoidable. Did you also file a complaint with God about the inclement weather?
Since I wasn't able to get hold of any Southwest agents, I decided to cancel our pre-booked trip using my phone since I didn't want to violate their No Show Policy. We had originally paid ~$65/tix (which I had canceled) and the new price for the last flight is $220/tix. By then, my blood was boiling and I was feeling very cheated...
Canceling your ticket was a bizarre decision on your part. Are you new to flying? I would never have occurred to me to cancel, given that you were in the airport, and had been delayed from a previous flight.

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:43 am

DaftInvestor wrote:(Personally I'm not a fan of AirFrance - I once booked a first-class ticket with them only to find out their idea of first class was simply to give you a regular coach seat in the front with the middle seat simply blocked off - but in your case I'm not sure how they are at fault).
You booked what is commonly called Euro Business. All the major (legacy) European airlines have that style of cabin at the pointy end of their domestic and regional (intra-European) fleet.

http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/gu ... a_bord.htm

On the bright side you may still get decent food on short one hour hops where US carriers in domestic First give you a bag of peanuts.

Jimmie
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:48 am

To go to Tahiti, you obviously had a lot of time allocated. My advice is this. In the future, take the connection and potential customs delays out of the equation.

1) On day 1, take the domestic flight to the airport from which the international flight departs. Do not take the last flight from home to this destination. Make sure you have a later flight option to fall back on.

2) Pay for one night at an "airport" hotel, preferably with a shuttle. Consider the hotel bill to be "peace of mind insurance".

3) Enjoy the evening. And enjoy the next morning's breakfast.

4) On Day 2, board your international flight in comfort, hassle-free.

Do the return the same way, but in reverse order.

This planning with extra time to accommodate delays really works well for us on any vacation. We are going to Key West in May and plan on flying into and staying the first and last nights in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, respectively. We will drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West the morning after our flight in, then dump the car at the airport in Key West, then taxi to the hotel. Going back to Miami, we will taxi from the hotel to the airport in Key West, pick up a rental car, then drive to Miami the day before our flight home. (Flight options in and out of Key West using airline miles were not good and we always wanted to make the drive along the Keys, anyway.)
Last edited by Jimmie on Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:59 am

TravelGeek wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:(Personally I'm not a fan of AirFrance - I once booked a first-class ticket with them only to find out their idea of first class was simply to give you a regular coach seat in the front with the middle seat simply blocked off - but in your case I'm not sure how they are at fault).
You booked what is commonly called Euro Business. All the major (legacy) European airlines have that style of cabin at the pointy end of their domestic and regional (intra-European) fleet.

http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/gu ... a_bord.htm

On the bright side you may still get decent food on short one hour hops where US carriers in domestic First give you a bag of peanuts.
Thanks for the link. I like the fact they also state that the seat is in a "separate cabin". The cabin is the same but they do have this removable curtain they are able to place where-ever they consider this "separate cabin" to start/stop.

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:15 am

DaftInvestor wrote: Thanks for the link. I like the fact they also state that the seat is in a "separate cabin". The cabin is the same but they do have this removable curtain they are able to place where-ever they consider this "separate cabin" to start/stop.
You can find curtains instead of hard bulkheads on some US airlines as well. Alaska Airlines for example. The reason the Euro carriers do this is because it gives them flexibility. If they sell a lot of business class seats, they can move the curtain further back and plop some mid seat trays into the newly expanded business class. AS can't do that despite their curtain bulkhead due to the fixed seat configuration.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:20 am

TravelGeek wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote: Thanks for the link. I like the fact they also state that the seat is in a "separate cabin". The cabin is the same but they do have this removable curtain they are able to place where-ever they consider this "separate cabin" to start/stop.
You can find curtains instead of hard bulkheads on some US airlines as well. Alaska Airlines for example. The reason the Euro carriers do this is because it gives them flexibility. If they sell a lot of business class seats, they can move the curtain further back and plop some mid seat trays into the newly expanded business class. AS can't do that despite their curtain bulkhead due to the fixed seat configuration.
Yup - I think I understand the reason they are doing it - they can charge as many people that are willing to pay and adjust the "separate cabin" as appropriate. The main reason I always paid for first or business class was to get a more comfortable seat. In my opinion - sitting in the same seat albeit with a guarantee that no one is in the middle next to you - isn't worth the extra expense.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by AZAttorney11 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:21 am

OP didn't get screwed over at all. OP took a gamble (using separate tickets on different airlines that do not have a business relationship in the hopes that he / she could save money), the risk showed up (as it is known to do), and OP lost time and money as a result. Experienced travelers know this is part of the game, inexperienced travelers feel "screwed over."

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:29 am

bluebolt wrote:If this is your definition of a travel nightmare and getting screwed over, you must not travel much.
Ditto and ditto again.

Two separate tickets was a higher-risk, higher-return option. No surprise the flip sometimes comes up tails.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:59 am

DaftInvestor wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:(Personally I'm not a fan of AirFrance - I once booked a first-class ticket with them only to find out their idea of first class was simply to give you a regular coach seat in the front with the middle seat simply blocked off - but in your case I'm not sure how they are at fault).
You booked what is commonly called Euro Business. All the major (legacy) European airlines have that style of cabin at the pointy end of their domestic and regional (intra-European) fleet.

http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/gu ... a_bord.htm

On the bright side you may still get decent food on short one hour hops where US carriers in domestic First give you a bag of peanuts.
Thanks for the link. I like the fact they also state that the seat is in a "separate cabin". The cabin is the same but they do have this removable curtain they are able to place where-ever they consider this "separate cabin" to start/stop.
Daftinvestor did not book first class because that doesn't exist for intra-Europe flights. That fare class applies on domestic US flights and on some international travel, where the meaning is completely different from US domestic.

The problem occurs on airline websites where one puts in certain search options or sees certain labels, especially if one is buying a connecting flight in Europe from a US website, etc. What has to be checked is the actual fare class bought and checking what that accommodation actually is on the airline providing the service.

It is a fair complaint that the system is complicated and that some information may appear misleading to someone who does not know how to interpret it. Only research and experience supply the needed know how.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:07 am

AZAttorney11 wrote:OP didn't get screwed over at all. OP took a gamble (using separate tickets on different airlines that do not have a business relationship in the hopes that he / she could save money), the risk showed up (as it is known to do), and OP lost time and money as a result. Experienced travelers know this is part of the game, inexperienced travelers feel "screwed over."
As an experienced traveler who has learned some of these lessons the hard way, I would suggest to the OP this is the key takeaway from this experience. I know that won't help in the moment or likely even the days after the trip has been completed, but hopefully some days later upon reflection there is a learning opportunity here to fully understand the implications of lowest cost and it doesn't always involve the dollars, your time and sanity (stress level) is also worth something.
Normal people… believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet. – Scott Adams

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by bigred77 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:42 am

I think the main mistake was just simply canceling the tickets. i understand the thought that went through your mind but if you had not done this I think you could have persuaded Southwest to simply put you on the later flight with no additional costs (assuming space available).

I have frequently bought separate tickets like this to save money. I try to leave a couple of hours between flights to account for slight delays but on 2 separate occasions I've missed the 2nd flight that was booked under a second ticket purchase. I've always just gone to the ticketing counter, explained that my previous flight was delayed and have been put on the next flight available with no additional costs. Maybe I've just been lucky.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:27 pm

One thing that is true is that if you let the airline fix the problem it usually won't cost you a lot of extra money. If you decide on your own to cancel tickets, buy new tickets, rent cars, opt for your own placements in hotels, etc., the airline will not reimburse you for your choices.

Probably if I were making an international connection in or out through a US gateway and not on one ticket and reservation I would opt to stay overnight in the connecting city to avoid any problems with delays. Failing that I would schedule enough connecting time to absorb a two hour delay and two hours or more to get through customs and transfer to the domestic terminal to make the flight. The more contingency time you allow the lower the frequency of problems not accounted for. The situation would be different if booked through on the same or cooperating airlines such as Air France/Delta.

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:18 pm

dbr wrote: Probably if I were making an international connection in or out through a US gateway and not on one ticket and reservation I would opt to stay overnight in the connecting city to avoid any problems with delays. Failing that I would schedule enough connecting time to absorb a two hour delay and two hours or more to get through customs and transfer to the domestic terminal to make the flight. The more contingency time you allow the lower the frequency of problems not accounted for. The situation would be different if booked through on the same or cooperating airlines such as Air France/Delta.
All my trips start and end with a puddle jumper to a gateway. Puddle jumpers are more likely to be affected by delays or cancellations. Also, buying an interline ticket isn't always possible (e.g., Alaska to Lufthansa). So I live with this problem on a regular basis. I definitely book a big enough gap. I have at times booked a hotel and flown out the night before. But sometimes I also just accept the risk (especially on the return when a delay/cancellation doesn't put the entire trip at risk). If I paid extra every time for a hotel, the cost of that would probably quickly exceed the cost of dealing with the occasional (1 in 10?) problem resulting in a misconnect.

The OP thought they were making the right decision based on their understanding of the documented rules regarding cancellation of Southwest tickets. Unfortunately it turns out that in this case this knowledge was more harmful than if they had just been "ignorant" of the rules and gone to the Southwest counter with a missed flight. Lesson learned for the OP and perhaps even others who followed this thread and might have done the same.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:27 pm

TravelGeek wrote: If I paid extra every time for a hotel, the cost of that would probably quickly exceed the cost of dealing with the occasional (1 in 10?) problem resulting in a misconnect.
When I travel on business, it is my employer who must manage the risk. Sure, I will leave adequate time to make a connection, but won't book a hotel to do so. The extra leeway also depends on the importance of the trip. What will I miss? Can it be rescheduled?

If it is MY vacation, I think differently. Since I live on the east side of town and the airport is on the west side, 50 miles away, I don't allow a potential traffic or weather issue or car breakdown or accident to affect my vacation. One hundred dollars to book an airport hotel with shuttle service is worth my peace of mind.

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Jimmie wrote:
TravelGeek wrote: If it is MY vacation, I think differently. Since I live on the east side of town and the airport is on the west side, 50 miles away, I don't allow a potential traffic or weather issue or car breakdown or accident to affect my vacation. One hundred dollars to book an airport hotel with shuttle service is worth my peace of mind.
I obviously don't know the typical weather in your town, the driving skills of drivers there, or the reliability of your vehicle. But a $100 hotel for each personal trip would for me be pretty expensive insurance, considering that (as a million miler on on airline and many miles on others) I have never missed a flight due to getting to the airport late. :) On the other hand, if you perhaps save some parking fees by booking a park & fly rate, that could tip the scales. And peace of mind is worth something, too :beer

Jimmie
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:57 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
I obviously don't know the typical weather in your town, the driving skills of drivers there, or the reliability of your vehicle. But a $100 hotel for each personal trip would for me be pretty expensive insurance, considering that (as a million miler on on airline and many miles on others) I have never missed a flight due to getting to the airport late. :) On the other hand, if you perhaps save some parking fees by booking a park & fly rate, that could tip the scales. And peace of mind is worth something, too :beer
Peace of mind is everything. I work hard and treasure my vacation time. Even with perfect weather and a brand new car, a simple fender-bender on the way to the airport messes up the best of plans.

This is why I rent cars on vacations over 200 miles. In the middle of a trip to South Carolina from Ohio, I had a brand new car break down due to transmission problems which eventually led to a massive recall of that model. Nearly ruined a vacation. Fortunately, we rented a car, left ours at a dealer, and picked it up on the way home after turning in the rental.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by bluebolt » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:42 pm

Jimmie wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:
I obviously don't know the typical weather in your town, the driving skills of drivers there, or the reliability of your vehicle. But a $100 hotel for each personal trip would for me be pretty expensive insurance, considering that (as a million miler on on airline and many miles on others) I have never missed a flight due to getting to the airport late. :) On the other hand, if you perhaps save some parking fees by booking a park & fly rate, that could tip the scales. And peace of mind is worth something, too :beer
Peace of mind is everything. I work hard and treasure my vacation time. Even with perfect weather and a brand new car, a simple fender-bender on the way to the airport messes up the best of plans.

This is why I rent cars on vacations over 200 miles. In the middle of a trip to South Carolina from Ohio, I had a brand new car break down due to transmission problems which eventually led to a massive recall of that model. Nearly ruined a vacation. Fortunately, we rented a car, left ours at a dealer, and picked it up on the way home after turning in the rental.
DW and I know that (almost) no matter what happens on vacation, we will roll with the punches and make the best of it. Lost luggage, missed connections, hospital visits, tick bites, serious illnesses/injuries, insect infestations, strikes, riots - we have run into all of these while traveling (and much more!).

While we'd prefer these things not happen, we consider it a small price to pay versus the fact that we can sit in an aluminum tube for a max of 24 hours and be almost anywhere on this planet, and we have the time & money to do so.

dbr
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by dbr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:42 pm

Sometimes on international trips it really helps to break the journey anyway by spending overnight or even two nights between legs. You can kill two birds with one stone.

On the other hand the last time but one we had that opportunity we opted for two stops with a change of airport in a foreign country, but the destination was worth opting for an extra day to crash rather than resting in between.

TravelGeek
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:01 pm

bluebolt wrote: DW and I know that (almost) no matter what happens on vacation, we will roll with the punches and make the best of it. Lost luggage, missed connections, hospital visits, tick bites, serious illnesses/injuries, insect infestations, strikes, riots - we have run into all of these while traveling (and much more!).

While we'd prefer these things not happen, we consider it a small price to pay versus the fact that we can sit in an aluminum tube for a max of 24 hours and be almost anywhere on this planet, and we have the time & money to do so.
Yes, exactly. Life has been good to us, we have seen a lot of places with just minor inconveniences. Lost/delayed bags were always on the way home when we don't care (though usually we are carry-on only). Only one inflight emergency leading to return to SFO with three out of for engines working. One two days down with food poisoning in a jungle lodge in Belize after a day trip to Guatemala (Tikal Tummy).

The "worst" mishap was flying into Narita on the day of the big Japan quake in 2011. That resulted in a diversion to a USAF base in Japan and later to Osaka, and we then had to find our own way to a hotel for the night and to our final destination, Bangkok. It all worked itself out and the scenes playing on TV that night put everything very much into perspective. :shock:

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:11 pm

TravelGeek wrote:Lost/delayed bags were always on the way home when we don't care (though usually we are carry-on only).
Lucky! We once spent the first 3 days of vacation with 2 young kids and NO luggage. We would have shopped for clothes the first day (luckily we were smart enough to keep some essentials with us), but were told our luggage would be there later in the day...then another 12 hours went by...then another...then another. On the 3rd day we finally bought more clothes just in time for our luggage to finally find us. (For business trips I never check luggage but on extended family vacations it can be hard to avoid).
Then there was the canceled flight coming back from Europe late at night (no other flights to put us on that night) - again - limited clean clothes left coupled with having to try to find a hotel at 2AM in the morning in a foreign country which was only supposed to be a stop-over. There's nothing like being stranded in a foreign country overnight.
I'm sure many of us have some pretty bad stories similar or worse than the OPs 2.5 hour delay and an extra $220 per ticket cost. Unfortunately it happens - its part of the travel experience.

johnubc
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by johnubc » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:27 pm

Hard to feel sorry for you. You created two business transactions with two vendors - with no relationship to each other. When you book the flights on the one ticket, the transaction is one transaction - and then the airlines have a responsibility to try and accommodate you. Missing the second flight due to vendor 1 coming in late is no different from a person arriving at the airport late and blaming security for it.

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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:48 pm

bluebolt wrote: DW and I know that (almost) no matter what happens on vacation, we will roll with the punches and make the best of it.
Although we try to avoid problems, when they do happen, this is our attitude. In fact, for our vacation in May, we could have flown separately - I work out of town for extended periods. We could have met in Florida and my company would have paid for that leg. However, we chose to travel together. If something happens, I would rather spend an unplanned stop with her. We can always find a nice hotel, restaurant, or wine bar anywhere.

btenny
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by btenny » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:32 pm

This story is nothing compared to many things lots of us have experienced over the years. Be grateful it was only money.

Have you had a flight ticket taker close the door and stop taking tickets as you walked up to board? And then have the same airplane set at the gate for 30 minutes more before departure and refuse to let you load? Then have the ticket taker tell you to catch the next flight but also tell you sorry you are going to miss your connector flight to Paris. So now you will have big scheduling issues setting up equipment demos you had planned.

Or board a plane in Baltimore for Phoenix and have the doors closed and the plane back up 10 feet and shut off the engines. Then the pilot tells you the connecting stop in Detroit is having weather issues and we will wait. So you watch other flights direct to Phoenix leave and you cannot get on them because you are stuck. Then finally when you leave 3 hours later and go to Detroit all the connecting flights are gone. So you spend the night in the Detroit airport while your luggage and demo equipment sets on the runway in the freezing rain. The airline says too bad your stuff is ruined when it arrives two days late.

Or when your old plane has some tires blow out on take off from SFO. Then the pilot flies out over the Pacific to dump gas so he can make a emergency landing in Phoenix. Then you make that emergency landing in Phoenix and the remaining tires blow out on landing and catch fire and the plane jumps around a bunch 4-5 times on landing. Then the fire trucks show up and spray the plane with foam. And the airline does nothing except tell you welcome to Phoenix and please come fly with us again.

I could go on but many others here could tell equally tough stories. Just be glad that spending a little money is the only issues you experienced. Many times you miss serious appointments or real meetings or activities that are very important.

Good Luck

MrsRoos
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by MrsRoos » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:07 am

OP here...All, thanks for sharing all your travel nightmare stories. It really puts this into perspective. I came to the same conclusion myself after cooling off. Our vacation in Tahiti was awesome and I should just let this roll of our shoulders.

Lesson has been learnt - when traveling long distances with connections, book all flights on one ticket to avoid the problems I had just described. However, I still can't stand behind airlines (or anybody) not respecting other people's time.
“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.” - Kenneth Boulding

Lynette
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by Lynette » Tue Apr 04, 2017 1:14 am

My city is a hub for Delta so I am on their frequent flyer program. Delta, KLM and Air France are all part of the Sky Team. I know that I have often had had connecting flights with Delta and Air France. I don't quite remember from which site I booked them. I think that I get better response if I have a problem with Air France if I have booked the ticket through Delta.

AZAttorney11
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Re: Screwed over by the airlines...

Post by AZAttorney11 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:50 pm

MrsRoos wrote:However, I still can't stand behind airlines (or anybody) not respecting other people's time.
I promise you there's nothing an airline wants more than safe, on-time flights. Nothing. They lose millions and millions of dollars every year due to delays, and many of those delays are caused by factors that are beyond their control (weather, TSA, customers, etc.). Delta, for example, has a stressed relationship with TSA in Atlanta. Delta really doesn't have as much influence on this important stakeholder group as you might think. And Delta certainly can't control when people show up to the airport, how long the security lines will be, or when Mother Nature decides to ruin air travel.

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