Occasionally our advocates encounter cases, like Beth Agnew’s, that make us want to beat our heads against the wall in frustration.
Dov Hook wants a refund for change fees charged by American Airlines for a connection he didn’t make. But our advocates are not inclined to assist him because his situation is the result of his own errors.
Hook’s case is a warning to air travelers to avoid booking connecting flights on separate itineraries and to check in by the time indicated on one’s air ticket. And when traveling with small children or anyone with mobility issues, as Hook was, you need to allow yourself additional advance time to check in and make connections. Otherwise, as Hook discovered the hard way, you might be staying on the ground and on the hook for some hefty change fees.
Aron Szekely’s complaint stunned our advocates — but not in the way he had hoped. When American Airlines refused to allow his faithful dog on a flight to Japan, did this military man simply abandon the animal at the airport?
When James Barbeau decided to use some of his wife’s Southwest Rapid Rewards miles, he visited the Southwest website and successfully transferred 40,000 miles from her account to his. He claims he was shocked to see a $400 charge appear on his credit card statement for the transfer and wants his money back.
Barbeau first appealed to Southwest Rapid Rewards for his refund, but the company refused, stating that “transferred funds are nonrefundable and nonreversible,” and that “the terms must be upheld in order to maintain the integrity of our program.”
Victoria Grzesiakowski’s case had more red flags than a Soviet military parade.
For starters, her problem happened on a cruise and it involved jewelry. One of the players was a shady Mexican company that would register a 9.0 on the scam Richter scale, if there was such a thing. And it was being handled by a surrogate, her daughter, because Grzesiakowski is 91 and doesn’t have an email address.
Diane Barnes was excited about her first vacation in eight years, and it was a big one — a two-week stay at a Kamaole Sands Condo on Maui. Barnes, unfortunately, suffers from multiple sclerosis, so she required a room with central air conditioning in the unit.
Another misfortune beset Barnes when she misinterpreted the details of the listing on Expedia, which stated that the condo included both air conditioning and ceiling fans.
Hurricane Irma ruined Mary Zeoli’s recent travel plans in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Good thing she insured her trip, right?
Aly Meyer spent months excitedly planning the perfect tropical getaway for ten members of her extended family. Unfortunately, when United Airlines denies boarding to the littlest member of the group, the trip came to an abrupt halt.
Before Sheldon Segal asked for help, he tried to fix the problems with his new Kenmore high-efficiency washing machine himself. He said the machine left a detergent residue on his dark clothes.
Elizabeth Kellogg reserved a non-refundable hotel room and then forgot the dates. By the time she remembered them, it was too late to cancel. Now she wants help with a refund.
Our advocates don’t generally hear again from consumers after we reject their cases. But when we told David Goldblum “no,” he didn’t give up.
Terry Duryea had used FlyFirstClass.com to buy discounted first-class tickets before, so he didn’t hesitate to buy tickets through the site for a trip from San Francisco to Helsinki.
Maybe he should have hesitated.
Elgy Gillespie was on her way to the airport when she lost her passport. Having read an article about such situations, she was confident that she could talk her way onboard her international flight without it. But when she is unequivocally denied check-in by a Norwegian Shuttle agent, she is stunned by his lack of understanding and contacts us for help.
Ron Patton’s trip to Turkey went from impending to impossible when Turkey stopped granting tourist visas to U.S. citizens. But Turkish Airlines won’t explain — to him or to our advocates — why it refuses to refund his airfare.
Pat DiPersia and his wife, Rebecca, took one look at the hotel they had booked through Groupon and knew they didn’t want to stay there. It was filthy, and basic amenities were missing.
Leslie Hillandahl and her husband received an unpleasant surprise recently, when they tried to check in for their return flight from Italy. If they wanted to bring their newly-turned-two-year-old son back home with them in business class, they would need to pay an additional $4,000.
Some of my fondest vacation memories are from trips to the Yucatán peninsula when my kids were younger: tubing an underground river; bumping down dirt roads exploring the jungle in an open-top Jeep; watching my daughters snorkel for the first time, surrounded by a rainbow-hued school of fish.
I know a few people who are early for everything — there’s a good chance they were even born early. But the majority of us have been late for something in our lifetimes. When the thing that you’re late for is a flight, call the airline. Nathaniel Brewer didn’t — and it cost him.
Johna Keen’s story of his return flight is a cautionary tale about ticket change fees and airline logic. But mostly, it shows that people don’t trust anything they see anymore, when it comes to travel. And that could be an even bigger problem.
Tina Landess Petrich thinks she might have been Bamboozled by Hotels.com. She contacted our advocacy team after she booked a two-night stay in Venice at a special nonrefundable rate. But “seconds” after she pressed confirm, she noticed hefty additional fees included in the total. Has she been the victim of a scam?
During her recent Caribbean cruise, Kathy Hoffarth purchased a $16,000 diamond in Jamaica. At the next port, she exchanged it for a larger, more expensive one. Now that she is home she doesn’t want that diamond, either, and she wants her money back. But is that possible?
While planning her recent trip to Europe, Orah Goldman purchased train tickets through Voyages-SNCF for travel from Austria to France. She thought she could pick up her tickets at the train station in Austria. But she was wrong.
Miranda Jennings Graham and her newly married husband, Weston, booked a honeymoon on Priceline to Tahiti, traveling via American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth to Los Angeles, where they had a connecting flight to Tahiti via Air Tahiti Nui.
Miranda Jennings Graham and her new husband, Weston, are today’s poster kids for a missed honeymoon. The Grahams booked their special vacation on Priceline to Tahiti, traveling via American Airlines from Dallas-Fort Worth to Los Angeles, where they had a connecting flight to Tahiti via Air Tahiti Nui.
A cruise to Cuba is a dream for many people, but there are specific rules that a company must follow and a special certification it needs to run a cruise. When Pamela Gillet booked her dream cruise to Cuba with Pearl Seas Cruises, she assumed the company had secured permission to run the trip it sold her.
Linda Gray and her partner booked a trip to China and Thailand with Sinorama, a Canada-based China tour operator, and had a lovely time — until they tried to return home.
When Mahitha Sadhanala heads to CVS to make some returns, he isn’t expecting any problems — after all, he has done this many times before. So it comes as a shock when the cashier firmly refuses to accept the items. When he asks for an explanation, she refers him to something called The Retail Equation.
When Carole Schachter and her husband booked a cruise vacation in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, they were looking forward to winding along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. But they didn’t factor travel time to the ports of embarkation and disembarkation into their plans — or a penalty for canceling their trip.