Can someone please help save Viviane Tran’s honeymoon?

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By Christopher Elliott

Viviane Tran and her husband are flying from Washington to Tokyo on US Airways for their honeymoon in April. They’ve scraped together 240,000 Dividend Miles for the occasion to splurge for first-class seats.

And then they received the email. The one saying their flight schedule had changed. The one that threatens to destroy their carefully-planned postnuptial vacation. And they need your help fixing it — now.

“I am at a complete loss as to how I can get a resolution on this,” she says.

Here are a few details:

When Tran received the flight change notification, she thought it might be a good opportunity to change the name on her ticket back to her maiden name, since she can’t get her name changed in time for the flight.

She continues,

“I called customer service, waited, finally was able to get someone on the line. I explained my situation to her regarding the need of a name change on my ticket.

She informed me that it is possible, since US Airways changed our flights and we have not accepted the flight changes. She went on to explain that she will have to release our seats back to the inventory and then have to reissue us our tickets.

I asked her what the risk is in us losing our first class seats altogether.

She said, “There is a risk, but let’s put it this way: In all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve been able to reissue seats without much difficulty.” I asked the question again just to reassure myself that we will get our seats back.”

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Ah, but this isn’t one of those years. This year, American Airlines and US Airways are consummating their own union, and it’s far from perfect.

Turns out the flight was operated by American — to a customer, a meaningless distinction, since American-US Airways has been pretending to be one airline for a while.

Tran further reports:

“I waited for at least 15 minutes when she finally came back and told me that we’ve lost our seats and she’s unable to re-book us on the same seats/flights because she DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO AMERICAN AIRLINES’ inventory!

I tried my best to hold my temper. Why in the world would you have the customer move forward with this decision if you CANNOT access American Airlines’ inventory?

I questioned her actions and advice. Tried my best to remain calm. When I realized that I was defeated and the best course of action was to just get on a flight (our lodging for Japan was already paid for and I’d rather not lose that in the process as well), I asked her to book us a flight, any flight, even if it is coach for our honeymoon.

She placed me back on hold. Five minutes later, I heard a “click,” radio silence and then the line went dead. She hung up on me.

My husband and I are now without flights to Japan. We’ve spent money on hotels and the JR Pass, and we’re basically on the verge of losing $3,000 and all the time spent planning this trip.

What can I do to save my honeymoon?

I’ve tried calling the 800 number; no resolution. I’ve tried social media. American Airlines responded and told me that they can’t help since US Airways is the issuer.

Please help.

This is a truly horrible situation. Tran and her husband went from confirmed first-class seats to Japan to having no seats, thanks to what appears to be a merger-related hiccup. And then the airline hung up on her. Planning a trip — let alone a honeymoon — can be stressful.

Unbelievable, is she going to save her honeymoon?

Tran is working this case on social media. Our advocates have responded to her cry for help with executive email addresses, but so far they’ve been unsuccessful. I also reached out to my US Airways contacts this morning to see if they can assist.

Cases like this really make my blood boil. Remember, US Airways is doing this to one of its best customers — someone who has flown enough to collect more than 200,000 miles. At the very least, the US Airways representative could have phoned Tran back to fix her reservation for her honeymoon. But the silence from the airline is deafening.

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Good news!

Tran is so thankful, we have saved another honeymoon:

You did it again! Your article, your network, your staff, your forum, and everyone’s support proved successful! A CS Manager from American Airlines contacted me tonight and was able to re-book us our seats!

Thank you to EVERYONE that contributed to this triumph, thank you to all of your support and all of your well wishes. I know for sure that this would not have gained so much momentum if it wasn’t for you!

My husband and I are so grateful for everything that’s unfolded within the past few days, we cannot thank you enough, nor can words ever express our deepest gratitude! THANK YOU!

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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