Is the Better Business Bureau an effective tool against bad airline service? The surprising answer may be: yes.
Consider what happened to one reader when he had a booking problem with Delta Air Lines that couldn’t be resolved. After some back-and-forth, the airline fixed the problem, but it cost him an additional 16,000 miles and $473, and the airline didn’t seem too interested in helping. (He’s asked me to keep his name out of this story for fear of retribution by Delta, since he’s a frequent flier.)
Yesterday, he got results.
It took a month — the time allowed by the BBB for the merchant to respond — but yesterday I got a call from the Delta Customer Care office and they took care of the problem; they are sending me a check for the majority of the fees I paid and Delta $ for the remainder. A very acceptable offer!
The person that called was very apologetic and said that my complaint was improperly routed inside of Delta. During the review they agreed that I should not have been charged the amounts and Delta should have resolved problem earlier.
Delta has an A+ rating with the BBB and is another technique people can use for resolution.
Indeed, Delta has a sterling reputation. But what about the others?
American Airlines has a C+ grade with the Fort Worth BBB. It isn’t a member of the organization, and probably wouldn’t be swayed by a complaint. Still, it might be worth a try.
Continental Airlines isn’t a member and has an “unsatisfactory” rating. No go.
JetBlue, while not a BBB member, has a “satisfactory” rating. Yes, worth it.
Southwest Airlines is a BBB member and has an A+ rating. Definitely worth it.
United Airlines isn’t a member and has an “unsatisfactory” rating. No dice.
US Airways is not a member and has a “D” rating. (Thanks to commenter Bruce in Charlotte for the tip.)
Has anyone else resolved a dispute through the Better Business Bureau? Please leave a comment or e-mail me directly with your story.