Why Scrooge loves to fly — and why you won’t

I’m stunned by the reaction to two of our most popular stories of the week — my intervention in this case, which resulted in single mom and her kids finally being able to board their flight, and my efforts to secure a refund for this passenger in need.

Although many commenters understood that these acts of advocacy were not just in the spirit of this site, but also in the holiday spirit, a significant number of readers thought that helping the helpless was somehow unfair — either to the airline refunding the ticket, or to the other passengers who were stuck with a nonrefundable ticket.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Chubb. Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

You read it here first, my friends: Scrooge loves to fly.

The rest of us? Not so much.

It’s the same old debate between the “rules are rules” and the “customer is always right” readers. And I think by now, everyone knows which side I’m on.

Commenter Lonnie Clar summed up my frustrations nicely:

How come there is so much negative feedback on this one? It’s a sad case, Chris was able to help, and American did the right thing.

Yet we see responses suggesting that “if she got something, I want it too.” What happened to feeling good about a case where things worked out?

I thought about that as our moderation team updated our FAQs on commenting this week. We had a little influx of what we call “toxic” traffic, forcing us to show a few more commenters the door.

We also took an additional, unprecedented step of blocking traffic from a handful of sites. Our moderators have tried to reason with these critics. They’ve been more than patient. Now we’re sending an unambiguous message to them that their presence is not welcome here.

You can’t hurl invectives at the good people who come to us for help every week and then insist you have an absolute right to free speech in the comments. Please find another site to vandalize.

Or, as my flight attendant friends would say, “Buh-bye.”

How should you book my next trip? Our latest FAQ page, just published this morning, is sure to provoke a discussion in the travel agency community. (Too bad the FAQs don’t have comments.) It’s our definitive knowledgebase section on booking and self-booking.

Among the questions I field:

• What’s the difference between a human travel agent and an online agency?
• How much does an agent cost?
• How do I resolve a disagreement with a travel agent?

Do you know the answer to these questions? If you don’t, please drop by and check out the answers.

Our research team kept super-busy during this holiday week, with new company contacts for Air Tahiti, Fred Olsen Cruises and Megabus, among others.

Make no mistake, we’re here to help you. We’re not here to support the Scrooges of the world and we don’t care about the profits of the airlines they fly on. We care about you, and if you want a site that supports you, the consumer, then you’ve come to the right place.

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