John Baker’s takedown of bad airline math topped our list of this week’s stories. Is anyone surprised?
The story detailed one Delta passenger’s experience of an involuntary downgrade, which was followed by a $100 refund. The ticket had cost $1,082.
He asked a simple question of Delta: How did it calculate his refund?
By his math, his economy-class flights would have cost him about $646 at the time he purchased his ticket. Even the last-minute fare of $967 should have afforded him a larger refund than he received.
Delta’s response? Sorry, that’s “proprietary,” and we won’t divulge the calculation.
“This happens often enough that there ought to be a class action on it,” said commenter Richard Smith.
Bill Armstrong added, “It may be the rules, but it certainly doesn’t seem fair at all.”
Well, it’s not fair. But then, so much about air travel isn’t, from the adhesion contracts they force you into to the seemingly insurmountable class divide. You can add airline math to that long, long list.
You know what else doesn’t add up? After all these years, we still didn’t have an FAQ on hotels. That was remedied this morning when I posted our frequently asked questions about hotels.
Our knowledgebase project is a true team effort, with folks from our help forums and editing team pitching in to make it the best it can be. Among the questions we answered:
• Is there a definitive guide that can help me pick the right hotel?
• What are the hotel categories and what do they mean?
• What if I don’t like my hotel room?
Please jump in and let me know if you can think of any questions we need to answer.
You may have heard that Comcast is spending $300 million to improve customer service. Well, our intrepid research team didn’t shell out that much to upgrade our Comcast executive contacts page, but it will almost certainly lead to better service. We found new names, emails and cell phone numbers — yes, cell phone numbers — for key contacts. And we published them.
Now that definitely does add up to a lot of informed consumers. If you’re interested in helping, please send me a note.