It’s not our fault. You’ve probably heard that line a time or two, especially from your airline, hotel or cruise line. It’s the old “Act of God” excuse — or to put it in less theological terms, an event “beyond our control.” “How to fight back against the ‘beyond our control’ excuse”
It’s the time of year when the travel industry likes to play the weather card. Couldn’t check into your hotel? Blame it on that distant tornado. Flight canceled? It’s the hurricane’s fault, even though it’s hundreds of miles away. A big repair bill for your rental car? Thank last week’s hailstorm.
Usually, the weather — often referred to as an “act of God” in a ticket contract — is a perfectly legitimate reason for a delay or a service interruption. But not always.
Shannon Duane remembers a recent US Airways flight from Jacksonville, Fla., to Charlotte on a holiday weekend. As she prepared to board, she saw a bolt of lightning across the airfield. The airline announced that it would delay boarding for another 15 minutes because of the thunderstorm.
“How travelers can challenge the industry’s “act of God” excuses”
During the last week, several news outlets and bloggers — including most recently, the Arizona Daily Star — have breathlessly reported that Southwest Airlines quietly revised its contract to define mechanical delays as an “Act of God.”
Seriously? Mechanical delays are now the work of the Almighty?
As someone who almost attended seminary, I was interested in that development from a theological perspective. I feel sorry for my friends at Southwest who had to answer my email — and on a Sunday, no less. But much to their credit, they did.
“Truthsquadding the Southwest Airlines “Act of God” controversy: “Ultimately this is a reporting error run amok””