I’d like my carrier-imposed fees back, please

James Ould’s airline schedule should mean that he’ll save a bundle on the carrier-imposed fees on his ticket. So why won’t American Airlines or British Airways see things his way?
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A canceled British Airways flight to London and confusing claim

After Vueling cancels John McDonnell’s flight, he tries to file a claim for compensation. But wait! British Airways issued his ticket. So who should pay? Read more “A canceled British Airways flight to London and confusing claim”

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I canceled my airline ticket within 24 hours. Where’s my refund?

When Ahmed Abdulrahim cancels a flight within 24 hours of booking it, he assumes he’ll have the money soon. Months later, he’s still waiting. Can his airline issue his refund? Read more “I canceled my airline ticket within 24 hours. Where’s my refund?”

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I paid extra for my British Airways seat, but it didn’t recline

Vivienne Pearson’s airline seat — the one for which she paid an extra 40 pounds — doesn’t recline. A flight attendant promised her a refund, but now the airline is balking. Read more “I paid extra for my British Airways seat, but it didn’t recline”

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A dream trip ends early when her London flight is canceled

When Leslie Hammond’s flight to London is canceled, she calls off her vacation. Why won’t American Airlines refund her ticket? Read more “A dream trip ends early when her London flight is canceled”

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No flight, meals, phone or bags from British Airways — and no compensation

Whoever said, “Any landing you can walk away from is a good one” must not have known David Youngquist.

And they aren’t familiar with the current service level at British Airways — at least, not as he experienced it. Read more “No flight, meals, phone or bags from British Airways — and no compensation”

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British Airways promised to reimburse us for the shuttle — why won’t it?

After a flight delay, British Airways reschedules flights for Chintha Kuruppunayake and her friend to arrive at Washington Dulles International Airport instead of Baltimore-Washington International Airport. No worries, the airline will cover the cost of their shuttle back to BWI. And then it doesn’t.
Read more “British Airways promised to reimburse us for the shuttle — why won’t it?”

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They were a “no show” for their flight home — should I keep pushing for a refund?

I prefer to stay out of the crossfire in my line of work. Yet I find myself in that situation with some regularity, including this frustrating refund case involving British Airways.

The airline insists Patti Naji and her husband were no-shows for their flight from Athens to London, the second leg of their return trip to Philadelphia.
Read more “They were a “no show” for their flight home — should I keep pushing for a refund?”

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Hey, these aren’t the seats I reserved!

Mercedes Revilla reserves two seats on a British Airways flights, but she gets assigned different ones. Is she entitled to a refund?
Read more “Hey, these aren’t the seats I reserved!”

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My infant daughter doesn’t have a ticket – who’s responsible?

Allison Ruark’s infant daughter doesn’t have a ticket. Who’s responsible for this mess?

Question: Earlier this year, I booked tickets through Expedia.com for myself and my infant daughter to fly from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Billings, Mont., on British Airways. Our return flight was from Chicago to Johannesburg.

I purchased an infant-in-lap ticket for my daughter, and the confirmation I received from Expedia showed a fare of $283 for her ticket. A few weeks later, I got an email from Expedia alerting me to the fact that it could not ticket my daughter’s reservation.

Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this email from Expedia. I also later realized that Expedia had never charged me for the infant ticket. My Expedia profile showed that the itinerary was “booked and confirmed,” and my infant’s ticket was marked “ticketing in progress.”

I arrived at the Johannesburg airport two hours before my flight, and the British Airways agent at the check-in desk told me that she could not locate a ticket number for my daughter. She asked me to go to the ticketing desk in the terminal. I did, and for more than an hour various agents worked steadily to try to ticket my daughter.

I still do not understand exactly what the issue was, but my best understanding is that they were not able to modify the Expedia reservation, nor were they able to ticket my daughter separately from my reservation. At any rate, the flight closed while they were still trying to ticket my daughter, and I missed the flight.

The British Airways agents insisted that it was Expedia’s responsibility to rebook me, so after 2 1/2 hours at the ticket desk, I left the airport, checked into a hotel and called Expedia. After many hours on the phone, Expedia offered to refund the ticket. I had to buy another ticket, which cost nearly a thousand dollars more than the cost of my original ticket. I also incurred the costs of more than a day in a hotel, and meals.

In Expedia’s view, it fulfilled its responsibility by sending me that email notification about my daughter’s ticket, and it had no responsibility to follow up with me by phone or by posting information alerting me about the problem in my online account. In British Airways’ view, Expedia is at fault, since the airline had no idea that my infant was not ticketed prior to my attempted check-in at the airport.

In my view, they both bear blame. Expedia should not sell a fare that it can’t ticket. I also believe that Expedia had a much greater responsibility to alert me to the issue, through follow-up emails or by phone calls, or by putting information in my online account, where I would have seen it.

It seems to me that British Airways also should be able to tell, prior to check-in, when a passenger has not been ticketed, and then be able to issue an infant ticket onsite. Several agents worked on the issue for more than an hour and could not get it done.

Neither company is admitting any responsibility, and neither one has done anything to reimburse me for the extra costs incurred. Can you help? — Allison Ruark, Corvallis, Oregon

Answer: When you’re acting as your own travel agent, you have to stay on top of things. On domestic flights, infants are not required to have their own seats. But on international flights, they’re charged a percentage of the adult fare. British Airways’ infant fare is 10 percent of the adult fare, when the baby sits on an adult’s lap.

Expedia should have notified you about the failure to ticket your daughter, and simply sending you an email wasn’t enough. A phone call or a follow-up email would have helped. Its system should have been able to detect that you had tried, but failed, to buy a ticket for your baby and that you were about to fly without your daughter’s airfare. Certainly, British Airways could have had a more flexible system, too.

Ultimately, a quick check of your itinerary at least a week before your departure date would have revealed the missing ticket, and then none of this would have happened.

As I reviewed your correspondence, I think you might have benefited from using the phone, email or possibly even social media to fix your problem. An email to the right person at Expedia or British Airways (I list the executives for both on my site), or perhaps a message sent to either company’s Twitter account, might have led to a quick resolution.

I contacted Expedia on your behalf. The online agency refunded most of the extra cost of spending the night in a hotel and rebooking a new ticket. Expedia also issued $400 in coupons to cover your other costs it couldn’t reimburse.

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