It looks like Michael Burz won’t be coming home for the holidays after Jetstar rejects his credit card. Unless, of course, there’s a Christmas miracle … “Maybe I won’t be home for Christmas”
Joe Kim orders a tablet from Kmart.com, but it never arrives. Now they’re balking at a refund. What gives?
“Hey Kmart.com, where’s the refund for the tablet you never delivered?”
Ralph Campbell’s online order with Bed Bath and Beyond is missing in action. Why won’t anyone help him?
Peter Asimov’s airline ticket doesn’t get booked as expected. Is his online travel agency trying to rip him off?
“A bait-and-switch on my airline ticket?”
Nothing could have prepared Jeff White for the shock he got after printing his boarding pass for a recent Delta Air Lines flight from Pensacola, Fla., to Albany, N.Y., by way of Atlanta. Right there, next to his name, was a confirmation code that proclaimed: “H8GAYS.”
“At first I didn’t think I read it right,” says White, a student at the University of West Florida. “I was worried that another customer might think I somehow picked that code. If I were a gay male, I might have thought that a Delta worker purposely gave me that code, and that would have made me extremely uncomfortable.”
Every day, in ways big and small, airlines offend their customers. Most of these transgressions are fairly minor, from serving the wrong meal to addressing a guest by the incorrect name. But taken together, the incidents raise a larger question: How should companies respond, and what kind of compensation, if any, are travelers entitled to?
“What to do when your airline offends you”
When Lefteris Michailidis didn’t get a confirmation email from Priceline for a recent three-night hotel stay in London, he thought his bid wasn’t accepted.
“When is a confirmation actually confirmed?”
One of the cardinal rules of getting better customer service is keeping meticulous records. When you’re booking online, a screen shot of the purchase is your trump card.
Paul Towse thought he had that trump card when his Expedia UK reservation didn’t turn out as expected. Back in January, he booked a flight between San Francisco and Las Vegas on flights offered by US Airways and operated by United Airlines.
“So you have a screen shot of your Expedia booking — so what?”
Doris Weller booked a set of roundtrip tickets from Wichita, Kan., to Houston on AirTran recently. Her husband, Lawrence, needed to be in Houston for an important medical treatment. The airline sent her a confirmation.
But it wasn’t the kind of confirmation she expected. On closer examination — which, unfortunately, didn’t happen until the couple arrived at the airport — it became clear that AirTran had sent her a notice that her credit card had been declined.
Result: the Wellers had to buy another set of tickets for $1,588.
Should AirTran refund the difference between the original tickets and the higher, walk-up fare?
“Here’s a receipt for your airline ticket (PS, you don’t have a ticket)”