I missed my brother’s wedding and now I’m missing my refund

american airlines 5Question: I recently booked an American Airlines flight on CheapOAir.com from Kansas City to the Virgin Islands to attend my brother’s wedding.

We were issued electronic tickets and our itinerary was confirmed with reservation ID and a booking number. Our credit card was charged $1,643.
Read more “I missed my brother’s wedding and now I’m missing my refund”

Does Sandals owe me anything for deleting my wedding photos?

This is one of the strangest cases I’ve come across in my two decades of fielding consumer complaints. It involves a honeymooning couple’s missing wedding photos, me, and another me.

Rachel Patrick’s destination wedding at Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa in St. Lucia was flawless, except for one little item: her wedding photos, which were taken by a hotel photographer, were missing in action.
Read more “Does Sandals owe me anything for deleting my wedding photos?”

Do they hate us?

When I lived in the Florida Keys, an area heavily dependent on tourism, I remember seeing a bumper sticker a time or two: “If it’s tourist season,” it asked, “why can’t we shoot them?”

The men officiating a sham wedding at Vilu Reef resort in the Maldives (video above) may have been asking themselves the same question. In the ceremony, conducted in the Dhivehi language for a Swiss couple, an officiator curses at the visitors and calls them infidels. (Warning: The clip contains explicit language.)

The Maldivian prime minister, Mohammed Nasheed, condemned the video and ordered the men responsible for the ceremony arrested.

Still, it makes you wonder if people hate us when we’re on vacation.
Read more “Do they hate us?”

“What can I do to get them to honor this rate?”

Everyone knows that hotel rates can fluctuate from day to day. But when Preston Moore tried to book a room at the JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek, he was surprised to find they wanted to raise his rate by $130 from one day to the next — a price he says he couldn’t afford.

Can Marriott do that?

Yes it can.
Read more ““What can I do to get them to honor this rate?””

Joe “the skunk” calls off wedding, but Delta Air Lines saves the day

It had all the makings of an unsolvable case. It involved a canceled wedding, nonrefundable tickets and an airline that refuses to answer my e-mails. But never say never.

Sandra Castiglia explains.

Last year, my daughter booked nonrefundable honeymoon flights for herself and her then-fiance on Delta Air Lines, putting the charges for both tickets on her own credit card. Not very smart of her.

Now, Joe a.k.a. “the skunk” has called off the wedding, and my daughter is not only heartbroken, but out some $450 for Joe’s ticket.

A very nice Delta agent split the two itineraries at my request, issuing a credit for a future flight for my daughter, less a $100 change fee, which we were happy to pay.

Joe’s ticket was a little more complicated. They tried to sell the ticket back to him. No luck.

They asked Delta to re-issue the ticket to Castiglia’s daughter, but it didn’t respond to her written request.

Could I help?

Well, yes and no.

Delta has refused to acknowledge my inquiries lately. I’ve tried to contact several people at the airline, but they seem to have gone into radio silence. I don’t know why. (If it’s an attempt to reduce the number of times I write about Delta, you can see how well that’s working.)

I suggested Castiglia send a brief, polite e-mail to a customer service manager at Delta.

While Delta doesn’t answer any of my e-mails — even its media relations department, which is supposed to field queries from journalists — its customer service executives promptly respond to inquiries from aggrieved passengers. I’m told that mentioning my name is often helpful.

It apparently was this time. Last week, I heard back from Castiglia.

I received a call from a Delta agent, who changed the name on the ticket, and gave her a credit for a future Delta flight. Keep up the good work!

Nice job, Delta. You waived one of your least flexible rules in order to help a jilted bride. Maybe you do have a heart.

If Delta wants to give me the cold shoulder, I’m fine with that. As long as it takes care of its customers.

Update (10:16 a.m.): Delta has responded. A spokeswoman acknowledged another e-mail that I had sent last week and suggested that I follow up to future inquiries with a call. “A phone call with an e-mail follow-up is always the best way to reach us,” she added.