Friday, March 27, 2009

I will never fly again

UPDATED AGAIN TO ADD: Denise, this *was* with a doctors note -- that's the only reason we got the credit! The flight was booked last May 12th, to take place in September. When we found out in August that his cancer had returned and he wouldn't be able to travel due to scheduled radiation, we filled out the medical form, and had Blaine's doctor fill out his part, and the oncologist fill out his part. I understand they need to avoid fraudulant claims, but I figure an application to attend Yale will be less complicated. At that time, we were granted a "credit" from the airline for the price of the fare. That is what I was trying to use and book today (bearing in mind that one year from date of travel is ACTUALLY one year from "date you bought the ticket", NOT "date you were supposed to fly". Which means he had to fly BEFORE May 12th, even though the actual tickets weren't for a flight until Sept. Seriously, could it be any more convuluted?) Although we weren't going to have to pay a difference, because the flight we were trying to book was less than the originial ticket, we were NOT going to receive a refund for the difference. And I was told today that there would be a $180 change fee. And a $25 fee for making the change via a live representative, instead of making the change myself online. Never mind that there is no way to USE a refund credit online, that I could find.

Of course, all that is moot considering Travelocity says United has the fare and United says it was transferred to Frontier and ***I*** said "take a big fat fucking hike" to all three of them.
****************************************************



Why? Is it because they now you charge you not only for the flight, but for your luggage, and for headphones, and for any kind of snack more substantial than lint, and because just as soon as they figure out how, the airlines will be charging us for the freaking AIR in the cabin?

No.

It's because heaven forbid you make travel plans of any kind, that have to be changed or tweaked for any reason ... even perfectly valid reasons like, oh, I don't know .... CANCER IN A PERSONS HEAD ... you will pay change fees and online reservation fees and flight difference fees .... I am single-handedly boosting the economy with this one phone call.

And at the end of the day, even if you still have a smile on your face after paying all the fees, you will hold for sixteen minutes and nine seconds with Travelocity only to be told the specific change must take place directly with the airline. So you will be transferred to the airline, where you will hold for another eight minutes, entering every piece of information exactly as they requested, only to be told by the automated voice person that your request couldn't be processed and to please hang up and call again.

I have pressed buttons, followed prompts, spoken clearly and forcefully into the voice prompts, lost my shit and banged the fucking phone on the computer desk in frustration, and STILL have no idea how much this "new" flight is going to cost me.

As I type this, the wait time for this call is at twenty-two minutes and counting (and lets not forget the twenty-four minutes I had already held before this call -- clearly, I have no idea why I don't get anything done around this house) ..........

UPDATED TO ADD: Just as I was ready to hit "publish post" the United Airlines customer service agent came back to me. And said these tickets have already been re-issued. She couldn't tell me by whom, or when, just that they had been re-issued by Frontier Airlines.

Since Blaine hasn't flown anywhere since he had to cancel this flight last fall, and these tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE NON-TRANSFERABLE IN BIG FUCKING NEON LETTERS, I'm pretty sure that means he hasn't used them. When I asked for ticket information for Frontier so I could call them, the United agent said she didn't have that information to give me, but she would happy to transfer me.

At which point my damn head exploded all over my computer screen and I blew up, frustration and anger literally oozing from the holes in my body At which point I informed the agent "No, thank you. I appreciate your time, but my family will NEVER fly again, unless its an absolute emergency, we will drive EVERYWHERE from this point forward, for the rest of our damn lives, thank you for your time and have a nice day" and I slammed down the phone.

Well, ok, technically I didn't slam down the phone because it was a cell phone. But by golly, I pushed the "end" button really, really hard.

I will not fly. If we can't drive, we'll take a train. Or a bus. Or a boat. Or I'll put on scuba gear and walk my fat ass across the bottom of the ocean floor. I WILL see Australia some day WITHOUT YOUR HELP, YOU STUPID WORTHLESS STUPID BLOOD-SUCKING STUPID ANNOYING STUPID AIRLINE PEOPLE.

27 comments:

Love Being a Nonny said...

Hmmm... are you a little annoyed?:)

Rachel said...

A thought about automated phone systems in general: why do we have to enter a million numbers (account numbers, PINs, last 4 digits of SS numbers, phone numbers etc), only to have a real live human get on the phone and ASK YOU FOR THOSE SAME NUMBERS? WHY?!

And the little charges from the airlines are really getting out of control. I only fly Southwest now. I'm just classy like that.

Jacqueline said...

Trains are nice...I love riding trains...even though I have only ever been on one. Aaron had to pay for his checked luggage at each place where he changed flights a couple of weeks ago when he flew back to NY for his grandma's funeral...that was enough to make me never want to fly.

jean said...

My latest airplane fiasco story: My BF & his son were supposed to fly out last night at 8PM (last flight out to their destination). They were flying stand-by; they could have made the flight had there not been a BROKEN SEAT on the airplane - only one open (FUNCTIONAL) seat left, but two people needing to get on the flight. SO, I left town at 2:45AM this morning to drive them to an airport an HOUR away (as opposed to the one in my own city), b/c all of the Friday flights to their destination were full, too. I will be in search of more coffee soon - hoping I can make it through the rest of the workday!

Ryley said...

A-FREAKIN-MEN!!!

Man I'm so sick of airlines, their stupid policies and thier stupid charges!!

Hate them Hate them Hate them!
I am in a battle that sounds a lot like yours.. and just as frustrated...

But I'm getting them back by flying with the grumpiest 3 month old baby ever! :)

Dianna in Louisiana said...

Ugghhhhhhhh........ I feel your pain sister... though my aggravation comes in the form of storing up miles for nada.....preach on!

Cozyflier said...

Just another reason for all of you to start working on your private pilot's license and build your own airplane!

Truely, the only way to fly, I'm not joking Kristie. Ask Stephanie how convenient it was to be flown to Enid for McKinley's vocal tryout!

I HATE commercial flying, Orlando practically stripped searched us because there were 10 of us flying back from WDW to Lubbock, yeah, we really looked like Terrorists!!

Don't get me started on automated phone systems after dealing with them and insurance companies for 4 years in the medical field!!!!

Hope today goes better. Hugs!

Cozyflier

Lucy and Ethel said...

We have all felt this way in plenty of other situations, so thank you for summing it up so effectively :)

Bring on the scuba gear....

Lucy

Anonymous said...

Becasue I can relate, I am still laughing about the "walk my ass" part!

Bridget

renee said...

I'll walk my fat ass with you....

Denise said...

Oh the Fees! I miss booked a return flight from my parents last weekend and they wanted to charge me $500 to change 2 tickets! I only paid $500 total for the tickets!

UUGGGGHHH! I know just how you feel!

Can you tell them it is for medical reasons, and you can get a doctor's note? THat may help! Just a suggestion!

Try and have a great weekend!

Daisy Duke said...

I'm only telling you this because my Dad is a Southwest Airlines pilot so my Christmas presents come directly from people wanting to fly....but....

If you book a flight on SWA and want to change it you can. For no fee. And if you change it for a flight more expensive than the one you paid for, you only pay the difference. If you change to a flight that is *less* than the one you paid for....THEY GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY. Brilliant I know. They also don't charge you for your luggage...or your snacks....or your drinks or your blankie or pillow. In fact they have coffee stands & extra outlets at their gates so you can charge your cell phone battery & recharge yourself.

So in case you ever have to fly again, at least you can look to SWA to charge you for your ticket and that is all.

SandyBo said...

In a previous life, I was a travel agent. Just a couple of suggestions for you....not that you are not capable, but when you get a answer that you are not happy with, ask them to have someone else explain it (play dumb), perhaps their supervisor. I found over the years that if you get someone that does not care, or does not know the answer, they might not even look for it. Good luck!
PS. I drive everywhere!

Mommyfried said...

OMG! I completely agree with you. I gave up flying after my last trip to Florida due to the fact I had a flashlight in my carry on and that made me a terrorist. One security guy was laughing about it while the other one continues to check me for explosives. I had bought the stupid thing at Kmart while on vacation so I could walk on the beach at night. Guess I won't make that mistake EVER again. All of this to say good luck with your changes.

Cheryl said...

Isn't is amazing how the airlines work? We are in the flood area in MN/ND and had a baptism planned for this weekend. Well, guess what, can't do it because of the flood but do you think the airlines will allow the tickets to be changed without major expense, heck no!! It is clearly black and white with the airlines.

Kathryn said...

First, you need to call Frontier and scream. Really.

Second, a story that is true. We were scheduled to fly out of St. Louis on guess which airline (hint, the first one you mentioned) the day after Katrina hit to a convention in NOLA. We called to cancel our flight the day before because the convention had been cancelled because of the hurricane. We got the info, and faxed all the information to guess which airline? We got NOTHING. You know why? Because it wasn't supposed to be so serious. Swear to all the Gods, that is what the little dip told my husband.

We (fine, my Himself) went all CEO and after one year we were issued a refund. I can't stand those nasty people. I refuse to fly United ever.

lizinsumner said...

I'm sorry!! but {{{in very low, soft voice}}}, you don't mean the people that MAKE the airplanes, too, do you???? I hope not.......I've been working here for 31 years and I think it's too late to change professions.....oh, and you might want to re-think the train thing - I did Seattle to LA once, about a gazillion years ago, and it really, really sucked.....

Amy said...

But really, Kristi, how do you feel about the airline industry? It's just not healthy to keep it all bottled up inside.

Sorry you got the run-around. Sounds like a good excuse for a hot fudge sundae or a margarita, whatever your poison.

Stefunkc said...

I just had a very nice SW flight...well except for the turbulence because of the storms. Since I've only flown twice now in the last 15 years I don't have much to compare to though!!

I'm a much better road trip person personally. I can give you lots of tips!

URBAN BLONDE said...

This post reminded me a bit of the airline series that used to be on! You don't have any video of it to share do you? ;)

sportzmom said...

Okay, I'm sorry, but you really made me laugh with this post...only because I so know what you mean. These idiots make you want to bang your head into a wall. Oh and the whole hold thing...that just gives me time to get good and mad! Hope you have a good weekend despite the airline madness!

Anonymous said...

just keep asking the person on the phone "can YOU even do what i want?" and if they say that it is out of their hands or they cant, ask to talk to their supervisor. just keep working up the chain, hopefully sometime youll get the magic dumbass

gorillabuns said...

i always ask for a manager in charge. i never mess with the underlyings.

sorry about the total cluster!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you! I don't do planes. And my mental health can't handle that much aggravation. I snapped at the idiot at the carwash today who insisted (more than once)that I wanted the $30 special instead of the $18 full service car wash. I didn't. I don't do well with poor customer service.

Dixie

Cate said...

I had a situation like this with Delta. Long, long story, but I wrote a nice letter to the Executive of Delta's Human Relations about how disappointed I was with their airline, how I was an Atlanta native, a loyal frequent flier, and how I thought they pretty much were treating me terribly. Guess what? Those "non-transferrable, non-refundable tickets" can be transferred and refunded if the CEO says they can be.

M said...

I just got fucked by American...and it wasn't enjoyable! Lex had a credit and applied it to a trip to visit her grandmother...when she got to the airport she was informed they had made a mistake, had tried to call her and even sent an email- THAT WAS NEVER RECIEVED- and she could fly out tomorrow...great! A stranded teenager w/o money overnight in an airport 1000K from home!! I had to use my Southwest miles to get her home. I tried to reason with American on the phone- they won't let you talk to a supervisor...you can email someone- so she got her credit back for their mistake...that was it. SO what did I learn? Take Southwest!! You can change you reservation at no cost...bring 2 bags for free...and you are treated like a human being.

Bonita in Az said...

This is what happens when the airlines were allowed to completely dissemate the travel agent by not paying comssions anymore and the public said.....oh good it will be cheaper for us to go direct to the airline! Ha! Now they do what they want and say what the want and to compare you have to call every airline yourself or get on Travelocity or Expedia, etc etc and see what service they give you? They arent your local travel agent who would seach fares for you, fight the airlines for you, find the best fare for you from all the airlines flying those routes. Nope they are almost all gone now because the airlines wanted sole control over you the flying public. They were nto interested in giving the agent a part of their fare and they are sill not interested in customer service. What a said mess our airlines are not@@ So sorry you are going through this Kristie but you are sure not alone. I cant see it improving anytime soon! They have you where they want you!