Friday, June 10, 2011

We love to fly. And it shows.

You couldn’t prove it by me this week. I learned a valuable lesson about never trusting the airlines to do the right thing if you don’t have a confirmation number.

I decided to go ahead and book a flight for my August trip to SF, thinking I might get a deal two months ahead. Sure enough, I found a bargain flight for $278 which was advertised to have only two seats left at that price. I used PayPal to pay for the ticket and put it out of my mind until August.

The next day my son asked for my itinerary. While wondering why he needed that information two months in advance, I went to look for my email confirmation and found none. I figured there must be a mistake -- they had probably sent it to my husband’s email address. But not there either. I logged onto Delta and realized I needed a confirmation number to go any further.

I called Delta to find out why I hadn’t gotten the standard email. Meanwhile my husband logged onto PayPal and found a charge of $278 with a note “pending”. While I was presenting my song of woe to the Delta agent, my husband learned from a PayPal representative that the session had timed out due to a glitch on Delta’s end and so nothing had actually transpired. No reservation, my payment in electronic limbo. It might have been nice if someone had told me about this.

My conversation with the surly Delta rep forced me to ask to speak to her supervisor. “You betcha,” she replied. Could it be? No, just another one like her. The supervisor tried to tell me Delta had no fare for $278 the day before, an outright lie. She claimed she could do me a favor and offer me the same itinerary for the bargain price of $331. I had to resort to some real nastiness before she decided to throw in a $50 travel voucher, making the bargain price $281. Good enough. I decided to quit while I was ahead.

The lesson here is NEVER EVER to leave a session without a confirmation number and NEVER EVER to trust that the airlines will do the right thing without a lot of pressure.

Their slogan is just a bunch of empty words!


Blogger Gary said...

I have had equally frustrating experiences with the airlines. The good news for you is that you caught this mistake really early. Imagine how much more frustrating it would have been to discover in a month or two? Glad you got the price down. I guess I should get busy booking my summer flights, hadn't I.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gary -- I could have very easily waited until the day of the flight to discover I didn't have a ticket. I'm grateful to my son for prompting me to find out now!. Good luck with your summer travels!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

So much for customer service! Glad you won the battle!

9:37 PM  

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