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View Full Version : Vouchers for giving up seat: Bogus


Nancy B.
08-15-2008, 09:46 PM
My husband and I gave up our seats on an overbooked flight from Phoenix to Portland last October in turn for 2 voucher good for anywhere USAirways flies in 48 states. Just try to use them. On two ocassions I was unable to book flights using the vouchers. One response was, "Sorry there are no seats available for vouchers on these flights. I was unable to use mine last April to fly from PDX to Miami. Today I called to see if we could book flights to San Diego in March. First the agent said there was no record of a voucher for my husband- mine was okay but none existed for him. I insisted on talking to the agent's supervisor. Eric came on and after a wait of 20 minutes informed me that my husband(or someone using his name) had used the voucher to fly from PDX to Harrisburg, PA in Nov. 07, I said that is riduculous. And asked Eric to pursue what could be done about it. He transferred me to customer service. I waited 30 minutes for service and finally gave up. What a run around. During the wait I went online and filed my complaint with US Air. I am not very hopeful of a positive resolution!

MAAF
10-11-2009, 02:35 AM
The best thing to do to get even is to book the most expensive flight you can with the voucher that you don't have to add cash to. Then on the day of the travel, check in online. Then don't bother going. Good chance you will prevent them from selling or using that seat and thus the airlines get screwed. If they overbook they may catch it, but the key is to check in(online). Forget ever using the thing for travel you want. The best you can hope for is to screw them back.

mars6423
10-11-2009, 03:12 AM
MAAF what you just said makes no sense...

if you can book a flight to where you want/need to go than do that with the vouchar, why would you spend money on a ticket that could be free?

that doesn't screw the airlines, that screws you.......

MAAF
10-11-2009, 03:53 AM
You are not following me. The point is you can almost never book a flight where you need to go/when you need to go with the restrictions on these vouchers. US Air puts up so many restrictions they count on you just giving up. One of US Air's reservations agents told me as much. I am not advocating you spend any money. The point is you know you can't use the voucher for what you want so use it to book a ticket you have no intention of ever using. Use the voucher to book the most expensive travel you can with the airline to whatever destination that is available under their restrictions; where you don't have to add in money. Check in(online). Don't go. This will prevent a paying passenger from using that seat thus denying the airline that revenue for that flight. To do nothing just validates the airlines use of this scam where they con you into believing they are compensating you for helping them in their time of need. They know they aren't. If the con costs them money, they may consider no longer using it.

PHXFlyer
10-11-2009, 03:58 AM
The scenario you propose would do nothing to "screw the airline." Airlines overbook with the expectation that there will be a certain number of no-shows. Your seat purchased with the voucher would factor into that equation. If the flight didn't sell out then holding up the seat by using your voucher did nothing. If the flight did sell out they would un-check you in 15 minutes before departure and go to the oversale or standby list. Again your action only caused a minor inconvenience and probably just gave some poor passenger an anxiety attack about wether or not she was going to get on that flight! Either way the financial impact to the airline is zero.

MAAF
10-11-2009, 04:06 AM
I disagree. Several times I have seen empty seats on "overbooked" flights. You are assuming the airlines are better managed than they are. They overbook and usually fill in from tickets that have not checked in. If you check in online that throws a wrench in the works. If it doesn't harm the airline you are still not out anything. At a minimum you have used up 20 to 30 min of a reservation agent's time. That too costs the airline money. Instead of arguing with me why don't you tell your employer to treat their passengers well?

PHXFlyer
10-11-2009, 04:17 AM
I disagree. Several times I have seen empty seats on "overbooked" flights. You are assuming the airlines are better managed than they are. They overbook and usually fill in from tickets that have not checked in. If you check in online that throws a wrench in the works. If it doesn't harm the airline you are still not out anything. At a minimum you have used up 20 to 30 min of a reservation agent's time. That too costs the airline money. Instead of arguing with me why don't you tell your employer to treat their passengers well?

US Airways is not my employer. Nor is any airline.

One thing I forgot to add is that by taking a seat out of inventory in a lower fare the airline is more likely to sell seats at a higher fare. So your "method" to "screw the airline" could quite possibly help them sell a ticket at a higher fare that would otherwise be sold at the lower fare or go unsold. You obviously have a lot to learn about the revenue management game! Oh well, play your little "hi jinks" by booking seats you never intend to use. In the end it really is inconsequential.

airhead
10-11-2009, 05:20 PM
From Nancy's account it seems that either or both are true...1. the reservation system does not allow booking on phone or internet using vouchers and/or 2. only certain fares can be booked using vouchers, albeit the lower priced non refundable fares.

Let's not forget those vouchers are also subject to a fee for using them. So the face value is less. And vouchers are treated like cash. If you loose them that's it. Sounds like Nancy's husband lost the voucher.

MAAF: One can't hurt the airline financially by booking a cheap fare and pulling a no show. You are only giving a gate agent something to deal with for a few minutes. That cost is included in the airline financial statement sheets as a cost of doing business. You see they expect so many of those when stocks are issued. I am conflicted that you would suggest a contribution to the problem thus increasing the problem rather than a solution to the problem.

Here is my solution, vouchers be issued electronically tied to the booking that created it so only the user of that ticket will know about it and the only person allowed to use it. If the owner of that voucher wants someone else to use it then they have to notify the airline in writing. The value of the voucher will be like cash allowing the customer to book any fare desirable. If the value does not cover the cost, then the customer has to fork out the remainder cost.

PHXFlyer
10-11-2009, 06:01 PM
Here is my solution, vouchers be issued electronically tied to the booking that created it so only the user of that ticket will know about it and the only person allowed to use it. If the owner of that voucher wants someone else to use it then they have to notify the airline in writing. The value of the voucher will be like cash allowing the customer to book any fare desirable. If the value does not cover the cost, then the customer has to fork out the remainder cost.

In most cases that is exactly how it works. DL's dollar value vouchers are issue with a unique ticket number. It can be used online for any fare on DL.com. It can also be used to book a trip for another person if the holder of the voucher desires.

jimworcs
10-11-2009, 11:49 PM
I believe that US Air created a contract between the OP and the airline. They have received their consideration, which was the OP gave up their seats. The OP's should document their reasonable efforts to get US Air to honour their contract. Each time, record who you spoke to and what your request was. After 5 attempts, I would file suit in small claims court. I beleive US Air is contractually obliged to provide the consideration to the OP and she would have a fair chance of winning in small claims.