The process for booking an award ticket is easier than ever—so we’re led to believe. In this case, I went to the United Airlines website and followed the process for booking a plane ticket using miles. As with most airlines, there’s a ticketing fee; when I came to the final step of the booking process, I was notified that I would need to pay a $10 ticketing fee in order to have the ticket issued (no problem). However, an alert notified me that I would need to call in my credit card information; this ensures that some random “Joe” wasn’t using my miles to book tickets (no problem).
When I called United, I was connected with an agent who immediately notified me that I would be charged an additional $25 for taking payment over the phone. I snapped back quickly but politely, explaining that there are no alternative ways of paying the ticketing fee and that the site prompted me to call my credit card number in for reasons of security. After a few transfers, disconnections, call-backs, and re-dials, I had a confirmation code confirming the flight had been ticketed.
The next day, I logged in to my American Express account to ensure I had only been charged the $10 ticketing fee. Was I shocked to also see a $25? Of course not! Despite all of the time I had spent with United on the phone, convincing them that I should not be charged the extra $25, it still showed up as a charge on my card. And now I have to get back on the phone and go through the whole rigmarole of trying to get that $25 refunded. (Grr…) I was then faced with the question: “Is all the trouble even worth the $25?” Absolutely! (( And here’s where groubal comes in to play: http://a203.it/letsgroubal