View Full Version : Customer Service No Compassion

Nov 14, 2008, 6:16 AM
How can an airline like US Airways treat people with no compassion and still get passengers in this day and age of competition? we recently booked 3 return tickets to Florida from Manchester In the united Kingdom as we where having a family get together with people from New Zealand, Unfortunately we got a phone call that the son off the family in New Zealand who was 12 years old had been rushed into hospital and sadly died, we immediately flew from the UK to NZ to be with them (it was my wifeís sisters son) he had had a brain bleed and died almost instantly.

On returning to the UK I contacted US Airways to say we would have to cancel our flights as there would be no family get together under the circumstances, there response was basically sorry for the loss but you have non refundable tickets so you loose £1800 and thank you for using US Airways.

I sent several emails asking them to use some compassion but the last email said it all here it is in full.

Dear Mr. Edwards:

Even though we understand your frustration, when you purchased your ticket, you agreed to the terms and conditions of a non-refundable ticket. We are not able to go beyond those perimeters of a non-refundable ticket, and therefore will close the file.

Judy Ellefson.
US Airways Customer Relations
Corporate Office

Now even though you should read the terms and conditions most donít as I didnít but surely some compassion must come into play?

I will never use US Airways again and as the family concerned have had a full refund from New Zealand Airways feel US Airways are just exploiting the situation.

Yours Faithfully

Paul Edwards

Nov 14, 2008, 4:44 PM
They could easily have offered a credit against future travel, which would have been minimal cost and retained the customer goodwill. The truth is that competition doesn't work, particularly with US based airlines, because their government will not allow them to go bankrupt or be taken over by foreign airlines. As a result of the "Chapter 11" protection, they are able to treat customers how they like and will be bailed out. They do not have to meet their financial or moral obligations and often even get out of pension and pay obligations to their staff. This won't change until they are re-regulated or the market is allowed to work. My advice, anyone travelling to the US should use non-US airlines which are not protected by the government.

Nov 14, 2008, 5:03 PM

A re-regulated US Airline industry would not change that fact that non-refundable still means non-refundable.


Fill out a complaint with the DOT at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/problems While, we do not have the authority to require the carrier to provide a refund to non-refundable tickets, we can ask the carrier to make an exception to their refund policies in situations like you described. Generally, the carriers are willing to make the exceptions.

Nov 14, 2008, 6:35 PM
Hi but your link will not work, can you please re post the correct link.


Nov 14, 2008, 6:38 PM
Hi but your link will not work, can you please re post the correct link.


My bad, forgot the ".htm" Try this...


Nov 14, 2008, 6:49 PM
Cheers for that i have logged it. Thanks again

Nov 15, 2008, 1:54 AM
I most certainly didn't suggest that re-regulating the industry would make non-refundable tickets refundable. I am arguing that a properly working competitive market makes companies much more responsive to the customer. As the US government has decided to protect the US airlines from the normal constraints of the market, the airlines are not faced with the normal consequences of a company which fails to be responsive to the customer.. ie, bankruptcy. The airlines have been de-regulated and protected from their creditors (many of them repeatedly) and this totally distorts the market against the consumer. I would argue that to correct this, the airlines should be re-regulated and subjected to normal competitive pressures of any other industry. That means taking away protectionist measures, such as the ridiculous rules against foreign airlines competing in the US market, ownership rules designed to protect them and regulating more rigorously where airlines have a monopoly in certain markets and routes. These pressures would then force the airlines to behave competitively and this will drive up customer service and responsiveness.

Nov 17, 2008, 12:33 PM

No, you did not suggest that, but you did imply it. Or at least that is what I got out of your initial post.

Mar 11, 2010, 8:42 AM
Just an update on this story, we got nothing from US Airways and lost in total £1800, they have and will never get our buisness, we have booked for flights this year but have used another airline, dissapointing in this day and age, on the up side we have so far advised a lot of people not to use AA and they also have used other carriers.

js in TPA
Mar 26, 2010, 10:20 PM
that it is ok for them to oversell almost every flight, (is that legal?) and yet they cannot make an exception for you on a refund. I was involved in the industry in a past life, and there are always over ride situations made in spite of all the rules quoted by others, including the non refundable advisers. Non expendables have been refunded, many times.

Mar 27, 2010, 1:23 AM
I am a bit confused... you say that your initial complaint was against US Airways.. but in your update you say..

on the up side we have so far advised a lot of people not to use AA and they also have used other carriers.

You do realise that US Airways and American Airlines (AA) are completely separate airlines?? There is no connection between these two carriers.

Apr 1, 2010, 7:42 AM
Sorry slip of the keyboard and yes I do know they are 2 separate Airlines????? it is and always was US Airways