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Old Nov 30, 2009, 9:45 PM
Sandy D. Mazen Sandy D. Mazen is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1

On Sept. 18, 2009 I purchased a round trip ticket for my wife, to Portland, OR through our local travel agent and a one way ticket for me to Portland also. The flight was for Oct. 1, 2009 at 1230A. The flight number was AS108 to Seattle and number AS2631 From Seattle to Portland at 0600A. These tickets were purchased twelve days prior to take off on Oct. 1, 2009. We live in Homer and drove into Anchorage (220 mile drive) to board our flight which had been confirmed. We were informed that we were not on that flight and when we produced the confirmation form the clerk looked on the internet and said we had been scheduled on Continental flight CO223. We inquired why the change but was told they did not know why. The Continental flight was in a different terminal and we had to rush to catch a but to take to the other terminal but were able to make the flight. I noticed that the cost of the flight, a one way ticket for us both from Anchorage to Seattle, was billed at $605.70 per person. I thought nothing of that at first assuming that the fee paid to the travel agency in Homer covered all costs. Upon arriving in Portland I contacted the Travel agent and was informed that they did not know why the change and asssured us that they would refund the travel agent's fee because of the mixup. Two weeks later I received the billing from my Credit card co. The fee of the travel agency plus the fee of Continental were both on the bill. I immediately contacted the Travel Agent and was informed that the reason that were rebooked on Continental was because Alaska Airlines had overbooked. We had purchased our tickets 12 days prior to flight time and I find it hard to believe that we were put at the top of the list to be changed to another airline. I informed my credit card co. of the problem and they said they would look into it.
We were never informed of the change until we arrived at the airport. I sent Alaska Airlines a copy of all papers showing our scheduled and confirmed flight with all numbers and times to their complaint department. Three weeks later I received letter stating "that their records indicated that the Homer Travel Agency had booked us on the Continental flight 223 from Anchorage to Seattle and charged us $605.70 per person." This of course was not true since we had a copy of the travel agent's confirmation on Alaska Airlines flight AS108. Todate we have been refunded the smaller fee of the Travel Agency, and the travel agent wrote us a check for the difference between the two flights. Seems unfair that the travel agent has to suffer all the costs, and meanwhile no response from Alaska Airlines Complaint dept. acknowledging their responsibility.
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Old Dec 1, 2009, 12:37 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,366

It doesn't sound like it was Alaska's fault or Continental's. The blame lies with your travel agent. Even if the airline changed your ticket it was up to the travel agent to notify you of that change but that doesn't sound like the issue here. If the Alaska flight was indeed overbooked they would have notified you of that when you got to the airport and re-booked you on another Alaska flight if they had to involuntarily deny boarding. It sounds like the travel agent was trying to get you a lower fare which may or may not have been available. The "confirmation" you received from the travel agent may have listed the Alaska flight and the fare, but in fact there may have been only a request for space at that fare by the travel agent which was not truly confirmed. Most likely when Alaska notified the travel agent it was unable to confirm the seats at the requested fare the flight was probably overbooked at that point and your travel agent scrambled to get you on whatever was available at the lowest cost which was Continental.

My advice would be to contact your local BBB to register a complaint and check for other complaints against this travel agent/agency. Also if the agency is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) you can file a complaint with them.
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