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COMPLAINT: Better Make The First Flight...

 
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  #1  
Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:06 PM
DeltaNoMore DeltaNoMore is offline
 
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My wife and i recently purchased airline tickets for my wife's sisters, via Priceline.com, for a trip out to Norfolk. The flights are with Delta. There were some unforeseen issues with the travel plans after purchasing, and we had to purchase additional tickets, but that's not the problem. The problem is that if my wife's sister is unable to make the first flight, in a round-trip ticket, she will be unable to use the other portion of the ticket; they cancel the whole ticket. As it stands now, we will be required to purchase another ticket to get her home, despite having already purchased a ticket to do just that. Basically, they took our money for the first round-trip and are providing no service. Please keep in mind that I have not requested a refund. I simply want the service for which I have paid.

I am not one to whine about things and run to slander a company because I don't agree with their policies, but this is egregious.
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  #2  
Old Jun 21, 2012, 1:29 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Unfortunately - there's nothing much you can do here. If you go back to the airline they will issue the standard response i.e. The ticket is a contract. The fact that your wife didnt take the 1st flight means she broke the contract and it is null and void...yadda yadda.

I completely agree with you it is unfair! BUt nothing can be done about it, unless 1 airline tries to change the system
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  #3  
Old Jun 21, 2012, 3:08 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Curious about how it is unfair. Fairness, means something that works for both parties involved.
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  #4  
Old Jun 21, 2012, 7:14 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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It is unfair because although the seat has been paid for, the airline refuses permission for you to use it. It is unfair because this is a fairly standard term amongst most airlines, so customers have little choice about whether to accept the rule or not. It is unfair because it's only purpose is to protect and reinforce the hub system and to limit competition.

Apart from that, it is fine.
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  #5  
Old Jun 22, 2012, 12:23 AM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Well put, Jim
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  #6  
Old Jun 27, 2012, 1:42 AM
DeltaNoMore DeltaNoMore is offline
 
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In case you're wondering, here is Delta's response (start at the bottom)... Can't say I'm surprised. They lost a customer.
...

Bree,*

This response is unacceptable but not unexpected, based on everything I have been reading on the internet, regarding how your company treats its customers. *I spoke with Priceline prior to contacting you and they were of no help either. *

Based on this you have lost a loyal, lifetime customer.


Mr Hall


Sent from my iPad

On Jun 26, 2012, at 3:17 PM, Contact Delta <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear Mr. Hall,

RE: Case Number 6444326

Thank you for writing and allowing me the opportunity to further review
your concerns regarding your sister's ticket. On behalf of everyone at
Delta Air Lines, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.

I regret your sister was unable to use your nonrefundable ticket as she
intended and appreciate the opportunity to review this matter with you.
To ensure the integrity of our documents, we adhere to the associated
terms and conditions even if the decision to cancel planned travel was
due to illness or to circumstances that were unknown at the time of
purchase or are beyond a customer?s control. *

After careful review, our records indicate her ticket was issued by
Priceline. Please know that many travel providers offer airline tickets
at extremely competitive prices. *As a tradeoff, the tickets they sell
are generally very specific and come with numerous restrictions. *
Respectfully, the discrepancy you mention must be resolved with your
travel agency.

Mr. Hall, I want to thank you for taking the additional time and effort
for bringing these matters to attention. We look forward to a future
opportunity to serve your air travel needs.

Sincerely,

Bree Mitchell
Coordinator, Corporate Customer Care
Delta Air Lines



Original Message Follows:
------------------------
Bree, *

Thank you for your reply. *Below is a screen cap of the flight info. *It
shows 3 different travelers but the only one that is of concern is
(name removed). *Please also note that she was given a
different confirmation number from the other two. *Her number was
B214GH. *I was given this number while talking with a Delta customer
service rep.

Thank you for your help. *I have been a customer of Delta for many years
and hope to have my faith restored.

Mr Hall



[ Attachment 1 *Type: image/png *Name: image.png]
[ Attachment 2 *Type: text/plain *Name: attachment2.DIC]
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  #7  
Old Jun 27, 2012, 2:25 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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So, how is a passenger breaking their contract fair. It's the passenger's choice that started this.

Oh, and you bought through Priceline. Why aren't you arguing with them? You're their customer.
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  #8  
Old Jun 27, 2012, 4:26 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Gromit801 View Post
So, how is a passenger breaking their contract fair. It's the passenger's choice that started this.
--> It's the contract that is unfair.
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  #9  
Old Jun 27, 2012, 5:35 PM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
--> It's the contract that is unfair.
The contract is perfectly fair. You can pay more for a refunable ticket. Or, you can take a discount for a restricted ticket. Works the same for car rentals, hotel reservations, etc. All of them now an option to pay a discounted amount cash-up-front with no cancellation.

Everyone can make their own choice. The OP chose a restricted ticket, broke the contract, and now wants a do-over. Do-overs end in about 3rd grade for most of us.
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  #10  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 12:59 AM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by AirlineSympathizer View Post
The contract is perfectly fair. You can pay more for a refunable ticket. Or, you can take a discount for a restricted ticket. Works the same for car rentals, hotel reservations, etc. All of them now an option to pay a discounted amount cash-up-front with no cancellation.

Everyone can make their own choice. The OP chose a restricted ticket, broke the contract, and now wants a do-over. Do-overs end in about 3rd grade for most of us.
The problem (see OP's first post) is not the restricted ticket. The problem is that if the OP doesnt use the 1st leg of the journey, the entire ticket is cancelled (this is not about refunds! or do-overs as you seem to indicate). The OP mentioned in that post that he was ready to buy additional tickets to cover the (new) 1st leg of the journey. But the airline wont allow him to use the rest of ticket....! That's why the contract is not fair.
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  #11  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 3:28 AM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
The problem (see OP's first post) is not the restricted ticket. The problem is that if the OP doesnt use the 1st leg of the journey, the entire ticket is cancelled (this is not about refunds! or do-overs as you seem to indicate). The OP mentioned in that post that he was ready to buy additional tickets to cover the (new) 1st leg of the journey. But the airline wont allow him to use the rest of ticket....! That's why the contract is not fair.
He didn't say it wasn't - what he described is exactly how a restricted, nonrefundable ticket works. If you miss any segment, they cancel the whole ticket. The cheapest ticket is almost always like this.

If the contract wasn't fair, don't sign it! Either:

1) Pay slightly more to get a ticket with a change fee
2) Pay a LOT more to get a totally refundable ticket.
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  #12  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 2:53 PM
azstar azstar is offline
 
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Posts: 375

Some airlines, notably the low cost carriers, sell tickets where every fare is one way. So, you could buy a one way ticket from A to B, and the fare from B to A is also one way. Roundtrip purchase is not required. So, if you fail to use the originating flights (the airline will cancel all remaining space unless you notify them in advance) you can still use the return. Therefore, the solution is to verify that the fares are one way and roundtrip purchase is NOT required whenever you purchase a roundtrip ticket.
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  #13  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 3:50 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
--> It's the contract that is unfair.
The don't sign the contract.

Sick of people making bad choices, and then blaming someone else.
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  #14  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 4:19 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Gromit801 View Post
The don't sign the contract.

Sick of people making bad choices, and then blaming someone else.
Ok. Thats a strong response. Let's be clear here. First off, I'm not the OP. So, "I" am not blaming anyone and "I" have not made a bad choice. I'm just venting my anger at such contracts and voicing my opinion. Does that too make you sick?

Also, when you talk about choices recognize that there aren't many. The big airlines are an all-powerful unit with consistent policies across airlines. (azstar - you make a fair point about low-cost airlines but this doesnt apply to the big airlines that fly to most locations). As such, the choices that Gromit seems to refer to just don't exist.

Let's look at this issue a little deeper - when a passenger buys a roundtrip ticket and doesn't fly the first leg, there is no real "change or cancellation" to the airline (as long as the passenger is not asking for a refund). If anything, the airline has already collected revenue for that leg and saves costs (fuel, etc.) since the passenger is not actually flying that leg. Shouldn't the passenger be free to fly with another airline/flight that meets his 'changed' needs (especially if he is willing to pay additional money for buying this new ticket) and yet continue the rest of the journey as originally planned? I would think so. If you take off your airline hats for a moment, I would think that you would agree as well.

Based on your logic, if you buy a tour package and for some reason miss the starting point/time. Will the organizer allowed to bar you from coming to the rest of the tour? I think that would be unfair, wouldnt you?

Last edited by stonecold_1981; Jun 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM.
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  #15  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 7:57 PM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
Shouldn't the passenger be free to fly with another airline/flight that meets his 'changed' needs (especially if he is willing to pay additional money for buying this new ticket) and yet continue the rest of the journey as originally planned? I would think so. If you take off your airline hats for a moment, I would think that you would agree as well.
Yes, we agree - and guess what, so do the airlines! They let you buy a ticket which gives you exactly that. However, the airline also realizes that not everyone has the money to pay for a full-fare ticket. So they offer an option, which you can CHOOSE, to buy a nonrefundable ticket just like the OP did. He opted for the cheap option. If you order the ticket on the phone, the airline explains to you it is nonrefundable. If you order it online, it tells you it's nonrefundable. The OP had a few choices. He chose the most restricted with eyes open. And now he's having a little fit and wants a do-over because things didn't go his way.

Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
Based on your logic, if you buy a tour package and for some reason miss the starting point/time. Will the organizer allowed to bar you from coming to the rest of the tour? I think that would be unfair, wouldnt you?
Actually, that is exactly how tours work. And guess what - it's not only airlines! Rental Car companies, and Hotels, also give discounts for nonrefundable rooms.

There are plenty of legitimate complaints about airlines out there. These silly ones just devalue this entire forum and the real complaints it contains.

Last edited by AirlineSympathizer; Jun 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM.
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  #16  
Old Jun 28, 2012, 9:39 PM
stonecold_1981 stonecold_1981 is offline
 
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Airline Sympathizer...
Maybe you should focus less on making value judgements and more on reading a post before responding.

My note above was NOT about asking for a refund! You keep talking about nonrefundable ticket. This hypothetical person in the example above is NOT asking for a refund on a nonrefundable ticket. He just chooses NOT to go through the first leg (again not asking for a refund for that). He chooses to directly go to the second leg (through his own means and paying additional money) and continue the onward journey.

Now, are you saying that cruiseliners or tour providers will CANCEL the entire multistop journey tour if the passenger cannot make it at the starting point?
Again, note that no where in this entire post am I talking about refunds!!!
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  #17  
Old Jun 29, 2012, 3:57 AM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by stonecold_1981 View Post
My note above was NOT about asking for a refund! You keep talking about nonrefundable ticket. This hypothetical person in the example above is NOT asking for a refund on a nonrefundable ticket. He just chooses NOT to go through the first leg (again not asking for a refund for that). He chooses to directly go to the second leg (through his own means and paying additional money) and continue the onward journey.

Now, are you saying that cruiseliners or tour providers will CANCEL the entire multistop journey tour if the passenger cannot make it at the starting point?
Again, note that no where in this entire post am I talking about refunds!!!
I didn't talk about a refund either. That's simply it's name. Don't go off the deep end based upon what the name of the ticket is. One of the terms is, if you miss the first leg, you cannot get continue and you lose the entire ticket.

And yes, a multistop tour will cancel you completely if you miss the first leg. A cruise will cancel you completely if you miss the first port of call you booked. A car rental will cancel completely you if you miss the first day. A hotel will cancel completely ou if you miss the first night of your stay. However, almost all of them will offer you the option to jump in any time - IF you choose that option!

Why should an airline be any different? How are you failing to understand that the airline offers you the option to do exactly what you asked, you simply have to select it at the time of purchase!
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  #18  
Old Jun 29, 2012, 9:29 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Airline Sympathizer, you are making up rules in other sectors which simply don't exist. Many people, because of the unrealiability of airlines have missed the sailing of their cruise from Miami for example. They are absolutely allowed to join the cruise in the next port, say Freeport in Bahamas, although if they didn't book the flight through the cruise company, they may have to pick up the expense of the extra flight.

I booked 5 nights at the Holiday Inn in Boston on a non refundable, advance purchase rate. My flight from LHR to BOS was cancelled, and I arrived 32 hours late. My booking was intact and I was able to utilise the last 4 days.

If you have to make things up to bolster your argument, it is usually a sign you have lost it.

There is a huge difference between seeking to amend a non refunable or non changeable ticket and seeking not to use it. What possible difference does it make to the airline if you choose not to utilise the service? Lets say I purchased a cheap advance purchase bed and breakfast deal at a hotel, costing $100 per night. The rack rate for room only is say $125.00. If I choose not to have the breakfast, do you think the hotel can demand that I pay the additional $25?

These rules exist actually to limit competition. The reason they exist, is that the hub system operating in the US creates a series of local monopolies. To feed the voracious appetite of the hub for transferring passengers the airlines had to price fares to local markets. This meant that for example, it could be cheaper to fly from say Greensboro, SC to Nashville, TN via Atlanta that to fly to Atlanta direct. The anomolous situation is because where there is a dominate carrier in a hub, the market no longer works. There is no effective competition and the pricing becomes abusive.

There was a famous example, where it was demonstrated that you could fly from Boston to Washington, DC via London, UK cheaper than a direct flight on the shuttle. In any normal functioning market this anomoly would not exist, as someone would see an opportunity, begin offering a cheaper direct service to compete on the shuttle route and clean up. The capacity on this route remains inadequate to meet demand because of slot restrictions. Normally, where the market cannot function properly, we address this issue with regulation. You see this working in other industries (the break up of Ma Bell, regulation of Microsoft operating systems and it's openness to competition, etc). However, the airlines have it both ways...de-regulation in a market which doesn't function.

This term which deems that the whole leg is lost if you don't use any part it, regardless of the circumstances is an unfair and abusive term and condition. Most passengers have no choices in relation to this. Even if there are two or three airlines competing on a route, they may all have this term and condition, so the concept of choice is meaningless. The false choice of paying $2,500 for a $250 ticket in order to buy the flexibility is not choice at all for most people.

In the US the options are severely restricted. Alternative types of transport are not always available... driving is prohibitive for some distances and rail travel options are severely limited.

It is ridiculous to suggest that if you know in advance that a condition exists, then it is fair. The banks have recently had to re-pay huge amounts in fees which were deemed to be abusive and unfair. These fees were published... so the customers should have just taken their custom elsewhere right? Wrong, the industry was abusive and the reality is that they needed regulation to bring them under control. The airlines are in exactly the same situation.

Last edited by jimworcs; Jun 29, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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  #19  
Old Apr 7, 2013, 7:27 PM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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This is simply not true. For many cruises, if you do not show up, expecially if you're in a suite, someone else will be upgraded into your room. Same with a rental car. Same with a hotel. They will rent your room, or rent your car. If you selected the pay-in-full-in-advance fare, you are out of luck. End of story, no discussion, nothing made up about it.

The bottom line is, you enter into a contract with the airlines fully aware of the terms. Then when something goes wrong, you declare them unfair. You don't declare them unfair while taking something at significantly reduced cost. You have the option to take a fully flexible ticket. You didn't. Grow up.
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  #20  
Old Jul 9, 2013, 8:52 PM
shenn45 shenn45 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by AirlineSympathizer View Post
The bottom line is, you enter into a contract with the airlines fully aware of the terms. Then when something goes wrong, you declare them unfair. You don't declare them unfair while taking something at significantly reduced cost. You have the option to take a fully flexible ticket. You didn't. Grow up.
Who is fully aware of these terms? This just happened to me and the experience was just awful and I will never fly a Legacy Carrier again. I am a frequent flyer of Southwest where this has never been an issue but why should I be punished for booking the trip as a round trip? the prices do not differ from one way tickets. I chose to book the first leg of my flight on another airline because it was cheaper than the $150 change fee and up charge for the change in airfare only to find out on the same day I was returning that my return flight had been canceled with no notification whatsoever. this trip was booked over 6 months in advance and now I had to book same day flights for over 3 time what I paid for the initial ticket with no forgiveness from delta. If they want to cancel the contract fine but you have to dig through the contract find these rules. Then to follow that up they contact you for every other issue with the reservation why do they not contact you to cancel the reservation? If they had told me 7 days earlier that they were canceling the reservation due to my not showing up I may have had a better chance at a decent fare. Instead I find out at check in with my wife and 2 kids that I will not be able to use the reservation. It is absurd that they can do this. Cancel an entire paid for set of flights due to any one of them being skipped and then offer no credit, waving of change fees, or anything to help ease the pains they are causing their customers. HORRIBLE business practice and my hope is that anyone reading this thread never books another flight with Delta or any airline with this policy (which I now know to ask about because they do NOT make it apparent) again.
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  #21  
Old Jul 10, 2013, 4:21 AM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by shenn45 View Post
Who is fully aware of these terms?
Do you always enter into contracts without reading them? If you buy them online you usually have to tick a box saying "I have read and understood the fare conditions" - if you order them on the phone, the rep will read them out loud to you.
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  #22  
Old Jul 10, 2013, 8:36 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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It doesn't matter if they ticked the box or not, the rules are inherently unfair and ought not to be legal. The consumer, particularly in the US has no effective choice but to fly, and almost all airlines operate this rule in an attempt to channel passengers through monopoly hubs. It is a scam and should be banned.
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  #23  
Old Jul 10, 2013, 8:41 AM
AirlineSympathizer AirlineSympathizer is offline
 
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
It doesn't matter if they ticked the box or not, the rules are inherently unfair and ought not to be legal. The consumer, particularly in the US has no effective choice but to fly, and almost all airlines operate this rule in an attempt to channel passengers through monopoly hubs. It is a scam and should be banned.
The fact that you are told up front all of the terms means by definition it's not a scam. Airlines can charge whatever they want for a service - and consumers can choose to pay it or not to pay it. If you think it's unfair, don't buy it. You absolutely have a choice - you can choose an unrestricted ticket. You can choose the train. You can choose to drive. You can choose not to go. Simple.
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  #24  
Old Jul 10, 2013, 12:27 PM
shenn45 shenn45 is offline
 
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I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic or not. These terms are not easily found. You are not told. You have to go hunting for it. I had to click through multiple links to find this explanation and even then it was only found in their 49 page contract of carriage agreement. I am sure I am the only one who did not read through this agreement. And I am sorry I cannot afford an attorney to review it for me. Shouldn't there be some reasonable expectation of the terms? No one is saying it is illegal or that they cannot do what they are doing. We are saying that it is simply not right and they shouldn't be doing what they are doing by our own common sense.

By your logic if they had in this agreement that they could take your first born child at the end of the flight this would be perfectly acceptable because you clicked through to purchase without reading. I would love to see that post. Well you should have read the agreement they had every right to do it. Next time you will know.

These flights are not related at all. This does not cost them money when we do not show. In fact they can then fill those seat with their overbooking that they make and if they cant it is cheaper to fly a lighter plane. We do not even want our money back for the flight we do not show up for. We want to be allowed to board the return flight of the trip that we PAID for.

http://www.delta.com/components/help...eckbox_ref.jsp

http://www.delta.com/components/help...conditions.jsp

http://www.delta.com/content/dam/del...rriage_dom.pdf
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  #25  
Old Jul 10, 2013, 10:49 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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That is exactly the point Shenn. They want it both ways... They reserve the right to overbook, sell seats to more than 1 person, and refuse you boarding because you didn't take an earlier flight.

The logic of airline sympathiser is that there should be no regulation, because you were told in the 49 pages of legal BS that accompanies the ticket. This is the same line the bankers used on dodgy lending practices and home repossessions. The regulators are now imposing huge fines on the banks after flinging the terms unfair. Too bad they dont do the same with the airlines.

The EU is currently consulting on new consumer protection rules which will make this illegal in the EU. It d long overdue to do the same I the US.

AirlineSympathizer.. I know you get off on the provocation, but you clearly have no moral compass... You sound like you were trained by Delta!
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