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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
COMPLAINT: Take the train. AA cheats and strands young people.

 
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  #1  
Old Jul 24, 2009, 2:13 PM
jester1104 jester1104 is offline
 
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My 20year old daughter recently took a trip to Chile, 6 weeks for Campus Crusade for Christ. In a 2 month span she raised donations of nearly $4000 completely on her own. But she was still a little short. I was very proud of her and I knew how important the trip was to her, so I lent her some additional funds and used some of my frequent flyer miles to secure a round-trip ticket to Miami and back home. We had to pay American $55 to expedite since we ordered it within 4 weeks of her trip. Should be free, but fine, we're ok with that.

As the trip approaches we find that she needs to arrive in Miami to connect for Chile earlier in the day. Its cheaper to buy a new 1-way ticket than to change the existing round-trip ticket. We buy and pay $133 for the 1-way ticket.

She makes her flight down to Miami, makes the connection to Chile.

Now here's where it becomes despicable.

When she arrives in Miami after 6 weeks in Chile to make her connection and return home, she is told that her round-trip ticket (both legs) are cancelled. She is told she will have to pay $150 to get back home. Money she did not have. Put under the stress of what to do, and having virtually no experience with flying and airlines, she is forced to charge it.

So what started out as a wonderful experience, is tainted by the thievery of American Airlines. Using my frequent flyer miles to secure a round-trip ticket. Total cost: $338.

I made the complaint to AA. I got the typical "policy" speech. I thought a contract had existed between AA and the customer for a trip to miami, and a trip home, regardless of whether my daughter used the inbound, outbound, or both tickets. Apparently, they use their little loopholes buried in their pages of policy notes to pick your pocket.

So instead of doing the right thing, they elected to pad their pockets and steal from a young person, instead of refunding her $150.

Oh and by the way, to re-instate my FF miles, would have cost another $150. So I have no intention of doing that.

Last edited by jester1104; Jul 24, 2009 at 2:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old Jul 24, 2009, 4:23 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Her trip wasn't ruined by the thievery of AA, it was ruined by a frequent flyer who forgot to call AA to say she wasn't going to use the outbound to miami, and to protect the return portion. It's a mistake many are prone to make, but usually frequent flyers are on the ball about that. Actually it would have been easier to just pay the change fee for an earlier flight to miami rather than go through all that, or have her try and possibly stand by for an earlier miami flight, with th eticket she had. So not only did you have to use miles, plus pay cash, but you went and bought a one way ticket, and on top of that your daughter had to pay MORE money to buy a new one way ticket.

Yea, next time just play it safe and simply pay the change fee to change the ticket.
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  #3  
Old Jul 24, 2009, 6:50 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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Originally Posted by jester1104 View Post
I thought a contract had existed between AA and the customer for a trip to miami, and a trip home, regardless of whether my daughter used the inbound, outbound, or both tickets. Apparently, they use their little loopholes buried in their pages of policy notes to pick your pocket.
You did have a contract with AA for a flight to Miami and back. You broke that contact when your daughter did not take the first flight.
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  #4  
Old Jul 25, 2009, 1:43 AM
justme justme is offline
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Your contract was from your origin to Chile and back, with a stop in Miami. I'm kind of surprised your daughter was allowed to fly the Miami-Chile-Miami segment in the first place when she didn't fly the origin to Miami segment to start. When she didn't show up for the origin to Miami flight, the remaining segments should have been cancelled then and there. The reason that didn't happen immediately is probably just due to the computer system taking a bit to recognize it and do something about it.

And just wondering, how much would it cost to take a train to Chile? It probably would have taken 10 times longer and been at the very least the same price as an airline ticket, probably more.
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Last edited by justme; Jul 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 1:50 AM
justme justme is offline
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I decided to try to answer my own question, this is something I found about travelling to South America by train, sounds like it would be pretty difficult.

Quote:
International train travel around South America

Unlike Europe or even parts of Asia and Africa, Central and South America simply does not have a developed international rail network. International train services are almost non-existent, and most journeys must generally be made by long-distance bus or plane.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 2:35 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by justme View Post
Your contract was from your origin to Chile and back, with a stop in Miami. I'm kind of surprised your daughter was allowed to fly the Miami-Chile-Miami segment in the first place when she didn't fly the origin to Miami segment to start. When she didn't show up for the origin to Miami flight, the remaining segments should have been cancelled then and there. The reason that didn't happen immediately is probably just due to the computer system taking a bit to recognize it and do something about it.

And just wondering, how much would it cost to take a train to Chile? It probably would have taken 10 times longer and been at the very least the same price as an airline ticket, probably more.
I was under the impression there were two tickets. One r/t from origin to Miami and back and the other from Miami to Chile and back.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 2:39 AM
justme justme is offline
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If that was the case then it would indeed change my statements. That's not how I read it though. Regardless, she missed the first segment of the trip, so the rest of THAT trip is indeed going to be cancelled due to a no show.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 2:54 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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If there were two sets of tickets--1. (unknown domestic city) to Miami (round-trip), and, 2. Miami to Santiago (round-trip) then only the return flight from Miami would be cancelled. The remaining reservation would stay intact.

I'll give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume she was referring to train travel between her home town airport and Miami, and not on the mythical Pan American Railway.

This is, yet, another example of what happens when you rely on miles, rather than cash, for air travel.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 3:00 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
If there were two sets of tickets--1. (unknown domestic city) to Miami (round-trip), and, 2. Miami to Santiago (round-trip) then only the return flight from Miami would be cancelled. The remaining reservation would stay intact.

I'll give the OP the benefit of the doubt and assume she was referring to train travel between her home town airport and Miami, and not on the mythical Pan American Railway.

This is, yet, another example of what happens when you rely on miles, rather than cash, for air travel.
It doesn't matter that the ticket was purchased with miles. Had they purchased it with money the same thing would have occurred. If you don't fly the outbound leg(s) of a round-trip ticket the whole itinerary is canceled.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 7:58 PM
MQuinn MQuinn is offline
 
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Jester - apparently this site is crock. We the general public make what are valid points about the way the airlines hide behind the fine print to strand people and instead of getting some support this website is teaming with airline sympathizers who relish in grinding your nose in the dirt further.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 8:40 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by MQuinn View Post
Jester - apparently this site is crock. We the general public make what are valid points about the way the airlines hide behind the fine print to strand people and instead of getting some support this website is teaming with airline sympathizers who relish in grinding your nose in the dirt further.
Apparently you had an axe to grind with no reason. The situation you posted about was entirely your daughter's fault however a few people here including myself made some helpful suggestions. We even gave you the benefit of the doubt when your story changed but I guess you're just throwing that back in our faces now.

How's your daughter, by the way? Still "stranded" in California? Or did she enjoy her bus ride back to Vancouver?
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Old Jul 26, 2009, 1:05 AM
oh my oh my is offline
 
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I'm going to quote you, here:
Quote:
As the trip approaches we find that she needs to arrive in Miami to connect for Chile earlier in the day. Its cheaper to buy a new 1-way ticket than to change the existing round-trip ticket. We buy and pay $133 for the 1-way ticket.
Quote:
So instead of doing the right thing, they elected to pad their pockets and steal from a young person
I understand that you used miles to secure the round trip ticket. I also understand that you then paid $133 for the one way ticket, instead of paying the change fee for your mileage ticket. Yet, you expected the reservation that she didn't travel out on to be there when she returned. If you had miles you wanted to use for a ticket from your home to Miami, and the reservation agent said, "I'm sorry, but all the mileage seats that were available are all taken by people who have no intention of using them" what would you do? What would you say if you were trying to get home from Miami, and the reservation agent said "I see that Ms. Soandso never left home, so I doubt she'll be returning from somewhere she never went, BUT... I can't just cancel her reservation and give you the mileage fare! That wouldn't be fair to Ms. Soandso?" I don't think you'd be too happy. Everything is done for a reason.

Not to mention that you think American stole from your daughter. It sounds like you were stealing from American by buying the cheaper one-way ticket, rather than pay the change fee (like you should have done) for the mileage ticket you already had. You were working the system, which is exactly why airlines do what they did to your daughter's round-trip reservation. To prevent it. I know that is not what you want to hear, but unfortunately, the airlines are running a business, and trying to make money. They have to implement rules like this to protect their product. It's nothing personal.
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