Flights Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked

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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
charleston service cancelled, terrible customer service

 
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  #1  
Old Oct 16, 2009, 5:57 PM
jmb jmb is offline
 
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please see their discontinuance email notice below.

i booked a flight for christmas in late august and received this email on october 13.

1) prices for flights for this period have gone up. airtran did not provide any compensation for the inconvenience or increase in travel cost it forced upon me.

2) airtran had the gall to tell me that i would not incur any cancellation fees. please, need you insult my intelligence on top of canceling my flight with barely an apology? YOU cancelled MY flight.

3) airtran mistakenly told me that my flight could be rerouted to a nearby airport without a) change fees b) fare difference fees. when the agent learned this was not their policy, she made no effort to obtain it for me.

i will never fly airtan again

Quote:
Charleston, SC Service Discontinuance

At AirTran Airways our objective is to operate our flights in a reliable, timely manner; which will allow our customers to reach their destinations as scheduled. However, there are occasions, such as this, when flight schedule changes are unavoidable. We deeply regret to announce that effective December 4, 2009; we will discontinue all scheduled flight operations to and from Charleston International Airport. As a result one or more of your original flights will not be operating as originally planned. Customers who have reservations on AirTran Airways to travel to and from Charleston, SC on or after December 4, 2009 will be given the following options:

1) Rebook travel to another AirTran Airways destination. We will waive the change fee; a difference in fare may apply.
2) Receive a full credit for future travel on AirTran Airways redeemable up to one year from the original booking date.
3) Receive a full refund for the cost of the cancelled flights. Please click HERE to apply for a refund online. We will process the refund back to the original form of payment within 3 to 5 business days of your refund request.

We know the negative effect a cancelled flight can have on your travel plans. With this understanding, we are available to answer any questions you may have regarding this cancellation and the options listed above. Our Call Center Professionals are ready to assist you 24 hours a day at 1-800-247-8726.

Your understanding in this matter is greatly appreciated. We look forward to an opportunity to better serve you in the future.
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  #2  
Old Oct 16, 2009, 6:17 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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I think you mis-read the email: (emphases on your OP mine)

Originally Posted by jmb View Post

3) airtran mistakenly told me that my flight could be rerouted to a nearby airport without a) change fees b) fare difference fees. when the agent learned this was not their policy, she made no effort to obtain it for me.

i will never fly airtan again
From the AirTran e-mail you posted:

Quote:
Customers who have reservations on AirTran Airways to travel to and from Charleston, SC on or after December 4, 2009 will be given the following options:

1) Rebook travel to another AirTran Airways destination. We will waive the change fee; a difference in fare may apply.
It's right there in the e-mail. They will waive the fee but not any difference in fare.

AirTran made an operational decision to no longer serve Charleston. It's inconvenient, to say the least, but it happens sometimes. What you may want to do (if you haven't already requested a refund on this ticket) is find out which airlines fly the same route (you never mentioned what your starting point is) and call around. Sometimes when an airline completely discontinues service to a particular city other airlines will accept the ticket at face value for travel on the same dates. If you find an airline willing to do so they, or you, can call AirTran to have the ticket endorsed over to the new airline.

There's no guarantee but it's worth a shot. When you call the other airlines mention that you are a frequent flier on AirTran (even if you are not, since they have no way of verifying this) however this cancellation has disappointed you and you are now looking to take your business elsewhere. I know Northwest has or had a program called BUMP (Bring Us More Passengers) where they were trying to poach passenegers from other airlines by accepting same day tickets from any other airline if they could get you to the same destination. Although Northwest is being merged into Delta their reservations and operations are still separate. Try their reservations call center first. The number is 1-800-225-2525. Explain your situation and mention that you heard something about the BUMP program. Maybe they can help you out.

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old Oct 16, 2009, 6:27 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
prices for flights for this period have gone up. airtran did not provide any compensation for the inconvenience or increase in travel cost it forced upon me.
No doubt holiday travel prices will increase as the days go on. It's best to apply for the refund and use that towards a new ticket before they go too high or the seats are all gone.

Quote:
airtran had the gall to tell me that i would not incur any cancellation fees. please, need you insult my intelligence on top of canceling my flight with barely an apology? YOU cancelled MY flight.
They didn't just have the gall to TELL you, they gave it to you in WRITING (the nerve!). If you rebook your flight and they reneg, you can legally use their own words against them. So for now, take them on their word and rebook without incurring any additional fees. It's october and you wanna fly in december, that's enough time, more than enough, to readjust your travel plans. Rather than complain about it, why not try talking to them (in a calm fashion) to get your trip right or just take the refund.

Quote:
airtran mistakenly told me that my flight could be rerouted to a nearby airport without a) change fees b) fare difference fees. when the agent learned this was not their policy, she made no effort to obtain it for me.
I don't believe Airtran has too many options (i.e. different airports or airlines) to use in the rebooking process. I've never used them before or any of the low cost carriers such as JetBlue or Spirit for that reason. I still say your best bet in this case is to take the refund and use the money towards a new flight. Really your upset over nothing because they informed you well in advance of your flight, which it would appear most airlines either fail to do so or notify the person the night before.
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  #4  
Old Oct 16, 2009, 8:18 PM
AirlinesMustPay AirlinesMustPay is offline
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If a passenger purchases an airline ticket and wishes to change or cancel it, he loses typically $100 or $150. So if the airline cancels a flight for their own reasons, no act of God, I think it is only fair if they refund the passenger his money plus whatever charge they would have made for a date change.
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  #5  
Old Oct 16, 2009, 8:58 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Airtran already stated in their e-mail that the OP would receive a full refund with no fees or penalties. S/he also has the option to change the ticket with no fee however if the new fare is higher the difference will be charged.
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  #6  
Old Oct 18, 2009, 2:50 AM
jmb jmb is offline
 
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PHXFlyer, thank you for your suggestion. i wish the airline could have been so useful.

regarding the difference in policy between what was in the email and what was initially quoted to me, i understand it was a mistake - in my text you quoted, i included the word "mistakenly" intentionally.

to bob, phxflyer: yes, i can rebook travel with no fees or penalties. imagine that! they cancel my flight and they magnanimously promise not to penalize me. i suppose i should be grateful?

yes, they informed me in advance they could change the flight. i can also change the flight - at a cost of $50 and up. two parties are bound to an agreement and one reserves full leniency for itself to later alter its obligation, while the other will be penalized for changing its end. please, do not point out again that they are not penalizing me - they cannot penalize me since i did not cancel this, they did.
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  #7  
Old Oct 18, 2009, 4:57 AM
AirlinesMustPay AirlinesMustPay is offline
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PHP Code:
[quote=jmb;12355please, do not point out again that they are not penalizing me they cannot penalize me since i did not cancel thisthey did.[/quote
jmb, as you are aware, the airline for its own purposes, decided to breach the contract with you after you paid for a flight. As you can see posters in here are reminding you that the airline is not charging you a cancellation fee. How grateful you should be for such kindness by the airline!

True the airline has given you notice but the price of the flight has gone up. I would suggest that if you can't get another airline operating between those points to allow you to fly for the same price as your ticket, book for the best price you can get. Then go to the airline and claim for the cost of your new ticket instead of a refund.

When one party to a contract is in breach, he must restore the innocent party to the same position as if there was no breach. You don't need an bill of rights to establish this. That is already the law under the common law and the United States follows the common law principles of contract

Last edited by AirlinesMustPay; Oct 18, 2009 at 5:00 AM.
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  #8  
Old Oct 18, 2009, 5:17 AM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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well actually airlinesmustpay your wrong in this situation, the airlines ratified the wrong by giving the customer (with advanced notice) options, in this case a refund, so no breach was made and common law wouldn't come into place since there was notice and a reasonable resolution
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  #9  
Old Oct 18, 2009, 5:19 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
please, do not point out again that they are not penalizing me - they cannot penalize me since i did not cancel this, they did.
JMB, by the wording of your original complaint, you make it sound as though you are being penalized. However, 1) you were notified well in advance 2) they offer to rebook your flight with no penalty and 3) offered you a full refund, which you can apply towards the purchase of a new flight. You want compensation for your "inconvienence" (words from your original statement), but I don't see why. Airtran has done what they are obligated to do, most people really would be grateful because most people aren't so lucky to be notified in a timely manner as you were. I know I would be grateful for the call/email/message..etc.., especially when it concerns holiday travel.

Are two parties bound to an agreement? Yes. Did airtrain keep their end. No. what have they done to rectify the situation? Gave you viable options that put you back on track. If they did nothing and you found out the night before you were supposed to fly, yea i'd be upset, but right now you can make arrangements.


Airline, you have a good point, however if it's part of their contract of carriage, I don't think they will do much, probably vouchers for future travel. Plus your probably comparing apples and oranges when it comes to Airlines. If the OP is flying on a low-cost carrier, of course the price of the ticket may be more if he flies say Continental.

My original suggestion still stands: take the refund, buy new tickets, enjoy the holidays and be thankful things didn't go a lot worse.
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  #10  
Old Oct 18, 2009, 5:31 AM
AirlinesMustPay AirlinesMustPay is offline
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To the OP:

You may want to consider the fact that you chose a low-cost carrier that may be barely surviving and without much of a reputation to maintain.

If you were dealing with one of the major airlines, you would stand a better chance of getting back the price of the new ticket. Perhaps when you make the claim all you may really end up getting is the refund.
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  #11  
Old Oct 20, 2009, 11:43 PM
bah humbug bah humbug is offline
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I hardly think Airtran is "barely surviving and without much of a reputation to maintain."

If that were the case, I don't believe they would be opening 4 new destinations in the next few months, they wouldn't have opened the 3-4 new stations they opened in the last few months.

The fact is for any airline, if it is not profitable, they are not going to continue to fly there. All airlines LCC or major have the same "flights are subject to change without notice" policy.

If you go to the store and buy something, then take it back because it doesn't work, and that was the last one they had because they have discontinued that item, they are not going to give you back more than what you paid just because they no longer carry it and it will cost more to buy it somewhere else. They are going to refund your purchase price.
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  #12  
Old Oct 23, 2009, 10:16 PM
jmb jmb is offline
 
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if you are going to propose an analogy, please make sure the situations are analogous first
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  #13  
Old Oct 23, 2009, 11:39 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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This site is littered with terriblel analogies... I think you might be flogging a dead horse there jmb..
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 4:18 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Jim, that's like saying Milli Vanilli could sing. Is that the worst analogy yet or not??
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Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 7:41 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Milli Vanilli couldn't sing? ~Say it ain't so!!

Next you will be telling me that Fox News is not "fair and balanced"....
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  #16  
Old Oct 24, 2009, 6:37 PM
AirlinesMustPay AirlinesMustPay is offline
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Originally Posted by jmb View Post
if you are going to propose an analogy, please make sure the situations are analogous first

JMB let me try to say why Mr Bah Humbug's analogy is faulty.

An analogy must be similar in as many respects as possible to the original situation and only then will it be justified to say that what follows from one will apply to the the other.

If you buy the item in the store and walk away with it, the store having delivered the tem to you, does not have a pending contract to fulful. Immediately this is different from your situation, where the airline collected you money and has not yet deliveed the service. Their delivery of the service is pending. This is a major distinction. Can a party with a pending contract to fulfil discontinue the service for their own reasons?

A second distinction is that in Mr Humbug's example it is the customer who returns to the merchant to say he no longer wants the item. In your case it is the airline who comes to the customer and says that this service that you paid for will not be delivered.

A third major distinction is the availability of the item or service purchased. If you buy an item in Sears, and for some reason it has to be returned, when Sears returns your money, you go to JCPenney or Target or elsewhere (and most cities have dozens of places where these types of goods are available). For an airline ticket, unless it is a route passing through a major hub, you likely will find only one other airline operating the route. When an airline discontinue a route that passengers have paid for, the airline must know that the passengers are now put to the hassle of finding another airline. Here the only thing in favour of the airline, is that they have given you notice.

A fourth distinction and this is relevant to the question of the adequacy of notice, is that price of airline tickets is something dynamic. We all know that usually it goes up and in your case it has. Mr Humbug's example of a customer purchase in a store is different. Consumer purchases in stores usually do not go up that quickly. So even though you get notice and you go to another airline, you find that the price has gone up.

So a return of your money is not adequate.
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Old Oct 24, 2009, 6:38 PM
AirlinesMustPay AirlinesMustPay is offline
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Originally Posted by jmb View Post
if you are going to propose an analogy, please make sure the situations are analogous first

JMB let me try to say why Mr Bah Humbug's analogy is faulty.

An analogy must be similar in as many respects as possible to the original situation and only then will it be justified to say that what follows from one will apply to the the other.

If you buy the item in the store and walk away with it, the store having delivered the tem to you, does not have a pending contract to fulful. Immediately this is different from your situation, where the airline collected you money and has not yet deliveed the service. Their delivery of the service is pending. This is a major distinction. Can a party with a pending contract to fulfil discontinue the service for their own reasons?

A second distinction is that in Mr Humbug's example it is the customer who returns to the merchant to say he no longer wants the item. In your case it is the airline who comes to the customer and says that this service that you paid for will not be delivered.

A third major distinction is the availability of the item or service purchased. If you buy an item in Sears, and for some reason it has to be returned, when Sears returns your money, you go to JCPenney or Target or elsewhere (and most cities have dozens of places where these types of goods are available). For an airline ticket, unless it is a route passing through a major hub, you likely will find only one other airline operating the route. When an airline discontinue a route that passengers have paid for, the airline must know that the passengers are now put to the hassle of finding another airline. Here the only thing in favour of the airline, is that they have given you notice.

A fourth distinction and this is relevant to the question of the adequacy of notice, is that price of airline tickets is something dynamic. We all know that usually it goes up and in your case it has. Mr Humbug's example of a customer purchase in a store is different. Consumer purchases in stores usually do not go up that quickly. So even though you get notice and you go to another airline, you find that the price has gone up.

So a return of your money is not adequate.
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