Turn a route is fare, pay
Tuesday April 11th 2017, 10:32 pm
Filed under: History,Life,Lupus,Politics

If you can stand another United story to go with all the others out there after they beat up a doctor for refusing to be bounced from a flight because he said he needed to see his patients in the hospital in the morning. Two days later he was still in the hospital himself. (United’s own carrier contract I am told says that once you’re boarded in your reserved seat it’s yours.)

“Because it arrived at the time you wanted.”

That was the excuse United gave me for what they’d done.

Remember that bit of a whine over the price of the airfare to San Diego for this past weekend? When I was booking tickets a month ago, I blinked at Southwest’s cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fare that was over twice the usual and googled to see what else might be out there.

United’s fare was better. Huh. Okay, so I typed in the specific airports I wanted to leave from and go to, SJC to SAN, and what time I wanted to get to San Diego by: the kids had wanted Grampa to see Parker’s 9:00 game. (Grandma here crashed on the couch for that, safely out of the sun and needing that nap and everybody understood.)

Top of the page their site took me to, it said San Jose to San Diego in big letters, with a list of flights below. Alright, then. Did I want to buy insurance against having to change or cancel my tickets? $40, but with my health, I had to say yes. (Southwest doesn’t charge you for changes or cancellations; they apply your fare to future flights if you’ve gone with the cheapest, non-refundable option. United stiffs you while reselling your seat unless you’ve shelled out that extra.)

I hit confirm to both and only then did it say I was booked for SNA. Orange County. Two hours away. That’s the same thing, right?

I got on the phone immediately and made them deal with my deafness and demanded that they refund that ticket instantly. This was so deceptive. This was an unbelievably bad user interface and why in this day and age hadn’t they fixed it? Right there at the top of the page in bold, it said I was booking for San Diego. Unbelievable.

They did refund me instantly but said I’d have to undo the insurance through a separate company. They, too, said they’d make good on it. Okay, but this should never have happened.

“Because it arrived at the time you wanted.” Never mind that the time to get set up with a rental car and then drive it south for two hours meant that there was no physical chance of getting off that flight and getting ourselves to San Diego by, y’know, the time we said we wanted to be there. I asked again why it offered me the wrong flight and they said because they didn’t have one directly to there at that time so they redirected me to one that did land at that time.

The mind, it boggles.

We flew Southwest.

5 Comments so far
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And my friends wonder why I hate to travel…this is a prime example!

Comment by Jody 04.12.17 @ 4:44 am

I pretty much only fly JetBlue, since they go nonstop to near my mother, but even their site can be maddening. My mother has delegated her reservation process to me; when she wants to fly, she just tells me when she wants to go and I fight it for her! They really are all crazy these days, but yours is a classic. I’m glad they didn’t fight the cancellations.

Comment by ccr in MA 04.12.17 @ 6:35 am

I had forgotten because it was so many years ago. I was given a free trip to D.C. to tour the newly renovated airport (I booked a lot of travel for my company back then). Long story short, United had me booked on a non-existent flight back. They bent over backward to rectify the problem. Gave me taxi money to go sightseeing and leave later, passes to a VIP lounge and an attendant arrived to make sure everything was okay. How times have changed.

Comment by Joan 04.12.17 @ 6:59 am

I remember when I was booked for a flight that was also overbooked. The desk person asked for volunteers who would be willing to go later, with a night stay in a hotel paid for plus meals plus cash.

Comment by Sharon Stanger 04.12.17 @ 8:00 am

I only fly Untied when there isn’t another choice. which means I am shelling out more money for Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Austrian Air when headed to Europe to avoid a flight on United….

Southwest is amazing….

Comment by Holly 04.12.17 @ 8:10 am

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