A Sudden About Face On The Airlines
by, 07-12-2011 at 08:18 PM (609 Views)
After spending hours and hours over several weeks trying to make a reservation to get me down to Buenos Aires, and then having the airline cancel my reservation without telling me, and then spending more hours and hours getting them to reinstate my reservation, I was tempted to write a blog titled, "Why I Really, Really, Really Hate Dealing With Airlines."
However, my next phone encounter with United made me do a complete 180 and I've decided to blog about the exact opposite.
My mom was hospitalized on the East Coast for two weeks. After taking a turn for the worse, I got calls from my brother and sister, telling me that she wasn't doing well. That evening, I went to the internet to book flights that would take my daughter and me across the country some time in the next few days. I found an itinerary with a decent departure time and good layovers for only 12,500 miles one way, leaving in around 36 hours, just enough time or me to tie up some loose ends at home.
To my dismay, United was going to charge me $75 extra per ticket since I was booking less than 21 days in advance. I called United and explained to the agent that I would be traveling to see my hospitalized mom, who, because of her medical condition, had cancelled a United flight to see me. Although he was sympathetic to my situation, he told me that there was nothing he could do. I asked him to please talk to his supervisor, which he did, and he informed me that the $75 per person fee would be waived as a one time courtesy, but he had to charge me $25 per person because we were using a live (as opposed to dead?) agent. I explained that I had to talk to an agent because there was no way to avoid the charge on the internet without talking to one. Once again, he talked to his supervisor, and once again, they waived the fee as a one time courtesy.
But that wasn't all. Not only did the agent get two fees waived, but he also informed me that the flight would cost me only 10,000 miles, not 12,500 as stated on the internet or by the agent when we first started talking about the flight. I have no idea why this happened since the flights were over 2,500 miles, but I'm certainly not complaining. It just goes to show that it can't hurt to ask. I've had that $25 live agent fee waived as a one time courtesy several times now. I guess once is a relative term.