Holding a plane for a passenger is an iconic customer service gesture. In a different era of commercial aviation, before on-time arrivals became so important that aircraft doors closed 15 minutes before departure, planes were almost routinely kept at the gate for passengers who were trying to make a connection or who were just late.
Tonya Davis of Rainham, England, was just trying to unfreeze her Internet connection when she phoned Virgin Media at 11 p.m. one evening.
It's easy to be an airline industry critic in an era of "no waivers, no favors" and fees on top of fees. It's easy to paint airlines as heartless corporations that treat us like self-loading cargo.
Lizelle Figueroa calls Expedia to hold her ticket to California. But shortly after that, she's rushed to the hospital, where she spends five weeks. When she's released, she finds out that her online agency has bought the ticket. Now it won't give her a refund. Did Expedia misunderstand her request? And will she get her money back?
One of the secret loopholes that most air travelers don't know about is the 24-hour grace period. Airlines like United will allow you to cancel your itinerary for a full refund if you find a lower fare within a day. But how do airlines define "day"?