Bernadine Fong has a strange story to tell. United Airlines called her a no-show for a flight to San Francisco that she flew. As a result, when she tried to fly back home, the airline informed a stunned Fong that it had canceled her ticket. What’s going on here? “United Airlines called me a no-show, but I was on the flight!”
Kerry Drake’s mother was dying. She’d suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for decades and the drugs used to treat her condition had decimated her immune system. One morning his brother called him to say her time had come. Drake caught the next United Airlines flight from San Francisco, where he works for the federal government, to Lubbock, Texas, via Houston.
“I knew this itinerary was a risk because the stopover in Houston was only about 40 minutes, and my connecting flight was the last flight to Lubbock that day,” he says. “But I needed to get there as soon as possible, so I took the risk.”
“United Airlines holds plane so passenger can say goodbye to his dying mother”
Barbara Smidt booked two tickets to Australia to celebrate a special birthday with her husband. But as they were excitedly putting the final touches on this trip, they were shocked to discover that United Airlines had no record of Stephen Smidt ever having a ticket. So what do the confirmation emails say? “Here’s why it’s important to read those confirmation emails”
Aron Szekely’s complaint stunned our advocates — but not in the way he had hoped. When American Airlines refused to allow his faithful companion on a flight to Japan, did this military man simply abandon his dog at the airport? “Did this traveler really abandon his dog “curbside” at the airport?”
Leslie Hillandahl and her husband received an unpleasant surprise when they tried to check in for their return flight from Italy. Their son, who had recently turned two was now too old to be a lap child. He would need his own seat — at an additional cost of $4,000.
The couple paid the fee and flew home. But Hillandahl wants a refund. “How old is too old to be a lap child? It cost this couple $4,000 to find out.”
Johnna Keen’s story of her return flight is a cautionary tale about ticket change fees and airline logic. But mostly, it shows that people don’t trust anything they see anymore, when it comes to travel. And that could be an even bigger problem. “If Expedia says your return flight costs $1,668, believe it. Otherwise this could happen to you.”
Want to start an argument? Tell your travel companion you won’t be arriving two hours before your flight.
Go on, try it. I’ll be right here. “How early should you get to the airport? Here’s the answer”
If it seems as if airlines are getting away with more passenger-unfriendly behavior, maybe it’s because they are.
The Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is responsible for enforcing federal consumer-protection regulations, is on track to punish significantly fewer airlines this year, issuing 18 consent orders for $3.1 million in civil penalties. By comparison, the DOT had 29 orders worth $6.4 million for 2016, which included a $1.6 million fine against American Airlines for violating its tarmac delay rules handed down in mid-December. Barring a last-minute flurry of penalties, 2017 will be a much quieter year for the department. “The DOT has fined fewer airlines this year. Should you be worried?”
When Susan Chibnall and her husband cancel their tickets to Switzerland, United Airlines promises them they can use their credit for a year. So why have their tickets expired? “My United Airlines tickets expired — can you make them unexpire?”