Do You Ever Just Need to Vent?

This is one of those times for me, so I apologize but I am going to have to interrupt the normally scheduled post for the day.  My head is just not in the right place to write the scheduled post after my over 2 hour long “conversation” with an airline about an error they made (computer glitch or otherwise) to a ticket I booked last month.  And I have had my fair share of airline trouble in the last several years. I can rattle off at least 10 vivid memories alone (we used to travel NUMEROUS times per year, both domestically and internationally, for my husband’s job).

I just need to vent, so feel free to tune out right now.  Here it goes…

by Thomas Hawk

I just wasted over 2 hours of my life on this. I booked my grandmother a ticket to come see us using MY mileage exactly one month ago via the web. Everything went through correctly, and I even received an emailed confirmation, as usual (we’ve done this numerous times in the past). Everything was correct on the email at that point, one month ago.

Because she is old and I often do this for her when she travels, I went online to check her in tonight (her flight is tomorrow).   The passenger had mysteriously changed to my name?!? Is this a glitch of some type or was it a ploy to get more money from me?

I calmly (though in my head I was definitely not calm) spoke to customer service, who then transfered me around until I finally got to outsourced web support (David), as this was a web issue.

David tried to tell me in some not-so-nice words (and very slowly) that I must have entered the wrong name when booking. I answered back slowly as well “But then how was my confirmation email correct?”  Apparently, he told me I was reading it wrong.  Per his request, I forwarded him the email I received back in June.

“Somehow the passenger name changed from the time I received my confirmation email to now,” I told him. (By the way, my grandmother called the airline 3 days ago to confirm everything and everything was also correct at that point.)

He told me first that I shouldn’t have waited so long to change the ticket.  Wait what?

“Um, it was correct in the email, so I was to magically know that it was going to switch on me?”

David proceeded to tell me that the email I forwarded to him was not in the usual format that they send so it must be fradulent. Excuse me?  (I later figured out on my own that there is one format for reservations booked online and another booked via an agent).

“So, the email I somehow received (and it was the only one I received) was not sent from the airline?”

“Yes, it was, but that’s not the right format, Ma’am.”

“Does it matter?   Really?”

Eventually, I spoke to David’s supervisor, who was oh so helpful and brainy (yes, today must be opposite day). She told me there was nothing she could do.  When asked to speak to a different supervisor, she said she was the top supervisor (which later did not turn out to be the case) and the only one.

“So if I hung up and called back, I will get you?”

“Yes.”

“X (I removed the name to protect them) Airline is a pretty big company.  You’re telling me that they only have ONE supervisor?”

” Yes.”

Hmmm. “Then can I have the CEO?”

“No, he is sleeping and cannot be disturbed.”

Since she knew that first-hand, then, she surely must be the top dog as she claims. I then requested her name and ID, to which she answered, “Glen #49.”

That’s it? All the other ID’s I’ve ever written down (including David’s) was longer than #49. But I digress.

Here’s where the brains comes in on her part…
She told me that there was something fishy about the email I forwarded to her. The time stamped on the original email was 3:15 pm (CST) but the ticket was issued at 8:15 pm ZULU time, which she said was the same  time zone as CST.

Huh?   No, Zulu is GMT, which is 5 hours ahead of CST, which would explain the 5-HOUR DISCREPANCY.  Duh!  (I was not that brutal on the phone, I assure you, but am being so on this post.)

“Glen” then told me that the email was not the right email address that they use to send out confirmations from.

“So XAIRLINE-CONFIRMATION@XAIRLINE.COM is not am X Airline email?”

“Well, yes it is, I guess.”

She gave my husband and I the run around for at least another 15 minutes, saying the exact same thing like we didn’t “get it.”

It wasn’t until my husband asked for their legal department to check on our passenger rights that she immediately and miraculously could help us out.   Sort-of.  It took another several rounds of saying X Airline was not at fault, I did booked it incorrectly, and the confirmation email was erroneous – blah, blah, blah – for at least 30 minutes after she said she would issue another ticket for us.

She then asked me if when I booked the online ticket, I put the correct name (my grandmother) name on the passenger box.

“Why, yes I did.  Otherwise, how else would I have received the email confirmation with the correct information?”  I must have not done it the right way, I guess, and the airline read my mind.   I proceeded to tell her that I book tickets for my grandmother quite often and even have a neat little profile for her in my X Airline account, along with the rest of my immediate family.

She asked to see proof of it on my X Airline profile. For my password.

What?   You want my personal password?  My feeble attempts to quickly change my password to something generic were not working.  It kept giving me an error message saying that the password must be 6 digits long with numbers and/or letters. Um, was “airline123” not 6 alpha-numeric digits?  It figures that there was yet another GLITCH in the system!

So, I ended up having to give her my real password. “Glen” miraculously spoke to – wait for it – a supervisor ABOVE her. I thought she was IT?

Long story short (ha!), after several accusations from X Airline (it’s apparently STILL our fault) and one small legal (calm) threat from my husband (okay, two), she booked the correct passenger on a different flight. Not even the same flights.  Oh well, it’s finally “taken care of.”

Sorry I had to vent.  I feel better.  Goodnight!

If you have a nightmare airline story, feel free to share it here.  I’d love to hear!

by Adam Fagen

Comments

  1. 1
    Kimberlee says:

    My problem has been that in order to get help, I have to speak to someone who barely speaks English with an accent so thick it is incredibly difficult to understand them. Therefore, it takes twice as long to accomplish anything, because I have to ask them to repeat things. Sigh. I hear you. Yuck!

  2. 2
    Valerie K. says:

    Yes, that part is difficult as well. I’m glad that night is over and my grandmother is here. And NO ADDITIONAL FEES were incurred.

  3. 3

    I am with Kimberlee. It is so hard to understand the people that I am trying to speak to that I just want to hang up.
    Glad everything worked out for you and your grandma. Sometimes taking a minute to vent makes things feel just a little better.

  4. 4

    Thanks, and yes, venting does have a therapeutic qualities to it!

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