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Three score and ten or more

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Somebody’s doing something stupid

I travel quite a lot to see my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and occasionally just go for a trip to be with Janet and away from the house.  Tuesday morning, June 7, we leave for Camas, Washington to see my grandson’s High School Graduation.  We procrastinated getting tickets for awhile, hoping airlines would get desperate for clientele (they didn’t).  About the middle of May I decided to get our tickets.

 I tend to buy tickets mostly through Travelocity, occasionally through Expedia, less occasionally through Cheap Tickets, Hotwire or directly from the airlines.  I almost always shop all of these places and occasionally call a local travel agent,  but I have a card that says I am a preferred Travelocity Customer, so you know where I end up a lot of the time.

This time, it was a mess.  After a lot of sifting through the offerings, I  decided that I would book on US Air through Travelocity.  I went through the process, picked our seats and planned the trip.  Just as I started to conclude the process, Travelocity  gave me an encouragement to click something and get some special benefit, and like an idiot, I clicked it.  This took me to another page asked me some questions and, disgusted with my self  I tried to get back in and conclude my purchase.  I couldn’t find any of it.  I checked my itineraries, my account, everything else I could think of and none of the fruits of my computer labor seemed to be available.   I had no confirmation on my email, no trip on my itineraries, NOTHING. 

It was getting late, so I decided to go to bed and finish up the next day.  The next morning I went back trying to find the reservations I had started and there was nothing, so I started from scratch, and voila, I found seats  on Delta, leaving the following day (The first reservations were for Monday the sixth, these were for Tuesday the seventh leaving at almost the same time, but getting into Portland a couple if hours earlier) and these tickets were almost fifty bucks apiece cheaper.  I ordered them struggled because I had mislaid my Delta frequent flyers card and they were giving me a poorer choice of seats, but—Oh well, I ordered the tickets.

We have a family reunion coming up the last week in July.  We had toyed with going to Washington for graduation on the tenth of June and just hanging around until July, but I have so many things to do on our house (I am healthier now, and more able to do work, than I have been in about five years)  that we decided to come back home in June, and make another trip at the end of July.  This decision was boosted along because, for some purchase she had made, Bank of America, for a particular credit card, sent her a “Buy one get one free, two passengers for the price of one certificate, so we made reservations to go west to Utah and Idaho for the family reunion at the end of August.  In honor of the offer, we put both trips on that credit card.

I printed up the confirmation letter for the flight to Portland , sent copied to my family out there and considered our fate inexpensively filled.

Three days later Janet had a call from her credit card company asking if we were sure we wanted to charge both trips at that time, and Janet answered that “Yes we have a trip in June and one in July, and put them both on the card”

I never thought another thing about it till Jan received her credit card bill at the beginning of this month.  It had charges for the trip on Delta, AND for the trip on US air the day before.   Obviously the man from Bank of America was talking about the two trips in June rather than one in June and one in July.  Our bill was about eleven hundred bucks more than we were expecting.

I went back on the computer to Travelocity and still had no trace of the US Air trip in my itineraries. 

If you have used Travelocity you may have noticed a little box on the lower right of the second or third page that says, in effect, Travelocity guarantee.  If your reservations get messed up we will get together with our partners and straighten them out.

I immediately called customer service, and after twenty four minutes of music and speakers telling me how important my call is, someone answered the phone and speaking in heavily accented  English began to try to straighten out the mess.  I have seventy seven year old ears, so he had to repeat everything at lest three times.  When he asked for my trip number, I clarified that I had never received it, nor completed the order (US AIR on Monday).  He told me that he had a copy of the Email that was sent to me on May 17, (never received it) and finally said that he could cancel the tickets, but I would not receive a refund (Actually I have never had to buy refundable tickets before, and I didn't this time, but as far as I had been able to find out I had never completed the order)  I would receive a credit for the eleven hundred bucks Plus, but I would have to fly on US Air wherever I used the tickets (I have one year) and will have to pay a fee of $180.00 per ticket.  I shouted at the poor man a couple of times and he cancelled the flight (and told me what my trip number was- --  wasn’t that exciting?).

My brain took over for a moment and I looked at my “preferred customer card” and it had another number to call so I called it and with a very short wait time got a reply from another accented voice who promised that if , when I used the credit to travel, I would do it through that office they would lower the fee to $150.00.  Because I was not sure I understood everything he said I asked him if he would email me the information and he promised that he would ( The email never came, but I did get an e mail verifying the cancellation of the one set of tickets.  I still have to pay for them, but I have a cancellation number.  I am not sure whether to swear at Travelocity because they couldn’t straighten out the mess, and the computer would never bive me  information on the first flight, and they told me about emails that never came.  Or should I swear at Richard who stupidly clicked on the possible extra reward, and ended up thinking that his first flights were cancelled or should I just (I really have no choice in this one) pay the bill and weep. (And hope that sometime in the next year US Air will have a flight to somewhere that I want to travel, and that I will have the $150.00 or $180.00 per ticket that I have to pay in addition to every thing else.  I am sure I screwed up, but Travelocity did so as well.  PSSTHSSIIIS#%#%.


At 3:07 AM, Blogger Davoh said...

just being alive .. is doing something stupid .. but hey, if we all thought that way, most of us would be ..

At 5:17 AM, Blogger Ed said...

Not sure you have much of a case since your wife technically authorized the charges but in the past, I have had two dealings with companies that didn't have a satisfactory ending for me. In both cases I contacted my state branch of the Better Business Bureau to submit a complaint online and in both cases, the company I complained about stepped up to the plate and made things right. You may try that avenue.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

I'll try. Stupid

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Hope you can get some satifaction. It is so hard to undo those kind of mistakes. Good luck to you.


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