March 31, 2010

Flight Fiasco

What happened to good customer service?

Last June my husband and I flew to Kansas City for his grandparents' anniversary. But not without flight issues before we even left Nashville. Apparently this airline overbooks flights quite often and we were booted out and had to make other arrangements to get to KC. My brother-in-law had made the reservations and spent a good hour on the phone with their customer service (while in the airport) trying to convince them to give him his money back. In the meantime my husband and I spent that hour convincing the ticket counter to give us another flight (of course they didn't have any other flights available until the next day which would be too late for the party) and buying new tickets on a different airline at the "last-minute" rate (which you know is twice the cost of what we already paid and didn't leave for hours). So, to make us happy, they gave us all a free ticket to be used within a year to anywhere in the 48 states.

My brother-in-law used his a few months ago to visit his mother in Seattle. My husband and I want to use ours in May to visit Seattle, too. Since it's 2 months in advance there should be no problem, right?


I called customer service last night to book the flight because there was nowhere online to enter the code for the free tickets. The agent who took my call tells me that there are no seats available on the flight I want WHILE I'M LOOKING AT THE SEATING CHART ON THEIR WEBSITE THAT HAS AT LEAST 50 SEATS STILL EMPTY.

Me: "I'm looking at the website and there are several seats available. Why can't I be on that flight?"
Her: "I'm sorry, ma'am, but those seats can't be used with this free ticket code."
Me: "So, I can go online and buy these seats for $1500, but I can't have them as my free tickets when you guys screwed up and bumped us off our flight?"
Her: "Yes, ma'am. That's right."
Me: "I'm sorry, that doesn't make sense to me. Your airline overbooked us and we had to make other arrangements and now I can't even use the free ticket you gave me. But I can buy a ticket if I want to spend $1500. Is that right?"
Her: "Yes, ma'am."
Me: "I'd like to speak to your supervisor"
Her: "Ok. Hold please."
***Music playing for at least 15 minutes***

I finally gave up and called back. The next guy I got asked for the code on the bottom of my free ticket, then proceeded to tell me that there were no blackout dates and when did I want to fly. Um, can you say WTF?

Of course I called back to confirm this morning because I hadn't gotten the email confirmation I was promised. I finally got the email and it says "Reservation on Hold. No ticket issued. Please call customer service to purchase your ticket." Now, I have to drive down to the airport to make sure everything is as it should be and get an actual ticket that's not on hold.

I promise I will never fly with this airline again!

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