A Frustrating Travel Experience...

Oh my... I feel so out of touch with my bloggy buddies.  I really didn't mean to take such a big break from blogging but sometimes life just gets in the way. :)

I normally don't post about family things because that's not what this blog is about.  However, my shoestring budget comes into play on this issue and I'd like to hear if any of you have had a similar experience and if you were able to do anything about it. 

We had a wonderful week long vacation in Florida where I thought I'd be able to update my blog (yeah, didn't happen, next time I'm going to ask for one of you cool bloggers to be my guest poster, lesson learned.) 

Anywho,  we were scheduled to get home last Friday.  Thursday night my 5 year old was up all night long with a terrible stomach bug.  There was no way we would be able to fly home on Friday with him in that condition.  We paid a small fortune to have our flight re-scheduled for the next day.   The airline told us there were no special vouchers or discounts for medical issues. 

The more I think about it the more frustrated I am with the airline.  I watch the news and I know that over the past several years airlines have been struggling.  Some going out of business and others constantly adding fees and taking away perks for the passengers all the while.  I understand that they have to cover their own rear end and that giving a special fare to someone changing flights due to illness opens a whole can of worms(ie; what is considered a "medical condition" worthy of a flight change discount and those faking illness to get a cheaper flight change fee). 

But for those who really do need to change a flight due to illness the charge is highway robbery.  We paid more than half of the cost of 4 round trip tickets to reschedule.  There was no discount for illness, instead a "too bad so sad, you're out of luck" attitude. 

Do they want me to bring my vomiting, fever-running, running to the bathroom every 15 minutes little guy on their plane?  At this age they don't make it to the bathroom until it's too late.  I mean, seriously!?

Obviously, we wouldn't do that to our boy because it wouldn't have been fair to him.  It was bad enough that we had to take him the following day, he was a little better but not great.  (He was a trooper though and we were very proud of him.)   

Another reason I'm disgusted with the hefty fee we paid is that our original flight was full, so the airline was able to re-sell our seats to someone else.  So, we paid for our original seats, then we paid an outrageous price for our rescheduled flight, and then someone else paid the airline again for our original seats! 

While it would've been nice to have our flight re-scheduled for free I knew that would never happen and did not expect it.  I did expect to pay a reasonable fee, maybe $50 or $75 a person.  Instead we paid more than our original one-way ticket cost totally blowing our budget.

Any of you ever have this happen to you?  Did you write the airline?  Did they do anything about it? 

I plan on writing the airline to voice my concerns... I'll let you know how it turns out.




I heart Sanibel Island!

7 comments :

  1. Oh man, what a frustrating experience. I hope the rest of your trip went well.

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  2. We went to Florida when my son was 4 years old. He has IGA Immune Defeciency and really suffers from it. For him to fly in an airplane we have to cover him with a face mask and put him on anti-biotics. We picked our seats months before we left. When we got to the plane they separated all of us. 2 parents separated from a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year olds. CRAZY. Then they tried to put our son right next to the NASTY bathrooms. We complained and refused to fly. They then had us all sit next to the bathrooms. We don't want out boy around the bathrooms. We complained again and had to just deal. On the way home they upgraded all of us to first class and went out of their way to make us comfortable. They never asked us what was wrong with our son but knew it was something important because of their reaction to his face mask. I think you absolutely should complain. Nothing may come of it but who knows maybe you will receive a voucher. I wish you luck and hope you realize what an awesome mom you are to your son. ALso, I thank you for not putting your son on the plane where he could have spread aso many germs and made many others sick.

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  3. Oh, I would DEFINATELY send the a nice (being sarcastic here) long letter. That is just horrible!!! As much as people are so concerned about "catching" things while they travel, you would think that they would be appreciate that you are one of the considerate ones that would not try to fly with a sick child. Not only were you looking out for the well being of your child, but the well being of other travelers.

    I would send the letter...certified...to their corporate office, the regional office, and the local office (in Florida) as well as the Better Business Bureau. And be sure to put at the bottom of the letter that you are cc: every office and BBB. BTW, did you get the name of the airline rep you were dealing with? If so, include their name as well.

    It is a shame how larger companies and corporations are taking advantage of the consumers and blaming it on the economy. Part of the reason I decided to patronize smaller companies and the independent sellers. Customer service is far more important to me than cost.

    All in all, I hope you guys enjoyed the rest of your trip and your little one is doing better.

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  4. Absolutely send a letter detailing your experience. Even a phone call to start then a follow up letter. I completely understand those last minute and changed plane tickets. I paid a fortune to fly to and from Texas when my mom was urgently admitted to the hospital.

    A few years ago I had an experience where I had to share my seat with the stranger sitting next to me. I couldn't even put my seat arm down to separate us and had the other person physically touching me for the entire flight, even with me being scooted as far into my hubby as I could, on the other side. It was very uncomfortable. I didn't say anything on the flight, not wanting to embarrass my seatmate. I did call the airlines and they apologized and sent me vouchers covering the cost of that flight.

    I applaud you for doing what was best for your son and not infecting everyone else on the plane. The airline should be thanking you. It's called Customer Service.

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  5. Absolutely send a letter. and I agree with Zeva to cc everyone involved. Interesting, this winter they were barring people from boarding flights if they were ill. You would think they would appreciate the fact that you were keeping a potential viral illness OFF of the plane. I do understand that they may need to charge a fee for rescheduling, but this seems outrageous. We had a horrible incident with an airline when DH's mother passed away unexpectedly. The "bereavement" rate was ridiculous. We drove. Kathy

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  6. Thanks for all your sweet and informative comments! I am drafting a letter now and will post when I hear back. Hoping for vouchers as I know they won't give me my $ back.

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  7. First I would like to say I didn't know you had a blog and I will definitly have to link it onto my blog! It's so good! Second of all, I am in total agreement with you on this airline thing, seriously why would they not accomadate someone in this situation?!? I would definitley voice your concern and I hope it is heard!!

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