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Airline/Travel agent issue, any experience like this?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by captainron62, Mar 24, 2015.

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  1. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Last November along with three other couples we booked an all inclusive Jamaican vacation for this coming Oct. We booked over 300 days in advance through an online travel agent that specializes in all inclusive. The airfare was included and we had our airline confirmation and flight numbers etc. Last night I get an email for the travel agent saying this:

    We have received notification from United Airlines of a flight schedule change that will effect your return flights home from Jamaica on October 25th. This does not effect your outbound flight from Columbus to Jamaica, only the return.

    They have discontinued flights that will take you all the way from Jamaica to Columbus in a 1 day time frame on Saturdays. They would like to have you travel back home 1 day early on Friday, October 24th. If you decide to do this, you will receive a refund for the one day not used at the hotel. If you do want to stay the full 8 days and still leave on October 25th, the only option at this time would be with an overnight connection putting you back home into Columbus at 8:00am.


    So basically because United Airlines cancelled our flight they want us to cancel our final day of vacation. We intentionally selected our vacation days as there is an event we would like to attend the final night of our trip. I replied to the email and said that firstly I was disappointed that I was even being asked to either cancel a night of my vacation or subject myself to an 16 hour over night layover. I proposed that this should be the problem of United airlines to find us a connector flight that gets us back to Columbus. We are flying into an international airport, it can't be very difficult.

    I also expressed dissatisfaction that the travel agent would think that cancelling the final day of a vacation for 8 people and subsequently costing a small family owned resort all that business on a prime night would even be a reasonable solution.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Having been in travel ,I can say things do happen like this from time to time,sometimes theres an easy solution,sometimes not. You just have to keep after it and see what if anything these on-line guys can do. I would find out first off who actually booked the air,hotel,transfers etc. Is it the online guys or do they put you thru a wholesaler like UA Vacation,Go-Go Tours or similar, .
    It's been a while since I was in the biz, but I know who you deal with can matter when problems arise. Good Luck.
    I worked for a well-known established co. that had it's own direct line to a rep at the airlines when we needed a solution.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  3. miniwhale

    miniwhale Low-Roller

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    Is there another airline that flies direct from Jamaica to your city? I know airlines cancel flights, I just can't imagine they would cancel it if it is the only one that day. But I am sure it happens. What do you want them to do?
     
  4. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    I think they use FUN-JET. I see it as you do things happen, but this trip is six months away and all major airlines fly into CMH (Columbus). None fly direct, they all connect from Atlanta, Wash., etc But everyone except now United I guess has flights coming in that day. I checked it out and we could say for example fly United into Atlanta and then Delta, or Southwest into CMH.
     
  5. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    It was not a direct flight anyways. We were supposed to fly from JA to Atlanta and then connect into CMH. I just want them to book us another connection into CMH on the same day. There are plenty available and it shouldn't be an issue. If they don't want to do that then I want a refund and I will book my own flight. I just don't want to accept their two options which was to cancel our final day or spend the night in an airport.
     
  6. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Try calling Fun- Jet and see if they will re-book you ,never heard of them when I was in the biz.At least not in my area. Try to get an answer why they wont re-book you. . If you have Travel Ins. call them ,see if this qualifys for trip interuption coverage. I mostly used Travel Impressions and GO-GO Tours as my main suppliers for Caribbean trips ,great customer service.
     
  7. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    I was wrong, this is booked through TRAVEL IMPRESSIONS. I am awaiting their response now.
     
  8. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    Good to find this out 200 (or so) days in advance rather than 30 days in advance.

    I hope you can reach a workable settlement. And enjoy your trip!
     
  9. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    Understand that that the travel agency doesn't have any control over the situation and is likely just as frustrated as you are. Second, understand that the fact that you booked 300 days out and received a confirmation number is not relevant. In fact, the further out you book, the more likely that the airline will change your flight schedule. Okay, so what now?

    First, check United's schedule for your return trip to see what they offer. It looks like United only has one flight out of Montego Bay on October 25th, that departs at 2:50 pm, and arrives in Newark at 7:48 pm. From here you would connect to your final destination of Columbus, which would be an overnight flight. Checking the next couple of days (October 26, and October 27), it appears that United has NO flights from Jamaica at all, so adding a day to your trip is not possible (if you choose to stay with United). So, the agency's hands are tied by the airline because there simply is not another United flight to put you on.

    So, what are your options? If your scheduled departure time has changed by more than two hours from its original schedule, your airfare can be completely refunded. And it's likely that the agency can get a full refund on your other travel components as well. Assuming you choose to refund the trip, the agency may be able to rebook you on another airline and reassemble your package into a new booking. But it would simply be as if you were booking the trip for the first time, and the cost of the trip would be subject to whatever the current airfare, combined with your hotel and other travel components are. Think of it like starting fresh.

    To recap, your options are:

    1) Accept the flights that United is offering.
    2) Cancel the trip and get a refund.
    3) And if you desire, rebook the trip on another airline at the prevailing rates.


    I know this is not what you want to hear and you are peeved about this, but your anger should be directed toward United, rather than the agent who is trying to assist you. Good luck! Hopefully, your agency will be able to find you an agreeable solution.
     
  10. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    I am not in the least bit angry, disappointed is more like it. I am not happy with the "assistance" of our travel agent whose interest should be in preserving my vacation as booked and not immediately regurgitating the offer from United as it was proposed to them. Of course United is going to offer what is most advantageous to them, but supposedly this is why we use travel agents, that is to help with our interests as travelers. I believe this will work out and we will simply book another return flight. I am sure it will happen like that the only question is how much of it will be on our dime over what we have already paid.
     
  11. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    That could be good news Capt. TI is a decent outfit, at least they used to be.
     
  12. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    The email your received was likely generated automatically, which generally will only show you what the airline is proposing to do with your booking. It wouldn't discuss you other options, such as obtaining a refund.

    Whether you can get a refund depends upon how much the new schedule varies from the original schedule. In your case, I assume it's more than a two hour change in either your departure or your arrival. In that case, you are correct, the agent should be able to refund your United flights without an issue. If this is the option you are looking for, you should be in good shape.

    As for how much the new flights will cost on another airline, it would depend upon what the prevailing rates are on the alternate airlines. It looks like you have options on US Airways, American, and Delta, with departures ranging from 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm, and arrivals in Columbus ranging from 7:15 pm to 8:55 pm, respectively. I hope the agency is able to assist you.
     
  13. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    Our email was not automatically generated, it was a personal email from your travel agent. I actually just got off the phone with her and we got this resolved. Firstly, she apologized and said she should have included in her email as I had suggested that we have a legal right to a refund for the entire flight, both ways. She said she contacted United and as of late they have taken a hard line with re-booking flights and basically told her we could take it or leave it. They would not re-book us with another airline.

    Fine with us, we got a refund and booked the the flights we needed with SWA. We actually saved a very nominal amount of $$$ without the excess baggage fees United charges. This is our last bad experience with United, we will be done with them. We have always had good service from Delta and SWA so we will stick with them from here on out.

    So all is well that ends well! Thanks for all the input.
     
  14. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

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    This is great news! Score one for the traveler!
     
  15. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    I've actually had this happen before but the other way - where the flight would either leave later or the next day.

    Glad it got resolved Captain... :)
     
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