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Thursday, May 26, 2005
Reasons not to use to book airline tickets OR Why the end of my roadtrip was a disaster
  1. If they discover that, GOD FORBID, someone bought your ticket for you, using her credit card, they'll leave a message on her phone saying they've cancelled your reservations without leaving any contact numbers. They'll also claim that they have sent her an email telling her to call them which she never responded to; however, no such email will be in her inbox or yours.

  2. When you call to try to get back on the flight you will first wait on hold for almost a half hour. Then the first person who picks up will make you tell your whole story, then put you on hold for another 15 minutes. Someone totally different will then pick up the phone, you'll have to start all over in order to get placed on hold again. The third person who picks up, Becka, will sound like your savior. She will be happy to put you back on your flight. She'll sound so sad that she has to charge you $50 more for your ticket because the rates are controlled by the airline and they have changed. She'll take your phone number and assure you that they'll call instead of "email" with any problems because she knows you are on the road, and she'll swear that your friend's money is probably already back in her bank account from the previous "misunderstanding." You hang up the phone after almost 2 hours, filled with relief that you are back on your original flight, even the fifty dollars doesn't seem so bad all things considered. You had to use your own debit card for the ticket, but your friend has written you a check for it, so you'll even be able to pay your rent.

  3. When you get to LAX an hour and a half before your flight, you will discover that U.S. Airways has no record of any reservation for you. Oh wait! There is one showing, but it was voided. No, you explain, that was the first reservation. You are told to call 1800CheapSeats to straighten things out. You call a customer service number that the lovely Becka had given you. You wait on hold. 5 minutes later, when you are almost a sobbing mess staring at the clock above the ticket counter, someone finally comes on the line. "I'm at the airport," you'll say, "I really need help, I'm going to miss my flight." You're put on hold again...for 20 minutes this time. You finally hang up and call the regular number, figuring if they think you're going to BUY something they'll answer the phone. You're right. You spend too much time at the ticket counter as well as on the phone trying to figure out what happened.

  4. Between the three of you, you'll figure out that while your name is Lori L. _enn_ _ , CheapSeats has spelled it Loril _een_ _. You have to wait while CheapSeats sends an electronic message to U.S. Airways noting their mistake. While you are waiting you'll find out that your friend Becka has not only gotten both of your names wrong, but she has also neglected to tell you that she did not put you back on your original flight leaving at 10.50am, she has put you on a flight leaving at 8.30am, and because you weren't there, U.S. Airways has cancelled you as a "no-show."

  5. You'll have to pay $100 for a "change" to get put on the flight you were always supposed to be on in the first place.

  6. You'll get a frantic phone call from your friend begging you not to cash her check because CheapSeats has NOT REFUNDED her money and she's going to have to put a stop payment on her card AND change bank accounts to get away from their FRAUD.

  7. When you angrily, yet calmly, call CheapSeats the next morning demanding a full refund for all the torture, crap, hassle, and incompetence they put you through, they'll make excuses about merging with another company. They'll disbelieve you aloud that one of their representatives would neglect to tell you you were on a different flight, but back down a bit when you remind them that she had already spelled BOTH of your names wrong, so really, does it seem so far-fetched? They'll tell you that regardless of assurances and the fact that you were driving at least 8 hours a day for the past 4 days, that you should have called U.S. Airways to check on your flight information, and they won't seem to care that even if you had called to check, they wouldn't have been able to find you in their system anyway because BOTH of your names were SPELLED wrong by their illustrious representative.

  8. In the end you'll settle to only get your $100 back that you paid to "change" your flight, but you'll still feel angry and let down and your friend will still not have her money back.
posted by LoRi~fLoWer
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