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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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airline complaint

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This will be the last time I accept a First Class upgrade incentive to take a different flight after the airline over sold a flight. My original flight was at 6:45am so the call to me came about 4am. (No problem with that, I was up and had a 5:30 shuttle ride scheduled.) They only needed 2 volunteers and it seemed like a good enough deal.

This led to a nightmare trying to get home because more than one flight was delayed because of mechanical issues and other problems none of which were weather related. A friend got a $500 voucher (different flight but also early morning and same airport) because the plane she was supposed to be on had 30 broken seats! The gate attendants announced that since there were only 2 of them, people should go back to the counter to re-book flights. Since I was close to the counter, I stayed in place but when my next flight was delayed and required re-booking I started calling the reservation service by phone. Eventually I was able to get one of last two seats on a commuter to Chicago but didn't have a printed boarding pass for the next leg. I later found proof of that boarding pass in my email showing a First Class seat. I had barely enough time to make the connection but needed my boarding pass printed out. (no smart phone) The gate attendant gave me a regular seat. When I complained, she was very rude and said nobody would ever have given me that kind of incentive to take a voluntary bump. I should have been given a voucher. Despite having a printed boarding pass from another flight (before re-scheduling) showing the First Class seat, she treated me like a liar and said I would have to speak to a supervisor. The flight was boarding before a supervisor handed me a new boarding pass with a First Class seat.

If I hadn't fussed, I would have lost the incentive they gave me to change my flight. Because I changed my flight, I ended up in a nightmare of re-scheduling (I think it was 5 times) trying to get home. In fact, maybe I should have been grateful I didn't have to overnight at a hotel because it was that close.

That rude gate attendant has me steaming plus I'm mad that I was stupid enough to accept an upgrade to First Class as compensation. So, if you were me, would you have held out for a voucher? And would you complain to the airline to see if you could get additional compensation?

Frankly, I was shocked that all the delays seemed to be due to mechanical problems (the first flight I was supposed to be on had landing gear problems so the pilot requested a mechanic who was unable to diagnose the problem). The gate attendants were almost overwhelmed with all the re-bookings and a third attendant had trouble using a crappy keyboard. How come planes that are suppose to fly out before 10am aren't in proper mechanical condition??? My original flight was over sold because they had to change aircraft which resulted in less available seats.

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