Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Whose job was it to let us know our flight was cancelled 6 weeks ago?

Whose job was it to let us know our flight was cancelled 6 weeks ago?

Jun 17th, 2000, 07:56 AM
  #1  
Kristin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Whose job was it to let us know our flight was cancelled 6 weeks ago?

We just returned from 3 weeks in France and it was a wonderful trip, but it started out VERY badly. We had made reservations in January with a ticket consolidator (won't name names yet). Roughly in March I called and got seat assignments with the airline. I asked if I needed to call again to confirm, and they said no, it was a confirmed ticket. So I didn't call again (BIG MISTAKE!). We arrived at the airport about an hour ahead (the first part of the trip was a flight from Kalamazoo to Pittsburgh, then the international leg). I confidently walked up to the ticket counter to check in and the woman announces, Oh, that flight doesn't go anymore. It hasn't gone for about six weeks!
Well, needless to say, I am absolutely astounded, not to mention, upset beyond belief. To keep a long story short (relatively), they told us they had rescheduled us for an EARLIER flight that day and that it wasn't their job to let us know. They said they had let the ticket consolidator know and it was their job to let us know. I called the ticket consolidator and, of course, they said, no it was the airlines' responsibility. Well, eventually, the airline rescheduled us on a plane THE NEXT DAY with an additional leg, making it a very long trip and cutting out one day in Paris for us! On top of it, they acted like we should be really grateful for their HELP! because really we should have confirmed and then we would have been told of the change. I told them the story above, but that made no difference.

My question: who dropped the ball? Whose job is it once a ticket is sold to let the person know that part of it isn't going to happen as scheduled? What recourse, if any, do you think I have? Your opinions needed before I start to write letters to complain.
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 08:02 AM
  #2  
Don
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The consolidator.
That's the chance we all take when we buy low cost tickets-I do it too but am aware of lots of risks when I do save a few hundred bucks.
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 09:08 AM
  #3  
howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
While it's not your "fault," per se, stil you've got to share part of the "blame" for not double checking. Even if the airlines say don't bother, I always make that double-check call a week or two before, just in case, no matter where I'm flying to. NOT to check with the airline within six weeks of your departure is not a good idea!
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 09:10 AM
  #4  
howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Having said all of the above, I would still send a "pleasant but firm" letter of complaint to the airline. You just might get a voucher back from them as a goodwill gesture.
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 12:52 PM
  #5  
elvira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's technically the seller of the ticket (consolidator, travel agent, etc.) to notify you of any changes in flights BUT don't count on it. My favorite column in Conde Nast's Traveler is the Ombudsman - the misfortunes of tourists' arrangements falling through, not being up to par, etc. - because it taught me to assume *nothing*. I have a great travel agent, but I still call the airline about a week before, and then again the day before, my flight leaves to make sure nothing's changed. Sad fact of life is no one cares about you except you (okay your mom, but she doesn't doesn't do this for you) when it comes to reservations.

Good topic, Kristin. This might spur others to double-check so something like this doesn't happen to them (sorry it happened to you; nasty way to start a vacation). Glad, though, you still had a wonderful trip.
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 01:30 PM
  #6  
Mary Ann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Kristin
Similar to Elvira, I always assume the worst, especially going overseas, not as much as coming back. Even when there is no consolidator, my daughter bought her ticket direct, they had our number, this was just for a weekend home, and they never called about canceling. We kept trying to get thru, they kept saying it was delayed. She had to get back so we just went to the airport, fortunately we had just enough time (after racing to the gate)to make another airline for the last flight of the day.
Usually the airline does have your local phone number, if they took it, there is a stronger case for their negligence in not calling you, otherwize why take it.
Coming back, especially from Europe, I am not as persistent, If I have to stay another day c'est la vie, or get compensation for a later flight.
Good luck with your case.
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 02:55 PM
  #7  
Richard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Way back, there was a saying "you paid your money, you made your choice", I think now it's some hoity-toity term like "caveat emptor".
 
Jun 17th, 2000, 03:59 PM
  #8  
Peg
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have booked a flight through Priceline.com for June 30 from Atlanta to Montreal several months ago. I was amazed to receive an e-mail from Priceline to let me know of a change in flight numbers on Air Canada. There was no change in times or itenerary, just one flight number. I thought that this was very good service! Didn't expect it from a "cheap ticket" type operation!
 
Jun 18th, 2000, 06:29 AM
  #9  
steve
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Even if you had bought directly from the airline,they might not have tjold you. 4 years ago, we had a large family group go to Hawaii. When my sister (a former travel agent and airline reservationist) called to confirm our return flight, she was informed that it had been cancelled.

We had purchased about 10 tickets directly form the airline.

She wrote a complaint letter and received a nice voucher ($1500) for future travel
 
Jun 18th, 2000, 07:24 AM
  #10  
Michael
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I had an interesting experience a few years ago. Flight was to Paris from NY. When I arrived at the check-in for those WITH tickets, I was told that MY reservation/ticket had been cxled.

I said that IF I had cxled, WHY would I be standing here at the counter with my ticket and my luggage ready to leave...

Well, the ticket counter person maintained her cool, and said "I'm sorry, but that seat has been re-assigned, the reservation has been cxled...etc etc. A supervisor was called over, and then the supervisor's SUPERVISOR.

The story unfolded this way. There were of two of us with the same name on the same flight...the other one cxled by phone. Since they didn't know which was which, the airline cxled both. They re-instated my reservation/ticket and all was well. BUT had I arrived at the airport later...it might have been a different story. As it was, I arrived three and half hours before the flight.

I never use a ticket consolidator just for that reason. They have your money and they don't care.

Michael
 
Jun 18th, 2000, 11:14 PM
  #11  
Joanna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Three weeks ago I cashed in frequent flyer points for flights and Qantas called me two days before to advise of rescheduling - that was with tickets that cost me nothing! There was no travel agent involved, so I would have expected in this case for the airline to advise me. Always call to reconfirm if possible because one never knows when a flight is rescheduled, cancelled or overbooked (which is why I'm always at the airport 3 hours before the flight goes so I'm not the one that gets bumped!).
 
Jun 19th, 2000, 04:13 AM
  #12  
Fred
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The few times I have traveled internationally, I beleive that the Airlines require comfirmation 72 hrs
before departure.
 
Jun 19th, 2000, 04:38 AM
  #13  
s.fowler
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It is my understanding that the reconfirmation requirement is for the return trip. I've done that as little as 12 hours before the flight. One airline told me that I couldn't reconfirm UNTIL 72 hours before. In any case it is a good idea to reconfirm. It's saved me grief a number of times.
 
Jun 19th, 2000, 09:15 AM
  #14  
Thyra
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Kristin, sorry about your mess,but glad you ended up having a great trip. We booked tickets to Greece through a travel agent, which I have never done, and got really inexpensive tickets. Friday the agent emailed me to let me know that our flight from London to Athens had been pushed back an hour (making a 9 hour layover in London). We don't even LEAVE until October. I was always kind of anti-travel agent, but this was a very positive experience. But still, you can bet I will be on the phone 24 hours before we leave... confirming everything.
 
Jun 19th, 2000, 11:04 AM
  #15  
Kristin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks to all of you for your answers. I see that I am not alone, which is always nice. Misery loves company! I also hope that I have warned others of the neverending need to check and re-check their flights. I know I will NEVER again not check. (I used to do so religiously and then got the idea that perhaps I was being too anal. But boy was I ever wrong!) I intend to write letters of complaint to both the airline and the consolidator and I'll let you know how these turn out. Thanks again.
 
Jun 19th, 2000, 01:05 PM
  #16  
Shelley
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
On one international trip where I had booked directly with the airline I arrived at the airport and was greeted with "didn't anyone call to tell you the flight was cancelled?" On another international trip where I had booked through a consolidator the consolidator informed me of the 3 changes including flight numbers and times. I then called the airline directly because the flight changes made it impossible to make my connection in Chicago. In this case the airline was great and changed the entire intinerary so I left 8 hours earlier.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:36 PM.