Airlines vs You: Sometimes You Can Win

Here’s a story in Saturday’s Philadelphia Enquirer about a woman who fought with Delta Airlines for a ticket reimbursement from a ticket she bought on Priceline. Eventually, the woman won, but it wasn’t an easy battle and she still missed a job interview. The story is a good lesson in consumer rights. Be polite, but firm and don’t quit before you’re satisfied.

Generally, I’ve been fairly lucky with air travel, except perhaps I’m choosing to remain oblivious and only remember the good times. Here are a couple of my stories of winning. When it happens, it sure feels good.

There was the one time I was flying out of LaGuardia heading for New Mexico when the flight was canceled and the airlines thought it was appropriate to rebook me on an hours-later flight. I argued for something better which involved the airline sending me in a taxi to JFK so I could fly out of there.

Then there was the time when we didn’t reconfirm our Korean Airlines reservation when we were flying out of Narita, Japan and lost our seats. (You have to confirm 72 hours in advance and this was the summer.) Somehow we were rebooked on a Japan Airlines flight even though we had non-transferable tickets.

Then there was last summer when we were flying from Columbus to Denver through St. Louis. The flight out of Columbus was canceled and we were booked on a later flight that meant several hours of wait time in St. Louis. Once in St. Louis I saw there was an earlier flight and we got on it, but had to go back to the airport to get our bags since they came in on the later flight. At least I wasn’t in the airport with a 4 year-old and was able to pick up the rental car sans bags. Sometimes its good to not take the no for an answer.