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A $17,000 mistake by AA and she missed her dream trip

Posted by
3289 posts

Wow! It's always infuriating to be right, and the person with just a little bit more authority than you insists that you are wrong. I think my head would have exploded.

I have been a Seth Kugel fan since the old days when he wrote The Frugal Traveler column for the Times.

Posted by
14151 posts

Can you give us a summary? I've used up my free articles, lol, which must now be one.

Posted by
3188 posts

Can't open it, as you need a subscription.
Thanks.

Posted by
10325 posts

Wow! I’m glad this traveler was persistent.

Posted by
11365 posts

I have good news for you: American will reimburse you for the total cost of your cruise.
I have bad news for everyone else: Getting you reimbursed for the airline’s obvious incompetence was such a maddening process, even for me, that I have very little hope for average consumers who suffer equally absurd wrongs in the future.

The article in a nutshell

The link Bets provided led me to a paywall. Doing a search, in a new tab, got me to a link where I got a one time (?) freebie (now see kayla has a free workable link)

One other pertinent segment of the article:

How could the original error have happened? My best guess is that the American agent confused the requirements to enter Chile as a whole to the much stricter documentation needed to visit the country’s isolated Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island). And then he stuck to his guns. So did American customer service: The responses they sent were unfailingly polite and entirely unhelpful.

And then there is the traveler's less than ideal planning:

I would be remiss not to point out your one mistake: You booked a multi-leg, international flight that was to arrive less than 24 hours before your very expensive trip was to begin, a risky plan. But just because someone walks perilously close to the edge of a cliff does not absolve the person (or airline) that pushes them over.

Posted by
327 posts

I second the arriving within 24 hours of departure. I had friends, leaving from SFO to Seattle or Vancouver to catch an Alaskan cruise. This is a relatively quick trip. Leave early in the morning for a late afternoon cruise departure. This was about 8-10 years ago at this point.

They get to the airport and it was a day when United's computer system went down--They were not able to get on a plane, missed the cruise and had to eat the cost.

I thought my friends were cutting it close to begin with. My husband and I fly out 2-5 days depending on the trip and time changes.

I'm glad that this woman got reimbursed, but still to miss this trip must be maddening, especially due to a know it all gate person who failed to check the rules and had to be right.

Posted by
14151 posts

Thank you Kayla, that worked well!

My word...what a nightmare. During Fall 2021 as people were returning to International travel a desk agent tried to tell me I needed a negative Covid test to go to France. I did not, I knew it and was able to back her down. It helped that a friend was checking in at the next desk and HER agent also knew that no testing was necessary for France and she was apparently the senior agent.

I've not heard of TripMate insurance either but they really wormed their way out of paying and I suspect the traveler did not know the limitations on payout on that policy.

Posted by
5258 posts

Hi Bets,
I was not able to read the article, would you please give us a summary, thanks

Thanks Kayla! Wow!

Posted by
6778 posts
Posted by
10284 posts

Fixed. I thought that was a tiny tick tack toe.

Posted by
6778 posts

I have been a Seth Kugel fan since the old days when he wrote The Frugal Traveler column for the Times.

Estimated Prophet, me, too but I still remember when Susan Spano was the Frugal Traveler back in the 90's - I loved her stuff!