Airline Fiasco

Remember when it was fun and exciting to get to travel on a plane? Well, those days are long gone. Flying now seems to be such a hassle. First you must arrive several hours before your flight and bid your people farewell since they cannot accompany you to the gate. Then you must wait in lines to pass through several security check points before you get to the gate. Of course my gate is always the last one in the terminal.

Now I have a tale that will make you shake your head.

Last week my brother-in-law, Tom, came to visit. He flew into St. Louis so he could spend a few days at his father’s, then they came to my home. He planned to leave from the Branson airport. These plans were made in July.

Monday he looked at his paperwork for his ticket and discovered he did not have a flight home. Oops! He had made an error back in July and just now discovered it. Immediately he called the airline but after waiting on hold for thirty minutes they could not help him. As they transferred him, the call was disconnected.

Next step was to book a flight on the ipad. He discovered it would be $60 cheaper to leave on Monday, rather than Tuesday. He entered all the information needed, but it continued to say there was an error. We could not find the error.

We got out my laptop, but discovered that the airline said there were no seats available. We knew this was not true. We checked Orbitz, but the price jumped to $580. Then I checked Travelocity. Yes, they had the flight for $240 and seats were available. Breathe a big sigh of relief, he has a ticket and boarding passes.

He was at the airport in plenty of time, it seemed the crisis had been averted. But wait, what was that announcement? “If your boarding pass does not say carry-on, you must report to the desk.” What’s this all about he wondered, as they were beginning to board the plane.

“Sir, you must pay $100 to carry-on your bag since you did not book through the airline. Or you can go back out to the service desk and check your bag for $25.” Tom headed back out to the desk where one person had three phones ringing and ten people  waiting in line to check bags. He stood there for seven minutes and not one person had been helped. He went back through security and returned to the desk. The attendant was rather rude to him when he said he would just pay the fee. “You will have to wait until all the other passengers have boarded before I can process you,” the attendant said. So he was the last person to board the plane.

To make matters worse, there were several crying babies on the flight too. Fortunately, that flight was only an hour.

I could not believe that he had to pay $100 extra to carry his own bag on the plane. That’s ridiculous! I won’t be flying Frontier if I can help it.


18 thoughts on “Airline Fiasco

  1. Apparently the airlines think they are doing us a big favor to let us ride on their planes… I am sorry to hear of these frustrating problems. After all that, I am glad he made it home!

  2. Elsie,
    It seems like you’re punished for being a tech savy shopper for airline tickets these days! Sorry to hear of Toms’s difficulty traveling by plane! Profit at all cost is the going rate and way of life these days-very unfortunate that customer service no longer plays a role in airline satisfaction.

  3. So, SO accurate. I am quite patient, because I wouldn’t want to be on the other side of the counter, but man, if I WERE on the other side of the counter, I would surely hope I was a more humane human on a regular basis!

  4. I had a similar experience a couple of months ago on Frontier, where they tried to charge me because I had a purse AND a computer bag. The kicker, though, was when the couple next to me, who were probably close to 90, could not have a can of tomato juice until their seat mates paid, because they didn’t have a credit card. I’ve flown to Phoenix on US Airways three times since then! A much better experience.

  5. I am not much of an air traveler and I guess from reading this, that might not be such a bad thing.

    I loved Jaana’s comment about carrying her own toilet paper – that is funny!

  6. Airlines are making it more and more difficult for people to travel comfortably without getting soaked. It’s so unfortunate. I remember when I used to love to travel on planes. Now I loathe it because of all of the fees. (Sigh.) And yet I just booked a trip to CA next year. Hahaha!

  7. not a Carter fan says:

    You must keep in mind that the charges, be they for checked bags, carry-on bags, re-booking fees…what have you, they are ARBITRARY charges. The airlines need to make money somehow! Remember, the planes cost a few bucks, fuel, insurance,and the rude staff needs to be paid.
    Of course, if you want the root cause of this mess, you can lay it at the feet of that confounded idiot, the moron from Georgia who makes other morons seem genius by comparison, the prince of airline deregulation, the peanut brained peanut farmer from Plaines….Jimmy Carter. (I got this from Wikipedia, I think.)

  8. So sorry for all the hassle your brother went through. It’s sad that traveling has come to this. I remember being little and wishing my family could fly somewhere, anywhere, just because I wanted to try it out. My how things change, huh? Now, you pay fees for paying fees! 🙂

  9. Hummm…I am thinking what a terrible way to run a business and really a fee to carry on a bag…ridiculous! I kind of wish you hadn’t told this story so well because I am quite sure my blood pressure has gone up. 🙂

  10. Lynn says:

    You are so right Elsie! I say this all the time traveling on a plane is far from fun… but if you have people around the country you want to see we have to deal with all the junk I guess…

  11. So sorry for the trouble. When we went to the beach via Frontier, we discovered that they are no longer even offering that small drink free anymore; everything had to be purchased! Of course that also means that it takes forever to get anything because they have to process the credit cards! We took our own snacks on the flight home! Sorry for that extra fee-amazing penalty for ??

  12. Ugh…and to think back upon those days when traveling was glamorous and something we looked forward to – china plates and real glassware, plus gracious folks to welcome you and make the journey comfortable. Sigh…those were the days!

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