Paying for Your Airline’s Technical Problems
Who is paying for your airline’s technical problems? You are. It is coming directly out of your pocket.
I have been flying back and forth to Florida for personal reasons for the past three months. We are talking a lot of flying – six trips in three months. From New York to Florida and from Florida to New York, again and again. When you fly for personal reasons and you are paying for it out of your pocket, it is a lot of flying and a lot of money. And when making last minute plans, as most of the flights have been, every dollar counts.
My last trip was urgent. I needed to fly out the next day, so I immediately went on Expedia to get an idea of how much money it would cost. Afterall, it was Spring Break. I found a flight on Jet Blue for $259.50. I immediately went to the Jet Blue sight and found the same exact flight for $311. I had to ask Jet Blue another question, so while I was on the phone with them, I asked the agent, why the price difference? He told me he was seeing the flight for $259.50. I realized because I am a frequent flier and my computer’s cookies showed that I frequently searched for airfare to Florida, I needed to clean out my cache on my computer, so Jet Blue would think this was my first time searching for a flight. I did that and to no avail. I immediately hopped on my daughter’s computer and found the flight for the $259.50. With only two seats left at that price, the race was on. I was booking it.
Not so fast…..I was on Safari, the browser that works on my daughter’s Mac. I entered all the information into Jet Blue’s website and even chose my seat. I entered my credit card and nothing. I received an error. I tried again and again and again, using different credit cards and finally called Jet Blue’s customer service, who are usually super helpful. Not this time.
The agent asked me if I was using my phone, iPad or a Mac. When I told her I was on my Mac, she said, ‘that’s the problem, you can’t pay by credit card using Safari. You will need to use a different browser.’ She then looked at the price of the flight for me and said, it will cost you $311 and a $25 booking fee. I told her I didn’t want to do that because I got a flight for $259.50 and paying more was not an option. She didn’t even offer to waive the $25 fee for having an agent book the flight. Again – the Jet Blue website was not working with Safari. This was not a human, customer error. It was a Jet Blue error.
I asked for a supervisor, who told me she would waive the $25 fee but she couldn’t do anything about the price of the flight because it was now showing up as $311. When I explained it wasn’t a customer error, but rather a Jet Blue site problem, she offered to look up and see the lowest fare she could find. She found a fare for $279 and said, “I could give it to you for $279.” When I said, I have the screen shot right here showing a fare of $259.50 and I could email it to you, she said, “Do you want to pay $279 or $311?” Needless to say, I took the $279 fare. But I still wasn’t happy. It didn’t seem right or ‘fair’ that because Jet Blue was having a technical error and I couldn’t pay for my flight, that I had to pay an additional $19.50 and let’s not even discuss the stress of getting the flight booked.
I sent an email to Jet Blue’s customer service, who repeated what you can find on their website, “Fares are not guaranteed………” They expressed how sorry they were for my frustration and anything else they could say to make me go away.
I responded by expressing my disappointment and frustration and told them that had they given me a refund of $19.50 and an apology for the problems with their website, I would have been raving about Jet Blue, but instead, I was going to be complaining to everyone I knew about what happened and it was unfortunate.
It wasn’t a threat. It was reality. I blog. I have a strong opinion. I am on Facebook far too much. I am a vocal consumer, who expresses her opinion – good and bad. Ask Delta? I tweeted my more than 23,000 followers about the amazing service they provided in my time of need.
After the last email I sent to Jet Blue, I received another email from them, telling me they were crediting my Jet Blue travel bank with $25 and they are sorry for my inconvenience.
This wasn’t about the money, rather it was the point of how I was treated. I wasn’t asking to be reimbursed unfairly.
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Are we all paying for the technical problems of the airlines?