indcwby
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Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:37 am

She Boarded a Plane to See Her Dying Mother. Then Her Ticket Was Canceled. United Airlines removed Carrol Amrich from a flight when an online agency canceled her ticket.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/busi ... -desk.html
Last edited by qf789 on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: flamebait title
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iad51fl
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:46 am

This has NOTHING to do with United and everything to do with the travel agency "Traveler Help Desk".

They are the ones who cancelled the ticket...not United. Just media looking for low hanging fruit.
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indcwby
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:49 am

iad51fl wrote:
This has NOTHING to do with United and everything to do with the travel agency "Traveler Help Desk".

They are the ones who cancelled the ticket...not United. Just media looking for low hanging fruit.


I agree, hence the 'Thanks to 3rd Party Agency'. But you know public will outcry will see UA kicked her off. UA also will get blamed for saying that they could make changes to a ticket booked by another agency. I thought you couldn't make a change on your ticket without going through the original issuer (booking agency).
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wedgetail737
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:21 am

I agree. The only thing with UA is that they should have caught this issue BEFORE the pax boarding the aircraft. That's only thing that UA fell short.
 
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ADent
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:29 am

iad51fl wrote:
This has NOTHING to do with United and everything to do with the travel agency "Traveler Help Desk".

"Back at the airport, Amrich and Prelas were pleading with United to let them buy a new ticket to get back on the plane — it was the last flight of the night. Amrich said the United agent told them there wasn’t time for that, and that they would re-open the next morning."

From that line it seems to have something to do with United.
 
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LoftleidirDC8
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:35 am

United is not at fault. If the agency messed up the booking it falls on them. The agent at the gate may have been struck by departure deadlines. The agent can not delay a flight over a passenger that wasn't able to be boarded.
 
2175301
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:44 am

How does a ticket get canceled after a passenger boards a flight?

How do you have a ticket canceled after checking in for a flight?

I'm not sure of all the various legalities and where the dividing lines is... but, at a certain point the passenger was in possession of a seat on an aircraft - and almost certainly has legal rights.

Please do not quote the terms of carriage. No airline has allowed any court case that would challenge them to get to court. My view is that many portions of the standard terms of carriage would be shredded by a judge if they ever get to court (they are not freely negotiated). That is why airlines pay huge financial settlements to stop all such cases before they get to court.

Have a great day,
 
afcjets
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:52 am

iad51fl wrote:
This has NOTHING to do with United and everything to do with the travel agency "Traveler Help Desk".

They are the ones who cancelled the ticket...not United. Just media looking for low hanging fruit.


They cancelled her ticket after her boarding pass had been scanned, or the boarding pass scan failed in that it let through a refunded ticket. Either way, it is United's fault.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:01 am

The articles I have seen are poorly written. I would have bought the ticket directly from the airline website rather than from an online travel agency if I thought there might be a need to change the tickets. There are way too many third parties involved.
 
bennett123
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:12 am

I know on time departure is important, but really.

How would this have held things up.

If it was a late flight, slots are unlikely to be an issue.

It is also possible that the time could have been made given that there are less flights later in the day.

This could have been a good news story, now it is bad UA again.

A lot of big firms fail to take account of reputational damage.

All that costly marketing to get customers, then you do this.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:43 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
The articles I have seen are poorly written. I would have bought the ticket directly from the airline website rather than from an online travel agency if I thought there might be a need to change the tickets. There are way too many third parties involved.


I absolutely agree, third parties on airline tickets are always a bad idea. However, that was the way it used to be in the past and some people still think that way. I think in a few decades there'll be no travel agencies left, specially if they screw up like this.

Personally I always buy my tickets directly at the airline, never through a travel agency. First of all it's almost always the cheapest option, every third party involved needs to make a profit on it and is thus making it more expensive. Second, I like to be in control. I like to pick out the exact flight I want to fly and not depend on what a travel agency books me on (they might book me on a whole other flight than the one I would have picked).

In this case, the travel agency clearly screw up and needs to fix this. Clearly they'll be making a huge loss on this case, but that's their own fault. They should have done their work properly.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:49 am

bennett123 wrote:
I know on time departure is important, but really.

How would this have held things up.

If it was a late flight, slots are unlikely to be an issue.

It is also possible that the time could have been made given that there are less flights later in the day.

This could have been a good news story, now it is bad UA again.

A lot of big firms fail to take account of reputational damage.

All that costly marketing to get customers, then you do this.


The entire plane is making connections in Denver, the flight has to leave on time so they can make them. The same people bashing UA for this would be the first ones upset if they were stuck in Denver because they missed their connection...
 
grbauc
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:59 am

What a Useless Tread take this to twitter so we can talk aviation.
 
77H
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:05 am

I agree with comments about sticking to the name brand travel websites and/or the airline websites.

If the travel agency canceled the ticket, the travel agency is the number one offender here and should, in an ideal world, be the focal point of any outrage. But at the end of the day, UA is the household name here and unfortuntately the low hanging fruit as others have said. Unfortunately we live in a world where few people choose to read and gather facts before passing judgement.

That said, UA could have let her stay on the aircraft and go after the travel agency company for the cost of the ticket later, along with any ancillary fees they would incur in that endeavor. As much as I like UA and want them to shine, these sorts of incidents really shake my confidence.

What this incident seems to show in my opinion is:

1) front line employees still don’t feel empowered to make “common sense judgements”.
2) there are employees that lack the ability to make common sense judgments. (Which raises the question of why they are employees)
3) the employees don’t care enough to raise irregular situations to those that may have the wherewithal to see “the big picture” and proceed accordingly.

In my opinion this is how this should have been handled:

-UA Front alone employee discovers irregularity

-Employee documents specifics of the irregularity

-FL Employee notifies supe/manager if uncomfortable proceeding solo

-FL Employee or supe/manager documents specifics of irregularity

-FL Employee/supe/manager notifies passenger of situation (major brownie points as this gives the passenger the ability dispute charges on their end)

-UA employee advises customer this issue will be handled between the airline and the travel agency and give customer a POC to follow up for supporting documentation

Passenger is allowed to fly as planned and the irregularity is escalated to the robust legal department large corporate entities knowingly have

-legal department handles matter with travel agency in or out of court as necessary.

Everyone is happy.

77H
Last edited by 77H on Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
flydude380
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:10 am

And here we go again... Airlines and their staff getting the blame for something that's nothing to do with them -__-
 
77H
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:21 am

flydude380 wrote:
And here we go again... Airlines and their staff getting the blame for something that's nothing to do with them -__-


I would hope that your post is not in response to mine. As an airline employee myself my assessment is not baseless or ignorant of the challenges of working in the air transportation industry. I certainly did not place blame, rather gave constructive criticism based on how I would have proceeded.

Seeing as I’ve been in similar situations before, I can tell you with confidence there is always a way to handle irregularities on the back end while still providing quality service to a customer. This could have been an easy win-win for passenger and airline. An airline that could use a PR/moral boost both externally and internally.

77H
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:24 am

I checked out the website of the online travel agency the landlord used to buy the ticket. I would never use that website. Check out the airline contact info page. They have telephone numbers listed for Hooters Air, Continental Airlines, and Varig.

https://www.travelerhelpdesk.com/traveler-tools.html
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:25 am

77H wrote:
I agree with comments about sticking to the name brand travel websites and/or the airline websites.

If the travel agency canceled the ticket, the travel agency is the number one offender here and should, in an ideal world, be the focal point of any outrage. But at the end of the day, UA is the household name here and unfortuntately the low hanging fruit as others have said. Unfortunately we live in a world where few people choose to read and gather facts before passing judgement.

That said, UA could have let her stay on the aircraft and go after the travel agency company for the cost of the ticket later, along with any ancillary fees they would incur in that endeavor. As much as I like UA and want them to shine, these sorts of incidents really shake my confidence.

What this incident seems to show in my opinion is:

1) front line employees still don’t feel empowered to make “common sense judgements”.
2) there are employees that lack the ability to make common sense judgments. (Which raises the question of why they are employees)
3) the employees don’t care enough to raise irregular situations to those that may have the wherewithal to see “the big picture” and proceed accordingly.

In my opinion this is how this should have been handled:

-UA Front alone employee discovers irregularity

-Employee documents specifics of the irregularity

-FL Employee notifies supe/manager if uncomfortable proceeding solo

-FL Employee or supe/manager documents specifics of irregularity

-FL Employee/supe/manager notifies passenger of situation (major brownie points as this gives the passenger the ability dispute charges on their end)

-UA employee advises customer this issue will be handled between the airline and the travel agency and give customer a POC to follow up for supporting documentation

Passenger is allowed to fly as planned and the irregularity is escalated to the robust legal department large corporate entities knowingly have

-legal department handles matter with travel agency in or out of court as necessary.

Everyone is happy.

77H


No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact. Furthermore, the passenger will not appear on the manifest so that is a security issue that the FAA/TSA would have a fit about and the DCS will not allow the passenge to board their connecting flight so this pax would just be stuck in DEN instead of COS.
 
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9MMPQ
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Re: UA kicks off Passenger Trying to See Dying Mother Thanks to 3rd Party Agency

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:32 am

2175301 wrote:
How does a ticket get canceled after a passenger boards a flight?

How do you have a ticket canceled after checking in for a flight?



3rd party providers like Traveler Help Desk never have that level of airline system access where they can see if a passenger is already checked in or not.

Traveler Help Desk noticed someone else had changed the ticket. Likely a change fee would have to have been payed & perhaps there was also a fare difference with the new flight. In that case it's Traveler Help Desk missing out on required fees and then it's standard procedure to pull the ticket. They seem to have rescinded the ticket as they should & which is usually always stated in their conditions.With changes not being processed at 3rd party providers the very minute they happen in the system i can totally see how the timing could work out and allow something like this to happen.

From UA's point of view at the gate, you now have a passenger onboard who's ticket has just been rescinded by the travel agent for reason's you do not know and you will have to figure out. That also means payment by that travel agent to the airline is either cancelled or being taken back. A gate agent will have no choice then to pull the passenger. In my experience a gate agent can not even issue a new ticket at the gate if they would have been able to clarifiy the situation with all parties immediately (very doubtful). I wouldn't be surprised if a new ticket had to be issues & payed for at the ticket desk forcing the passenger to go back through security adding even more time.

At the gate, in an ideal world, maybe things could have been solved a little bit differently but it would have certainly involved at least an hour of delay to the flight if not more. But let's face it, you would have to be hoping & counting on a lot of communication, flexability and understanding from everyone involved and there is little room left for that in today's world.

Ultimately her landlord was also stupid enough to ignore the change conditions from Traveler Help Desk. He or she knew since they asked UA about it. Of course UA should not have changed her ticket, passengers are told every day they have to do so via their travel agent. But even after UA did change the ticket for her you still have a 3rd party that is perfectly able & allowed to pull your ticket who you have not notified about the change or your reasons for change. Why anyone would assume they'll be fine and take a risk with a ticket in a case like this i don't know. After that all the holes in the cheese lined up & she slipped through.

So let UA look into the agent that changed her ticket rather then refer her back to Traveler Help Desk. Looks like a 50/50 screw up between UA & her landlord changing the ticket.
I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences.
 
77H
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:50 am

usflyer msp wrote:
77H wrote:
I agree with comments about sticking to the name brand travel websites and/or the airline websites.

If the travel agency canceled the ticket, the travel agency is the number one offender here and should, in an ideal world, be the focal point of any outrage. But at the end of the day, UA is the household name here and unfortuntately the low hanging fruit as others have said. Unfortunately we live in a world where few people choose to read and gather facts before passing judgement.

That said, UA could have let her stay on the aircraft and go after the travel agency company for the cost of the ticket later, along with any ancillary fees they would incur in that endeavor. As much as I like UA and want them to shine, these sorts of incidents really shake my confidence.

What this incident seems to show in my opinion is:

1) front line employees still don’t feel empowered to make “common sense judgements”.
2) there are employees that lack the ability to make common sense judgments. (Which raises the question of why they are employees)
3) the employees don’t care enough to raise irregular situations to those that may have the wherewithal to see “the big picture” and proceed accordingly.

In my opinion this is how this should have been handled:

-UA Front alone employee discovers irregularity

-Employee documents specifics of the irregularity

-FL Employee notifies supe/manager if uncomfortable proceeding solo

-FL Employee or supe/manager documents specifics of irregularity

-FL Employee/supe/manager notifies passenger of situation (major brownie points as this gives the passenger the ability dispute charges on their end)

-UA employee advises customer this issue will be handled between the airline and the travel agency and give customer a POC to follow up for supporting documentation

Passenger is allowed to fly as planned and the irregularity is escalated to the robust legal department large corporate entities knowingly have

-legal department handles matter with travel agency in or out of court as necessary.

Everyone is happy.

77H


No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact. Furthermore, the passenger will not appear on the manifest so that is a security issue that the FAA/TSA would have a fit about and the DCS will not allow the passenge to board their connecting flight so this pax would just be stuck in DEN instead of COS.


Those are good points. In that case, show a little empathy and sympathy, explain very clearly that there are implications beyond the airline’s control that make in-the-moment rectification impossible. If asked for specifics, explain exactly what you just told me. In my role, I cannot recall a single situation in which providing the customer more information rather than less has yielded a negative result.

Perhaps it’s time we learn as a collective industry workforce that lack of information usually causes more harm than providing comprehensive information ensuring that passengers have facts, rather than being left to make up their own version of events.

For example, I had a customer come to me angry as all hell because they experienced a severe inconvenience. I took a few minutes to explain my understanding of the root causes and explained those root causes in a way someone not familiar with aviation could understand. The customers demeanor went from “screw Airline ....” to “thank you for letting me know, such is life”.
Heavily paraphrasing obviously.

77H
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 6745
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:23 am

flydude380 wrote:
And here we go again... Airlines and their staff getting the blame for something that's nothing to do with them -__-


Of course it is the fault of the airline. They are the professionals. They know how the system between the travel agents and airlines work. They declared that it was OK to change the booking, knowing were the ticket was bought. The airline could have said that they cannot change the booking, talk to the travel agency.

How can anybody here not blame the airline. Yes blame the travel agency too, but that should be something between the two professionals, travel agency and airline, but always the passenger gets the stick.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:44 am

Could UA have reinstated the ticket? Maybe.
Would the OTA pay them. Good luck getting that money.
Could they collect from the pax? Probably not on that ticket.
Could they issue a new ticket? Probably not enough time.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2892
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:32 pm

77H wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
77H wrote:
I agree with comments about sticking to the name brand travel websites and/or the airline websites.

If the travel agency canceled the ticket, the travel agency is the number one offender here and should, in an ideal world, be the focal point of any outrage. But at the end of the day, UA is the household name here and unfortuntately the low hanging fruit as others have said. Unfortunately we live in a world where few people choose to read and gather facts before passing judgement.

That said, UA could have let her stay on the aircraft and go after the travel agency company for the cost of the ticket later, along with any ancillary fees they would incur in that endeavor. As much as I like UA and want them to shine, these sorts of incidents really shake my confidence.

What this incident seems to show in my opinion is:

1) front line employees still don’t feel empowered to make “common sense judgements”.
2) there are employees that lack the ability to make common sense judgments. (Which raises the question of why they are employees)
3) the employees don’t care enough to raise irregular situations to those that may have the wherewithal to see “the big picture” and proceed accordingly.

In my opinion this is how this should have been handled:

-UA Front alone employee discovers irregularity

-Employee documents specifics of the irregularity

-FL Employee notifies supe/manager if uncomfortable proceeding solo

-FL Employee or supe/manager documents specifics of irregularity

-FL Employee/supe/manager notifies passenger of situation (major brownie points as this gives the passenger the ability dispute charges on their end)

-UA employee advises customer this issue will be handled between the airline and the travel agency and give customer a POC to follow up for supporting documentation

Passenger is allowed to fly as planned and the irregularity is escalated to the robust legal department large corporate entities knowingly have

-legal department handles matter with travel agency in or out of court as necessary.

Everyone is happy.

77H


No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact. Furthermore, the passenger will not appear on the manifest so that is a security issue that the FAA/TSA would have a fit about and the DCS will not allow the passenge to board their connecting flight so this pax would just be stuck in DEN instead of COS.


Those are good points. In that case, show a little empathy and sympathy, explain very clearly that there are implications beyond the airline’s control that make in-the-moment rectification impossible. If asked for specifics, explain exactly what you just told me. In my role, I cannot recall a single situation in which providing the customer more information rather than less has yielded a negative result.

Perhaps it’s time we learn as a collective industry workforce that lack of information usually causes more harm than providing comprehensive information ensuring that passengers have facts, rather than being left to make up their own version of events.

For example, I had a customer come to me angry as all hell because they experienced a severe inconvenience. I took a few minutes to explain my understanding of the root causes and explained those root causes in a way someone not familiar with aviation could understand. The customers demeanor went from “screw Airline ....” to “thank you for letting me know, such is life”.
Heavily paraphrasing obviously.

77H


In my experience, when people are under extreme duress the listening ears turn off the minute you tell them something they don't want to hear. The UA staff might have explained this to her but she was so concerned about seeing her mom (understandably) that she was not really listening.
 
mjoelnir
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:10 pm

usflyer msp wrote:

No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact. Furthermore, the passenger will not appear on the manifest so that is a security issue that the FAA/TSA would have a fit about and the DCS will not allow the passenge to board their connecting flight so this pax would just be stuck in DEN instead of COS.


So in consequence you get maximal negative PR for minimum gain. You just demonstrate how tone deaf the air travel industry seems to be.
The passenger had boarded and I am sure had been on the manifest. UA removed her of the manifest. It is typical again how little room for decision the front line personal have or believe to have.

UA accepted the change of booking and told it would be OK. That was the time to correct the error, not with the passenger seating in the seat on board the airplane.

All the time here on a.net passengers are told, having paid, their money in the hand of the airline, that they should complain later and jump through hoops to get their money back or compensation. And airlines endlessly try to back out of paying or at least make it very difficult to get your money. So why in hell can an airline not also once in a while take the risk of a few hundred dollars.
 
smokeybandit
Posts: 676
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:24 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
I checked out the website of the online travel agency the landlord used to buy the ticket. I would never use that website. Check out the airline contact info page. They have telephone numbers listed for Hooters Air, Continental Airlines, and Varig.

https://www.travelerhelpdesk.com/traveler-tools.html


Doesn't look like that page has been updated in 10 years.
 
TheOldDude
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:32 pm

The key point seems to be that when the landlord (Ms. Prelas) called United to change the ticket, she told United the ticket was purchased through a third party and United said changing it would not be a problem.

We have no confirmation of that account. It's entirely possible that it happened that way, but it is also possible that the explanation of a third party purchase was somehow ambiguous or otherwise obfuscated or simply not provided.

Until more is known about this I don't think anyone can assign blame.
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 6745
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:44 pm

TheOldDude wrote:
The key point seems to be that when the landlord (Ms. Prelas) called United to change the ticket, she told United the ticket was purchased through a third party and United said changing it would not be a problem.

We have no confirmation of that account. It's entirely possible that it happened that way, but it is also possible that the explanation of a third party purchase was somehow ambiguous or otherwise obfuscated or simply not provided.

Until more is known about this I don't think anyone can assign blame.


We know that UA accepted the change of booking.
 
afcjets
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:58 pm

usflyer msp wrote:

No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact.


Not only would they attempt to collect they would almost undoubtedly succeed and make even more money of their "administrative fees"...

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... olicy.aspx
Last edited by afcjets on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
BREECH
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:20 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:03 pm

indcwby wrote:
She Boarded a Plane to See Her Dying Mother. Then Her Ticket Was Canceled. United Airlines removed Carrol Amrich from a flight when an online agency canceled her ticket.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/busi ... -desk.html

An amazing example of a once respectable newspaper going closer and closer to the bottom to feed. If I may I'd advise indcwby to be a bit more discerning in regards to what he reads and brings to public attention.
No friendship, love or respect unite people as much as shared hatred towards something.
Sergey Dovlatov
 
TheOldDude
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:07 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
TheOldDude wrote:
The key point seems to be that when the landlord (Ms. Prelas) called United to change the ticket, she told United the ticket was purchased through a third party and United said changing it would not be a problem.

We have no confirmation of that account. It's entirely possible that it happened that way, but it is also possible that the explanation of a third party purchase was somehow ambiguous or otherwise obfuscated or simply not provided.

Until more is known about this I don't think anyone can assign blame.


We know that UA accepted the change of booking.


Allow me to further explain. The story in in the New York Times, which is to a broad audience and not to avgeeks. The assertion that United was told of the third party places in the audience's mind (1) the landlord was completely upfront with United, and (2) United should have been aware of the potential problem with a third party booking.

The broad audience drawing a conclusion that United is somehow guilty based on nothing more than assertion is simply flawed.

From an avgeek's perspective, so much is not known about his incident that any assignment of guilt has to be based on intuition rather than fact.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2892
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:07 pm

afcjets wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:

No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact.


Not only would they attempt to collect they would almost undoubtedly succeed and make even more money of their "administrative fees"...

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... olicy.aspx


The agency cancelled the ticket. That is allowed so there would be nothing for UA to issue a debit memo for. They would have to attempt to collect from he customer.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2892
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:12 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
TheOldDude wrote:
The key point seems to be that when the landlord (Ms. Prelas) called United to change the ticket, she told United the ticket was purchased through a third party and United said changing it would not be a problem.

We have no confirmation of that account. It's entirely possible that it happened that way, but it is also possible that the explanation of a third party purchase was somehow ambiguous or otherwise obfuscated or simply not provided.

Until more is known about this I don't think anyone can assign blame.


We know that UA accepted the change of booking.


Changing tickets within 24 hours of departure with the airline is completely normal business practice. Do you really expect passengers in North America to contact their travel agent in Bangkok to change flights at the last minute? It is not realistic.

This travel agency is just on some BS but that is not UA's fault. This article was just a hit piece.
 
afcjets
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:14 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
afcjets wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:

No airline is going to allow someone to fly without a valid ticket. Full stop. The airline is not going to attempt to collect payment after the fact.


Not only would they attempt to collect they would almost undoubtedly succeed and make even more money of their "administrative fees"...

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... olicy.aspx


The agency cancelled the ticket. That is allowed so there would be nothing for UA to issue a debit memo for. They would have to attempt to collect from he customer.


If they cancelled her ticket after they scanned her boarding pass and she flies, they definitely would. I am assuming you think that is when they cancelled her ticket because your posts indicate United is not at fault.
Last edited by afcjets on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
 
kalvado
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:16 pm

So a ticket was cancelled after the boarding pass was issued - and accepted for boarding?
OK, if that works - remind me to cancel my next booking once the plane is airborne.
 
afcjets
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:23 pm

kalvado wrote:
So a ticket was cancelled after the boarding pass was issued - and accepted for boarding?
OK, if that works - remind me to cancel my next booking once the plane is airborne.


It doesn't. The charge would still appear on your credit card and if you tried to dispute it through your credit card company you would not win because you were on the flight.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2892
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:36 pm

afcjets wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
afcjets wrote:

Not only would they attempt to collect they would almost undoubtedly succeed and make even more money of their "administrative fees"...

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/conten ... olicy.aspx


The agency cancelled the ticket. That is allowed so there would be nothing for UA to issue a debit memo for. They would have to attempt to collect from he customer.


If they cancelled her ticket after they scanned her boarding pass and she flies, they definitely would. I am assuming you think that is when they cancelled her ticket because your posts indicate United is not at fault.


They can cancel the ticket as long as the status is open, it will not change to flown until the flight actually departs. When the agents attempted to close the flight, they got a pop up saying this passenger no longer has a ticket which why the had to deboard her. If they did not, the flight could not close and depart. Also why it was too late to sell her a new ticket..
 
afcjets
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:48 pm

I think these United employees would disagree it was too late to sell her a new ticket...

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/unit ... ng-mother/
 
kalvado
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:52 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
They can cancel the ticket as long as the status is open, it will not change to flown until the flight actually departs. When the agents attempted to close the flight, they got a pop up saying this passenger no longer has a ticket which why the had to deboard her. If they did not, the flight could not close and depart. Also why it was too late to sell her a new ticket..

This makes at least some sense - if that is what gate agent saw, I can understand their actions.
As for selling new ticket - flyer didn't have money to pay. Pricing COS-DEN-MSP on united.com gives $162 to over $1000 for same day flight - and I suspect it was a higher number.
But Oscar and Scott better start drafting their apology letters right now.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 2892
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:53 pm

afcjets wrote:
I think these United employees would disagree it was too late to sell her a new ticket...

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/unit ... ng-mother/


That situation has nothing to do with buying a new ticket. All they did was hold the flight for a few minutes so he could make the connection. Furthermore, the held flight was from a hub to an outstation where the plane was going to RON not the last flight from an outstation to a hub where the whole plane of passengers would miss their connections and be stuck overnight if they held the flight to deal with the travel agency situation. Nice try but apples and oranges...
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 2136
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:48 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
The agency cancelled the ticket. That is allowed so there would be nothing for UA to issue a debit memo for. They would have to attempt to collect from he customer.


Now the only question is why the travel agency cancelled the ticket. If the ticket had been paid for and she didn't order to cancel it (obviously she didn't), the travel agency should not have the right to cancel her ticket. They had not been given instructions to do so.
 
Sooner787
Posts: 2145
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:09 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
The agency cancelled the ticket. That is allowed so there would be nothing for UA to issue a debit memo for. They would have to attempt to collect from he customer.


Now the only question is why the travel agency cancelled the ticket. If the ticket had been paid for and she didn't order to cancel it (obviously she didn't), the travel agency should not have the right to cancel her ticket. They had not been given instructions to do so.


I agree, I've been travel agent for 20 plus years and have never heard of such a thing.

Hell, our corporate clients change flights with the airlines after hours all the time, mainly cause they don't
want the agencies after hours fee. All we do is advise them is they'll need to contact airlines directly
for any further changes.

What I don't understand is how they could void a ticket once the 1st coupon showed checked in?

No way we could do that in SABRE , that's for dang sure
 
BC77008
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:48 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:29 pm

I’m a former flight attendant so I don’t know too much about these administrative matters. However, am I the only one here that finds it strange that a travel agency will monitor your ticket and stalk your travel? It seems to me that even after purchase of a ticket, if you and the airline both agree to a change, even for a fee, why does the travel agency need to be involved?
MY favorite airline and hub is bigger and/or better than YOUR favorite airline and hub!
 
gunnerman
Posts: 491
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:30 pm

Do travel agents still use Apollo? If so, I wonder if that is how the ticket had been cancelled even when the passenger was already checked in.
 
gunnerman
Posts: 491
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 7:55 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:43 pm

BC77008 wrote:
I’m a former flight attendant so I don’t know too much about these administrative matters. However, am I the only one here that finds it strange that a travel agency will monitor your ticket and stalk your travel? It seems to me that even after purchase of a ticket, if you and the airline both agree to a change, even for a fee, why does the travel agency need to be involved?

A travel agent uses one of the global distribution systems to make bookings, issue tickets, etc, and the airlines' own reservations systems are updated accordingly. When the ticket was cancelled by the agent, this cancellation came through to the gate agent's boarding system which flagged up the fact that Carrol Amrich no longer had a ticket. The gate agent was then compelled to offload Ms Amrich as you cannot fly without a ticket.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 4830
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:44 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
I checked out the website of the online travel agency the landlord used to buy the ticket. I would never use that website. Check out the airline contact info page. They have telephone numbers listed for Hooters Air, Continental Airlines, and Varig.

https://www.travelerhelpdesk.com/traveler-tools.html


I agree too. While this situation is very sad and I feel bad for the woman, they were very foolish to buy tickets on this web site just to save a few bucks.

I too wouldn’t have been foolish enough to do so. Even Orbitz is a pain, let alone some web site like this.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 4830
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:49 pm

afcjets wrote:
I think these United employees would disagree it was too late to sell her a new ticket...

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/unit ... ng-mother/


WN did something nice like this too. The Captain got off the plane and personally waited for a man running for a convection from an late incoming plane as he was rushing for a family emergency.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 2689
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:20 pm

There seem to be five parties in this transaction - ticket purchaser, ticket holder, travel agent, card issuing bank and airline.

Cancelling / reversing a transaction, especially when the ticket purchase value should have been swept to a trust account (or straight to the airline) less agents commission, is unusual.

Investigative journalists please follow the money. Has the purchaser's credit card been re-credited, and when? Or is the merchant clearing bank, travel agent or airline sitting on the dollars?
 
77H
Posts: 849
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:27 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:29 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
flydude380 wrote:
And here we go again... Airlines and their staff getting the blame for something that's nothing to do with them -__-


Of course it is the fault of the airline. They are the professionals. They know how the system between the travel agents and airlines work. They declared that it was OK to change the booking, knowing were the ticket was bought. The airline could have said that they cannot change the booking, talk to the travel agency.

How can anybody here not blame the airline. Yes blame the travel agency too, but that should be something between the two professionals, travel agency and airline, but always the passenger gets the stick.


You have it backwards partner. Primary blame goes to the travel ageny. Another poster above explained why the passenger “got the stick” as you say. There were implications imposed by the US government that tied the airlines hands in this case.

But as always, you always place blame on the airline. I find your choice of website to frequent interesting giving your loathing of the airlines.

77H
 
User avatar
flyingclrs727
Posts: 1586
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:44 am

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:52 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
I checked out the website of the online travel agency the landlord used to buy the ticket. I would never use that website. Check out the airline contact info page. They have telephone numbers listed for Hooters Air, Continental Airlines, and Varig.

https://www.travelerhelpdesk.com/traveler-tools.html


I agree too. While this situation is very sad and I feel bad for the woman, they were very foolish to buy tickets on this web site just to save a few bucks.

I too wouldn’t have been foolish enough to do so. Even Orbitz is a pain, let alone some web site like this.


I've used Orbitz to put together some highly customized flight iteneraries that no airline website could put together, but I was very careful to have plenty time between connections and wouldn't dream of trying to change the flights unless there were a serious emergency.
 
braniff2hav
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:20 pm

Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:55 pm

Some points here:
• Those that choose to utilize the services of a personal travel agent (advisor) do so by choice and for a reason. The reason is simple – personal service, attention to detail
• This ticket was purchased through an ‘online travel agent’ aka OTA, one that seems suspect from just the appearance of their web-site alone.
• In the case of United Airlines, and in my travel firm – if a change takes place at the carrier we are messaged instantly reflecting such changes. As is with just about any company using a GDS (e.g. SABRE) – this message is worked pretty much right away. We accept the changes and move along – most changes are upgrades for elites, but often it is a change due to a cancelled flight. United cancels and sends through whatever protection typically.
• In a traditional travel agency if we see something odd we would just pick up the phone, call our client to inquire if they need our assistance or to review the changes we see to ensure they client is aware.
• United Airlines should empower its employees the power and as someone said above – common sense to do the right thing within reason.
• If United cannot rectify a ticket or sell a new one in a matter of moments – then they are in the wrong business. This is questioned daily when I have to hold on the line for United Reservations to answer questions or clarifications. The traveler wasn’t trying to book and travel on a round the world ticket.
• Another point is that when the change was made at United directly they should have exchanged the ticket and it would reflect such in the agency’s GDS system as well. They could have and should have seen that – if United exchanged the ticket which is required when you change a reservation there likely wouldn’t have been and issue, because once a ticket is exchanged then the agency cannot void it.
• With today’s e-tickets issued by agencies, we can see when a client has a) checked in and then once the flight is closed and departed the ticket shows ‘used’ … we do know when a client checks in and status of the ticket coupons – one by one. We also know when a traveler no-shows a flight as messages are sent
• Don’t be so quick to dismiss travel agencies and travel agents – find a good one, they will take care of you. Do business online and you have absolutely few people that will care about your travel and you – only about if your card approves the charge.
• It’s not always necessary to return to the agency for changes/ticket reissues – countless times we have had customers make changes at the airport or by phone with the carrier directly. Admittedly this general happens on the day of travel and I’m speaking of voluntary changes.
• I could provide you a run down of the times I, a travel advisor (agent) – of the professional and personal vein have saved someone’s butt from a cancelled flight, misconnect, provided good advise on what if scenarios, saved money on creative ways to do buy air.
• I’m not saying everyone should use a travel agent for air only bookings every time – but if you can afford it and can develop a good relationship with one – they will take care of you.
• United could have saved themselves this bad press and gone home that night without this issue if they had cared enough to listen and do the right thing.
• The landlord shouldn’t have been so ‘cheap’ I do wonder what savings there was in the end for them by using a third rate company they probably had no prior relationship with.
• Please know the difference in third parties … OTA is a transaction; traditional travel agencies offer more interaction and flexibility.

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