indcwby
Topic Author
Posts: 273
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:32 pm

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

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:57 pm

BREECH wrote:
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.


Sorry that you're not a fan of NYTimes, I figured the DailyMail would have been not so great to use. But maybe I could have gone with the Denver Post (https://www.denverpost.com/2018/01/26/p ... om-flight/) but then again, they do refer back to the original article from the NYTimes.
A319, A320, A330, A340, B717, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, CRJ7, DC10, MD88, MD11, E145, E175
"Always remember that you fly an airplane with your head, not your hands."
 
braniff2hav
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 9:20 pm

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

Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:58 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?



Yes a travel agency will monitor, not stalk your travel. It's a good business practice. Additionally, if any action is taken in a PNR such as cancellations, modifications, no shows - these all fall on queue with a message to the agency so that follow up can be done with the passenger if necessary.

I'm of the opinion that if United changed the booking directly with the traveler, they then take on the responsibility of reissuing the ticket and it seems like they didn't take that step - causing concern.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 3095
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

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

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:05 pm

braniff2hav wrote:
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?



Yes a travel agency will monitor, not stalk your travel. It's a good business practice. Additionally, if any action is taken in a PNR such as cancellations, modifications, no shows - these all fall on queue with a message to the agency so that follow up can be done with the passenger if necessary.

I'm of the opinion that if United changed the booking directly with the traveler, they then take on the responsibility of reissuing the ticket and it seems like they didn't take that step - causing concern.


The ticket did not need to be reissued - since it was the same routing just on different flights/days all that was needed was a revalidation, which United did...
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 7537
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:15 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:
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?



Yes a travel agency will monitor, not stalk your travel. It's a good business practice. Additionally, if any action is taken in a PNR such as cancellations, modifications, no shows - these all fall on queue with a message to the agency so that follow up can be done with the passenger if necessary.

I'm of the opinion that if United changed the booking directly with the traveler, they then take on the responsibility of reissuing the ticket and it seems like they didn't take that step - causing concern.


The ticket did not need to be reissued - since it was the same routing just on different flights/days all that was needed was a revalidation, which United did...


So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?

And sorry, what the travel agency did, I would call stalking, cancelling a ticket without having contacted the traveller, is stalking and not good business practice.
 
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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 9:21 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?


Probably to make sure their clients are OK or if not be ready to assist clients. Perhaps to even have alternative arrangements ready to authorize as soon as they get into contact.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:35 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?


Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.
 
kalvado
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:51 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?


Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.

Well - UA modified booking, UA computer system told gate agent to deboard the person, flight had UA number - and unlike use-and-forget travel agency or SkyWest, who seems to run the show, UA has brand recognition and some leftovers of goodwill in the eyes of public. UA has something to loose here, unlike all others.
 
braniff2hav
Posts: 119
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:53 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:
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?



Yes a travel agency will monitor, not stalk your travel. It's a good business practice. Additionally, if any action is taken in a PNR such as cancellations, modifications, no shows - these all fall on queue with a message to the agency so that follow up can be done with the passenger if necessary.

I'm of the opinion that if United changed the booking directly with the traveler, they then take on the responsibility of reissuing the ticket and it seems like they didn't take that step - causing concern.


The ticket did not need to be reissued - since it was the same routing just on different flights/days all that was needed was a revalidation, which United did...



Essentially the same thing ... or we might say synced.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:59 pm

braniff2hav wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:


Yes a travel agency will monitor, not stalk your travel. It's a good business practice. Additionally, if any action is taken in a PNR such as cancellations, modifications, no shows - these all fall on queue with a message to the agency so that follow up can be done with the passenger if necessary.

I'm of the opinion that if United changed the booking directly with the traveler, they then take on the responsibility of reissuing the ticket and it seems like they didn't take that step - causing concern.


The ticket did not need to be reissued - since it was the same routing just on different flights/days all that was needed was a revalidation, which United did...



Essentially the same thing ... or we might say synced.


Actually it is not the same thing - if UA had exchanged (reissued) the ticket, there would be a new ticket # and the agency could not cancel it. Exchanges are more expensive, so most carriers only do them when absolutely necessary.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:02 pm

kalvado wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?


Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.

Well - UA modified booking, UA computer system told gate agent to deboard the person, flight had UA number - and unlike use-and-forget travel agency or SkyWest, who seems to run the show, UA has brand recognition and some leftovers of goodwill in the eyes of public. UA has something to loose here, unlike all others.


Yes but at the end of the day UA was just doing as the travel agency, which is whom the traveller actually paid, requested...
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 7537
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:19 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?


Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.


United accepted the change, said it was OK and then threw the passenger off the flight. So if it is so dangerous to change the booking at the airline, when you bought the ticket at the travel agency, why does the airline accept to change it?

There are two professionals here, the airline and the travel agent, but the amateur, the passenger, gets the stick, no warning.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:20 pm

Shouldn't UA spend few dollars and fix their system so tickets cannot be cannot once checked-in or halfway through the journey. Wasn't Sheila Jackson Lee upgrade incident related to the same issue?
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:22 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
kalvado wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:

Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.

Well - UA modified booking, UA computer system told gate agent to deboard the person, flight had UA number - and unlike use-and-forget travel agency or SkyWest, who seems to run the show, UA has brand recognition and some leftovers of goodwill in the eyes of public. UA has something to loose here, unlike all others.


Yes but at the end of the day UA was just doing as the travel agency, which is whom the traveller actually paid, requested...


A lame excuse.
 
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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 10:39 pm

I looked at routings from DEN to MSP on Southwest for next Friday, February 2. There are $430 "Anytime" fares available on a nonstop flight. The cheapest return flight I could find was $69 on the evening of Saturday, February 10 for a round trip cost of $499. That's cheaper than driving to COS to catch the earlier United flight. I also tried out flights for today, Saturday, and tomorrow, Sunday. They were less expensive than booking next Friday. I was just trying to see how much the tickets would vary for day of week and short notice purchase. That doesn't even take into consideration that the Southwest flight has two free bags, while the United flight charges for all checked bags.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:46 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
So if everything was done right, why was the traveller thrown of the flight?


Because the travel agency cancelled the ticket and therefore UA was not going to get paid.

I suspect because the name on the credit card and the name of the traveller were not the same and then changes were made shortly after booking it probably set off some fraud alert at the travel agency. The cancellation and everything after that is the agency's fault not United's. UA should really not be getting beat up for this.


United accepted the change, said it was OK and then threw the passenger off the flight. So if it is so dangerous to change the booking at the airline, when you bought the ticket at the travel agency, why does the airline accept to change it?

There are two professionals here, the airline and the travel agent, but the amateur, the passenger, gets the stick, no warning.


This is going to be my last reply on this because we are just talking in circles. The airline changing agent-issued tickets is not a problem, it happens every day with no issues whatsoever. When your travel agent is halfway across the world is not realistic to expect passengers to call them to make last minute changes (if they are even open, due to the time zone differences). This incident is solely due to this travel agency's fraud prevention techniques which the airline is not aware of nor responsible for. It is most unfortunate that this passenger got caught up in this travel agency's vigilance about fraud but it is not United's fault that the ticket was cancelled and their hands are tied as far as fixing the situation.
 
kalvado
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:06 am

braniff2hav wrote:
• 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.

Many people live from paycheck to paycheck, and a cost of last minute ticket is a huge amount of money for them.
As far as I understand, all tickets come from the same inventory and same-flight tickets from same fare bucket would be priced the same, give or take some commission. If the OTA could somehow price a different bucket, then a cost can be way different... Is that possible?
 
indcwby
Topic Author
Posts: 273
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:47 pm

kalvado wrote:
braniff2hav wrote:
• 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.


I remember when I needed to fly to ORD from IAH because of the passing of my grandfather. At roundtrip, UA, AA wanted $1100. WN was less, @ $999. Southwest doesn't do bereavement fares, but UA and AA did and that's what they offered. For 7 people, that's a lot of money. So for less than the cost of one ticket (including fuel), I rented a GMC Yukon XL from Hertz and drove it all the way there and back.

In case of the individual involved, I certainly can understand the situation. In my journeys, I've met folks that I've had to console on flights whether they are dealing with a death or never flown in an airplane before and are frighten by every little thing. I wouldn't be surprised they didn't know consequences of using a 3rd party agency instead of going straight to UA. The focus and goal was to get the passenger to her destination to say farewell. This is something that, in a way, UA could have capitalized on. Makes me wonder if the flight crew knew of the situation. I don't know if it makes a difference in this day of age, but a little compassion goes a long way.

Again, yes I know UA didn't cancel the ticket. But if she was flying stand by, how did they even give her a boarding pass to board if he ticket was cancelled? I'm guessing that it either wasn't cancelled at that point or ground staff missed it.

In the end, UA will get the brunt of it.
A319, A320, A330, A340, B717, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, CRJ7, DC10, MD88, MD11, E145, E175
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KentB27
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:20 pm

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

Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:28 pm

The travel agency cancelled the ticket because Ms. Prelas made changes to the ticket without notifying the travel agency that she originally booked the ticket through. I realize that Ms. Prela's tried to buy another ticket for Ms. Amrich but as the article states by the time that was happening the door on the plane was already closed and it was ready for departure. The plane was past the point of no return. United's hands were tied.

There was an instance with WN where a passenger had a similar situation and the captain personally waited for the passenger to board the plane but we have no idea if the captain of this particular flight was aware of her situation or not.

It's an unfortunate situation. If Ms. Prelas had called the travel agency she booked the ticket through and requested the itinerary change with them there would likely have never been an issue. It was 2:30 pm. They would have been available to talk to. I understand why she called United instead though. She probably thought it would be faster to go directly through United to make the change. The lesson to be learned here is that if you don't book directly through the airline and you need to make a change, you need to make the change through where you bought the ticket from, not the airline.
 
afcjets
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:03 pm

KentB27 wrote:
The travel agency cancelled the ticket because Ms. Prelas made changes to the ticket without notifying the travel agency that she originally booked the ticket through. I realize that Ms. Prela's tried to buy another ticket for Ms. Amrich but as the article states by the time that was happening the door on the plane was already closed and it was ready for departure. The plane was past the point of no return. United's hands were tied.


United's hands were not tied, the door could have easily been reopened.

KentB27 wrote:
There was an instance with WN where a passenger had a similar situation and the captain personally waited for the passenger to board the plane but we have no idea if the captain of this particular flight was aware of her situation or not.



Just how do you think this captain at WN was aware of this situation? Do you think he randomly walked through the gate area when they were checking in and overheard what was going on, or do you think the gate agent told him?
 
braniff2hav
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:55 pm

afcjets wrote:
KentB27 wrote:
The travel agency cancelled the ticket because Ms. Prelas made changes to the ticket without notifying the travel agency that she originally booked the ticket through. I realize that Ms. Prela's tried to buy another ticket for Ms. Amrich but as the article states by the time that was happening the door on the plane was already closed and it was ready for departure. The plane was past the point of no return. United's hands were tied.


United's hands were not tied, the door could have easily been reopened.

KentB27 wrote:
There was an instance with WN where a passenger had a similar situation and the captain personally waited for the passenger to board the plane but we have no idea if the captain of this particular flight was aware of her situation or not.



Just how do you think this captain at WN was aware of this situation? Do you think he randomly walked through the gate area when they were checking in and overheard what was going on, or do you think the gate agent told him?




Simple ... communication. Someone obviously let him in on the situation I suppose.
 
KentB27
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:51 pm

afcjets wrote:
United's hands were not tied, the door could have easily been reopened.


How do you know that? How do you know that the jetway wasn't already moved away from the plane? How do you know that the plane wasn't already being pushed back yet? We don't have that information so it's a bit asinine to just assume that they could have just "opened the door".
Last edited by KentB27 on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
atrude777
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:53 pm

I worked in COS for years and know the person who did this. This Agent I spoke to after this occurred is shaken up and has been upset the passenger did not get to see her mother in time.

Here is what happened..

*UA charged for the change of ticket for $75.
*Everything was fine per the ticket from check in to boarding
*From the time she checked in to when she boarded, the passenger had called the Travel Agency to change her ticket. The Agency somehow voided the ticket in the midst of all this
* Agent went on the plane to state the ticket was voided and ask, did passenger cancel or agency cancel what happened?
*Pax stated she called the agency and as the media says they both discovered the agency had voided/cancelled the ticket instead

After speaking to her, she stated the passenger was very nice, not problematic, she admitted to calling the travel agency. If you notice, it's the landlord causing the ruckus not so much the passenger itself.

I try very hard to stay out of these things, but so many people miss the human factor in this too. This supervisor has cried almost every night so upset that everything she tried to do to help this passenger failed in time for the passenger to see her dying mother.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
afcjets
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:33 pm

KentB27 wrote:
afcjets wrote:
United's hands were not tied, the door could have easily been reopened.


How do you know that? How do you know that the jetway wasn't already moved away from the plane? How do you know that the plane wasn't already being pushed back yet? .


My bad, I thought you knew what you were talking about.

KentB27 wrote:
I realize that Ms. Prela's tried to buy another ticket for Ms. Amrich but as the article states by the time that was happening the door on the plane was already closed and it was ready for departure.
 
afcjets
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:37 pm

atrude777 wrote:

After speaking to her, she stated the passenger was very nice, not problematic



Since there is no YouTube video I knew that was probably why.
 
Aptivaboy
Posts: 600
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Re: Travel Agency cancels ticket of woman flying to visit ill mother

Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:30 pm

atrude777, thank you for giving us the rest of the story, or most of it. I think the reason that a lot of folks immediately jumped on UA was because of past issues, but its good to hear that the UA folks weren't the complete so and sos that some in the media made them out to be. The only real sticking point for me was the, "No one flies for free," comment that a UA agent reportedly made. That made him/her come off as sounding very arrogant and unhelpful. Do you know from your contacts there if that actually happened or if that was a media exaggeration? I'm genuinely curious since in situations like these its often so hard to know what is valid and what is not. Again, thank you for supplying more to the story.

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