Sunday, May 6, 2012

An Eight Pound Nightmare

I won't use the airlines real name but I do wish to share a nightmare experience my daughter had on her first solo flight from California to Iowa.  Let's call them "Divided Airlines."  I use this name because each department I spoke with told me it wasn't their job and referred me elsewhere, meaning I had to go through a series of menu questions before speaking to a live person.  Here's what happened:

My daughter checked in at the counter of Divided Airlines with two bags and a carry-on.  One of the bags weighed 58 pounds, eight pounds over the limit.  The ticket agent said, "looks like you need to do a better job packing."  He asked for a credit card and charged her $160 for two bags.  That's the $60 bag fee plus $100 for the extra eight pounds.  That was only the beginning of the nightmare.

I reviewed the scenario with my daughter to help her learn how to deal with this situation in the future.  She explained to me she was guessing on the bag weight since all the scales in her dorm were packed.  She is usually a great problem solver, however, the last four days of school, she was busy packing and saying good-bye, so she was going on eleven hours of sleep.  I suggested she try removing some clothes and either place them in the lighter suitcase or just toss them in order to avoid the $100 penalty.

Three different departments at Divided Airlines, each had the same story, "these are the rules and there is nothing we can do.  There is no supervisor for you to speak with.  If you want to file a complaint, you must go online and fill out a form."

I will be filing a formal complaint with the airlines.  And I will have a good laugh every time the competition airs a commercial about excessive bag fees.  It was the lack of empathy from each of the employees that makes this situation a nightmare.  As for me and my family, I don't think we will ever fly on Divided Airlines again.  Have you ever experienced an airline nightmare?

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