More bad PR for US Airways

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by Lufthansa Flyer, Nov 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Saw this tonight.

    Apparently US is not refunding $4200 in airfare to a family after one of the members was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and ordered not to fly by her Doctor. Although policy, and the fare being non refundable, I think US could have handled this better. What are your thoughts?

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  2. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    US AIrways was right although in the end might come out the loser. That is what trip insurance is all about . Trip insurance can cost between 6 and 9% of the cost of a trip and some comes with waivers of pre-existing conditions. Why do people try to get by and then complain when they take a hit? Also, didn't US Airways give them a credit subject to a rebooking fee or something like that.

    I had similar situations twice with Delta. Once was an award trip and Delta waived the re-deposit fee (I was Gold at the time). The second was a planned trip to Mexico and I had back surgery a week before the flight. Again, Delta waived rebooking fees for all three of us and gave us a year from the original ticket date to use the credit.

    That year from the rebooking date worked with me because we fly often enough using the credit was not an issue. But for someone planning a dream trip over Christmas, rebooking might not have been that easy since the ticket was purchased in September.

    My back got me a third time and I had an award ticket through AC on LF. AC did not waive the fee. My trip insuance picked up that fee (minor) and the cruise line forfeiture (not at all minor). As far as I am concerned AC had every right to its fee. My real loss was the AC devaluation of my points. I had two FC tickets TATL on LF for 100,000 miles each. Now I will be lucky to get BC for that. Oh well.

    Right after my back did me in for (hopefully) the last time, while still in recovery I booked a trip next summer to Russia. I was not eligible for a pre-existing waiver and so I passed on the insurance. I am still in the 100% refund period and now more than 120 days without treatment or restrictions, so I am going to insure that trip as my back no longer counts as a pre-existing problem (it's good thank you), but I worry that it or something else could cause us to miss the trip and, if so, the forfeitures would be substantial.

    Rule of thumb, never insure a trip where you can afford to absorb the loss. At 8%, unless I miss one in 12 or fewer trips I come out behind. Before last year I never missed a trip. We are headed to Mexico in January with under $1,000 non-refundable dollars at risk. No insurance.

    Back to topic, you always feel sorry for families that take a loss. You wonder whether their travel agent advised them to take insurance. If so and they refused, how sorry do you feel for them? That was a risk they took. They put their money on red, and black came up.
     
  3. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    I'm glad US is willing to take the bad PR to make a stand behind their ticket policies. It looks like they waived all rebooking fees and allowed the tickets' value to be used towards any other flight. Even that is beyond what is required of them.

    If US doesn't take a stand, at what point will the line be drawn? People will just keep trying for less important reasons, because the person before them got it.

    I feel bad for the family and I'm sure they are all having a rough time now. This just makes it worse, but a bad life event doesn't just make poor financial decisions go away. As KyRoamer stated, this is what insurance is for, or a fully refundable ticket.
     
  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I have to agree. Insurance policies and extended warranties are on my s**t list because they're so often a bad deal, but on the other hand I can also afford to take the loss on most things. I know the rules, and I'm willing to abide by them. Still, lots of people are not like KyRoamer and I, and US Airways hopefully took this into account when they considered the PR implications. Like most nonrefundable tickets, the family is still entitled to a credit less the rebooking fee.

    Of course, the exception I make are for personal insurance (health, car, home, etc.) thanks to a family history in the insurance biz. But there again, it's because in this case I can't handle the loss. An extra $100 every six months is worth protecting yourself against a true accident that nevertheless could lead to a multimillion dollar claim if someone dies.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    And that's what most people will miss in this story. They'll read "US kept their money even though the poor customer was dying". They interpret "refundable" as "unchangeable".

    I have never bought an extended warranty, as I don't think they are worth it. I only pay for insurance that's mandatory and/or for things I can't self-insure against. Health insurance, car liability, home insurance, ... if I bought a $20k cruise to Antarctica, I'd probably get insurance. For that $2000 trip to Hawaii with cancelable hotel and non-refundable but changeable-for-a-fee airline tickets I am not going to buy insurance.
     
  6. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    I only get the extend warranties when they discount the price of the product by the same amount. They actually net more profit due to the huge profit margins in extended scam......er warranties.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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