Never in a million years thought this would happen to me!

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by lapointdm, Aug 17, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    I had a business trip that I was returning on this Friday flying usairways. I had a connecting flight in Philly to my hometown. I was at my gate for my flight and boarding was announced. Boarding was hard to hear because the boarder wasn't using a microphone. I went outside and it was dark and there was a bus to take us out to the prop plane. I boarded and went to get to my seat but someone else was in it an d they had the same ticket number I did. They stated they had some issues with their tickets earlier, so I sat down and a flight attendant came over asked me to write my name on a piece of paper, and she asked me if it was a connecting flight. I stated it was from raleigh to philly to my home airport and she seemed like she wasn't paying a lot of attention and walked away. Plane finished boarding and we were in the air. A different attendant made the announcement halfway through the flight that we would be landed in a different airport !!! I ended up on the wrong plane!

    I talked to the flight attendant about it (obviously to late to return) and she called ahead and talked to a gate agent and told me they would get me squared away at landing ( I was not going to make it to my destination that night!). they put me up in a hotel and got me a flight to an airport that wasn't my home airport because they didn't fly there on Saturday but close enough for my husband to get me. Unfortunately I missed my a committment I had on Saturday. Usairways did book me back in first class when my original ticket was economy and gave me a $100 voucher that could be used within the next year. The gate agent was very nice and helpful.

    I didn't even think these things happened and would never have thought it would happen to me! I'm trying to decide if I should send thems a letter to provide more information on the situation (to prevent that from happening to someone else - I'm a safety professional by trade so I have some inherent professional interest in preventing this) and ask for points instead of the voucher since I don't see myself flying that airline next year paid. Thoughts?
     
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  2. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I think they might have IT failure and more. But, with seat conflicts, it should have flagged to the flight crew to check both the tickets; you would have been alerted ? [Just speculating..]
     
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  3. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    The flight attendant did say they had one to many on the headcount and the other plane had one less but they didn't communicate that with each other until she started to call around halfway through the flight
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
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  4. Thomask

    Thomask Silver Member

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    wow, is all I say. Hard to believe in 2014 with all the security. Glad all worked out for you! Yeah ask for points if you can not use cert
     
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  5. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Amazing that the extra head wouldn't have been a huge red flag to them before they departed, understandable if they were short a head.
     
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  6. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I'm not sure I'd bother with the details - I imagine this sort of thing does happen, albeit rarely, and if they really wanted to put more effort into preventing it they would have done so. Assuming you're happy with the overall response (hotel, upgrade, voucher), I'd let it sit. But asking for points instead of credit sounds quite reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I assume the OP didn't sneak over a fence onto the tarmac and instead passed through the security checkpoint. Once that's happened, we're generally done with "security" and it shouldn't matter what airplane one gets on (you could even get through security with a BP to XYZ and then rebook yourself to ABC).

    The airline, of course, has an (economic) interest that you fly the route you paid for (or at least not a more expensive one :D).

    I think there is shared responsibility here for the mishap. The airline, of course, should make sure that the people don't get confused and that the proper number of passengers are on the plane. The passengers should also make sure they are sure they are on the right plane. Seems there were some indications here that something wasn't quite right.

    But poop happens. (just look at the infamous SJC->LAX stowaway on WN last week; now there is security problem) The airline has fixed it by offering hotel and re-accommodation to the desired location (or at least nearby). Even better, the flight was in F and a $100 voucher was thrown in.

    Personally I would think not pursue this further. I doubt that a letter to customer service is going to trigger an investigation or re-education of the airline staff.
     
  8. Doc Savage

    Doc Savage Active Member

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    OP, make sure you get your miles for all the flights....;)
     
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  9. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    I agree that OP shares responsibility here for going to the wrong gate in the first place. Not confirming she was about to board the right plane (couldn't hear the boarding announcement) and lastly once she found her seat occupied should have wondered why and pursued an explanation rather than passively sit by. I think the airline treated her fairly in light of her multiple mistakes so I'd drop it and be happy with the current resolution.
     
  10. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    I did talk to an attendant on the plane before we left and provided information about my flights raleigh to philly to my original destination (its in my first post - I don't think I was being entirely passive in that situation - I explained my sequence of flights to an attendant and she seemed fine with it. I could have made more of a stink about it but I thought it had been addressed before take off. I most defintely did not jump any security lines! My boarding pass was scanned and I was given the go ahead to exit and board. I agree there were things I could have done differently that might have helped (liked talked to someone when I went out on the tarmac if the shuttle was correct for me to get on - it didn't occur to me they would be boarding 2 planes out of the same gate at about the same time). Don't judge me to hard people!! ;)

    And Doc - I was surprised that I did get all the miles for the flight!
     
  11. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Seems odd to me. A bus mix up in the dark, an IT error. What throws me off is that the FA didn't catch that you are on the wrong route. It seems like if it would have been a larger jet aircraft and someone was in your seat it would draw more attention and they would have checked closer I would guess? I too am a safety professional and am typically very careful. Just goes to show you that mistakes happen. Maybe you can use this lesson as an example of how things can go wrong at various levels. Was it human error or a system failure?
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I have been on more than one flight where the FA or pilot announced the wrong destination over the PA (and was usually pretty quickly corrected by someone). When you fly a lot, zig-sagging across the country or region, stuff like that happens.

    It may have been too much information. What does it matter that you (already) flew from Raleigh to Philly to (now) XYZ? The FA is trying to get the flight ready to leave and sorting out a seating conflict is an additional burden.

    The FA should have caught this, but a simple comparison of the two BP by the two parties claiming the seat may have also resulted in the discovery of what was wrong.

    As careful as I think I am and as much as I fly, I have twice found myself in a stituation where as a 1K I boarded early and settled down and later someone else shows up with a BP for the same seat. And when I pulled out my BP, I discovered that I was in the wrong seat, once off by one row and once on the wrong side of the wide body aircraft (in that case the seat I mistakenly claimed was the one on the next segment that I somehow had memorized). Stuff happens.
     
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  13. old_dog_new_tricks

    old_dog_new_tricks Silver Member

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    Well, it happened to me too. Lets stop blaming the victim. For this to happen the airline often has made a series of mistakes, the pax none. For me, they directed me to the wrong lineup, did NOT check or scan my BP, did not do a pax count, did not look at BP when two pax had the same seat, etc. If the plane had crashed they would have had one extra unidentified body - me.
     
  14. old_dog_new_tricks

    old_dog_new_tricks Silver Member

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  15. FormalHall

    FormalHall Active Member

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    It is not unusual to have multiple flights out of one gate at some airports, the real bizarre part is that they did not scan the BP at said gate, so the passenger would have been showing as still to board on the other flight well before a manual headcount was done.
     
  16. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Upfront, I am inclined to lean towards the OP side.
    As the operator of an airline, and under the weight of so many security procedures not to mention legal (insurance) liabilities, they should have caught the mistake (or rather need to catch and prevent).
    If they had caught the mistake but OP already missed her right flight, it is a different story. They could even charge her a change fee (cruel but within their rights)
    Now, while supportive, I would also suggest better self-checks especially if connecting to other flights or important commitments are on the horizon.
    All in all, mistakes were made but in this case, both parties appears to have settled the matter amicably which is commendable
    The airline did get off lightly if a hotel stay and 1st class flight was all that it took to resolve what I viewed as multiple compounded procedural and security lapse.
    Happy travels everyone.
     
  17. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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  18. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Was your boarding pass scanned at the gate (before you got on the bus)?
     
  19. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    Yes it was scanned.
     
  20. gustav316

    gustav316 Active Member

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    Wait, you screwed up and got on the wrong flight and then the airline accommodated you after the fact and you want to ask for additional compensation?

    That is complete BS in my opinion regardless of whether the airline should have caught your mistake at any stage of the process. The airlines can't babysit each and every passenger. I would have been happy they paid for a hotel and arranged for a flight back in first class.
     
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