03 April 2007

My airline experience

My seminar in Virginia Beach this past weekend went extremely well. My flight experience on 30 March from Moline, Illinois, did not. The name of the airline shall not be included in this post.

I was booked on a flight from Moline, Illinois, leaving around 6:00 in the evening on Friday. Upon arrival at the airport, I was told my flight had been cancelled THURSDAY--the day before. They had my work phone number to use to notify me. No calls. No voicemails. No automatic notices. I was told that the call was not made due to a "looping" error. I checked my flight status online Thursday night (around 8:00 p.m.) and again online on Friday over lunch (around 12:30). Both times it indicated my flight was still a "go" and departing/arriving at the times/places as I was originally told. I fly a great deal and when I've had flights cancelled before like this, I have been notified BEFORE I got to the airport, especially when the flight is cancelled the day before I leave.

Upon checkin at the Moline, Illinois airport I was told my flight was cancelled and that there was absolutely no flight into Norfolk or Newport News on Friday. I was told I was not going to get there on Friday. I begged to differ--I was going to get there on Friday. After nearly an hour, the nearest they could get me was Reagan airport in Washington DC. The ticket agent was EXTREMELY helpful and accomodating. I arrived at midnight and was just lucky to get a car and in order to drive nearly 4 hours. Had the airline had the courtesy of notifying me even Friday morning I could have made alternate arrangements that would not have required car rental, a long drive, and 2.5 hours of sleep.

Of course trying to contact this particular airlines in order to make a complaint has been EXCEEDINGLY difficult. But we will keep trying. And we will get some satisfaction besides the $35 flight voucher and the free drink coupon I was given for my troubles.

Despite all the frustration, the seminar in VA Beach went off with out a hitch--my arrival difficulties were the only problems and the VA Beach group is a great one with which to work.