In an attempt to save time and money I logged onto Yahoo's travel site (Travelocity.com) to find the cheapest flights from Dayton, OH to Phoenix, AZ. With only 9 days in advance, I couldn't find anything cheaper that $600 from Dayton to Phoenix. The best option was an 1hr and 20 minute drive to Indianapolis Int'l Airport. After an 1hr of researching travel options I found 3 tickets with United Airlines for $213.50 ea., totaling $655.50.
This was a 7 hour non direct flight, w/ a change over in Charlotte, NC, but it was affordable. I booked 3 tickets w/ United Airlines, from Indy to Phoenix departing on Friday, April 18th 2003 with a return date of Monday, April 21st 2003. This trip was a surprise for my 11 yr. old son. I was taking him and my wife to see my twin sister in Phoenix. He was estatic when I told him what we were doing for Easter since he had done so well with his grades in school.
The real surprise and nightmare came about 2 days before our departure date. A copy of my itenerary was sent to my email address. When I reviewed the travel dates I found that there was an error made with the return date. I had typed a return for May 21st instead of April 21st. I called Travelocity to plead my case. Apparently when I was clicking the return dates, I still had the "month" box highlighted and accidently rolled the mouse.
After explaining this honest mistake, Travelocity refused to cut me any slack. They said it would cost me $130 fee/ ticket to make any changes in addition to the difference in cost at that time. To change my return date with the same airlines, the severice rep said it was going to cost me over $800. I argued that the amount for all 3 tickets cost only $655.50, so that wasn't even relative. I asked, "there has got to be something you or someone can do to fix this problem"? He assured me that this was out of his hands and this was United Airline's policy to change a booked flight.
I asked what benifit is it for a customer to use your travel services? I explained that if I had just called United Airlines directly, this mistake would have never occured. I asked if he could just cancel the flights and give me a refund. The service rep at Yahoo travel could only apoligize saying there was nothing he could do. While talking with this service rep, using their website, I found a nonstop, oneway flight from Phoenix to Indy on the 21st of April with American Trans Airlines (ATA), that would only cost $170/ ticket.
Since I was already committed I had him book me 3 more tickets with a different airlines (ATA). This was still cheaper than the $800 he was going to charge to change the tickets w/ United. In conclusion, I attempted to speak with a supervisor, Sara, at Travelocity about this matter. In short of being rude, she was very unresponsive to my problem. I also called United to talk with them and they wouldn't touch the matter saying it wasn't their problem.
The lesson learned: Use Yahoo Travel as a tool for information but when you decide on the airlines or travel. Call the airlines directly. You can get the same tickets for the same price and if a mistake is made on their part, they will fix it, without charging you an arm and a leg.