• Report: #758842

Complaint Review: US Airways

  • Submitted: Sun, July 31, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, July 31, 2011

  • Reported By: Yvonne — Nogales Arizona United States of America
US Airways
4000 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281 Tempe, Arizona United States of America

US Airways Thank you for you treatment of a disabled veteran, battling cancer who recently lost their mother Tempe, Arizona

*General Comment: Bereavement rates

*Consumer Comment: Re: bereavement rates

*Consumer Comment: Sorry for your loss Yvonne.

*Consumer Comment: bereavement rate?

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I am a disabled veteran, battling cancer with many ongoing tests and procedures, following radical surgery to save my life.  As I live out of the country, I have to travel to the US at least twice a month for my VA appointments and deal with major dental problems other times.

My mother fell and broke her back about two months ago and her health began failing while at a rehabilitation center.  After becoming unresponsive she was transferred to a hospital. 

I frantically canceled appointments, borrowed money, booked a flight and arrived a mere three days before she passed away.  In the rush to get my mother's side, I accidentally booked my return flight nearly a month from my arrival which will cause me to cancel even more cancer screening appointments, follow up procedures and a root canal.

I contacted the airline to try to change my flight, not expecting anything free, just the respect of a bereavement rate.  My first call was answered by a gentleman in Manila and he was very difficult to understand.  He informed me the bereavement rate is $150.00, the same as a normal change on the US Airways website.

My second call was answered by a woman in Manila who was equally difficult to understand.  She told me to change my flight it would be $175 plus an additional $60.  This is higher than the normal or bereavement rate.  I asked to speak with a supervisor in the United States who spoke English.  She complied and transferred me.

I spoke with the supervisor, Tony B., in Phoenix, AZ.  She told me the change would cost me $398.75 but that after I file my paperwork and get approval I will be reimbursed $150 within the next six months.  That would be an additional net cost to me of $248.75 if they approve the bereavement request.  Any way you look at it the price is more than a normal ticket change and not a bereavement rate.  Additionally, each person I talked to kept raising the price with it continually skyrocketing above their normal rates.

As a disabled veteran with ongoing medical problems, I do not have money to squander.  I didn't ask for a handout, only respect for my loss in the form of a bereavement rate which is normal for major airlines.

Instead, I was bounced around the world, handled by personnel who were obviously reading from a screen and who could barely speak English.

Since I declined their "wonderful" offers, I now have to cancel another appointment and hope it won't take so long that my cancer will have returned or spread, if still present.
The only way I can afford to live off of my pension is to live in an underdeveloped country instead of the country I love so much and served honorably.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/31/2011 11:49 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/US-Airways/Tempe-Arizona-85281/US-Airways-Thank-you-for-you-treatment-of-a-disabled-veteran-battling-cancer-who-recentl-758842. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Bereavement rates

AUTHOR: Striderq - (U.S.A.)

   At one time bereavement rates were a help as they were lower fares to help get you where you needed to be. However several years ago, some/most airlines decided that bereavement rate request meant that you weren't thinking clearly and would except whatever was offered. There were several occasions that I had family or friends contact an airline and get a bereavement rate. However when I would contact the same airline and request a regular flight on same data (days, times, destination/arrival airports, etc) I was able to find fares cheaper than the "bereavement rates". I'm not sure if the airlines offer this rate anymore but I would strongly urge you to request info for regular flight first and then ask if there's a bereavement discount.

   I'm sorry to hear of your situation. My condolences for your loss. And my sincere thanks for your service. I hope everything works out well for you.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Re: bereavement rates

AUTHOR: voiceofreason - (United States of America)

Traditionally, most airlines used to, and perhaps still do, offer a discounted rate for last minute bookings due to sudden family deaths. Granted, this gentleman made a mistake and on purely technical terms, perhaps the airline owed him nothing, but it wouldn't have killed them to work with the man in a more reasonable manner.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Sorry for your loss Yvonne.

AUTHOR: Brian - (United States of America)

According to a travel columnist that I heard on the radio just this past week, most major airlines did away with bereavement fares 10 to 15 years ago.  What it appears US Airways was quoting you were the standard costs for changing your reservation.

For those that are unaware, bereavement fares were a discounted, last-minute fares the airlines charged for people traveling to funerals or to be with seriously ill loved ones.

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#4 Consumer Comment

bereavement rate?

AUTHOR: Ramjet - (U.S.A.)

This is just a question.

Is there such a thing as a bereavement rate?  I never heard of it and couldn't find it on the US Airways web site.

If there is, how do you qualify for it? Just curious.
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