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Seeking a Christmas Miracle

Discussion in 'Travel agencies' started by Zelda, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. Zelda

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    Bought 2 airline tickets on Nov. 15 from skiplagged.com; they in turn used ExploreTrip to obtain the tickets from United Airlines. These tickets are for my daughter and son in law to travel from Seattle to Newark for Christmas from 12/20-12/27. After I purchased the tickets I did not receive a confirmation email. ( I'm not sure where that email should have come from-the airline or the travel agency.)
    I had no response from skiplagged.com when I inquired about the confirmation so I looked up my credit card statement online and downloaded the confirmation statement. That's when I learned that the tickets are with United and that my daughter's name is incorrect. Somewhere in this process her name was entered into the system ( and I don't have a clue as to where this error I occurred but it probably was at the very beginning with skiplagged.com) as Catherineelizabeth, a mash up of my first name and her middle name. Language difficulties during the booking process may have contributed to this mistake; obviously Catherineelizabeth is not a name.
    Since then I have been bounced from one agency to the next in a circular dance without end. Phone calls, emails, more phone calls, more emails at to no avail.
    ExploreTrip told me I should use the ticket myself and buy a new ticket for my daughter. I am in Philadelphia; I have no need for a ticket that originated in Seattle and my name is not Catherineelizabeth... that's not the answer. The round trip ticket that I purchased cost 758.00 each. If my daughter can't fly, my son in law certainly will not use his tickets and I'll be out 1516.00 and a week with all of my children.The ticket price has gone up by 463.00; to purchase a new ticket for her would be 1221.00. On top of what I have already spent I just can't afford it. We are retired, they are newlyweds in a new city with one new job: neither of us can afford to pay for another ticket.
    I bought these tickets in good faith; someone entered the information incorrectly and failed to send me a confirmation email allowing me to catch the problem with in the 24 hour window for changes. I just want to bring my child home for Christmas; this is not my fault. I'm either going to miss the holiday with my child or spend money I don't have to buy a new ticket. I hope someone has an answer...and fast!
     
    #1
  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I am stumped as to how a name can appear on a ticket unless it was entered incorrectly she you bought the ticket. Where else could they have gotten your name?

    You should contact whoever the ticket are through and ask for the confirmation they sent. You could have fixed it within 24 hours if they had sent the confirmation promptly.
     
    #2
  3. sas80

    Staff Member Advocate

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    im thinking if she can provide a valid ID that shows her first and middle name is Catherine Elizabeth, she should be okay to travel
     
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  4. Linda R

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    Actually, the OP said, "Catherineelizabeth, a mash up of my first name and her middle name."
     
    #4
  5. sas80

    Staff Member Advocate

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    oh, shoot!

    Do you have the emailed confirmation? Regardless of weather it was sent within 24 hours, there is no way you can verify the reservation if you do not have it in your hands. This is a good thing as long as you let the booking company know that you were unable verify within 24 hours of booking because you didn't have the confirmation email - therefore you are contacting them now/promptly and asking them to correct the issue on your behalf.

    your email will contain a date/time stamp that will verify this.
     
    #5
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  6. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Another tragic story involving a useless internet booking agency plus another entity coming between the airline and the passenger. So sad.

    Since time is of the essence, I would call United directly and throw yourself on their mercy. Take responsibility for your mistake in not booking directly with United. There's a tiny possibility someone would take pity on your plight.

    Simultaneously, see if you can figure out which entity issued the tix and perhaps you can persuade someone to help you.

    ADVOCATE ADVICE
    When booking air travel, be sure to follow up with your purchase well before the 24-hour change/cancel window closes. Whether it's an online booking agency or the airline itself, you have to know what you purchased before it's too late to make any corrections.
     
    #6
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  7. dourdan

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    Since this is domestic, not international TSA may be a little more lenient. Catherineelizabeth vs Catherine Elizabeth, I can see a TSA agent laughing that off.
     
    #7
  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Catherine is not flying period. Catherine is the mothers name who bought the ticket from what she stayed. So the ticket can’t be used because no one named Catherine is flying.

    I hope Zelda will come back and answer our
    Questions.

    Catherineelizabeth, a mash up of my first name and her middle name.
     
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  9. Christina H

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    Exploremytrip has terrible reviews.

    Also some browsers do autofill on forms so that may be a problem.

    I hope UA can help.
     
    #9
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  10. Zelda

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    Well, my problem got solved. I believe it was due to my half pleading/half nasty letter to a higher up at ExploreTrip. As a not very experienced traveler I was ignorant of the fact that there were 3 entities involved in this transaction: the site where I booked the flight, the travel wholesaler who actually makes the reservation and the airline who issues the tickets. This is 2 too many steps to what should be a simple process. Although I have used other travel comparison websites to book flights I do solemnly swear that I will no longer allow myself to be seduced by the relative ease of comparison shopping on a single site. In the Age of Amazon I will go old school: searching and booking one airline at a time. Thanks to all for comments and suggestions.
     
    #10
  11. Carrie Livingston

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    @Zelda thanks for the update and glad you got this resolved. And will no longer use third party booking sites. There are however reputable travel agents and package organizers. It's just best to make sure to google complaints against xyz just to make sure. Research before the purchase, not after.
     
    #11
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  12. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Use those sites for comparing prices and then go directly to the airlines website and book.

    And you should never be nasty- you get more with honey than vinegar. Would you want to help some one that was nasty?
     
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  13. Christina H

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    Zelda I am really glad that your daughter and son in law will be able to visit you for Christmas.

    And you are right, you dodged a bullet and will not make the same mistake (warn your friends and family!).

    758 each for a r/t ticket Sea to EWR was no bargain and the numerous middle men made it more difficult to correct the issue.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
     
    #13
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  14. jsn55

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    So happy that you will all be together for Christmas! Thanks so much for letting us know.
     
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  15. joycexyz

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    I wonder how much she "saved" through this OTA?
     
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  16. joycexyz

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    Good for you! And I'm so glad this lesson did not cost you, as it has so many others. My plan for airline travel is to research which airlines travel between the cities in question and then to book directly with one of them. Maybe not the cheapest fares, but least likely to have a bad outcome.
     
    #16
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