Persistance pays,

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Feb 26, 2019
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#1
My husband and I booked a flight from MPS to Doha with British Airlines February 27 to March 20 and paid $1979 for the tickets. A week before the trip my husband's mother became gravely ill so we called to ask for options and a customer service advised us to put tickets on hold, and told they could help with rebooking and there would be no charges. His mother died Feb 22.

February 25, I went online to check prices and found I could book the flights from MSP to Doha on March 4 returning March 26 for $1926. But I would have to go through customer service. I called the customer service number to rebook requesting the flights I could have booked online. The first British Airlines customer service agent had difficulty with airports, routes and destination and could't check prices. WHen I didn't hear I call again the second customer service agent could not get me the flights I found online but booked less convenient flights and charged me an additional $600 so the total flights would be $2579.

We had we submitted all documentation for a hold, said there would be no additional charges then end up paying $600 more? I argued the point that I found the flights online today for less. The second customer service representative did contact a supervisor who indicated it was higher because there was no advance discount. (Later found that was not true) The fact that I when I called to ask about hold the agent had said to go through customer service as they had access to information not available to public and promised help obtaining a similar rate. And the fact and that today I could book myself online for less than I had originally paid was not be acknowledged. To say nothing of time on hold, when we have many family issues to work through.

Leeann Jorgensen



February 26, 2019. I did get this resolved with a little effort. And three phone calls. I had called customer service to rebook in the morning but the agent seemed to not understand the Airport names or have access to route maps. She also could not quote the price, seems that is a different department. I hadn’t received confirmation after two hours, so called again and this customer service agent was friendly and found a flight for $600 more. I objected saying I could find flights that was less than my early booking flight at that moment. She contacted the supervisor, no dice. After writing up the complaint to send to you, I got energy back and tried once again. This time I had route, flight numbers all ready. This customer service agent, was helpful and followed through. She found the flights, knew the price and called back and checked to make sure it was processed.



My learning is this

1) If you have to rebook a flight that has been put on hold, check out the best routes and cost ahead of time on the British Airways Website. It seems that site had better information than the customer service representatives.

2) If the customer service representative seems lost in understanding your whole itinerary, it is easier to just call back to get another. If second one offers an unsatisfactory solution try the third. Miraculously the third agent could find flights, check the costs and offer suggestions.

3) Because a supervisor says prices are higher because of no early booking and you can see the prices and obviously there are less expensive flight, fight it or call back to get other agent.

4) Don’t give up if it is obvious that there is a discrepancy.

5) Write out the complaint and solution. Writing out the complaint made it obvious to me that many answers I was given were not aligned with information I had.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#2
Ah, you have learned a most valuable lesson on how to deal with travel these days. I'm glad you shared your story so others can benefit. First rule of calling an airline (or any biz actually) is exactly what you state: if the agent doesn't seem to get with your program, politely excuse yourself and call back in ten minutes. Be polite, patient and persistent. Know EXACTLY what you want.

I was talking with another forum advocate the other day and we agreed ... you need to be "up for the game" before you call. Booking online is so convenient and calling to book is usually awful, so if you're the slightest bit grumpy or impatient, wait until another time to make the call. You did a great job ... enjoy your trip.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I am sorry about your mother in law, what a terrible event, but it is a positive that you were not in transit during the sad times.

Certainly there are agents that are more adept than others, and as you said if one feels that there is a communication gap, the best thing to do it politely thank them and hang up. And not understanding the destination airport is a strong sign that it would be best to hang up.

As you said it is best to be armed with a solution which you did -- flight numbers and all.

I hope you and your husband have a stress-free trip.
 
Feb 26, 2019
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#5
Ah, you have learned a most valuable lesson on how to deal with travel these days. I'm glad you shared your story so others can benefit. First rule of calling an airline (or any biz actually) is exactly what you state: if the agent doesn't seem to get with your program, politely excuse yourself and call back in ten minutes. Be polite, patient and persistent. Know EXACTLY what you want.

I was talking with another forum advocate the other day and we agreed ... you need to be "up for the game" before you call. Booking online is so convenient and calling to book is usually awful, so if you're the slightest bit grumpy or impatient, wait until another time to make the call. You did a great job ... enjoy your trip.
Thanks for positive reply
 
Jul 7, 2018
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#6
This is a great story. Thanks for sharing that consumer advocacy can work when the consumer is smart along with the 3 "P"s.