Airline fold-up a nightmare for couple

08/23/2009 12:00 AM

08/23/2009 12:03 AM

A Travelocity representative assured us we had been rebooked on new flights and that everything was taken care of. On the morning of our honeymoon, we had no tickets. The airline we were supposed to have been rebooked on, Delta Air Lines, was adamant that it wasn't giving us any tickets. And a Travelocity representative kept telling us everything would be fine and they were "working it out." But we had to buy another set of tickets to keep our trip.

I've tried calling Travelocity customer service and was promised over and over that someone is looking into it, that they will call. They don't. They keep asking for more time and keep telling me my request is on "urgent" status. I've sent them more than 65 pages of documentation by mail and fax. We're out more than $4,000 for the airline tickets and an extra night's accommodations and transportation expenses. Enough is enough. Can you please help us?— Kim Ryan, Phoenixville, Pa.

A: Travelocity should have issued a prompt refund for the new airline tickets you had to buy. Actually, it shouldn't have come to this at all. As your online travel agent, it should have ensured you were rebooked on another flight — just like it promised.

There's no excuse for keeping you waiting this long for your money. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the requests for additional documentation were nothing more than a delay tactic meant to wear you down until you give up.

But I know better. As it turns out, Travelocity had issued paper tickets for your first flight, and when ATA went belly-up, it created a bureaucratic nightmare for your agent. Delta wasn't offering free flights to displaced ATA customers, but standby flights for $100 per person. If you wanted a confirmed space, the airline allowed a modest 20 percent discount off a new ticket.

I contacted Travelocity on your behalf. It reviewed your case and determined that you had been "incorrectly advised" by its agents that your Delta flights were confirmed.

Travelocity has refunded your replacement tickets, plus the cost of an extra night in Hawaii, to the tune of $4,078.

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