Air Jamaica

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Cancellation of Flight
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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I purchased my tickets for travel to Jamaica in April 08 back in September of 07. Three tickets for travel during my children's spring break. I had to pay in full for the tickets at the time of booking, which I did without complaint. Now 7 weeks before departure, I'm informed that my route has been cancelled. They are no longer offering this route, so we have been rescheduled.

Now keep in mind, I chose this flight due to its earliest arrival over other airlines. I may have paid more, but it was worth it since I'm paying some $600 a day for an all-inclusive resort and I wanted a full day of this investment.

My new flight is scheduled to arrive at 3:50 p.m. as opposed to my earlier arrival at 9:30 a.m. This essentially means that I am missing the ENTIRE day. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and all activities for this all-inclusive resort I paid for. Essentially I just paid $600 for a room to sleep in as by the time I arrive at the resort and get to my room it will be well after 7:00 p.m.

I called Air Jamaica and spoke to an agent who said the best she could do was route me out of Florida to SC and back to Montego Bay for an 11:30 a.m. arrival. This was almost acceptable until I spoke to Donna, a supervisor who advised me that she told me wrong and there is no way they are going to incur the expense of 3 new tickets to be issued. She said if I didn't like the change they would refund my money. I explained that I had a good experience with Air Jamaica 11 years ago and their early flights in are what caused me to pick them, despite the ability to get cheaper tickets. Her response "Well, if you can get cheaper tickets, go for it!"

I was appalled. I explained that back in September I could get them cheaper, not now with only a few weeks to departure and at the height of spring break. Her reply "Exactly, it is the height of Spring Break" telling me I need to deal with the change or get a refund.

They are costing me $600 for their cancellation and I'm helpless and can do nothing to change this situation!

For the profit mongers who justify this type of strategy as a business move....remind me never to purchase from you. In the meantime for those looking for a justified CONSUMER review....be wary of Air Jamaica. For them the $ is worth more than the consumer. And it may be 11 years since I used them, but I've referred at least 6 other people to them on trips to Beaches and Hedo. So as easily as I can recommend I can not recommend.
     
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FoggyOne on 2008-02-16:
You are arriving at the airport at 3:50pm and then taking over 3 hours to get to the resort? I didn't think Jamica was that large, but I've been wrong before. I doubt you'll miss dinner (supper) though.

I hate missing any of my first day of travel too, especailly at that cost, but travel is fickle. They are offering you a refund if you don't like the new schedule, I'm not sure what more they can do since they do not have an earlier flight.
Florida Mom of Two on 2008-02-16:
Actually it does take about that long. The trip alone from the airport to the resort is 1 1/2 hours. Then you have to go do all the international travel stuff, get your luggage, go through customs. Then you have to wait until you have a full bus traveling to the resorts before you can leave. 3 hours EASILY. Once you are at the resort, it's a cattle call of "check ins" by group so it will be way past 7:00 by the time you get to your room and get settled. Dinner ends at 9:00. Even if dinner were had in time, $618 a night plus tax is hardly worth one meal and a bed.

And the offer to "refund" is kind of a moot point given all other travel alternatives are much more expensive this late in the game.

What is worse, I cannot cancel my trip and rebook before the 45 days because my travel agent is not taking calls or emails and the 45 day cancellation period is Monday. The won't cancel without my agent.

It's a fiasco all the way around. Travel isn't fickle. If you have a flight with scheduled passengers, you don't cancel it. Period. Because there aren't enough people booked to justify the costs shouldn't be the passengers' fault. You are bound to a commitment when the ticket is purchased. Mechanical failure or something...justifiable. Not having enough passengers...not justifiable.
Ben There on 2008-02-16:
Is your return flight changed as well? Do you get extra time on the island on the return? All airlines have schedule changes - it is a risk anyone takes when purchasing tickets 7 months before travel. If it makes you feel any better, most resorts do not let you check in until 3pm, especially during peak travel times like spring break as someone else is probably leaving the room that morning and it takes them time to clean it for you. They have offered you a refund or the option to take a flight that gets you to your destination just 6 hours later... If 6 hours is the latest you are ever delayed on an airplane you are doing quite well. Enjoy your trip.
Ben There on 2008-02-16:
"You are bound to a commitment when the ticket is purchased."... They are getting you to Jamaica, correct? No airline every promises that schedules will not change. There are too many factors involved to say in 7 months nothing will change... I doubt that the plane was not full during spring break. There are many other factors that make airlines change schedules beyond their control like a new plane that they were expecting to be delivered was delayed or more pilots retired in the past few months than they expected.
Florida Mom of Two on 2008-02-17:
Your justification for their irresponsible behavior doesn't change my view. They TOLD ME they are no longer offering the flight due to lack of reservations for that time slot. Last I knew, when you are selling a product there was some sort of warranty linked to just about everything. Only the airline industry can get away with this type of lack of concern for consumers.

To make matters worse, they clearly do not care about the lost of income from the tickets as they would offer a refund. They thinking is I would stay given all other flights are now way too expensive. And no, they aren't getting me to Jamaica. I will be traveling another airline. But I'm sure they are happy to see the antagonistic blogger who stalks travel blogs justifying poor consumer relations. Last I knew...complaints were the purpose of this site. I'm sure anyone else who was on this flight is equally aggrevated. In my case, it's involving adding an extra resort stay night, rearranging my airport travel arrangements WITH PENALTY and hotel arrangements prior to departure. Nice attempt to explain away the incompetence in customer service but I'm not biting. Since they told me they canceled the flight due to lack of reservations, I hold them responsible. Period.
Ben There on 2008-02-18:
So Air Jamaica decided for one reason or another that the resources needed to operate the early flight could be better used somewhere else. Losing money on a route that was not making enough people wanted was a bad idea, so they cancelled it and moved everyone to a flight that is only 6 hours later. They probebaly factored in that some customers would opt for the refund and complain, but you admit yourself that you have not been a customer in 11 years so they are probably not losing a lot of frequent travelers over the deal. While I am sure that everyone on the early flight may not be pleased, Air Jamaica has a responsibility to make money for the share holders and employees - if they do not, they will have no flights at all cause they would be bankrupt. Airlines, like all other companies, introduce new products to consumers hoping that many people want to buy it. If no one wants the product or it costs more to make than people are willing to pay for it, they stop making the product.
wgaguy1984 on 2008-02-20:
I certainly understand your frustration that your travel plans were interrupted, but Air Jamaica did nothing to personally wrong you. From paragraph 10 of their contract of carriage:

Times shown in timetable or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. Schedules are subject to change without notice.

Every airline reserves the right to make schedule changes, you agree to that when you book the ticket. They'll either reaccomodate you or refund your ticket; you're travelling during a busy season, they probably don't have any seats on another flight to put you on without overselling it.

It seems to me like the most reasonable course of action would have been for them or you to ask if you could be moved to a flight into Jamaica a day earlier. Assuming work and school cooperated, that would have only resulted in you having an extra night hotel room and not losing any of your first day. Obviously they're not going to reroute a plane just for you, or refund your ticket plus the difference to rebook on a different airline that's more expensive, or compensate you for any inconvenience when they're upfront that something like this may happen.

And I hate to tell you this, but they don't really care about your revenue. If you booked that far in advance and got a discount fare and made no changes in your reservation, the profit the airline is making on each passenger in your party is probably in the single or low double digits. A paltry enough sum to forfeit to be rid of someone who gets so bent out of shape about something that's routine on any airline.
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Time Change
Posted by on
JFK, CONNECTICUT -- I have been watching the Air Jamaica for the past couple month looking for a flight to leave at 7:30am on Aug 12, 2009. The flight times were perfect. I have read all the reviews and knew that the airline was not the best. but again the times were perfect. So I book 11 tickets this past Monday. I check the flights Thursday and guess what? My flight was cancelled and the new flight was not leaving till 12:45pm. I am in the process of trying to cancel my tickets now and get a full refund.

I do not recommend this airline. Nothing but false hopes and let downs.
     
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DigitalCommando on 2009-03-07:
Flying any Jamaican airlines can be confusing. You just never know if the smoke in the cabin is a real fire or just the pilots firing up another ganga stimulator.
Anonymous on 2009-03-07:
DC, kind of puts a new twist on "flying high".
Ben There on 2009-03-08:
Lots of airlines have been adjusting schedules with the recent downturn in traffic...
wgaguy1984 on 2009-03-10:
"Schedule changes happen" . . . someone should put it on a bumper sticker.
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