I bought 6 Family Ties passes intending to use them on the Niagara Falls/Punta Gorda route this past winter. Every time I tried to book a flight either the flights were full or one of the legs was full so I could get there but not back or (and this really makes me crazy) the allocation of Family Ties seat on this particular flight was used up. Who knew there was small print that said seats for Family Ties pass holders were restricted?
So here I am, still holding 6 passes. Direct Air have stopped flights to Florida for the season and by the time they start flying again the passes will have expired and I will be out of pocket over $600. I have tried e-mailing them on a number of occasions but they have never responded. Calling them is a complete waste of time. You can wait hours to get through and get absolutely no help at all from the person who eventually answers the phone. I am surprised an enterprising lawyer hasn't jumped all over this.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I fly with them when I can. What people don't understand is that they are a Charter... And you know what makes it hard on people to book is that people talk to the agent. And they do have it harder that you do. I have flown them over I would say about 50 times in the last year. I talk to some of the agents online from time to time. I ask one tonight how their day went. They said that it was very bad because people aren't nice to them. And it's not up to them on canceling the flight. That comes from a higher up. SO GIVE THEM A BREAK PLEASE.... THANK YOU.
I booked a flight for travel from Kalamazoo MI to West Palm Beach FL about a month ago. I have an 18 month old son, so a direct flight was an awesome option. A Direct Air representative just called, only two weeks prior to our departure, to say that both segments of the flight were cancelled. Other than a refund, they offer no explanation as to why, no alternative flight dates, and no vouchers or credit toward future travel with their airline.
Very unreliable and a huge inconvenience to us to make alternative travel arrangements (not to mention, less flight plan options and higher prices versus a month ago when I first looked). This was my first experience with Direct Air... and unfortunately, my last.
If I cannot wait for the call center to reply, I just fire off an email, sometimes twice if I don't get an immediate response, an agent will reply to you. I suggest that you note the agent's name and he or she will become your 'go to' contact for further inquiries. Another method is to put your phone on speaker mode, go about your business and someone will reply, unless the message is that they are not taking calls.
Back to 'family ties', only use that for last minute plans, It's a standby system where DA is looking to fill up seats. In other words never use it as your annual spring break trip to Florida, they have so many other promotions, like half price deals where you will get a confirmation number for a real flight.
Cancelled flights? You need to know your market. For instance a safe bet are winter flights from border cities like Niagara Falls and Plattsburgh to Florida in the winter. A flight to Myrtle in January is risky as it can be cold there, and there may be fewer seats filled up. Many of these flights were cancelled and were eventually dropped this winter. Air Canada will cancel flights too on empty planes. Our third trip coming up next Saturday. Just confirmed via email with my contact. We have had a excellent experience. Hope this helps.
ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS -- I really fell for the Direct Air Family Ties sale in March, buying 6 round-trip vouchers for $160.00. Beginning April 1st, you could redeem the vouchers for actual flights. After over a week of constant calling and getting busy signals on the reservation line, I tried to submit the online redemption form. There's no reply to acknowledge the request was even was received! I finally called the corporate number, they transferred me to reservations and at least I got to be put on hold -- for like 20 minutes! I was able to redeem two of the vouchers for travel from Rockford to Palm Beach, leaving 05/06/2011 and returning 05/16/2011.
Imagine the shock, when 10 days later, after reserving a rental car and hotels through Priceline (non-refundable) I get a call from Direct Air telling me both legs of the flight were cancelled as only 14 other people had booked! They told me, quite nicely by the way, that basically the 'fine print' allowed them to cancel the flights, too bad for me. I had to scramble today to get airfare, which ended up costing an additional $250.00!
Don't take the risk of using Direct Air, you never know when you might have a very nasty surprise like I did today. Saving a few bucks up front sure ended up costing me a lot more than using a standard carrier. Being able to be confident that your flights aren't going to be cancelled is priceless, I wouldn't trust any of their sales!
DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHT WITH THIS AIRLINE!!!!! Do not let the good price fool you. I think that they have 3 people working at their call center, or so it seems. In a period of three days, I made 3 different phone calls and got 3 completely different answers. When upgrading to 1st class, I only wanted a one way upgrade and she mistakenly charged me for 2. When I asked her to correct it, SHE TOLD ME THEY DON`T DO REFUNDS!!! After arguing with her and asking to speak to her supervisor (which she wouldn`t allow me to do) she had the audacity to tell me that they would do the refund AS AN EXCEPTION but there was a $100.00 service charge!!!!!!
In the end, I was charged the $100.00 and as it turns out, there was no 1st class service on that flight to begin with, so they essentially charged me for something that didn`t even exist. BUYER BEWARE!!!! pay more and go with a normal company, not a sham of one!!!
This Airline is the worst on the planet. They care nothing about their customers. Just try to call them. Not to reserve a flight. Try to contact a person to ask a question. It won't happen. That should be enough of a red flag.
I hope this airline goes broke. I will have a party.
I bought 5 Family Ties tickets last year. On one ticket, they e-mailed and called me two weeks before the flight to tell me it had been cancelled. I had to scramble to make alternative arrangements. They did refund me the value of that ticket, but it cost me a lot more to rebook on another airline on short notice. But the biggest problem is the stupid phone reservation system. The only way to book Family Ties flights is by phone, and good luck ever getting through. They are only open starting at 8:00 or so in the morning, and the phone lines are constantly busy. Most times, you can't even talk to someone, they cut it off without even taking the call. Other times, you either wait for an eternity to talk to someone, or as has happened to me, you wait for a half an hour, then are cut off. I can't believe with the popularity of this program, they can't make it possible to use it.
My son just got back from Afghanstan, he is in the Marines. We purchased a family ties special ticket for him so he could use it anytime he wanted. He called the air line and was told that the seats were already reserves from other "family ties buyers" and he would have to purchase an upgrade. He could only fly one way because now he has to wait in line to see if someone doesn't show up so he can get on a flight. At this time there is another promotion going on for half price flights, but did the service person give this option to him, no instead charged him double!!! We paid 109.00 round trip and he ended up paying an additional 135.50 for one way!!!! All I got was he already agreed and paid. SO CANCEL IT AND GIVE HIM A REFUND-NEVER AGAIN WILL WE FLY OR BUY DIRECT AIR TICKETS
I purchased two return flights from Niagara Falls to Myrtle Beach as Christmas gifts in early November. The $540 cost was immediately charged to my credit card with travel scheduled Jan 24 and returning Feb 13. In early December, Direct Air left a voicemail message that the flight from Niagara Falls to Myrtle Beach had been cancelled but the return flight was OK. That's great... how is someone supposed to get to Myrtle Beach one way? Despite numerous promises from their customer service of a refund within a couple of days I still have not seen a refund credited to my credit card and it has now been seven weeks since their cancellation.
Do not waste your money with Direct Air! They are full of promises that they cannot keep.