US Airways Costly Mis-Quoted Fare
Airfare - Complaint
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- On May 1, 2011, my significant other and I had a scheduled flight, US Airways flight #3429, from Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) departing at 7:45 PM EDT, which we missed due to unforeseen traffic delays. I called and was told there were no other non-stop flights out May 1st. That evening I called US Airways to see if we could be rescheduled for another flight the following day. I was told by the US Airways representative, that we could switch to the next non-stop flight available the following afternoon for a charge of approximately $15.00 per ticket. I agreed to the charge thinking it was a very reasonable fee for the flight change. I was never told that this was an upgrade to first-class tickets, nor did I request or agree to an upgrade. I specifically noted that we were only interested in fares comparable to our original ones. We originally booked our flights through CheapTickets.com, and were flexible in the times of the flight to ensure a reasonable price for the tickets. There were other return options available at the time for around $400 per person. We went with US Airways because we thought this would be the most economical choice. The next day we departed from DCA to DFW at 1:20 PM EDT via US Airways flight #3379. Our seats were 1A and 1C on board of an Embraer ERJ-170 jet operated by US Airways.
According to the seat plan of this jet, all seats on board this aircraft are coach seats. There was no difference between any of the seats on the entire aircraft, nor were there any of the typical first class amenities provided to anyone on board. To top it off, the stewardess was very rude, and our row was served drinks last, after everyone else on the plane was served. We believe that these are all obvious indicators that this was an all coach flight and not first-class. Further, even when we were boarding, at no time did they call for first-class passengers to be seated first. There was nothing to indicate that this was a first-class ticket. After returning to DFW, I received my credit card statement and found that I had been charged $1,349.00 per ticket, a total of $2,698.00. I immediately contacted US Airways and was told that the $1,349 was the difference in fare. The representative also mentioned that there was an error in the transaction, because the normal $150.00 change of ticket fee was not included in the charge. Obviously there are discrepancies in the original transaction.
I filed a complaint online with the complaint department only to be quickly dismissed and told that I had purchased first-class tickets, with valid and non-refundable charges. This is contrary to what I was told over the phone by the US Airways representative. I would not have agreed to such an outrageous price considering our flexibility in our choices to maintain a rate comparable to our original one. At no time was this made clear that this was going to be an upgrade to a first-class ticket. It was mentioned during the original call that the call would be recorded, so if someone from US Airways could review the recording of the phone recording of the ticket purchase, they could verify that I am correct in what I was told.
I have since contacted US Airways on multiple occasions and have received responses amounting to "the charges were valid". Never was I offered an explanation of my discrepancies with not only the charges rendered, but also the services we never received.
I finally filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The airline responded to my complaint with a slightly more in depth explanation, however it still fell significantly short of addressing my concerns. With their response, BBB has now closed my complaint although no resolution was found. This experience has left me with a first hand account of how big business does truly not care about the everyday working individual. I feel taken advantage of and essentially feel like I have been robbed. I am trying to get my story out there so this doesn't happen to more people.
I feel US Airways should be held accountable for their mistake and that people should be aware of what type of company they are dealing with.