Direct Air Complaint - Family Ties Program Is A Scam!
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- In Dec 2009, I made an online purchase for 10 vouchers at $149/ea under Direct Air’s “Family Ties” program. At that time, their website was misleading and not clear as to when the vouchers expired. In my case, the vouchers were good from January 1, 2010 until April 17, 2010 for only 3 months for flights between Springfield, IL and Punta Gorda, FL. There was no way I could use them in a short time. For 3 months, I could not reach anyone who could make decisions from Direct Air. I quickly found out that Direct Air has no customer service! It took me several emails, phone calls, complaints to the BBB before I finally got a call from a ‘supervisor”. I was finally able to get an extension until April 2011.
On February 2, 2011 during the blizzard in Illinois, Direct Air was the only air carrier that did not cancel its flight to Springfield, IL. Direct Air forced many passengers to wait ALL DAY at Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda Florida. My husband and stepson gave up…so they each wasted a voucher. Why would anyone fly to springfield when all the roads from that airport were closed? Direct Air does not care about the safety or what happens to its passengers!! My stepson ended up buying a ticket with another airline. My husband tried to reschedule a flight for February 16, but was told that all the seats were booked until mid April. Yet Direct Air just launched a “Valentine’s Special” promotion on Feb 11th for discounted tickets because they couldn’t book all their seats!
Direct Air discriminates against Family Ties voucher holders through a special online “itinerary request” form and through their phone in reservations. The online form asks for a first and second choice preference for the reservation. After submitting the form online, no one called or emailed us to let us know which date has been reserved. The Family Ties online form states: Please remember that the availability in the Family Ties class of service is limited on each Direct Air flight. Availability in the Family Ties class of service is granted at face value of the voucher solely on a first-come, first serve basis…. If your flight has been confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email. ” He received no confirmation email.
My husband had to make a special trip to the airport to find out the date he was supposed to fly out. Also, the form does not allow you the option of using your voucher for a 1-way trip, so you are forced to call for your reservation. Even though they have “other seats” available, they will not allow customers with vouchers to use them. The scam (or fraud) is: “Direct Air sells the vouchers, limits the number of available seats for customers holding vouchers, then sells the same seats TWICE when customers are not allowed to use their vouchers for ANY seat!!
On February 11, 2011, my husband waited over 1 hour for service representative. The “reservation clerk” told my husband there were no available seats that he needed to book his voucher a year in advance! But he could upgrade his voucher by paying an extra $96.00. Yet there were 57 available seats showing online on flight 5876 from Punta Gorda to Springfield on February 12th at 3:00 PM EST. We decided to use their online form and gave Feb 16 and Feb 19th as desired options for reservations. Since we did not receive an email, my husband went to the Punta Gorda airport again to check on his reservation status. He was told all seats were booked and he had no reservations. My husband then booked his ticket on another airline at a cost of $200.00 to fly out on Feb 18th. Then, we received an email confirmation on FEB 16TH from Direct Air that my husband had a reservation for Feb 18th! We wasted another ticket and there is no human being to talk to as there NO CUSTOMER SERVICE! We wasted 3 vouchers at a total of $447.00 plus purchased 2 tickets on other airlines to get to our destination at a total of $400.00. We will never use Direct Air and fly from Punta Gorda using your airport. As residents of Charlotte County we will go out of our way NOT to support Direct Air…even if it means flying to St. Pete/Clearwater or Ft. Myers airports. If another airline such as Allegiant Air offers service between Peoria Illinois and Punta Gorda, we will use them for our air carrier.
We have lost $450.00 in vouchers and there is no one to complain to because there is no customer service!!
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