Should I Write? (Another Bad Experience)

 
Old May 18, 09, 6:40 pm
  #1  
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Should I Write? (Another Bad Experience)

So if any have you have seen my prior two posts regarding flights, you may have guessed I found a round trip fare ATL-FRA for around $420. Last night I was waiting for the OK from my friend in Frankfurt but wanted to go ahead and reserve the ticket based on the 24hr cancellation policy that Delta has. I did this and put the flight on my AMEX Blue with the EXPLICIT word from the CSR that I could change the billing info if I needed to within this 24 hours.

Today I got the OK and told my father who found out he had tons of miles left on his Capital One card that he could purchase the entire flight with. He called Delta only to be told the only way they could change the billing was to rebook the flight and the new cost was $1400.

While at the end of the day, I do get a flight to Europe for $450 overall but Delta has screwed my family out of a free flight. I am in between jobs and every penny counts and I feel like they just didn't care at all about helping us out.

I filed a complaint on the web site and also the BBB just for the heck of it. I don't believe that is overreacting but like I said, I have the time so I'm tempted to write the Richard Anderson. Right now, to them I may just seem like a lowly 23 year old with no FF miles/status (had 35,000 expire in December) but it just sucks that they couldn't give me the fare today that the ticket was purchased at yesterday. What they don't know as that I will be traveling a lot for my next job and this has really dinged their reputation in my mind.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks again for the advice.

jody
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Old May 18, 09, 6:57 pm
  #2  
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I think the CSR was wrong on this one.

What DL offers is risk-free cancellation, where you can cancel with a day (midnight the next day specifically) of booking your ticket. You pay for it, it gets charged, you cancel, the refund goes onto your card within about 24-48 hours on Delta (normally with NW it's taken around 72-96 hours to post, but it does).

As for fares changing, they do all the time. Every airline changes fares. There have been times I've kicked myself in the rear for not jumping on a low fare and ended up paying significantly more (such as passing on a UA $160 flight to LAS over Memorial Day while I holded out to see if DL would offer Double EQMs - they did, but not on the cheap fares and I ended up having to pay for a flight that gets the double EQMs, just at double the cost...).
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Old May 18, 09, 8:01 pm
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Either the agent was wrong or the OP misheard.

Risk-free cancellation is NOT a guarantee the fare will still exist if you need to re-book it on a different card. AFAIK there's no way to re-book a ticket in that way; it's a cancellation and an all new booking.
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Old May 18, 09, 8:04 pm
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So sorry to hear about your experience. The cancellation policy can be great but the T&C don't specify the time zone in which "midnight the next day" applies (here). If I am in a west coast city booking travel that begins in Florida does midnight refer to Eastern time zone or Pacific? Could this be a factor?

FYI, your age should never have anything to do with how you are treated either by DL or here on FlyerTalk. Money is the same shade of green no matter how green you are.

Wish I had more to offer. FYI, for the future, there are many easy and cheap ways to extend the expiration of your miles. Every one of us on this board groans like a man watching a baseball player get beaned when we hear of 35K miles expiring. A tip: if you have a free (or even a $ one) email account with any of the big email services (yahoo, gmail, etc) you also have a calendar on which you can place appointments and what-not. They also let you set up reminders that will be emailed to you at a designated time you specify prior to a special date. I have misc miles/points in several accounts and I have myself emailed when the expiration date is drawing near. Each mile or point forum (for programs where expiration is an issue) will have threads pertaining to keeping expiration from causing you to groan. The DL one is: The Definitive “Expiring SkyMiles” Thread.
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Old May 18, 09, 8:55 pm
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It sounds like there was a miscommunication between OP and the phone agent.

OP heard from the agent that it was okay to change the billing details for the very same ticket (ticket number and PNR) OP booked.

Agent thought OP was asking if it was okay to cancel the ticket within 24hours and pay for the same trip (but not same ticket number and PNR) using a different form of payment.

It is a tough call, but unless OP can prove that the agent gave wrong information, I think OP is out of luck. I can understand how the miscommunication occured, but, unfortunately, this is just one of those lessons we learn as we become frequent flyers.

Bottom line: once you book and pay for a ticket, and the ticket is issued, even a refundable ticket, you can't change the form of payment for that ticket number/ PNR. You can get a refund and re-book, if the ticket is refundable, but you are not guaranteed the original fare.

At the end of the day, OP got a good deal on the ticket, and will be able to use the miles/points on a future ticket.
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Old May 18, 09, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by AGSF View Post
It sounds like there was a miscommunication between OP and the phone agent.

OP heard from the agent that it was okay to change the billing details for the very same ticket (ticket number and PNR) OP booked.

Agent thought OP was asking if it was okay to cancel the ticket within 24hours and pay for the same trip (but not same ticket number and PNR) using a different form of payment.

It is a tough call, but unless OP can prove that the agent gave wrong information, I think OP is out of luck. I can understand how the miscommunication occured, but, unfortunately, this is just one of those lessons we learn as we become frequent flyers.

Bottom line: once you book and pay for a ticket, and the ticket is issued, even a refundable ticket, you can't change the form of payment for that ticket number/ PNR. You can get a refund and re-book, if the ticket is refundable, but you are not guaranteed the original fare.

At the end of the day, OP got a good deal on the ticket, and will be able to use the miles/points on a future ticket.

This is exactly correct. The agent explicitly told me that I could change the form of payment for the booking and this is the fundamental issue I have. Just sucks because it really doesn't seem like 1) it would be hard to change a form of payment or 2) rebook the flight with the cost that was already given to me. They *are* the operating company so it just seems like it was just the easy way out to not follow through. Oh well. Life will go on.
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Old May 18, 09, 11:30 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by nichojo View Post
This is exactly correct. The agent explicitly told me that I could change the form of payment for the booking and this is the fundamental issue I have. Just sucks because it really doesn't seem like 1) it would be hard to change a form of payment or 2) rebook the flight with the cost that was already given to me.
There used to be a way, for a nominal fee (I think it was $20 or $35) to actually change the form of payment on a ticket that had been issued, whether it was one day old or thirty days old. I don't know if it still exists or not.

I would pick up the phone, call, and innocently ask, "I bought a ticket the other day but I put it on the wrong card. Can I change the card I used?" Be nicely persistent. You might find someone who can make it happen.

As to the conversation with the res agent, I think it was a failure to communicate. You could have canceled the ticket the next day with no penalty and rebooked, and IF the same fare had been available you could have ticketed the itinerary again using the different card you desired. Apparently, however, the fare changed.

All of us have encountered situations where we are kicking ourselves for procrastinating. A couple of weeks ago on a Friday night, a $700 roundtrip ATL-HNL upgradeable fare popped into the system, and it was even booked in B inventory. It was too good to be true. I decided to eat dinner before booking. I came back two hours later and it was gone. (Obviously, they were updating fare and this one slipped through incorrectly for a couple of hours).
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Old May 19, 09, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by nichojo View Post
So if any have you have seen my prior two posts regarding flights, you may have guessed I found a round trip fare ATL-FRA for around $420. Last night I was waiting for the OK from my friend in Frankfurt but wanted to go ahead and reserve the ticket based on the 24hr cancellation policy that Delta has. I did this and put the flight on my AMEX Blue with the EXPLICIT word from the CSR that I could change the billing info if I needed to within this 24 hours.

Today I got the OK and told my father who found out he had tons of miles left on his Capital One card that he could purchase the entire flight with. He called Delta only to be told the only way they could change the billing was to rebook the flight and the new cost was $1400.

While at the end of the day, I do get a flight to Europe for $450 overall but Delta has screwed my family out of a free flight. I am in between jobs and every penny counts and I feel like they just didn't care at all about helping us out.

I filed a complaint on the web site and also the BBB just for the heck of it. I don't believe that is overreacting but like I said, I have the time so I'm tempted to write the Richard Anderson. Right now, to them I may just seem like a lowly 23 year old with no FF miles/status (had 35,000 expire in December) but it just sucks that they couldn't give me the fare today that the ticket was purchased at yesterday. What they don't know as that I will be traveling a lot for my next job and this has really dinged their reputation in my mind.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks again for the advice.

jody
So, you booked a ticket one day and then the next day you found out your father had miles with which he could have booked the ticket? How does this relate to changing the form of payment? If he has miles, then are you looking for an award ticket?

As others have pointed out, once you book a ticket on card x, then only way to change it to card y is to cancel the first ticket and book a new one at whatever the prevailing rate is. While it is certainly possible that a ticket price could jump 3x overnight, that too seems a little suspicious... are you sure that you were looking at the same fares... i.e. when you went to look at the rebook was it still a L/U/T fare (or whatever) or did you inadvertently look at a higher fare class?
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Old May 19, 09, 6:58 am
  #9  
 
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This is confusing!

You say you booked the ticket on your blue card. That means that you paid for the ticket at that price with that card.

You cannot change the form of payment because the charge has already been made. The only thing you can do is cancel the ticket and get a refund after a few days. You can then book it at the current rate on the card of your choosing.

You state that your father had miles. This means that you wanted to cancel and use miles to buy an award ticket. That is a totally different cost factor all together. You either pay in full with miles and use a card for the fees or you pay partially with miles and partially with a credit card.

In any case you do NOT have a reason to complain. It is your responsibility to make sure you know the t&c of what you are trying to do. As is the case with this posting, you did not make it clear your intentions or what happened. I highly suspect that is the same scenario with your conversation with the agent.

Try rinse and repeat, but complaining will only set you up for future blacklisting.

YMMV
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Old May 19, 09, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by EasternTraveler View Post
This is confusing!

You say you booked the ticket on your blue card. That means that you paid for the ticket at that price with that card.

You cannot change the form of payment because the charge has already been made. The only thing you can do is cancel the ticket and get a refund after a few days. You can then book it at the current rate on the card of your choosing.

You state that your father had miles. This means that you wanted to cancel and use miles to buy an award ticket. That is a totally different cost factor all together. You either pay in full with miles and use a card for the fees or you pay partially with miles and partially with a credit card.

In any case you do NOT have a reason to complain. It is your responsibility to make sure you know the t&c of what you are trying to do. As is the case with this posting, you did not make it clear your intentions or what happened. I highly suspect that is the same scenario with your conversation with the agent.

Try rinse and repeat, but complaining will only set you up for future blacklisting.

YMMV
WHOA! The CSR told him he could change the form of payment when he called back to confirm within 24 hours. We all know that this is not true. But it sounds like the CSR told him otherwise. When booking, the charge is run through normally as if you have no plans to cancel within 24 hours. Sometimes I have seen NO charge at all when I have canceled within 24 hours. Sometimes I have seen a debit and then a credit when doing so.

It is possible that the CSR gave the OP the impression he could change the form of payment within 24 hours. Give him a break. If the CSR misspoke (yeah, like that never happens) then the OP has a legitimate complaint.

Perhaps "billing information" and "form of payment" were being intermingled mentally and verbally by the CSR and the OP. I have had to correct a CSR's terminology several times with DL as I could tell they were thinking one thing and saying another.... innocently but potentially dangerous for me had I not understood his/her meaning. (e-credit vs. e-ticket; rec loc number vs. ticket number; etc)

Many many times on the DL forum a poster has been advised "Politely hang up and call back again and you might get a different answer." ? If the OP did not know that "re-booting" might give him a different result then I hardly think he was out of line or irresponsible for taking the CSRs information as accurate. We have no transcript of the actual conversation but IT IS POSSIBLE that the CSR led him to believe he could change the form of payment within 24 hours. Not everyone is savvy to the knowledge that CSRs sometimes screw up.
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Old May 19, 09, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by nichojo View Post
This is exactly correct. The agent explicitly told me that I could change the form of payment for the booking and this is the fundamental issue I have. Just sucks because it really doesn't seem like 1) it would be hard to change a form of payment or 2) rebook the flight with the cost that was already given to me. They *are* the operating company so it just seems like it was just the easy way out to not follow through. Oh well. Life will go on.
If I read you right, you are talking about your dad using the Pay with Miles feature from AMEX. I think this is more than just changing to a different credit card and probably is what is causing the confusion. The problem with that is that you dad can't use his miles to pay for a ticket you booked.

If I am reading your statements wrong, nevermind.
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Old May 19, 09, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by GaryO3 View Post
So, you booked a ticket one day and then the next day you found out your father had miles with which he could have booked the ticket? How does this relate to changing the form of payment? If he has miles, then are you looking for an award ticket?
I'm guessing the OP is talking about a "No-hassle rewards" type of mileage, which involves the credit card company actually paying for the ticket. The advantage of this form of award travel is that it's not capacity controlled. However, the miles accrue at half the rate as, say, a Delta Platinum Amex.
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Old May 19, 09, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by scassett View Post
If I read you right, you are talking about your dad using the Pay with Miles feature from AMEX. I think this is more than just changing to a different credit card and probably is what is causing the confusion. The problem with that is that you dad can't use his miles to pay for a ticket you booked.

If I am reading your statements wrong, nevermind.

The OP mentioned he used his Amex Blue card for the purchase. Then his father wanted to use his Captial One card to finalize the purchase. Nothing was said about PWM. IIRC, Captial One offers points that can be used for flight purchases. It has nothing to do with PWM. In fact the airline does not even know that the purchaser is getting credit from Capital One because the credit is applied to the cardholder's account after the fact. I have not had a Cap One card in quite some time but that was the way I remember it working when I did have the card.
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Old May 19, 09, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by Smyrnaflyer View Post
I'm guessing the OP is talking about a "No-hassle rewards" type of mileage, which involves the credit card company actually paying for the ticket. The advantage of this form of award travel is that it's not capacity controlled. However, the miles accrue at half the rate as, say, a Delta Platinum Amex.
Just to clarify (since there have been some confusions with this thread): half the rate of miles earned for the purchase price only. With DL Amex 2X the number of dollars spent will be earned. But the flight earned miles would be whatever the normal earning is for the fare class purchased. There are no blackout dates because the ticket is, well, just purchased. The "free flight" or discount is between the cardholder and the credit card. DL would be unaware of any perk and the miles earned for flying would be normal.
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Old May 19, 09, 8:57 am
  #15  
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Note that if you think you may need Freedom Awards in the future, it may be worth combining some of your awards before they expire so that you can then get a Freedom Award for $50 and you'll have less $50 fees to pay in the future without losing any of your tickets.

I seem to recall that there may be a trick that can be used here too, maybe that expired Standard Awards can be combined to an expired Freedom Award, then it only costs $50 to extend the expired Freedom Award, or am I dreaming that?
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