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Friend's misconnection costs me an extra award

Friend's misconnection costs me an extra award

Old May 21, 08, 6:42 pm
  #1  
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Friend's misconnection costs me an extra award

I booked a roundtrip award flight for my friend as two one-ways. The outbound flight had one connection. Although the first leg arrived on time, my friend missed the connecting flight, so a gate agent placed him on the next flight to his final destination. Imagine my surprise when I logged into my account and saw that Southwest had taken half of another award to reserve that flight! Three questions:

1) Under the flat tire rule, shouldn't my friend have been placed on the next available flight at no charge? Does that depend if the first flight was delayed or not?

2) If the flat tire rule doesn't apply here, how is it that Southwest chose to take away one of my awards instead of charging him full fare?

3) What's the likelihood I'll be able to call and get my award back?

Thanks in advance!
im_blue is offline  
Old May 21, 08, 7:09 pm
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I would guess the "flat tire rule" wouldn't apply here, since as you stated, his first flight arrived on time. He certainly then wasn't late getting to the airport.

And the rule only makes sense when applied to the first leg, i.e. driving to the airport to catch your flight.

(Just curious, how did he miss his connecting flight?)
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Old May 21, 08, 7:42 pm
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If your friend missed the flight because he was in the bar, it would seem that he owes you for a full fare leg.
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Old May 21, 08, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by lougord99 View Post
If your friend missed the flight because he was in the bar, it would seem that he owes you for a full fare leg.
regardless of whose fault it is, southwest shouldn't have taken the OPs leg (award or otherwise) without his/her permission
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Old May 21, 08, 8:41 pm
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Originally Posted by sammy0623 View Post
regardless of whose fault it is, southwest shouldn't have taken the OPs leg (award or otherwise) without his/her permission
I agree. The gate agent may have inadvertently taken the award ticket or they may have felt like they had no other option.

When they tried to accomodate for a missed connecting flight, they would have tried to use the same PNR # , however it would have said no funds available (since it marked the award ticket as used once the OP's friend flew the first segment).

Definitely worth faxing a letter in if it was something like a very short 25 minute connection beween two distant gates somewhere like BWI. If it was because OP's friend was in the bar or got otherwise distracted then collect some cash from your friend.
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Old May 23, 08, 3:32 am
  #6  
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Southwest's Contract of Carriage states in Section 90C that:
"If a passenger’s scheduled transportation is cancelled, terminated, or delayed before the passenger has reached his or her final destination as a result of a flight cancellation, missed connection, flight delay, or omission of a scheduled stop, Carrier will, at the passenger’s option, either transport the passenger at no additional charge on another of Carrier’s flights or, if applicable, another of a codeshare airline’s flights on which space is available..."

It sounds like a missed connection should be accommodated, regardless of fault, since it's listed separately from "flight delay."

Looking again at my account summary, it seems that the extra half-award they took away shows a status of "Coupon Used (PNR: ABC123)" and the original misconnected half-award shows a status of "Coupon Reserved for future flight (PNR: ABC123)." Both awards have the same PNR. I'm hoping that this means that the GA simply used the wrong award to rebook, and that I should be able to call and cancel/reuse the "coupon reserved for future flight" half-award.

I think my friend cited an "urgent phone call" as the reason he got distracted and missed his connection.

Last edited by im_blue; May 23, 08 at 3:37 am
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Old May 23, 08, 4:56 am
  #7  
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How long did your friend end up spending in the connecting city? Did he make himself available within 2 hours of missing his flight? Did he make himself available for the next flight after his scheduled flight?

Regardless, it seems obvious to me that when taken in totality with the entire CoC section 90C, "Delays and involuntary cancellations," in section 90, "Refunds," applies to delays forced upon the customer, not self-created delays. If your interpretation of the rule applied then we could ask for refunds for unflown portions of hidden-city trips.
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Old May 23, 08, 7:50 am
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Connection time was one hour. He was available within 5-10 minutes of missing his flight, as well as for the next scheduled flight 3 hours later.

I called Southwest and convinced a supervisor to cancel the misconnected flight reservation. At this point, I'm not arguing whether they should have charged my friend for a misconnection that was his fault (although I am curious what the official policy is). Charge him full fare if they want to, but I shouldn't be on the hook for it in any way.
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Old May 23, 08, 8:12 am
  #9  
nsx
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Originally Posted by im_blue View Post
Looking again at my account summary, it seems that the extra half-award they took away shows a status of "Coupon Used (PNR: ABC123)" and the original misconnected half-award shows a status of "Coupon Reserved for future flight (PNR: ABC123)."
When an award shows "Coupon Reserved for future flight" but the date has passed, that award is in limbo and can be freed by a simple phone call. I've had it happen once or twice. I'm glad this worked out so easily for you.
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Old May 23, 08, 3:05 pm
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In my case though, I had spend about 20 minutes on hold and explain the situation to a supervisor, which leads me to believe that they were considering not freeing it.

Thanks to all for your input!
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