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Bereavement Question-Any Advice?

Sabo

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My neighbor just relayed the following story to me:

His brother-in-law was killed in a climbing accident while vacationing in California. His sister is currently waiting to pick up his remains and then travel back home with their two sons. Their original booking was something like IAH to Fresno on AWA, then Orange Cnty (?) back to IAH, also AWA. They called AWA and relayed their situation. They asked to return earlier and from Fresno. AWA said they would waive the ticket-change fee, but they would have to pay a much higher charge (unreasonable for them) for the earlier return from a different city. My neighbor was asking if there is anything else they can do?

My advice to them was to tell them to call again and make sure they are talking to a manager. Then, ask if they can travel early in some type of Non-Rev or STBY status. If leaving from Fresno is not acceptable to AWA, then the 3-4 hour drive to LA seems reasonable to me.

??Are there any other "buttons to push" or "magic words" to use on the phone? Any other ideas? (I may have the cities in CA wrong, but the point is they are different.)

Thanks in advance,

SABO
DAL FUR
 

wildbill

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I am sorry about your neighbors loss,but as most of us are already aware the airlines attitudes have changed. There used to be compassion and "customer service". Now it is called the bottom line. You pilots who must jumpseat know the feeing of being greeted by obnoxious agents who could care less if you get on the aircraft. If it werre not for your fellow pilots helping you out you would be stuck. People who have needs such as the one you describe are left out in the cold. What these people fail to realize is that when their period of grief is over they will talk to others about how badly they were treated and when a choice of who to fly is made, it will not be that carrier. A little compassion in an hour of real need goes a long way..
 

skydiverdriver

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Actually, I think people have gotten nicer since the attacks. Perhaps it's just me. As far as a fare goes, the people who you talk to on the phone are not able to make exceptions to the rules. Perhaps a manager or supervisor could help. I get asked questions about tickets and prices and such all the time, but I have no idea since I fly for free, and have purchased about two airline tickets in my entire life. Most pilots are the same way. If you have a friend who is a travel agent, or someone who works in reservations, perhaps they could help you. Good luck.
 

tired_pilot

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priceline.com

This might be your best way...look at prices on Hotwire.com its a type of discount travel site...they only do roundtrip tickets its probably going to be alot cheaper then a regualr one way. If thats not resonable bit about 275-300 for a RT on priceline.com Still expensive but beats paying 800 or so ONE WAY.

Good luck to your friends
 

Sabo

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Bereavement Wrap Up:

My neighbor called AWA back and went to a manager. The family in question was given exactly what they needed for their situation. All is well. Kudos to AWA!

SABO
 

skydiverdriver

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I heard somewhere that if you tell them it's for berevement, that the airlines will try to gouge you on the deal. I hope that's not true, but it wouldn't suprize me. I'm glad your friend's deal worked out.
 

generaltso

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I was trying to get one of these fares and the tickets were crazy how much they wanted.

I ended up using www.hotwire.com which worked very well, saved me about $700.

It is good for funerals because you aren't penalized for last minute purchases.
 

Timebuilder

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Sometimes the best approach is to get a newspaper or TV station on your side. I have made calls that got cars out of impound, and utilities reconnected.

If you have a situation like the above, try this approach. Almost everybody loves good press.
 

pilot773

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I used to work in a reservations center for an airline and think the best thing for you to do is speak to the supervisor on duty. Call up the 800 number listed in yoru local yellow pages. When the person answers the phone just ask them to speak to a domestic reservations supervisor. You may have to speak first to the person who answers the phone, but 99% of the time that person can't/won't do anything and only the sup will be able to.
One big reason I hated working res was because of the fact that I coudnt help out people in situations like the one you are just now describing.
Good luck.
 
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