What are the most common types of airline mistakes? What are your best tips for avoiding or fixing them?
Unfortunately, today’s airlines are not very forgiving. Instead, they charge expensive change fees when we make mistakes and make us jump through other hoops.
What can you do? Here are many ways to alleviate certain crimes.
- If you filled in the wrong travel dates.
You can review any booking before you do your credit card and review it again within the next 24 hours. If you discover an error within that timeframe, you can make the required changes for no charge.
If you do not discover your error until 24 hours have passed: You will have to pay the conversion fee and the price difference of a new ticket (generally higher). Review all trip details precisely.
- If you make an error in the passenger’s name
If you find a mistake in the passenger’s name within 24 hours, you can make the change.
If you find it later – if it is something minor like adding (or omitting) a middle name or initial and quite close to matching the name on the ID that you give at security, it can be resolved easily. The TSA is quite understanding and, in most cases, will only demand a short interview with a TSA officer at the security checkpoint, and that is it.
- If you reserved for the wrong person
Airline tickets are like a contract between the person flying and the airline. You cannot give them to anyone. The tickets can only be used by the person whose name appears as the traveler. If your name is not on the ticket, then you will either have to correct the error early on or go through the scenario in above.1.
- As a last resort
Never be afraid to ask. Sometimes, throwing yourself at the mercy of an airline representative works because some folks have broad discretion when addressing problems, particularly those who work for larger carriers. I have personally seen cases where change fees were waived, but in all honestly, this is too rare. Give it a try!
Some guidelines to follow:
Keep your story short: Do not exaggerate; just give the facts and admit you are at fault.
Do not get angry: The airline representative did not make a mistake and may be unwilling to help an irate caller.
Buying travel insurance: We are travel insurance super lovers. We wholeheartedly recommend an annual policy that covers your entire family (for frequent travelers) or single trip coverage (for infrequent travelers).
Mention membership: If you are a mile’s member, mention this, especially if you have elite status. If your status grants you access to a special hotline number, use that to contact the airline.
Buy Trip Delay Insurance: If you travel often, you know that things never go 100 percent as planned. You may encounter some unforeseen events, natural disasters, or common carrier delays, getting stuck in traffic, losing luggage or travel documents, or misplacing your passport. Buying trip delay insurance will help you get through unexpected interruptions in your travel plans.
Twitter: Many airlines have assigned staff who monitor tweets and respond to issues on social media. Give this a shot.
Packing essential items in a checked bag: Even if you always hope that luggage will never go missing, suitcases sometimes get misplaced, lost, or delayed. So always have your keys, medications, and valuables in a bag that fits under your seat. This is one more good reason to buy travel insurance. It will cover the cost of replacing your lost luggage and its contents!
Finally: More and more of us are booking flights on phones, and those little keyboards can be hard for some, so reviewing reservations is more crucial.
Asking for Help
Flying can be a hassle whether you are traveling alone or dragging your offspring with you. Many people try to remain firm in the face of difficulty. They do not ask for help.
Flight guides are there for your safety and to ensure you have a pleasant flight. Ask questions as needed. People are generally willing to help if you give them a chance.