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(Fox News)   US Airways: Non-refundable means non-refundable. Go have cancer somewhere else   (radio.foxnews.com) divider line 103
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6565 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Nov 2011 at 9:56 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-11-30 09:59:01 AM  
You usually get a cheaper rate if you opt for non-refundable tickets, so it seems like they wanted to save money and still have all the flexibility.
 
2011-11-30 10:00:09 AM  
Why should the tickets be refunded? Everyone has a sob story.
 
2011-11-30 10:01:34 AM  
So where do they draw the line? This lady has cancer. The next guy may have MS. Then the lady after that has a cold. They make it very clear when buying tickets that they are non-refundable.
 
2011-11-30 10:02:25 AM  
It sounds like they've offered everything else, maybe compromise on something a little. There are no guarantees in life, or I would deserve a refund on years of crappy cable channels I did not want.
 
2011-11-30 10:02:25 AM  
If you spend your last days on earth arguing with low level customer service people instead of enjoying the company of family and friends, you're doing it wrong.
 
2011-11-30 10:02:43 AM  
Your own impending death is not a reason to avoid travel. Go out and have some fun while you slowly wither away in unending agony.TM

\new US Airways business moto
 
2011-11-30 10:02:55 AM  
If USAir is only a few plane tickets away from being insolvent, let it go because it is gone. If it isn't, they are being cold-hearted pricks.
 
2011-11-30 10:03:19 AM  
Sucks that she has breast cancer but the airline is treating her the same way they would treat any other customer. Her having terminal illness should not equate to "automatic refund", at least not in their eyes.
 
2011-11-30 10:03:32 AM  
You want the good news or the bad news? The good news is that you're clear of stage I breast cancer. Have fun in Belize!

The bad news is that you now have inoperable stage IV breast cancer. Please don't travel.
 
2011-11-30 10:04:42 AM  
Even if US Air follows all the correct procedures and letter of the contract(ticket), it might be in thier best interest to just refund and avoid this bad pub. I know any publicity is good publicity but I don't think in this case that is true. Airline carriers already hold a special place in Hel.l for most Americans... So I think in this case just give the money back and spin it in some good will/good pub media stunt... profit..
 
2011-11-30 10:04:43 AM  
It's a fancy bus. If you buy a ticket with a lot of flexibility, you will probably get scheduled for a later flight. You can usually even get some percentage of the ticket price returned to you.

But if you skimp and buy the cheapest ticket which usually means a seat on a specific flight on a specific day, you're pretty much out of luck, even if you have the greatest excuse in the world (you were abducted by aliens who refused to give you a ride to where you needed to go and brought you back late for your flight) you're still out that money.

Cancer is nothing compared to alien abduction.
 
2011-11-30 10:05:17 AM  
This isnt Nam, there are rules.

Am I the only one who gives a shiat about the rules?
 
2011-11-30 10:06:01 AM  
Outrage-mitter spreads the outrage; fails at presenting the facts. Airline is offering to exchange the tickets and let anyone else in the family use them *without any fees*.

Non-refundable = Equity on the balance sheet. Changing their policy means all those tickets have to be listed as a liability until the flight takes off. Their whole balance sheet goes to hell, their stock plummets, their company folds.
 
2011-11-30 10:06:26 AM  

mesmer242: If you spend your last days on earth arguing with low level customer service people instead of enjoying the company of family and friends, you're doing it wrong.


It's 4,200$ bucks, money they no doubt wouldn't have spent if they had psychic super powers to know what the doctor would have said. fark US Airways. So tired of corporate whores bullying people, and yet when they hit on tough times, are the first to hit the government to "save them". Did you forget the airline bailout already?
 
2011-11-30 10:06:32 AM  
I think the problem is that she can't go somewhere else because she has cancer.

/Personally, if I had terminal cancer, I'd want to take my dream vacation ASAP. So maybe I'd die a little sooner, but at least I would have my last bit of fun.
//no kids though
///that might change my opinion
 
2011-11-30 10:07:04 AM  
This is why we need single-payer travel insurance in this country.
 
2011-11-30 10:07:12 AM  
Lots of this going on in this thread:
enemiesofreason.co.uk
 
2011-11-30 10:07:33 AM  
So If I get terminally ill everything becomes free?
 
2011-11-30 10:08:29 AM  
plus they have a hub in Philly.. I don't see how they can survive this negative publicity and that god aweful excuse of an airport...
 
2011-11-30 10:09:23 AM  
If they give it to her, people with Lupus will sue for discrimination
 
2011-11-30 10:09:39 AM  
Landau said the airline agreed to waive change fees as well as offer the family vouchers for future flights.

"We're trying to be flexible and offer her and her family some accommodations," Landau told Fox.

"Big deal - I may not be alive," McKain told WUSA. "What good is a voucher gonna do me?"


You use the voucher to be buried in Belize. Don't be unreasonable.
 
2011-11-30 10:09:59 AM  
I can *maybe* see the airline refunding HER ticket, but the other 4 people?

If they wanted refundable tickets they could've bought them. They didn't. They can get a credit or voucher like the rest of us would if we cancelled our flight on a non-refundable ticket.

I don't see where the outrage is.
 
2011-11-30 10:10:07 AM  
However, she was recently diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and her doctor ordered her not to travel, according to a report on WUSA.

You're going to die, so don't travel because you might die?

"If this is the kind of company U.S. Airways chooses to be, I assure you I will never fly with them again," wrote one blogger.

People always say this, but then Orbitz says USAirways is $10 cheaper than anyone else to Philly and since no one is looking...
 
2011-11-30 10:10:43 AM  

smallerGov: Even if US Air follows all the correct procedures and letter of the contract(ticket), it might be in thier best interest to just refund and avoid this bad pub.


Absolutely. They could do one big special media event about the situation; refund the tickets and give them something like some tickets for family members to come visit. US Air spending 30 grand on this woman can buy better publicity than a multi million dollar ad campaign.

Xiat: Airline is offering to exchange the tickets and let anyone else in the family use them *without any fees*.


"Hey everyone, the bad news is that I have cancer, but the good news is that you'll be able to take another person to Belize in my place!"
 
2011-11-30 10:10:54 AM  
When I travel for work my tickets are ~200%-300% more expensive then what I could get online, but they're fully refundable or exchangable, which is pretty important given meetings running late, rescheudling, and such.

I mean, I feel bad for her, but it's not like US Airways is refusing to refund a refundable ticket, nor are they refusing to sell them. She chose to save money buy purchasing non-refundable tickets. Giving vouchers for future flights isn't really a bad deal, all things considered.

That said, US Airways does suck.
 
2011-11-30 10:11:08 AM  

Wellon Dowd: This is why we need single-payer travel insurance in this country.


The US doesn't have the concept of travel insurance that can cover this sort of thing? This is exactly the sort of situation it's useful for.
 
2011-11-30 10:11:18 AM  
I gotta say - I don't see the problem.

It sucks that she got cancer - but the cost of her flight is a drop in the bucket. She purchased a non-refundable ticket. That means no-refunds. Everyone who misses a flight will have a sob story. Cancer might be a good sob story - but where do you draw the line? And who do you hire to investigate each and every claim?
 
2011-11-30 10:11:51 AM  

Kurmudgeon: mesmer242: If you spend your last days on earth arguing with low level customer service people instead of enjoying the company of family and friends, you're doing it wrong.

It's 4,200$ bucks, money they no doubt wouldn't have spent if they had psychic super powers to know what the doctor would have said. fark US Airways. So tired of corporate whores bullying people, and yet when they hit on tough times, are the first to hit the government to "save them". Did you forget the airline bailout already?


It's telling that you picked out my comment to respond to (or troll).

My friend's wife died of breast cancer a few months ago. Corporations, politics, money... these are the things that do not matter when you are dying. Spend the time you have with your family and friends, focusing on the positive, enjoying what you can. There comes a point where fighting the man is no longer worth it, and Stage IV breast cancer is one of those points.
 
2011-11-30 10:13:04 AM  
Why can't she travel? She's relatively healthy at the moment - seems the right time to go see all those things you always wanted to see.

Screw the doctor's advice. Better less time but doing what you enjoy than sitting that much longer around doing nothing but dying.
 
2011-11-30 10:13:40 AM  
 
2011-11-30 10:15:15 AM  
How is this a follow-up when it's the same story? The follow-up should link to a story saying they reversed their decision.
 
2011-11-30 10:15:52 AM  

eggrolls: Why can't she travel? She's relatively healthy at the moment - seems the right time to go see all those things you always wanted to see.

Screw the doctor's advice. Better less time but doing what you enjoy than sitting that much longer around doing nothing but dying.


But while abroad, you may not have access to adequate suffering-continuance life-prolonging treatment.
 
2011-11-30 10:16:44 AM  
So then refund her ticket since her medical condition prevents her from traveling due to a physician's orders.

Why does the whole family need refunds? Understandable they don't want to travel while the family member is on his/her deathbed. Give the rest of the group credit to be used on any flight(s) in the future. That lets the airline rebook the Belize seats while the family can use the credit to fly a year from now or to fly family members in for the funeral or something.

Seems like the most rational response that's fair to both parties, imo anyway.
 
2011-11-30 10:17:01 AM  

ThunderChild: The US doesn't have the concept of travel insurance that can cover this sort of thing? This is exactly the sort of situation it's useful for.


We do. It's usually something like $15 on a domestic ticket, don't know how much it is on an international ticket. And the option to opt in or out of getting this insurance is RIGHT ON THE PAGE as you fill out your credit card information.

On top of that, most major credit cards usually have their own form of travel insurance.
 
2011-11-30 10:18:35 AM  
B...b...but I have... CANCER! Everyone should cater to my every whim! BREAST cancer, even! Can't you see all these pink farking ribbons around here?

Remember, it's just US Airways being jackasses here. The doctors who gave her a clean bill of health before reversing their diagnosis ("So sorry, did we say it was 99% gone? We meant to say that 99% of your cells are now cancerous.") are totally cool. And going to the media about only being able to use her tickets on a different flight (poor thing) in no way makes her an attention whore.
 
2011-11-30 10:19:39 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: It's a fancy bus. If you buy a ticket with a lot of flexibility, you will probably get scheduled for a later flight. You can usually even get some percentage of the ticket price returned to you.

But if you skimp and buy the cheapest ticket which usually means a seat on a specific flight on a specific day, you're pretty much out of luck, even if you have the greatest excuse in the world (you were abducted by aliens who refused to give you a ride to where you needed to go and brought you back late for your flight) you're still out that money.

Cancer is nothing compared to alien abduction.


THIS!!!
 
2011-11-30 10:20:29 AM  
I have to go with the airline on this one. If they were up front about the terms of the purchase why would you expect a refund. There are always unknowns in life and there are always risks.
 
2011-11-30 10:22:52 AM  

cbackous: This isnt Nam, there are rules.

Am I the only one who gives a shiat about the rules?



Yes, you farken 1%er.
Rules are for sissy girls.
Now give me your money I don't have a job and need a ticket to Belize I need a vacation and it's my right as an American!
 
2011-11-30 10:24:36 AM  
How things have changed with time.

<csb>Years ago (mid 90's) I had to cancel a trip I booked with Usairways (I think they were still USAir) due to the death of one of my in-laws. I asked them for a refund and all they asked me was to write a letter explaining the reasons with the details. I didn't have to submit even a death certificate. Few weeks later I got my refund. That was nice of them back then.</csb>
 
2011-11-30 10:24:38 AM  

Kurmudgeon: mesmer242: If you spend your last days on earth arguing with low level customer service people instead of enjoying the company of family and friends, you're doing it wrong.

It's 4,200$ bucks, money they no doubt wouldn't have spent if they had psychic super powers to know what the doctor would have said. fark US Airways. So tired of corporate whores bullying people, and yet when they hit on tough times, are the first to hit the government to "save them". Did you forget the airline bailout already?


True.

Could she have transfered her ticket to someone else sold in on ebay??
 
2011-11-30 10:24:43 AM  
So if I get terminal cancer, does that mean that I should call the bank and ask them to let me off the hook for the rest of my mortgage? I mean, I'm not going to be using the house anymore. And that credit card bill - I mean, I won't be using all the stuff I bought with that money, so they shouldn't make me pay that, either.

My needs equate to an obligation on their part, right?
 
2011-11-30 10:24:56 AM  

eggrolls: Why can't she travel? She's relatively healthy at the moment - seems the right time to go see all those things you always wanted to see.

Screw the doctor's advice. Better less time but doing what you enjoy than sitting that much longer around doing nothing but dying.


Exactly. If these are the same doctors who originally told her she was in the clear, my m.o. at this point would be to do the opposite of whatever they say. Given her actions thus far, however, I'm guessing cancer is part of her "identity".

From TFA: "Big deal - I may not be alive," McKain told WUSA. "What good is a voucher gonna do me?"

Exactly, lady. So stop worrying and go on your damn trip.
 
2011-11-30 10:26:58 AM  
so if i purchase a vacation for five and one of the people is killed in a car accident, do they refund all of our tickets? they could do so out of magnaminity, but what do you really expect out of some corporation in a cut-throat industry, magnaminity, or attention to the ever diminishing profits?

at best i'd expect the airline to refund her ticket, and not the others. as people said, if you're dying of cancer and think you might not be able to travel---consider buying travel insurance.
 
2011-11-30 10:27:27 AM  
You know that when a person does not show up the airline gets to keep the $4000 and sell that seat to someone on stand buy doubling their money.

There should be a law they have to refund the money if they are able to re-sale the seat.
 
2011-11-30 10:27:42 AM  
Hey, maybe she'll get vouchers so her out of town relatives can fly in for her funeral!

US airlines are general assholes in any case. In 2006 I saved up for a family vacation to Nepal, but two weeks before the trip the county erupted into civil unrest, with riots, blockades, and bands of maoist rebels taking over parts of the country. Obviously there was no way I could take young kids on a vacation to Nepal under those circumstances, and so I tried to get refunds on the thousands of dollars in plane tickets. The US carrier would only hand out vouchers, but all of the non-US carriers gave full refunds.

Sure, US airlines are "only doing business", but in the rest of the world they're regulated to not screw over their customers.
 
2011-11-30 10:29:01 AM  
If you can't afford the loss if something happens where you can't use the non-refundable tickets, then DON'T BUY THE NON-REFUNDABLE VERSIONS.
 
2011-11-30 10:30:11 AM  

ThunderChild: Wellon Dowd: This is why we need single-payer travel insurance in this country.

The US doesn't have the concept of travel insurance that can cover this sort of thing? This is exactly the sort of situation it's useful for.


We do. Every time I buy a ticket, I'm prompted with purchasing travel insurance. I imagine that someone that had a close call with breast cancer would have some familiarity with the value of insurance. In her place, I would go to Belize anyways, especially if my condition was terminal.
 
2011-11-30 10:33:06 AM  

czei: Hey, maybe she'll get vouchers so her out of town relatives can fly in for her funeral!

US airlines are general assholes in any case. In 2006 I saved up for a family vacation to Nepal, but two weeks before the trip the county erupted into civil unrest, with riots, blockades, and bands of maoist rebels taking over parts of the country. Obviously there was no way I could take young kids on a vacation to Nepal under those circumstances, and so I tried to get refunds on the thousands of dollars in plane tickets. The US carrier would only hand out vouchers, but all of the non-US carriers gave full refunds.

Sure, US airlines are "only doing business", but in the rest of the world they're regulated to not screw over their customers.


Surely you are mistaken. Unfettered free market competition always brings about optimal solutions for all market participants.
 
2011-11-30 10:33:28 AM  
I'm sure most of you are trollin, but most airlines have compassion fares and systems for handing just this kind of thing. When my sis-in-law died and I was in Germany, I called up and told them the tale, and they said no problem, switched my ticket at no cost and just said to please get a form from the funeral home sent within 30 days or something. Another time my dad was rushed to the hospital and we had to cancel travel to go be with him, got full refund with minimal docs to prove we weren't bullshiatting.

These were both in the last 5 years, with the cheapest 'non-refundable' airfare. Neither of those was us airways though.
 
2011-11-30 10:33:38 AM  
Um, the pricing structure for airlines in shaving a hair's-breadth from complete collapse at any given moment. The whole point of a non-refundable ticket is that they're offered at a lower rate in return for you eliminating the airline's uncertainty. They aren't exactly subtle about how that deal works and there's nothing about you getting cancer that somehow changes the structure of the deal. 840$ for a round-trip international ticket is pretty damned cheap, so she's benefited quite a bit from locking herself in.

She might have my sympathy (about the ticket thing, I guess she has it on the cancer thing as such) if there weren't a default option that allows refunds and she hadn't gone out of her way to take the extra burden of risk by specifically going for the option that did not allow refunds. When voluntarily assumed risk doesn't pan out that's your problem, not the guy at the other end of the deal who was perfectly willing to give you a more flexible deal.
 
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