Photo-A-Day #2114

At the beginning of the month I went to Affiliate Summit, CES and the North American International Auto Show. Initially I was only going to go to Affiliate Summit. Because of this I booked myself a SouthWest Vacation. I booked three nights at Harrah’s and a roundtrip ticket on SouthWest. I often choose Southwest because I can get round trip non-stop tickets to Vegas on SouthWest and usually they are pretty cheap. I got a good deal at $546.83 for flight and room. But that was the beginning….

I was asked to go to the North American International Auto Show by GM. Because I was asked to be there as a guest my travel to Detroit plus my hotel room was taken care of. This also meant that I would be leaving immediately after my session at Affiliate Summit. So because of that I would basically be forfeiting most of that trip that bought from SouthWest anyway. So I’d be losing out on much of what I paid for. Then there was a snow warning.

Around Christmas there was a big storm here and we got dumped on big time. There was a forecast of a big snowstorm that would hit the morning before I was to leave for my trip. I panicked and figured that my flight would either be cancelled or delayed. So, I cancelled the trip itself and bought a new ticket. Yeah, it was hasty because that virtually guaranteed that there would be no snow and yes, there was no snow, no delays nothing on the day of my original departure.

I knew that I would lose my airfare and there would be a hotel penalty for cancelling the trip. I figured it would be worth a try to see about getting a refund anyway. So I had Allison send in the tickets to see about a refund. I got this e-mail today. My comments in bold.

Hi (No name here, how personal)
There is no refund due on this booking, the penalties were more than the package price.
Without having purchased the waiver
(an overpriced scam), the penalties are $100.00 southwest penalty (why a penalty, you are already keeping my money and will resell the seat, vultures), $330.10 non-refundable air cost (I knew and accepted this before I made the cancellation) and $121.50 one night hotel penalty (that wasn’t the per night price, if that was the case then three nights would have been $364.50, fuzzy math there, fuzzy math).“

So, in addition to me not getting any refund I’m pretty sure that the leeches at the airlines will be billing me for the $4.77. Granted this is airline policy and granted that I did not buy the insurance and granted I cancelled the vacation. Do you think that a seat went empty on that flight? Absolutely not. Airlines overbook every flight these days and so in addition to getting all the money from my vacation and not having to actually fly me anywhere the airline also got paid for whomever took that seat. And the hotel, well I’m sure that they got a paying customer for the room I gave up too, it was CES that week, you know.

I sincerely dislike everything about air travel, it is so tiring, dirty, inconvenient and expensive. The more we pay now the less and less rights, less room, less amenities and less civility we get these days. Indignities suffered from the TSA, mishandling of baggage (that we have to pay for) and the endless delays, forced bumps and overbooked planes. It is sickening and I’m fed up with it. If It were feasible to travel by car or train to all of these conferences I certainly would do it and wash my hands of air travel forever.

I do have to thank some people who made this past week’s trips so awesome. Daniel M. Clark for sharing his space with me for two nights. I know how much having your own room while being away is important. And it I didn’t find someone to share a room with me It certainly would have been karma for me not wanting to share a room at another event. I’d also like to thank Lisa Gilpin and the GM crew for getting me an extra day at my the Marriott when I was stuck in Detroit. When you’ve got good people who help with the little things like that it makes a huge difference. This is in direct contrast to how I was treated by Delta when they needed people to get off the plane. I was lied to by the gate agent and basically given nothing for my troubles except additional headaches. So I figure that a bill coming to me for $4.77 is just going to be the topper on this latest foray into the sky.

I’m sure that Andy is going to love my rant for today.

What is Drew Shooting with?
Model: NIKON D80
ISO: 800
Exposure: 1/5 sec
Aperture: 16.0
Focal Length: 250mm
Flash Used: Sima Light

This is my own personal DSLR camera that I bought half of. My mother-In-Law bought the other half as an investment of great photos of her grandchildren. With over 26,000 photos of Eva and counting, I’d say she got great ROI on the investment. The opinions about them are 100% mine.

How Does Drew Protect His Photos?
Model: GoFlex™ Ultra-portable Drive
Interface USB 2.0 or 3.0
Capacity: 320GB – 1.5TB
Automatic Backup Software:PC & Mac:
Weight (typical): 150g (.33 lb)
Software: Pre–loaded backup software with encryption

Disclosure: I received a number of Seagate devices including the Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive, GoFlex Home, GoFlex TV and GoFlex Net. I’ll be talking about these devices in the coming months. The opinions about the devices are 100% mine.

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11 Responses to “No Refund for You!”

  1. Christine says:

    That seriously sucks. They should have given you at least a partial refund. I can understand them wanting to keep something for their trouble, but 100% is ridiculous. And a lot of hotels I know of will even waive any cancellation fees if they can re-book the room. As you said, they probably did re-book the room and the seat on the plane.

    All the TSA stuff, additional fees (next thing you know, they might start charging you to use the restroom, and then an additional charge for using toilet paper on top of that), makes me not want to fly again. We’d love to go to Red Sox Spring Training down in Florida some day, but it will never happen unless Mike can take enough time off from work so we could drive down there. Which actually could be fun, as we could make a few side trips along the way. Washington DC would be cool, I used to live there, and Mike has never been there.

    Thank goodness for the nice people who helped you during your trip!

    • Drew says:

      Christine,

      SouthWest used to be my favorite airline too but between the soaked bags on our Disney trip and the gouging I took from the vacation cancellation I’m not so much a fan. In my case flying is a necessary evil in order to get from point a to point b.

  2. Crystal says:

    Booo,not fair! At least it totally should of snowed hard!!

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  4. Andy says:

    Drew,

    Awesome post. I do feel bad that you got screwed over by the airlines. AIrlines just suck
    unfortunately we are stuck using them and stuck paying for baggage and sitting in small seats next to fat smelly people while paying $7 for peanuts.

    Glad you are home. I really appreciate your traveling as I do love angry Drew travel posts. Perhaps you would like to sign up for my new venture. Angry Drew’s Travel blog. Basically you would travel the country to places of my choosing and encounter situations of my choosing. All you would have to do is write about your experiences. I will even cover your travel costs.

  5. Hotdogman says:

    I had to spend an extra day in Vegas and I flew in Wednesday night at nine-one of the first flights to land at Logan so I’m told. I spent about 14 hours getting home. My trip out to Vegas was made significantly nicer by a first class upgrade. If you have the extra change or the frequent flyer miles, I’d highly recommend it!
    Look at what Hotdogman wrote blog post ..Vinays Video of ASW 2011

    • Drew says:

      Rob,
      Next time I’m offered of option of getting First Class or getting bent over by the airlines, well I’ll make sure that I pick First Class.

  6. Mo says:

    NO way. I’ve never flown Southwest because I’ve only heard horror stories. I even made my company change my flight for a conference a few years ago because I just refuse to fly with them. I love the fact that Kevin Smith bought a tour bus to travel in rather than fly again…if only we had that kind of resource! I’m so sorry that you’ve had these recent rotten experiences! Customer Service seems to be an application that is going extinct, which seems crazy in this economy!

    • Drew says:

      Mo,

      The thing is SouthWest isn’t all that bad and it has a direct from PVD. So because of that and that it is usually the cheapest we go with them. Everything about air travel sucks except how fast you actually get from point a to point b (most of the time)