I arrived at Laguardia Airport yesterday for my flight to Palm Beach Gardens. I’d booked my ticket months ago. Walk up to the Northwest counter, am told I don’t have a seat.
“Don’t have a seat?” I said.
“The flight’s been oversold,” I was told. “We might have to bump you for tomorrow morning. But you’d be able to fly first class.”
I was calm. I was cool. But inside, I was neither calm nor cool. I was pissed. Can someone here please, please, please explain to me why airlines are allowed to oversell their flights? It makes absolutely no sense; is a true abuse of the paying customer. Imagine making a dinner reservation, then showing up at the restaurant and being told that someone else got your table. Imagine booking a hotel for a week, then hearing, “Unfortunately, we overbooked the Hyatt tonight. But we can put you up at the Motel 6 for tonight, then bring you in tomorrow.”
Someone once said to me, “Well, the airlines worry about people not showing up, so they sell extra seats.” I call bulls***. Why does the airline get the upper-hand here? Why is the business allowed to screw the company? And heaven forbid I decide I want to cancel my already-paid-for ticket. There’s a $100 penalty here, a $50 penalty there.
I love to travel; love getting out of my Cosi corner and seeing the world.
But this is just wrong.
PS: The worst partâ€”I feel terrible for the poor employees working behind the desk. The blond woman above is one of the nicest, most accommodating people I’ve ever met. In the center of a tornado, she was calm, cool, pleasant. And she found me a spot!