So I bought a plane ticket. It cost me $325. My plans changed and I now had a credit with one of the major air carriers. No problem. I know I’ll have to pay a change fee at a later date (usually $100) but not a huge deal. “At least I’ll be able to use the credit” I thought to myself.
I had occasion to travel again so I called said airline and told them I wanted to book my flight to Chicago for my presentation at the Leadership Excellence 2008 Conference. The new ticket was going to be $210. “Cool! I can use my full credit and even simply pay the change fee out of what I already paid” I naively mused. Then the ugly spectre of customer-hostile policies reared its head. It went a little something like this:
“Yes sir. The flight is $210 round trip.”
“Great. I’d like to use a credit I have with you folks. The old confirmation number is RIPOFF325.”
“Yes sir. I have that credit here. How would you like to pay the balance due today?”
“Huh? Balance due?”
“Yes sir. There’s a $100 change fee for using the old ticket.”
“Yeah. I know. Just use the credit for the $325 ticket toward the $210 ticket plus the $100 change fee and I should still have a credit of $15 with you guys, right?” I mean, I did pass arithmetic in 2nd grade. Here’s where things start going south…