Sunday, December 28, 2008

William Shatner Should Be Ashamed!

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

It's been one of those days when I would have been better off just staying in bed. This morning I replied to an email from a friend only to realize just after hitting the send button that I had spelled his name wrong. Then I sent a follow-up to acknowledge my mistake, and flubbed that one as well - only with a different error. That should have been enough to warn me away from doing anything as complicated as ordering airline tickets, but no - stupid is as stupid does- on a triple stupid day!

Let me begin by saying this: Priceline sucks! There, I feel better already!

I needed a flight to Kansas City on Saturday, January 10th, with a return flight to Phoenix late on the evening of Sunday, January 18th. I wanted to book it with Northwest Airlines if possible, to save some running at the airport in KC. It was a task that any seventh grader with a laptop and a credit card could have done in ten minutes - but for me it took an entire afternoon.

As I completed my ticket order and hit the send button, I realized a micro-second too late that I had bought a ticket for Sunday the 11th instead of Saturday the 10th. Okay, I screwed up - it's an age thing.

The fix, of course, could not be simple. First, I perused Priceline's website and found that they have no readily apparent telephone number. Then I called Northwest Airlines and talked to a very nice young man who said he could make the change for a price, but Priceline should do it for free. Wanna bet? He did supply me with a telephone number.

It took fifteen solid minutes of automated trash talk before I was finally connected to a human at the Priceline Bangladesh office. The young man that I visited with there could cancel my flight - not change it. If he cancelled and if my credit card had already been billed, the airline would send me a refund in 10 days. And just to make sure that I knew, the trip insurance that I stupidly purchased from Priceline was not refundable. I stayed polite and finally asked to speak to a supervisor. This fellow was very important because he had no supervisor. He also let me know that William Shatner was not on duty!

So, I called Northwest Airlines again and talked to Jim. Jim solved the problem quickly. He saved me forty dollars by flying on Saturday instead of Sunday, but the fee that he had to charge to make the change was fifty dollars. (I told him that I would happily pay a hundred not to have to deal with Priceline again!)

Jim told me that the best way to buy airline tickets is to shop over some company website like Priceline to determine the best deal, and then contact the airline directly. That is an option that I will always take from this day forward!

Oh, and Priceline sucks!

1 comment:

Phillipia said...

Sad to say, emailing three times before you get it right must be an age thing. I do it more and more often. Usually I forget to add an attachment the first time; the second email usually says "ooops, here is the attachment", but double oops because I hit send before I attach AGAIN; sometimes #3 is the charm....and what is your thoughts on Priceline? :)