Flights of fancy pondering airlines

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

I don’t know why our airlines are in so much trouble.

But it might have something to do with, “What flies around—in the form of a strict no-refunds policy—flies back around in the form of bad press.”

I recently learned that lesson the hard way when I had to reschedule two cross-country flights a month earlier than planned.

The two airlines I dealt with absolutely refused to budge on issuing refunds or airplane “exchanges,” even when I begged stupidity and cried that my son was a Marine just trying to get back home to his mama. My credit card company couldn’t get them to shift course, either.

The good news, according to the airlines, is I can transfer the unused tickets to use for future flights within the next year. IF the airlines are still in existence then and AS IF they would be my first choice for any future business dealings.

I won’t name them in this humble column, except to say they were “U.S. air” companies and “united” in their unwavering rigidity.

When I couldn’t get no satisfaction with their customer service reps, they transferred me to their most efficient supervisors, who have doctorate degrees in DO-WAPS (“dissing objections with a phone smile”).

It was my first experience dealing with a company where you couldn’t take something back for credit and the customer isn’t always right.

These days, I suppose most air travelers should just be happy if their flight makes it safely to a destination, never mind if it’s not on time, their luggage gets lost, the mini-snacks were stale or some kid was pushing the back of their seat during an entire cross-country flight.

That’s what happened to me recently—the kid-pushing, I mean—but I survived to tell about it. I also survived when “precious darling” (what her parents called her whenever she misbehaved) started throwing plastic coffee stirrers, dropped flight magazines on my head and stared at me with one eye wedged between the seats.

When “precious” started wandering the airplane aisle, one of the flight attendants put the parents and their darling in their place by telling them she needed to sit down. The only time she was precious was when she finally fell asleep.

By the time I landed on the other coast, I was definitely suffering jet lag and exhaustion.

The good news is, we landed mostly on time, and my luggage got there, too.

Aside from these issues, I can’t imagine why the airlines are in trouble.

Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or llewis@brunswickbeacon.com.