Passengers pay the price for lateness

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Car Rental News - 01/06/2009


Passengers who miss flights have to pay more, even when it’s not their fault

Sometimes, no matter how hard you plan, things just seem to go wrong and you end up being late for an appointment. Perhaps you lose your keys or there’s a road accident which makes you late.

However, airlines aren’t so understanding when it comes to lateness. Frequent flier Fumiko Seguchi found out recently exactly what can happen when you arrive late. Even though she arrived at the airport two hours early, the length and slow speed of the check-in line meant that she ended up checking in late.

"There were only a few ticket agents at the counter, so the line went on forever," Seguchi's friend Fran Mingle recently commented to the press. "She waited and waited. After getting concerned about missing her flight because of the inordinate delay, she asked if she could be accommodated next but the American Airlines personnel told her 'no'."

The check-in process took so long that Seguchi missed her flight. She was forced to rebook and pay $2,600 for a ticket the next day.

However, the airlines haven’t always been so inflexible. They used to have what they called a ”flat tire" rule, which meant that passengers who were delayed due to circumstances beyond their control could rebook on the next flight free of charge. Although it’s too late for Fumiko Seguchi, perhaps it’s time to consider bringing back that rule.

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