Author Topic: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back  (Read 3800 times)

Offline tageed-lee

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Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« on: June 12, 2014, 12:36:47 AM »
Backgound info: My Wifes maiden name is on her passport. We are married, and legally her name has been changed to our last name.

First, on the way to LGA i got 2 tickets (NO EZ-Pass, and expired insurance cards) for accidentally traveling in the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. (formerly Battery Tunnel) HOV & EZ-Pass lane without an EZ-Pass. Clearly an accident because i was trying to make my flight in LGA, which is the opposite direction. I made an honest mistake and thought it was for both HOV (3+) and EZ-Pass.. not understanding you needed both.

We arrived at LGA airport around 1 & Ĺ hours before our flight at approximately 8:50am and proceeded to check in.  We had a ticketing agent assist us in getting our tickets printed and confirmed. At this time she alerted us to the fact that my wifeís ticket was booked under her married name, and that it did not match the name on her passport. Luckily, we had packed our marriage certificate and her driverís license, which proved that she was in fact one and the same.

Upon seeing her documentation, the ticketing agent was able to manually print our boarding passes and confirm our seats on the flight. After making our way through security and providing the same documentation to a senior security officer, we arrived at our gate for the flight. In order that we wouldnít be sitting in the airplane any longer than necessary, we waited to be from the last ones to board the plane.

To our shock and dismay, after scanning mine and my sonís tickets through, the agent in charge of boarding the plane very rudely exclaimed that we would not be allowed on the plane because my wife wasnít ticketed. Once again, we pulled out our documentation and showed him that my wife was indeed the same person on the boarding pass. However, this time we had met a brick wall. The agent in a very degrading way had told the others to shut the gate and that we would not be getting on the plane no matter what. We pleaded with him to let us on and told him how we had passed the previous agents and officers without much issue yet he just ignored us and walked away saying to go all the way back to the ticketing counter and start over.

Feeling extremely overwhelmed and upset to have been forced to miss our flight, we went back to the American Airlines ticketing counter. After going back and forth the agent repeatedly stated that since we had used my British Airways Avios points there was nothing they could do to help us, and that we need to call British Airways.  After about 45 minutes on the line waiting to get through, the customer service rep told me that I had called the wrong department, and again that since I had booked with Avios points i needed to contact the Executive Club. Standing in the cramped hallways of LGAís ticketing counters and security I spent another 30-40 minutes getting through to the Executive Club. Now, this agent told me that there was no availability the rest of the day using Avios because of the class in which we were booked, and that he couldnít do anything to get us on any flight that day. The only other option he gave would be to book the 7:00pm flight out using cash for $550+ each, which as you can imagine we weren't ready to do.

We went back to the American Airline counters one last time to see if somehow, someway an agent would be able to get us on any flight going out,  yet againwe were sent away empty handed. The time was now around 12:00 noon and my son was really getting frustrated, tired, and whiny. We had expected to get him in for a nap once we landed in Toronto for our scheduled 12:00 noon arrival.

Since we had to be at our destination in Toronto no later than 7:30pm, we were forced to find availability on United Airlines. The next flight out was at 1:30pm and we would have to shell out 37,000 United frequent flier miles, and $225+ in fees on top of that for booking within 21 days of departure.  We went ahead and booked the flights.

Once we had our United tickets booked, we went to the Air Canada counter to check in. There, an extremely rude ticketing agent told us that the system only showed a reservation and that we did not have any tickets on the 1:30 flight. And to top it off, again, because it was a United award ticket we would have to walk across the terminal to speak with United. Flipping out at this point as you can imagine, we drag ourselves over to the United ticketing counter. Once there, we meet a better mannered ticketing agent who finds our tickets no problem, and fixes whatever she could do on her side up. However since she was only able to do half of the ticketing on her side we now needed to run back to Air Canada to complete and confirm these tickets to get on the flight.

Here is where i thought i was just having a really bad nightmare. We get to the Air Canada ticketing counter and are told that we cannot get on the 1:30pm flight, since it is too late and that they close ticketing 1 hour prior to takeoff.  I wasn't going to take this nonsense this time, and made contact with the manager on duty. I explained our story, and he agree that the first Air Canada agent had messed us over, because we did actually have tickets and shouldn't have missed the 1:30pm flight. After somehow managing to make room for us on an oversold flight the manager slid us our confirmed, ticketed boarding passes for the 3:30pm flight direct to YYZ. Once on the runway, yet another scare occurs when the pilot announces we were about to take off however, there are thunderstorms in the flight path and we are going to the back of the line again so we can get rerouted. Finally, after only about a 15-20 minute delay on the runway we took off. We landed in YYZ (Toronto) after 5:30pm.

Once we had arrived at our destination in Toronto, I had luckily remembered to contact British Airways Executive Club to take care of our return flights (on 06/08/14). I finally got through to a rep, and explained what had transpired earlier that day, and how we were forced to fly on another airline, and miss our original flights, all against our will.  After a lengthy discussion with the supervisor, he explained that he would be able to save mine and my sonís ticket on the original reservation, split off my wifeís ticket to a new reservation, and cancel her reservation. And that the only other option would be to purchase a return flight for her at the sum of $280+. I tried coming up with any option I could, however he continued to assure me the only return option with all three of us returning together was to pay the $280+. He said there was no availability for an Award ticket at all until the next day, Monday, which did not work at all for us (I had to be back at work, and our car would be towed if we didnít get it Sunday (Queens alternate side free parking)). So I went ahead and booked a return flight for my wife on the same flight as us (AA3335) for $289.90.

On Sunday, again approximately 1 & Ĺ hours before our flight we showed up at the American airlines ticketing counter in YYZ to get our boarding passes. My wifeís ticket pulled up without a glitch, however mine and my sons tickets were nowhere in sight. The agent on duty, was really helpful and did not give up just yet. She was able to finally locate some information in the system regarding our reservation, however she relayed over to us that the reservation had been cancelled. We did not have any seats on our flight which was leaving at 6:20pm. I was livid, and relentless and told her our story from the original flight, and how I had been assured by a British Airways Executive Club agent (with the supervisor) just two days prior that I had three tickets on this flight (AA3335). She proceeded to contact British Airways, to find out what had gone wrong.

After some back and forth, the BA agent was able to fix up our booking and we were told we would be getting on the 6:20pm flight. But, as if things could get any worse, the agent from BA had made an error in our booking and now the American Airlines agent wasnít going to be able to push through our tickets without getting them corrected on the BA side of things again. By the time 6:00pm had arrived were still waiting for the two agents to solve our problem, and we were told there was no way we would make the 6:20pm flight.

At around 6:20pm the booking information finally came through the system! The BA agent had corrected her error and we now had 3 bookings. Since we missed our flight we begged the agent to get us on the next flight out. At around 7:00pm the agent finally squeezed us onto flight AA3693 leaving at 8:20pm. We arrived back in LGA, NY at around 9:20pm.

Throughout our entire experience, I was made to feel like I had done something wrong by booking with my British Airways Frequent Flier miles (Avios), and United miles. Never at any time, did any agent go out of the way to help us even as they watched my wife struggle to entertain our 2 year old son. 

I feel so ripped off.... My total cost for the trip was:

27, 000 British Airways Avios + $162.60 for the original 3 tickets
37, 000 United Miles + $232.50 for the flights to Toronto
$ 289.90 for my wifeís return flight

= $685.00 and 64,000 frequent flier miles.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:57:07 AM by tageed-lee »

Online TimT

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 12:47:26 AM »
Wow. Do you ever plan on flying again ? If yes, using miles or cash ?

Offline Super Speed

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Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 12:49:23 AM »
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2014, 12:57:37 AM by Super Speed »

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 12:53:19 AM »
Wow. Do you ever plan on flying again ? If yes, using miles or cash ?

Haha! Just one of those times everything seemed to go wrong... first time anything like this has happened...

So to answer your question.. Yes, whichever comes out cheaper...

Offline casualchurner

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 12:53:54 AM »
Whiskey. Tango. Figs.
:) +1000 (just to be a nudging moron  :D it should be "Foxtrot")
Crazy story!! Agents can be such idiots!

Online TimT

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 12:58:25 AM »
This sounded like a veteran trying to get some medical help at a VA hospital.

Offline Super Speed

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 12:59:41 AM »

:) +1000 (just to be a nudging moron  :D it should be "Foxtrot")
Crazy story!! Agents can be such idiots!
Edited.

Online sillypainter

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 01:11:42 AM »
I'm sorry for all you had to go through.

Moral of the story, go with what your documents say, not what your legal name is.

Offline Saver2000

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 01:13:28 AM »
Craziness!!

I'm sorry for all you had to go through.

Moral of the story, go with what your documents say, not what your legal name is.
???
He had both.

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 01:13:44 AM »
I'm sorry for all you had to go through.

Moral of the story, go with what your documents say, not what your legal name is.

+1000 it was an honest mistake... this wasn't my first ticket booked for my wife, however it was the first time screwing it up...

And i did have proof that she was one and the same.... just wasn't good enough...

Online Yehoshua

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 01:22:06 AM »
Wow! I assume by now you've changed your wife's passport? 😯

Offline tageed-lee

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 01:24:22 AM »
Wow! I assume by now you've changed your wife's passport? 😯

Not yet.. this just happened.. but ya i def plan on getting it done asap... i was told its an easy 1-2-3 process... who knows...lol

Online Yehoshua

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 01:25:57 AM »
Not yet.. this just happened.. but ya i def plan on getting it done asap... i was told its an easy 1-2-3 process... who knows...lol
It really is. Just fill out the form and send it on with the old passport and the original marriage certificate. It takes about two weeks.

Offline Devorah

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 01:27:10 AM »
Why didn't u book ur wife's ticket in the name on her passport?

Offline george

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Re: Our crazy story from LGA-YYZ and back
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 01:29:54 AM »
Why didn't u book ur wife's ticket in the name on her passport?
Same reason why any human ever made a mistake ever.