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Airline trips were my best and worst experiences this week

By Rita R. Robison

It was surprising to me. My experience with American Airlines was much better than one with “top-rated” Alaska Airlines.

My best experience: A trip on American Airlines

American Lots of Planes

I just returned from a trip to Madrid on American Airlines. It was a good trip. The planes were all on time, no delays. I was able to get the seats I needed – ahead of the wing and by the window – for my respiratory problem.

I had enough time to grab supplemental food so I could skip the airline food if I needed to. I packed my backpack lighter so I didn’t have to struggle to get it under the seat in front of me.

American Airlines, which recently filed for bankruptcy, had one of the lowest ratings in a Bloomberg Rankings analysis of operating performance and service charges.

My worst experience: A huge extra charge from Alaska Airlines

Alaska in Air IMG_1572

A few days after I returned from Madrid, I had a trip scheduled to Sacramento to see my granddaughter perform in a play.

My daughter checked my ticket and alerted me to the fact that it had a mistake. My return trip was 30 minutes after I landed in Sacramento.

I called Alaska Airlines, and the representative said she didn’t know how the problem occurred. Either Alaska made a computer error, or I made the mistake when I signed up for the ticket.

The representative said there was no way to determine how the error was made. But she said, it didn’t matter. It would cost $219 for different return flight – plus a $50 fee for the change. A whopping $269 additional charge. (The representative said she was doing me a big favor by cutting the fee to change the ticket in half.)

It was devastating. I had purchased the original ticket for a total of $101, a great sale price.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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Joshua Green

Oh, the extremes of both good and bad happening to you in a week! It's a great thing though that the low-ranked airline managed to give you a nice ride. Too bad the supposedly good ones made a bad name for themselves. Well, I hope you enjoyed your granddaughter's play. :)


Yes, my granddaughter's play was worth the trip, even though it cost me much more than I'd planned.


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Blog Muy bien, estaba feliz de aprender mucho aquí, espero que a menudo puede ver, muchas gracias!

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