Around the World From My Living Room

As previously posted, I was one of the poor saps that ATA so graciously left in the cold when they closed suddenly and without warning earlier this month.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and not wait for the refund that Travelocity said they would “pursue on my behalf”

A friend suggested I call my credit card company and dispute the charge – DUH – what a brilliant idea I thought!

I got on the phone with my cc company from my home here in Southern California and called customer service. I was connected to “David”, (pronounced with a thick Indian accent – that always cracks me up!!), in India, who, after I explained my situation, transfered me to their Rewards Center, (I had used mileage to book the ticket). Before signing off I got the overly-polite 30 second “sorry I can’t help you, but please let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you, thank you for being a valued customer, hope you will continue to stay a loyal customer, wold you like to take a survey” goodbye speech…

Next, Katie, (her real name), answered my call in Chicago. After I went through my explanation she said I needed to talk to customer service. “But wait – I just talked to customer service!”, I said. Katie told me that the first rep must not have understood what I was talking about, (although I must say he was VERY polite), and that she would stay on the phone and talk to the customer service rep to explain what my situation was to get everything straightened out. She assured me to stay on hold while she spoke with the rep… a few minutes later I heard 2 voices as Katie handed me over to “Jane”, (not her real name), back in India.

The first words out of “Jane’s” mouth were, “how can I help you?”. At this point about 30 minutes and 2 explanations had passed so I asked her if Katie, (her real name), had done as she promised and explained my situation… “well, not really”, was “Jane’s” answer…

I took a deep breath and repeated my story, (which I had down pat by now)… “Jane” then tells me she cannot help me but that I need to talk to someone in the Dispute Department, (not a department name I’d like to work in). Next comes… you guessed it… the overly-polite 30 second “sorry I can’t help you, but please let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you, thank you for being a valued customer, hope you will continue to stay a loyal customer, wold you like to take a survey” goodbye speech…

After a few more minutes on hold I’m speaking with Zack, (his real name), in Utah. Zack was cool as he explained he’d handled 100’s of call from people like me who got screwed by the airlines, (pick one this week: Aloha or ATA). Zack laughed when I told him what I’d been through, said I must feel like I’ve been around the world and within about 3 minutes issued me a credit for the $300 I spent on my now-useless ATA ticket to Hawaii.

I’m happy to report it took exactly 48 hours for the refund to hit my account!

Now I don’t have to wait and worry about if and when Travelocity will get around to “acting in my behalf” AND I got a free trip around the world without ever leaving my living room. 🙂

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