Check-In Has Totally Checked-Out

| Australia | Working | July 26, 2013

(I have noticed my airline ticket states ‘Check-in: minimum three hours prior. Failure to report to check-in on time will result in loss of seat and forfeiture of refund’. This seems excessive, but I decide to play it safe and arrive at the airline more than three hours prior for check-in. However, check-in isn’t available until about an hour and a half prior. I eventually check in.)

Clerk: “Thank you, have a nice flight.”

Me: “Actually, I was wondering where I can direct a complaint.”

(The clerk immediately looks uncomfortable. I quickly realize my mistake.)

Me: “Oh, no, don’t worry. I have no complaints about you. Your service was excellent! However, the ticket clearly states we have to check in a minimum of three hours prior to the flight, which obviously isn’t the case. I just want the airline to know that if they don’t provide more accurate information on their tickets, they might lose conscientious passengers.”

Clerk: “Oh, the ticket doesn’t mean you have to check in three hours prior; just that you should be at the airport at that time.”

Me: “Actually, the ticket specifically says CHECK-IN is a minimum of three hours prior.”

Clerk: “No, it says you must be at the airport three hours prior.”

(I point to the part of the ticket which provides the check-in information, and read it aloud.)

Clerk: “Um, uh… sorry about the, uh, delay…”

Me: “I don’t think you understand. I’m not claiming you did anything wrong. I know it wasn’t your fault. I simply want to register a complaint with the airline so they know this type of misinformation on the ticket can be frustrating to some passengers, potentially resulting in a loss of business.”

Clerk: “I’m really sorry about the delay.”

Me: “I simply want to know how to contact a complaints or customer service department, so they might stop placing this misleading information on the ticket.”

Clerk: “We’ll do our best to ensure check-in is speedier next time.”

Me: “Is there a department I can contact for complaints? A hotline? A customer service desk?”

Clerk: “I’m really sorry if my service—”

Me: “Never mind. I’m sorry I bothered you. I’ll just check the website and see who I can contact from there.”

Clerk: “Yes, that’s a great idea! Or perhaps you can send an email to the complaints department!”

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