i am a horrible travel agent
November 14, 2011 10:04 PM   Subscribe

Help me, I am an idiot. I long ago booked an overnight trip from Seattle to Sacramento on Alaska Airlines through Expedia. I thought it was for tomorrow and Wednesday, apparently it was for today and tomorrow...

...and I only found this out after I missed my outbound flight. Assuming I've given up all hope of making it to Sacramento ever, is there any way I can get any money back? or am I totally screwed?
posted by genmonster to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Call the airline and tell them you missed your flight. Apologize profusely and be ridiculously polite. Occasionally, someone will take pity on you and help you fix it somehow. Going to the airport in person may work better than doing it over the phone, if that's not a huge inconvenience, but you can sometimes find someone on the phone willing to help in whatever way they can.
posted by decathecting at 10:06 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]

decathecting- i actually did this first thing, before I realized the extent of my screwup. The people at Alaska Air were really nice about trying to get me a later flight today, but basically showing up any later would have totally negated the purpose of my trip. now i'm just trying to cut my losses and not be out $350
posted by genmonster at 10:14 PM on November 14, 2011

I think you're screwed, based on my experiences with situations like this. If you are willing to try to make it onto a later flight, you may get lucky and get to your destination, but if that won't work or you miss the entire round trip, nobody wants to give you back your money. Ultimately that flight left whether you were on it or not.

I wish you the best of luck, but I've lost this much and more in similar circumstances and I'm skeptical that airlines have gotten more lenient since then.
posted by troublesome at 10:23 PM on November 14, 2011

You may -- if you get a kind-hearted airline rep -- get a voucher for future travel. My son did, last Christmas, after a similar screw-up on his part.

But no freakin way are you getting actual money back.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 11:26 PM on November 14, 2011

If you paid via credit card, your card might automatically have given you travel insurance of some sort that might compensate you. Mine does.
posted by lollusc at 12:39 AM on November 15, 2011

Alaska are super nice, I think if you called they might be able to offer a credit. They really are freakishly nice for an airline.
posted by fshgrl at 12:48 AM on November 15, 2011

Try and see what Alaska can do for you, but we did the same thing a few years ago and had to buy new flights for my wife from Norway to Canada. The onus is on you to make your flight.
Perhaps try and get a credit for a future flight?
posted by arcticseal at 4:14 AM on November 15, 2011

You might be able to apply the fare minus $150 towards another ticket in the future. Although you might had to cancel prior to the outbound flight departure time. Worth asking though.
posted by zeikka at 4:55 AM on November 15, 2011

I worked for a major airline for awhile and often dealt with this kind of thing . . . you could always play dumb and show up at the airport tomorrow as if you're getting on the flight. This is assuming that whoever you spoke with didn't update your record (that an agent at the airport will then see) but it might be worth your while . . . there's something much more compelling to act/help when a customer is standing there in front of you (vs. on the phone). Yes, it's a long shot.
posted by eggman at 7:15 AM on November 15, 2011

Really, I second eggman. Just show up at the airport tomorrow with a big smile on your face and pretend that you have NO idea that you messed up the reservation.

I really don't think you're going to get your money back, but if you're standing right in front of the ticket agent, he or she might be more inclined to give you a spot on a later flight.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:26 AM on November 15, 2011

A couple of years ago I went to Bali on China Airlines. On the way back my outbound flight from Bali was scheduled to depart at like 2:10 AM. There was some confusion about this between me and my girlfriend and, long story short, we went out the previous evening, got drunk, and missed our flight. Woke up the following morning and tried to check in on the web to a flight that had departed 9 hours earlier.

China Airlines, as it turns out, views the incident as follows: we had two tickets back to the US and reservations on a specific flight. Just because we missed the reservation did not mean our tickets were no good, so they automatically rebooked us on the next flight, which was actually 48 hours later on the dot. We got two extra days in Bali and a mildly embarrassing story about two people with graduate degrees having difficult telling the difference between AM and PM.

So... I highly recommend China Airlines, not just because of their sensible rebooking policy, but because the service and food and planes were all really good.

Hopefully Alaska is as cool as their colleagues from the far east. Good luck and safe travels!
posted by ben242 at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2011

China Airlines domestic service leaves something to be desired. It's not Aeroflot, but it's not good and I've stopped eating their food after a couple of upset stomachs.
posted by arcticseal at 3:48 PM on November 15, 2011

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