We bought it, allow us use it - Change "conditions of Sale" - Airlines one sided policy
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I had purchased a return ticket on Air France. Unfortunately, I missed to board my outbound flight. As a good, educated passenger, I informed Air France within 24 hours about my intentions to fly the return sector which I had already paid for. I assured them that I am reaching destination by another flight after purchasing another ticket at the last moment.
Next day, when I was in Germany, I received a mail from Air France that as per policies & General Conditions of Sale my return ticket has been cancelled . The policy neither allowed a refund nor travel on next sequence of journey of a "no show" ticket.
I could understand "no refunds" probably because the airline probably gives us a discounted fare while booking a return ticket; but WHY REFUSE TRAVEL? In any case somebody will be traveling on that seat ! Why can't it be me who has already paid for that seat ! Logically ticket seems to be cancelled because if someone has not boarded then how would he come back; but when the assurance of travel is coming directly from the passenger then WHY REFUSE TRAVEL ???
I tried to reason with them I already got penalized for my MISTAKE of missing the flight in the form of cost incurred on last moment ticket; but in vain.
The aircraft will not come with that seat as vacant. That means the seat for which I had paid will put on sale again! Airlines treating passenger's ordeal as a money-making opportunity!!
Throughout during my stay in a foreign country, I kept contacting Air France India, International through mails and tweets. It's only 1 day before the scheduled departure, I was informed by Air France social media that the policy allows to reinstate my ticket only after additional payment of 500 Euros equivalent to a new ticket ! That was also on the discretion of the airport staff who were contact-able only by paying a visit.
By then I had lost hopes of any logical handling of my despair so I had no choice but to do as advised. To my utter disbelief, the ground staff at Air France desk refused to let me board the flight stating it was full. It was all the more strange that the general ticketing website was showing tickets available at an exorbitant price.
Helpless, I booked a last moment ticket on another flight which made me cover an 8.5 hrs journey in 14 hours. I am a middle class working woman who ended up buying 2 tickets for one travel BECAUSE I MISSED MY FLIGHT !
Missing a flight itself is an ordeal. No one intends to miss a flight. If it happens, the schedules go hay-wire, our finances go hay-wire and the distressed passenger is thrown into dark thoughts of unforeseen.
But, IT IS NOT A CRIME ! People have to bear less penalties for crimes as compared to ones who miss flight.
During my attempt to reach out to people who missed flights I came across another fact that the airlines don't send you any mail on cancellation of your next sequences of travel. They expect you to know the policies ! Many passengers have got last moment shocks when they are refused boarding passes at the airport. Just imagine the despair !!
I request you to kindly sign the petition demanding changing policies which kill consumer rights and make customers bear entire loss. The airlines makes profit anyways rather more if we miss the flight !
We are not asking airlines to refund the money; but to allow customer to use what he/she has paid for !
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