There’s an interesting story making the rounds in the “news” (in the age of Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage, can you really call it that?) the past couple of days about a lady that was “trapped” in San Francisco Airport for eight days.
She wanted to start a “new life” so booked a ticket on US Airways with (supposedly) only $30 to her name. When she went to check-in with US Airways they wanted to charge her $60 for her two checked bags, which is money she didn’t have. Apparently she booked her ticket through Orbitz which didn’t at the time disclose checked bag fees (new regulations require that they do), and she apparently hasn’t flown for five years, so wasn’t aware there were fees to check a bag.
Because she wasn’t able to pay the checked bag fees she missed her flight, and as a result had to pay $150 to change her flight, making the expenses total $210.
She was subsequently “trapped” in the airport for eight days, before an airport church offered to chip in to pay for her fees.
If the story is as simple as it sounds on the surface then I feel bad for her. It’s unfortunate that at the time third party booking sites didn’t disclose bag fees. At the same time, you don’t have to be a frequent flyer to know about bag fees — if you ever watch TV, read a newspaper, or browse the internet you’ll see there’s a story about them just about every day. Furthermore, she could have checked US Airways’ website to see baggage regulations, as they lay it all out pretty clearly on their website. Still, none of that is her fault if she legitimately didn’t know about the fees.
But I still have so many questions about this story:
- She called all her friends and relatives and no one was able to pay her $60 in fees given the urgency of the situation?
- She asked if she could pay the fees when she arrived at her destination. If she didn’t have the money and none of her friends or relatives had the money, how was she planning on paying?
- I understand circumstances can be dire, but how do you plan on starting a “new life” with $30 in your pocket? Surely it can’t make sense to move to a new place and leave the area you’re familiar with if you have nothing?
- Looking at her in the video, it looks like she could have carried on one of those bags, which makes me wonder if this was all for nothing?
Look, I feel bad, but the skeptic in me thinks there’s more to the story. But I don’t know what the motive could possibly be. Watching the video with her interview makes me even more skeptical.
What do you guys think? Did she legitimately not know about checked bag fees? If she didn’t, does she have any fault in the situation for not checking the airline’s website?
One thing’s for sure — the fact that every headline reads she was “trapped” in an airport is ridiculous.