We try to ensure that our support tools make these situations, and the resolutions, as clear as possible to our customer agents.
Ultimately, we are on the hook for this booking so it's in our interest to get it resolved for the customer so they are happy. Our stats show that this only happens to 0.5% of bookings, but if they aren't handled well, they take up a much larger amount of support time and then end up with an unhappy customer.
Over the last few years I've come realise that this is a fundamental cost of building travel software. You can't gloss over these problems or push them back on the customer, otherwise you simply won't have any customers left.
Full text here:
European airlines have different policies regarding cancellations, often based on the type of fare you select. Sometimes you get a full refund, other times only the taxes and fees.
Edit: I should add that I don't know if this specifically applies to Kayak, etc. I'm not sure if that's what you were specifically looking for.
AFAIK, only if you book with an airline direct.
After he realized he made a mistake he sought out the airline staff and they told him he had to go to some website which showed that he had checked in, but not the extra charge or option. Eventually he made his way to a service desk at the airport and they told him to call a number after he landed on the other side.
The "customer service" representative then informed him that since he had already taken the flight, he couldn't get a refund.
I helped him file a complaint with the airline explaining the English and the lack of help from airline staff and the confusing remediation directions he received. They responded very quickly informing him that he would not be refunded but to please fly again with them.
My read is that he probably screwed up and could've asked more questions at the kiosk. In addition, you're a supportive BIL!
The kiosk was one of those touchscreen things so nobody to ask when he was making the mistake.
It is ultimately his mistake, but at the same time, they're keeping >$40 he accidentally spent so he could board an aircraft 3 minutes early. It's kind of silly.
Hotels and car rentals now have non-refundable rates, something that didn't exist 10 years ago. Many hotels add resort fees, extra service fees, charge $7 for a bottle of water, etc., that they never would have tried 10+ years ago. Airlines have long had non-refundable fares, but penalties have increased tremendously. Anecdote: a friend of mine booked a weekend trip in 2009, the return flight was Sunday 12:30 am. When I pointed out to her that was essentially Saturday night, she got on the phone to change her ticket to the last flight out that same Sunday. $40 change fee. Today that would almost surely be $100+ on any US-based airline.
All these extra fees aren't aimed at millennials specifically, but I sure don't see them resisting enough to have any of these companies reverse or reduce some of their fees in response to consumer complaints or dissatisfaction.
I was flying AirAsia to Sulawesi last year, and 2 days before my flight the tsunami hit. Hotels destroyed, tourists evacuated from the island.
Even though they're trying to get people off the island, AirAsia refused to refund or even rebook my flight because it was nonrefundable.
Filed a chargeback, and got a response from AirAsia via the credit card issuer offering a refund if I would withdraw the chargeback.
Though, it’s interesting to note that once when I took a date picker component and attempted to morph it into a full-blown MacOS calendar, with calendar appointments that slot into different time slots and don’t overlap, I found that that is an NP-Hard bin packing problem.
...how would one even define a complexity class for date picker components?
Assuming a timezone mismatch, it wouldn't always show up because the date would have to cross a midnight boundary for the days to be different. Even if we assumed the servers used Malaysia time rather than UTC, that leaves 8 hours in a day where North American travelers could see the right day.
They got it wrong by 2 days.
More seriously, that would be a Y2K bug that took close to 20 years to discover, which I think is basically impossible.
Yeah, but the situation is worse than that. Weeks boundaries are influenced by a locale. What is the first day of the week? Sunday? Monday? I know that in russia a week starts with a monday. I know also that in en locales it is not the case, I was never able to understand english calendars, so the very first thing I do is fixing locale to see a "proper" calendar which I can understand.
Notice that there are no hints where is sunday and where is monday, you make a decision what is what based on data layout in a two-dimensional grid. For example, I read the screenshot in the tweet as Feb 2 is a Friday, not Thursday.
This leads me to a hypothesis what happened with AirAsia. They messed up locale dependant calculation of a week boundary. Like they added 1 instead of subtracting it, or maybe they applied the locale dependant shift of a week bondary twice, or made some other software bug like that.
Sure it's "defined", but it's full of hacks to deal with whims of fancy.
Even the day of the week calculation is borderline moronic.
I don't know what our way out of this is. Everyone imagines their own UX and wants this or that thing to behave differently from everything else out there on the web. We'd have more usable webpages (and web apps) if we didn't spend most of our time reinventing the button... over and over and over
Thankfully I'm pretty bullish on them (especially customized built-in elements.) The future is bright.
Slots are a powerful feature that has to be used carefully. But it's a great API foundation for a lib (which is a tendency for web platform drafts, ex. WebGL and Web Audio.)
Customization is just CSS, I'm not sure about the comparison to React. For Shadow DOM styling, we're almost at the point where the last big problem (selective and scalable piercing styles) are getting solved.
In any case, the world is better with Web Components than without. Combine them with ES Modules and you have an great ideal for the web platform to strive towards.
I see stopping efforts to roll one's own UI components unnecessarily as a rite of passage for a developer.
On the other hand, the guy is aware of the concept of a date picker and misuses a third party website's calendar for his own. This is a bit naive.
It seems the more legacy a business is, the more defensive and less proactive its customer service remit becomes (e.g. insurance and telecom).
> While convenient where it works, the failure mode of type="date" and its associated date and time types is very poor. This makes it a risky choice that could leave users struggling to meet validation criteria.
Even in this case putting the dollar amounts in the dates, which is a very useful piece of information, would need a custom date control.
Edit: I am confident because I purchased multiple tickets with multiple passengers and also had someone double check that I filled out the info correctly. All the date of births ended up being one day later than they should have been.
Intl.DateTimeFormat is a godsend for this.
OTOH, if you need "instant of birth" then definitely get a time and timezone. Plus, converting to UTC and discarding the timezone observed at the place and political circumstance of birth would likely be a mistake.
Depending on time of birth it could have been you that was off by one
Working with dates in code is unnecessarily hard so naturally the results tend to be bug-ridden more often than not.
There's room for confusion with unlabelled days even when it's "right", though. The author says "Since when is Feb 2 on a Thursday", but I assume that's because he's used to a Sunday->Saturday layout on a calendar, whereas for me I'd assume the 2nd were a Friday based on that position as I'm used to Monday->Sunday calendars.
(Update: OK, the days ARE labelled - incorrectly. You have to click on the screenshot on Twitter to see the full screenshot. Keeping this comment here for posterity only ;-))
Keep in mind that I open all links in a new private windows except for few services for which I stay logged in.
Pretty poor bug
They should label the days to minimize confusion--I come close enough to messing up reservations as it is--but there isn't really a universal standard for the layout of weeks.
Australia is the latter, and so is most of Asia, and .. well, it's probably just bits of the USA that likes to have Sunday as the first day of the week. Date pickers in many US-originating software assume this, which is insanely frustrating for those of us not in the USA / not expecting / not wanting this.
Australian here. I was taught Sun is the first day of the week.
(Did you ever wonder why 'weekend' included only one day at the end, along with one day at the start, of a week?)
Growing up I never saw a (physical) calendar that had Sunday as the first day. It's only the past ten years or so they seem to crop up more, almost exclusively online.
I suspect the relatively recent incidence is from shipped-in American culture of course. Similarly I'm seeing increasing occurrence of "February 5th, 2019" rather than the standard Australian / British format of "5th of February, 2019" (noting these sequences aligns with mm/dd/yy and dd/mm/yy preferences for US and rest-of-world respectively).
Country Victoria. :)
> Growing up I never saw a (physical) calendar that had Sunday as the first day. It's only the past ten years or so they seem to crop up more, almost exclusively online.
Hmmm... thinking about it a bit, it shouldn't be too hard to locate historical sources of calendars over the years (scanned in, etc). "Pin up girls" (etc) were popular in places like mechanical workshops, and I'm fairly sure there would be hobbyist collectors out there with collections online. Cultural heritage kind of thing. :)
I did a brief trawl through historical calendars on the ebay, most dating back from the mid 1960's, most from NAB or other large institutions. Surprisingly I noted that they showed Sunday as the first day of the week.
So now I'm trying to remember what calendars we had in the house growing up, and how that fits with locale settings on most OS's assuming that Australians have Monday as the first day of the week.
Note - I don't think that's as change I made, as I doubt I've gone into these settings before. Not 100% sure though.
In that, it mentions macOS does use it.
The macOS "System Preferences" (system wide control panel) does have a colour settings area. No mention of CLDR, it's more about the locally connected displays and their display gamut (eg Adobe RGB, sRGB, etc).
I think we can probably chalk this up to my insulated childhood, and a subsequent cultivated intolerance to Sunday-first calendars.
And yeah, no worries. :)
>I assume that's because he's used to...
Perhaps you should actually look at the screenshot instead of assuming?
The column February 2nd is in is clearly labeled as Thursday. There's no room for ambiguity there.
It's a bug. #stopuserblaming
Amazing instance of how not to do teh twitter if you are a corporation.
But this should be the last resort. You should try and resolve it with customer service first. You should publicly complain about something like this anyways, so you might as well until after that doesn't resolve it before making a charge back.
Hello Wizzair :-)
I emailed them and they said that they overcharged me and asked for a 50 USD voucher since I wanted to buy extra check-in luggage anyway. They told me that my membership can not be applied to the selected flights. I emailed them screenshots, showing them that NOW I could apply the discount if I bought again but they did not accept. "Decision final."
I felt this was fraudulent, so I did a backcharge of all the charges. First the CC company settled with me, then with them, then after threatening legal action the CC voided all charges. I booked the flights with major airlines for basically the same price later (I am all major alliances gold status :-) ).
Was it worth it? It totally pissed me off. I even did not ask for money back but just for an in-house credit and I hate it when big companies try to play hardball with me. Yes, it was worth it.
On the other hand, a Chinese guy tried to sell me my own bike on a "street bicycle shop" that was stolen a few month before. I yelled at him a little bit and I gave him 100 RMB for repairs he did, bought a big lock-chain from him for another 100 RMB. These "street shops" guy are poor, they have no money. Yes, I could have called the police and fucked him over but it is easy to play hard ball against a poor guy. More fun to play hard ball against a company.
Airlines don't like admitting mistakes, and even less they like reimbursing people.
We tried the membership discount, and it worked as it should. (I bought it with the flight, so it applied instantly. Then I booked for a few more folks. But lately it doesn't make much sense, because it's only valid for one year, and who knows which budget airline will be the cheapest when we actually figure out when and where we want to go.)
I complained and the “support” rep said “I hope you learned your lesson.” So I called my bank and disputed the charge, getting a full refund. Apparently they never figured out how to challenge my dispute. I hope they don’t learn that lesson.
Much like the support rep, I also hope you’ve learned to not assume that major, world-class cities only have one airport. Somehow I doubt you’d have made the same mistake in London or New York.
It’s very definitely not AirAsia’s fault that you didn’t check the airport code, and would have happened on any other DMK-based airline.
There are a lot of things to complain about when it comes to airlines in general, and AirAsia specifically. But not knowing what airport you booked, that's on you.
If you Google for “Bangkok to Singapore” half of the flights Google will show you are from DMK.
If they’d listed UTP as being Bangkok, then sure, I’d have some sympathy, but referring to DMK as being Bangkok is probably more valid than referring to NEW as New York.
Similar thing in Germany - I used to live close to Frankfurt-Hahn in Germany, which is nowhere close to Frankfurt, it was renamed to Frankfurt-Hahn at the request of Ryanair.
Three times I bumped into people asking in which direction to walk to get in to get into Frankfurt - it's a 90 minutes drive...
 Which was sad. All the pilots left with their F-16s to go to war, and the base was closed while they were gone, leaving their wives & families to pack up and return to the US.
Technically it is in Bangkok, it's the same distance from downtown (Asoke) as it is to the newer BKK (Suvarnabhumi Airport), just north instead of east.
DMK, which is presently served exclusively by LCC, is in Bangkok proper.
BKK, however, is NOT in Bangkok proper.
When I booked with AirAsia, it always said "Bangkok - Don Mueang (DMK)" in the booking page.
This is 100% your fault.
Perhaps, but not in this specific case, where DMK is no further than BKK. I'd have some sympathy for someone trying to get to London and ending up anywhere other than LHR, LCY, or maaaybe LGW. "London Oxford Airport" and "London Ashford Airport" are particularly egregious.
But back when maps were on paper and travel agents used for the most trivial of trips, the airport names played a significant role in (mis)informing the traveler.
Ages ago when my elderly parents traveled to San Francisco to visit me, they had AAA book the flight and hotel without checking anything. They expected to land in San Francisco and stay at a nearby hotel with convenient access to the city.
SFO International is in Millbrae, quite a ways south of San Francisco proper. The nearby hotels are in an isolated pocket of industrial space on Old Bayshore Hwy, with no conveniently accessible public transportation unless you like walking on highway overpasses.
It does seem like a useful "lesson" to learn; that airports are often named after the nearest major city. Chicago Rockford International Airport is 85 miles from Chicago, but four miles from Rockford. Yet Chicago is the first city mentioned in its title.
For example an API with 0-11 months, and one with 1-12. You’d get info of the wrong month.
Can't be the year, 2018 and 2020 also don't have February 2 on Thursday.
It can't even be the month but only for the starting day, neither January nor March have their 2nd on a Thursday.
I realize it's subtlety complex to internationalize but it's been a common input on forms for so long you'd assume native browser support would have been present in every browser at least a decade ago. It's baffling to me that you still can't reliably use the input type of date due to lack of support.
You should be examining the confirmation screen extremely closely with an airline like this. Go ahead and blame them if you want to, but they make money on price, not reputation, and the market has chosen price over quality of service.
This is all subjective, of course, but I really don't see much of a difference between them and Peach, HK Express, or Scoot.
As a side note, Peach once double charged me for the same flight and wouldn't refund my purchase, saying it was because I used linux, and that is an unsupported OS. I contacted my credit card agency and they told me the best thing was to take the flight and charge it back after I flew, or they might cancel both tickets. You really have to be careful with these types of companies, but in my opinion, it's worth it if you pay attention.
"Works on our machines!"
How can we design datetime libraries to prevent these issues? Or at least make it so that error-prone behaviors must be very explicit?
Write your frontend in Java 8 and you have access to a full blown date/time library that handles all the edge cases and has been well thought out. Do it in JS and you got bupkis.
That doesn't sound like a datetime library design problem, it sounds like they totally neglected to use a datetime library at all.
I made a mistake, during the booking my credentials were automatically filled in the passenger form, I didn't checked and I ended up booking two time the same flight for me, on the same plane, with the same passenger id.
Fun fact, when I check-in for the first ticket, then the second, the website told me that I was already checked-in (which shows that internally the two tickets were seen as one).
I called the support and they reimbursed me the second (one-way) ticket. I had to book another flight the same day which cost me around 300€.
KLM, if you read me, your booking system is really fucked up. I can't understand that with the volume of order and the price of the tickets we don't have a bullet-proof system in place for years already.
She has an almost compulsive habit to go through the booking process, pause on the final review screen with the "submit" button, and research other options in extra tabs before returning to submit the original order. The result is that she is looking at that previously rendered summary, presses submit, and gets a completely different configuration booked because the activity in the other tab contaminated the state of the pathetic web app.
Due to these experiences and others, I mistrust web programmers and try to avoid complex state. I defensively complete all my research, and then I start a fresh booking sequence in a private browser window to directly snipe the selection I desire.
This was a couple years ago. I don't know if they've fixed it since.
Personally I think it's the same thing as assuming everyone is male. Also assuming everyone is a software engineer. etc.
Went to check in and realized my flight was 6 weeks in the future. They let me cancel, but a flight that day was hundreds more and I wound up sitting at the airport all day.
I triple check when I book flights with google flights now.
I still use them because sometimes they are $300 cheaper. And they don't play hardball with luggage weights, unlike some full fare airlines like British ("Your bag is 7.8kg, the limit is 7kg, if you want to carry it on you need to remove five pieces of clothing and put them on yourself").
We should be using text and structured data for all services by default. Companies should be providing simple, very simple text (or JSON if you want that) APIs by default and people should and could learn to use them.
Web browsers or other apps should and could be packed with nice UIs to browse these APIs.
Optionally, after these default browsable easy-to-use APIs were working, people could translate them into more fancy UIs, but for most things, like booking flights, that wouldn't be necessary at all (who wants a flashy colorful experience when buying tickets?).
Feb 2, 2019 is a Saturday in any event.
Oh, yeah not surprised.
Edit: Apparently the image I was looking at wasn't the whole image.