Travel Troubleshooter: How did this Galapagos flight get so messed up?


Dear Travel Troubleshooter: I recently had tickets to fly from Tucson, Arizona, to the Galapagos, via Los Angeles and Quito, Ecuador. The Tucson-LA flights were one-way tickets, and the LA-Quito segment was connected in our reservations. However, all of the tickets had been booked through the Chase website, except the Galapagos tickets, which were purchased through Mytrip.com.

I missed the LA-to-Quito flight because of flight delays outside of our control, which screwed up the Galapagos flight. I canceled the flight ahead of time and attempted to reschedule for a fee of $201. I received four new e-tickets from Mytrip with flight information for a flight with Ecuador’s national airline, Tame, confirming the rescheduling. But two days later, when I arrived at 7 a.m. for our 9 a.m. departure, an airline representative told me I wasn’t “on the manifest.” It turns out my reservation had been canceled. I bought tickets with another airline for the next flight out, five hours later, for an additional $1,100.

I have contacted Mytrip by phone and by email multiple times, requesting a refund for the rebooking fee and the one-way tickets, since neither service was actually provided, despite being paid for. Any advice you can provide about how to navigate the rules and obtain a refund would be extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.

Victoria Ramirez, Tucson, Arizona

Answer: Wow, what a mess! It looks as if you self-booked and used a discount online travel agency to get from Tucson to the Galapagos. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you know what you’re doing.

Booking a one-way, unconnected ticket is a little risky, as you found out. That’s because the airline has no way of knowing of your connection, unless you tell it. So American wouldn’t have known that you needed to get to Quito, and with your first flight delayed, you’d be stranded at LAX.

If you’d worked with a competent travel agent, the tickets would have been connected in the reservations system — meaning that if one segment had a problem, the other airlines would find a way to re-accommodate you at no extra cost. As it turns out, you had to reschedule your trip and pay $1,301 more.
But who is responsible for this?

It’s possible that some of the confusion is related to your airline, which allowed you to book unconnected tickets on the same itinerary. Certainly, your online agent bears some responsibility, although only for the flights it booked. And, of course, you made your fair share of mistakes.



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