When Airlines Make Mega-Mistakes

What about the Passengers?

Luckily for the passengers, when mega-mistakes occur, airlines are usually pro-active. After the recent Southwest snafu, the carrier quickly announced it not only personally apologized to each customer but refunded their entire ticket and gave vouchers for future travel.

If you are an unwitting victim of a mega-mistake and the airline doesn't reach out, then contact them. If you don't get satisfaction, consider gently venting on social media; the airlines are usually extremely responsive to complaints that everyone can hear about.

If that doesn't work, contact the Department of Transportation which accepts complaints and here's how to file them.

But here's the good news: Don't worry. There are something like 30,000 flights a day in the U.S., and pretty much all of them land where they're supposed to and the pilots do nothing more exciting than fly their planes safely. I asked the anonymous pilot mentioned at the start of this column if he ever landed at the wrong airport. "No." When asked if it could ever happen, he replied, "Highly doubtful." Pilots are extremely precise, but never say never.

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