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Warning NWA and Access America

Author: Shawnee1
Date of Trip: January 2009

Warning! Will Robinson WARNING!! By Shawnee1

I would like to believe that I am an even-tempered traveler, but even these events have caused me to warn future travelers. We booked a trip on NWA to travel to Salt Lake City on January 15, 2009 from Dayton Ohio. We purchased with an additional charge of $20 each exit row windows seats from NWA and Travel Insurance from Access America.

As I have not heard any response from a letter sent to NWA, I have decided to warn future travelers. On Wednesday night January 14th, 2009, I received an automated phone message that the flight scheduled for Thursday morning on NWA was cancelled due to the plane from Minn. was unable to get out of Minneapolis. The automated phone message stated that we were rebooked on a Delta Flight leaving at 8AM on January 15th to check in at the Delta Desk.

We arrived at the Delta Desk early as our names were not listed (online) on the Delta Flight as stated on the phone message. As I am a frequent flyer on Delta, I can check by flight number and last name. We arrived at the airport and were bounced back and forth from the NW desk to Delta desk as the flight was full and we did not have seats. Finally, the NWA desk informed us that automatic rebooking machine must have “screwed up” and did not book us on any flight.

We could not get on a flight to Salt Lake out of Dayton, but there were only two seats available out of Cincinnati, Ohio. We had the NWA desk book the tickets. Great! I had already left our car at Park and Go and had to retrieve it plus pay them for the day. We ate lightly as we had a long drive to Kentucky which is where the Cincinnati airport is located during Cincinnati rush hour traffic. On a good day the drive is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

We drive to Kentucky from Ohio and park in the nearest garage in order to make the plane. We left for Dayton airport at 6:30AM and arrive in Kentucky at 12PM for a 1PM Delta Flight. We get to NWA desk and get our tickets and found out we had no seats on the flight. The NWA agents finally got us on the flight after 30 minutes.

We take off and shortly after we got in the air, smoke began coming out of the restroom and the smoke detector was going off. The pilot announces that we must return to the airport as required by law. My wife wants to strangle whoever was smoking in restroom. The pilot explains that sometimes the deicer gets sucked into the engine causing smoke in restroom.

We land again and it is clear we won’t make the connection in Minneapolis and the new plane was not yet at the next gate. I was not going to get stuck in Minnesota.

I called back to Destinations Unlimited in Ottawa, Ohio. Thank goodness someone was at work and Linda Closson got me on a direct Delta Flight to Salt Lake (same terminal). All I needed to do is get my luggage from the NWA plane over to the Delta plane. If a plane lands with luggage from a passenger not on the plane….it is a huge problem in this day of terrorism.

We got the very last seats on the plane literally. The seats were right in front of bathrooms and directly across from the serving station. The Delta flight attendants were great. Remember, I had paid an extra $40 dollars for an exit seat on NWA as it is a long trip to Salt Lake and we wanted more leg room.

The flight home was another nightmare as we had two sets of tickets. One set to return to Dayton and another to Cincinnati on two different airlines and our car was in Cincinnati. The Delta agent again worked for 45 minutes to get NWA to release our tickets so we board our Delta flight to Cincinnati Airport (Kentucky).

I wrote a letter and sent copies of our boarding passes to NWA asking them to look into this situation. No reply.

Now the pain and agony of filing an insurance claim with Access America (AA) January 20, 2009 when we return. I called AA which is listed on insurance document. They pointed me to the Internet site and securing a report number. I waited 2 weeks to receive a number.

Getting worried that I might miss a timeline called their number and told me that I should have received the number via email. I did not. They again directed me to the Internet site to read exactly what I needed to send (originals documents and receipts) to them. I needed to have my incident number on each document. I paid for two policies one for my wife and one for me.

I sent all the documents certified mail with a receipt requested ($6.41). I received a letter from Access America requesting 5 of 6 documents that I had already sent. At the same time, my wife received a letter from Access America that her claim had been denied as they do not pay for Trip Inconvenience Coverage.

I called once again on February 6th to ask about this letter. After checking the file, I still needed a letter from NWA as to why the flight had been cancelled. Interesting as I still have not heard from NWA about all the flight issues sent on January 20th and I sent Access America the original flight booking payments and boarding passes (Certified mail). I drove all the way to Kentucky as I was bored and wanted to see Cincinnati at rush hour.

Here I am on February 11th waiting for NWA to give me an official reason why our flight was cancelled so I can get the same letter that my wife got or compensation for the nightmare we endured. On an aside, I have never had a problem with the trip insurance provided by Sandals Resorts.

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