Western Mass. travelers share nightmare stories from recent trips

Western Mass. travelers share nightmare stories from recent travels
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 11:15 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) -Travelers are on the move for the holiday weekend. With Easter and Passover, along with the school vacation week ahead, many people are heading somewhere either by driving or flying. With travel headaches for many in recent weeks, especially at the airports, we’re hearing some nightmare stories.

We spoke with one man from West Springfield who told Western Mass News that his travel nightmare played out as he tried to come back home from vacation.

Anthony Boido lives in West Springfield. He told Western Mass News he booked a round trip flight to Lake Tahoe eight months ago, for himself, his wife and son but had to change switch his first flight a few weeks before takeoff.

“I had signed up for a class at STCC and I had an exam the morning we were leaving so I had to get a separate flight down from my wife and son,” explained Boido.

Boido told us he was planning to use his original round trip ticket to fly back home with his family, but, then this happened.

“When we were leaving Lake Tahoe a few days later, without any warning, e-mail, call, they canceled my flight back without telling me and so when I showed at the airport my son and wife had a flight back, I did not, there was only one seat left on the plane they had fully canceled my flight that I had already paid for and then charged me $1,966 for the only seat left was first-class to get home,” said Boido.

Boido said he had hoped to get a refund for that nearly $2,000 extra he paid to get home.

“They said because I didn’t come down on the flight they took it upon themselves to cancel the whole thing, but didn’t let me know...They wouldn’t work with me one bit through e-mail they said absolutely nothing we do basically screw you and that’s what’s happening,” said Boido.

We reached out to American Airlines for answers. They told us in a statement in part-quote:

“Customers need to use their tickets in sequence or any flights after a skipped flight will be cancelled. If the purchased ticket is Basic Economy which doesn’t allow any changes, a customer will need to purchase a brand new one-way ticket. For non-Basic Economy tickets, a change will still need to be made to exchange the round-trip ticket to one way by paying fare difference if any.”

We spoke with one local travel agent to find out why people have encountered this type of situation and why there has been an increase in delayed or canceled flights.

“Sometimes, the cheaper is not the better because the less supply the higher the demand and there’s shortages so when you go to another carrier that doesn’t have as many flights they have a pattern in it, you could be bumped and have nowhere to go from there so you have to wait until the next day to be available or the next after that or whatever day they got,” explained Doreen Coakley-Rodriguez, owner of Doreen’s Going Places Travel Services.

AAA told Western Mass News that travel is expected to hit 2019 levels again this weekend, so people hitting the roads or skies should plan ahead.