Troubleshooters: Airline fare deal gone wrong for military soldier

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Troubleshooters help a military soldier get a reasonable fare home to see his family. (WPVI)

Like many families with loved ones in the armed forces, the Routhier's hadn't seen husband and father Jeremy for months - six months to be exact.

Jeremy, stationed in South Korea, was set to come home for leave this summer thanks in part to a very low airfare his wife Christina found on Priceline.

"As soon as his leave got approved, I hopped on and I was looking," said Routhier.

Routhier said she found what she thought was a great deal.

She purchased a non-stop ticket from South Korea to New York on Priceline for $370.

After purchasing the ticket, Routhier said she called Priceline to make sure the fare wasn't a mistake.

"It's good to go. Price is good. Ticket is good. And then I called Korean Air, and they said the same thing," said Routhier.

But eight days later, Routhier said her husband got an email stating the ticket had been "canceled due to a mistaken fare filed in the reservation system, Worldspan."

"He sent me a screenshot of the email and I just started crying, and I called him and we were both crying on the phone and it was horrible," said Routhier.

This past May, the Department of Transportation announced a new temporary policy that states it will not pursue action against airlines or companies for not honoring a mistaken fare.

"Why don't you want to help get a military soldier home to his family?" said Routhier.

After contacting Priceline and Korean Air, again, Routhier said she was told she would only get a refund of the $370 she had paid.

To buy that same ticket, Routhier would have to pay $1,850.

That's when she called the Action News Troubleshooters.

I contacted both Korean Air and Priceline.

"Priceline didn't step up. Priceline didn't help," said Routhier.

After we got involved, Worldspan Korea did apologize for its mistake, and finally provided the Routhier's with a deeply discounted ticket for $510.

In a home video, the Routhier children can be seen running up to their father while screaming, "Daddy!"

"He ran right up to me as soon as I got home. It was awesome," said Jeremy.

And thanks to the Action News Troubleshooters, dad also gets a little extra time at home.

"They even worked with us on his itinerary. They moved his flight up about 12 hours and they moved his return back a day so we get about 36 extra hours with him, which doesn't seem like a lot, but in a whole year, it's a lot," said Routhier.

When I asked Priceline for its policy on mistaken fares, a spokesperson only told us she's glad this issue was resolved.

As for the federal policy on mistaken fares? The feds will issue a final ruling next April.


Related Topics:
familytroubleshootermilitaryairlineaction news troubleshooters
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