Thursday, January 13, 2005


An Experiment

Independence Air Makes Me Angry

Ok, from time to time I've written about the new Airline here in DC, Independence Air (aka: Fly-i). At first it seemed like a dream come true, competition and direct flights to cities in the Mid-West without having to connect (ala NorthWest) through Detroit. Plus, the pricing was great. A ticket home for the holidays this year cost me 1/3 of a normal fare.

But alas, you get what you pay for. Fly-i is no longer serving cities in MI other than Detroit, in fact as I mentioned earlier, they dropped me (without an email or call) from my flight home for Christmas when they pulled out the Lansing market. Now, I booked a flight to Boston originally leaving at 9:00 am, but that flights been dropped and they've rebooked me on a 6:10 am flight. (Note: Dulles is about an hour from my house). No biggie, I just found another airline with better times and booked a different ticket. Problem is that when I try to cancel my ticket on Independence Airlines website, it reports that the site is overloaded. Same thing with the 800 number. Hmmmm....does anyone see a pattern here?

Anyway, leaving no stone unturned, I've tried to leverage you, dear reader, in my quest to get something accomplished. My email to Fly-i yesterday.

Dear Fly-I:

I just can't seem to catch a break with you all. I've booked a flight on your airline for February 23 from DCA to BOS (returning the same day). My confirmation code is xxxxxx. Unfortunately, my flight schedule has been changed by Fly-i and I no longer wish to utilize your airline for my flight. I had a similarly disappointing experience when your cut backs to Lansing, Michigan left me without a flight home for the holidays.

Rather than being contacted by your company, I found out through an article in USAToday. However, when I managed to get through to a Fly-i representative, they satisfactorily rectified the situation. I hope that same successful outcome can be achieved here.

I would like to cancel my flight, however, when I attempt to do so on your website, I get a message saying that my transaction cannot be completed because of heavy use. Similarly, when I call your 1-800-number the wait times are so long that I have to drop the call. I've been trying since Monday to accomplish this task.

Can you please cancel my flight, or absent that, have one of your agents call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Three days, four calls and an unusable website are enough for me.

Please also note that I run a political "Blog" titled Elephant in Exile (htttp:// I have approximately 200 unique readers every month (not large bay any means, but a loyal group). I have, and plan to continue to share my experiences with your airline in this forum.

Sadly, what started off as praise (a competitor for Northwest to the Michigan market) has now turned to criticism and predictions of your company being folded back into United. However, I'm hoping that this customer service opportunity will again allow me to sing your praises. Help!


Ok, this is mostly an exercise undertaken for your amusement. We'll see what happens. The first 'autoresponse' I got back told me to log onto their website or call....Oh the customer service Irony!

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