Hidden Airline Fees Trap Terri Weissinger in San Francisco Airport for Eight Days
A California woman looking to begin a new life in Idaho had her plans delayed for eight hellish days because she was hit with hidden airline fees she was unable to afford.
According to the Huffington Post and ABC 7, Terri Weissinger of Sonoma packed up and headed to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) where she planned on boarding a U.S. Airways flight to Idaho to start anew. When she arrived at the ticket counter to check her luggage, she was told she’d have to pay an extra $60 for her second bag. She’d booked her trip on Orbitz before a new federal law requiring such sites to disclose all hidden fees, and with only $30 to her name, Weissinger found herself in a tight spot.
She offered to pay the $60 after she arrived in Idaho. The airline refused, explaining it was against company policy. She offered to leave one of her bags behind. Again, U.S. Airways said no, this time citing security regulations.
While she tried to resolve her problem, Weissinger missed her plane. That would cost her an additional $150 in change fees.
Distraught, Weissinger hunkered down in SFO, a pleasant enough place for a layover of a few hours. But she would call the airport home for the next eight days. She slept in a stairwell. She visited the airport medical clinic, where she was treated for anxiety. She begged airport officials for help, but they threatened to arrest her for vagrancy.
Eventually, Weissinger was saved by divine intervention… sort of. A local church– the Airport Church of Christ– raised $210 for Weissinger after she called them and desperately pleaded for assistance.
ABC 7’s “7 On Your Side” asked U.S. Airways for comment on Weissinger’s shocking ordeal. “We have apologized to Ms. Weissinger for her experience, but unfortunately are unable to offer a refund,” the airline replied. “When you purchase a non-refundable ticket, you accept the terms and conditions. If a passenger cannot travel with their bags, they need to make other arrangements.”
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