So. Another learning moment in our world of scams and con artists.
Trying to confirm some flight and baggage information on an upcoming flight. I Googled “United Airlines Customer Service”. The number that appeared was 800-864-8331. A young woman, Glory, answered the call. Long story….it was a scam number and not United Airlines. In the process of our call, she told me my return flight had been cancelled. You can imagine the anxiety I felt to hear this since I hadn’t been notified by my travel agent or the airline. I don’t remember the rest of the call, but told Glory I would contact my travel agent and ended the call.
I immediately reached out to my travel agent, Neil Thakur, at Fare Buzz. He was able to check the information and confirm that, in fact, the flight hadn’t been cancelled. The scammed call, Glory, came from somewhere in Cuba. What other information they might have gleaned from me, I don’t know – luckily I didn’t stay on the call or provide any additional personal information.
If you’re traveling and you get a call from the airline telling you your flight has been cancelled – HANG UP! Words of advice from Neil. The airline will never call you. They will either text or email you. This world is full of scumbags looking to take advantage of everyone and everything. They have more time than any of us can imagine. We must be on the alert at all times. And, of course, elderly people are often the easy victims of these scams. You can always check the airline’s website My Trips page to confirm status of future flights. It’s been so long since I’ve traveled by air, this had never occurred to me.
I’ve been working in the travel and tourism industry for most of my professional career. It’s exhausting trying to navigate systems – air travel in particular. It used to be so easy and comfortable. They continue to blame everything on COVID, but the service was starting to decline even before that was an issue. For the first time in many, many years, I used a travel agent. I am so grateful that I did and that they – I should say HE/Neil – have provided the most outstanding customer service and given me valuable information to keep us safe on our journey.
Thank you Neil and Fare Buzz!