I have worked in the airline industry for more than 30 years and if there is one constant in this world regarding the airline industry, it is that people have far less knowledge than they think they do. On-line booking is a wonderful idea in theory, but in practice it is a nightmare. Most people do not know how the airlines work, let alone each individual website. Most websites, when you enter the times and dates you want, will ALWAYS give you the cheapest flights first. So if a person asks to fly frmo Chicago to New York and the cheapest seat is from Chicago's Midway airport to New York's LaGuardia airport, that is what will pop up 1st. Without double checking the names of the airport, a person will like the times and price and book a NONREFUNDABLE ticket. After they've entered their credit card (without double checking the info) they'll get an e-mail where they will see they're flying from Midway instead of O'Hare and into LaGuardia instead of JFK. Who will they blame? Themselves for not being smart enough to double check what they're purchasing before entering their, oh so private, credit card number? No. They blame the website, claiming the company has done some sort of switch. Let me be clear here. THE AIRLINES DO NOT PAY TRAVEL ANGENCIES ANY COMMISSION. So the only money these website travel agencies make is on their fees which can range from $3.50 up to $25.00 for a new booking. Do you really believe a company would risk bad publicity, possible fraud charges, costly credit card charge backs and to pay someone $15.00 an hour to argue with you over a $10 booking fee? Does it make sense that ANY company would go through all of that for such small booking fees? Of course not. What does make sense, is that these days people are in such a rush, they don't stop to look before they leap. Then they want a refund claiming "Oh c'mon, I just booked this 30 minutes ago" Well airline tickets are not TV sets that you can return for a full refund because you picked the wrong color. If you purchase a ticket at 12:15pm, it's nonrefundable at 12:16pm. This is an airline rule, not a travel agency rule. The airlines will ALWAYS blame the travel agency however. Why? Because it's a simple fix. You're angry at the travel agent, the airline doesn't want you to know that the travel agent can ONLY follow airline policy and it will make you book directly with the airline next time. I worked for three major carriers and all three carriers gave the customer service reps the same policy. "Any problems with a travel agent booking, blame the travel agent, no matter what the problem is." How can this company be blamed because American Airlines will not allow a seat assignment? Is this travel agent supposed to call the airport and demand that another passenger be kicked out of his seat so that you can sit there instead? It's easy to point the finger and blame, but the sad bottom line truth is, most of the time, we the consumers are to blame. We don't like to read ANY small print and sign on the dotted line without reading it and then get angry when some of that small print applies to us. We don't have time to double check before entering our credit cards, but we have time to spend hours yelling and screaming trying to fix a problem that could've been avoided in the 1st place. I don't know if this response will be posted or not, but I do feel better after writing it. Are some companies a rip off? YES, WITHOUT A DOUBT. Is every company that does something we don't like a rip off? NO, IT'S NOT. I forget the company, but their store motto is "Our best customer is an educated consumer" I like that. We should ALL be educated consumers before entering our personal information into a computer that is attached to people all over the globe and not blame someone else when something goes wrong. One last thing. Why is it that people will call up swearing up and down that the company made an error and find it impossible to think that maybe they're not perfect like most humans and caused the error themselves? I had one woman calling me an idiot because I couldn't find the city Bear, NY. After 30 minutes of going through NY cities, I came upon Buffalo, NY, she said "Oh that's it, I knew it was a big animal" yet she would swear on a stack of bibles that I was a ### for not finding her a flight to Bear, NY. Another gentleman wanting to accompany his wife to Maconga, he wasn't sure where it was, but he was looking at his wife's ticket and he knew the city existed. Again, after 40 minutes of him asking why I had this job if I was so stupid, we discovered she wasn't flying to Maconga, she was flying to Macon, GA. I'm not making these up and I have hundreds more. So, before you write a complaint letter that could cause some very innocent person their job that they need to put food on their table, make sure the problem wasn't caused or made worse, by your own actions. You, after all, have the same disability we all have, you're human. Therefore, you're prone to the same mistakes you might accuse others of. If you need proof of this, look up complaints for Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity or any other website travel company and you'll see the EXACT same complaints, with just different names and places. Are all of these companies fraud and hire stupid people? Or is the common denominator, the uninformed consumer who is rushing through a website without really looking at what he/she is doing?