Off Topic, But Important For All Travelers, I Think

  • From: Pam Drake <pamdrake@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: pamdrake@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2005 14:36:30 -0800

In light of what has just happened to me today I felt that this off-topic message might serve as a caution to those of you who may be traveling now and in the future. I apologize for the off-topic nature and also to those of you who will receive the message more than once. If, after reading it, you believe it may be important to pass along, please feel free to do so to any individuals or groups to which I haven't sent it. I'm sending it to the cooking in the dark, blindtech, pc-audio, blind eudora, and netcasting lists. Please don't forward it to any of these. Please, please, *PLEASE* don't start a thread on this subject on any of these lists. I don't want to cause clutter; just want to alert you. Please reply to me or others privately.

I am scheduled to visit my mother on Monday, January 2nd. I will be flying Continental Airlines. When I called to give Mother my arrival and departure information. She called Continental and, whether asking to erify the flight or for whateer reason, she was able to order a wheelchair for me, though I had not even mentioned my blindness to the Travelocity representative who booked the flight on December 19th. We called the reserations number because it appeared from the web site that we were being expected to enter hotel and/or car reservation requests, which we didn't want. ,

Dave and I were frustrated to think that someone could make changes to a reservation without permission. When calling to cancel the wheelchair and demand an explanation as to how these changes could take place, we were told that by giving my flight numbers to my mother I had allowed her to gain access to my information. The only way to avoid changes to take place is to assign a code word known only to myself, and unknown to any other person. At no time during the reservation process were there any information or disclaimers regarding protection against unauthorized change.

I further realize that most recipients of a flight number wouldn't take it upon themselves to order unwanted assistance, so most people probably don't think twice about giving flight information to those coming to meet them; but my mother is a very intrusive person. This is not the first time she has over-stepped her boundaries; and I have strongly considered canceling the trip. Yes, this is my own mess and I've got to deal with it; so there's no need in even commenting on my mother and our relationship.

I don't know whether the above is policy on any other lines; and we plan to contact the Continental Airlines corporate offices to express our displeasure and see what might be done to change their policy.

For now, you travelers out there would be wise to inquire about protecting your information on the airlines you fly.

Just a warning.


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