3 August 2004
It was right here a minute ago
Ms. Christine has found out, mercifully not the hard way, that if you lose your ticket on Southwest Airlines, you have to buy a new one, and wonders why:
When you reserve your ticket, you give them your name, address, more than likely a credit card or bank card number, they put this into a thingy called a "computer", for security reasons they run various background checks and also store this information in the computer. Right along-side your flight info. It's all there. All the time. When you show up at the airport to check in, whether an e-ticket or regular check-in, they print off your ticket, check your ID, and off you go. I'm assuming, unless their programmers are complete morons, that the information isn't purged when your ticket is printed.
Of course, it may be the case, not that the programmers are total morons, but that they're working to the specifications demanded by total morons. This is a situation that exists far beyond the airline industry.
I want to know why they can't print another ticket if you lose your ticket, or get all the way to the airport and realize that you left it at home, or in the rental car, or whatever.
Why not tack on a $20 fee to re-print the ticket and call it, officially, the "idiot charge"?
Call it a Federally-mandated surcharge under Section ID-10T, and stamp the replacement ticket accordingly.