Mesa man says airline ticket bargain ends up costing big bucks

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- A Mesa man is out nearly $350 for an airline ticket he says he had to buy twice.

Family is very important to Preston Zimmerman, so he was excited to be planning a trip back to the Dallas area.

“I wanted to see my mom, just to make sure everything was going OK,” he said.

So two months ago, Preston's wife, Andrea, got online and found a website called And what a deal she found, a ticket from Phoenix to Dallas for just $83.

However, after the reservation was booked, Preston needed to move the date up one week.

“They had postponed a job on me, which put me behind, like an extra week,” he said.

The Zimmermans called CheapOair to change the flight and had to pay a $225 change fee.

After the change they received a new confirmation and Preston was set to go. However, when Preston arrived to check in at the airport, he was told there was no record of him in the system.

“We showed them the paperwork and everything,” he said.

As a result, Preston was forced to buy a last-minute ticket at the counter and wound up shelling out nearly $350 for it.

Preston said he eventually called to figure out what happened, but got nowhere.

"It's like blowing our money in the wind," he said.

3 On Your Side got in contact with CheapOair. The company tells us they're not sure why Preston's original information was not in the system when he tried to check in at the airport.

However, promised to reimburse Preston $350 for that second ticket he was forced to buy.

“To a lot of people, it might not be much, but to us, you know, it is,” he said. says they are mailing out that check and Preston should have in less than two weeks.