Not Friendly Skies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SARGE, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    We don't fool with all that what ifs. First class to Vegas and back twice a year. Nice big seats and no chance of getting kicked off. I've seen numbskulls going to Vegas and looking for the cheapest flight and seat. Doesn't make any sense at all.
     
  2. reggie14

    reggie14

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    For tourist-oriented destinations which aren't major hubs (e.g., Orlando) that might not be a big deal, as most people are flying on non-refundable tickets. But, I imagine large businesses are not going to fly on airlines that don't have fairly flexible cancellation/rebooking policies. Airlines would eat the costs rather than lose that business (which, as you noted, really means adding the cost to the tickets). In places like LA, SF, NYC, and Chicago, I suspect that would add a non-trivial cost.

    Getting a seat assignment at the time of booking doesn't protect you against involuntary bumping. Think of the seat assignment as more of a strong preference which the airline will try to accommodate. But, they can and will reseat you if they need/want to.

    I travel regularly for work, too, and have never been bumped. It's pretty rare, and typically I think people will voluntarily take the vouchers. Plus I'm usually traveling on Y-class tickets, which makes me less likely to get bumped than someone who booked a cheap ticket off Travelocity.

    FWIW, I don't think there's a huge problem with overbooking, either. But, I do think that the penalties airlines pay for involuntary bumping should be quite a bit higher, which would increase the compensation they offer to people to be voluntarily bumped. In the Chicago-Louisville case, they only offered $800 (maybe $1000). That's way too low of an upper limit for a delay that carried well into the next day.

    Flying first class doesn't remove the chance of getting kicked off. It's definitely not unheard of to get bumped from a first-class seat. I think in all the stories I've read they've gotten rebooked in Economy on the same flight, but compensation sucks in this scenario. They compensate you based on the difference between what you paid for your first class seat versus full-fare economy (which is much higher than what people typically pay for an Economy ticket). Since first-class seats are often sold at a discount, the difference between these two fares might be minimal (e.g., a couple hundred bucks).
     
  3. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    I hear they have a tier system. Frequent flyers, price of ticket, first class, etc. First class pay the most, discount or no. We would be the last to be bumped as frequent flyers in first class. I don't know where you got your info but we don't get champagne and Mimosas all the way to Vegas and back for 2 hours as second-rate citizens.
     
  4. reggie14

    reggie14

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    The point is, if they oversell first class (which would typically be the result of an aircraft change), you're at risk of bumping/downgrading.

    2 trips a year in first class wouldn't even come close to making you frequent flyers. If you're flying on heavily-discounted first class tickets (maybe $1000-1500/ticket) and you don't have status on the airline as a frequent flyer, you're almost certainly on the top of the first in a first-class-bumping scenario.
     
  5. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    BS. They don't oversell first class. People pay big bucks for those seats. Go peddle your bs elsewhere.
     
  6. reggie14

    reggie14

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  7. EzyStvy

    EzyStvy Computing Professor Staff Member

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    Sorry about getting a little carried away.. The current system has been place for decades. I don't see any real need to reinvent the wheel...and I sure as heck don't want to pay for it.

    Here's some pretty funny stuff:


    10+ Of The Funniest Reactions To United Airlines Violently Dragging A Man Off A Plane (Add Yours)
     
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  8. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    1. Let's say there are 16 first class seats in the model aircraft scheduled for the flight. What happens if they switch aircraft to a model with only 12 first class seats? If there are more than 12 first class passengers something has to give.

    2. Please keep it respectful, no personal attacks please.
     
  9. Bob338

    Bob338

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    In defense of the airline employees at airports, they take all kinds of abuse from irate passengers. I was on a flight from Texas to Sacramento on US Airways (a lousy airline), now owner of American, about 5 years ago or so. I got an early flight out of Texas to Phoenix for a connecting flight leaving at 9 for Sacramento. In Texas the flight was delayed for takeoff because of weather problems in Phoenix. I was told all flights were grounded and my connecting flight would leave later after the this flight arrived. After about an hour delay, weather cleared and off we went. Naturally my connecting flight was gone. Many flights had experienced my problem and the airport was a mess with people lined up everywhere. The three or four flights to Sacramento were all full and I had to fight for a voucher for an overnight stay. They were correct about the voucher as there is no obligation for weather problems, but they gave me one anyway. I checked into my room but returned to try to get on one of the later flights. I wait-listed myself on each flight and stood by eavesdropping on the irate passengers as they lambasted the clerks and gave bizarre stories for their need to get on the flight. Sat through all those until the last. Young man about 28 was truly taking some abuse, which he handled well and much better than I could have. After he had defended himself for about 45 minutes things quieted down and I walked up to him to congratulate his ability to take that punishment. He was quite appreciative. I was about 10-15 names down on the list of standby's and asked what he thought my chances were to get on. He winked at me and said "you'll be on that flight." Sure enough I was the second or third name he called when calling for only 4 standby's.

    Many of the stories I heard were quite creative and I never heard a soul go up to the clerks in any kind of conciliatory manner until I did it. Things get heated in stressful situations and those people are human. Shouldn't happen but people are people and they react and make bad decisions at times.
     
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  10. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    yep, all that irate, irrational bs gets them nowhere. few years back, wife and i went to portland oregon, waiting to board our flight from jfk, the ground crew hit the cockpit door with the cargo lift, bending the hinges, door wouldn't close, so flight cancelled. well, that led to an immediate uproar, passengers screaming bloody murder, threats and all, non of which helped them out, they were all told to go to another terminal/airline if they needed to fly out that night. wife and i were just calmly sitting at the gate, listening and laughing, shrugging at all the baffoons, after about an hour the dust settled, clerk walks over to us and says "we have a shuttle downstairs to take you to newark, you'll be on our next flight out to portland, thank you for understanding", we said thanks and commended them on a job well done. we arrived in portland less than an hour later than our original scheduled time from the cancelled flight, luggage and all...
     
  11. Bob338

    Bob338

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    I think I said earlier I'd never been bumped. Technically true, but I just remembered an incident with US Airways on an international flight returning home. I never flew them again unless you call my current use of American as US Airways. Totally different attitude then, and fortunately now, since the AA employees carried over with the old American attitude.

    I arrived at the airport a bit over an hour from scheduled 6 AM departure and found their maze empty of travelers with three clerks laughing and scratching behind the counters, which were cordoned off with those bands they use. Had to literally fight my way past security to get to the clerks who informed me I was late for the flight and I had to be there 3 hours ahead of time. True! It's in almost all international tickets, which I never knew, even while flying internationally quite a bit. Clerk checked and there were supposedly no more seats available with them or any other carriers that day. A lie. They claimed the ticket was not refundable but redeemable on their flights the next day. Went to American Airlines counter and they got me on a flight 3 hours later.

    I contacted US Airways after my return and they refused any refund in spite of my having been to the airport way before departure and with a previously selected seat they had given away. I "home towned" them. Sued them in Small Claims court near home, about 50 miles from their station in Sacramento. Lawyers aren't allowed, even for corporations. They still refused and we went to trial. The judge was pretty caustic towards the airline, awarded me my refund and the surcharge I had to pay for the other ticket.
     
  12. Blaster3

    Blaster3

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    reminded me of my favorite domestic airline, peidmont, shame they were absorbed by usair late 80's...

    just searched and it seems peidmont's back in biz, i'll have to keep that in mind for future...
    Piedmont Airlines > Home
     
  13. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    US Airways started out as Allegheny Airlines. We used to call them Agony Air.

    Something happened to me about 20 years ago - I used to fly out to San Diego every Christmas to be with my sister. I usually bought my tickets in August to get the best fares. One year, my sister said she was going to get her company to fly me out and do some consulting work. Well, the first week of December she called me and said that it fell through. One of my customers in Chicago was a travel agent so I went in to see what was the best he could do. By that time, almost everything was booked, the best he could find was a full fare (somewhere in the $400's, I was used to paying less than $200) flight out of Midway on ATA, leaving around 7:30am to LAX with a 1 hour layover and a connecting flight to SAN on (I think) Northwest.

    Anyway, it was about 15 below zero F that morning going into Midway. Got to the terminal to find the flight was delayed for a mechanical issue, found out later it was a frozen fuel valve. No problem, things like that can be expected when it's that cold. However, it's now getting to be 9am and we are still sitting there. Things were getting kind of ugly at the desk at the gate, I noticed that an agent was opening another ATA desk a couple gates down for a different flight. I walked over there and very nicely explained my situation with my delayed flight and what is now going to be a missed connection in LAX. I asked her what ATA could do for me to get the rest of the way to SAN. She asked me if my connecting flight was on ATA, when I said no she told me very brusquely that they would do nothing, I was on my own.

    We finally took off around 10 and of course when I got to LAX my flight was long gone. I took my time getting off the plane and happened to be walking down the jetway with the copilot. I told him what had happened to me in Chicago and asked him if this is how his airline normally treated their passengers. He said "Absolutely Not!" and asked me to come with him. He took me to a gate agent who got on her walkie talkie. She took me to the Alaska Airlines counter, got my ticket changed, and told me the flight was leaving in 20 minutes - the gate is that way, hurry! I went around the corner and saw a 45 minute long security line. Went back to the Alaska counter, the agent backdoored me through security and I was the last person on the plane.

    I've never been bumped but one year my return flight was overbooked. They asked for volunteers, what they were offering was a $200 voucher, shuttle to LAX, and a first class seat on the redeye that evening to Chicago. I volunteered but was not called, I still had my seat.

    These days, whenever I fly I usually try to go Southwest. If I'm going to fly on a cattle car I prefer their service and low prices. Open seating is fine with me and bags fly free.
     
  14. Bob338

    Bob338

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    Southwest is not bad. I don't like the way they select seats, first come first served, but everything else is about as good as any of them and better than most, and the prices beat most anything else. Had a neighbor that flew for them, captain, and he was quite their booster.

    I have a grandson that works in the capitol building in D. C. (He'll be president one day, a goal he's worked towards since he was 9 years old.) His home was in Roseville, in Sacramento. He raves about the treatment he gets to SFO on Virgin Airlines. His tickets are about $200, and it's a non-stop, no connections at hubs. He has #16 great grandson in the oven now and I'm trying to decide if I fly Virgin or drive to meet the new family member. I'm leaning to driving at present, I'm really tired of flying, the poor service and the crowded planes.
     
  15. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    Been fine with Southwest. The only downside is the competition for seats and competition for overhead storage. My wife and I almost never get to fly seated next to each other.
     
  16. reggie14

    reggie14

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    I don't fly Southwest, but I've heard that from others, too. Pretty much everyone I know that flies Southwest regularly makes sure they check-in exactly 24 hours in advance, i.e., as soon as they can.
     
  17. mbossman2

    mbossman2 I am, in reality, a moose Staff Member

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  18. mbossman2

    mbossman2 I am, in reality, a moose Staff Member

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    I rack up plenty of air miles every year (so much so that the air crew on one route knows me on sight).

    I have no issue with airlines that overbook. Overbooking ensures that flights don't leave with empty seats which helps keep ticket costs down.

    Personally, unless I have to be somewhere that day (or by a specific time), I always tell the gate agent to put me on the bump list.

    Now, did United handle this poorly? Absolutely. They should have known (or their expediter who assigns the crews should have known) well in advance that they had to get a crew to the other city and picked 4 passengers who hadn't yet checked in to receive the dreaded "see agent" where their seat assignment would have been.
     
  19. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    Which incident was that?
     
  20. mbossman2

    mbossman2 I am, in reality, a moose Staff Member

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    the funny one