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  #1  
Old Sep 22, 2008, 10:48 PM
monkey monkey is offline
 
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Default Change Fees Need Addressing

Okay folks, we now need to take action against the crap service, over charging, lazy, rude employees, crowded planes and flight changes caused by the carriers...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

When an airline changes your scheduled departure, cancels your flight or messes up your schedule with mechanical problems, late departures, flight crews not showing up...THEY NEED TO PAY!

Every change we make on our tickets cost anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars and the airlines need to start compensating each passenger that THEY effect with their changes!

Over the last couple of months I have had 4 airline initiated changes and cancellations and none due to weather or air traffic control...I asked each time for a change fee and only once did I get the equivalent (in travel coupon) from Delta...the rest of the airlines (USAIRWAYS BEING THE RUDEST ON THE PLANET) basically told me to go fly a kite... this is my kite...START ASKING FOR RESTITUTION!
  #2  
Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:22 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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Default Well spoken

I agree with you for the most part. I don't agree with restitution though. We will gladly give you a refund if the ticket is refundable. But the facts are: you are aware (or should be) of potential problems whenever you travel whether it is on the road or in the air.

If you are driving down the highway and your car gets a flat, do you demand the manufacturer of your car your money back because of a delay in your journey? If it is a potential health issue with that model car then most of us probably would and their is nothing wrong with that. The airline is taking every step to insure your safety so that the "flat" does not occur while in the air.

Still, you are right about the other issues and I encourage you to file complaints with the headquarters of the airline you flew with and file one to Washington D.C.. Things have been out of hand and unless the consumer does something, things may continue down this path. Complaining here or to an employee will get you nowhere. Good luck to you.

http://www.faa.gov/passengers/travel_problems/consumer_hotline/ for complaints regarding safety issues.

http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/problems.htm for complaints about your journey
  #3  
Old Sep 24, 2008, 12:08 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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Actually, I believe Monkey is more concerned with schedule changes, not weather or mechanical related delays.

The Department takes the position that if a carrier makes a substantial change to a schedule, then the passenger is entitled to a full refund of his fare, even if it is a non-refundable ticket.

Substantial changes would be changing a non-stop into a connections, arriving or departing to a different airport, arriving at a destination in such a fashion that it would make the trip pointless (ex. flying to a meeting and the schedule change would make you arrive after the meeting). And possible others. I suggest that you contact the carrier for the refund in these situations and if that does not work, than contact DOT.

Monkey: Carriers state in their contract of carriage that they do not guarantee their schudules. Passengers, on the other hand, always have the option to buy tickets that allow for penalty free changes. But of course, these non-restrictive tickets do cost more.
  #4  
Old Sep 24, 2008, 11:35 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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The thing is monkey, I agree with you to a point, change fees are the worse, especially if something unexpected happens in your life, you're still expected to pay (though some airlines give you some leeway depending on the circumstances). So if the airlines changes their schedule, sure they should pay. And most do in the form of travel vouchers (I have enough that i'll never have to pay full fare again for years to come). But the fact is monk, most of our fellow passengers will insist on MORE. I once stood next to a guy at a customer service desk (rare for me, but it was a quiet day and what i wanted was my points applied). I will never forget it, he wanted a 1) Hotel stay in NY (4 stars), 2) a limo to take him there, 3) round trip business first ticket anywhere he wanted to go, 4) a complete refund on his flight, while sticking with his original plans, 5) a refund on the hotel he was staying at, and 5) a limo when he got to his destination, (i forget where he was going). I just stood there and laughed, but he didn't think it was funny, but I thought it was hysterical. But this is not uncommon when it comes to my fellow passengers wanting that type of compensation for their flight changes, delays, cancellations. I've seen it many times in my travels and it never gets old. Most airlines, at least when I travel, will give you a full refund if it affects a short trip (such as abutter mentioned), or they will change your trip at no cost to you, plus give you travel vouchers on top of that. I guess because i'm a pretty simple, old guy, i don't need much, but some folk out there, hmmmmmmm i dunno.
  #5  
Old Sep 30, 2008, 11:41 PM
Eagleguy Eagleguy is offline
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Oh I can't help but just laugh sometimes at the outrageous requests we get from passengers. I don't laugh to their faces of course, just in my head I do. I can't say a day goes by without someone asking for a free seat in first class. You buy a $19,000 roundtrip first class ticket to Tokyo and back and I sure as hell will give you a four star hotel and limo if the flight is canceled. Your $250 orbitz ticket...well...
  #6  
Old Dec 14, 2008, 1:58 AM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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Unless the person can prove that they had to be at a meeting at such a time, I don't see as though issuing a refund for that reason, as well as some of the others, could be done. Passengers make claims all of the time that they needed to be here, or there, and it is always something "important", like a funeral, wedding, or business meeting, which probably isn't the true story, coming from many passengers. They just think that line will get them something more.

Also, it states in the contract of carriage of basically every airline that changes in schedule, etc., will occur. The way I see it, non-refundable, is non-refundable. If you purchase something from the store that is non-refundable, than it is non-refundable, period.

I can understand certain circumstances that the airline could offer a voucher for the cost of a passenger's ticket, or at least, a portion of it, for future travel, but non-refundable is non-refundable. If passengers want to avoid these common inconveniences, they should stop looking for the cheapest options, and demanding first class service, but, instead, buy a full-fare, refundable ticket, and then they could have their requests fulfilled, without incurring additional charges, such as for changes, and in the event they cannot travel, whether by their own reason, or a flight disruption, they can receive a refund, no questions asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abutterfinger25 View Post
Actually, I believe Monkey is more concerned with schedule changes, not weather or mechanical related delays.

The Department takes the position that if a carrier makes a substantial change to a schedule, then the passenger is entitled to a full refund of his fare, even if it is a non-refundable ticket.

Substantial changes would be changing a non-stop into a connections, arriving or departing to a different airport, arriving at a destination in such a fashion that it would make the trip pointless (ex. flying to a meeting and the schedule change would make you arrive after the meeting). And possible others. I suggest that you contact the carrier for the refund in these situations and if that does not work, than contact DOT.

Monkey: Carriers state in their contract of carriage that they do not guarantee their schudules. Passengers, on the other hand, always have the option to buy tickets that allow for penalty free changes. But of course, these non-restrictive tickets do cost more.
  #7  
Old Dec 15, 2008, 8:31 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Default Let me get this right

Quote:
Unless the person can prove that they had to be at a meeting at such a time, I don't see as though issuing a refund for that reason, as well as some of the others, could be done. Passengers make claims all of the time that they needed to be here, or there, and it is always something "important", like a funeral, wedding, or business meeting, which probably isn't the true story, coming from many passengers. They just think that line will get them something more. Also, it states in the contract of carriage of basically every airline that changes in schedule, etc., will occur. The way I see it, non-refundable, is non-refundable. If you purchase something from the store that is non-refundable, than it is non-refundable, period.
We are talking here where the airline makes the change. If I buy a non refundable ticket with a departure at 9am, to get me to where I want to go, and the airline changes the departure to 5pm, you think I should have to "prove" that I had to be at a meeting? If the airline makes a substantial change to the schedule for operational reasons then you should be entitled to a full refund regardless of what type of ticket you bought, and you should not have to prove anything. I agree with others that there should be a compensation scheme. Perhaps if the change is made say 90 days or more ahead of time, only the fare is refunded but actual compensation is paid on top for changes with lesser notice.

The attitude displayed in ChrisH's posting shows how arrogant the airlines and their employees have become and how they exploit their monopoly. The airlines urgently need to be re-regulated and no longer protected from normal commercial pressures. The attitude "non refundable is non refundable" in this situation is utterly shocking. If I buy a discounted radio from Target in a sale, and the sale conditions say the item is non refundable, and it turns out the radio doesn't work, I am still entitled to a refund. Target could not say, well what do you expect if you buy discount? Now to be clear, we are not talking about weather delays, mechanical problems, etc..ie, problems which are not within the power of the airline to control. We are talking here where the airline has changed the schedule for operational reasons.
  #8  
Old Dec 15, 2008, 1:30 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
We are talking here where the airline makes the change. If I buy a non refundable ticket with a departure at 9am, to get me to where I want to go, and the airline changes the departure to 5pm, you think I should have to "prove" that I had to be at a meeting? If the airline makes a substantial change to the schedule for operational reasons then you should be entitled to a full refund regardless of what type of ticket you bought, and you should not have to prove anything.
In this situation, you would not have to prove anything. 8 hours is a significant change and you are entitled to a refund if you do not accept the change.

ChrisH may disagree, but if it comes down to a fight between my office and ChrisH's airline, my office wins. Non-refundable does mean non-refundable when the passenger tries to change the contract, but not when the carrier makes significant changes to the contract which could be seen as an unfair and deceptive trade practice.
  #9  
Old Dec 16, 2008, 7:07 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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If you are talking about the airline making the change, then I agree. If you are talking about a delay, then I disagree, unless the delay is airline related (maintenance, etc). I guess I was thinking more along the lines of a delay.

As per non-refundable being non-refundable. I will issue a voucher to passengers for the cost of their ticket, if their ticket in non-refundable, or just cancel their itinerary, and they then have a year to re-use it, and book another flight. Of course, in that situation, they would have to pay the difference in fare, etc., if the next flight is more expensive. And yes, if it were cheaper, they would get further vouchers, for the difference.

As per airline employees arrogance. It isn't arrogance, on my part --- I do what my managers, etc., tell me. If they tell me I cannot refund a non-refundable ticket, I can't do it. I always try to argue on the passengers behalf, to my managers, and get them to approve things, such as refunds, but if they don't approve it, I can't do it.

I do everything I can to help passengers, but if my company has a policy, I have to follow it, or else I risk my job. It isn't always about the agent's arrogance, as it is, the arrogance of the upper management who make the policies, that we, as agents must follow.

Also, what is the point in having things as "non-refundable", if indeed it isn't "non-refundable". As per buying a sale item at Target .... most of the time, when you buy a sale item, it does say "non-refundable", or "no returns". I've bought items on sale, before, that I've needed to return, for defects, etc., and not been able to. These issues effect people in almost any business they walk into, not just the airlines. I realize that the airlines have people's lives, for the moment, in their hands, and thus it is a bigger deal to most, than returning a toaster, but lets not kid ourselves in thinking that his arrogance, etc., doesn't exist in almost every other company, as well. It certainly doesn't even come close to just being the airlines.

Also, most airline agents, like myself, couldn't care less how much you pay for your ticket, etc. It isn't about pinching people wallets, as agents. I don't like charging people for bags, I don't like it when someone has spent $800 on a ticket, and now their flight is cancelled. I'd rather get the people checked in, on their way, and not have to deal with them further. I don't enjoy rebooking people, etc. It simply comes down to the fact that we, as employees of a company, have to follow the companies, and our manager's policies. The same as anyone working for any company. I would run things differently if I ran an airline, but unfortunately, I don't run it. But, that doesn't stop some passengers from treating me like I make the rules, and have ultimate authority. I wish!
  #10  
Old Dec 16, 2008, 7:16 PM
abutterfinger25 abutterfinger25 is offline
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ChrisH

I did not mean to offend. The orignal post was talking about schedule changes made by the carrier - not delays.
  #11  
Old Dec 17, 2008, 12:00 AM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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I was not offended, just trying to clarify things from my perspective. I agree 100% that passengers deserve a refund of their ticket, in the event that their flights are changed, by the airline - non-refundable ticket, or not.
  #12  
Old Dec 17, 2008, 1:39 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Default To be clear, this thread is about when the airline makes changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey View Post
When an airline changes your scheduled departure,
This thread was entirely about when the airline makes the changesd.

I am pleased to see that you have changed your position ChrisH. On the 14th December you took the position that "it states in the contract of carriage of basically every airline that changes in schedule, etc., will occur. The way I see it, non-refundable, is non-refundable. If you purchase something from the store that is non-refundable, than it is non-refundable, period".

After the debate, you had changed your mind, and on the 16th December you were now saying " I agree 100% that passengers deserve a refund of their ticket, in the event that their flights are changed, by the airline - non-refundable ticket, or not.".

That is a pretty dramatic turn around... and I hope you will apply this new thinking to your customers at the airline. If your management prevents you from doing so, perhaps you can suggest that they contact the Department of Transport, so that more reasonable people, like butterfinger can review the circumstances and bring the airline into line. The airlines and their management are arrogant and out of control, but given you willingness to change your mind, I am happy to withdraw my allegation that you are arrogant.

Nevertheless, for the purpose of clarity, lets just say, Butterfingers is right, and I am afraid ChrisH you were wrong and you were trained poorly by your management. It is astonishing that your expectations of a provider of goods and services are so low, that they could sell you faulty goods in a sale and you believe you are not entitled to a refund of your money. For a contract to be valid, you are entitled to have a reasonable expectation that the goods are fit for purpose. Target cannot sell you faulty goods and refuse a refund on the grounds that they are non-refundable, contract law does not permit it. Equally, if I book a flight at 9am and the airline changes that to 5pm for reasons that are within it's control (such as operational reasons or schedule changes), the contract between us in no longer valid. For this reason, I am entitled to a refund. If this were not the case, airlines would be able to make up fictitious schedules to attract customers in on non-refundable tickets and then simply "switch" the offer and refuse refunds. It is potentially fraudulent.

That still makes it worthwhile for the airline to offer lower "non-refundable" tickets, because the truth is most changes are in fact because the customer requests this change, perhaps due to a change in plans, illness or bereavement. In this situation the airline is fully entitled to demand either a change fee or make the customer forfeit their ticket with no refund.
  #13  
Old Dec 17, 2008, 1:50 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Default To be clear, this thread is about when the airline makes changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey View Post
When an airline changes your scheduled departure,
This thread was entirely about when the airline makes the changesd.

I am pleased to see that you have changed your position ChrisH. On the 14th December you took the position that "it states in the contract of carriage of basically every airline that changes in schedule, etc., will occur. The way I see it, non-refundable, is non-refundable. If you purchase something from the store that is non-refundable, than it is non-refundable, period".

After the debate, you had changed your mind, and on the 16th December you were now saying " I agree 100% that passengers deserve a refund of their ticket, in the event that their flights are changed, by the airline - non-refundable ticket, or not.".

That is a pretty dramatic turn around... and I hope you will apply this new thinking to your customers at the airline. If your management prevents you from doing so, perhaps you can suggest that they contact the Department of Transport, so that more reasonable people, like butterfinger can review the circumstances and bring the airline into line. The airlines and their management are arrogant and out of control, but given you willingness to change your mind, I am happy to withdraw my allegation that you are arrogant.

Nevertheless, for the purpose of clarity, lets just say, Butterfingers is right, and I am afraid ChrisH you were wrong and you were trained poorly by your management. It is astonishing that your expectations of a provider of goods and services are so low, that they could sell you faulty goods in a sale and you believe you are not entitled to a refund of your money. For a contract to be valid, you are entitled to have a reasonable expectation that the goods are fit for purpose. Target cannot sell you faulty goods and refuse a refund on the grounds that they are non-refundable, contract law does not permit it. Equally, if I book a flight at 9am and the airline changes that to 5pm for reasons that are within it's control (such as operational reasons or schedule changes), the contract between us in no longer valid. For this reason, I am entitled to a refund. If this were not the case, airlines would be able to make up fictitious schedules to attract customers in on non-refundable tickets and then simply "switch" the offer and refuse refunds. It is potentially fraudulent.

That still makes it worthwhile for the airline to offer lower "non-refundable" tickets, because the truth is most changes are in fact because the customer requests this change, perhaps due to a change in plans, illness or bereavement. In this situation the airline is fully entitled to demand either a change fee or make the customer forfeit their ticket with no refund.
  #14  
Old Dec 17, 2008, 8:03 AM
Samiam Samiam is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey View Post
Okay folks, we now need to take action against the crap service, over charging, lazy, rude employees, crowded planes and flight changes caused by the carriers...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

When an airline changes your scheduled departure, cancels your flight or messes up your schedule with mechanical problems, late departures, flight crews not showing up...THEY NEED TO PAY!

Every change we make on our tickets cost anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars and the airlines need to start compensating each passenger that THEY effect with their changes!

Over the last couple of months I have had 4 airline initiated changes and cancellations and none due to weather or air traffic control...I asked each time for a change fee and only once did I get the equivalent (in travel coupon) from Delta...the rest of the airlines (USAIRWAYS BEING THE RUDEST ON THE PLANET) basically told me to go fly a kite... this is my kite...START ASKING FOR RESTITUTION!
Okay, lets look at what Monkey wrote, which has gotten WAY off course...blah, blah...a non-refundable, etc.

What monkey stated, & I totally agree w/ is: airlines (none in particular) hold clients/customers/ticket holders to their time of flight- but if an airline changes the flight, thus interrupting others' business, they have no accountability. So, the airlines do not return $ when a customer is late, etc, & may be nice enough to charge them a fee (only) for a different flight (or give them NOTHING & keep the $ the customer paid). BUT if an airline changes the time & is late for a flight (hrs, days, etc) , the customer must be stuck w/ arriving after what they entered the contract for (a mtg, funeral, who cares....they scheduled a time of arrival.).

What Chris is saying is: When I buy a radio at target that says nonrefundable & I walk out of target & they give me a cheap arm watch that has radio on it, while grabbing the "regular" radio out of my hands, I should thank them for the new radio....
  #15  
Old Dec 17, 2008, 8:15 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samiam View Post
What Chris is saying is: When I buy a radio at target that says nonrefundable & I walk out of target & they give me a cheap arm watch that has radio on it, while grabbing the "regular" radio out of my hands, I should thank them for the new radio....
That is not what I am saying. I am saying that when I have purchased, in the past, an item, on sale, and tried to return it, I've been denied returning it, while being told that due to it being a sale item, there are no returns in the item. It hasn't happened often, but it has happened.

My point was that is isn't just the airlines who practice, as some may call it, "shady" business. I think people receive poor service almost everyday from places like Wal-Mart, Target, their insurance company, etc. Corporate greed, arrogance, and corruption exist beyond just the airlines.

If you read my later posts, you'll see that I agree 100% that a refund of the ticket price, is entitles, if THE AIRLINE makes the change to the schedule. Just for the record, in my nearly three years of working for the airlines, I've never had to deal with a passenger who had their flight schedule changed beyond 10-15 minutes, but in the event that I do deal with someone who has had their flight changed from direct, to connecting, or to departing hours later, I will gladly issue a refund of their ticket, or rebook them on some new flights that may accomodate them better.

For the record, there was a time when I could buy a broken radio, try to return it, and be told no, and I'd say okay, and walk away. My attitude has changed. I would stand there and fight until a got the refund, now. I would also stand there and fight, if i were treated the way some of you have been, by the airlines.
  #16  
Old Dec 18, 2008, 1:08 AM
Samiam Samiam is offline
 
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Thanks for the clarification ChisH! And you are right I was responding to an earlier statement by you. I appreciate your ability to vicariouly step into the flight customers shoes.

I guess after a while a lot of employees get jaded or burnt at their job e.g. your statements about customers using the same excuses about attending a funeral, wedding, etc. I think that was what kind of got by anger level up. Some of those may have been true statements though. At the same time when I had to extend my return date for plans during my sister's funeral, I knew & had no issue w/ paying the airline fee. It was a hard time emotional for me but that was not the airlines fault & I bought nonrefundable, so I paid the fee & didn't try to "haggle". (I know off the original subject).

Last edited by Samiam; Dec 18, 2008 at 1:10 AM.
  #17  
Old Dec 18, 2008, 1:11 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Default Poor Service is everywhere, but there is a difference

When you receive poor service from WalMart, you can determine that you will never shop there again and if they disappoint enough customers, they will suffer the economic consequences. The once mighty Sears discovered this, as did KMart. Likewise with insurance companies. The airlines are different. Many of the routes they run are effectively monopolies and they are the only carrier running a direct route, or have the only available slots for regular business customers. In addition, they are protected from normal commercial pressures. Congress protects them from being taken over by foreign airlines for example, protects them from bankruptcy by allowing them to go into Chapter 11 repeatedly and renege on their commitments to their employees and customers and by providing massive subsidies after 9/11. These are just some of the examples.. as a result, they are arrogant, dismissive of their customers needs and have gotten out of control. Your analogy with other companies, such as Target and Walmart is not valid. No one will protect them from bankruptcy or prevent competitors from providing a better service. In this regard, the airlines are almost unique... and this is why they are at the receiving end of such vitriol.
  #18  
Old Dec 18, 2008, 3:02 AM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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Wal-Mart, Target and insurance companies ... they aren't protected, per say, but it doesn't stop them from trying to take advantage of customers. I'd be willing to bet if a chain like Wal-Mart were about to go under, the government would step in, just like with the car companies. Also, they have had some airlines go under, during these economic times, quite a few, actually. They were smaller, but I think it really depends on the size of the company, and it's implications on the economy, as to whether the government will step in.

The government stepped in after 9/11, for the airlines, because had they not, basically all of the major airlines would have gone under, which would have been devistating, to the already hurt economy. They didn't stop to help Eastern, or TWA, years ago, and they didn't step in to help Aloha, ATA, or any of the recent airlines to file for bankruptcy.

Look at these banks, and mortgage companies being bailed out, who took advantage of customers. What about the car companies, and how much they jack their prices up. I think arrogance, and greed is everywhere.

You are right about the airlines being arrogant, and you are right about the 9/11 bailouts, of the airlines, and how they used that to take advantage of the employees, and the customers. I think a key there, is employees. Airline employees used to be very well paid. Now, making fast food wages, many couldn't care any less, and thus we have the service of today.

Even though some airlines may have a monopoly on 'certain' routes, that isn't the case for most. If you go to Orbitz, etc., you'll find many airlines fly the same routes. If people really wanted to, they don't have to fly, they can drive. I've seen people fly to destinations that would take them less time to drive to, by the time they make a connection, etc., flying there. There will be certain instances where people 'need' to fly, such as emergencies, in which they need to be somewhere ASAP, but for the most part, people can choose not to fly, just as they can choose not to shop at a store.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
When you receive poor service from WalMart, you can determine that you will never shop there again and if they disappoint enough customers, they will suffer the economic consequences. The once mighty Sears discovered this, as did KMart. Likewise with insurance companies. The airlines are different. Many of the routes they run are effectively monopolies and they are the only carrier running a direct route, or have the only available slots for regular business customers. In addition, they are protected from normal commercial pressures. Congress protects them from being taken over by foreign airlines for example, protects them from bankruptcy by allowing them to go into Chapter 11 repeatedly and renege on their commitments to their employees and customers and by providing massive subsidies after 9/11. These are just some of the examples.. as a result, they are arrogant, dismissive of their customers needs and have gotten out of control. Your analogy with other companies, such as Target and Walmart is not valid. No one will protect them from bankruptcy or prevent competitors from providing a better service. In this regard, the airlines are almost unique... and this is why they are at the receiving end of such vitriol.
  #19  
Old Dec 19, 2008, 12:51 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Default I tried driving once from London to New York

but my engine got flooded.
  #20  
Old Dec 19, 2008, 3:16 AM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
but my engine got flooded.
I had the same happen.

You are right, and there are certain circumstances in which people to need to fly, and there really is no other choice, but I'd say people could definately curtail the amount of flying being done, and send a message to the airlines, if they wanted. People don't altogether stop shopping at Sears, or KMart, but if enough do, it sends the message.
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