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Old Apr 8, 2012, 6:04 AM
The Rabbit The Rabbit is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Default We can get you there

During the past years the airlines continue to not surprise anyone with their crazy behavior. First with their added fees, to the crowded airplanes, to the keeping people locked up like cattle in airplanes on the ramp while they try to figure out what to do with a delayed or soon to be cancelled flight.
But the activity that I see that makes me wonder if the airlines themselves even understand is going on is the crazy routing of flights. Is this a case of the airlines computers acting on their own or is it the result of the airline being more devious and really not caring about what the passenger goes through as long as they can make some money.
Let me give some examples: In the past year The Rabbit had to fly from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern areas of New York State; So basically, a trip from Seattle to Syracuse, NY. Looking at a map of the US this is somewhat a straight flight path. Years ago the airlines flying this route would go from Seattle to Chicago or Cincinnati, and then on to Syracuse or Cities that would line up along the path. This trip would probably take about eight hours leaving about an hour for a connection time. Those were the days when life made sense and before the airlines merged into the monsters they are today, with the powerful computers they have today. Keep in mind the air travel time from Seattle to Minneapolis is about 4 hours and Minneapolis to Syracuse is about 2 hours for 6 hours total flight time.
Along about April of 2011 I noticed that the airlines no longer wanted to fly me from Seattle to Chicago or Minneapolis and then on to Syracuse, but wanted to add one more stop, Salt Lake City, or Detroit, or somewhere else. The Rabbit said OK, but that was short lived. Months later that simple extra stop was not good enough, airlines then wanted to give the Rabbit a tour of the US! So the routing would become something like Seattle to Dallas or Atlanta, then up to Chicago or Minneapolis and sometimes through in Detroit on top of it and then over to Syracuse. What was an eight hour trip then turned into a 12 or 14 hour trip. And all of this with the luxury of no food provided by the airline. Crazy!
And we should be asking, Why? Were the airlines actually just trying to fill airplanes so they didnít care how the routing was? It would seem it would cost the airline more to fly someone all over the country than on a more direct route, wouldnít it?
Example two of this nonsense on an international level came when the Rabbit was trying to get from Singapore to Seattle. Again basically a simple flight, you would think Singapore to Japan or Korea and then on to Seattle. But nope, the airline offered flights that flew from Singapore to Tokyo, then on to Atlanta, then over to Seattle. Donít the airlines have maps? Its 3000 miles from Seattle to Atlanta, so that is an extra 6,000 miles with that routing! I guess that is good if you like to collect air miles! This made the sixteen or seventeen hour trip into a twenty seven hour trip (of more torture).
And just when you think you have heard the worse, there is a trip the Rabbit was planning for from Japan, to Malaysia. Simple flight again, not that far apart, normally about a six to seven hour flight, but not so with one of the airlines he check with. Yes their computers showed they could get the Rabbit from Japan to Malaysia, no problem, but the total flight time was about 44 hours!!!! Why, because this airlines computer knew that they did not fly directly to Malaysia from Japan, but they did fly from Japan to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam to Malaysia!!!!!!! WOW! Can this not be costing the poor broke airlines extra money? The Rabbit was also very much surprised to see that airfare for these forty-four hours of torture as $15,000USD compared to the regular fare of about $800 offered by a competitor airline on a non-stop flight. How many unknowing people might buy that $15,000 ticket because the airline tells them itís the only way to get there?
Sometimes these crazy routings can work to onesí advantage, so be sure to plan ahead. Last year, the Rabbit was going from Portland to Orlando. Keeping true to this routing madness, the airline offer flights from Portland to Dallas and then on to Orlando. The connection time in Dallas was sixteen hours! So, the flight arrived in Dallas at six PM and the continuation was at Noon the next day, so the Rabbit did book that routing. This allowed the Rabbit and his Wife to spend a night in Dallas visiting friends at no extra cost! The airline was expecting the Rabbit to sleep in the terminal, since it would not pay for a hotel, but the Rabbit paid for his own hotel and got to see old friends! But again, the lesson here is to pay close attention to the routing and time of the flights and connecting flights.
Finally the last new trick The Rabbit is seeing happening is that all the flights from some airports in the Northwest to places on the East coast are now leaving at 10 or 11 PM, if not latter. Some people may be OK with flying all night, but one must be careful when arriving in an East Coast city at six or seven AM. If you are planning to check into a hotel, you will not be able to until two or three in afternoon without paying for an extra night.
Who might like to hear about this non-sense. Your Congressperson when the airlines are crying about being broke, The airline Consumer Protection people, and maybe even the Department of Transportation. Let everyone know! Not to mention your local newspapers and your blogs! Iím not sure if the airlines themselves care since they are filling airplanes! Air Travel canít be easy nowadays!
The Rabbit -
Old Apr 8, 2012, 7:57 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

The hub system at work...nuts, expensive and anti-consumer

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