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Ken Sep 25th, 2002 08:49 AM

AA says "screw you" -- look for others to follow
American offers less to stranded travelers<BR><BR>In a move it says will save millions, American Airlines has quietly cut back on free meals and lodging for stranded passengers.<BR><BR>The nation's largest airline also has capped the amount of compensation it will offer to entice passengers into voluntarily surrendering their seats on overbooked flights. American officials acknowledge the move likely will increase the number of passengers who are involuntarily bumped.<BR><BR>American recognizes the cutbacks "will cause some initial discomfort for both front-line staff and customers," states an internal memo on the issue. <BR><BR>Passenger advocates say the move raises questions about whether airlines will roll back customer-friendly policies enacted three years ago. "Travelers are getting numb to all of" the cutbacks and fee increases, says Kevin Mitchell of the Business Travel Coalition.<BR><BR>The other major airlines say they have made no changes in their policies.<BR><BR>What American enacted on Sept. 9:<BR><BR>Meals. Meal vouchers are no longer offered to customers on domestic flights when a delay or cancellation occurs during the day and customers won't be required to stay overnight. The policy applies regardless of whether the delay or cancellation was American's fault. International passengers are offered a meal for delays longer than four hours that are caused by an issue within American's control. <BR>The amount of meal vouchers has been standardized. All passengers will receive $10 for breakfast or lunch, $20 for dinner. In the past, coach customers received less than first- or business-class passengers and top frequent fliers.<BR><BR>Hotels. The airline is tightening policies when it comes to giving stranded passengers free hotel rooms. Rooms are now given only for delays or cancellations within the airline's control.<BR><BR><BR>Bumping. Passengers who voluntarily give up seats will be offered no more than $300 credit for domestic flights, $500 for transcontinental and $800 for Hawaiian, Alaskan or international flights. In the past, flight attendants offered up to $1,000 credit for a future flight to recruit volunteers. <BR>Involuntarily bumped passengers will still get up to $200 and a seat on the next flight. The amount doubles if there is no alternative available.<BR><BR>Government rankings show that among major airlines, American and its Eagle commuter affiliate had the fewest involuntary bumps during the first six months of 2002.<BR><BR>American is willing to "accept a few more involuntary denied boardings" given the financial reality, spokesman Marty Heires says. American lost $495 million in the second quarter.<BR> <BR>

doc Sep 25th, 2002 09:23 AM

I would rather see the airlines make cuts than the government give them more free loans.This may just be the start, But they cant ask congress for money and not make an effort to save money themselves.

charles Sep 25th, 2002 10:27 AM

Still wish this big airlines could cut the CEO's salaries , bonuses and perks. They can save MILLIONS doing that, too. Greedy sob's.

xxx Sep 25th, 2002 11:37 AM

Just don't fly.<BR><BR>When you fly you simply subsidize fat cat CEOs, arrogant gate attendants, unresponsive authoritarian stewardesses, thieving baggage handlers, and supercop wannabe security workers.<BR><BR>Think about it...when do you really have to fly?<BR>- Overseas yes<BR>- 1500 + miles yes<BR>That's about it.<BR><BR>I live in upstate New York. I'm about 80 miles from LGA, 65 from EWR, and 110 from JFK. Let's say I have to go to Miami. I know that I can take my Ford Expedition there in 17 hours, take three other comfortable passengers, and baggage and do it for about $80 in gas. If I take a plane I have to allow for a four hour drive to the airport, two hour pre-boarding wait, a 3.5 hour flight and about an hour in ground delays getting out to where I'm going. This is 10.5 hours in a plane vs 17 in a car. A plane costs a ton of money when you add in a rent-a-car. You get many hassels. You come in contact with annoying people. In summary, with a plane you are made to feel lousy for your trip. <BR><BR>When I drive I feel good. No two-bit security agent is pawing through my luggage. No snooty old ugly stewardess is forever telling me to sit down. I don't have to wait in line. I'don't have to leave my car in a parking lot for a week for it to be stolen. I don't have to spend a ton of money. I don't have to drive a two-bit rent-a-car, I can still be the 'king of the road' with my Expedition. Why fly? I don't know.

idiot reply to Sep 25th, 2002 12:02 PM

Hey Idiot<BR><BR>I guess that there are no other cost with you car other than gas<BR><BR>dumb dumb dumb

Maggie Sep 25th, 2002 12:29 PM

A travel editor at one of the on-line news services stated in an article that he knew of at least one major airline that was mulling over having passengers pay for ALL checked luggage. What's next?

xxx Sep 25th, 2002 01:20 PM

I agree, start with the CEOs, but then move on to the pilots. Paying pilots $250,000 a year for 40-50 hours of work each month is crazy. How long would other Exxon be in business if it paid fulltime wages to employees that worked 11 hours a week?

Marilyn Sep 25th, 2002 10:41 PM

It has gotten so driving between SF and LA does not take significantly longer than driving. For me, 1-1/2 hour drive to airport, 1-1/2 hour wait, 1 hour flight, 1 hour to get luggage and get into town. Total 5 hours. That's assuming no delays or flight cancellations. (SFO often has problems due to fog.) I can drive in about 7 hours, and be pretty confident of getting there on my schedule. <BR><BR>I don't even care about the cost of flying vs cost of driving, although if you look at the cost of 4 air tickets (assuming 4 people in the car), it's a lot cheaper to drive, even with all facets of the car expense factored in. Don't forget that if you fly, you have additional costs as well: getting to the airport on a shuttle or in your car, parking your car if you drive, getting to your hotel, etc.

asdf Sep 26th, 2002 03:49 AM

xxx, please justify your claim that pilots only work 40 to 50 hours a month. I very much doubt that.

xxx Sep 26th, 2002 03:58 AM

To xxx:<BR><BR>Try driving to London<BR><BR>The Original xxx

yyy Sep 26th, 2002 05:02 AM

<BR>To Idiot reply, even if you use the IRS mileage reimbursement rate of about 33 cents a mile to cover insurance, depreciation and overhead, it's still cheaper to drive from upstate New York to Miami, as xxx says. <BR>To xxx, I understand your logic, but driving that long on the interstate would wear me out -- the other drivers are crazy and having to concentrate that long is tiring. But that's me, not you. I agree with your premise -- if fewer people flew, the pressure would be on the airlines.<BR>Personally, I don't mind paying a little more for my ticket. What bothers me is that there is no apparent logic to the fares. I could pay $300 to fly from A to B and back, the person next to me could have paid $250, and the person on my other side $450. If the prices were more stable and everyone knew the rate today, next week, and 3 weeks from now, there would be no frantic hunting through the Internet, calling 800 numbers, and so on. You could book when it was convenient to do so and be sure you were getting a fair (fare) shake.<BR>

xxx Sep 26th, 2002 05:13 AM

Not to mention such ludicrous things like:<BR><BR>The fare from New York to Los Angeles might be very much less than the fare from New York to St. Louis. So you buy a ticket from New York to Los Angeles with a connection in St. Louis and get off the plane in St. Louis. The airlines claim this is illegal. Can you imagine going into a restaurant where the price for a steak dinner a la carte is more than the cost of a dinner with the same steak but including a shrimp cocktail. So when the shrimp cocktail comes you don't eat it. Imagine if the waiter now says that's illegal and you are going to have to pay the higher dinner charge. That is the demented logic of the airlines.<BR><BR>In addition, with the Saturday night stay over rule it is sometimes much cheaper to buy two round trips than one round trip. Example, you have to be in Los Angeles from Tuesday to Friday. The fare without the Saturday night stayover is $800, but if you stay over on a Saturday night, the fare is $249. So what do you do; you buy a round trip NY-LA departing Tuesday and returning the following Sunday. You then buy a round trip leaving LA on Friday and returning Sunday. You meet the Saturday night stayover requirement on both tickets. You use the first to go and the other to return...first coupons only. You haave just saved over $300. Can you beleve the airlines try to tell you this is illegal! <BR><BR>They just make up the rules as they go along.<BR><BR>Incidentally, the first strategy is called using a hidden city. The second one is called back to back ticketing. The airlines claim they are illegal..anybody with half a brain knows the airlines are full of it.

MrsX Sep 26th, 2002 07:43 AM

I live in the DFW area...many of our neighbors are pilots. After 9-11 , many months went by before these guys flew again. Yes..they do fly 40-50 hours a month. PIlots are paid a monthly salary PLUS flying time. Flying time is how they make their $$, not their monthly wage.

joe Sep 26th, 2002 06:30 PM

It is actually 60 hours and it is 60 hours of flight time. It does not include pre boarding time etc., time between flights, dead heading, etc. Prior to making foolish statements, people should understand what the truth is. Senior pilots with seniority do very well, they build up the hours very quickly. They are the minority.

AllanJ Sep 30th, 2002 05:30 PM

There was an airline that charged for each item of checked baggage. Its name was People Express.<BR><BR>Travel tips:<BR><BR>

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