Poor service - all airlines in USA. Why?

Old Aug 29th, 2007, 02:02 AM
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Poor service - all airlines in USA. Why?

Hi! I just got back to India....all domestic flights internally within the USA are awful now! Why? Is there a reason why all airlines have a pathetic current on-time record and appalling service on board? I know some of them are not financially sound, but, next trip i think i will rent a car and drive if it takes me 10 hours and under to do the trip........that's less of a hassle than to deal with the stress related to delays and rude/ignorant staff......really, i did miss one meeting and had to re-schedule another.

I flew both Delta and Continental. Both AWFUL!!! In April i flew United, and i thought they were a touch better! (a touch.....)

Rgds,
Hari
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 02:04 AM
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OH! and O'hare stinks!!! i will never make any connections thru that airport again.......i just think the airport is too big and when they cancel flights, it's usually the connecting flights that get cancelled first!
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:11 AM
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You flew every airline in the US? Wow!
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:54 AM
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I agree but most American's are only concerned about price and miles. I don't mind poor service on board for a short flight, but when they put you on a plane for 6 hours plus, I expect better service. I've learned to fly the foreign airlines across the ocean or upgrade to Business/First classs on U.S. airlines.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:57 AM
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Hari has a valid point, even if he didn't fly each and every US Airline.

Most days the entire US air travel system works just fine. Good on-time performance, no hiccups, etc.

The air traffic system, especially in the Northeast US, is stretched.

-Airlines have scheduled the maximum # takeoffs & landings at the busiest airports (O'Hare, Atlanta, NYC, etc).

-The flight corridors used by commercial and also a large # of private/charter jets mean congested routes so there are fewer options for rerouting to avoid weather delays.

-Summer weather (thunderstorms) can disrupt the system frequently, and when that happens all #$W#@$ can break loose.

-Planes are flying full, so there is often no room to accommodate displaced passengers on the next flight.

So, when flights are delayed by weather somewhere in the system there is a ripple effect. People miss connections, airline staff gets frazzled, etc.

I find that when I fly on a 'normal' day, without any disruptions in the system conditions, attitudes, on-time performance are all much much better.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Thanks...hopefully i will have better luck next time!

Rgds,
Hari
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:20 AM
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Carrybean,

I did go to University in the East Coast, so have travelled extensively....also visit at least once a year at a minimum......the reason for me to start this topic is, i notice a steady decline from trip to trip. The biggest criteria for me is for the airlines to stick to their schedules (give an hour or so at the most) and most cases, my experiences haven't been the best!

Cheers,
Hari
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Han...the problem is multi faceted and you have to separate some of it from what the airlines control in terms of passenger service as opposed to what they can't control in terms of ATC and the weather.

Service is deplorable on many airlines...to expect anybody to sit on a trans continental flight without offering something decent to eat (and I don't mean one of those AA snack pakcs) to me, at least, is a sign of contempt towards the passengers....CO still offers hot meals on trans continental flights but of course AA doesn't (I'm talking about coach class of course) and the optional pay for's they offer are laughable and indeed full of contempt.

When they cancel a flight and can't re-schedule you for two or three days, that's also contempt...whenever they cancel a flight it should be their obligation and requirement to get to your destination within 24 hours even if it means scheduling additional sections or doing something...it just happens too often that they use some ridiculous excuse to cancel a flight and then make no effort to re-accomodate you or provide osme sort of decent compensation.....

Weather issues do occur from time to time and of course safety is the prime consideration...I don't really know that this has increased but again I do know they're much more quicker to cancel a flight, call it weather and tell you they have no obligation to give you a meal or overnight accomodations.

Most of them simply have contempt for their customers today, that is for sure.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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xyz,

You have a valid point! Airlines are not profitable anymore, they haven't been upgrading their planes like other overseas carriers, the fuel prices have gone up, the staff are probably stressed out themselves and end up providing rude service......plus as you say we can't predict the weather! ATC delays, i don't know......they may come up with that excuse to pass the buck!!!

In brief, extremely difficult couple of days and fortunately for me clients were very understanding in the need to re-schedule appointments and were not at all surprised at the delays by the carriers.....
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Hari, I live in Chicago. In my experience, American is much better than any of the others. United is so screwed up that the smallest problem has a huge ripple effect. As for Delta and Continental, their presence at O'Hare is so small that they can't handle any problems. Plus, flight controls is more apt to impact them negatively because they have so little clout compared to American and United.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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Let me clarify, American is much better than others with respect to flights to/from/through O'Hare.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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I, unfortunately, fly all the time for work, and while flying is certainly not what it once was, I do not agree that all US airlines are bad. I have had excellent service and I have had bad service - it depends on the people working, and the situation. I have not had any better service on European or South American airlines (and sometimes alot worse) and I have never been to India, or taken an Indian airline, so I cannot comment on them. I do think we all want the cheapest flight possible, and with the rising cost for an Airline to run, they do cut out on frills. Where we all once complained about airline food, now we complain they don't have it . I'm okay with buying my lunch for a flight that is frankly so inexpensive, I don't know how they do it, but I agree, rude behavior is never appropriate. That being said, I have personally viewed passengers screaming at gate agents because of delays in the flight, and then are irritated because they don't have all the answers - this often happens when there are weather problems, and maybe since I do travel so much, I'm very sensitive to that. I've learned to always try to take the earliest flight in the morning - traffic jams in the air haven't started yet, and the staff is fresh. I've also missed business meetings (these were not in the US), but the customer totally understood flight issues.... Also, not all flights have bad on-time records - it really depends on time of day, airline, airports, time of year, etc... I hope your next flights - wherever in the world you go - are better for you...
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:23 PM
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I think the cities/airports you were flying to/from and weather probably had a lot to do with what you experienced, rather than those particular airlines. Chicago O'Hare is often a nightmare due to weather.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for the valuable information from all of you, that i will most certainly use while planning my next visit.

Rgds,
Hari
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 09:12 PM
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Hari, I have the FAA flight delay site bookmarked on my blackberry: http://www.fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/plaintext.html

It's a great tool to predict flight cancellations or major delays before they get announced and your fellow 200 passengers scramble for a seat on the next flight. When I see a delay, I go to the Admiral's Club front desk and have them hold a spot for me on the next flight or reroute me through another airport. If you wait until the flight actually gets cancelled, you're SOL. The executive platinum and platinum flyers will get priority (more reason for business flyers to pick one airline and build status).

I also always ask the Admiral's Club rep about the status of the inbound aircraft. Your flight may still be listed as on time when the aircraft isn't even in the air yet.

My Admiral's Club membership is one of my best investments ever. Those reps can work miracles.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 11:16 PM
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Hills, thanks.....will keep that in mind!

Hari

PS: anyone planning to travel to India and beyond.....check this out!

www.jetairways.com
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Hi Hari:

Agree w/most of the other posters. In addition to the items already mentioned, I'd add a few other:

- The "WN effect." In the mid-90's, WN really started to expand. Their bare-bones service and cut-rate fares forced the legacy carriers to follow suit.

- 9/11. On the day it happened, one of the things that went through my mind was that air travel will never be the same. And it hasn't. We now have more intrusive security, and the airlines took a huge financial hit that they are just now beginning to recover from.

- Poor airline management. Just look at NW, arguably the worst offender in this area. Their CEO is a cross between Mr. Burns and Marie Antoinette. NW actually told some of their laid off employees to consider dumpster diving, and those who were lucky(?) enough to survive were asked to take huge pay cuts. Would you have a good attitude at your job if you had to take a huge pay cut and work harder/longer, while the executives got fat bonuses?

Agree w/Wally. Whenever I have to fly overseas, I always choose a foreign carrier over a US one.
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 07:09 AM
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Hi LT,

I have a feeling most of these airlines on the same boat.....not just NW. Having just seen the attitude of staff and their rude behavior, just gave me the feeling that there was a genuine lack of motivation and they really dont give a damn!
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 07:26 AM
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Does wally prefer Air India for his US-Europe trip over the US airlines?
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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BTW, LT - I hope your reason for preferring a foreign airline over a US one is different than wally's.
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