Why I HATE the Airlines

Old Mar 4th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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Why I HATE the Airlines

I have been flying since I was a baby. I am 30 years old now. I remember when the captain used to sign my log book, I was given something to play with, service and food were good, I was allowed in the cockpit and passengers on the plane were well educated pleasant people.
Now it is all about cheap airfares. Nobody cares about service and the other perks I have mentioned. The airlines have made airfares so cheap that the "wrong" type of people can now afford to fly. (Yes, I know that I will get lots of back bitting about this comment).
In recent years the airline have lost my bag, cancelled my flights, left me hungry, etc. each time something has gone wrond they simply don't care.

I NEED MY OWN PLANE!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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It's not just the airlines that don't seem to care. We recently had a major battle with the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas over a lost reservation deposit, and no one every said they were sorry about it--the Attitude was that I was just making their lives difficult.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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Think about how much an airline ticket costs 20 years ago, after adjusting for inflation, and compare to how much they cost now.

If you have the means, you can always fly first class - food is still good, your baggage has priority handling, etc... Or charter your own planes. A lot of people do that.

So, you're right. Get your own plane. Stop taking the same flight with all the "wrong" peoples.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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I actually still have my first airline ticket jacket and boarding pass stub along with copy of itinerary invoice from American Airlies - the date July 1963.

The flight on American from JFK/SFO/JFK, flying a B727 and the cost was $317.

Yes, airline travel has changed in many ways, and most not in good way. But so have other things. Life moves on for better and/or worse.

Thankfully, my luggage has been delayed only twice, but was delivered to my home or hotel within hours or next day. The few flights that were delayed were usually due to weather, only once was it a mechanical. Nobody has gotten sick on any of my flights, nor has anyone died. As to food, that too has declined in quality, if food is even served these days - but food was never a reason to pick one carrier over another. I've never watched a movie, rarely listen to music, so I could't care what was showing/number of channels available.

I even recall that on one of the first PanAm B747 to Puerto Rico I recall that Coach seats were as wide as today's Business class seats. Now, Pan Am is gone and Coach seats are only 17" wide, if that.

I have flown coach, business and first class, on many different carriers since that first flight, and to many destinations. At one time flight crews were treated with respect and understood that their jobs were not as waitresses/waiters or Duty-free salespeople, rather the people you turn to in case of an emergency. Those days are also gone. Flight crews are abused.

And with business traveler not flying as often (at higher last minute prices) the airlines are catering more to the casual travelers who are lookng for better (cheap) prices - so that's what we've got nowadways.

In summary my only concern is that "we take off and we land" - I have a drink, take a sleeping pill and am off with the sandman, the rest is unimportant.

So "abcdefghi" I'm almost certain that air travel won't get much better, so if you can afford your own plane or can fly first class - go for it.
 
Old Mar 4th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Interesting that you saved that ticket information from 1963. Adjusting $317 for inflation, it would be $1,813 in 2002 dollars. I flew to r/t to London for $398 a few weeks ago from the midwest and rolled up more than 20,000 FF miles with the bonuses thrown in. (FF miles didn't exist in 1963. Today, people can get them for all kinds of things.)

While the experience in coach isn't what it was decades ago, the cost in real terms is only a fraction of what it was in the past. That's made air travel affordable for many more people than it was in the past. To me, the benefits of low-cost air travel have far outweighed the changes in service that have been necessary to make it possible.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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Things are not a whole lot better in the pointy end of the plane. The air is full of what I call "amateur class" who don't know how to behave. After nearly 50 years of flying, I am of the firm belief that the fare system is the root cause of the problems besetting the airline industry. That said, try to set an example for folks around you - I recently had to ask a famous actor sitting in front of me in first class to ease up on the recline of his seat - duh!
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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i know lots of people with money who have NO manners. and i know of terrorists who are millionaires (can you say bin laden?). so the comment about the "wrong" type of people who can now afford to fly is simply stupid.
You're right about one thing..DO GET YOUR OWN PLANE!


 
Old Mar 5th, 2004, 06:13 AM
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No, don't get your own plane. Although I appreciate the lure of up-and-away all by yourself, the whole area of general aviation (look out, here come the flamers) has gotten way out of hand in recent years. There are far too many "you're not the boss of me" people up there who work hard to fend off controls or supervision over where they wander. Although the vast majority of pilots observe FAA and security mandates, the sudden wealth of the 1990s has meant a boom in plane sales and pilot's licenses and an increasing headache for the large commercial airports and communities in the vicinity of the thousands of smaller, private and municipal airports that the pilots' associations consider _theirs_ regardless of who really owns and pays for the airport.

Again, the vast majority obey the no-fly zones and measures, but how often have you you heard on the news of the clowns who wander into one and set the fighter jets scrambling? And within 24 hrs. after 9/11 before we even knew for sure what was happening, with the smoke still rising over WashDC and Manhattan, they were demanding they be allowed to get back into the air right away, never mind what might still be happening in the airways.

Their lobbying group has been hard at work reminding everyone what White Knights they all are, to avoid scrutiny of all those private airports where people and planes can come and go without much security checks, and all those flying schools where background checks of students are cursory or absent. They represent a huge security hole.

No, don't get your own plane -- make a noise with the airlines and give your business to the airlines who treat you better than the others.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:08 AM
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Soccr. last week we had the most horrendous flight evr on AA flight 56 out of Miami to london. After a very long delay almost 5 hours we finally took off! I asked the flight attendant for a gratis glass of wine for troubled wait peroid, she refused by order of the Captain and, I agued with her, and she refused to SELL me a glass of wine for my meal! I will NEVER fly American again. The whole flight crew neede a lesson in manners and respect. Needless to say, I will be the very squeekiet wheel they have ever heard! I am also sending copies of my letters, to the FAA, and Homeland Security(just BECAUSE. Such appalling service, they should be ashamed!!!!! Judy
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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"and, I agued with her"

Assuming you meant ARGUED, then you got exactly the treatment you deserved. It was quite honest of you to have admitted this part of the (non-)incident.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Judy, the only reason I can imagine for involving the captain in such a decision was if someone thought you were going to be a problem with --more?-- alcohol.
 
Old Mar 5th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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We were sitting on the plane for 3 hours, did not have access to any alcohol BTW. You mean I can not argue with shabby treatment? You have got to be kidding me! They are not gods or supermen, just employyees of a company THAT I AM PAYING MONEY TO. And I am paying for this? I was not loud or obnoxious, just stating the facts. And it was not just me, my husband was there and he was very polite and subdued. I have the name of the passenger that was just cross the asile, and she also told the stewardess that she was overrecating and was out of order. She offered her name, address and said we could use her for substantiating our position. There were other people who said that flight crew was the worst they had ever encountered, and they too, will be writing letters. While we were sitting there for 3 hours, not once did someone come by and offer sodas or waters, but first and business class were happy as clams. I spent over 400 dollars for this! rb travlers, you must work for the airlines! How could you defend this treatment?
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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Almost all of my travel is work related. My employer does indeed, shop for low fares. If you saw me getting on your plane in my jeans you would naturally assume that I am the wrong kind of person to be traveling with you. Hell, if you investigated further you would find that I may have packed a hard hat and boots in my checked luggage. However, what you wouldn't realize is that I am well educated and pleasant. I know how to behave and I can even roll with the punches when it comes to delays and no free wine to compensate for it.
If you can afford first class or a charter, then by all means go for it. I will still be in the back, probably paying full fare, and you won't hear a word from me.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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There is NO excuse for the airlines having passengers sit on a plane for 3 hours on the ground while they sorted out their problems. They should have atleast offered water and snacks even if it is an hour delay. If they can do it 1st class they can do it in coach.
Just another reason to bring your own drinks and snacks when flying. I have never like American and Delta is right behind them.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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30 years ago when I was in college, I often traveled around the northeast visiting friends at other colleges during vacations - by bus. Air travel these days is similar to experiences I had on the bus back then (maybe still - have been fortunate enough not to ride the bus anymore). You got on, positioned yourself to get a good seat next to an unobjectionable person, no food was served, and the trip was long, boring and merely transportation.

Half the fun is NOT getting there - as some travel ad used to say. I fly because its faster than driving - if the plane leaves close to stated time, arrives on time, does not crash, and I get my luggage at the end - I am fine. More amenities would make my trip a little nicer - I flew first class for the first time this summer and it was a more pleasant experience - but its not going to make or break my trip.
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Old Mar 6th, 2004, 08:54 AM
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Not to trivialize anyone's bad experiences, but the author of "Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten" suggests you assume you have a quota for unpleasant experiences. In your life, you are pre-ordained to meet x number of rude people, have x number of flat tires, x number of rained-out picnics, crummy flights, etc. Then when one of these events occurs, you can sigh with relief that your 'quota' has just been reduced by one.

A suggestion: Always pack a bottle of water and/or juice in your flight bag, and a snack pack of high-energy food (raisins, whatever.) Do what you can to ensure your own comfort. Expect the best experience but prepare for the worst.

Life is an airline.
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Old Mar 6th, 2004, 07:24 PM
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Actually, I find life much better than an airline. I agree--it could be written off to one less bad luck elsewhere--but the airlines have become bad luck themselves. They are now a monopoly on bad service. I don't think it's as simple as lower fares. Why does a lower fare have to equate with rude, sullen or absent service? The FAs are there anyway. Will smiling, saying thank you and being attentive really cost the airline that much?
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Too true, Flyaway! I never encountered such a surly, unfriendly flight crew on our awful flight! They acted like they were doing US a favor! Are these people's job protected or WHAT? In any other business, they would be given the boot for bad service IMO. Judy
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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I find the sense of entitlement on this board to be a little high, to say the least.

Here's a summary of the arguments I have seen on this thread, and many others:

1. Passengers are entitled to alcohol on demand.

2. No passenger should be expected to go for more than a couple of hours without alcohol, ever. All people work at offices where their bosses let them drink 8 hours a day, they can't wait to get to the hotel. On vacation, alcohol consumption doubles.

3. Airlines are obligated to explain, in great detail, mechanical or space allocation problems that cause delays, ON DEMAND to random passengers. Their information needs are more important than the FAA's and the Airline CEO's.

4. All airline staff should be friendly in all circumstances. No airline employee can have a bad day, personal problems, or a frustrating day at work. Flight attendants making $20,000/year should always put your needs first, and be cheerful at all times. Your case is unique, ticket check in folks have never seen it before. Also, flight crew love long delays, they are happy about it, they just pretend to be upset for your benefit.

5. Passengers who pay less than $500 to fly to another continent are an airline's best customer and should be treated accordingly. They should have all the amenities of full-fare first class passengers paying $2000 for the same flight and frequent flyers, especially in case of delay.

6. Airline travel was better when people poorer than the poster couldn't fly. The poster is never rich enough to afford a fractional private jet or first class on a cash basis. Transportation is incidental to meals and entertainment.

7. It is the airline's responsibility to entertain the poster at all times. If the entertainment system breaks, he demands a refund. If there are no personal screens, the airline is inferior. Transport is incidental to entertainment. Under no circumstances will the poster pack a book, iPod, or Game Boy. Airlines MUST entertain passengers on 2-6 hour flights, no adult could reasonably be expected to amuse themselves for so long.

8. All airlines must serve food on all flights, no mater how short. No adult could reasonably be expected to go without food for 1-6 hours. (hint- you do it every night when you are sleeping) Under no circumstances will the poster pack a snack, meal, or emergency food in case of delays or medical emergency (diabetics who need to eat, etc.). The $200 charge is for food, transport is free.

9. Airlines must provide personal, top-notch entertainment and gourmet meals to all passengers, regardless of class or fare paid. These meals must be cooked, not reheated, at 40,000 feet. Airlines must never run out of meal choices- they must use all storage space on the off chance you want one particular meal. As we all know, airline food is so god that missing out on your choice is a real tragedy.

10. All of the above must be done for under $200 (domestic) and under $450 (international), regardless of the normal laws of supply and demand.

11. The Department of Homeland Security is there to make sure you get all your meals and drinks on your flight. They search you just to be a@@holes.

12. Seat pitch should conform exactly to whatever is most comfortable for the poster, everyone else can get bent. Very tall or wide people should stop complaining and pay for business or first, unless the poster is very tall or wide, in which case seat pitch should be 1000 inches, even if airlines can not afford to fly such planes.

13. The law of travel responsibility;

POSTER is not responsible for anything, ever, especially following instructions or being patient. Adults can not feed or entertain themselves or put up with slight discomfort at any time.


My rules for a good flight:

1. Aircraft arrives with all parts present.
2. All passengers arrive in the same condition as when they left.
3. You got to the correct airport, weather permitting.

All else is incidental.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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There is a reason alcohol is not allowed to flow freely despite our God given right to demand it:

1) In case of an emergency, alchohol cuts down reaction time ie getting your butt out of the plane in case it's on fire.

2.) Alcohol hits you twice as hard at 30,000 ft.

3.) Sitting next to an obnoxious drunk for x number of hours is my idea of a good time.



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