Airline headaches~~is there a cure?

Nov 7th, 2008, 08:21 PM
  #1  
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Airline headaches~~is there a cure?

Guess the question is rhetorical, eh?
Just need to vent a bit...hubby and I recently spent 3 hours in SFO waiting for a plane to Chicago that had "developed mechanical problems." By the time a substitute plane was flown in from Boston, and we got to Chicago, we had missed our connection to Louisville. We then waited another 3 hours to catch the "last flight out" at 10:50 PM. What a waste of a day!
I can't imagine that any other business could stay afloat when treating their customers this way. We weren't offered any compensation, not even a free sandwich to go along with our free drink.
Any comments, or is this just rehashing a very sore subject?
mkdiebold is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 08:57 PM
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So, you're going to ride the train or drive next time?
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:38 AM
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The place that works on my car didn't offer me a sandwich or drink the last time I took it in to be worked on either.

You might just try walking instead of the train or driving. But, if you body has mechanical trouble, you probably won't get a free sandwich or even a free drink when you get it worked on.
spirobulldog is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 05:34 AM
  #4  
 
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Come on, get realistic! You were delayed for a few hours. It's not pleasant but you got to your destination eventually that same day. If you want to travel, you have no choice but to fly. Absolutely every airline experiences delays and equipment malfunction, without any compensation due the passengers, even a sandwich. I'm not quite sure what you are expecting as far "a cure," but from my point of view, it's simple: don't fly.
tekwriter is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 05:57 AM
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I do not think they got a substitute plane from BOS-SFO in 3 hours. They got it from some other person's route - and then they were delayed.

And that is one root of the problem - airlines are financially so distressed that there is no redundancy anymore - no spare planes, crew, seats, or sandwiches sitting around in case something happens. Which is why a burp in on city turns into indigestion in some far away place.

The answer is to charge much more for flights - and customers balk at that. So we are getting everything we pay for.

And I will take a delay any day over flying on a plane with mechanical problems.
gail is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 05:59 AM
  #6  
Jed
 
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In the past year, we were stuck in an airport with a delay of 4 hours. We have to recognize that this does occur, that planes sometimes need fixing, and weather can be a problem.

But we were not offered anything. Nothing. No chit for a cup of coffee, snack, or anything else. We got our own.

After a while, some of the kids got wild because they were hungry and there was nothing to do.

To make matters worse, no info was given, even though it turned out they had some info.

I felt that the airline could have gotten a lot of good will points by keeping us informed, giving out simple things for the kids to do, and by offering even a $2 chit. It would have shown they cared.
Jed is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 06:15 AM
  #7  
 
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Would you have preferred that they just fly the original plane without fixing its mechanical problems? Is that the stellar customer treatment you're looking for?

Your airline managed to procure a replacement plane within three hours and get you to your destination -- even with a connecting flight! -- on the same day. Seems like it was handled quite well.

Air safety is, statistically speaking, amazing. And I'd pick a delay over driving from San Fran to Lousiville anyday. (Let alone driving from the US to Europe, which I've heard can be a NIGHTMARE! )
karameli is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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I agree with all previous posts--but you could have taken some action yourself. We were in the same situation recently, but rather than just sit there--I got on the phone with the airline to ask how they were going to get me to my final destination if I missed my connection. They mentioned routing me through another city (would have been a 3rd connection)--I was making my call while standing in front of the "departures" screens--I realized there was a direct flight to that city and asked if I could be re-routed there instead. No problem--wound up getting in just two hours later than originally planned, plus had the long flight out of the way rather than two shorter flights. Sometimes you have to be your own advocate.
TrvlMaven is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Never travel anymore without food - a one hour trip can become a pilgrimmage. And if you have a person at home, they can often get better travel info and rebook more easily than you can at airport. I end up doing this all the time for my husband - have gotten fairly good at discovering real source of delays (like when they say there is a 30 minute delay and I can see that equipment is really 4 hours away).

No, it should not be this way - but since it is, find ways to limit the damage.
gail is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 08:02 AM
  #10  
 
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Funny, when I read the title of this post I thought you were going to ask a medical question! Like that you somehow actually got a migrane headache from a plane flight (haha).

Hey stuff happens. I'm pretty sure I would rather they fix the mechanical problem before I get on the plane!

I never travel without my own food. Nope, I don't expect anything from the airlines in that area these days.

suze is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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At least you were able to catch the last flight and get home the same day. When we missed our connecting flight at Newark, due to weather, we were rescheduled to Tuesday from Saturday and had to rent a car and drive home.
djkbooks is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 08:35 AM
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We just endured a 36-hour marathon from Venice, Italy, to Los Angeles, spending more time on the ground in airports and nearby hotel "holding areas" than actually flying. Yes, it only takes one problem to tip those dominoes throughout the system. But my biggest problem is that United Airlines wouldn't tell us the truth ("You can't handle the truth!"), or if they did we have no way of knowing which of the many excuses they gave us was it.

I also carry food, a complete change of clothes and prescription drugs to cover several days.

While I'm on my United rant, I read an article in the WSJ during one of our delays that they have joined with FEDEX to offer over-night baggage delivery. Terrific. Your luggage can start your vacation even if you're stuck in dumpy airport hotel. Or, I suppose, you can ship yourself by FEDEX and arrive on time at your destination.
Jean is online now  
Nov 8th, 2008, 08:48 AM
  #13  
 
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Here's a few other thoughts.

Most airlines will give out meal vouchers to use at the airport when there's significant delays, especially mechanical ones. But most of the time, you will need to ask.

My mom has gotten them from DL at ATL, and my cousins have gotten them from NW at MSP, all in 2008 alone.

Gate agents are authorized to give those out, but the FA onboard can't just give everybody free food. They won't have enough anyways.

Second, here's one thing I've said some time ago and I got flamed by it. But I'll say it again. When you count in inflation, the discount airfare we pay are too cheap. If you want service, buy full-fare and/or first class. The OP's situation is perfect example.

If the OP was flying full-fare, they can get the airline to endorse over to a different airline; or they can cancel the ticket and book with another one themselves.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 09:12 AM
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I recognize (considering the significant amout of business travel I do) that this is frustratiing. But, what you have to realize is tht airlines are operting on razor-thin - if any - profits. the cost of flights is minute compared to what it was 20 ro 30 years ago (in real dollars).

And when companies are backed into corners financially they cut corners wherever they can - meaning fewer extra parts, fewer flights and way less service amenities.

Cost of most things have risen considerably (just think what you paid for gas 20 years ago, never mind the price of cars) in the last 20 years - but not air flights - so the only answer is less service and more problems.

If you're willing to pay for business class the problems are fewer - but incidents like you mentioned have always happened. It's just part of the package.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Really, being delayed 6 hours is nothing. We have been stuck 3 or 4 times at airports overnight. Try being at Ohare with 10,000 people waiting to catch their planes, due to snow/weather delays for a night.

Maybe you should just take a sandwich and some TYLENOL or ADVIL for you headache.

spirobulldog is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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If these flights have good results, what you're more likely see if that they will replaced by Air France's widebodies. For DL to put a widebody on a non-hub to Europe route may not be the most efficient way to do things. For a 757, it's not a big deal if they will tag on a ATL-RDU or ATL-PIT leg; but they won't do it with a 767.

Or they have to rotate the aircraft from CDG back to JFK or ATL, but that will add to the complication with aircraft utilization and rotation.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 02:59 PM
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Sorry, wrong thread.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:27 PM
  #18  
 
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Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this".
Doctor: "Don't do that".
mrwunrfl is online now  
Nov 8th, 2008, 03:39 PM
  #19  
 
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It could always be worse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvMK8N6C1oY
toedtoes is offline  
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