View Full Version : Airline "service" is upside down.

11th Nov 2014, 16:13
Just got back from a short notice business trip.

I really don't like the hassle of flying anymore so if in need to get down to the SFO or LAX areas from the Northwest I usually drive. A day and a half to get to LAX with sleep and meals on the way when I feel like it.

This time, since time was a priority I had to fly. From the NW to SoCal is now pretty much all regional jet service and seats are almost impossible to get over the peak travel periods of Sunday evening and Monday morning and, based on my infrequent trips, the difficult period seems to be getting earlier on Sunday and later on Monday, same goes for Friday night/Saturday morning.

The odd thing is that the airlines are ignoring the people that pay the most, the ones traveling at short notice. Families and corporate travel departments are locking into cheap seats with early purchases but high-paying, short notice, travelers are getting the left-overs.

This trip my treatment was shoddy, I arrived at the gate with a high-dollar ticket and I was almost the last to get on the aircraft because groups of travelers still had not checked in.

The classic was a trip from Ontario, CA, to Portland. I was in the desert the whole day before departure so I had no internet or phone access. I had a ticket for the flight so that evening I called to arrange a seat but the message said I had to check in at the gate, got to the airport early, no one at the ticket counter, go to the gate, no one at the gate, RJ so an agent arrives at the gate about 15 mins before departure, gate area packed.

I get the last seat on the aircraft, the single-seat alongside the lavatory door. A miserable flight with continual visitors to the toilet and continual blasts of the smell of blue-room fluid. Yet I probably paid twice as much for my ticket as the next most expensive ticket used on the flight. What are airline executives thinking?


wings folded
11th Nov 2014, 16:24
What are airline executives thinking?Maximising profits.
Service and customer satisfaction have no role to play. Shareholders are to be served first and foremost.

A system many find to be admirable, but not all.

11th Nov 2014, 17:17

Having experienced your pain going in and out of LGB, I changed my ways. Try Alaska next time if you can. PDX to SNA, three times a day on 737's. If SEA is close enough, there's eight flights a day between SNA ans SEA.

No more two and a half hour rides in one hour seats either.

Krystal n chips
11th Nov 2014, 18:10
The odd thing is that the airlines are ignoring the people that pay the most, the ones traveling at short notice

Terrible isn't it....and even more ironic is the complaint coming as it does from across the pond where capitalism..... and the free market economy.... is so revered.

Will you be budgeting for a large box of tissues next time you fly ?

11th Nov 2014, 20:11
This was an RJ operated by an Alaska subsidiary. Alaska itself has been OK.

Krystal, I control the company "no fly" list. There are now two airlines totally banned, including this one, unless there is absolutely no other way of getting the job done. The "no fly" list applies to everyone, not just me (we're very democratic :p) and the client picks up the tab in any case so I am not objecting to the cost, merely that someone pays max dollar for min service.

Actually, apart from the flights the trip was fun. Someone did put apple sauce in the beef stew instead of creamed potatoes but we all ate it, interesting fruity taste. You have to rough it sometimes.


11th Nov 2014, 20:35
Most airline systems protect the best seats for high revenue pax, as you would expect, particularly on longhaul segments, but the parameters applied can differ on short haul and domestic segments.

Where a booking is made at short notice, and the flight is already within the DCS window (typically 24 hours before departure), the protections may not be carried into the DCS and it will allocate a seat at random or leave it to the check in agent. This means that all the best seats may well have gone.

It is of course unfair, but that's how it works.

Loose rivets
11th Nov 2014, 20:42
I travel on an airline that provides a pre-takeoff room for me. They ply me with the best wines and then call me in time to make a bathroom call prior to being taken to the aircraft ahead of ordinary mortals. (by bathroom, I mean a room where I'm gently bathed by a nubile maiden.)

When on board, I'm made comfy and a film I'm allowed to ignore does the safety briefing. I'm allowed to ignore it because in the event of the wings falling off, I'm given a parachute with fur lined harness and a nubile blonde maiden to pour my champagne on the way down. I insist on good champagne. Much of my deciding logic for choosing this airline is based on the bail-out wine list prior to booking the flight.

Often, when I'm flying down to the peninsula, I have the airline delay the flight slightly so that I can browse the executive suit tailors for a lightweight outfit. I've been told some of the proletariat down the back make angry noises at considerable volume when delayed, but that is of little interest to me. They, though they don't know it, are working for me and a few of my like. Like is a poorly-chosen word, since I don't like them. If they had their way, they'd have the aircraft leave when they wanted it to leave. I imagine that's based on the published departure times, though I've no idea of such concepts.

Assuming the wings stay on, I stipulate soothing caresses while waiting for each of my nine courses. For this, it's the fulsome brunette with the big clavinova. Nine seats removed for the instrument is of little consequence to me, although it's rare I allow her to play the thing. It's the feathers. I don't like feathers.

Anyway, we, that is I, do not like to be inconvenienced by people who think they can just board an aircraft simply because they've paid the "proper price" for a ticket. Why would they do that? The concept of making this big machine fly in the sky was originally conceived by people who were inherently superior to ordinary mortals and indeed demanded Lloyd Loom chairs to sit in. I suggest Sir, you have never ticked the Lloyd Loom chair box when booking in.

11th Nov 2014, 21:44
Anyway, we, that is I, do not like to be inconvenienced by people who think they can just board an aircraft simply because they've paid the "proper price" for a ticket.
A million years ago, as the most junior of my airline crew. I was waiting in Idlewild Customs when a PanAm Captain approached my BOAC Captain and ask ' why do you Limey Captains insist on a different hotel accommodation to the rest of the crew ?' ( he obviously knew our Company habits )

My Captain, drew himself up to his full height, and imperiously declared that it was to ackowledge his 'status'.

The Clipper Skipper replied - 'show me your wallet and I'll tell you your status'

Nothing much seems to have changed in the U.S. of A.

11th Nov 2014, 21:50
For this, it's the fulsome brunette with the big clavinova.
Damn, I ain't heard 'em called that since... well... forever. :D

Oh, for upside down airline service, thank you Frank, thank you Jimmeh.

11th Nov 2014, 21:55
I would have thought SW would be covering those routes. If you are prepared to pay the full price you will be in the first 15 boarding with unreserved seats. In fact they have big signs up trying to persuade you to upgrade to it right up until boarding.