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  1.    #1  
    Just venting . . . .
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  2. #2  
    All airlines suck but what are you gonna do? Take a train?
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by 063_xobx View Post
    All airlines suck but what are you gonna do? Take a train?
    The time to fix this was right after 9/11 when we were bailing out the airlines. We should have attached some strings to all that money. Like requiring roomier seats, less games with thie fair structure, and better peanuts.

    ...just sayin'
  4. #4  
    Delta is bad... United is the worst
  5. aric's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    The time to fix this was right after 9/11 when we were bailing out the airlines. We should have attached some strings to all that money. Like requiring roomier seats, less games with thie fair structure, and better peanuts.

    ...just sayin'
    Well, congress did vote for $10bil in loans for the airlines, but the board set up to distribute the funds only allocated $1.9bil. A lot of money, yes, but only 20% was distributed. And the funds were in the form of guaranteed loans.

    Everyone loves to bash the airlines, but do you realize the fares you are paying in 2010 are still the same dollar amount from what you paid in 1990? What other service industry is only able to charge the same or less 20 years later, with no adjustment for inflation?

    Before 1978, when the airlines were deregulated, the airlines could make money with a 60% load factor (only 60% full planes). Today, it is higher than 85% in most cases, sometimes 95% for airlines to break even. Unless you're willing to pay more for your ticket (and even though you might say you are, you're still buying the cheapest fare you can find online) you are going to be planes that are full, and where amenities are few. This is not an excuse for bad service, just a statement of fact.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    Well, congress did vote for $10bil in loans for the airlines, but the board set up to distribute the funds only allocated $1.9bil. A lot of money, yes, but only 20% was distributed. And the funds were in the form of guaranteed loans.

    Everyone loves to bash the airlines, but do you realize the fares you are paying in 2010 are still the same dollar amount from what you paid in 1990? What other service industry is only able to charge the same or less 20 years later, with no adjustment for inflation?

    Before 1978, when the airlines were deregulated, the airlines could make money with a 60% load factor (only 60% full planes). Today, it is higher than 85% in most cases, sometimes 95% for airlines to break even. Unless you're willing to pay more for your ticket (and even though you might say you are, you're still buying the cheapest fare you can find online) you are going to be planes that are full, and where amenities are few. This is not an excuse for bad service, just a statement of fact.
    Wow, in this light-hearted thread, you really put a harsh on my mellow.
  7. aric's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    Wow, in this light-hearted thread, you really put a harsh on my mellow.
    Sorry. I didn't mean to be harsh. Please resume the venting!
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    Well, congress did vote for $10bil in loans for the airlines, but the board set up to distribute the funds only allocated $1.9bil. A lot of money, yes, but only 20% was distributed. And the funds were in the form of guaranteed loans.

    Everyone loves to bash the airlines, but do you realize the fares you are paying in 2010 are still the same dollar amount from what you paid in 1990? What other service industry is only able to charge the same or less 20 years later, with no adjustment for inflation?

    Before 1978, when the airlines were deregulated, the airlines could make money with a 60% load factor (only 60% full planes). Today, it is higher than 85% in most cases, sometimes 95% for airlines to break even. Unless you're willing to pay more for your ticket (and even though you might say you are, you're still buying the cheapest fare you can find online) you are going to be planes that are full, and where amenities are few. This is not an excuse for bad service, just a statement of fact.
    hmm, i did not know that...

    Thats realyl shocking considering how much gas prices have gone up/
  9.    #9  
    I guess I should have been a little more specific in the original post, but I was tired & ready to go to bed.

    So...
    I HATE calling customer (no)service, talking to voice (non)recognition computers, getting cut off as soon as I reach a real person, trying to call back multiple times but getting a recording that says "your call is VERY important to us, due to heavy call call volume we are unable to take your call at this time, please go to delta.com"

    An excercise in extreme frustration which left me literally shouting at the voice (non)recognition computer after the fifth time it couldn't understand "existing reservation" ... a pretty stupid thing to do I realize, but I was at the end of my rope.

    It's morning now, I have my boarding pass, and everything is all better. :-)
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by runukraine View Post
    Delta is bad... United is the worst
    Go to YouTube and search for "United Breaks Guitars" -- hysterically funny.
    My device history:

    - Jim J.

    (On Sprint for many years)
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    #11  
    Southwest airlines used to not suck. For decades they made a profit and had high ratings with customers, while the rest of the airlines were cratering. I've not travelled for a few years now (with them), so I don't know what thier current status is.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  12. #12  
    great thread title to come across 5 days before I fly from Seattle to Columbia South Carolina via Delta
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by zelgo View Post
    If you only look at the ticket price, that's true.

    In exchange for the low ticket price, the airline gives you less--no food, pillows, blankets, or free headsets; you have to pay for luggage; planes are generally older; more seats in a plane so less comfortable; fewer people hired for customer service telephone lines; check-in replaced by machines, so if you have to speak to a person at the airport, the lines are much longer; flight attendants paid less so generally crankier; etc. etc. etc.
    I honestly believe the real problems stem from a lack of competition in our domestic market. Foreign carriers are prohibited from flying domestic routes in the United States.

    The resulting limitation of consumer options means we are forced to accept whatever tripe they consider to be service.

    Compare to the hypercompetitive European market where fares are much lower for the same distance routes. Service is much better. Planes are newer and generally offer nicer amenities.

    If we open domestic routes to reputable foreign carriers (KLM, British Airways, Qantas et al) the quality and cost of air service in America would improve dramatically as domestic carriers scramble to become competitive
  14. #14  
    Hey I was in the volcano trouble with Delta. And I can tell that Delta really sucks.
    They seem to hire the worst people ever for their counters at the airport.

    I know that nobody is to blame for a canceled flight because of an erupting volcano, but the Delta guys et JFK were horrible.

    Did anyone of you have been to Delta's Terminal 2/3 at JFK? I tought i have seen bad airport terminals but this one was the worst.
    They have a little "leeking" problem I guess... And a little bird invasion in Terminal 3.

    HORRIBLE... Next time I am going to spend more money and fly LH.

    But yes I wanted to save money with Delta - but I did not know that they do so bad.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Southwest airlines used to not suck. For decades they made a profit and had high ratings with customers, while the rest of the airlines were cratering. I've not travelled for a few years now (with them), so I don't know what thier current status is.
    They were pretty much same as I remembered when I flew them at the beginning of March.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  16. aric's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by zelgo View Post
    If you only look at the ticket price, that's true.

    In exchange for the low ticket price, the airline gives you less--no food, pillows, blankets, or free headsets; you have to pay for luggage; planes are generally older; more seats in a plane so less comfortable; fewer people hired for customer service telephone lines; check-in replaced by machines, so if you have to speak to a person at the airport, the lines are much longer; flight attendants paid less so generally crankier; etc. etc. etc.
    And oil that used to be $34 a barrel jumped to over $140 in 2008 (currently around $86), with a crack (what is cost to make Jet A) still around $18 a barrel. In the '90's fuel was about 35% of the cost of a flight, now it is around 55%-60%.

    In order to have the same ability to earn in 2010 as in the '90's (or '80's, '70's, etc.) ticket prices would have to at least double. And since what all really matters to the public is the cheapest fares, something has to give. And unfortunately, that means all seats need to be filled, extra services (and people) need to be cut, try and do more with automated checkins, and in general do more with less.

    Still, no excuse for rudeness or poor basic customer service.
  17. aric's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by runukraine View Post
    I honestly believe the real problems stem from a lack of competition in our domestic market. Foreign carriers are prohibited from flying domestic routes in the United States.

    The resulting limitation of consumer options means we are forced to accept whatever tripe they consider to be service.

    Compare to the hypercompetitive European market where fares are much lower for the same distance routes. Service is much better. Planes are newer and generally offer nicer amenities.

    If we open domestic routes to reputable foreign carriers (KLM, British Airways, Qantas et al) the quality and cost of air service in America would improve dramatically as domestic carriers scramble to become competitive
    This is called cabotage, and is a very slipper slope to go down. Beside the American jobs that would be lost (and yes, that includes mine), this opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of safety and enforcement.

    The major airlines in the US have the best safety record in the world. There are very few things you can do that are safer than to travel aboard a major airline.

    The airlines have to work within the structure of the laws of this country. Pre 1978 the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), dictated routes, prices, and entry of new airlines. In 1978 the industry was deregulated to allow them to fly routes they wanted and price what they wanted, and also to allow new airlines to compete. Airline deregulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the driving reasons for this was to help the consumer. Ticket prices are the gauge of that, and they are significantly cheaper than pre '78.

    But getting back on topic, many low cost European carries also charge for extras, including using the lav (The Lav: Pay-per-Pee on Ryanair, Weekend at Bernie’s 3 At the Airport and More No-Good Aviation News | NYCAviation.com | Planespotting and Aviation Photography, Breaking Airline News, Aviation Discussion).

    The airlines mentioned (KLM, BA, Qantas) do all have high international presence, but face the same issues of outsourcing and cabotage rules.

    I don't want to sound trite, but they wouldn't help with the competition, only add to the quagmire.
  18. aric's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Gadeer View Post
    Hey I was in the volcano trouble with Delta. And I can tell that Delta really sucks.
    They seem to hire the worst people ever for their counters at the airport.

    I know that nobody is to blame for a canceled flight because of an erupting volcano, but the Delta guys et JFK were horrible.

    Did anyone of you have been to Delta's Terminal 2/3 at JFK? I tought i have seen bad airport terminals but this one was the worst.
    They have a little "leeking" problem I guess... And a little bird invasion in Terminal 3.

    HORRIBLE... Next time I am going to spend more money and fly LH.

    But yes I wanted to save money with Delta - but I did not know that they do so bad.
    The terminal is the old Pan Am World Port, (Worldport (Pan Am) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and I 100% agree it is an absolute nightmare. It was a very interesting architectural design, but never intended to the amount of passengers that are traveling today.

    There is talk of razing it and rebuilding (Delta Plans to Demolish Old Pan Am Terminal at JFK This Summer || Jaunted), but there are others who want to make it a National Landmark (Many Issues Surround Proposed Delta Worldport Demolition | BrandlandUSA). I can only hope the a new modern terminal can and will be rebuilt in its place.

    But getting to the poor service, I can only say that there is no excuse for rudeness or an unwillingness to help.

    The volcano is another thing though. We (the aviation community) only have anecdotal evidence on the hazards of volcanic activity. We know that ash can cause damage to turbine engines (British Airways Flight 9 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), glaze cockpit windows, and be a safety hazard. But there have been no scientific studies as to what safety margins are needed when flying around volcanic activity. This is truly one of the few unknowns left in aviation. I do believe that both the US and Europe will finally be spending the money need to fill in the gaps and hopefully be able to handle a similar situation much better in the future.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    This is called cabotage, and is a very slipper slope to go down. Beside the American jobs that would be lost (and yes, that includes mine), this opens up a whole new can of worms in terms of safety and enforcement.

    The major airlines in the US have the best safety record in the world. There are very few things you can do that are safer than to travel aboard a major airline.

    The airlines have to work within the structure of the laws of this country. Pre 1978 the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), dictated routes, prices, and entry of new airlines. In 1978 the industry was deregulated to allow them to fly routes they wanted and price what they wanted, and also to allow new airlines to compete. Airline deregulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the driving reasons for this was to help the consumer. Ticket prices are the gauge of that, and they are significantly cheaper than pre '78.

    But getting back on topic, many low cost European carries also charge for extras, including using the lav (The Lav: Pay-per-Pee on Ryanair, Weekend at Bernie’s 3 At the Airport and More No-Good Aviation News | NYCAviation.com | Planespotting and Aviation Photography, Breaking Airline News, Aviation Discussion).

    The airlines mentioned (KLM, BA, Qantas) do all have high international presence, but face the same issues of outsourcing and cabotage rules.

    I don't want to sound trite, but they wouldn't help with the competition, only add to the quagmire.
    Aric... as you are a person who works in the airline industry, I will concede you know much more about how the whole industry works.

    These are just a few thoughts...

    Ryanair:

    You point out that Ryanair now charges to use the toilet. They charge 1 pound. An inconvenience to be sure. They also are one of the lowest cost carriers in the world. Go onto their website and play around. Choose a random date and a random flight and see how much a roundtrip ticket costs. I would gladly pay 1 pound to use the restroom if it means I'm save anywhere up to a couple hundred dollars per flight on the ticket for equivalent mileage.

    Even if you went to the bathroom 20 times on your flight and paid your 20 pounds you still likely come out ahead of what American carriers charge for a ticket.

    American Job Loss:

    Even though some of the money is repatriated to the carrier's country of origin they still have to pay for their entire US operation. All the support services that have grown up around the airline industry would still exist domestically, wouldn't it? You still need people to refuel planes, handle baggage, refill the drink carts, fly the domestic routes as pilots and cabin attendants, et al... In fact more routes and more carriers might actually produce more jobs.

    Safety and Enforcement:

    How come KLM is okay to fly Americans from JFK to anywhere in Europe and not okay to fly Americans from JFK to LAX?

    I suspect that at a minimum they have to meet the existing safety regulations for domestic flights in the United States. Am I right?

    Sure there are airlines I would never want to fly (Aeroflot I'm looking at you)... but opening the market to increased competition doesn't mean that we have to allow every carrier to fly in our domestic market. Just ones that exceed the bar that has been set by our amazing system of regulations.

    Cabotage Regulation:

    To me it is protectionism, pure and simple. It is protecting the vested interests just as the system prior to 1978 protected the profits of the big boys back then by creating insurmountable barriers to entry for new players.

    Why was Virgin America not okay until they took on a domestic interest as majority partner? Now it is perfectly fine to allow this same business entity to fly back and forth between SFO and JFK.

    As you noted regulations were changed all the way back in 1978 to benefit the consumer and the industry. Why can't we do that today?

    More competition means lower prices means more people flying than ever before. Why drive or take a train from LA to SF if flying costs 30 bucks roundtrip. My only objection to that is the environmental cost, but sounds like more passengers is good for the industry as a whole.

    More competition is good for the consumer and the industry in my layman's opinion.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by aric View Post
    I do believe that both the US and Europe will finally be spending the money need to fill in the gaps and hopefully be able to handle a similar situation much better in the future.
    Exactly what I am thinking!
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