Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is it with Airlines??? - WTF of the week

Hey all,

So, as some of you may know, my darling husband is working in Singapore right now helping get the Sentosa resort up and going for Universal. And, sometime in February I get to join him. We are looking at tickets and researching all the ifs, ands and buts, and have cursed and snarled at all the added costs, the hidden charges and the downright unfriendly attitude by airlines in general.

What we've discovered is something we already knew. Even in this time of economic crisis, instead of trying to lure you in to their airlines, instead the PTB do all they can to make it difficult. Some hide taxes, some won't let you bring more than one suitcase, even on international flights, and some even make you pay for your meals. WTF???

Now, I've been flying my whole life. Logged a lot of miles and have traveled to quite a few countries by air. I've been sprayed on in Hawaii, ran to make connections I should have never been booked on, and patted down in Chicago's O'hare. (my boots had a metal tab on the zipper. Oh, the horror!!!!) I've seen the pendulum swing with fear of terrorism so ridiculously far that my 60 year old mother is on a watch list and can't fly because she forgot to take out her two inch embroidery scissors out of her purse.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind too much the longer security lines, or having to take my shoes off or even the bother of not being able to take too much liquid on board with me. Safe is good. I like being safe. But doesn't it make sense to make your airline as customer friendly so people will WANT to spend the money and fly???

One of the airlines we are looking at is what I would call a budget airline. The cost is good, and you are allowed to choose your own seat, but the meals are minimal and if you want entertainment, you have to pay to get it turned on. Now from here to my first stop is a good 16 hour flight. You'd think they could throw in a bloody video for free with what I'm paying.

You can upgrade for a hundred bucks, but you don't get to choose your seat then, so you might be in the middle where you have no leg room. If you want a drink, fine, but don't ask for too many or their charge you. And you can't take much on board with you. That's frowned on.

Anyway, we'll weed through the mess and finally book the flight. But I have one pet peeve that I've never understood. If you can't make your flight and want to cancel, why are the penalties almost as much as the flight? Why are there any penalties? If I choose not to go to a motel I've book, if I give enough notice, I'm not charged. If I want to rent a car and decide not to do so before the trip, no one makes me pay anyway. What is it about the airlines that won't let you cancel without grabbing at your wallet. And you can't sell your ticket. Oh no. That would make too much sense. All you'd have to do is notify the airline just like we do when we sell a car. It's not a big deal.

So, rant over. What do you think about airlines and the way they treat consumers? Good...bad...what's your opinion. And if you're curious about another man's opinion, check this youtube video out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo&NR=1 It's a hoot and I love the way he sticks it to the airline! LOL Read the follow up about how the airline scrambled to make it right!

I'll make sure I let you all know the details before I go so you can track me online. Now that is a cool service I can get into.

Hugs to all,

13 comments:

Lisa said...

I agree with you 100%, about the hidden fees, baggage fees and the penalties. I flew AirTran once, was on 4 different planes and had very rude stewardesses on all four planes, will most likely not fly with that airline again.

CJ England said...

I've heard of them and some of it wasn't so good. I've tried to read reviews of all the airlines, but none have a great record. Even the big guys.

We're doomed. LOL

CJ

Maria said...

I agree that airlines have lost
site of their purpose, they have all of these hidden charges that take a reasonable cost and turn it into something you can barely afford. If you're making a 16 hour flight they should provide you with a 2 good meals, snacks and a video. Loved the video

CJ England said...

Maria,

That's a good way to put it. Lost their purpose. Now all they see are dollar signs.

CJ

Desirée Lee said...

The baggage fees suck. I flew recently on Frontier and booked through AAA. When I booked, it said in my itinerary that baggage fees were $15/bag. When I got to the airport the clerk said it was $20/bag. I tried to argue it but she said the price went up in September or something (I booked my flight AFTER that). So I guess AAA had the wrong information, but Frontier refused to honor the written price from AAA. I had to pay $20 (each way!) to take my suitcase. I thought I was getting the cheapest deal there. I was wrong. I should've went with Southwest. Granted, you don't get to choose your seat ahead of time with Southwest but at least they don't charge you extra for taking a bag.

To not offer a free meal on an international flight is ludicrous, imho. I can see a flight that's a few hours, sure, but to make a broke person (who just shelled out the last of their cash to check their bags) go without food that long is cruel.

At least you have the advantage of being in Orlando and living near a major airport. If I want to fly out of one of the smaller airports near my house, the fare is double (sometimes more than that). When I flew last November, I priced several different airports. I ended up going out of Sacramento. My sister lives about 45 minutes from Sac and her husband was working on a job near Sac so he just dropped me off on his way to work. Lucky for me I have that option. Still, it's a 5 hour drive for me to get to my sister's house. Even with the gas to drive to her house and back, it was still cheaper to fly out of Sac than the airport nearest me.

Carpe Noctem,
Des

Flick said...

I fly regularly between Manchester England and Orlando. With Virgin. Great airplane but like the rest they now have decided only one check in bag if you fly cattle class. So whereas I used to board with a purse, I'll now be taking a carry on suitcase - which if others follow suite will add to boarding times and increase the weight the plane carries. Not admittedly - as much as an extra bag but its a nuisance.

BUT my biggest issue is over weird security rules. I reported a woman who'd passed through security at manchester who was crotcheting with pointed metal stick things - three of them. More lethal than a keyring penknife that you certainly wouldn't be allowed to carry through security. The answer I got from the security guy - knitting needles etc are allowed. So all a terrorist has to do is pose with the jumper he's knitting. That piece of steel would go straight through someone's neck or heart.

Phylis said...

My husband hates flying. This will insure that he never does again! Those hidden fees are ridiculous! Security is good but some of that needs to be paid attention too. Some of it is just too much. Phylis

Kathy said...

CJ it's sad the state of customer service now from the airlines.Silly to pay for cancelling the trip/flight when you know someone else has to be available to take those tickets. But I think they should think about how they are acting. If you had the money you could hire a private plane and fly that way in comfort lol.
Trying to stay warm here in Texas at 20 degrees colder places but we are NOT used to this type of cold.

CJ England said...

Des,

I know what you mean. We used to live up in N Idaho, so that meant the nearest airport was in Spokane. We'd have to take a puddle jumper over to SEATAC in Seattle. It was almost as expensive as the flight across country. Ridiculous.

CJ

CJ England said...

Flick,

That is ridiculous. They allowed metal knitting needles but nearly stripped searched my mom for for two inch embroidery scissors. To me that is a perfect example of the stupidity of over-security instead of common sense.

CJ

CJ England said...

Phylis,

I don't mind flying too much. I just hate landing. LOL That's when I become a nervous flyer.

CJ

CJ England said...

Kathy,

I totally agree with you. They always overbook the planes which I don't understand. Isn't that fraud? If someone was to sell more tickets than seats to a Broadway show they'd be in trouble. Why can the airlines get away with doing it!

It's bloody cold here in Orlando. They are talking sleet or even snow here. SNOW! The mouse is going to freeze his tail off. LOL

CJ

Phylis said...

I always hated my ears plugging up while flying. When I flew to Germany my ears where really bad. Took almost a whole day before they popped!