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Alaska To Charge To Speak To A Person  
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

I did a search, and found nothing. I'm a little suprised no one has mentioned this yet.

Alaska just announced last week that they will begin charging customers who call they're toll free number to book a reservation. They want to encourage people to use alaskaair.com, instead of calling in to speak to a person. I disagree with this, as not everyone books they're travel on the internet. If you are someone like my grandmother who hates computers, and refuses to get one, you now will get charged money to call Alaska to book a ticket. Or, she'll have to have someone else in the family book it for her. This also penalizes people who have to call Alaska to book last second travel. In June when I had to fly to SJC on a few hours notice, I had to call Alaska, because I wasn't near a computer when the word came that I had to fly.

So what are your thoughts?? Do you agree with this? Or disagree?

88 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSlashd0t From Canada, joined Dec 2002, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5178 times:

I disagree completely with this. Just means i'll never fly Alaska again. I hope others stop as well! I realize that times are tough and airlines need to be creative, but, charging a customer to purchase a product is just bad business.


/.
User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5165 times:

I disagree. My grandmother, like yours, and many others of the older generation dont have a computer or have a wish to aquire one. Why should these people be disadvantaged and be forced to pay more.

Often these older passengers are the ones with more money and time to spend making frequent trips so should not be ailienated by airlines. Sadly, I can only see more airlines moving this way as the obsession with internet bookings continues, leaving many technophobes and older people 'out in the cold'


User currently offlineAirlinerfreak From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5150 times:

Ok, yet in other threads we are bashing AA for what now? But I disagree with this heavily. This will make a lot of people job less due to AS 's doings. I think it should be free to talk to talk to them. Websites do not always come up with what you want to. On UA I have found that I have to call to get certain flights. I hate what AS is doing.

User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5149 times:

And????

A lot of airlines do this now. Even the majors like BA. We started ealier this year, and still alot of bookings are made off line, eg over the phone or in a Travel shop.

It helps increase revenue for the airlines, and more and more people have access to the net now a days EVEN the elderly know at least a few people who have access. I get loads of calls from nice old ladys who have had there bookings made over the net wanting to do seating, or meals etc.

Its goin to happen more and more


User currently offlineSlashd0t From Canada, joined Dec 2002, 221 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

What I think is a good idea is offer a savings while booking online.. I know WestJet hides the "booking" cost by offering a $5 savings when booking on westjet.com.. At least this way it seems like they are rewarding customers instead of charging them  Smile


/.
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5097 times:

AS used to offer a $10 discount for booking online. Why not go back to that? Pity to see AS going down the road of "let's raise revenue by nickel and diming our customers to death" route.

Bad move. Very bad move.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5847 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5062 times:

Whatever happened to calling a travel agency.  Confused I still use mine.


"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5051 times:

I'm not sure how AS is stating this, but it should be sold as the fact that you SAVE money by booking online, not that you PAY MORE by calling. I see how this could upset people, but why should I subsidize people who can't book online? It's not a big amount of money. I don't see the big deal.

[Edited 2005-12-19 20:41:06]

User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5037 times:

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 7):
Whatever happened to calling a travel agency. I still use mine.

The travel agents charge $20 to book a flight.

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12150 posts, RR: 49
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5023 times:

Sign of the times, though I do not agree with it. If I was a reservation agent with AS I would be worried as the writing is on the wall.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5847 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5019 times:

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 9):
The travel agents charge $20 to book a flight.

Depends on the agency and other factors. You have to shop around, find one, then stay with them as a regular client.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4997 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 8):
I'm not sure how AS is stating this, but it should be sold as the fact that you SAVE money by booking online

That is exactly what they are not doing. Instead of putting a positive spin on it, they are just coming out and saying "You will be charged for speaking to CSR over the phone, now." I think the charge is $25!!! I may not be remembering this. It was on KGW in Portland last week some time.

Sad to see AS do this. It really will not be recieved well by the traveling public.


User currently offlineAirxLiban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4518 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4993 times:

don't know what the big deal is here - don't AA and other airlines charge $5 when you book over the telephone? Is Alaska charging you regardless of whether or not you book travel? Then that is pretty silly, I think.


PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
User currently offlineGift4tbone From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 613 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4986 times:

AA already does this, $8, I believe. So I guess just another carrier going the route. Not good at all.

-Tony@PVD



Top 3 airports: PVD 26.0%(115 flights), PHL 15.6%(69 flights), PHX 12.0%(53 flights)
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5847 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4977 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 12):
I think the charge is $25!!!

Its $10.
http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/company/Service_Fee_Announcement.asp



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineDesertFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 516 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4970 times:

It seems like a non-issue to me. We're not talking about large amounts of money here.

User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

Oh, well still a lot of money. And it wasn't well recieved by people interviewed at the airport who had just checked in for the AS or QX flight.

User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Quoting S12PPL (Reply 12):
That is exactly what they are not doing. Instead of putting a positive spin on it, they are just coming out and saying "You will be charged for speaking to CSR over the phone, now." I think the charge is $25

They need some new marketing people.

Quoting FATFlyer (Reply 15):
Its $10

Even $10 is too much. $5 would be the upper limit in my opinion.


User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4949 times:

Will the Service Fee be applied to Mileage Plan partner award tickets that can't be booked online at alaskaaair.com or horizonair.com?
Yes, the Service Fee will be applied to all tickets redeemed through Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air Reservations. However, we are continually working to make all tickets available for purchase and redemption at alaskaair.com or horizonair.com.


So even a ticket you cannot book on-line will be assessed a fee.


User currently offlineS12PPL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 19):
So even a ticket you cannot book on-line will be assessed a fee.

No, I think you didn't interperate that correctly. You can redeem award tickets on alaskaair.com, for travel on Alaska, and about a handful of they're mileage plan partners. If you redeem it online, I doubt there will be a service charge.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13767 posts, RR: 61
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4826 times:
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Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 6):
AS used to offer a $10 discount for booking online. Why not go back to that?

The idea of giving a discount for booking online was that you were essentially "saving" AS money by booking online, since it costs far less to the company to sell a ticket online than through a reservations agent - agents that are increasingly being relied upon for after-the-sale service such as changes, upgrades, special service requests, etc.

In the past if you booked directly with an agent, you paid the regular fare. If you booked online, you got the regular fare plus a $10.00 discount. AS was, in essence, paying the customer for doing their own work.

Realizing that other carriers charge a surcharge for their professional services - much like banks do to speak with a teller vs. doing your banking at the ATM or online - AS is simply implementing a surcharge to help pay for the added cost of having a professional U.S.- based reservations staff available.

Just my $0.02 worth here...

[Edited 2005-12-19 21:41:15]


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4796 times:

They are welcome to do it. Here in Portland that means more people traveling on America West, Southwest and Frontier. Something like this won't gain them any new customers and will probably lose them a few, even over a measly 10 bucks.

User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5847 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4785 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 18):
Even $10 is too much. $5 would be the upper limit in my opinion.

AS is late to this fee and basically matching what others charge.

Besides AA mentioned above, UAL's web site says:the total price will include a $10 call center fee per ticket. This fee does not apply when reservations are purchased on united.com.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
User currently offlineFATFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5847 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4761 times:

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 22):
that means more people traveling on America West

Effective October 6, 2004, America West implemented a $5 fee for tickets purchased through the airline's reservation centers and a $10 fee for tickets issued at airport and city ticket offices. The fees do not apply to any tickets purchased or redeemed through www.americawest.com.
http://www.americawest.com/awa/conte...ticketingpolicies/servicefees.aspx

It's basically becoming an industry wide policy.



"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
25 BHXFAOTIPYYC : ..and with that $20, which is our only income from the airlines who no longer pay us a bean, we employee people, pay taxes, pay rent, pay utilities,
26 SupraZachAir : Man, there are a lot of cry babies around here. $10. Whoopty-doo. Book online instead. Its not like AS is the only carrier to implement this. As state
27 Bridogger6 : Actually HP charges and has charged a five dollar ticketing fee for telephone purchases... and it's a ten dollar fee if passengers come to buy their
28 FATFlyer : And share your expertise, etc. My agent charges me less than $20, sometimes just the CRS or airline's fees. But then I recognize she has a business,
29 Post contains images Kahala777 : This practice has been done for years in Europe, this should come as no suprise to anyone. This is a charge that I have been shocked that has not been
30 Nonrevman : I think the process you have to go through just to get to a human being on the phone is much worse than the cost itself.
31 Rlwynn : How many airlines in Europe do not charge for phone booking. Or even just to call and ask a question.
32 Ctbarnes : Thanks. You've just reminded me why I haven't seen the inside of a travel agency in 10 years. ...only if you pay a $10 service fee. Charles, SJ
33 Post contains images ANCFlyer : I don't get charged to go to Alaska USA Fed Credit Union, I don't get charged at an AKFedUSA ATM. It's a ridiculous charge . . . especially for those
34 Shamrock_747 : BA charge £15 to make a booking via offline sales channels. It's a very reasonable compromise - face to face/over the phone personal service is still
35 Ctbarnes : I don't pay a service charge to speak to a human being at my bank either, or my ATM. Anyone know if WN or B6 charge one? At United your $10 goes to s
36 FATFlyer : That depends on the company and the type of account. For example, in California B of A offers the "Versatel" checking account. The account is free if
37 Searpqx : That's uncalled for. The folks that work in res have no input into this policy, and instead are the ones on the front lines that have to put up with
38 HPRamper : BUT since that's been going on a long time, it's out of most people's consciousness. THIS is a "new" development and so people will react as such.
39 PlanesNTrains : Exactly. When AS offered a $10 discount to purchase at their website, they were likely charging a similar fare to WN, UA, etc, but losing the differe
40 Nonrevman : I think that the role of the reservations agent has significantly changed over the last several years. When I began in 1998, my main job was to resear
41 Post contains images Superfly : It's just the principal of charging for customer service I find disturbing. I know years ago I used to bank with Bank of America until they started ch
42 PlanesNTrains : Not to downplay the value of $10.....but it's only $10. I'm guessing that's a fairly small amount compared to the (non-competitive) fare that they're
43 Superfly : As i had said, it's the "principal".
44 StuckInCA : Another factor that's fairly obvious but has not been discussed is the fare competition and how that plays in. If they were to "include" the cost of t
45 EA CO AS : It's not "What will they think of next?" but rather just a plain "What's next?" (as the guy's peering at the door of a pay lavatory)
46 Superfly : It's obvious they want to 'phase out' customer service reps all together.
47 FATFlyer : Until the first time they call someone else and find out they'll be charged there too. I can see them launching on the employees at non-AS res center
48 Post contains images Coronado990 : No comprende on this one dude??? Do you not like companies that make contributions
49 Post contains images Superfly : No, sorry that's not it. Now here is a question, what if someone biught there ticket online yet needs to call and ask a question. What will Alaska Ai
50 Post contains images ANCFlyer : OK, I'll retract it . . . . you're right, not their fault. Sorta like blaming the CSA at the counter for WX delay. Fair Enough . . . I don't give the
51 Searpqx : Fair enough - didn't mean to jump down your throat either. I've spent too many hours handling irate phone calls escalated from agents, so I guess I'm
52 FATFlyer : Except unfortunately we have few choices, almost everyone has put this fee in place. I know for sure that AS, UA, NW, HP, AA, and DL charge a fee for
53 Ctbarnes : It was more a reaction against what I saw as a rather sarcastic post. Travel agents do have their uses, and there are times when working with one may
54 StuckInCA : C'mon guy, it's 10 damn dollars. Let's not get too dramatic! It's not like AS is out mugging grandma's on the street.
55 Post contains images MxCtrlr : The issue is where do you draw the line in the sand so to speak? While I agree that $10 is not a large amount of money, add to that the numerous "cha
56 KabAir : I don't know how to use a computer, and I'm not connected to the Internet!! What am I going to do now?? If any of you can help me learn how to get ont
57 StuckInCA : Either pick up the pieces of your broken life and learn how to use a computer, or pay the $10 I reckon. But then here you are posting on an internet
58 Grantcv : My mom still uses the term "spend a penny" to refer to going to the bathroom. Back in her day, you would have to pay to use the public facilities. I w
59 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Yeah, but holding a premium status with a competitor will preclude the "fees". So, CO, US, here I stay. AS is very convenient for ANC - obvious reaso
60 RiddlePilot215 : People said the same thing when airlines starting charging for the good 'ole paper tickets as opposed to electronic ones. It's the way of the times..
61 FATFlyer : My wife still refuses to return to Miami Beach after she had to pay to use a restroom there 7 years ago. Devil's advocate here, but you could also sa
62 StuckInCA : Perhaps people so concerned about $10 can't register as highly on Alaska's radar right now. I'm not suggesting they don't care, but that they're doin
63 S12PPL : I didn't. Buying tickets online was a very common thing by the time airlines started charging for that service. And anymore, most paper tickets are i
64 N200WN : Vending machines in the galleys. If you want the Flight Attendant to bring your soda to your seat for you...$1.00.
65 PlanesNTrains : Many times when I've dealt with travel agents, they have had an entitlement mentality - they put themselves above others. It really rubs the wrong wa
66 KLM11 : THIS IS INCREDIBLY STUPID! ANY smart business would know better than to penalize future customers with a service fee! I am not planning on "boycotting
67 Rlwynn : Really? This from the KLM website. Online reservations Take control of all your travel planning. Booking online lets you see all your travel options
68 KLM11 : Rlwynn, let me start off by saying that I am a huge proponent of online usage, especially when it comes to travel planning. I find it much easier tha
69 Rlwynn : I agree with you. But I do not see how this a suprise to anybody considering that there are already so many airlines that do the same thing. It basica
70 Post contains images EA CO AS : They can call up their dear son ANCFlyer and ask him to book the trip for them since he's so computer literate...and obviously online all the time wi
71 HPRamper : Considering Alaska owns QX....that could be a nice pun.
72 Post contains images Searpqx : Nah - my momma just taught me to be polite to old folk. . .
73 BAW716 : Reality check: It costs less to distribute tickets on the internet than by a res agent. What Alaska has done has been badly portrayed (or at least hor
74 Superfly : EA CO AS: You got it! Sorry I missed your post yesterday.
75 Post contains images EA CO AS : No problem - it's one of my favorite "classic" commercials! (man sees pay lavatory for 50 cents - doesn't have change and begins hitting up passenger
76 ILOVEA340 : Fares are arbitrary to begin with so what difference does a 10 dollar savings vs. a 10 dollar charge make. If there were a savings they just make the
77 FATFlyer : As I read this again this morning I'm just amazed that people are still hitting AS about this. Don't forget this fee started over a year ago at other
78 ClassicLover : LOL!!!!! Total agreement there! Besides, anyone who is flying anywhere isn't really going to miss $10.00. The people who would take the bus. Trent.
79 Vulindlela744 : I completely and totally disagree. Very bad business and I'll bet this policy won't last very long. I for one would not fly an airline that would char
80 Tango-Bravo : To reply to a devil's advocate question with another devil's advocate question... How much more will your mother be able to buy in Birmingham, Alabam
81 FATFlyer : Its already been in place for a year at most of the legacy carriers.
82 Ctbarnes : Good service should never have to cost extra. Does Southwest or Jet Blue charge you to talk to a human being? Charles, SJ
83 StuckInCA : This is an EXCELLENT point!
84 EA CO AS : You don't have to pay to speak to an agent. Only to buy a ticket from one - which you can do online for free.
85 Gipper913 : Each to their own...but I often say I cannot imagine why ANYone would still use a travel agent when it is so easy (and cheaper) to book online.
86 Gipper913 : AMEN! Though, since I bill out at several hundred an hour...I was already out at least a couple hundred bucks each time I call any airline and am stu
87 Coronado990 : Perhaps you are not in the entertainment business or something of that nature. If you were a film crew, would you want a professional travel agent or
88 FATFlyer : Time and money. Plus expertise. When I'm on a consulting project I'm billing time at a very high hourly rate and pushing a tight deadline. A 1 or 2 m
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