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NW Flight Attendants Object To Exit Row Price Plan  
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3096 posts, RR: 10
Posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6282 times:

Courtesy: The Associated Press

NW Flight Attendants Object To Exit Row Price Plan

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060406/northwest_premium_pricing.html?.v=2

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22741 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6206 times:

I'm skeptical... how is charging for exit row seats any different from giving them preferentially to elites? That's what NW used to do-- and still does on 1 row of exit seats.


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5971 times:

Question...

Why hasnt the FAA objected? It would seem as if NWA is selling the safety of millions...  sarcastic 


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22741 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5960 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 2):
Why hasnt the FAA objected? It would seem as if NWA is selling the safety of millions... sarcastic

See, I don't understand this logic. AFAIK, DL is the only major for which exit row seats are freely available to everyone at the time of booking. As a NW elite, I "bought" the right to seat in the priority seats, including (some) exit rows. As long as folks meet the criteria, why does it matter how carriers select who is permitted to sit there?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5960 times:

What about the opposite problem.. someone buys a seat in the emergency exit row and then is deemed to not meet the requirements. Do they get a refund? Other compensation?

Thats the same idea as buying a first class ticket and finding out when you get on the airplane that you'll be sitting in coach instead. The reason may be extremely valid, but there are going to be some unhappy people, even if they are given a refund.


User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5937 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 4):
What about the opposite problem.. someone buys a seat in the emergency exit row and then is deemed to not meet the requirements. Do they get a refund? Other compensation?

Good Question...

What does NWA do when they have one of the following:

*15 year old is in the exit row
*Pregnant women
*Blind man
*Non-English speaker
*400 pounder

Or do they just turn a blind eye because a few bucks were earned?


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5937 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 3):
As long as folks meet the criteria, why does it matter how carriers select who is permitted to sit there?

See MalpensaSFO/Kahala777/Lhr001/kl777jfk hates NW and slams them any chance he gets.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22741 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5932 times:

Quote:
Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said from a safety standpoint the "Coach Choice" program was no different than the old system in which passengers also indicated they accepted the responsibilities of sitting in an exit row at check-in.

"If for some reason they are unable to meet the requirements of sitting in an exit row, and happened to have paid for a Coach Choice seat assignment, they are eligible to receive a refund," Ebenhoch said.

It's pretty clear, really.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5809 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 6):
See MalpensaSFO/Kahala777/Lhr001/kl777jfk hates NW and slams them any chance he gets

Again,

What does NWA do when they have one of the following:

*15 year old is in the exit row
*Pregnant women
*Blind man
*Non-English speaker
*400 pounder

Or do they just turn a blind eye because a few bucks were earned?

Do you know?


User currently offlineEjmmsu From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5761 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 8):
Again,

What does NWA do when they have one of the following:

*15 year old is in the exit row
*Pregnant women
*Blind man
*Non-English speaker
*400 pounder

Or do they just turn a blind eye because a few bucks were earned?

Do you know?




Reading the post before yours would eliminate the need to ask stupid questions.

[Edited 2006-04-07 04:34:15]


"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
User currently offlineAvConsultant From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1360 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5728 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 6):
See MalpensaSFO/Kahala777/Lhr001/kl777jfk hates NW and slams them any chance he gets.

He did not slam NW.


Besides NWA is bankrupcy, they need every bit of revenue they can obtain.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 49
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 2):
Question...

Why hasnt the FAA objected? It would seem as if NWA is selling the safety of millions...



Quoting AvConsultant (Reply 10):
Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 6):
See MalpensaSFO/Kahala777/Lhr001/kl777jfk hates NW and slams them any chance he gets.

He did not slam NW.


Besides NWA is bankrupcy, they need every bit of revenue they can obtain.

Really if that is a compliment I would hate to hear him say anything bad.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineHawk44 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 759 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5678 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 3):
DL is the only major for which exit row seats are freely available to everyone at the time of booking.

CO does also when I went to check in online a few weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to choose an exit row seat.

DL however did not let me select an exit row online and would only release them an hour before departure.

Hawk44



Never under estimate the power of US
User currently offlineMalpensaSFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 11):
Really if that is a compliment I would hate to hear him say anything bad.

Why so defensive?

The question was in reference to the topic.. And the question as to why the FAA has not stopped NWA from selling the safety of millions has yet to be answered.


User currently offlineEjmmsu From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1692 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5607 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 13):
The question was in reference to the topic.. And the question as to why the FAA has not stopped NWA from selling the safety of millions has yet to be answered.

(from reply 7)
Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said from a safety standpoint the "Coach Choice" program was no different than the old system in which passengers also indicated they accepted the responsibilities of sitting in an exit row at check-in.

"If for some reason they are unable to meet the requirements of sitting in an exit row, and happened to have paid for a Coach Choice seat assignment, they are eligible to receive a refund," Ebenhoch said.


There is no less safety concern with this than with allowing Elites to reserve them ahead of time. If the Elite wasn't allowed to sit in there due to safety concerns, they were asked to move. If the person who buys the seat can't sit there due to safety concerns, they'll be asked to move and given a refund.

Reading previous posts in a thread eliminate the need to ask stupid questions.



"If the facts do not conform to the theory, they will have to be disposed of"
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6449 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5352 times:

Quoting MalpensaSFO (Reply 13):
The question was in reference to the topic.. And the question as to why the FAA has not stopped NWA from selling the safety of millions has yet to be answered.



Quoting Ejmmsu (Reply 14):
If for some reason they are unable to meet the requirements of sitting in an exit row, and happened to have paid for a Coach Choice seat assignment, they are eligible to receive a refund," Ebenhoch said.

Kahala, what part of the statement by Northwest did you not understand?


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

Here's what I see:
*15 year old is in the exit row (Isn't 15 and older OK for the exit row?, there'd be nothing here; as it is legal)
*Pregnant women (Don't see them being strong enough to assist)
*Blind man (ditto/FAA)
*Non-English speaker (ditto/FAA)
*400 pounder (Not sure; but presumably it'd be a violation of FAA regulations, which NW wouldn't do; and they'd be reseated)
-Mr. X



What now?
User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5244 times:

Pregnant woman is not a restriction per the FAR's. The FAR states Must be a minimum of 15 years old, so that takes care of that. The others you are on your own.



Sean from MCO and SDF



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineRandyWaldron From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 324 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5146 times:

Okay, I have to chime in on this one. No one seems to grasp the Flight Attendant's view of the situation, so I'm going to clearly state what I think the issue is.

#1 - You cannot put a price on safety. The last thing I want to do is have a battle during boarding with an obese passenger, a hearing-impaired passenger or someone with limited mobility. Those passengers, knowing that an exit-row offers more comfort, will inherently choose those seats when booking their tickets.

#2 - Entitlement. While I understand that frequent fliers are the bread and butter of the company, I cannot tell you how many times I've had to move a silver or gold elite passenger from an exit row because they've had a little too much to drink in the airport lounge before departure. They may not be "intoxicated", but you cannot count on their being able to act in an emergency

#3 - Restriction of authority. This proposal by NWA implies that the policy supersedes the authority of a Flight Attendant as an FAA-certified crewmember. I can see many unpleasant encounters brewing between our exit-seat buying passengers and flight attendants attempting to enforce FAR's.

#4 - Premium Seating. If Northwest really wanted to encourage its passengers to purchase premium seats, they could remove just a few rows of coach, respace seats and have a premium economy cabin like United.

#5 - General mismanagement. The big-wigs are incompetent, and the idiots that thought up this scheme should be fired. Northwest finds the cheapest, most inept ways to generate revenue than any other airline, and they're making a mockery of themselves and this industry in general.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.



"Flaps 20, gear down, landing checklist please..."
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22741 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5100 times:

Quoting RandyWaldron (Reply 19):
#1 - You cannot put a price on safety. The last thing I want to do is have a battle during boarding with an obese passenger, a hearing-impaired passenger or someone with limited mobility. Those passengers, knowing that an exit-row offers more comfort, will inherently choose those seats when booking their tickets.

I still don't get it. Doesn't EVERYONE inherently choose an exit row during booking if it's available? The obese? The elderly? The hearing-impaired? The normal people too?

Quoting RandyWaldron (Reply 19):
#2 - Entitlement. While I understand that frequent fliers are the bread and butter of the company, I cannot tell you how many times I've had to move a silver or gold elite passenger from an exit row because they've had a little too much to drink in the airport lounge before departure. They may not be "intoxicated", but you cannot count on their being able to act in an emergency

Fewer FFs in the exit rows under this policy... it would seem that it would lessen the problem.

Quoting RandyWaldron (Reply 19):
#3 - Restriction of authority. This proposal by NWA implies that the policy supersedes the authority of a Flight Attendant as an FAA-certified crewmember.

How so? NW has explicitly stated that those who do not meet the FAR requirements still won't be able to sit there and will receive a refund...



Let me ask again: How is this fundamentally different from permitting elites to sit in exit rows preferentially?

More importantly, how is it different from UA, where you are permitted to purchase access to E+--including exit rows on every bird in the domestic mainline fleet (either through full-fare tickets or through their annual program).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineRandyWaldron From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 324 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5056 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
How so? NW has explicitly stated that those who do not meet the FAR requirements still won't be able to sit there and will receive a refund...

Cubsrule, I am assuming by your profile that you do not work in the airline industry. I worked for Northwest Airlines for several years and can tell you that when it comes to passenger service, NWA makes promises they can't keep. I'm almost certain that refunds will never make it to the passenger's pockets. Are you familiar with FAR's? Have you ever tried to enforce an FAR with a disgruntled passenger on a full flight to somewhere? This policy by Northwest creates undue harship on the passenger purchasing the seat [do you think that every passenger purchasing an exit row seat is 100% qualified to sit there or will tell the truth during the on-line booking process?] and hardships of the flight attendants simply trying to do their jobs.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
Let me ask again: How is this fundamentally different from permitting elites to sit in exit rows preferentially?

It is fundamentally different because it is now allowing everyone who purchases a ticket to "upgrade" to an exit-row seat for a fee. In an online ticketing enviornment, there will be no way to ensure the person purchasing that "upgrade" is qualified. Most people buy their tickets online, check in online and board without ever encountering an agent. Believe me, in this world of sub-contracting, downsizing and reduced payscales, the agents are *not* going to be checking every passenger who purchases an exit row seat. It is ultimately up to the Flight Attendants as to who can sit in that exit row.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
I still don't get it. Doesn't EVERYONE inherently choose an exit row during booking if it's available? The obese? The elderly? The hearing-impaired? The normal people too?

I believe so. I have flown many thousands of flights and probably had to move hundreds of people out of exit row seats. Obese, deaf, blind, children, you name it, I've done it. You are not going to win this debate - I've been there, I've done that. I don't think you can speak from experience.

RW



"Flaps 20, gear down, landing checklist please..."
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22741 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

Let's keep this civil, please. I'm not an airline employee, and I probably never will be. But I fly 30-40 flights per year, and I see what goes on. I don't want to get into an experience pissing match with you. That's not my purpose.

Quoting RandyWaldron (Reply 21):
It is fundamentally different because it is now allowing everyone who purchases a ticket to "upgrade" to an exit-row seat for a fee. In an online ticketing enviornment, there will be no way to ensure the person purchasing that "upgrade" is qualified.

Let me give you three scenarios, all of which have happened to me.

1) I'm heading up to MKE on NW. It's a 319, and the bulkheads are full. As en Elite, I grab Row 9, the exit row. I check in at the kiosk when I get to the airport, head through security, and board. The f/a comes and asks if I meet the requirements. No contact with an agent

2) It's off to Chicago this time, and I'm flying DL... fun on MD-88s. DL is kind, and even as a non-Medallion, I can snag an exit row seat online-- provided I read the 4 questions carefully. I check in online, and, sure enough, no contact with an agent again.

3) Suddenly, I have to get home, and UA is the only carrier with seats. I wind up buying an $800 B ticket. That entitles me to E+, so after booking, I grab an exit row seat on the 319. I check in at the kiosk, and off I go. No agent for a third time.

Again, how does this worsen the situation? I beg you to answer my question.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineOnedude From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

Virgin Blue (DJ) do this down here in Australia. A $30 surcharge per sector that can only be booked via telephone res, so I assume that they ask clearance questions of the pax prior to confirming.

My partner flies DJ a few times a year and is 6ft 6in, and he has never paid and has always been allocated exit row seating. I don't think it's a huge earner anymore, but it was popular when it first started.

Cheers
onedude


User currently offlineRandyWaldron From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 324 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4803 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
Again, how does this worsen the situation? I beg you to answer my question.

In my opinion, this system is fundamentally flawed from the get-go. Like I said, you cannot put a price on safety. Furthermore, the ability to purchase an exit row seat sets an expection: that passenger wants to sit there. In stuations where flight attendants deem someone unqualified, this type of situation adds fuel to an already pissed-off passenger's fire, considering they've most likely paid through the nose for extra legroom.



"Flaps 20, gear down, landing checklist please..."
User currently offlineNwajetset From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 139 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4784 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
No agent for a third time.

This is precisely the point. You say on your 3 flights, you never had any contact with an agent. So if you WERE a 400 pound 15 year old with a broken leg, who do you suspect would be the one to deal with your anger when you got booted out of your "premium-paid-extra-for-seat"? The FA's.

In previous days, the gate agent would re-assign this person, and that would be that. Now that it is a premium seat with an additional fee, everyone who pays for it will expect to sit there. Rightfully so, most passengers aren't aware of the requirements of those seats.

You yourself said that you went three flights without ever coming in contact with a gate agent. I suspect that's probably the norm more than an exception. So when the situation is addressed, since there is minimal gate agent interaction, the FA's have the responsibility.

Personally, I think our union has WAY bigger issues to address, but what do I know? Maybe this DOES require all their manpower and legal genius. But I digress.


25 Cubsrule : How do you suggest selecting people to sit in the exit rows given that the majority of pax are qualified?
26 Nwajetset : Sorry Chicago, you lost me there.
27 DJ738 : You're right Onedude, "BlueZone" as it is called on DJ is rarely utilised to it's max, and "spare" exit row / extra legroom seats are happily allocat
28 Rdwootty : What about VS who have had this idea in operation for over a year? They do not seem to have any problems so why should NW or is an american passenger
29 DJ738 : As I've pretty much said above, there really is NO problem and I can't understand why this is an issue at all.
30 Jumpseat70 : HAWK44, Delta allows Exit Row seat selection from everywhere but home computers more than one hour in advance. Your statement is incorrect.
31 ODwyerPW : I'm going to weigh in with RandyWaldron on this one and explain to Cubsrule why I think their is a difference in the 3 scenarios he cited. The first 2
32 Raffik : Every UK charter airline offers the exit rows at an extra cost for passengers. On a Monarch flight from Las Palmas to Birmingham, there was an extreme
33 FLYACYYZ : There seems to be a love/hate relationship with the exit rows. Often, there is limited or no recline, and particularly on B767's, it's the coldest row
34 Cubsrule : Sorry, Jetset. I was referring to the post above yours, and you got caught in the middle as you posted just before I did.
35 Superhub : On my NW flights last week, none of the $15 exit seats were sold at all. They were empty when the door closed. And then people seated elsewhere starte
36 RandyWaldron : Yes, it could. Although it's ultimately our decision as to whom may sit there, that is an excellent alternative to avoid confrontations.
37 Zkpilot : This goes for all the other posts about this sort of thing as well : If a passenger does not meet the requirements then they are denied this seat at
38 TomFoolery : I am saddened that NW considers window seats, aisle seats and exit row seats premium seats and charges extra for them. The domestic and international
39 Ajiggity3 : NW flights attendants are taking any chance they can to complain. Explains the great service they provide on NW. (sarcasm)
40 Redneckslim : I am a 560 pound man who can't bathe because I can't risk falling.... and have really explosive gas that I can't control because of all the surplus da
41 Flyboy36y : The only problem I see is NWs willingness to alienate its Top tier fliers.
42 Cubsrule : Elite seats fill on very few flights, and domestically, when they do, upgrades open up a lot of choice space close to the flight. When you buy a Y (o
43 Cubsrule : Elite seats fill on very few flights, and domestically, when they do, upgrades open up a lot of choice space close to the flight. When you buy a Y (o
44 Skaggs : They are stupid pulling the "safety" card. The selection of exit row seats has been random or preferential treatment to good customers or gate agent c
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