Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Did Airlines Cheat Passengers During Ash Cloud?  
User currently offlinemrcomet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6948 times:

I talked with a number of travelers who had strikingly similar stories. They say airlines told them:

1) Flights were canceled that were not canceled
2) Flights were full that were not full

The idea here is that the airlines discouraged and maybe even lied to people with cheap tickets and then tried to sell tickets to the desperate travelers at elevated prices. I experienced this myself with Lufthansa. After canceling my flight, they assured me the following day flight was fully booked. They refused to even wait list me. The plane left almost empty a friend told me. Others said they were told repeatedly that planes were canceled that were not. Now, I know people on this list will say there was confusion but frankly that is not true because after my friends refused to give up they were told by supervisors that flights were not canceled and eventually got on them with people who paid thousands of dollars more to fly than them.

Airlines should not be reimbursed for this travesty. They should have to face a class action suit.


The dude abides
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLAXorLGWonDL From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6892 times:

I got the same info from AF/KL as I tried to get from OSL-LON; with continued delays midway through last week, I'm not sure how full their a/c was to AMS or CDG. With all of the cancellations, 3 colleagues and I did not end up flying back from Norway to the UK. On the Sunday of the delays, we drove/took trains to Kristiansand in southern Norway, taking the ferry to Denmark on Monday. From there it was a bus (17 miserable hours) to Calais, France, where colleagues from the UK picked us up on Tuesday, getting us home Tuesday evening. Even the bus took advantage of the situation, chargin about $100 more per pax.

It was definitely an experience and I'm sure there were many opportunities for price gouging against pax no matter how they returned home. After 5 days of sitting in Norway, I was glad to be on my way...very fortunate I was traveling for work and will be reimbursed the $2500 or so it cost me for the extended stay and travels home. I'm curious to see what/if the EU does with regards to this situation.

 robin



Next Up: STR, JFK, ATL, TPA, ANC
User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 560 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6730 times:

Let's punish the bastards who lost the most amount of money. Then maybe no one will provide air service as doing so will make them liable for acts of G-d. Great solution.

Does anyone really believe that if the airlines were canceling and reselling the fares systematically, that somehow it wouldn't become public in short order?


User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6730 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):
1) Flights were canceled that were not canceled
2) Flights were full that were not full

There are too many reason to mention why a flight could have been cancelled and reinstated. You don't have to impudently say "The airlines are wrong, blame them, law suit"

The last 2 weeks or so have been one of the hardest for the airlines ever. Total shut down of all airspace. You cant blame airlines for things going wrong, and information coming out that's incorrect. In disruption I have seen update after update come out, sometimes with totally different information, and it does get confusing.

Don't instantly think its because they want to CHEAT a passenger.


User currently offlinevv701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7399 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6461 times:

In this thread:

Lots Of Empty Seats On Post-Volcano Return (by scutfarcus Apr 25 2010 in Civil Aviation)

there are reports of very significant levels of 'no shows' following the reopening of air space.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2950 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6362 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):

The idea here is that the airlines discouraged and maybe even lied to people with cheap tickets and then tried to sell tickets to the desperate travelers at elevated prices.

Did you check out airline websites on confirmed booking / rebooking policies, before assuming a conspiracy?

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 3):
There are too many reason to mention why a flight could have been cancelled and reinstated.

  

Quoting vv701 (Reply 4):
In this thread:

Lots Of Empty Seats On Post-Volcano Return (by scutfarcus Apr 25 2010 in Civil Aviation)

there are reports of very significant levels of 'no shows' following the reopening of air space.

        



Note à moi-même - il faut respecter les cons.
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

I presume you're just seeing normal incompetence, as opposed to gross incompetence or lying that is being suggested.


They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11615 posts, RR: 60
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6239 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):

1) Flights were canceled that were not canceled
2) Flights were full that were not full

Yes I experienced both of these scenarios. I was able to check that a flight which I have been told was full actually had a significant number of seats available, and that's without allowing for no-shows, hence I could have left a day earlier but as a result had to pay for an extra night away myself. Once I conveyed my feelings on this to the said airline, Air Moldova, there was suddenly the option of leaving straight away on the Friday, instead of waiting for a flight on their own metal later that evening. I found out this was basically their way of saving money by keeping me on their own flight - totally unacceptable behavior by their booking office, who quite frankly seemed not to care about anything and frequently broke off to take personal calls on mobile phones.  
Quoting LHR380 (Reply 3):
You cant blame airlines for things going wrong, and information coming out that's incorrect. In disruption I have seen update after update come out, sometimes with totally different information, and it does get confusing.

Quite, you can't blame them for things going wrong, however if passengers have deliberately been mislead and its proven, then the airline/staff member should be reprimanded, depending on where the blame lies.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6238 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):

1) Flights were canceled that were not canceled
2) Flights were full that were not full

Possibly flights were re-instated after you checked OR went out with special flight numbers. Also, possible that they were BOOKED full when you checked, but because of the mess, actually went out quite empty as people weren't able to make their connections.

I seriously doubt if airlines are going to deliberately cheat the customers. It's in their best interests to get them moving as fast as they can to where they want to go. I heard that DL was sending at least a 747 and maybe some other a/c to Europe to move pax that have been stranded there.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6388 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6091 times:

When a crisis like this happens to any business - and especially to a pure customer service business like the airline business - then you spend all day during the crisis to plan for a recovery as smooth as possible. You scramble all resources to make sure that the cusomers can contact you and be properly advised etc.

There seems now to be clear trends telling how successful various airlines mastered that. And when the "dust has settled" ( ! ) then more accurate fingerpointing will take place.

Those airlines who did a good job will have earned customer confidense. Those who didn't will have to lower their fares even further to fill their planes in the future, and that way make their bank manager even less happy.

From what some airlines are telling as "excuses" it seems like they have totally forgotten that they exist only for one single reason: Customer service.

I'm not in the airline business, but in another customer service business. If I had handled a similar crisis the way some airlines seem to handle this crisis, then I would be unemployed.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinemrcomet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5500 times:

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 3):
Don't instantly think its because they want to CHEAT a passenger.

I didn't instantly think this and I understand many of you work for the airlines. But this behavior during this time can only be classified as extremely unusual. I had a number of people tell me this (I was at a conference). The manipulation only seemed to last a few days but to write it off as difficulties of a big problem is not satisfactory.

Consider the evidence

1) People whose flights were canceled were told there were no opening typically for two to three days despite being many openings. This is why there were so many no shows.

2) Airfares tripled over those few days

3) Airlines refused to fly people on other carriers without huge jumps in ticket prices. It used to be standard practice.

4) In some cases, people were called and told their flights were canceled when they were not.

I think airlines decided to make the best of it all and move the cheaper pre-booked tickets out a few days so they could cash in on desperation. Ticketing is handled by huge data systems and that should avoid confusion. How come an underling can look at a flight and find in full and a supervisor not?

You'll have to do better than that.



The dude abides
User currently offlinemrcomet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5457 times:

More evidence: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ritons-british-airways-seat-prices

"BA has increased the price of long-haul tickets from airports where customers remain stranded following the volcanic eruption in Iceland, placing them on sale to other travellers for as much as £4,700.

Passengers stuck in India, China and the US said the earliest flights they have been offered leave more than two weeks from now even though the airline has put on sale tickets for flights that depart sooner. Many are furious the seats have been placed on the open market when they are desperate to get home and are facing increasingly chaotic situations."


See what I mean????



The dude abides
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5419 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 11):
See what I mean????

So, we're talking about just BA and not all airlines as you stated?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2950 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5342 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 10):
1) People whose flights were canceled were told there were no opening typically for two to three days despite being many openings. This is why there were so many no shows.

1. Airlines didn't know when flights were going to resume and where until the vary last minute.
2. How do you know there were many openings? And if there were openings, how many of them occurred at the last minute (e.g. many business travellers I know made multiple bookings at refundable fares, took the first flight that became available, and cancelled the rest).

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 10):
2) Airfares tripled over those few days

1. What's your evidence?
2. Maybe they just went from discounted fares to full fare - pretty normal for last minute bookings. According to the policies on their websites, the major airlines were all honouring issued tickets at the purchased fare, subject to availability. If someone wanted to jump the queue, they had to buy a new ticket at the going price, generally full fare.

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 10):
Airlines refused to fly people on other carriers without huge jumps in ticket prices. It used to be standard practice.

1. "Used to be"
2. Except for a few flights, other carriers were in the same boat. Why would they bump their own pax to accommodate another carrier.

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 10):
In some cases, people were called and told their flights were canceled when they were not.

I wouldn't be surprised, given the incredible number of affected flights, and the last-minute opening of airspace. In my case I was notified by e-mail that my flight to FRA was cancelled, and then called about 12 hours later to be told the flight could now operate but could still be subject to a last minute diversion. I was given the choice of taking the reinstated flight, or waiting until there was a flight with FRA as the confirmed destination. No change in fare.

BTW, I do not work for an airline.



Note à moi-même - il faut respecter les cons.
User currently offlinebestwestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7081 posts, RR: 57
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5294 times:

Quoting vv701 (Reply 4):

there are reports of very significant levels of 'no shows' following the reopening of air space.

That the airlines didn't expect. So many intra-Euopeans took other routes home, rather than fly.

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):
After canceling my flight, they assured me the following day flight was fully booked. They refused to even wait list me. The plane left almost empty a friend told me

Why would an airline do this?

If the plane left almost empty, the airline didnt sell tickets, did they?

The flight was full, perhaps passengers connections were not possible that the airline was expecting to be made?

Quoting mrcomet (Thread starter):
Others said they were told repeatedly that planes were canceled that were not

Things were changing on an hourly basis. One minute the flight was operating, and the next minute the flight was not operating.

Quoting LAXorLGWonDL (Reply 1):
I got the same info from AF/KL as I tried to get from OSL-LON

Flights were cancelled, and airlines really didnt know how many passengers were waiting for a flight.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineohthedrama747 From UK - Scotland, joined Jan 2005, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5285 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 11):
More evidence: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...ritons-british-airways-seat-prices

"BA has increased the price of long-haul tickets from airports where customers remain stranded following the volcanic eruption in Iceland, placing them on sale to other travellers for as much as £4,700.

Passengers stuck in India, China and the US said the earliest flights they have been offered leave more than two weeks from now even though the airline has put on sale tickets for flights that depart sooner. Many are furious the seats have been placed on the open market when they are desperate to get home and are facing increasingly chaotic situations."


See what I mean????

This was to discourage new bookings so they could get stranded people home first, or so they say.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2950 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5233 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 11):
See what I mean????

Did you read the rest of the article? One of the reasons was to discourage scalping (i.e. travel agents block buying and then reselling at higher prices). And according to BA, stranded pax have access to these seats at their original fare.



Note à moi-même - il faut respecter les cons.
User currently offlinemrcomet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5203 times:

And this from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/apr/25/volcano-stranded

"Lionel Frewin, who is marooned in Singapore, wrote:

After holding on for nearly an hour to BA's less than helpful call centre, we were offered the opportunity of an immediate rebooking for 1 May or a refund. If we didn't take that booking we would be put back to 5 May. We had no opportunity to make inquiries of other airlines and therefore had no alternative than to take the 1 May booking.

Having checked the BA website daily, as they suggested, we have found that they are offering seats in business class on most flights but that the prices of these have been greatly increased. If you look at availability for flights after 5 May, seats currently priced at between 7,000 to 11,000 Singapore dollars (£3,320 to £5,217) are back to S$2,000. This seems to give the lie to BA's claim that they are doing everything to get stranded travellers back to the UK."



I am sorry but you don't tell passengers they can't get home and then charge ridiculous fees to others to fly.....



The dude abides
User currently offlinemrcomet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 520 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5143 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 13):

2. How do you know there were many openings? And if there were openings, how many of them occurred at the last minute (e.g. many business travellers I know made multiple bookings at refundable fares, took the first flight that became available, and cancelled the rest).

I have anecdotal evidence. A friend was on the same flight that was supposedly full. She called me to tell me the flight was empty. I guess not enough business passengers forked over tripled rates to fly.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 13):
1. What's your evidence?
2. Maybe they just went from discounted fares to full fare - pretty normal for last minute bookings. According to the policies on their websites, the major airlines were all honouring issued tickets at the purchased fare, subject to availability. If someone wanted to jump the queue, they had to buy a new ticket at the going price, generally full fare.

Read the articles. This isn't in question. Many airlines tripled and quadrupled fairs. It just wasn't BA. It was a number of airlines including Lufthansa and Austrian. Here is the problem -- if you're told your flight is cancelled (as many were) and it was not, you will not use up the expensive seat. And the fares were HIGHER than full fares.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 13):
1. "Used to be"
2. Except for a few flights, other carriers were in the same boat. Why would they bump their own pax to accommodate another carrier.

Yes, but they could have used empty seats but they refused. Airlines, for some reason, wanted their seats open and not used by stranded passengers.

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 14):
Why would an airline do this?

If the plane left almost empty, the airline didn't sell tickets, did they?

They didn't want the airplane to leave empty. They wanted desperate people to pay top dollar. Many refused and thus planes were empty while stranded passengers were told they couldn't get on. It is silly but its greed based silliness.

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 16):
Did you read the rest of the article? One of the reasons was to discourage scalping (i.e. travel agents block buying and then reselling at higher prices). And according to BA, stranded pax have access to these seats at their original fare.

Do you believe this? We're going to raise ticket prices by three times to keep other people from scalping and to discourage new bookings? That's the most ridiculous thing I eve heard especially when people with existing tickets were told there was no room.

I think its pretty clear what happened. Airlines are businesses too.



The dude abides
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2950 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4789 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 18):
They didn't want the airplane to leave empty. They wanted desperate people to pay top dollar. Many refused and thus planes were empty while stranded passengers were told they couldn't get on.

That just doesn't make any business sense whatsoever - they're still bound to carry the pax at some point, so why would they willingly fly empty and lose future revenue capacity? They'd just be increasing their losses.

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 18):
Many airlines tripled and quadrupled fairs. It just wasn't BA. It was a number of airlines including Lufthansa and Austrian.

And your evidence is? LH went to full fare in some cases FOR NEW BOOKINGS, rather than discounted fares, but it did not triple or quadruple its AUTHORIZED fares. In my experience, issued tickets were and are being honoured.

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 18):
Do you believe this? We're going to raise ticket prices by three times to keep other people from scalping and to discourage new bookings? That's the most ridiculous thing I eve heard

So how would you have prevented scalping? And it was happening - overpriced tickets were (and maybe still are) being offered on-line. It actually sounds perfectly rational to me - every new booking not made gives you capacity to carry someone who has a ticket and whom you're bound to carry at some point.

Despite your anecdotal evidence, 2 + 2 does not equal 22.



Note à moi-même - il faut respecter les cons.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4643 times:

Quoting mrcomet (Reply 18):

Without responding to every statement of yours, I'll just say this. This is the most ridiculous twaddle that I've ever seen on here. The statements you are posting make no business sense, whatsoever. Why tell someone that a flight is full if it really isn't on the chance that you "might" be able to fill it up with higher fares, especially since most of what we're talking about is intra-European travel, which affords several different alternatives to air travel. Better to fill the a/c up with the pax that already have tickets, because you're going to have to move them, eventually.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

Lets not forget that loads move and change quite a bit. I was looking at rebooking the next day it was full then all of a sudden seats come up then it is full again.

I think in this situation alot of people were changing travel plans. Every day that the disrupt went longer, someone else cancelled.

IE I was flying to LAX on FRI, rebooked for SAT, then SUN, then MON, then on MON PM cancelled the trip as it was no longer viable. Each day flights were full then free, then full.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10351 posts, RR: 14
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4413 times:

Quoting ANstar (Reply 21):
Lets not forget that loads move and change quite a bit. I was looking at rebooking the next day it was full then all of a sudden seats come up then it is full again.

I think in this situation alot of people were changing travel plans. Every day that the disrupt went longer, someone else cancelled.

     

For someone to say that the airlines deliberately aggravated the problem to jack up the fares or screw the pax is just ridiculous. The airlines know it's in their best interest, in a situation like this, to move their pax as efficiently as possible. It would be stupid to let any a/c go out empty in a case like this, unless it couldn't be helped. If no one shows up, for whatever reason, and the a/c is permitted to leave, the airline needs to move that a/c, so that when things do get back to normal, they've got the right a/c in the right station to get things back on an even keel.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineLAXorLGWonDL From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 137 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4297 times:

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 14):
Quoting LAXorLGWonDL (Reply 1):
I got the same info from AF/KL as I tried to get from OSL-LON

Flights were cancelled, and airlines really didnt know how many passengers were waiting for a flight.

I agree, especially with not knowing who had/had not made it to OSL for flights. The first two attempts, they rebooked me immediately, as I'd expect. On that Sunday, nobody knew when we'd fly out...hence the crazy trip home.   I never expected any airline to fly so long as there was a potential risk...it was just general madness that I don't think could be helped much by anybody.

Sadly, I heard of people being taken advantage of in many ways....but this tends to be the way of supply and demand...it's similar when there's a threat of natural disaster or blizzards or whatever and people panic to go buy gas, food, etc.

 robin



Next Up: STR, JFK, ATL, TPA, ANC
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13169 posts, RR: 78
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4182 times:

It does seem in plenty of cases, that pax stranded had been told to keep in contact, but did not do so.
Not showing at the airport, their phones switched off.

BA have received a large amount of correspondence from pax who had been stranded and eventually got back by air.
The vast majority of it thanking the airline for their efforts in these unprecedented circumstances.
But you will never hear any of that in the press.

Also consider which UK international long haul airline stuck it's neck out and actually lobbied, helped by their test flight info, to get UK airspace open, as the rest of European ATC was doing so on it's own.
Wasn't the bearded one was it? Not a peep out of him during the crisis. Not typical for him.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Volcanic Ash Cloud To See End Of Airlines posted Mon Apr 19 2010 03:32:19 by EZYAirbus
What Did Airlines Do During The 1970's Oil Crisis? posted Wed Jun 4 2008 16:47:45 by B6MoneyGuyJFK
Will Ash Cloud Affect Boeing? posted Wed Apr 21 2010 16:36:55 by MikeE07
Do Airlines Cheat Us By Saving Our IP Address? posted Sat Jan 9 2010 16:54:17 by Eugegall
Did Airlines Ever Name Flights? posted Fri Apr 24 2009 12:42:08 by SJC30L
Latest Salvo In War Between Airlines & Passengers posted Thu Jul 17 2008 14:35:37 by Dutchflyboi
Ground Crew Sing At Passengers During Delay posted Mon Mar 31 2008 13:14:03 by Singapore_Air
Is The Ash Cloud From The Big Island Impacting? posted Tue Mar 25 2008 08:47:39 by BP1
PHX: How Did Airlines/Airport Perform? posted Mon Feb 4 2008 06:18:48 by SkyTeamTriStar
When Did Airlines First Publish Web Addresses? posted Thu Jan 3 2008 19:14:12 by Zrs70