I am speaking with none -- zero -- expertise here, but re: the Travelocity Bashing---
I think it may be because people who buy through Travelocity, et. al. may be more "sophisticated" when it comes to bargin prices and expectations than Joe who just calls airline X directly (or books on their website or ...).
I have done 90+% of my long haul flying with NWA because I've enjoyed good service and, well, they're my only choice into PLN which is where I end up 90+% of the time I fly.
I have never -- and likely will never -- bought a ticket through NWA's website. I've bought through agents, and I've bought through Travelocity and Orbitz. The fares work out to be about the same, (usually in the $400+ range, which for a student...) but I sometimes get better times and I have the advantage of having an extra party to contact if there's an issue (not that it does much good since it's a NW
plated ticket, but still...).
Also, the reason I've done my more recent travel with Travelocity/Orbitz (except my AS
/AA flights in December) is they'll sell me routings that I could never find on an airline website... And for someone who enjoys flying LAX
-PLN and SAN
-PLN can get real
boring... Orbitz sold me LAX
for the first and last two legs (got a 747, 777 and a DC-9, plus got to see ORD
out of that) and Travelocity sold me SAN
for the first and last two (Got to see ATL
, and fly a 767, DL
and Comair for the first time...).
You can't buy that on anyone (except possibly AA
's) website...and heck, DL
wouldn't even sell it to me over the phone (I drove some very friendly agent's call time way
up with that one while she and a supervisor tried getting their res system to take that routing...or anything even resembling it).
And if you're going to sell me a ticket in the Y cabin, I should have a right as your customer to expect the same level of service as everyone else in the Y cabin (Yes, many pax have unreasonable expectations regardless of fare. Airlines could probably do a better job of managing expectations
Just because "you" were willing to sell me a ticket at a price lower than rack rate and I accepted does not mean I should lower my expectations to match, nor does it give me any less right to complain when there is something legitimate to complaing about (destroying my bag, for example).
If I were to buy an article of clothing on sale, it seems to me (and I could be wrong) -- by that logic -- that I should expect it to be inferior to the same article of clothing not on sale?
I completely agree that some pax go "overboard" have unreasonable expectations (and don't know that they have a right to any expectations with a service like Priceline) and will complain about absolutely everything but don't write off their complaints just because they purchased online. Keep in mind that you're at least getting some money with a butt in that seat vs. flying an empty seat around. Yield management is a science.
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