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AirbusMDCFAN
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US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Tue May 02, 2017 10:36 pm

Link/Source: http://atwonline.com/regulation/us-lawm ... fc0ede8f13


"Angry lawmakers vented their frustration at US airline executives during a congressional hearing on airline customer service Tuesday, threatening to legislate if airlines don’t step up their game."

"But for some congressmen, it was still not enough. Several lawmakers pointed out that they were frequent fliers themselves and some related their own stories of poor airline customer service, delays or canceled flights."
“Air travel can be a stressful experience as many of us on this dais knows,” committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania) said in his opening statement. “Getting to the airport, checking in, getting to your gate on time can rattle even the most seasoned traveler. But the whole process starts with the purchase of a ticket. When on our constituents buys that ticket, there is an expectation that they will be treated fairly and with respect by the airlines."

Here is a 2nd part to the whole issue that US Lawmakers are "grilling" airline execs on: http://atwonline.com/blog/us-lawmakers- ... fc0ede8f13

A good part of the issue, is that the passengers themselves, do not read the fine print that comes with the ticket.
If you buy a ticket on Allegiant or Spirit, but expect 1st class service, there are some serious issues.
People just point click and buy the 1st ticket that they see that tends to be the cheapest. However the 2nd part of the issue, is that
when a person buys a ticket 3rd party, and things like schedule changes occur, or a flight is canceled, often when the online/agency
receives the information, they tend not to pass it on to the person who bought the ticket. Also, the online agencies often do not disclose baggage fees
and other fees that maybe associated with the ticket, and that some airlines do not or only give out up to 50% mileage credits for tickets bought 3rd party.
 
Varsity1
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Tue May 02, 2017 11:00 pm

I watched it live. It was pretty entertaining. AS and WN had their act together and it showed. The rest were a fumbled mess.
 
grbauc
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Tue May 02, 2017 11:10 pm

Thank god we have government to save us from are stupidity. I'm sure they can come in a regulate a better system, there track record on other issues is stellar.
 
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piedmontf284000
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Tue May 02, 2017 11:19 pm

What a joke. Another grandstanding performance by US congressional leaders. Yelling at the airline executives and stating the obvious with one saying that airlines are now charging for oxygen.

Where were all these so called congressional leaders when airlines were tacking on fees left and right? Where were they when there were all time lows in customer service satisfaction polls? Where were they when airlines cancel hundreds of flights in reaction to a "possible" weather event only for nothing to happen and leaving thousands stranded.

The US Congress does this nonsense all the time...wait until something happens that is major news and then they flex their muscle and huff and puff. If they did their job in the first place and didn't allow these ridiculous fees, ridiculous seating practices, overbooking, and cancellation of flights, which btw is a direct result of congressional polices to penalize airlines for delayed flights...then the majority of airline consumers would be much better served.

Unfortunately we have congressional leaders who like to play the part only when it's beneficial to them and makes them look good.
 
kiowa
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:17 am

Term limits!
 
jumbojet
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:49 am

American, United, Alaska and Southwest were invited to the congressional hearing. I wonder why Delta wasn't?
 
cheapgreek
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:51 am

grbauc wrote:
Thank god we have government to save us from are stupidity. I'm sure they can come in a regulate a better system, there track record on other issues is stellar.


Yes, this a major problem in this country, with the millions who fly every year and only a handful who have a problem. Never mind the rising killings in shopping centers, theaters, schools, etc, the rising cost of health care, the failing infrastructure, bridges, water systems, electrical grids, overloaded landfills, etc. Have you noticed they never fix anything but jump at the chance to make themselves look good with petty issues.
I think airlines have done very well over the years and as far as overbooking, there are many no shows which contribute to flights departing with empty seats. Its the nature of the business, people booking flights on several airlines and last minute pick one to go on.
 
charlienorth
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:52 am

Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:56 am

Best scripted performance by AA. She had well prepared answer for every question. Looks like AA had mock sessions.
All posts are just opinions.
 
strfyr51
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:15 am

If they REALLY want a specific outcome?? RE-Regulate!! Don't just flap Gums!!
As long as the airlines maintain a REALLY good safety record?
All the rest is BS! And we ALL know they're NOT going to Re-Regulate!!
So all they're doing is flapping their Lips and Beating their Gums!!
Give the BS a Break!!
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:17 am

State-imposed regulations rarely have the same impact as self-imposed regulations. Customer service should be ingrained into the work culture & ethos of the company itself to be really effective.

Lawmakers should wait & watch to see if the recent events trigger a rethink within airlines to change their ways. Guide them towards the goal but dont herd/force them. If we dont see a change within a period (say 2 years), then yes, start imposing regulations to get them in line.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
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BroadwayLimited
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:39 am

Turn off the cameras, and not the first congressman would show up.

Don't forget, these are the same congressman, who also takes a ton of money (bribes) from these same airlines.
Signed up for Delta and Eastern Frequent Flyer Programs August 30, 1981.
 
jumbojet
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:57 am

charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:59 am

jumbojet wrote:
American, United, Alaska and Southwest were invited to the congressional hearing. I wonder why Delta wasn't?


ALL the major U.S. carriers were invited; only the four showed up.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:08 am

BroadwayLimited wrote:
Turn off the cameras, and not the first congressman would show up.

Don't forget, these are the same congressman, who also takes a ton of money (bribes) from these same airlines.


Interesting. Do you have a list of airline/congressperson/bribe amounts?
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:17 am

Just a couple hours of grandstanding WooHoo......

Be careful what you ask for with regulation I guarantee it will be worse and much more expensive for the consumer. The reason your tickets are as cheap as they are is because there is no leg room, no shoulder room, baggage fees, change fees, overbooking, etc..........take any of those away and ticket prices are going up. If they are regulated to keep fares low then the airlines will fail and become state owned and state owned will be MUCH worse.
 
HVN2HEL2LAX
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:28 am

And these carries want to do the flying public a favor and privatize ATC w/ their sorry a$s running the show. How in the hell did our system (government/air/etc.) get so screwed up?
 
cheapgreek
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:59 am

jumbojet wrote:
charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


I think the airlines are doing a good job considering the type of customers they have to serve. People want cheap fares and expect to be treated like royalty. Over the years I have seen customers behave like spoiled brats and make outrageous demands while traveling on a cheap fare. The congress only like to give the impression that they care, but in reality, they could not care less. The congress gave us the Wright amendment which for years strangled Dallas love field and the perimeter rules at DCA and LGA.
They know nothing about airlines and airports and yet grandstand to garner votes for the next election.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 5:11 am

It very much serves the industry right to be hauled in front of Congress and grilled at this time. Yes, a lot of Congresscritters probably don't care, and yes, legislation is unlikely. Yes, elected officials can love to grandstand. But the consolidated airline industry is arrogant and has significantly reduced competition for consumers. They need to have their high-priced Armani lapels roughed up by Congress on camera. In the case of forced removal of seated passengers, the industry seems to be getting the message (for now).

The one thing it seems to me Congress could do that would really help passengers in denied-boarding situations is to require airlines to compensate customers in cash, and remove any legal limits on the amounts airlines can spend. I would love to pay for an airline ticket by typing into the payment field, "A voucher good for this airline to spend on DCA-ROCguy any way they want in the next 12 months, or they lose it." Of course they wouldn't accept that. And passengers shouldn't have to either.

Yes, some passengers make unreasonble demands. But that fact is completely irrelevant to this situation. Airlines should be required to compensate passengers in cold, hard cash credited to the card on which payment to the airline was made.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Blueballs
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 7:37 am

jumbojet wrote:
charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.

Wouldn't it be great if some of the flying public stopped acting like garbage?
 
N505fx
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 7:49 am

Congress has a les than 19% approval rating and they are going to lecture private companies on customer service? Their bluster was cringeworthy at best, downright depressing that such idiots, like Peter DeFazio of Oregon, even have power in this country. There were a few level headed members on the panel...but few and far between. Also, someone needs to smack Duncan Hunter in the head with an OAG, so he can figure out that there is more one flight that can get him from San Diego to IAD a day. Bunch of incompetent fools.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 9:50 am

jumbojet wrote:
The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


I think airlines have the right to threat passengers as garbage if for the right price. Keep in mind that adding more customer service will also increase the ticket price and some customers don't want that. They prefer to be threated like garbage over paying more for a ticket. That's the way the market works. Of course there are also passengers who prefer to pay more for more service, but not everybody is like that. Give the passenger the choice.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 10:09 am

BroadwayLimited wrote:
Turn off the cameras, and not the first congressman would show up.

Don't forget, these are the same congressman, who also takes a ton of money (bribes) from these same airlines.


Right term is campaign finance. I am sure it was discussed last night at Georgetown restaurant.

Over years I realized one thing, some of the harshest critics in public hearings may very well in the bed, unless the issue goes for voting, we will never know the motives.
All posts are just opinions.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:13 pm

DCA-ROCguy wrote:
The one thing it seems to me Congress could do that would really help passengers in denied-boarding situations is to require airlines to compensate customers in cash, and remove any legal limits on the amounts airlines can spend.


You might want to review DOT's denied boarding compensation requirements:

- Involuntary denied boarding comp must be paid in cash or check, not vouchers for future travel

- There is no cap on payments for voluntary denied boarding; negotiate well
 
b747400erf
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:15 pm

grbauc wrote:
Thank god we have government to save us from are stupidity. I'm sure they can come in a regulate a better system, there track record on other issues is stellar.

They obviously did not regulate the English class you attended.
 
b747400erf
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:19 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


I think airlines have the right to threat passengers as garbage if for the right price. Keep in mind that adding more customer service will also increase the ticket price and some customers don't want that. They prefer to be threated like garbage over paying more for a ticket. That's the way the market works. Of course there are also passengers who prefer to pay more for more service, but not everybody is like that. Give the passenger the choice.

The magic of the free market, like a religion to many Americans.
 
b747400erf
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 12:20 pm

CriticalPoint wrote:
Just a couple hours of grandstanding WooHoo......

Be careful what you ask for with regulation I guarantee it will be worse and much more expensive for the consumer. The reason your tickets are as cheap as they are is because there is no leg room, no shoulder room, baggage fees, change fees, overbooking, etc..........take any of those away and ticket prices are going up. If they are regulated to keep fares low then the airlines will fail and become state owned and state owned will be MUCH worse.

You guarantee it? Very strong language but no evidence to back it up.
 
AEROFAN
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:42 pm

cheapgreek wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


I think the airlines are doing a good job considering the type of customers they have to serve. People want cheap fares and expect to be treated like royalty...
'

It never fails to amuse me how ridiculous some of you airline employees are. When you go to purchase your burger from the burger joint, do you expect to be served with a modicum of courtesy or do you expect to have the meal thrown in your face and the employee shouting at you? Based on your statement I would expect the burger to be thrown in your face coz after all you certainly are not dining at Per se
“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” ~Harlan Ellison~
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:46 pm

You might want to review DOT's denied boarding compensation requirements:

- Involuntary denied boarding comp must be paid in cash or check, not vouchers for future travel

- There is no cap on payments for voluntary denied boarding; negotiate well


Yes, but the airlines assume that the average passenger doesn't know this. I've been at the counter when others were being bumped and all the gate agents offered were vouchers. I was the victim of this a couple of years ago, actually. If you don't know the law or rules ahead of time and forcefully express yourself, the airlines more or less just offer vouchers, in my experience, which they know will mostly not be used, which means that they're out very little.

I like the idea of putting any compensation straight back on the ticket buyer's credit card. That would be the best, most logical way of doing things. Deny boarding? "Okay, that's 10K being transferred right now back onto your card. Sorry you're going to be a day late to your vacation destination but 10K should be enough to handle the day you're losing on the costly hotel reservation with plenty left over for a meal at a fancy restaurant." The immediacy of having to fork over 10K right then and there might also make airlines more proactive about asking for volunteers at lower compensation amounts earlier. Heck, a lot of folks like me would take a flight a couple of hours later just for an upgrade to business class. It doesn't have to take 10K , just some creativity on the airlines' parts.
 
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william
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 1:56 pm

Hmm, maybe should not have allowed all of those mergers that did away with true competition.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:21 pm

AEROFAN wrote:
It never fails to amuse me how ridiculous some of you airline employees are. When you go to purchase your burger from the burger joint, do you expect to be served with a modicum of courtesy or do you expect to have the meal thrown in your face and the employee shouting at you? Based on your statement I would expect the burger to be thrown in your face coz after all you certainly are not dining at Per se
Welcome to Burger King!

Seriously though, this is just how these things work. Yes, there is grandstanding involved, but I am willing to bet the public very much sides with congress on this one. The airlines have been put on notice that event like the UA event are unacceptable. The airlines are being given a chance to fix it themselves first, but if incidents keep happening, rules/laws will be changed. The same process happened with tarmac delays, and when the incidents didn't stop, we got the three hour rule.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
Amiga500
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:28 pm

Self-regulation ain't worth the paper its (not) written on.

When the public interest runs contrary to the airlines' profit margins, then the public interest will be sacrificed.
 
Amiga500
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:31 pm

AEROFAN wrote:
It never fails to amuse me how ridiculous some of you airline employees are.


Indeed.

It'd be funny if it weren't so irritating. They are obviously completely incapable of critical self-evaluation.

Which is more than a bit worrying when you are relying on such people to spot (real, not imagined) potential safety issues and proactively deal with them in a sensible fashion.
 
CriticalPoint
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:39 pm

b747400erf wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:
Just a couple hours of grandstanding WooHoo......

Be careful what you ask for with regulation I guarantee it will be worse and much more expensive for the consumer. The reason your tickets are as cheap as they are is because there is no leg room, no shoulder room, baggage fees, change fees, overbooking, etc..........take any of those away and ticket prices are going up. If they are regulated to keep fares low then the airlines will fail and become state owned and state owned will be MUCH worse.

You guarantee it? Very strong language but no evidence to back it up.


Ok maybe I can't guarantee it however what I can guarantee is if the airlines become state owned they will cut corners to lower prices for the consumer. When crews start staying at flea bag, bed bug infested motels with no food around except for McDonalds in unsafe areas, and when they cut the pay in half and start skimping on training I will quit. I know I'm not alone on this. I will not spend half of my month in a shit hole just to be a pilot. I will not spend half my month away from home doing the amount of work it requires to operate a flight for the yearly pay of a bus driver. I will not put my life at risk when corners start being cut in safety and hiring standards. I will not have minimum rest every night and max schedule every month. I will find another way to support my family and stay alive. I can also guarantee you that if the day comes that I have to quit because conditions have deteriorated that much, then you will never see me on an airplane again.

When you create a garbage work environment you get garbage employees. You will get mechanics with no experience and high turnover. You will get pilots that don't speak english and have minimum training. You want cheap tickets, no middle seats, more recline, better food, free booze, no change fees, no overbooking, more leg room etc......There will be smoking holes all over the country.
 
ElPistolero
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 2:45 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:

I think airlines have the right to threat passengers as garbage if for the right price. Keep in mind that adding more customer service will also increase the ticket price and some customers don't want that. They prefer to be threated like garbage over paying more for a ticket. That's the way the market works. Of course there are also passengers who prefer to pay more for more service, but not everybody is like that. Give the passenger the choice.


The only 'garbage' here is the 'cheap fare' logic.

How does one define cheap fares:

By comparing it to past price of providing the product (ie - airfares are so low compared to the 1960s)?

Or by comparing it to the current price of providing the service?

Reality is, U.S. carriers make 3 times more profit per passenger than EU carriers. While that may be indicative of many factors, it should put to bed this notion of US consumers buying cheap fares. At least insofar as they're paying 3 times the premium EU passengers pay. That doesn't fit any definition of cheap. Factor in 'record' profits, and these claims of cheap pax look plain silly.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/2 ... ssons-lack

Also worth noting that EU carriers don't seem to be as keen on punishing cheap passengers - certainly not as much as some American posters here. Maybe it's a cultural thing? Maybe American carriers feel like they're entitled to even higher profits, and customers not paying enough deserve to be punished?

Personally, I believe that if you can't sell a product without feeling the need to treat your customer like garbage, you should consider leaving the industry. As you're probably aware, the right to a guaranteed profit doesn't exist.
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:03 pm

The US government needs to realize that people get what they pay for. The flying public demands low fares and the airlines delivered. They dont get to complain that they have to pay to check bags or for a meal on the plane. With the low fares, comes service that you would see on a bus. Thats fine, but dont complain about it.

The US government needs to stick to what is important to regulate in the airline industry: safety and nothing else.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:06 pm

A problem in air travel, as in medical care, is a lack of transparency in what you are paying for. Not quite so bad in air travel as in medical care, but close.

We really need an independent rating commission for air travel. Maybe I want to buy a poor seat, and save some money. Then again if I spend more, I expect more, but given the current system I could pay triple and still end up with crap service.

Possible short rating descriptions:
Cramped, no amenities, no hassle, good for up to 45 minutes, maybe OK two hours.
OK, but not good for trans-continental, expect some hassle
OK usually but lots of hassle when things go wrong

Hassle: ease of buying tickets, boarding, using overheads, rebooking when flights cancelled or delayed.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
ikramerica
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:22 pm

piedmontf284000 wrote:
What a joke. Another grandstanding performance by US congressional leaders. Yelling at the airline executives and stating the obvious with one saying that airlines are now charging for oxygen.

Where were all these so called congressional leaders when airlines were tacking on fees left and right? Where were they when there were all time lows in customer service satisfaction polls? Where were they when airlines cancel hundreds of flights in reaction to a "possible" weather event only for nothing to happen and leaving thousands stranded.

The US Congress does this nonsense all the time...wait until something happens that is major news and then they flex their muscle and huff and puff. If they did their job in the first place and didn't allow these ridiculous fees, ridiculous seating practices, overbooking, and cancellation of flights, which btw is a direct result of congressional polices to penalize airlines for delayed flights...then the majority of airline consumers would be much better served.

Unfortunately we have congressional leaders who like to play the part only when it's beneficial to them and makes them look good.

Congress can tax fees tomorrow if they wanted to. Not the government taxes, but baggage, seat selection, change, fuel surcharge, all that jazz. Anything that isn't taxed now coild be taxed. As it stands now, it's a way to get around the taxes.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ckfred
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Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:28 pm

The problem with the airline industry is that many, many people view air travel as a commodity. The driving choice is price, followed by the schedule. And for many business travelers, the choice is made by the company. My wife's current employer requires her to fly UA. Her prior employer also required her to fly UA. The employer before that had her fly DL, because the company was headquartered in Cincinnati, when CVG was a major DL hub.

For people, airlines are like milk and butter. Whether Dean's, Land 'O Lakes, Kemp's, or the store brand, they are all pretty much alike.

This isn't the era when the original Braniff installed leather seats in the fleet and served cherries jubilee for dessert in first class, or Delta serving southern cuisine for meal service in Y and F, such as grits for breakfast. This was also back when many of DL's flight attendants were from the South and had southern accents.

Clearly, the airlines screwed up their marketing in the post de-regulation era. Even in the 1990s and 2000s, I knew people who swore that Buicks were better than Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, even though it was common for a GM plant building, say full-size cars, to assemble Pontiac Bonnevilles, Oldsmobile 88s, and Buick LeSabres on the same line. It's because of GM marketing.

That said, one of the issues overlooked in the United incident at ORD is the fact that airport security was far too rough for Dr. Dao. Despite the clothing with the word "Police" stitched on, those aren't officers in the Chicago Police Department (although many are retired CPD officers), and they aren't allowed to carry firearms. I'm not sure if they even have the authority to place someone under arrest.

My main issue is the change fee. The change fee for a restricted ticket can range from $50 to $250. In the era of computers and on-line ticketing, what is the actual cost for an airline to change a reservation? If a person were do make a change on-line, it's probably pennies.

Clearly, airlines have implemented high fees to discourage people from making changes with discounted tickets. The idea is that a business flyer on a less-restricted or unrestricted ticket may need to change an itinerary, because of changes in plans. On the other hand, a leisure flyer, in theory, is supposed to be more fixed in travel dates.

But, we know that plans change People get sick. Relatives pass away. Someone planning a vacation may need to cancel because of a problem at work. I know people who have planned vacations just before the start of the school year, and then the school board shifts the calendar. So, the family winds up with a vacation scheduled for the first week of school.

This is where airlines need to be more customer-friendly.
 
manny
Posts: 563
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:59 am

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:40 pm

We need regulations that protect passengers. The fact that no one wants to do anything about it tells me it was a dog and pony show to give the appearance they are doing there jobs,
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 3:54 pm

ElPistolero wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:

I think airlines have the right to threat passengers as garbage if for the right price. Keep in mind that adding more customer service will also increase the ticket price and some customers don't want that. They prefer to be threated like garbage over paying more for a ticket. That's the way the market works. Of course there are also passengers who prefer to pay more for more service, but not everybody is like that. Give the passenger the choice.


The only 'garbage' here is the 'cheap fare' logic.

How does one define cheap fares:

By comparing it to past price of providing the product (ie - airfares are so low compared to the 1960s)?

Or by comparing it to the current price of providing the service?

Reality is, U.S. carriers make 3 times more profit per passenger than EU carriers. While that may be indicative of many factors, it should put to bed this notion of US consumers buying cheap fares. At least insofar as they're paying 3 times the premium EU passengers pay. That doesn't fit any definition of cheap. Factor in 'record' profits, and these claims of cheap pax look plain silly.

http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/2 ... ssons-lack

Also worth noting that EU carriers don't seem to be as keen on punishing cheap passengers - certainly not as much as some American posters here. Maybe it's a cultural thing? Maybe American carriers feel like they're entitled to even higher profits, and customers not paying enough deserve to be punished?

Personally, I believe that if you can't sell a product without feeling the need to treat your customer like garbage, you should consider leaving the industry. As you're probably aware, the right to a guaranteed profit doesn't exist.

True about record profits. The profits are record because of continued cramming in of passengers to a point of discomfort. And with the consolidation, ok many routes there is NO CHOICE, just two carriers with the same philosophy.

AA adding 3 rows of Y to a 738 is greed because they can now, because there isn't enough competition anymore, and because they know other of the big 3 are racing to do the same thing.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
TonyBurr
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 1:00 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 4:12 pm

This is just another joke/show on the part of congress and the airlines. This is suppose to make the public feel that congress if looking out for their good. Total show on both parts.
 
CriticalPoint
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 5:53 pm

ckfred wrote:
The problem with the airline industry is that many, many people view air travel as a commodity. The driving choice is price, followed by the schedule. And for many business travelers, the choice is made by the company. My wife's current employer requires her to fly UA. Her prior employer also required her to fly UA. The employer before that had her fly DL, because the company was headquartered in Cincinnati, when CVG was a major DL hub.

For people, airlines are like milk and butter. Whether Dean's, Land 'O Lakes, Kemp's, or the store brand, they are all pretty much alike.

This isn't the era when the original Braniff installed leather seats in the fleet and served cherries jubilee for dessert in first class, or Delta serving southern cuisine for meal service in Y and F, such as grits for breakfast. This was also back when many of DL's flight attendants were from the South and had southern accents.

Clearly, the airlines screwed up their marketing in the post de-regulation era. Even in the 1990s and 2000s, I knew people who swore that Buicks were better than Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, even though it was common for a GM plant building, say full-size cars, to assemble Pontiac Bonnevilles, Oldsmobile 88s, and Buick LeSabres on the same line. It's because of GM marketing.

That said, one of the issues overlooked in the United incident at ORD is the fact that airport security was far too rough for Dr. Dao. Despite the clothing with the word "Police" stitched on, those aren't officers in the Chicago Police Department (although many are retired CPD officers), and they aren't allowed to carry firearms. I'm not sure if they even have the authority to place someone under arrest.

My main issue is the change fee. The change fee for a restricted ticket can range from $50 to $250. In the era of computers and on-line ticketing, what is the actual cost for an airline to change a reservation? If a person were do make a change on-line, it's probably pennies.

Clearly, airlines have implemented high fees to discourage people from making changes with discounted tickets. The idea is that a business flyer on a less-restricted or unrestricted ticket may need to change an itinerary, because of changes in plans. On the other hand, a leisure flyer, in theory, is supposed to be more fixed in travel dates.

But, we know that plans change People get sick. Relatives pass away. Someone planning a vacation may need to cancel because of a problem at work. I know people who have planned vacations just before the start of the school year, and then the school board shifts the calendar. So, the family winds up with a vacation scheduled for the first week of school.

This is where airlines need to be more customer-friendly.


I don't know a lot about how the money works in the airlines. However I can understand change fees. As a supply and demand law as demand goes up and supply goes down prices go up. So if I go buy a ticket as far in advance as I can for bottom of the barrel pricing, why should I be able to change my ticket to at the last minute for free. If I buy a a ticket for the 6am flight and the night before I decide I don't want to wake up that early should I be able to change my flight to the 9am for free? What if the 6am was sold out? Now the airline can't sell that seat and now you have an additional seat on the 9am. You have now taken 2 seats off the market. What if the 9am flight had only 1 seat left and it was on sale for $1500 dollars? Now you have prevented the airline from making money on that seat as you took it for free with your $200 advanced purchase.

I understand and can sympathize to last minute issues such as illness or death. There maybe a happy medium but where it is I have no idea. Maybe its just giving the employee the power to asses the situation and make a determination. Unfortunately everyone looks for loop holes and if they are there they will be exploited on all levels, they greed makes for policies that are unfriendly to everyone.
 
burnsie28
Posts: 5293
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 1:49 am

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 7:57 pm

jumbojet wrote:
charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


Basically a few high profile incidents don't make up anywhere near the majority of experiences that the overall flying public has.
 
flyguy89
Posts: 3111
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 8:06 pm

ikramerica wrote:
Congress can tax fees tomorrow if they wanted to. Not the government taxes, but baggage, seat selection, change, fuel surcharge, all that jazz. Anything that isn't taxed now coild be taxed. As it stands now, it's a way to get around the taxes.

There's a reason they don't. What's the expression...tripping over a quarter to save a penny? Airlines do in fact pay taxes on the fees they collect, those fees feed directly into the airlines' bottom line profits which they then pay corporate income tax one. Higher profits from airline fees=more corporate income tax collected.

ElPistolero wrote:
PatrickZ80 wrote:

I think airlines have the right to threat passengers as garbage if for the right price. Keep in mind that adding more customer service will also increase the ticket price and some customers don't want that. They prefer to be threated like garbage over paying more for a ticket. That's the way the market works. Of course there are also passengers who prefer to pay more for more service, but not everybody is like that. Give the passenger the choice.


The only 'garbage' here is the 'cheap fare' logic.

How does one define cheap fares:

By comparing it to past price of providing the product (ie - airfares are so low compared to the 1960s)?

Or how about just 1995? Average inflation-adjusted round-trip domestic airfare in 1995 was $460. Average round-trip domestic airfare in 2016 was $349.

ElPistolero wrote:
Reality is, U.S. carriers make 3 times more profit per passenger than EU carriers. While that may be indicative of many factors, it should put to bed this notion of US consumers buying cheap fares. At least insofar as they're paying 3 times the premium EU passengers pay. That doesn't fit any definition of cheap. Factor in 'record' profits, and these claims of cheap pax look plain silly.


http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/2 ... ssons-lack

Having flown European legacies short haul...is there anyone here who honestly wants US carriers to follow their example? European short haul is abysmal compared to their US counterparts on a number of service areas. The article is problematic on a number of fronts, none-the-least the way it tries to point to how being less profitable as are EU carriers is some sort of example to follow...why exactly aren't airlines allowed to make even a middling ROI compared to other businesses? The ROI and profit margins of airlines even now, for as much profit as they're portrayed as raking in now, are only mediocre performers...their fiscal actions are nowhere near as exploitative as you're seemingly trying to portray, even among other common commodities in true context.

Additionally, Ryanair has never posted a full-year loss, the article's portrayal of Ryanair's strategy is disingenuous at best. They never lost money as the article implies, nor did they execute some sort of "U-turn" in their business model. Practically all off the ULCC practices that most people b%tch about remained in place.

ElPistolero wrote:
Also worth noting that EU carriers don't seem to be as keen on punishing cheap passengers - certainly not as much as some American posters here. Maybe it's a cultural thing? Maybe American carriers feel like they're entitled to even higher profits, and customers not paying enough deserve to be punished?

I don't know where you get this notion seeing as Europe was the birthplace of ULCC and there really is no service differential on short-haul EU legacy vs. US legacy...except US carriers do offer free snacks/drinks and do have hard product premium options with more legroom. EU carriers arguable have worse seat pitch, charge for checked bags just like US carriers, and offer BOB just like US carriers.
 
flyguy89
Posts: 3111
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 8:08 pm

burnsie28 wrote:
jumbojet wrote:
charlienorth wrote:
Ah yes The U.S. Congress, government people who give us great customer oriented operations like the DMV, IRS and others lecturing businesses they deregulated on customer service.


The airlines are obviously doing a pretty lousy job at customer service which is why congress needs to step in. Thankfully they have. Maybe now some airlines will stop treating the flying public like garbage.


Basically a few high profile incidents don't make up anywhere near the majority of experiences that the overall flying public has.

Indeed, everything from lost bags to delays to complaints are at record lows for the legacies.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 2891
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 8:25 pm

CriticalPoint wrote:
ckfred wrote:
The problem with the airline industry is that many, many people view air travel as a commodity. The driving choice is price, followed by the schedule. And for many business travelers, the choice is made by the company. My wife's current employer requires her to fly UA. Her prior employer also required her to fly UA. The employer before that had her fly DL, because the company was headquartered in Cincinnati, when CVG was a major DL hub.

For people, airlines are like milk and butter. Whether Dean's, Land 'O Lakes, Kemp's, or the store brand, they are all pretty much alike.

This isn't the era when the original Braniff installed leather seats in the fleet and served cherries jubilee for dessert in first class, or Delta serving southern cuisine for meal service in Y and F, such as grits for breakfast. This was also back when many of DL's flight attendants were from the South and had southern accents.

Clearly, the airlines screwed up their marketing in the post de-regulation era. Even in the 1990s and 2000s, I knew people who swore that Buicks were better than Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, even though it was common for a GM plant building, say full-size cars, to assemble Pontiac Bonnevilles, Oldsmobile 88s, and Buick LeSabres on the same line. It's because of GM marketing.


That said, one of the issues overlooked in the United incident at ORD is the fact that airport security was far too rough for Dr. Dao. Despite the clothing with the word "Police" stitched on, those aren't officers in the Chicago Police Department (although many are retired CPD officers), and they aren't allowed to carry firearms. I'm not sure if they even have the authority to place someone under arrest.

My main issue is the change fee. The change fee for a restricted ticket can range from $50 to $250. In the era of computers and on-line ticketing, what is the actual cost for an airline to change a reservation? If a person were do make a change on-line, it's probably pennies.

Clearly, airlines have implemented high fees to discourage people from making changes with discounted tickets. The idea is that a business flyer on a less-restricted or unrestricted ticket may need to change an itinerary, because of changes in plans. On the other hand, a leisure flyer, in theory, is supposed to be more fixed in travel dates.

But, we know that plans change People get sick. Relatives pass away. Someone planning a vacation may need to cancel because of a problem at work. I know people who have planned vacations just before the start of the school year, and then the school board shifts the calendar. So, the family winds up with a vacation scheduled for the first week of school.

This is where airlines need to be more customer-friendly.


I don't know a lot about how the money works in the airlines. However I can understand change fees. As a supply and demand law as demand goes up and supply goes down prices go up. So if I go buy a ticket as far in advance as I can for bottom of the barrel pricing, why should I be able to change my ticket to at the last minute for free. If I buy a a ticket for the 6am flight and the night before I decide I don't want to wake up that early should I be able to change my flight to the 9am for free? What if the 6am was sold out? Now the airline can't sell that seat and now you have an additional seat on the 9am. You have now taken 2 seats off the market. What if the 9am flight had only 1 seat left and it was on sale for $1500 dollars? Now you have prevented the airline from making money on that seat as you took it for free with your $200 advanced purchase.

I understand and can sympathize to last minute issues such as illness or death. There maybe a happy medium but where it is I have no idea. Maybe its just giving the employee the power to asses the situation and make a determination. Unfortunately everyone looks for loop holes and if they are there they will be exploited on all levels, they greed makes for policies that are unfriendly to everyone.

Fees and penalties have become more valuable than selling airline seats, and certainly more valuable than selling service.

The rental car industry makes more money from insurance, accidents, fuel, glass and late returns, than actually renting vehicles.
 
CriticalPoint
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 9:35 pm

Planesmart wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:
ckfred wrote:
The problem with the airline industry is that many, many people view air travel as a commodity. The driving choice is price, followed by the schedule. And for many business travelers, the choice is made by the company. My wife's current employer requires her to fly UA. Her prior employer also required her to fly UA. The employer before that had her fly DL, because the company was headquartered in Cincinnati, when CVG was a major DL hub.

For people, airlines are like milk and butter. Whether Dean's, Land 'O Lakes, Kemp's, or the store brand, they are all pretty much alike.

This isn't the era when the original Braniff installed leather seats in the fleet and served cherries jubilee for dessert in first class, or Delta serving southern cuisine for meal service in Y and F, such as grits for breakfast. This was also back when many of DL's flight attendants were from the South and had southern accents.

Clearly, the airlines screwed up their marketing in the post de-regulation era. Even in the 1990s and 2000s, I knew people who swore that Buicks were better than Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs, even though it was common for a GM plant building, say full-size cars, to assemble Pontiac Bonnevilles, Oldsmobile 88s, and Buick LeSabres on the same line. It's because of GM marketing.


That said, one of the issues overlooked in the United incident at ORD is the fact that airport security was far too rough for Dr. Dao. Despite the clothing with the word "Police" stitched on, those aren't officers in the Chicago Police Department (although many are retired CPD officers), and they aren't allowed to carry firearms. I'm not sure if they even have the authority to place someone under arrest.

My main issue is the change fee. The change fee for a restricted ticket can range from $50 to $250. In the era of computers and on-line ticketing, what is the actual cost for an airline to change a reservation? If a person were do make a change on-line, it's probably pennies.

Clearly, airlines have implemented high fees to discourage people from making changes with discounted tickets. The idea is that a business flyer on a less-restricted or unrestricted ticket may need to change an itinerary, because of changes in plans. On the other hand, a leisure flyer, in theory, is supposed to be more fixed in travel dates.

But, we know that plans change People get sick. Relatives pass away. Someone planning a vacation may need to cancel because of a problem at work. I know people who have planned vacations just before the start of the school year, and then the school board shifts the calendar. So, the family winds up with a vacation scheduled for the first week of school.

This is where airlines need to be more customer-friendly.


I don't know a lot about how the money works in the airlines. However I can understand change fees. As a supply and demand law as demand goes up and supply goes down prices go up. So if I go buy a ticket as far in advance as I can for bottom of the barrel pricing, why should I be able to change my ticket to at the last minute for free. If I buy a a ticket for the 6am flight and the night before I decide I don't want to wake up that early should I be able to change my flight to the 9am for free? What if the 6am was sold out? Now the airline can't sell that seat and now you have an additional seat on the 9am. You have now taken 2 seats off the market. What if the 9am flight had only 1 seat left and it was on sale for $1500 dollars? Now you have prevented the airline from making money on that seat as you took it for free with your $200 advanced purchase.

I understand and can sympathize to last minute issues such as illness or death. There maybe a happy medium but where it is I have no idea. Maybe its just giving the employee the power to asses the situation and make a determination. Unfortunately everyone looks for loop holes and if they are there they will be exploited on all levels, they greed makes for policies that are unfriendly to everyone.

Fees and penalties have become more valuable than selling airline seats, and certainly more valuable than selling service.

The rental car industry makes more money from insurance, accidents, fuel, glass and late returns, than actually renting vehicles.


I'm sure you are correct because they sure aren't making money off a $400 RT ticket from SFO - BOS......

Didn't CNBC follow AA about 10 years ago on a flight from JFK-LAX? It was a 767-200 full and I think the total profit was something like $1700?
 
User avatar
BobPatterson
Posts: 3416
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:18 am

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 11:36 pm

CriticalPoint wrote:

I'm sure you are correct because they sure aren't making money off a $400 RT ticket from SFO - BOS......

Didn't CNBC follow AA about 10 years ago on a flight from JFK-LAX? It was a 767-200 full and I think the total profit was something like $1700?


$1,700 twice a day for a full year = $9,315,068.00. Too little profit?
Facts are fragile things. Treat them with care. Sources are important. Alternative facts do not exist.
 
CriticalPoint
Posts: 1062
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:01 pm

Re: US lawmakers grill airline execs on customer service, but want airlines to self-regulate

Wed May 03, 2017 11:40 pm

BobPatterson wrote:
CriticalPoint wrote:

I'm sure you are correct because they sure aren't making money off a $400 RT ticket from SFO - BOS......

Didn't CNBC follow AA about 10 years ago on a flight from JFK-LAX? It was a 767-200 full and I think the total profit was something like $1700?


$1,700 twice a day for a full year = $9,315,068.00. Too little profit?


come on Bob you can't be that dense.

Besides your math is wrong 1700x2x365 = 1,241,000
Last edited by CriticalPoint on Wed May 03, 2017 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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