planewasted
Posts: 527
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:34 am

Is this a US thing? I have removed the first leg on both Norwegian and BA on a return ticket within Europe without problems. In the Norwegian case I just called and told them that I will not take the outgoing flight, so you can sell that seat to someone else. In the BA case the outgoing flight was delayed one hour so I booked the outgoing on another airline in order to not miss a meeting. When I got off at Heathrow I called and explained the situation and had no problems keeping the return flight.
Both carriers stated in the fine print that this would not be possible.
 
eielef
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:08 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
eielef wrote:
Why? What difference does it make for the airline, what is the perjury, that this person didn't fly the VLC-MAD route? At the end of the day, it happened something good to Iberia. One less passenger to feed, to carry, less airport taxes to pay, less fuel consumed in the airline, and eventually one person less in the possible waiting list.


The difference is revenue management. By buying VLC-MAD-EZE without wanting to fly VLC-MAD, that person would have denied the airline the chance to let someone else fly on VLC-MAD who is willing to pay more, thus improving the yields on that VLC-MAD flight. Yes, they may have someone to fit in the waiting list, but what if there was no waiting list? What if the person who is willing to pay more chose to fly with other airlines instead, or simply not fly? How will the airlines recover revenue then?
[quote]
Actually Iberia has already been paid for the ticket by the person who bought the VLC-MAD-EZE flight. Selling the same product twice should be considered illegal.
Can you sell the same apple twice? Say you sell it once, the customer forgets it in the counter, and you sell it again. The customer returns and say: hey, I've paid for this apple, here is the receipt. But I forgot it here. Haven't you seen it? - Yes, I'm sorry, we sold it to someone else. - Ok, no problem. Please, either give me a new apple or give me the money back.

Airline has a magic rule that allows to say: you are not getting anything from us. Worse! The rest of the things that you bought this morning, including those you already took home, please bring them back, because they are now ours.

How on earth is that legal? No-one knows.
If you say someone else could have paid more, airline should have known it in advance, and sold it to me more expensive. Perhaps I'd have paid, perhaps I wouldn't. Don't you believe is a situation where the airline always win? In most of legislations, that would be unfair, unethical, and at some point (specifically the no-show policy after the ruling I quoted in Spain) outlawed.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:29 am

eielef wrote:
Actually Iberia has already been paid for the ticket by the person who bought the VLC-MAD-EZE flight. Selling the same product twice should be considered illegal.
Can you sell the same apple twice? Say you sell it once, the customer forgets it in the counter, and you sell it again. The customer returns and say: hey, I've paid for this apple, here is the receipt. But I forgot it here. Haven't you seen it? - Yes, I'm sorry, we sold it to someone else. - Ok, no problem. Please, either give me a new apple or give me the money back.


Apples are different than a flight. You can recover an apple, you can't recover a flight that you didn't take yesterday now can you?

In any case, apples are priced in a way that you can recover the cost of that apple & profit from each piece of apple. You can't do that for a flight.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
eielef
Posts: 706
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:45 am

I simulated a booking using the AA.com website. The route is LAX-MIA-LAX, using a fare called Main Cabin, which is like Economy class, but with less restrictions than the basic fare that this guy on the post paid. Certainly over 150U$S more expensive (578$rt vs 423$rt).

When you come to the last part of the booking, at the moment you are asked to put your credit card information, there is a tiny little place you can click to read the Conditions of Carriage and the Conditions of the Fare.

Apparently, albeit having bought a return ticket on the Main Cabin fare, my ticket has different fare rules: one applies for leaving MIA, others for leaving LAX. Don't know why, I wasn't offered a choice. It was just that what happened by the system.

So, I opened dice "conditions of the fare" and tried to read them. It was close to impossible.
Check out how the website looks. This is a screenshot of the oficial AA.com website (not Expedia or Orbitz).
Part 1/3
Image
Part 2/3
Image
Part 3/3
Image

Even what is written, all in capital letters, no spaces, is close to impossible to understand.
E.G. try making sense of this. IF AFTER TICKET HAS BEEN ISSUED AND BEFORE ANY PORTION HAS BEEN USED EITHER A DECREASE IN THE FARES OR CHARGES APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION SHOWN ON THE TICKET BECOMES EFFECTIVE/ OR A NEW FARE FOR WHICH THE PASSENGER QUALIFIES IS ADDED BETWEEN THE POINTS SHOWN ON THE TICKET/ THE DIFFERENCE IN FARES WILL BE REFUNDED AS STATED BELOW/ IN THE FORM OF A NONREFUNDABLE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER/ PROVIDED A

Eleven minutes of reading (more than what I mostly spend to buy the whole tickets) and a law degree, and now studying a PHD in law, hasn't been enough to find ONE point when it clearly says: if you don't fly the first segment, we'll cancel the rest, and don't give you anything from the money you paid before, as we've sold to another passenger who, potentially, paid more than you.

I used the key words "No Show", Cancel, Refund, Segment, Flight.... Nothing clear comes out of it.
And wait: this is the Fare V0AJZNN1 (try to tell this while on the phone). This fare is only valid this day for the trip out of MIA. For the first segment, you should read some different conditions of the G7AJZNM1 fare. Eleven minutes of reading come to nothing. These conditions are over 2000 words long! It equals reading 8 full newspaper articles! But they are in just one paragraph. Printed makes 3 long pages!

Please, tell me this is not "hidden information" or "dark" or "close to illegal" and I'll log off.
Thanks!
 
eielef
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:51 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Apples are different than a flight. You can recover an apple, you can't recover a flight that you didn't take yesterday now can you?
In any case, apples are priced in a way that you can recover the cost of that apple & profit from each piece of apple. You can't do that for a flight.

Say it was a special apple, it had the perfect color and weight. And it is a natural product, there is no replacement for that apple. I won't find the same again.

I can feel emotional for that apple if I want. A new judge will understand it.

Emotions are important. Airlines like AA, that have now an issue with their technicians, are often delaying or cancelling flights (this guy mentions a 7 hour delay). And you can loose your child's birthday, your parents funeral, or even your own wedding. They couldn't care less. But you need to care that if you decide that if, for instance, in the case of Iberia, you wait 10 hours to the next flight VLC-MAD you'll loose the connection to EZE and waste at least 24 hours of your time. So, maybe you take the AVE train to Madrid, the metro to the airport, and, having spent some extra money, you make it to the airport on time to fly to EZE. But no, they have erased your booking because you haven't make it for the VLC-MAD flight.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:00 am

planewasted wrote:
Is this a US thing? I have removed the first leg on both Norwegian and BA on a return ticket within Europe without problems. In the Norwegian case I just called and told them that I will not take the outgoing flight, so you can sell that seat to someone else. In the BA case the outgoing flight was delayed one hour so I booked the outgoing on another airline in order to not miss a meeting. When I got off at Heathrow I called and explained the situation and had no problems keeping the return flight.
Both carriers stated in the fine print that this would not be possible.


Methinks the dude didn't inform American that he intend to do that, like you did.


eielef wrote:
Emotions are important. Airlines like AA, that have now an issue with their technicians, are often delaying or cancelling flights (this guy mentions a 7 hour delay). And you can loose your child's birthday, your parents funeral, or even your own wedding. They couldn't care less. But you need to care that if you decide that if, for instance, in the case of Iberia, you wait 10 hours to the next flight VLC-MAD you'll loose the connection to EZE and waste at least 24 hours of your time. So, maybe you take the AVE train to Madrid, the metro to the airport, and, having spent some extra money, you make it to the airport on time to fly to EZE. But no, they have erased your booking because you haven't make it for the VLC-MAD flight.


Well as planewasted showed, you can do that PROVIDED you inform the airline.

In this case I don't think the dude did that.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
Jomar777
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:02 am

Super80Fan wrote:
I find it hard to defend airlines these days but this traveler did many things wrong:

1. Booked third party. When things go right it's fine. When things go wrong it just complicates matters, as you now have to deal with two parties instead of just the airline.
2. Booking with no wiggle room. Many people do this for many different reasons (being cheap is part of it) where they book flights the night before or even day of their cruise, wedding, event etc. It leaves no room for IRROPS and with flights being full it could take days to get to your destination.
3. Booked basic economy. Many ignorant travelers still book basic economy based on price alone without looking at the other factors regarding that fare. In this situation, booking a refundable fare directly through the airline would've been cheaper in the long run.

This guy gets no sympathy from me. The same would've happened if he booked a UA or DL BE fare and even worse if he booked an ULCC. His "post" is embarrassing, and his disdain towards American isn't really warranted in this particular case.


1. There's nothing wrong in booking third party. I actually find surprising that some people prefer to pay about 25% to 40% (or even more) for the same ticket only so that it book straight with the airline. Provided you used a reputable travel agent, you will NOT have any issues in addressing any shortcomings;
2. I agree with you. Ideally, you would look into booking your flights about 4 weeks prior at least (not more than 2 months though). In this guy's case, he does not mention when in advance he knew about the wedding but only that he booked the flights 3 weeks in advance. Has it never occured to him during the period to get further details (time of ceremony always comes to mind...) so as to make proper planning? I get that (he does not say so or otherwise) maybe fly the day before might be a burden but HOE has not he confirmed not only DATE but also TIME of the Ceremony??;
3. I am surprised you classify people as ignorant for booking basic economy. Who do you think you are??? A Travel Expert of some sort? Because if you are you should be on TV or be some sort of YouTube trend setter - not be on A.Net. Also, it is of simious nature to tax people ignorant only for doing something contrary to what you do. Rant apart, if you have set the dates you want to fly, set yourself time and schedule so that the flight ties up to what you plan to do at destination (cruise, holidays, meetings, etc), I see no reason to pay for a changeable/refundable ticket. Any extraordinary issues (cruise cancelled, holidays gone because illness, meeting cancelled because company went under, etc etc etc) will be covered by an ordinary Travel Insurance (if you paid by Credit Card - that would probably be added it as benefit anyway). Or are you not organized enough on your live like our friend on the story and need to book tickets already thinking on how are you going to cancel them????

Overall, the airline sold what the customer asked. No much it can do. Guy should have kept the date of his wedding clear on his mind and made apropriate plans in advance and acted upon. Then, a booking through a travel agent on a non changeable/non refundable would do just fine.
 
Jomar777
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:31 am

planewasted wrote:
Is this a US thing? I have removed the first leg on both Norwegian and BA on a return ticket within Europe without problems. In the Norwegian case I just called and told them that I will not take the outgoing flight, so you can sell that seat to someone else. In the BA case the outgoing flight was delayed one hour so I booked the outgoing on another airline in order to not miss a meeting. When I got off at Heathrow I called and explained the situation and had no problems keeping the return flight.
Both carriers stated in the fine print that this would not be possible.


In your case, you need to check first which kind of tickets you bought. Norwegian, for example, may sell you two single tickets insteads of a full return without you even knowing. They may have the same booking reference for you but it is separate for them. Airlines and agents show this but very briefly and it is not well highlighted (sometimes an icon on the side of the deal which you need to hover or click. Not sure this happens in US but in Europe is normal. Skyscanners and Kayalk are typical cases).

In regards to BA, your original flight was 1 hour late so, even though you would not be yet entitled to compensation, BA would still be liable to do somehting for you should this result on a hardship for you (in this case, a lost important meeting) YThis might involve anything from at least listening to your concerns to maybe fitting you in another flight. Since you did already find one and set yourself into it, you basically saved their legwork to sort you out and both you and BA were happy to oblige (common sense prevailed).

In both cases - you contacted in advance the entity which effectively sold you the ticket and you had a ready made solution which fitted to their plans (e.g. Norwegian Flight might be overbooked so they would kind of welcome an extra seat to fill probably on a different price / BA would have to potentially think on compensation or full hassle to review/cancel the ticket but got scott free...).

I also am reasonably certain that you discussed your matters with them on a reasonable and well mannered way contrary to the guy in the story.
 
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vhtje
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:47 am

I do have a little bit sympathy for the passenger.

Last summer I paid £1,800 for LHR > JFK on AA then SFO > LHR on BA in Y, through a corporate travel agency, whose website makes it tricky to expose fare rules. That's £1,800 for a TATL return, in Y. Not premium Y. Just plain, old, squeeze-'em-in-and-feed-'em-nasty-food Y.

Yes, it was booked late, and yes, I expected to be stung for it for booking so late. And yes, with the different arrival and departure ports, I expected it to be more expensive than a simple LHR > XXX > LHR booking. But to bring how expensive that ticket was into perspective, a couple of weeks prior to purchasing that fare I had, during a QR sale, paid €1,400 to go HEL > DOH > SYD return in J, in QSuites on the DOH <> SYD legs, nonetheless.

At Flagship check-in LHR (I am oneworld Emerald), I was horrified to be told the fare was basic Economy, how would I like to pay for my checked bag? I absolutely exploded at the check-in agent, although I was not rude to her and I certainly did not swear, she knew I was very angry. The manager came over and apologised and waived the checked bag fee, and also snagged me a fairly decent seat in MCE. But, it taught me a valuable lesson: when booking in Y, always confirm the fare isn't basic economy.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:44 am

That rant was typical Millennial for someone who was ill prepared, ignorant and didn't get their way. Boo hoo. The fact he didn't know when the wedding started only 3 weeks out from said wedding tells me all I need to know and all they can do is write something I'd be more sympathic towars by they had to drop expletives to "make it real, yo."
 
TMccrury
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:51 am

It is my opinion, this entire fiasco was created by a lack of planning and paying attention on the part of the passenger. I typically fly DL all of the time, however, was checking flights the other day for a trip and noticed a lesser expensive version on another airline. So, I went to said Airlines website and found the same fare but discovered it was Basic Economy, which had not been disclosed in the cursory glance on the third party sight. I ended up booking direct with DL in Main cabin. After I booked, I noticed I had selected the incorrect outbound date. It was to be day earlier. I called DL and ask what we could do, the lady said, "Sir, you are within a small window that allows you to make a change to the ticket and we made the change and I paid 70.00 for the fare difference. Easy enough.

Some basic rules:

1. Make sure you read the rules of the ticket or at least have a basic understanding of the rules.
2. Make sure you know what time you are supposed to be somewhere before booking the ticket.
3. Plan better on your part.

I think all of you on here know those and so I'm "preaching" to the choir.
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:10 pm

No sympathy for the guy.

Everything has been said in this thread, but when you are about to spend more than 750$ in something, you take the time to research about what you buy.
Caravelle lover
 
gen2stew
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:45 pm

That phrase is said very frequently by both passengers and employees. I'm surprised that nobody has started the WHAAL (we hate American Airlines)club since Eastern had the WHEAL club.
I don't know why blessings wear disguises. If I were a blessing, I'd run around nude!
 
Jshank83
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:15 pm

I can't believe they kept buying tickets on AA, reguardless of who was at fault, after this. I'd like to know how much cheaper they actual were than the 2nd option when they rebought flights home. If I was in the situation I would pay extra, within reason, to fly about anyone else if I felt like the airline had screwed me over.

I might also not even have thought about if you no show for the first flight you lose the rest. I know if you no show for a leg of connecting flight you are screwed but I didn't even think about the entire trip. I usually always buy my tickets one way though so they aren't attached and are easier to change/modify if needed.
 
Brickell305
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:25 pm

alfa164 wrote:
Gulfstream500 wrote:
No show policy: If someone calls to tell AA that they are purchasing another ticket on AA to get to their destination, they should honor their original return ticket rather than selling it again.


:checkmark: This. The passenger clearly wasn't trying to subvert the rules (i.e., via a "hidden city" ticket) of the fare; he had made a mistake, and purchased another ticket - on American - for an earlier outbound flight. He told the agent he was doing that. Anyone with a modicum of good sense - and good customer service - would offer to reissue the remaining portion of the ticker - with no refund or credit - so that the remaining flights would remain intact.

Unfortunately, "good sense and good customer service" and "American Airlines" now seem to be mutually exclusive.
.

(disclaimer: I am currently trying to wipe out about a quarter-million AAdvantage miles that are left on my account, just because of this type of attitude - and because the inflight experience has become equally bad. Yeah, I am biased...)


Exactly. Whether he was stupid, ignorant, or brain dead when he decided to buy a basic economy ticket, American KNEW FOR A FACT that he wasn't someone trying to "game the system". He flew one of their flights when he bought the new outbound ticket. He informed one of their agents in advance of buying the new outbound ticket. Even if the automatic system didn't pick that up, anyone could have manually checked that. Basic levels of customer service would have been honoring the original ticket ex DFW.
 
Jshank83
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:26 pm

planewasted wrote:
Is this a US thing? I have removed the first leg on both Norwegian and BA on a return ticket within Europe without problems. In the Norwegian case I just called and told them that I will not take the outgoing flight, so you can sell that seat to someone else. In the BA case the outgoing flight was delayed one hour so I booked the outgoing on another airline in order to not miss a meeting. When I got off at Heathrow I called and explained the situation and had no problems keeping the return flight.
Both carriers stated in the fine print that this would not be possible.


You can usually remove legs. I have done it before. She could have called and said hey I am not going to take the first leg so can you cancel it and keep the rest? And I would think they would have done it. I still personally think if you aren't getting a refund you should be allowed to just no show and have no consequences (moreso in the case of not making an entire flight leg then one partial leg/hidden city) because you paid for the seat but I get rules. I don't really blame them for not knowing the rule and I think in this case AA should have made an exception when they bought the rebook on them. Obviously they weren't trying to skip out on something, but rules are rules and that is the way it goes.
 
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ricport
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:31 pm

Simply put, this person is a lazy, stupid dimwit. He claims to be an experienced flyer, but his horribly written missive clearly shows he knows ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about how fares/ticketing work. When you purchase a ticket, you are entering into a CONTRACT. It is YOUR responsibility to know ALL of the details. The only thing that surprises me is that he didn't throw out the race card to absolve himself from responsibility/excuse his total incompetence, which seems to be increasingly the norm these days.
 
travaz
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:55 pm

When you book on AA.com you have an option to hold the fare for 24 hours. I do this all the time. Find what I want, put it on hold, check the dates and times. Get with whom I am going to see and confirm that the times and dates work, review all my flights and seats and then put my CC down and buy. It is basic common sense to make sure everything is correct. I have had zero problems with AA personnel both domestic and international. I have always live by the following phrase when dealing with people that you are trying to get a favor from. "You can attract more flies with sugar than vinegar"
 
Varsity1
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:08 pm

vhtje wrote:
I do have a little bit sympathy for the passenger.

Last summer I paid £1,800 for LHR > JFK on AA then SFO > LHR on BA in Y, through a corporate travel agency, whose website makes it tricky to expose fare rules. That's £1,800 for a TATL return, in Y. Not premium Y. Just plain, old, squeeze-'em-in-and-feed-'em-nasty-food Y.

Yes, it was booked late, and yes, I expected to be stung for it for booking so late. And yes, with the different arrival and departure ports, I expected it to be more expensive than a simple LHR > XXX > LHR booking. But to bring how expensive that ticket was into perspective, a couple of weeks prior to purchasing that fare I had, during a QR sale, paid €1,400 to go HEL > DOH > SYD return in J, in QSuites on the DOH <> SYD legs, nonetheless.

At Flagship check-in LHR (I am oneworld Emerald), I was horrified to be told the fare was basic Economy, how would I like to pay for my checked bag? I absolutely exploded at the check-in agent, although I was not rude to her and I certainly did not swear, she knew I was very angry. The manager came over and apologised and waived the checked bag fee, and also snagged me a fairly decent seat in MCE. But, it taught me a valuable lesson: when booking in Y, always confirm the fare isn't basic economy.



Airfares in the USA aren’t Europe/Asia LCC cheap, and they never will be. It contributes enormously to the overall stability of the industry.

That being said, this passenger was buying relatively last minute tickets on the most expensive weekend, in the most expensive season on an airline that has acknowledged it will have a serious capacity problem due to the max grounding.

If he had alittle foresight into this, or even shopped somewhere other than orbitz, he probably wouldn’t have been nearly as ripped off.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
Wacker1000
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:15 pm

ikramerica wrote:
That's nothing. My friends recently had a 12 hour delay going and 1 day delay coming back on AA domestic due to planes being taken out of service without replacements. With a 5 year old in tow, that's pretty bad to have that happen in both directions.


Two totally different things. This guy didn't know the rules and didn't understand that the rule is thanks to passengers gaming the system. Your friend had a bunch of overgrown children ruin their trip with a misguided agenda.
 
Mboyle1988
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:24 pm

I have no sympathy about the basic economy portion. The rules of the fare are clearly disclosed. I have no sympathy for the fact that he booked a ticket that didn't even allow him to make the wedding. That's just stupid.

I do, however, have tremendous sympathy for the cancellation of the tickets. I have learned that the hard way myself, and, like the guy, I called the airline to try and change my flight. The agent on the phone told me, with the change fee, it would be cheaper for me to book a new flight than to change the existing one. So I did that. She never mentioned that my return ticket would be canceled. That's dirty pool, in my opinion. If you are going to advise someone that he needs to get a new flight, I think you have a responsibility to inform them "oh by the way if you don't at least cancel the first leg, you're going to lose the return leg too."

I am sensitive to the need to manage revenue. I think that is fine. However, I feel airlines should be mandated to warn customers that they will lose the ticket if they don't board the first leg.
 
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vhtje
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:25 pm

Varsity1 wrote:

Airfares in the USA aren’t Europe/Asia LCC cheap, and they never will be. It contributes enormously to the overall stability of the industry.

That being said, this passenger was buying relatively last minute tickets on the most expensive weekend, in the most expensive season on an airline that has acknowledged it will have a serious capacity problem due to the max grounding.

If he had alittle foresight into this, or even shopped somewhere other than orbitz, he probably wouldn’t have been nearly as ripped off.


I don't think either of us - well, I am not anyway - are complaining about the fare per se. I knew when I bought it that it was expensive, and I knew why. For me, anyway, what triggered my anger was that for such a high fare, it was still a basic Economy fare with none of the perks I expected.

I just did a check on Skyscanner in November, and I can get LHR <> ORD for £330. That's an absolute bargain, and for that I wouldn't expect any frills: if I ever paid so little, I would pay for my checked bag and my peanuts or whatever without complaint. It is wrong, in my view, when the market drives up ticket prices close to departure to £1,800, for airlines to then be coding those expensive tickets as Basic Economy. There cannot be any economic reason for that - it is just greed on the airlines' behalf.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:42 pm

planewasted wrote:
Is this a US thing?


Yes. They have written rules and they enforce the rules - there's little reason to have rules otherwise. One might get some grace with a lengthy mechanical delay (U.S. DOT guidance comes into play), or an extraordinary weather issue, but when they say non-changeable/non-refundable they mean it. They are happy to tell you that they have flexible fares available - for sometimes what is vastly more money.
 
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spinotter
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Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:42 pm

727LOVER wrote:
This viral rant has been making the rounds the past few days
https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/de ... 1836395049

A more calmly worded explanation:
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.co ... g-someone/




However...here's a rebuttal of sorts
There’s a story going viral at the moment with the title “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” The story contains a lot of bad language, though I think it’s actually a good lesson for travelers, because the airline industry is really complex.

Let me start by summarizing what happened, and then sharing my take.

https://onemileatatime.com/american-air ... ed-flight/

To end, I'll use the last author's words:
What do you guys think — was the traveler in the wrong, was American Airlines in the wrong, are they both wrong, or is the airline industry just too darn complicated?


The traveler was totally in the wrong. He/she bought a basic economy ticket with no refunds no changes arriving too late for the first leg to DFW. Then ignored the rules on multistage tickets which requires that every leg be flown. This is not news.
 
donindc
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:43 pm

First of all, I think basic economy is one of the worst offerings to hit the industry. It's as if the airlines are saying we'll offer you this fare, but if you buy it, it gives us license to treat you like a 3rd class citizen, and you're lucky if our flight attendants don't spit at you when you board the flight. That said, restrictions are clearly stated for anyone paying attention.

Here's my analogy: A street food truck vendor offers poo on a stick for $5. A customer sees this and thinks, well I'm really hungry, and it's the cheapest thing on the menu, so I'll give it a try. The customer tastes his purchase and is horrified that it tastes like poo. Who's to blame? Yes, the vendor is shady for offering the poo on a stick in the first place, but the customer got exactly what he paid for.

Moral: Basic Economy = poo on a stick.
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:06 pm

Given the number of people I see hogging up the boarding lane with Group 9 printed on their bp there's no shortage of people that don't care about seat assignment, miles or that their ticket becomes worthless should they not be able to travel. If people didn't buy them or fly Spirit/Allegiant/Frontier all of this dollar store airline mentality would go away. Don't blame the airlines. This person played the cheap airfare lottery and lost. And next time he/she can fly Spirit and see what happens.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:29 pm

donindc wrote:
First of all, I think basic economy is one of the worst offerings to hit the industry. It's as if the airlines are saying we'll offer you this fare, but if you buy it, it gives us license to treat you like a 3rd class citizen, and you're lucky if our flight attendants don't spit at you when you board the flight. That said, restrictions are clearly stated for anyone paying attention.

Here's my analogy: A street food truck vendor offers poo on a stick for $5. A customer sees this and thinks, well I'm really hungry, and it's the cheapest thing on the menu, so I'll give it a try. The customer tastes his purchase and is horrified that it tastes like poo. Who's to blame? Yes, the vendor is shady for offering the poo on a stick in the first place, but the customer got exactly what he paid for.

Moral: Basic Economy = poo on a stick.

On DL, the restrictions of Basic Economy stops as soon as you step foot in the plane: same seat and same service as Main Cabin. The Restrictions are upstream and under the control of the passenger.

Remember: airlines have offered Basic Economy as people have voted with their wallets for cheaper fares.
 
Texas77
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:44 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
eielef wrote:
Why? What difference does it make for the airline, what is the perjury, that this person didn't fly the VLC-MAD route? At the end of the day, it happened something good to Iberia. One less passenger to feed, to carry, less airport taxes to pay, less fuel consumed in the airline, and eventually one person less in the possible waiting list.


The difference is revenue management. By buying VLC-MAD-EZE without wanting to fly VLC-MAD, that person would have denied the airline the chance to let someone else fly on VLC-MAD who is willing to pay more, thus improving the yields on that VLC-MAD flight. Yes, they may have someone to fit in the waiting list, but what if there was no waiting list? What if the person who is willing to pay more chose to fly with other airlines instead, or simply not fly? How will the airlines recover revenue then?


wait, what? he PAID for the seat. on the airline's flight, based on their system. so because he PAID for a seat, but didn't use it, that hurts the airline by not letting them sell the seat, that he PAID for, to someone else? how will they recover WHAT revenue? he PAID for it- generally, I equate PAYING to REVENUE, learned that in college!

I understand your explanation of why the airlines do it (as well as others here have explained), and why the airlines want to do it. But does it make sense to you? to anyone else here? that the poor airline is just so screwed by these scheming customers and their downright criminal gaming of the system by buying a ticket that the airline offers, and then NOT using part of it? to use someone else's mcdonalds example- if I buy a meal deal, but tell them I don't want the fries that I PAID for, is mcdonalds getting hosed here and should take recourse by not giving me any of the meal I paid for? or is the issue here the airline's silly system that makes no sense?

BTW, the guy who wrote the blog is an idiot...
 
richierich
Posts: 3591
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:48 pm

I totally feel for this guy - he's a perfect example of why people used to go through a travel agent for their travels. A travel agent would know the rules and regulations and advise on how best to switch flights when plans change. In a sense, Orbitz was his travel agent but without personalized attention; it probably would have been more difficult to get a live, helpful human being at Orbitz than it was at AA. It sounds like most of us agree that this person should have done more research before buying their ticket and know the rules before hitting the purchase button, but it is not always that simple.

There are a few things at play here. First, the revenue structure of many airlines is archaic...why is it sometimes cheaper to fly via a connection than it is directly from a hub? For example, my friend recently flew ATL-ELP on Delta. It was literally cheaper to buy a ticket from Columbus, GA to ATL and then connect to the very same flight to ELP than it was to go directly from the hub. Of course, his flight to ATL ended up being late and he missed the connection; had he driven to ATL to make his flight to ELP, the whole itinerary would have been cancelled because he missed the first segment. The delay was also due to weather, so he had little recourse. This is but one silly example but the whole thing is flawed and illogical. To the extremely infrequent flier, it makes NO SENSE. So yes, I feel for the AA customer.

Secondly, AA had a chance to make this better. He was on the phone to a customer service agent who should have informed him that his whole itinerary would be cancelled if he didn't fly the first segment. Knowing what he was trying to do, she should have been empowered to switch the whole itinerary not just sell the one new segment. None of us will ever know for sure what was said on that call, but if this was not made extremely clear to the customer, then AA straight fouled up the situation right here.

Thirdly, I think AA should refund the extra tickets he bought. Clearly this was an error that at least partly provoked by their nonsensical policies and potentially poor customer service. It would have been better before the flights left so that the seats had a chance to be re-sold but either way they should refund the extra $1400 this guy spent. At the very least, AA had a chance to make this right with the customer and instead blew any chance at goodwill now that he has taken to the internet to share his experience. I know airlines are businesses that are in business to make money, but if you treat all of your customers badly then eventually you will suffer the consequences. Frankly, if I were this man, I would put in a credit card chargeback for the extra tickets he was forced to purchase, and take it all the way to an arbitrator or ombudsman if necessary.

Finally, Orbitz. All third party sites that sell tickets need to be very clear about what happens if you change or cancel any part of your trip. Not just some small fine print at the bottom of the webpage mixed in with a hundred other disclaimers but CLEARLY stated. Unfortunately I know this is not always the case, although I can't speak much about Orbitz as I have never purchased airline tickets through them. The funny thing is that airlines (and hotels) are happy to offer bulk discounts to third party sites and love the revenue streams they bring in, but when anything goes wrong, they both point fingers at each other. As a consumer, you are left not even knowing who to turn to or contact, which is not by accident, I suspect.

Whether you think this is the customer's fault, AA's fault or Orbitz's fault, it doesn't really matter. It's a sad commentary on why flying has become a burden for so many, and why some airlines are viewed so negatively across the service industry. Not every customer is going to know about all of the complexities that go into revenue management or revenue protection, or specific airline policies, as some are different carrier to carrier. As an advocate for having clear, unobtrusive information about penalties, fees and policies, I know that this information is seldom adequately conveyed. I'm reluctant to place all of the blame on AA, but as is sometimes the case in hellish customer experiences like this, the big, bad airline had a chance (or multiple chances) to make this right for the customer and widely missed the mark.
None shall pass!!!!
 
Texas77
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:42 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:01 pm

eielef wrote:
I simulated a booking using the AA.com website. The route is LAX-MIA-LAX, using a fare called Main Cabin, which is like Economy class, but with less restrictions than the basic fare that this guy on the post paid. Certainly over 150U$S more expensive (578$rt vs 423$rt).

When you come to the last part of the booking, at the moment you are asked to put your credit card information, there is a tiny little place you can click to read the Conditions of Carriage and the Conditions of the Fare.

Apparently, albeit having bought a return ticket on the Main Cabin fare, my ticket has different fare rules: one applies for leaving MIA, others for leaving LAX. Don't know why, I wasn't offered a choice. It was just that what happened by the system.

So, I opened dice "conditions of the fare" and tried to read them. It was close to impossible.
Check out how the website looks. This is a screenshot of the oficial AA.com website (not Expedia or Orbitz).
Part 1/3
Image
Part 2/3
Image
Part 3/3
Image

Even what is written, all in capital letters, no spaces, is close to impossible to understand.
E.G. try making sense of this. IF AFTER TICKET HAS BEEN ISSUED AND BEFORE ANY PORTION HAS BEEN USED EITHER A DECREASE IN THE FARES OR CHARGES APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION SHOWN ON THE TICKET BECOMES EFFECTIVE/ OR A NEW FARE FOR WHICH THE PASSENGER QUALIFIES IS ADDED BETWEEN THE POINTS SHOWN ON THE TICKET/ THE DIFFERENCE IN FARES WILL BE REFUNDED AS STATED BELOW/ IN THE FORM OF A NONREFUNDABLE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER/ PROVIDED A

Eleven minutes of reading (more than what I mostly spend to buy the whole tickets) and a law degree, and now studying a PHD in law, hasn't been enough to find ONE point when it clearly says: if you don't fly the first segment, we'll cancel the rest, and don't give you anything from the money you paid before, as we've sold to another passenger who, potentially, paid more than you.

I used the key words "No Show", Cancel, Refund, Segment, Flight.... Nothing clear comes out of it.
And wait: this is the Fare V0AJZNN1 (try to tell this while on the phone). This fare is only valid this day for the trip out of MIA. For the first segment, you should read some different conditions of the G7AJZNM1 fare. Eleven minutes of reading come to nothing. These conditions are over 2000 words long! It equals reading 8 full newspaper articles! But they are in just one paragraph. Printed makes 3 long pages!

Please, tell me this is not "hidden information" or "dark" or "close to illegal" and I'll log off.
Thanks!


thanks for this, I was thinking the same thing and didn't have time to go look at it. in the litigation-mad US, we can't possibly read the terms given to us, and what if there is one tiny part we disagree with? oh well, then don't buy from us. you have no choice.

and I agree with some others here, I do not think Orbitz necessarily tells you you're getting BE. I know some of the online ticket sites don't, I can't specifically say one way or another about orbitz. but even if they had explicitly told him, this guy would never have read it and understood what "basic economy" meant for him
 
donindc
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:21 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:04 pm

On DL, the restrictions of Basic Economy stops as soon as you step foot in the plane: same seat and same service as Main Cabin. The Restrictions are upstream and under the control of the passenger.

Remember: airlines have offered Basic Economy as people have voted with their wallets for cheaper fares.[/quote]

I don't disagree, however, anyone in the last boarding group has BASIC ECONOMY stamped on their foreheads. It leaves open the opportunity to pass judgement and deem these passengers as less worthy. I know the passenger ultimately makes the choice; I just think it diminishes the experience.
 
AWACSooner
Posts: 2457
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:35 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:32 pm

Interesting conundrum I had booking a last-minute one way from PHX to DFW back in February...only non-NK/SY ULCC or WN full fare option was AA. So I looked at their website for the itinerary and tickets...only options for booking were $79 on BE or $789 in First...ZERO regular coach options. I took the BE fare, as I can get a free checked bag being military, and it was a red-eye (so I had no problems getting seats together with my wife and daughter). But my point for some of the BE folks is that it's either that or full fare first class...
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:44 pm

alasizon wrote:
Basic economy is great for a lot of people as it provides them just what they need, a seat to place their butt in and they were going to check their bag anyhow so the overhead bin space is not a big deal. There are markets where basic economy has actually increased overall LF because some passengers who would have chosen to not go or to drive are now choosing to fly.

Basic economy is great for the airlines because it allows them to charge more for stuff you used to get for free. It has absolutely sucked for passengers though.
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
cledaybuck
Posts: 1538
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:07 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:47 pm

He would have saved a ton of money if he had flown WN :D
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 3938
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:54 pm

727LOVER wrote:
This viral rant has been making the rounds the past few days
https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/de ... 1836395049

A more calmly worded explanation:
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.co ... g-someone/




However...here's a rebuttal of sorts
There’s a story going viral at the moment with the title “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” The story contains a lot of bad language, though I think it’s actually a good lesson for travelers, because the airline industry is really complex.

Let me start by summarizing what happened, and then sharing my take.

https://onemileatatime.com/american-air ... ed-flight/

To end, I'll use the last author's words:
What do you guys think — was the traveler in the wrong, was American Airlines in the wrong, are they both wrong, or is the airline industry just too darn complicated?

This is a crock of S$%t! That BOZO set this all up and did it wrong in the first place. His troubles are HIS and HIS alone!
 
ferminbrif
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:04 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:57 pm

brucetiki wrote:
That's some rant for something that wasn't the airlines fault.
Bad planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on AA's part.


I totally agree with you. Now a days, it's kinda cool or fashion going viral for any reason. No matter whether you are right or not.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:05 pm

donindc wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
On DL, the restrictions of Basic Economy stops as soon as you step foot in the plane: same seat and same service as Main Cabin. The Restrictions are upstream and under the control of the passenger.

Remember: airlines have offered Basic Economy as people have voted with their wallets for cheaper fares.


I don't disagree, however, anyone in the last boarding group has BASIC ECONOMY stamped on their foreheads. It leaves open the opportunity to pass judgement and deem these passengers as less worthy. I know the passenger ultimately makes the choice; I just think it diminishes the experience.

Except not everyone boards when their group is called; some prefer spending as little time as possible inside the plane, some are delayed by tight connections.
So, if someones equates "last to board" to "bought Basic Economy", they have a serious judgmental problem...
 
atpg5
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:11 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:09 pm

If American Airlines sold paint:

How much is your paint?

Clerk: Well, sir, that all depends on quite a lot of
things.

Customer: Can you give me a guess? Is there an average
price?

Clerk: Our lowest price is $12 a gallon, and we have 60
different prices

up to $200 a gallon.

Customer: What's the difference in the paint?

Clerk: Oh, there isn't any difference; it's all the same
paint.

Customer: Well, then I'd like some of that $12 paint.

Clerk: When do you intend to use the paint?

Customer: I want to paint tomorrow. It's my day off.

Clerk: Sir, the paint for tomorrow is the $200 paint.

Customer: When would I have to paint to get the $12
paint?

Clerk: You would have to start very late at night in
about 3
weeks. But
you will have to agree to start painting before Friday of
that week and
continue painting until at least Sunday.

Customer: You've got to be *&%^#@* kidding!

Clerk: I'll check and see if we have any paint available.

Customer: You have shelves FULL of paint! I can see it!

Clerk: But it doesn't mean that we have paint available.
We
sell only a
certain number of gallons on any given weekend. Oh, and
by
the way, the
price per gallon just went to $16. We don't have any more
$12 paint.

Customer: The price went up as we were talking?

Clerk: Yes, sir. We change the prices and rules hundreds
of
times a day,

and since you haven't actually walked out of the store
with
your paint
yet, we just decided to change. I suggest you purchase
your
paint as
soon
as possible. How many gallons do you want?

Customer: Well, maybe five gallons. Make that six, so
I'll
have enough.

Clerk: Oh no, sir, you can't do that. If you buy paint
and
don't use it,

there are penalties and possible confiscation of the
paint
you already
have.

Customer: WHAT?

Clerk: We can sell enough paint to do your kitchen,
bathroom, hall and
north bedroom, but if you stop painting before you do the
bedroom, you
will lose your remaining gallons of paint.

Customer: What does it matter whether I use all the
paint? I
already
paid
you for it!

Clerk: We make plans based upon the idea that all our
paint
is used,
every
drop. If you don't, it causes us all sorts of problems.

Customer: This is crazy!! I suppose something terrible
happens if I
don't
keep painting until after Saturday night!

Clerk: Oh yes! Every gallon you bought automatically
becomes
the $200
paint.

Customer: But what are all these, "Paint on sale from
$10 a
gallon"
signs?

Clerk: Well that's for our budget paint. It only comes in
half-gallons.
One $5 half-gallon will do half a room. The second
half-gallon to
complete
the room is $20. None of the cans have labels, some are
empty and there
are no refunds, even on the empty cans.

Customer: To hell with this! I'll buy what I need
somewhere
else!

Clerk: I don't think so, sir. You may be able to buy
paint
for your
bathroom and bedrooms, and your kitchen and dining room
from
someone
else,
but you won't be able to paint your connecting hall and
stairway from
anyone but us. And I should point out, sir, that if you
paint in only
one
direction, it will be $300 a gallon.

Customer: I thought your most expensive paint was $200!

Clerk: That's if you paint around the room to the point
at
which you
started. A hallway is different.

Customer: And if I buy $200 paint for the hall, but only
paint in one
direction, you'll confiscate the remaining paint.

Clerk: No, we'll charge you an extra use fee plus the
difference on your

next gallon of paint. But I believe you're getting it
now,
sir.

Customer: You're insane!

Clerk: Thanks for painting with American.
All gave some....Some gave all
 
User avatar
CobraKai
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:04 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:18 pm

richierich wrote:
I totally feel for this guy - he's a perfect example of why people used to go through a travel agent for their travels. A travel agent would know the rules and regulations and advise on how best to switch flights when plans change. In a sense, Orbitz was his travel agent but without personalized attention; it probably would have been more difficult to get a live, helpful human being at Orbitz than it was at AA. It sounds like most of us agree that this person should have done more research before buying their ticket and know the rules before hitting the purchase button, but it is not always that simple.

There are a few things at play here. First, the revenue structure of many airlines is archaic...why is it sometimes cheaper to fly via a connection than it is directly from a hub? For example, my friend recently flew ATL-ELP on Delta. It was literally cheaper to buy a ticket from Columbus, GA to ATL and then connect to the very same flight to ELP than it was to go directly from the hub. Of course, his flight to ATL ended up being late and he missed the connection; had he driven to ATL to make his flight to ELP, the whole itinerary would have been cancelled because he missed the first segment. The delay was also due to weather, so he had little recourse. This is but one silly example but the whole thing is flawed and illogical. To the extremely infrequent flier, it makes NO SENSE. So yes, I feel for the AA customer.

Secondly, AA had a chance to make this better. He was on the phone to a customer service agent who should have informed him that his whole itinerary would be cancelled if he didn't fly the first segment. Knowing what he was trying to do, she should have been empowered to switch the whole itinerary not just sell the one new segment. None of us will ever know for sure what was said on that call, but if this was not made extremely clear to the customer, then AA straight fouled up the situation right here.

Thirdly, I think AA should refund the extra tickets he bought. Clearly this was an error that at least partly provoked by their nonsensical policies and potentially poor customer service. It would have been better before the flights left so that the seats had a chance to be re-sold but either way they should refund the extra $1400 this guy spent. At the very least, AA had a chance to make this right with the customer and instead blew any chance at goodwill now that he has taken to the internet to share his experience. I know airlines are businesses that are in business to make money, but if you treat all of your customers badly then eventually you will suffer the consequences. Frankly, if I were this man, I would put in a credit card chargeback for the extra tickets he was forced to purchase, and take it all the way to an arbitrator or ombudsman if necessary.

Finally, Orbitz. All third party sites that sell tickets need to be very clear about what happens if you change or cancel any part of your trip. Not just some small fine print at the bottom of the webpage mixed in with a hundred other disclaimers but CLEARLY stated. Unfortunately I know this is not always the case, although I can't speak much about Orbitz as I have never purchased airline tickets through them. The funny thing is that airlines (and hotels) are happy to offer bulk discounts to third party sites and love the revenue streams they bring in, but when anything goes wrong, they both point fingers at each other. As a consumer, you are left not even knowing who to turn to or contact, which is not by accident, I suspect.

Whether you think this is the customer's fault, AA's fault or Orbitz's fault, it doesn't really matter. It's a sad commentary on why flying has become a burden for so many, and why some airlines are viewed so negatively across the service industry. Not every customer is going to know about all of the complexities that go into revenue management or revenue protection, or specific airline policies, as some are different carrier to carrier. As an advocate for having clear, unobtrusive information about penalties, fees and policies, I know that this information is seldom adequately conveyed. I'm reluctant to place all of the blame on AA, but as is sometimes the case in hellish customer experiences like this, the big, bad airline had a chance (or multiple chances) to make this right for the customer and widely missed the mark.



It is cheaper to connect than to fly from hubs because airline tickets are priced based on supply and demand, not cost plus. Think of it like cell phones, more people want iPhones (i.e. more demand), so Apple can sell a phone with the less memory and processor power than a competing Android. Likewise, more people (demand) want to fly from ATL to ELP, so airlines can charge a premium. Another example is movie tickets, more demand at night than at a matinee, same move, same seat, more expensive.

Furthermore, airlines can't refund everyone who gets into this situation because people will use that to game the system - that is why hard rules have to be put in place. This is the same reason that bereavement fares were cancelled at many airlines - they don't have the personnel to do more than random spot checks for proof (and passengers get mad when you do), but did you know that Las Vegas had the most bereavement fares of any city before AA scrapped the program? If we always believed the customer, then half the country goes to die and get buried in the 28th largest MSA.

Lastly, when you select an AA basic economy fare on Orbitz, it makes you click AGAIN underneath the rules and restrictions that CLEARLY state that Changes and Cancellations are not allowed. You can't live life on autopilot, not paying attention to what you are doing, and expect everyone to correct your mistakes.
 
Varsity1
Posts: 1962
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:20 pm

You can thank the LCC's of the world for this. Rynair, Wizz, Air Asia, Spirit, Allegiant.

When they behave like this everyone says "well, they're and LCC".. When AA/UA/DL start to compete with them (everyone has voted, all they want is cheap). Then they're the bad guys.

Had this been spirit, It would even make the blog.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
TheOldDude
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:47 pm

Three problems are identified in the rant: (1) non-disclosure of the need to purchase a new ticket for the round trip, (2) non-disclosure of the basic economy restrictions, and (3) non-disclosure of the policy to cancel entire tickets if the first leg is not taken by the passenger.

I'll address these one at a time.

(1) The rant says "What I also know is that the woman I spoke to at American Airlines in the first place could have told me I needed to book a whole new flight." That's strange; the conversation with the woman that the writer related was, in part:

"Me: OK, so if I need to fly out earlier, are you saying I need to buy a ticket to get there earlier?

Them: Pretty much."

At best, the purported AA's response is ambiguous. It can be read as you need to replace all flights on the purchase, or you only need to replace the first flight. Unfortunately the purchaser did not recognize the ambiguity and clarify what was meant.

(2) Ticket restrictions are clearly displayed in Orbitz. Restrictions (e.g. not changeable) are shown in two places. When you search for flights and are presented with many to choose from, each flight has a link to "Rules and Restrictions Apply". Clicking that presents a drop-down with the ticket restrictions. When you choose a flight, the right hand side of the page displays "Important Flight Information", which displays the restrictions. I suppose he did not read either of those areas because he attempted to change the flight for an additional fee. On this point the purchaser is clearly at fault. The "not changeable" restriction is clearly displayed. Twice.

(3) The displayed restrictions in Orbitz did not state that the passenger had to be on the first ticketed flight for the rest of the purchase to be valid. Here the writer has a good point -- but the problem here may be Orbitz, and not AA, or maybe the non-disclosure is an industry problem.

My bottom line is that the writer's anger is misplaced. Most of it should be directed at himself; perhaps some can be directed too Orbitz or the industry.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3687
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:10 pm

atpg5 wrote:
If American Airlines sold paint:


Unsold paint doesn’t immediately expire the way an unsold seat on a flight does. That was a lot of words you just used to basically say that you don’t understand how revenue/yield management works.
 
questions
Posts: 2027
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:20 pm

As far as the highly restrictive Basic Economy product, I believe airlines are over-segmenting air travelers and are therefore managing too many margins in a defined space and creating too much complexity. It’s like trying to put The Ritz Carlton, The W, Westin, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn and Motel 6 into one building. At some point it just isn’t going to work within the same structure.

I would pay more for a good Economy product with decent seat pitch on an airline that wasn’t trying to attract the bottom of the barrel. Let those flyers go to Migrating Homeless Airlines and Dollar Seat Airways.
 
adh214
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 1999 6:07 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:59 pm

atpg5 wrote:
If American Airlines sold paint:

Hysterical and so true.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
Posts: 1851
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:25 pm

Texas77 wrote:
wait, what? he PAID for the seat. on the airline's flight, based on their system. so because he PAID for a seat, but didn't use it, that hurts the airline by not letting them sell the seat, that he PAID for, to someone else? how will they recover WHAT revenue? he PAID for it- generally, I equate PAYING to REVENUE, learned that in college!

I understand your explanation of why the airlines do it (as well as others here have explained), and why the airlines want to do it. But does it make sense to you? to anyone else here? that the poor airline is just so screwed by these scheming customers and their downright criminal gaming of the system by buying a ticket that the airline offers, and then NOT using part of it? to use someone else's mcdonalds example- if I buy a meal deal, but tell them I don't want the fries that I PAID for, is mcdonalds getting hosed here and should take recourse by not giving me any of the meal I paid for? or is the issue here the airline's silly system that makes no sense?


Like I said, the airline could have sold a ticket to someone who would have paid more. Don't forget, the guy paid for a Basic Economy ticket, the lowest of the lowest fare, which means it could have been priced below what it takes to have the flight break even, let alone make a profit. That someone who would have paid more could have made the flight profitable.

The analogy to McDonald's is not apt because the difference between the two products. You don't take the fries, it's fine because McDonald's pricing means that everybody pays the same, which already covers their costs & profits. Airlines meanwhile can't have every one pay the same, lest they lower demand since not every one needs to fly. Hence there will always some who pay the least, and there's always someone who pay the most to cover the former.

The funny thing is, American & Bob Crandall tried to simplify airline pricing back in the 1990s - but he failed.

https://www.mcall.com/news/mc-xpm-1993- ... story.html

cledaybuck wrote:
Basic economy is great for the airlines because it allows them to charge more for stuff you used to get for free. It has absolutely sucked for passengers though.


Plenty of people wants cheaper fares & are willing to give up some of the frills - I for one wouldn't mind having no baggage allowance at least one way, since I usually travel via carry-on luggage anyhow.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
cat3appr50
Posts: 164
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:31 pm

Not sure this belongs in this forum. The (drama extraordinaire and tirade of F words) individual procrastinated in buying an airline ticket for a priority event which surely this individual knew about many months or possibly a year or so earlier (after all it’s a wedding), and (beyond comprehension) purchased only three weeks before the flight/important event date. This resulted in having to link to various airports (and flights) to arrive at destination at the very last moment and additional overall costs. This individuals (root cause) procrastination resulted in all of the subsequent schedule, etc. issues.

IMO it’s entirely inappropriate to bash American Airlines in the media and in a public forum, when the root cause of all of this is this individuals personal procrastination. It’s a fabulous example of cause and effect and avoidance of personal responsibility and accountability.

American Airlines IMO did the best they could do and don’t owe this individual anything. Maybe AA can instead send this individual a handbook regarding time and schedule management. Stop the AA bashing please.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3729
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:37 pm

Very much agreed, HOWEVER, the audience for viral diarrhea is just as clueless and gullible as the source and will lap it up with giant spoon.

GF
 
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TheFlyingDisk
Posts: 1851
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:38 pm

cat3appr50 wrote:
IMO it’s entirely inappropriate to bash American Airlines in the media and in a public forum, when the root cause of all of this is this individuals personal procrastination. It’s a fabulous example of cause and effect and avoidance of personal responsibility and accountability.


Well that's freedom of speech for you.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 1226
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:38 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Like I said, the airline could have sold a ticket to someone who would have paid more. Don't forget, the guy paid for a Basic Economy ticket, the lowest of the lowest fare, which means it could have been priced below what it takes to have the flight break even, let alone make a profit. That someone who would have paid more could have made the flight profitable.

You're describing "seller's remorse".
Guess what? AA sold the seat at a mutually agreed upon prices; both parties agreed that the price did fit their expectations. If the buyer found a cheaper flight and started whining about it, too bad so sad; if the seller could have found a pax willing to pay more and started whining about that, too bad so sad.
Once the deal is sealed, neither party can have "buyer's/seller's remorse".
 
User avatar
TheFlyingDisk
Posts: 1851
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:43 pm

Re: “Dear American Airlines, I Hate You With My Whole Heart.” writes disgruntled traveler

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:41 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Guess what? AA sold the seat at a mutually agreed upon prices; both parties agreed that the price did fit their expectations. If the buyer found a cheaper flight and started whining about it, too bad so sad; if the seller could have found a pax willing to pay more and started whining about that, too bad so sad.
Once the deal is sealed, neither party can have "buyer's/seller's remorse".


Doesn't work that way. A flight ticket works differently than a tangible product like say a car or a meal at a restaurant.

Otherwise, start paying more. That will solve the issue.
I FLY KLM+ALASKA+QATAR+MALAYSIA+AIRASIA+MALINDO

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