Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're the airline industry! Welcome aboard. Welcome to HELL!

This story just came to my attention. U.S. Airways strands passengers in Dominican Republic. People actually had to spend the night sleeping in a parked bus because they had nowhere else to go.

The excuse?

First weather, then "we have no crew."

Sound familiar?

How are the airlines getting away with this and Congress sits by and watches? Just like my experience with JetBlue, the airline blames weather and then, when the plane finally makes it through, the crew is over their legal hours so they just STRAND PEOPLE???

Is this criminal? It's theft, isn't it? Am I missing something?

If you pay me in advance for a service or product that I know there is a chance I simply can not deliver, aren't I stealing from you? Sure, I can offer you a partial refund, as JetBlue did for me, but if I wanted to hand my money to someone, only to have them hand it back to me two months later, I would have deposited it in the bank and earned interest.

I did not pay the airlines for the POSSIBILITY that they MIGHT be able to take me to and from my destination.

This is simply wrong. As I have said repeatedly - on this blog, to JetBlue and to anyone who will listen - it is WRONG to sell a product you can not service and support.

It's just that simple.

Oh, by the way - I left out the CEO of US Airways in my previous post.

W. Douglas Parker - the man who seems to have no problem with his customers (including children) sleeping on a bus in the Dominican Republic - was paid (as opposed to "earned") $5.4 million last year.

Look for yourself (click on chart to enlarge):


Perry said...

My solution to the airlines problem is fairly simple, although the airlines would hate it: Require that ALL seats for a particular flight in a particular class (economy, first class, etc.) are sold for the same price.

The airlines of course could set that price, but I would have congress pass a law that whatever price the airline sets for that flight on that day, that ALL seats are sold for that same price. No 21-day discounts, no last-minute fare hikes.

This way the airlines will have no reason to ever bump anyone, and should a flight be cancelled and you receive a refund, it is likely that another similar flight will have a similar price.

One of the things that kills me is how airlines will refund your advance fare knowing full well that the cost for you to find another flight on short notice will be 2-3 times what you paid for your original ticket. They claim that by refunding your original fare that you're now even, but of course you're not. If you still expect to make the trip, you'll likely be out several hundred dollars, at least, over what you originally paid.

With my plan, that can't happen. Nor will it make sense for airlines to bump a low-paying passenger for a higher-paying one, something they do all the time. Under my plan, all passengers would pay the same, so there would be no financial benefit for the airline to bump anyone.

ManeyDigital said...

Thanks for the post and keeping this in the public eye. I have spoken to other passengers on this flight (my wife and I were two of those passengers) and *nobody* has heard word one from US Airways. Nor had the reporters who did the stories. How US Airways PR department (and whatever agency is working with them) isn't summarily fired is beyond comprehension.