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What's Happening Now

July 19, 2010 4:34 pm

1. 30 minutes is too long; you say the majority leave within 14 minutes so set the beginning info as 15 minutes with 30 minute updates unless a resolution is known sooner.
2. Specify notification be by all methods available at the airport involved, including ticket agents, with the customer additionally specifying how they are to be notified at home; email, phone, FAX.
3. All commercial flights should be
4. Include the primary reason: bad weather-locally; bad weather-enroute; bad weather at destination; etc.

July 19, 2010 4:46 pm

Don’t forget the obvious reasons they don’t do better; no enlightened effective regulation; executive compensation; union rules; airport and FAA inefficiencies; monopoly status (no other way to get there quickly); ultimately the bottom line (quest for profitability – short-term vs long-range thinking).

July 19, 2010 7:21 pm


Let’s look at this logically: The airline knows when they sell a ticket; they know when they have sold the full number. Those passengers should be guaranteed a seat; NO EXCUSES. Any subsequent tickets sold should be sold as STANDBY with a ranking 1-n, first come; first served! Problem solved. If anyone wants to volunteer; use the approach below.


1. First ask for volunteers to receive the next available comparable or better seat on the airline or any other airline, the airline agents to make the arrangements and pay for the seat directly, the passenger to be reimbursed in cash or credit card for their anticipated out of pocket costs due to the delay + their total out of pocket flight costs, tickets, baggage… more »

…checks, any other fees. If points were used they would be reinstated with new expiration dates.

2. Do a lottery, no limits, with at least (bidding starting at) the results in 1., above, cash or credit cards only; NO VOUCHERS, they’re almost impossible to use.

3. If they still bump someone the sky should be the limit, the results to be appropriate booking plus at least double the payout in 2., above.

The written guarantee should be:

1. If you volunteer; we will buy you a comparable or better ticket any airline, we pay your costs, and reinstate any points with extended expiration dates.

2. If there is a lottery, you will get a written agreement immediately.

3. If you are bumped we will buy you a comparable or better ticket any airline, we will reimburse you DOUBLE your total out of pocket costs, and reinstate any points with extended expiration dates.

4. If no comparable flights are available you will additionally be reimbursed for double roundtrip expenses from home to the airport or double overnight expenses and accommodations as appropriate.

Of course airline lawyers would attempt to make it five pages of weasel words.

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July 19, 2010 7:46 pm

Southwest says they apply 100% to a new ticket but there always seems to be a price increase or that price ticket is not available or some other excuse so that you always have to pay more. Also the ticket expires in one year, so you fly or you lose it.

July 19, 2010 7:58 pm

Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure! How can I make an informed decision it the airline does not say the ticket is non-refundable and then comes along and charges $150 when I ask for a refund?

July 19, 2010 8:04 pm

How do I ask? I’m talking to a computer program which doesn’t have a Do you have any questions? box to check. And the reason I’m on the computer is that there is an additional charge if I call a person who can answer those questions.

July 19, 2010 8:08 pm

Not just the ticket price but also the Agent’s fee, which sometimes is considerable. And Yes! they should not be able to raise the quoted price.

July 19, 2010 8:22 pm

It makes no sense and is misleading to quote a one way price if I have to buy a roundtrip ticket. If the itemization is Boston to Bombay fare, then various fees, then Bombay to Boston fare and various fees, it is still misleading unless it is specifically preceded by “Round Trip Required” If I just want to go from Boston to Bombay and stay there or go somewhere else, I shouldn’t buy this ticket and I should know it “up front.”

July 19, 2010 8:41 pm

This whole process of additional regulation is brought about because of lack of disclosure by airlines and agents when they unbundle services and initiate obscene fees for them so that we buy tickets and still don’t have a deal because we may still be hit by additional fees at checkin. A DEAL SHOULD BE A DEAL!

If in your hypothetical, fuel prices go down 25% do you think the airlines would or should give you a rebate? Would they? Of course not. Should they? Does a Gas Station put up a sign saying I’m going to lower my prices 10 cents a gallon tomorrow, come back then.?

July 19, 2010 8:51 pm

I think we should always be talking about airlines, travel agents, and other resellers.

I think the smaller typeface is a bad idea. Small type is always used for something the purveyor has to say but doesn’t want us to be able to read, and we usually can’t.

July 19, 2010 9:07 pm

No! Retroactive pricing is essentially fraud and violates the contract made when money changes hands.

I would favor a rule that disallowed even having a round trip requirement for prices. If an airline wants to give a credit for roundtrip like stores give case discounts on groceries or such, and listed it as a separate credit in their advertising and on their ticket that might work.

Fares from Boston to New York might vary by time of day and by day of the week but they should never be based on Round Trip Required.

July 19, 2010 9:20 pm

This is the same as bumping and should be compensated (punishment to the airlines) as such. See my comments under that category. It is not just the five hours, though that is bad enough; it is all the other inconveniences, arriving late at night, having to cancel engagements, having to call a cab for a long ride vs bus transportation, and a myriad other inconveniences for which the airlines in their hubris currently accepts no responsibility.

July 19, 2010 9:28 pm

The price of fuel doesn’t change while I am trying to book a flight. Maybe airlines should only be allowed to change prices once a week, or once a day, always at midnight, or something like that. It is extremely frustrating to try to buy a ticket and have availability and/or price change while you are pushing the “Buy” button.

July 20, 2010 12:13 am

I proposed an answer to overbooking in another area. I repeat it here. The airlines know how many seats they have on a flight and how many tickets they have sold for the flight. Each passenger should be guaranteed a seat up to the number of seats on the flight, after that passengers should be sold standby seats numbered 1-n, first come, first served. This is neat and simple and there is no question of who gets a seat if they show up.

July 20, 2010 12:34 am

Southwest has a pretty good business model; they are cheerful and friendly and accommodating. And their fares are still mostly bundled. When the airlines changed their business model they reduced service AND increased fares, they just claimed they were trying to be fairer to the customers. And they definitely don’t have a cheerful, friendly, accommodating business atmosphere. I predict that airlines are hastening their own demise when they engage in their anti customer and certainly unethical behavior.

July 20, 2010 12:54 am

Transferability and any other “change” type fees are for revenue production only and not for services rendered. They already are using our money for free sometimes for months in advance. Most of us make changes online at negligible or no cost to the airline. For those who call a real person there is already (usually) a service fee for that as well so they are really double dipping.

July 20, 2010 1:10 am

Regina I haven’t noticed many people specifically saying they wanted inexpensive airline travel, although certainly that would be desirable. What I hear is that people are tired of being shabbily and unethically treated and often being cheated when the airline doesn’t follow through on their stated policies about lost baggage and other similar items and when the airlines make significant flight changes to the detriment of the passenger with no leniency or compensation. If the airlines were regulating themselves and were treating their customers ethically and courteously there would not be this urgent need for more regulation.

July 20, 2010 1:31 am

The rules should be standard and they should be specific and they should apply to all commercial airlines in American air space and there should be significant and mandatory fines imposed for violation of the rules just like there are for aircraft safety . If the rule is not specific and does not apply to all the airlines will find ways to avoid it.
The additional standards mentioned should be included.

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