Fare reasons for airline complaints

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Newscience, Aug 18, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Fare reasons for airline complaints

    Complaints about airline travel are reaching record levels this year. Has the general public figured out that there's "no such thing as a free ride" where budget air fares are concerned? Or is this phenomena due to the ability to complain in more formats, including the use of social media? This blog article from The Economist examines this growing trend:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2015/08/american-carriers
     
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  2. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    It seems whenever experience falls short of expectations, even unrealistic ones, we now have forums readily available to complain on.
    This is better than simply taking bad service and shrugging since we now all see the bad service. Where this is a problem is that too many unwarranted complaints distorts our perception of what is true bad service and what is simply the minimal service provided for the lowest fare.
     
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  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I think the sense of entitlement has also increased. When I was at SNA yesterday to check in for my flight, US had delayed the 8:30am SNA-PHX until 11:15am resulting in a huge number of misconnects on flights headed East from PHX. (I was booked on the 12:40pm which departed and arrived early). The agents were doing their very best to reaccommodate people, cabbing them to LAX, using other airlines, hotels for next day, and they were being fairly efficient about it from what I saw. When the line of people needing problems solved was gone and it was my turn to check my bag, I ended up next to two women who had been there since I had arrived nearly half an hour ago. They were speaking to the supervisor after the agent had failed to resolve the problem to their satisfaction (being booked out at 3pm the same day from SNA and connecting in ORD on AA was not acceptable, I guess). The ladies wanted to get to PHL earlier and blah blah so on. They'd been provided lunch vouchers but also wanted to be admitted to the AC since they had a 4.5 hour wait for their flight. The supervisor was nice but firm and said they didn't allow misconnecting passengers into the AC because if they did there wouldn't be any room left and it wouldn't be fair to everyone. Seems fair enough to me - if I paid for the membership I wouldn't want 100 unhappy people descending on the lounge, especially with the frequency of IRROPS. It's also not like the AC at SNA is all that big. The women went on and on about how the supervisor didn't know what good customer service was and how US was a lousy company. I understand their being upset, but ultimately I don't know that their expectation was all that reasonable. Eventually the agent found them a slightly earlier flight out of LAX nonstop to PHL which they took, but these two people monopolized two agents' attention for more than half an hour when they were just plain never going to get exactly what they wanted - their original flights and times.

    IMO, their expectation was unreasonable. You could see even from a distance the agents were doing everything they could to solve the problem but it was clear that nothing was going to be satisfactory. However, that doesn't stop the passengers from lodging a complaint - and they have every right to complain about the delays, but if they say the agents were rude, which they probably will, it's a flat out lie.

    I see it a lot on the train, too. You have a list of amenities provided for your ticket price, yet I get a lot of "I paid $49 for my ticket and I can't have all the pop I can drink?" :rolleyes: "You can't even give one free cocktail to us when the train is 15 minutes late?" And then my supervisor calls me into the office because of a customer relations complaint that I was "rude about food service." Just last week I saw a complaint from a passenger who didn't get her dinner brought to her in a timely manner because of a medical emergency. Actual complaint text: "Just because another person has a problem doesn't mean everyone else should have to suffer." I think the bottom line is people are more heartless and selfish than ever in the "me" era, in addition to new vehicles for complaints and such.
     
  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Bummer... Free Cone Day 2015 is over.
    PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR INFO ON FREE CONE DAY 2016.

    Ben and Jerry's gets complaints also even on my the Free Day..



    In days of old they crucified Jesus, not everyone was happy, who are we but mortal men..

    You can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough others to have what they want..,
     
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  5. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    @timfrost, I would like to thank you for your post. I agree that the "DYKWIA attitude" has become more pervasive throughout the air (and rail) travel community, and in our increasingly "entitlement-deserving" society. And it may also be situation dependent. There are some "privileged travelers" (in their own minds) who will try to demand every perk they think is available for their taking. At some point, it effects the quality of air travel. Frankly, if these negative demanding interactions by belligerent customers affect the airline staff and crew, then they invariably affect everyone else on the plane.

    Contrast this attitude to the experience on my most recent flight on WN (yes, I know, no first class seating on WN!). My plane left BWI about an hour late on a 9:00 pm scheduled flight. I didn't hear anyone complain about the late take-off or patch of rough weather during the flight. In fact, folks were generally pretty happy to be getting to their destination that night. The FAs managed to serve everyone their drinks, weather notwithstanding. Perhaps the inability to have preferential access to perks, while providing a solid transportation experience, helped to remove some of the DYKWIA attitudes?

    I'd have no problem with having all DYKWIAs go to the "end of the line", so that they can complain to each other! :D
     
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