Cranky on the Web: More United, Of Course

Cranky on the Web, United

Story On United 3411 and Dr David DaoFox 11 News
Somehow I missed this last week, but the reporter from our local LA Fox station Zohreen Adamjee posted her story including an interview with me, on Facebook. You can watch it here and stay for the replay of her live chat after if you’d like. (The story itself is only a couple minutes long, it’s the rest of the live chat that takes up the bulk of the time.)

Bumped off an airline flight? Here are your rightsFort Worth Star-Telegram
I always like talking to Andrea Ahles at the Star-Telegram since she’s on the airline industry beat, but this time, I was contacted by a reporter who does consumer issues and rarely looks at airlines. We had a good conversation as she tried to learn the ins and outs of bumping rules.

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6 comments on “Cranky on the Web: More United, Of Course

  1. We all have seen the old photo of two water fountains on the side of a building: one dispensing chilled water at an adult height with a sign “Whites” and one dispensing regular water at a chlld’s height with the sign “Colored.” Non-elite status, economy passengers, especially those with cheap tickets, may be treated as the new “Coloreds” by some legacy airlines. Indeed flying economy on some legacy airlines is reminiscent of the old Southern segregation: You know your “place” when it comes to boarding which is last; you get yelled at if you use the less busy toilets at the front of the plane and the airline staff knows your low status and may treat you accordingly. Even, the U.S Gov’t gets into the act by having longer security lines for the “Coloreds.”

    1. To compare different classes/status on an airline to Jim Crow and blatant racial discrimination is vile and totally repugnant.

      Go and have a good hard look at yourself.

      1. Fair point: There is no comparison as to the evil. Slavery and its aftermath was America’s greatest sin and evil and the other is the free market leading to the offering of a product that many buy but few like. However, I was trying to make the point that some legacy airlines have boxed themselves into a situation in which they offer a product that many who experience that product will feel disrespected.

        1. They cater to the small minority because it is they who pay a disproportionate amount of the freight. Legacy airlines are fighting tooth and nail over those types of customers.

          Many people don’t want to pay the necessary costs in order to receive the types of benefits. The vast majority of the flying public is driven by price. In many ways the airlines are serving their needs.

          In many regards airlines are victims of their own relative success in that they fly millions of people safely and on time to where they wish to go WAY CHEAPER in adjusted dollars than 30,40 years ago.

          Can the experience suck?? Oh yes indeed. But greyhound sucks more as would not going!!!

          I just thought your comparison was way over the top. That’s all.

          1. I learned my lesson: Never, never, speak lightly of terrible things. I totally agree with you that the airlines are responding to market pressures. Hawaiian Airlines offers a relatively nice economy experience but only a minority of passengers fly them to Hawaii. Many, many years ago American Airlines took out ads in the Wall Street Journal to say that they had removed two rows of seat in coach to make for more legroom. Obviously, that plan flopped for them. Sure, people make choices and the de-regulared air industry offers many people the opportunity to fly who otherwise couldn’t afford to do so. But I think it is human nature not to enjoy (and rate highly in a customer satisfaction survey) a cheap product while surrounded by others enjoying a better product.

            I don’t have any problems with airlines offering different products at different prices. When I travel I sometimes buy economy seats and sometimes premium seats. I am glad for the choice. (And when I buy economy I usually don’t choose a legacy airline.) However, when I was a young man I would not have imagined the U.S. Government having a long security line for economy passengers and a short security line for first class passengers.

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