This week’s featured link:
Southwest’s Bullshit Lawsuit Over A Site That Made $45 Helping People Book Cheaper Flights – TechDirt
This guy is not happy with Southwest. It’s not that he had a bad flight. Nay. It’s this particular fight against a former website called SWMonkey that has him fired up. I’m no legal expert, but this lawsuit seems, at the very least, aggressive. It’s a long read but certainly an interesting one.
Two for the road:
Delta introduces enhanced requirements for customers traveling with service or support animals effective March 1 – Delta News Hub
Kudos to Delta for stepping up when the DOT kept kicking the can down the road. There is a growing problem of people pretending to require comfort animals so they can travel with pets for free, and so Delta is requiring more documentation. This isn’t unreasonable documentation by any stretch, and those people who truly need these animals shouldn’t have trouble rounding this up. Only those who are trying to game the system will end up giving up.
Why the 747 Is Such a Badass Plane – Popular Mechanics
That’s right. Another 747 article. I mean, what will be left to write when the airplane actually disappears from the skies in the next decade? It seems like everything has already been said.
Thank you Delta.
The comfort animal thing is such a fraud that it is ridiculous. I get the need for trained animals to assist the blind, but really. If one needs an animal to sit quietly in an airplane for no more than four to six hours (I can’t imagine comfort animals on longer international flights, but then again…), then perhaps one does not belong on an airplane.
I want to be compassionate, but the abuse of comfort animal rules and what’s been coming aboard planes has been ridiculous.
Absolutely agree. This is LONG overdue.
I heard about the service animal thing with Delta earlier this week. Can’t say I disagree, although haven’t personally been affected by it. Always assumed that when I saw a little old lady with her miniature dog on a plane they had paid a fee or whatnot to do that. Mostly felt bad for the dog. Why would people want to fly around with animals anyway? Seems like a huge hassle. Can’t even imagine a fast turn connection with an animal in tow.
If you saw the pet without kennel/carrier, it wasn’t a paid carry-on pet. Those have to stay in their container at all times.
In my experience, it isn’t little old ladies committing the emotional support animal scam.
My experience on United was a guy who was allegedly hysterical about flying and brought a large hound aboard. The hound sat on the floor in first class between me and the allegedly hysterical passenger on a flight from MCO to ORD.
This hound was very untrained. You can guess what happened when dinner was served and the hound got a whiff of United’s “five star” cuisine! Surprisingly, the hound wanted to eat it. Well, it was a battle between me and the Hound to see who got my dinner and, well, darn it, I paid for it so the hound wasn’t going to get it. He whined but I won.
If I wanted to fight a canine for dinner, I’d stay at home and fight with my cocker spaniel.
The problem with the hound is he took most of the leg room and was not well-trained. There was nothing a flight attendant or gate agent could do because there was no policies or procedures on how to deal with the hound — or the hound’s pet person. If there was anything the Dr. Dao incident at United taught, there’s no upside in a gate agent or flight crew making policy as they go along.
The hound and the hound’s pet person didn’t belong on the plane. The pet person needed to be able to do a 2.5 hour flight without the hound and I doubt the hound really wanted to be on the flight.
Whereas my experience of comfort animals on United was the exact opposite; I sat across the aisle from a Labrador on his first flight (ever), LHR-LAX on a 787; he didn’t make a sound, not once, in 11 hours. He DID, occasionally, rest his head on my arm rest when I was eating – but he was impeccable throughout. I’ve also been on an SFO-LHR when someone brought on a St Bernard, which took up the floorspace under 3 seats; again, not a sound all flight. Maybe I got lucky…
Not a lawyer, but I’ve observed that making aggressive and optimistic claims in cease-and-desist letters seems to be pretty much par for the corporate course. The author of that article seems super resentful of Southwest. But before he swears off them, he should really ask himself if any other airline is likely to behave differently.
Many in society seem to forget that this is why retail, brick & mortar travel agencies are in existence. This is a part of the service offered when you book thru an actual HUMAN.
Unfortunately the likes of Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity get paired in as “travel agents” – while they are using the same reservation system & possibly accounting back-end, that’s about when the “travel agent” stops with them.
Other US airlines don’t prevent their fares from being displayed on Kayak, etc. Only Southwest does, because they have managed to convince a lot of flyers that they always have the lowest fare and want to make it harder for people to compare fares. This is just an extension of that anti-consumer position, by making it harder to compare Southwest fares against a Southwest fare you already bought.
If WN doesn’t want people to use the no-change-fee policy to save money, they should just get rid of the policy and be honest with flyers.
I really don’t understand the “halo” that Southwest has in the minds of most consumers. While I appreciate the flexibility of the tickets, I find the boarding process to be horrendous, especially as they refuse to take a formal stance on saving seats. Additionally, the longer and longer routes are miserable on an aircraft without sufficient lavs. People like to dog on AA and UA all the time but I’d much rather fly them rather than an airline that pretends to be customer friendly but, at the end of the day, is just as bad as the rest of the crew. At least AA and UA own up to it.
Great set of articles.
1. Until Southwest grows a pair and outlaws people from saving seats there is no way I would travel with them
2. I also see many abuses with “service animals”. I hope AA follows DL
I fly SW every week. I occasionally see someone saving a seat for friends of family because they bought tix at different times therefore they have different nodding positions . In 25 years I’ve never seen this as a problem.
I am a business traveler so I am pretty flexible and understanding of others. The only issue I have is occasional travelers who have no clue about carryon luggage
Please, for the love of God, never, ever, EVER stop posting cool 747 articles like that one!
Agree. One of the most interesting articles on the 747. Had no idea Castro pulled off a stunt like that. The 747 will go down in history as one of the most iconic advancements in travel, just like the Queen Mary, etc.