Cranky in the News Archive – 2011

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The Madeleine Brand Show Logo

Surviving the holiday travel season Cranky style

The Madeleine Brand Show Radio Appearance – December 7, 2011

I sat down with Madeleine for this five minute spot talking about airplane etiquette. We had some fun with this.

The Kojo Nnamdi Show Logo

Friendlier Skies? Airline Passenger Rights

The Kojo Nnamdi Show Radio Appearance – November 22, 2011

I was one of the guest’s on an hour-long segment about passenger rights.

New York Times Logo

Taking First-Class Coddling Above and Beyond

Jad Mouawad – November 20, 2011

As a general rule, business class is five to 10 times the price of an economy ticket, while first class is usually twice the price of business. “First class,” said Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Concierge, an air travel assistance Web site, “is status.”

. . .

In fact, business class has become so comfortable that, in many cases, it can rival first class itself. “People demand more from the business class than they used to,” Mr. Snyder said.

The Globe and Mail Logo

Should I feel guilty about flying out of Buffalo instead of Toronto?

Karan Smith – November 11, 2011

“You have some of the most expensive airports in North America for airlines to operate at,” says Brett Snyder, who runs the popular blog The Cranky Flier ( “[Pearson International] has been at the top of the charts for years when it comes to charges. Passengers don’t pay this directly, but it just means the airlines need higher fares to cover their costs there.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Logo

United, American airlines challenge proposed new fees (poll)

Alison Grant – October 19, 2011

“These are the dumbest things ever,” said the Cranky Flier’s Brett Snyder. “People say, ‘Oh, it’s only a couple of bucks.’ But remember, in this industry the (profit) margins are razor thin.”


How to Skip Long Security Lines at the Airport

Susannah Snider – October 10, 2011

The TSA hasn’t revealed the details, but the agency may “allow members to leave on their shoes, keep laptops in their cases, or not walk through the x-ray,” says Brett Snyder, of

CBS2 Los Angeles Logo

The Price You Pay For An Airline Ticket Is All In The Timing

Sibila Vargas – October 6, 2011

Chicago Tribune Logo

United, Continental to roll out combined frequent-flier program next year

Gregory Karp – September 21, 2011

“There is tremendous passion around these programs,” said Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance and writer of the “Cranky Flier” blog. “People get very angry. It’s a big deal for a lot of people.”

Atlanta Journal Constitution Logo

Southwest to transform AirTran hub into ‘megacity’

Kelly Yamanouchi – September 11, 2011

“The immediate danger is to smaller cities,” said Brett Snyder, a former airline manager and author of a blog at

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Logo

Ontario officials concerned over continued dropoffs of passengers, flights at ONT

Liset Marquez – August 4, 2011

And there isn’t any relief in the near future. Southwest Airlines has announced it would be cutting two more routes beginning in January, said Brett Snyder, who runs the blog

And while Southwest has bought the airliner AirTran, it has not replaced the fleets it has removed from ONT, Snyder said. Logo

The Cost of Flying Out Of Memphis Is On The Rise

Cameron Harper – May 19, 2011 Logo

Airline mergers push art of numbering flights the way of the Concorde

Emanuella Grinberg – May 18, 2011

Most airlines operate under a similar system, said Brett Snyder, who runs “Cranky Concierge” travel service and the “Cranky Flier” blog.

The occasional “legacy number” remains, such as American Airlines’ Flight 1 from New York’s JFK airport to LAX, but “most of the stuff is pretty random,” he said.

“They used to have more fun with these things in the past,” Snyder said. “They try to keep with legacy systems when they can, but the airline mergers have thrown them into disarray. Every airline used to have a flight 1, but when you have a merger, which one do you keep?”

Chicago Tribune Logo

United Continental integrates its new look at O’Hare

Julie Johnsson – May 18, 2011

But will travelers care? Probably not, unless the carrier eliminates a treasured perk, said Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance, who writes the “Cranky Flier” blog. By gradually rolling out changes, United’s management has more time to respond if customers balk at a new or tweaked service.

“There are things that people are going to gripe about,” Snyder said. “But they’ll get used to it, forget that it was even an issue. If they don’t, then, hopefully, the management team is smart enough to adjust as necessary.”

WKSU Radio Logo

Southwest, AirTran merger may mean changes for Northeast Ohio airports

Phil Torres – May 5, 2011

Brett Snyder is an analyst with Cranky Concierge Air Travel Assistance, which helps airline passengers find and monitor flights. He expects Southwest will continue flights out of both Akron and Cleveland. [includes audio clip]

Seattle Times Logo

Alaska to compensate fliers caught in computer outage

Carol Pucci – March 28, 2011

Brett Snyder, author of the Cranky Flier blog, gave Alaska and Horizon credit for communicating well with passengers via Facebook and Twitter.

He said it’s not unusual for airlines to sort out compensation after the fact.

“When something like this happens, it’s awful,” he said. “You have cancellations, people missing connections. What you have to do is get people where they need to go. The customer, of course, wants something done right away, but the reality is that there are 100 people waiting in line behind that passenger who want to get somewhere.”

Associated Press Logo

Allegiant asks if a low fare is worth a gamble

Scott Mayerowitz – March 9, 2011

“It’s an airline based in Vegas, so people are in a gambling mood I guess,” says Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Concierge, an air travel assistance company.

“A lot of people have issues with the ways they display their fees today,” Snyder says. With the new ticket option, “will people really know what they are getting into?”

Arizona Republic Logo

Weather, tarmac rule irk airlines

Megan Neighbor – March 6, 2011

“When airport operations are so fluid, it’s hard to justify having this rigid rule when everything else is moving,” said Brett Snyder, founder of air-travel-assistance site crankyconcierge .com.

Chicago Tribune Logo

As Southwest Airlines tries to cope with its success, problems at Midway will get team’s attention

Julie Johnsson and Jon Hilkevitch – March 3, 2011

“But the recent series of uncharacteristic lapses — the December on-time numbers, Tuesday’s computer outage and problems with its Rapid Rewards revamp — could damage the carrier’s image over time if left unaddressed, said Brett Snyder, who runs a travel concierge business.

“If these things start sticking in people’s minds,” Snyder said, “it’s going to get to the point where people are going to think twice about dealing with them.”

Chicago Tribune Logo

Southwest recovers from 2 glitches, snarled flights

Julie Johnsson – March 2, 2011

“My general impression of Southwest is that they were absent, just everywhere,” said airline blogger Brett Snyder, who also runs Cranky Concierge, a business that assists travelers.

Snyder said that he was unable to call up a customer’s reservation details online or log on to SWABIZ and faced waits of 30 minutes to an hour to reach a Southwest representative via phone. Since Southwest is known for stellar service and good communications, Snyder said he was puzzled that it didn’t mention the outages on its site and shared only limited information on Twitter and Facebook.

“When things go wrong, it’s all about how you communicate with people,” Snyder said. “In this case, they just failed.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Logo

Low-fare marriage of Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways may be a plus for Northeast Ohio

Alison Grant – February 14, 2011

“I think it’s more of a strategy issue than anything else,” said Brett Snyder, author of the Cranky Flier blog. “It could be about not the number in front of them, but rather — ‘Our strategy going forward says these are too close together. Get rid of one of them.'”

Atlanta Journal Constitution Logo

Delta ranks near bottom in on-time performance

Kelly Yamanouchi – February 10, 2011

For Delta’s most lucrative customers — frequent business travelers — on-time performance i of utmost importance and could affect airline choice, said Brett Snyder, author of “In a place like Atlanta, does that make them consider AirTran more if Delta doesn’t perform as well?” Snyder asked. “You would think probably yes.”

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Logo

Airport’s staff size surfaces as an issue

Liset Marquez – January 29, 2011

“It seems fairly large for anything that size. The number is similar to what San Diego has, which is much bigger,” said Brett Snyder, author of, who has been following the issue at ONT for more than a year.

A straight comparison of staffing levels is difficult because outsource levels differ from airport to airport, Snyder said.

. . .

With lower-wage jobs such as janitorial services on the payroll, Snyder said he thought the average salary would have been lower.

“How is that possible?” Snyder said.

Cranky Flier