Tag Archives: airlines

Coincidence?

I think not. My husband spent 100,000 miles to send me on a weekend trip, first class, to Park City, UT. The weather did not cooperate but we stayed in a lovely resort hotel and took a long drive and walked Main Street and ate at our favorite haunts. Then we hung out as after living there we’d seen all the monuments, as an old D.C. roommate had said. We weren’t under pressure to do anything in bad weather or if we just wanted to watch Netflix by one of our three fireplaces. Yeah, one bedroom, three fireplaces.

We only had two days, then he headed west and I, east for the week. From Chicago I was taking a short hop. There were no crews, so flights were delayed indeterminately. I was stuck in Chicago for three hours and changed flights because a blessed soul at the desk booked me another gate pass for another plane, nodding when I said I didn’t want to spend the night on the floor at the airport.

At that moment, Dr. Dau was physically taken out of his seat in favor of United Airlines personnel, because the plane had four passengers without a seat. I was in the airport.

I had no clue, got a boarding pass for the earlier flight that would be leaving way earlier than the later one because my original crew had never left Kentucky. The earlier 5:30 flight was delayed until 7:30 because of lack of crew.

At the new destination, we were so frustrated by the lack of information and no-one was even at the desk while we were there for hours. We had already planned a revolt because no-one would tell us anything. We had no idea of the United Airlines debacle. People had been there for hours and there were no crews. Then one showed up in uniform. Yea! We had originally wanted them to put us up for the night or charter transportation for the lot of us to Milwaukee and had a gang of eight.

Then another crew showed up in plain clothes, unbeknownst to most passengers, to take seats on our plane. I did not know the significance of this action until I showed up having changed my ticket hours ago with a new boarding pass with seat 17C. A woman was seated there. Yes, she was non-uniform crew for the next morning back to ORD.

I looked at my seat number, now knowing that paying travelers were being denied boarding for overbooking but nothing of the “big story” and just thought that as long as I was onboard, I wanted my seat. I looked at her, showed her my boarding pass and said nicely that I thought this was my seat. I only thought that she would go to the empty one by the window.

Her compatriots were in riotous laughter. All I asked for was my seat. She moved back with her friend but it was clear that they wanted space and got it and when I showed up, she was the butt of all their jokes. I felt bad that they were laughing so hard, and at her. She was angry with me so I gave her a frig magnet from Utah and all was forgiven.

Ending, I believe their policies are bad. No airline should place people who paid for a ticket and are in their seat in danger, especially to call in police to drag them out bloody to make room for their own personnel. Given a background in legislation and law and a lifetime of common sense, I think there was a “strike” of some sort by the unions after the videos went viral so there were no crews, no flights.

Unfortunately, it upset me because I was right there watching over a fellow passenger I’d never met before who’d already been at the airport three hours before our final two and was very ill. We have been in touch today, have common business interests and he is doing well. He calls me his “airport angel.” All I did was watch over him, and bring him some warm ginger ale to sip. They sat him in first class. It didn’t help that the jetway broke at our destination and we had to stay on the plane another hour for it to be fixed.

Passengers took care of each other. No-one, administration, unions, took care of us. We took the brunt of it that day. I had a wonderful vacation with my husband in the mountains. It took me many hours and travails to get home. I’d changed flights and knew my luggage would not be there. It was there, the last of four bags as they closed the carousel. My friend Joe was there to pick me up and dropped me home where I slept, then picked up my dog from great people who took care of her. There are bright lights. I saw them in the mountains. Snow-Kitties, my husband and our dog.

That’s how I’d like to remember the weekend. Sno-Cats grooming the mountain trails, sitting beside the fire. Gorgeous mountains, even one mortar went off for avalanche control. When we lived there they were my lullabies. Yes, it took a while to get used to the lights and sounds but they actually help to put me back to sleep. Back to normal life… if there is one. Dee

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NYC Has a Few Clouds

This means my husband’s plane home has a 200 minute delay and growing. Where I grew up (not NYC) a few clouds didn’t change the nation’s air traffic pattern. Where my husband’s family owned a dairy in Texas no weather ever stopped them milking cows when he was a kid.

My husband has a days’ worth of meetings and an entire day’s worth of delays, not flight time, delays. This is irresponsible for the airports, airlines, TSA and everyone at port authorities who make big money because they’re quasi-governmental agencies and do not have to report salaries or bonuses to we, the people, who pay them.

We pay a lot of taxes. We expect the FAA and regulated agencies to perform when a person buys a ticket on any type of public transportation. We expect that when there is a meeting in another state, some form of public transportation (usually a plane) will be available to get to said meeting. Not eight hours of delays for eight hours work.

It may stretch to more hours and my husband will have to stay overnight in another city and not at home with family. He’s supposed to get in at nine tonight but now it’s nearing 1 a.m. because of a few clouds. Get over it. I know you’re flying and doing the more “important” routes before you let my husband board a plane. You’ve probably said the plane had a technical malfunction and will keep people there for hours, you already cancelled two planes for this destination and those folks will go first and the airport hotels will fill up and my husband will have to sleep at the airport. Shame on the FAA, airlines, airports. And the TSA.

Not so cheerily, Dee

Airline Miles

Apparently Continental and United don’t have their act together so they’re trying to get their frequent flyers to consolidate their own miles between the airlines. Perhaps they don’t know that a software engineer could write a program to do that, but they don’t want us to consolidate our miles because then they may have to honor a flight. Aye, there’s the rub.

American is even worse. I even bought miles on AAdvantage to keep from losing them and they killed them. Now they’re sending me emails every other day saying how they respect my business and my few remaining miles, all while their holding company AMD has gone to “penny stock” categorization and will be dumped from NYSE next week.

Empty promises. My father-in-law raises cattle and he treats them better than most US employers treat their employees. There is no employer/employee loyalty, nor is there any loyalty to valued customers. Yes, even a one-time customer should be valued in a company’s eyes because that may lead to a repeat customer. That is my view.

There used to be a gold watch at the end of a storied career with a company. Now people are commodities. When one moves a family to a new job, and doesn’t know that it’s a two week “test” that if it doesn’t work it’s catastrophic to the family who pulled up stakes, but is also to the company that perpetrated the fraud because word gets around and their reputation will be tarnished.

Airline miles are just that, pie in the sky. The airlines don’t ever think you’ll accumulate enough miles or actually use them. So when people started doing so they made it impossible to get seats.

If you treat your people well, they’ll treat your clients/customers well. Just as certain things roll downhill, in the right situation the good will can go uphill and make a company thrive.

When the customers are left out in the cold without reason, one must assume that the employees have a much larger burden to bear, all because of mismanagement.

To American Airlines. I don’t expect much of the miles we accrued this Thanksgiving weekend when you filed Chapter 11. I did hope to take a trip on the miles you confiscated. Please stop sending condescending emails that our miles are safe. You never sent me emails to tell me they weren’t before they were deleted. Thanks, Dee