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Further proof that the airlines suck!

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
eglantine_br
May. 23rd, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
That is a jerk thing for them to do.
karaokegal
May. 23rd, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
It is. Luckily I'm a corporate agent, so if the seats are available, the company pays for them. But it totally sucks for leisure travelers.
damigella_314
May. 23rd, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
I hope Europe doesn't learn from you, as traveling with kids would become prohibitively expensive.

In Europe so far we have traditional airlines, that will accomodate (reasonable) seating requests (i.e., you sit together, but maybe a bit closer to the end of the plane) and cheap airlines, where you pay an extra for everything. (I mean coach. Scientists do not fly business, either for work or leasure).

For instance, I recently paid 40 Eur each way for a direct flight (for a 13-hours driving distance, speed limit 80/hr), but would have to pay extra for checked in luggage, assigned seating, or food. A regular price would have been 200-300 Euros for return, all such extras included.

I often use (for one leg of a two-leg flight) a regional carrier with really small planes where the prices are traditional, but class is business throughout (at coach price!) and the food is actually good. I'm so lucky.
karaokegal
May. 26th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
You guys are sort of where the US was immediately after deregulation, although you still have the "state" airlines, which I assume are still goverment subsidized.

In the 80's (post de-reg) we have a proliferation of "cheap" airines, which were equivalent to what you get now with Ryanair and some of the others. People who'd never been able to afford air travel were suddenly flying all over the place. And then in the late 80's and 90's they pretty much all went out of business, AFTER destroying some of the big carriers who'd been there before. That leaves the current situation of just a few major carriers who can basically treat passengers like shit.

Yes, I am a statist. Thank you very much.
damigella_314
May. 30th, 2012 01:38 pm (UTC)
The only airline who's definitely subsidized is Alitalia. Lufthansa now owns Swiss and (I think) Sabena, AirFrance is the same as KLM, etc.

Some of the low-cost came and went like fireflies, but Ryanair is there to stay: its only effect has been to lower the cheapest prices of everyone else, plus Lufthansa has a cheapish child, Germanwings.

Also, in Europe trains and buses are a serious alternative: central Europe is small and densely packed, and both trains and buses travel faster. E.g. the fastest connection between Milan and Rome (400 miles approx) is the train, by an ample margin.
karaokegal
May. 30th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
Loves me some European Rail. As much as Hubby dreams of living in a "bike city" like Copenhagen, I definitely envy the ability to get around by rail. I still tell people doing NY-DC or NY-BOSTON that by the time you get to and from the respective airports and deal with Security HELL, you'd be so much happier taking Amtrak.
higlearn
May. 23rd, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, it's nice knowing you can guarantee an aisle or window seat if you have a phobia. For a thousand dollar flight, 50 bucks is nothing. I hope the Canadian flights have the same deal.
karaokegal
May. 26th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Well that's still contingent on the "good" seats being available at the point you book your ticket. I've had plenty of 1-K passengers get stuck in the middle seats just because they booked at the last minute. NOT happy campers, let me tell you.
book_junkie007
May. 23rd, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
I just experienced this yesterday and Monday, when we were flying home to Canada from Mexico. On the two flights down my grandma, boyfriend, and I were able to sit together all the way, but out of the three flights back we only sat together once, on the last flight. On the second flight home two of us could have sat together if he'd paid the extra money, which he didn't. I didn't mind, cuz they were short flights, but I can see how someone would become frustrated, especially on longer flights.
karaokegal
May. 26th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
In my particular line of work, it's much less about sitting with anyone in particular than about the sheet suckiness of having to pay extra NOT to get that miserable middle seat, but the whole thing just reflects the utter scumminess of the airlines.
chocolate_frapp
May. 24th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
I'm willing to bet this will be used by many, many parents of spoiled kids as an excuse to try to make some random stranger keep an eye on little Bratleigh for a few hours.
karaokegal
May. 26th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Or a massive lawsuit the minute a kid claims the stranger in the next seat touched them in a bad place.
chocolate_frapp
May. 26th, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
eurgh, I hadn't thought of that.
damigella_314
May. 30th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
In the US? Totally. Also, please tell me that the idea of forcing random strangers to entertain your kids is not based on experience.

[I hereby plead guilty of having given permission to the wife of a colleague, who was bored witless by having nothing to do at one of the usual middle-of-nowhere conferences, to take my toddler to the playground every day for a couple of hours. I had never seen either of them before, yet I trusted her, and she thanked me for it every day almost as much as I thanked her.]
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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