The Travel Factory Blog
Airlines - High Blood Pressure Topic!!!
I try not to bring this up because just the thought of it makes my face and ears go red with additional pressure, but recently I read another column by one of the best watchers of airline antics in our area, Tom Parsons, of Dallas Morning News fame, and his comments sent me into one of those “hissy-fits” my grandmother used to have.
The absolute gall of the major lines charging a guest $200 to change a domestic ticket, or $300 to change an international ticket just gets my goat. If that seat is cancelled, then they, more often than not, will re-sell that seat, and the information is not available on how much more they are making on those kinds of transactions. That means that if you purchase a domestic ticket for $200 or less, you just consider that ticket a throwaway ticket if you have to cancel.
And to continue to charge the “fuel surcharge” to everyone when jet fuel is down to around $1.90 a gallon is absolute airway robbery. Mr. Parsons pointed out that the fuel surcharge on a flight to most European cities is around $516, and that’s in addition to the “fuel” you have already paid that is included in the base fare.
American reported that they made $1.7 Billion in the second quarter of this year and United and Delta made more than $1 Billion. I capitalize the “Billion” for emphasis. Of course that includes the additional fees on luggage, paying for “up-graded” seating, and other ancillary charges that used to be part of the cost. The majors reported that they earned more than $3.5 Billion just on checked baggage fees in 2014!!!
Of course, Southwest does not charge for luggage, neither do they charge for changes or cancelling a ticket. That’s a good thing, but the bad things are their promotional ads that I see with every Ranger and Cowboy game advertising a fare for $74 to select markets, but you can’t see those markets in the ad and you really can’t read the ticketing dates and traveling dates allowed for that fare. Plus, it would be a fair thing to add the number of seats in that market that they are planning to sell at that fare.
Way back there in the 60’s and 70’s, the airlines were regulated by the government. I wasn’t in the business then, but I bet it was because they were doing things economically harmful to the traveling public. There is some rumbling among some congressmen, who no doubt have heard from their constituents, that the airlines are being very onerous with their charges to the consumer. Surely the airlines don’t want to be regulated again, so they need to get a grip and respond to the consumers concerns.
In my opinion, by their actions and words, the airlines have forgotten the reason for their existence….to serve their guests. Yes, to make a profit so they can keep operating and continue to upgrade their product, but keep the folks who pay for their service satisfied with fair treatment…service with a smile has certainly been forgotten.
Another rant down!!!....but I’ll guarantee that you will be greeted and appreciated if you avail yourself of the services of the experienced travel agents at The Travel Factory, 698-1421 or 800-760-4040, or drop in at 4150 Southwest Drive at the Plaza at Park Central.