Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Do airlines hate passengers?

with 4 comments

Maybe. Take a look. The post at the link begins:

On July 20th, Julianna’s (delayed) Delta flight landed in Atlanta at 7:30pm, with a connecting flight scheduled for 8:05pm. Julianna, who has muscular dystrophy, missed the connecting flight because nobody came with a wheelchair until 8:05—the same time the connecting flight took off. To make matters worse, the plane crew told Julianna she might make the flight anyway if she stopped waiting for help and got off the plane right now, so she crawled down the stairs on her own. When the wheelchair came she was “wheeled into a back room and advised” that her plane had taken off. But that was just the first half of her ordeal, and the next eight hours only got worse.

Read the whole story at the link.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 July 2008 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Daily life

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4 Responses

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  1. I fly (and have flown) a lot! In recent years I have developed considerable sympathy for airline personnel, who for the most part I believe, want to do good work and to care for passengers, but the airlines in their efforts to cut costs have made it pretty much impossible. The situation described is exacerbated and made all the more striking by Julianna’s disability – as if a magnifying glass had been put on the situation – but in reality it is pretty much the same for older people, and even for the rest of us. The airlines have disempowered their employees to do much about anything other than adhere to the very tight rules that are geared to maximize profit.

    This is of course easy to criticize but considering that it is nearly impossible to make money in the airline business (Old joke: How do you become a millionaire in the airline business? Start off as a billionaire!) it is unfortunately understandable in the current economic, regulatory, and security-oriented landscape.

    Ironically, people continue to fly, which provides no incentive for the airlines to change anything. They cut routes, use smaller planes, and cram passengers in like pigs (pigs are crammed even tighter than cattle!). They use surcharges that double the price of a ticket in order to appear competitive and inexpensive while covering their costs. Yet people continue to fly!

    Consumers, they say, vote with their feet. But when it comes to flying, obviously consumers aren’t prepared to vote for what they want yet. My wife put it brilliantly: “They used to treat us like customers…now they just treat us like potential terrorists”.

    Steve

    29 July 2008 at 5:37 pm

  2. One point: the regulatory landscape is the DEregulatory landscape. Things started to go south for the airlines with deregulation. So long as they were regulated, they were doing reasonably well.

    LeisureGuy

    29 July 2008 at 5:40 pm

  3. True. You speak however of competitive deregulation, while I was referring to the sheer weight of regulations around routes, technology, certifications, etc. No question: Some industries require competitive regulation because the infrastructure costs are so enormous and the services they provide so vital, that too much competition can in fact not be such a good thing because quality and access can be degraded (exactly what’s happening in the airline industry).

    Look also at what is happening to formerly public utilities in electricity, water, etc. Some might well argue that oil should fall under the same category…after all, it is part of the collective “patrimony” of what lies within the land…why should it be commoditized, globalized, and sold by private interests, so that people who intrinsically have enough for their own needs must sell it on the global market while they then have to import their own peoples’ needs at a “world” price?

    Steve

    30 July 2008 at 3:29 am

  4. When I was a little kid, I was in a wheel chair for a while. Delta told my mother straight out that we could not fly. This was about 45 years ago.

    I still avoid Delta, this from some one who grew up in and still has relatives in Atlanta.

    Unfortunately, I know that when I go to hell, I’ll have to fly Delta through Atlanta.

    Sorghum Crow

    30 July 2008 at 8:47 am


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