Hey airlines, enough with the musical chairs!


Shortly before Deb Knapp flew from Fort Lauderdale to Johannesburg on Delta Air Lines, she made a troubling discovery: The “comfort” coach seats for which she’d paid an extra $358 had been changed. On the transatlantic flight, the airline re-seated her two rows away from her husband, James. It was his birthday.

A Delta representative explained she could always downgrade to regular economy class and sit next to her spouse. But as they were going on a 15-hour flight, she preferred to have the same amount of legroom as a standard economy class seat used to have — you know, before airlines started taking away our personal space and trying to sell it back to us.

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“I don’t want the moon,” says Knapp, an office manager from Fort Lauderdale. “I just want to be able to sit next to my husband in comfort coach for our long flight to Johannesburg.”

Ah, musical chairs. This isn’t a new airline game, but they seem to be playing it more frequently. The reasons are not as important as the remedies. Airlines earn big money from seat reservation fees, which used to be included in the price of your ticket, but they also routinely change seat assignments. The most common reason? Switching out one aircraft type for another. Of course, passengers don’t have a right to a seat assignment, even when they’ve paid for it, so they have to accept the new seat.

It’s difficult to know exactly how much airlines make from seat-reservation fees, but we might soon. A proposed federal regulation would require domestic airlines to report revenues from seat assignments. But that rule, if adopted, would not yield any publicly available information until next year at the earliest.

Delta answered Knapp’s inquiries, pre-flight, with a puzzling response. An airline representative said it was required to block certain seats under the Americans With Disabilities Act, which was why they were moved. Delta added that it couldn’t guarantee seat assignments, even though she’d paid for them. After several rounds of e-mails, the airline told her it had made its last, best offer and would stop responding to her.

Airlines shuffle passengers around for all kinds of reasons, and not just before a flight. After Sean Carney boarded a recent American Airlines plane from Philadelphia to Albuquerque, a flight attendant asked him to switch his aisle seat with another passenger. Carney, a writer who lives in Philadelphia, wanted to know why, since he preferred the aisle seat. The passenger had a fear of heights, explained the crewmember, and “didn’t want to be reminded” of how high the plane was. He agreed, reluctantly.

Perhaps the second-most common reason to ask a passenger to move is to accommodate those other air travelers who want to sit together. Airlines seem to regard this desire to be with the person you’re traveling with as either an inconvenience or a profit opportunity. In Eric Katzman’s case, it was the former. Just before he and his family flew from Buffalo to New York City, Delta eliminated their seat reservations.

“My carefully planned seat choice, months in advance, was no longer available,” he recalls. “I was told we would get our new assignments at the ticket desk upon check-in.”

But that didn’t happen. The employee at first refused to assign his family seats together. “After showing him a baby, finally, they put us in the last row of a small jet,” says Katzman, who works for a communications agency in New York.

Sometimes, the game of musical chairs ends well. TV correspondent Kimberly Button flew from Orlando to Amsterdam on United Airlines recently. The airline canceled her outbound flight because of bad weather, and she assumed her preferred seat assignments in Premium Economy would vanish with her reservation. But neither of them did. United not only found a faster way to get her to the Netherlands, but it also gave her a seat in the same section instead of downgrading her to the tighter economy class seats. And that wasn’t all.

“I was shocked to see that United actually refunded my Premium Economy purchases on my credit card after reassigning me on my flights,” she remembers. “To this day, I still marvel at the fact that they gave me my money back, but I’m thankful for it.”

Knapp’s flight to South Africa finally had a happy ending, too. After I contacted Delta on her behalf, the airline decided it had something more to say. “A Delta representative called me and informed me that my seats had been changed back to the original two seats we had in Comfort Coach,” she says.

No one’s suggesting that musical chairs should be banned. After all, planes sometimes have to be changed and passengers may need to be re-seated. But is it asking too much for airlines to accept a little responsibility when they do? A prompt refund of any seat reservation fees isn’t enough. Airlines charge us $200 when we change our itinerary. Shouldn’t the same rule apply when they fiddle with our reservations?

Should airlines compensate passengers when they change seat assignments?

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How to avoid losing your assigned seat on your next flight

Check your reservation. Airlines don’t always notify you of a change in seat assignment. Double-check your seat assignment at least a week before your flight. If it’s changed and you don’t like the new one, contact your airline.

Ask about your options. Besides re-seating you on the same flight, try persuading the airline to change your ticket to a different flight with more seat availability. Find out about all your options before deciding what to do.

Board and negotiate. Flight attendants can re-seat you in the same class of service, subject to availability. Ask them when you board, as a last resort. Don’t forget to mention that your seat assignment changed against your will.

94 thoughts on “Hey airlines, enough with the musical chairs!

  1. A more realistic quiz question might be “Should airlines have to compensate passengers when they change seat assignments to a lower class” to which the obvious answer should be yes.

    At last…we have a bona fide injustice that has been righted.

    Good job Chris, this is the type of thing that it is great to see you do.

    I actually think Delta should also refund the premium seat fees for all of the crap they put the passengers through.

    1. If they originally got those bulkhead Economy Comfort advanced seats, there is a disclosure that you’d might have to give it to a handicapped pax later.
      ADDED. For Delta, Economy Comfort is just another amenity in the same coach cabin albeit something you pay for. You are not downgraded to a lower cabin. You just won’t get the amenity so you will be refunded.
      For some other airlines, Premium Economy is definitely a separate cabin. And if your flight touches Europe EC261 will require the airline to compensate you since that is definitely a downgrade.

      1. While there is no physical separation (like a bulkhead) between regular economy and Economy Comfort on most Delta planes, it is considered a separate cabin by the airline. Just try and sit in one of the comfort seats and see what happens.

        1. That is not the test. It is the Fare Basis Code of your ticket that determines the cabin type. I can buy Economy Comfort seating with the LOWEST econ fare basis.

        2. That’s not ALWAYS true. On the flights to Japan, the economy comfort seats actually WERE in a separate section. There were four sections (first, business, economy comfort, which used to be just economy, and then regular economy).

      2. If they charge for it and they don’t give it, they need to refund the money. If it wasn’t worth anything in the first place (i.e. not refundable) then they shouldn’t charge anyone for it in the first place. This is a simple rule of commerce and the airlines have absolutely no right to change it regardless of the circumstance.

      3. I got bumped from bulkhead once. I don’t remember any warnings that I might be bumped. But I was a less sophisticated traveler then, and it hadn’t dawned on me that this was a possibility or to keep checking my seat assignment. (bumped for a mother & bassinet, not a handicapped person)

        1. I think they “forget” to tell you you might get bumped. But the ADA thing is true. The bassinet thing… I understand being frustrated about that, but I had to use one once, and it was a lifesaver, so try to feel good that you gave that mother a rest.

          1. Sure, I understand that’s the only place on the plane where the bassinets fit and if someone needs it, they need it. I would just have appreciated if they’d have given me a decent seat assignment instead of the really crappy one, given that I’d made my reservation six months beforehand.

      4. Yeah, the ADA thing is true. Don’t reserve bulkhead seats unless you’re really disabled (my mom is, so we’ve been around and around with this type of thing… she can do a regular seat, but it has to be an aisle seat and the armrest has to be movable so she can turn herself around and pull herself up directly into the aisle… most people aren’t even aware those armrests can move and not all of them do). If an ADA passenger needs the bulkhead seats, they will move you. I still think they should seat you with your person, though. There HAS to be a way to move a couple singletons to get the others seated together. Although, perhaps if the singleton booked first, maybe that’s the way it should stay. Based upon booking times.

        1. Ah mythsayer… singletons deserve their seat assignments too! Besides the bulkhead incident, I’m often asked to swap seats so that families can sit together. I generally reserve months ahead of time. I am a chump and will usually do it, but I’m usually not happy about it and only if it’s a like seat or better. But it does get me good treatment from the FAs.

  2. The TV correspondent Kimberly Button, got the white glove treatment because she is “media”. You never want to treat those with an audience poorly.

    Its a basic concept of commerce you pay for something and you should get that something. Since airlines seem to feel that seat upgrades(anything that isn’t actually an upgrade in class) is more like buying a lottery ticket I simply wont pay for them.

    1. Didn’t they agree to this when they bought it?
      We reserve the right to assign or reassign an Economy Comfort seat at any time, even after boarding of the aircraft, for operational, safety or security reasons. The final decision resides with the ground staff and operating crew on the day of the flight. Refunds will be issued to any reassigned customer if the customer is not moved to a comparable or better seat and no MQDs will be awarded.

      Why are they complaining? It is clear English 🙂

      1. “We reserve the right to perform unmentionable acts upon you once you are locked in our aircraft.” Plain English.

    2. Could it also be the fact that this media person was flying into a European country & the airline was afraid of getting fined under the European rules? Africa like the U.S,. has no rules for compensating passengers.

      1. If that was true they wouldn’t have been so accommodating or nice about it, and they’ed have made a normal person jump through some hoops.

    1. I know your saying that in jest and this isn’t being said as an attack on you, but I hate that phrase with a passion…

      This is the adult equivalent of your mother telling you to eat your peas because children in Africa are starving.

      It didn’t make sense or work on me when I was six, and it doesn’t now. Someone else having problems does not mean that your problems are negated because you have a toilet and running water.

      1. Maybe we’re just suckers with a mistaken belief that advanced seat assignment is a right. Anyone with a basic understanding of how ASR works knows that these are requests not rights.

          1. I believe that is the law.
            ADDED: because the airline might have covered it under their Customer Service Plan, and/or have committed to the refund in writing (contractual).

        1. If I buy it and you sell it, it’s a contract, not a right. The contract that says you pay for it but we can take it away from you is just another airline one-sided contract . Take it or leave it. But not a right.

          1. I don’t see how that is a logical extension, Mark. Some rights may be universal, others may be obtained by agreement in exchange for a consideration. To say that someone has (some particular) rights under a contract does not mean that those who do not have a contract have no rights.

          2. Yeah a right to refund is the airline cannot meet its obligations 🙂
            That’s how additional seating fees are supposed to work.

      2. If they want to move two seats that arer together to two other seats that are together and equivalent then I don’t see a problem with that. But to break up a couple, particularly on a long flight like that is unacceptable.

        If airlines are doing things like that, they need to be told in no uncertaibn terms that it is in fact unacceptable.

        This sort of thing hasn’t happened to me, but certainly if it did, I would be objecting. My wife is a bit nervous about flying and we make sure we can get seats together before we book a particular fight. If we can’t, I go over it with her. Having some airline arbitrarily decide something like that, which we took the care to ensure before booking, is not permissible.

          1. Most people would agree with me. I don’t see your point at all. Airlines need to do a reality check about this as do hotels with their resort fees.

            As I said they aren’t doing that to me, but mind you the last time Delta saw a dollar from me was in about 1996 and it is likely to stay that way

          2. The point is that grown adults short of being biologically tethered to their spouse, can certainly stand/tolerate to be a few feet away from their spouses for a couple hours to half a day.

          3. Can you please tell me HOW you requested to the airline that you wanted to seat together. Is it in your PNR?
            Does the airline even know you are Mr and Mrs xxxx when you buy a ticket? How should an airline system guess that you want to seat together?

          4. Wow, you guys are tough today.
            Grown adults can stand/tolerate to be a few feet away, true. Most can also eat a hamburger when they order a steak. Point is, I book to sit together and that’s what I expect. I direct my business towards those that keep their part of the bargain.

            How does the airline know that we’re together? I don’t know but they do it and they get repeat business for that.

          5. No Bill, I am simply saying there is no smart enough system out there that will ensure your seating wishes are understood, kept and satisfied when there are operational changes.
            The systems were not designed to take care of this first world wishes. 🙂
            All the system does is auto assign a seat, that’s it.

          6. Your airline might be using the same equipment types for most of your routes. Hence, changes are transparent to you.

          7. I’m not sure what the explanation is but they’ve kept us together so far, which is good. Even when we have been changed to a different route.

          8. Maybe because you bought both tickets at the same time, on the same credit card, and selected two seats next to each other when you bought the tickets?

  3. As long as the airline refunds your money if you don’t get the seat you purchased, then it’s not an issue. It would be a problem if you pay extra for a seat, you get moved, and they keep the money.

    It’s too bad this does not apply to baggage fees. The bag does not arrive with you, is lost, or is damaged, not only should they compensate you for lost or damage bags, but the bag fee should be refunded.

    The airlines want to scream about how great unbundling is? Fine, but when one part of the service is not what is advertised or not provided up to standards then the comsumer deserves a refund for that unbundled cost. My bag didn’t arrive until two days after me? Refund the bag fee. There is no room over my seat for my bag (thank you spirit airlines)? Refund my bag fee. I don’t get my seat I paid for? Refund my seat fee.

    1. If you had some form of on-time guarantee with your baggage person that would be reasonable, but you don’t and so the airline doesn’t have to.

  4. Here’s a little irony in downgrades versus unmet paid seat assignments.

    On a European flight if you are downgraded a cabin class (not just economy comfort seating) EC261 protects you and you can get back up to 75% of the fare you paid.

    But there is really no specific law requiring a refund of advanced seating fees. For example there is no 100% refund guarantee on BA paid seats. britishairways. com/travel/paid-seating-terms/public/en_gb

    On an American flight, if you are downgraded a cabin class there is no EC261 like required compensation scheme. You are free to argue your own case. In other words, I don’t know of any law that will require the airline to refund you the difference. And, the problem is WHAT is the difference? Hopefully not based on the walk-up econ fare since you will really get screwed. Too bad if you could have bought a real cheap coach class seat at the time you bought your Bizz class tickets. That price does not count.

    However, if you paid for a seat assignment like Economy Comfort and you don’t get it, The Passenger Protection laws may help you recover the fee you paid because the airline would likely have stated it would refund the fees under its Customer Service Plan.

    As you can see justice is a bit screwed up in the airline world.

    1. Having been downgraded, it is based on the current, walk-up fare. Often the same as the advanced purchase business class fare…

  5. I got bumped a few days before a flight to a different seat than I selected in economy plus on United. Luckily I checked online and was able to select a better seat for myself than what they put me into, and one that was equal to what is originally selected (In a nutshell, I like to sit on an aisle seat with my left shoulder in the aisle since I have shoulder issues. They seated me in an aisle with my right shoulder out. Probably not a big deal to most, but it means a pain free or painful flight for me.).

    But why wasn’t I informed about the change via an automated email? Nope, they felt free to do whatever they wanted and forget letting me know so I could pick something more to my liking. Heck, why was I ever moved to begin with? And no, it wasn’t a bulkhead seat for the handicapped.

    I get it when weather happens or things break and you need to take another flight. I’ve never complained even when I wind up sandwiched in the middle when this happens. But seat assignments should be guaranteed at some point for routine flights, especially when you’re paying extra for that privilege.

    1. At least it was just a seat change and not an entire segment removed from your itinerary they didn’t bother to tell you about. That happened to me. If I hadn’t bothered to reverify my flight details a few days in advance who knows how long I would have had to wait to get where I needed to be. Good news was they were able to put me on a Lufthansa flight that eliminated one stop and got me where I was going 4 hours sooner than the original flights. Oh, and they put me in 1st on the Lufthansa flight.

  6. I don’t like picking a seat in advance only to find out it’s been switched. And unbundling really irks me when you have to pay extra for something like a bulkhead or emergency row seat you used to be able to get just by booking early or arriving first.
    Many airlines have become upfront about the fact that free seat assignments are a courtesy and that to guarantee them you have to pay extra. So in those cases, no, I don’t think a passenger is owed anything for being moved from their preferred seat.

  7. This happened to us this spring on British, on a return LHR-PHX. We had paid $200 extra for aisles across in coach, but then I got moved for no specified reason, to an inside seat – a few rows up, so was claimed as an “upgrade.” Not only was I climbing over people again, but my small carryon would no longer fit under the seat ahead, which meant a few extra climb-overs to get out my glaucoma eyedrops and contact lens accessories. Oh, and a perpetually screaming baby now two seats ahead.

    Boarding the same flight, security decided to bestow Pre-Check upon me but not my wife, who now had to struggle without my assistance.

      1. It was security, so I HAD NO CHOICE. Security, and at a foreign airport, is one place where you really don’t want to object to anything. On the flight, we tried putting her in the “upgraded” seat, but she physically can’t climb over people, which had been one of our primary reasons for making the seat reservation.

  8. Being a larger person, I paid for refundable premium “comfort” (versus location) seats on American in August for a flight this December. I need the leg room. American has switched equipment from an MD88 to Mesa regional jet. Although the new assigned seats could be considered premium on a locational basis, that’s not why I paid extra for premium seats. No fare adjustment has been indicated by American.

    1. You pay a fare to get from A to Z. It does not matter which equipment is used – you are still going from A to Z, which is what you paid for. Unfortunately, folks do not realize this when they book because they like a particular aircraft, and do not realize it can change without notice.

  9. “The passenger had a fear of heights” I’d have said, “Too bad. He can close the shade if he doesn’t want to see outside”.

    1. That’s a reasonable question to ask someone if you’ve reserved that aisle seat and your being asked to move to a window in my opinion as long as you are nice about it anyway…. what’s the difference between putting the shade down and sitting in the aisle seat? What if the window seatmate decided to open the shade then what? Were they asked to keep it down for the fear? Seems like a reasonable request for an explanation to me!

  10. I’d love to see someone whip out their phone and start it playing “Pop Goes the Weasel” in these situations. Might as well have the music if your playing musical chairs.

  11. “the airline re-seated her two rows away from her husband, James. It was his birthday.”

    Maybe that was their present to him? 🙂

  12. The airlines have brought this sort of thing on themselves. Before they tried to monetize everything that anyone might find pleasant, seats were seats. If I reserved an exit row seat but didn’t have to pay extra for it, and an equipment change meant I got reseated in another row, well, what would I have to complain about? Seats are seats.

    1. That’s because the airline wasn’t making any money on most of the plane. Economy leisure fares are basically sold at cost.

      1. I know this is a late reply, but I take issue with the notion that airlines don’t make money on economy. If that’s true, why are they always decreasing seat pitch and width to cram more economy seats onto the plane? Could it be because they make money on those seats?

        1. To sell more seats, to pay for the cost of the flight. PsyGuy is correct – cheap seats do not reflect the actual cost of what it costs, as they are heavily discounted. Its the full fares and business class seats which pay for the flight.

  13. A FYI. In Europe, you can pay for a seat assignment, but when they substitute your original train for another, which happens all the time, seats are now open and first come, first serve. Your prior seat assignment is no longer good. Can you get your money back on your seat reservation? If you bought the seat assignment in one country and the assignment was to another country, you have to deal with the country where you paid for the seat assignment. It is a pain. Worst than the airlines IMHO.

  14. “Of course, passengers don’t have a right to a seat assignment, even when
    they’ve paid for it, so they have to accept the new seat.”
    Simply amazing…..

  15. When I broke my leg & had to return home immediately from Fort Lauderdale my husband called Delta, explained the situation (I was on crutches) and they assigned seats in the back of the plane. When we checked in at the airport and the clerk saw me sadly sitting in a wheelchair that was provided curbside we were reassigned to the bulkhead in coach. I suppose they had to move someone to accommodate me. I was grateful because I was pretty shaky on those crutches and never would have made it to the original seat.

  16. Dealing with the airlines is getting to be almost comical. You pay for a better seat, they change it without notice and tell you “too bad”??? I remember going through this during the Continental/United merger. Every time the schedule changed, my seats would disappear. I’d call, UA would confirm that the good seats were gone but offer no explanation. I’d book different seats, they too would disappear with the next schedule change. UA would tell me “too bad” when I called. Who exactly is so important that they are giving them MY seats? Probably nobody, UA’s computers just did these things, seemingly without any input and with total disregard for me, the paying passenger. That sounds plausible, but computers do what they’re programmed to do. People program computers, people who should have some idea of the business of transporting paying customers. Why are we putting up with this treatment? It just such blatent greed and total disregard for their customers. How I wish we could all stop flying for a month until the airlines agreed to treat us like valued customers.

  17. I’ve only flown once in the past five years – – a special trip I was taking with my two adult sons, neither of which had flown before. We found tickets to where we were going at a great price and booked our tickets together in February for an August trip. Our seats were all together in the same row, separated by the aisle. I checked on the seats several times over the next few months and had to keep re-choosing the seats as they kept moving on their own. The week of the trip, I checked several times a day and had to keep playing the same game because the seats kept moving! Finally on the day of the flight, I checked just hours before we left for the airport and we were all in the same row…. all the way until we got to the airport, and they switched us around again! We ended up being scattered all over the plane!

    1. Your experience shows how frustrating Advance Seat Reservation (ASR) can be.

      When you buy an airline ticket, all you are doing is buying CONFIRMED SPACE on a specific cabin. So if you bought 3 tickets in coach, you have 3 confirmed space in coach.

      Airlines that support ASR simply allow passengers to pre-select seat assignments based on the scheduled flights seat map (with some seats blocked for airport assignment only). Pre-selected seats are never guaranteed whether it is free or not. Economy Plus or Comfort is nothing but a fee based seat assignment for particular seats on the map.

      Unfortunately, SCHEDULED equipment can change. The new airplane may not have the same seat map. So the remapping of seat assignments is not perfect.

      About 24 hours (or more) from the scheduled departure time, the Reservation System’s Records (where you pre-selected your seat) is “transferred” to another system which is used in the airport itself. That is the Departure Control System (DCS). If everything goes right, your pre-selected seating assignment is also transferred correctly. Hopefully when you check-in, your pre-selected seat remains intact and is printed in your boarding pass.

      Since you can buy a ticket for a flight as early as 330 days from its scheduled departure date, there’s plenty of time for the airline to keep on changing the aircraft types around. Each time they do that, a re-mapping of seat assignments has to be done. When you pick individual seats for each passenger, there is no stored criteria or information in your reservation that you wish for those seats to be together (although in your own mind you think they should). It would be different is you used a professional GDS that stored the request as:

      At least the airline has the historical information (stored in the PNR) on how you wanted your seating arrangement. It their seat assignment robot is smart, it can read the request and attempt to satisfy it.

      However, despite all the plans you might have, the agents issuing boarding passes in the airport have full control of the DCS and can re-assign seats at their pleasure. For that reason, if you have a big party it is always good to do online check in (where the seat number is printed in your boarding pass) and go to the airport very early if you still need a boarding pass.

      I hope this explains the mystery.

      1. Which all really comes down to why pay for a “maybe”. It’s the equivalent of palming the maitre’d a $50 for a “good table” even if the tables next to the kitchen they’re going to say it’s the best table available.

      2. If pre-selected seats are not guaranteed because of how the computer system is programmed, then the airlines should be required to refund passengers who pay extra for seats they don’t get because of computer reassignment. As it is now, the airlines choose to use a system that doesn’t guarantee anything and then take money using weasel wording (a quasi legal term I love lol) to trick people into paying for something they may or may not get. I suspect that is on purpose, as it benefits the airlines because they can “blame the computer.” The blanket disclaimer about no guarantees – as in “we will take your money and then decide whether we’re going to give you anything we may have implied that you would get” is also weasel wording. In my humble and personal opinion.

        1. They DO refund the seats – its just that they are not giving you money at the airport, so folks get all bent out of shape.

  18. How about the Orthodox Jews who were refusing to sit next to women and causing a stir a few months back?

    If your “religion” requires you to be away from women, then you need to charter a plane.

  19. My daughter had to jump through hoops to get her money back for not only her flight but also the “premium” seat she paid for when her flight on American was cancelled. Really? American cancelled the flight, couldn’t re-accommodate her until the next afternoon when it was only a two day trip and then had the audacity not to credit her card for either the flight or the seat. I’m sick of trying to fly!

    1. Different situation – it was due to her choice of cancelling, and it is a VERY simple thing to request online. Takes 5-7 days.

  20. My favorite airline trick is when you go to check in online and you receive an authorization through security instead of an actual boarding pass. Once I got to the gate, lo and behold, there was an equipment change, and 20 of us found out that we wouldn’t be making the flight to Reno due to the change. Wound up spending most of the day in San Francisco and took the 11 PM flight out.

  21. Last year, on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Maui to Los Angeles, I arrived at the airport to discover my seat assignment had been changed … still in economy, but from up front I had been moved to way in the back. I pointed this out to one of the Hawaiian people at the gate, she checked, said she had no idea why the change, then went back to typing on her keyboard. A minute later, a new boarding pass was printed out. She smiled, said, “Sorry for the mix-up” and handed me the new boarding pass. I had been upgraded into first class! Now THAT’S what we here in Hawaii call The Aloha Spirit!

  22. “Of course, passengers don’t have a right to a seat assignment, even when
    they’ve paid for it, so they have to accept the new seat,” just sounds to me like saying, “Yes, you came to our restaurant and ordered a $50 steak and were served rubber chicken, but we fed you and that’s all that counts. Please come again!”

  23. You are advocating for non-existant rules. When you plan, reserve, pay, upgrade, pay again, pre-pay luggage, pre-pay boarding priority. That’s a lot of pays. Oh crap! I forgot the food, water, and bathroom costs. (that’s not quite here yet, bet it will be soon). Can anybody today really depend on anything to be perfect when dealing with the airlines.

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