It’s complaints season in the travel industry, as Adeodata Czink will tell you. “Don’t let them ignore your travel complaint. Here’s how.”
They’re spoiled. They’re demanding. And they’re ruining travel for everyone else.
Don’t take my word for it. That’s what employees say about these guests, who they derisively call “silver spoon” travelers.
Wait, did I just say “ruin” travel? Well, yeah.
“Putting entitled travelers in their place”
One piece of conventional wisdom has gone unchallenged during our ongoing debate about class, privilege and human dignity in air travel: that the elites sitting in the big seats are subsidizing everyone else’s low fares.
Maybe it’s time to challenge that conventional wisdom.
“Maybe first class passengers aren’t so special after all”
“We feel like we were taken advantage of,” says Mike Sevier, who recently flew from Tucson, Ariz., to Portland on US Airways. “Scammed at worst.”
“He paid for a first-class seat, but it didn’t last all the way to Portland”
When Gloria Brimley booked a flight from Chicago to El Paso on US Airways through Cheaptickets, she thought she was getting a cheap first class seat.
“She says she paid for a first-class ticket, so why didn’t she get one?”
It’s a six-hour flight from Honolulu to Phoenix, so when a US Airways agent offered Blair Fell an upgrade to first class for just $350, he jumped at the opportunity.
“The agent convinced me by saying, ‘Wouldn’t you like to lie back and sleep?” he remembers.
“Worst upgrade ever — how about a refund?”
In the customer service world, a first-class, roundtrip ticket anywhere the airline flies is the ultimate mea culpa — an airline’s way of saying, “We’re really sorry.”
And United Airlines promised Charles Rosenthal and his girlfriend two of them after canceling their flight from Palm Springs, Calif., to Los Angeles recently. But the tickets never arrived, and my inquiries to United have had disappointing results. Do I need to push harder, or let this one go?
“United Airlines promised me two first class tickets — where are they?”
I‘m considering an outright ban on certain cases, and maybe you can help me make a decision. I already have an informal moratorium on recovering missing frequent flier miles and mediating expired-passport problems, although every now and then, I’ll let one slip in.
Walter Miller brings us another kind of trouble today: the involuntary downgrade/insufficient refund conundrum. After I tell you his story, I’ll explain why I think his type of problem may deserve to be blacklisted.
“Should I add involuntary downgrade cases to my “do not mediate” list?”
Should an airline’s first class section be adults-only? Ask passengers like James Armstrong, and you’ll hear a compelling reason for keeping babies in the back — if not off the plane entirely.
“I was on a flight from Bangkok to Beijing,” he remembers. “Royal Thai Airways.”
Just to set the stage, this is what Thai’s first class section looks like. Nice, huh?
Anyway, there was this German couple with two young children seated a few rows away. “One of the children was running about, loud and disruptive.”
So they’re getting rid of first class, are they? At least that’s what our friends in the traditional media are reporting.
I remember writing a similar story — in 1999.
Forgetting, for the moment, that the new article fails to draw a clear distinction between domestic and international first class, let me be the first to say that if premium seats disappeared, I’d be popping Champagne at the Elliott ranch.
“Buh-bye first class? Wouldn’t that be nice”