Complaints from Chp Mbrs/Preferred flyers

Res

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Aug 20, 2002
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Is anyone noticing the increase in complaints from our elite flyers regarding the $100.00 standby coupons...we're hearing a lot of unhappy business travellers....wish management would listen to the complaints...this is a group of travellers we don't need to drive away. I don't understand why if a pax hold elite status why they would not be permitted to standby ? I realize we want the money but think this is doing us more harm than good...especially in WN markets.
 

ITRADE

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If I were going to be snide, my answer back to the US1s and US2s would be in the form of a rhetorical quesiton:[BR][BR]What's your upgrade success rate in comparison to AA or UA? You'll get nothing but dead silence.
 

oldiebutgoody

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Aug 23, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/14/2002 7:46:32 AM CS-pro wrote:

[FONT face="Comic Sans MS"]Have not heard a one "extended discussion" complaint about the standby.By proposing elite be waived, what do you do when elite is traveling with one or more other pax? Waive all? waive just one? What if they come back different days, the elite and non elite? Waive one and not the other? It would be too difficult to remain consistent without causing more complaints to csd and CA.Which is why all rules now apply to all passengers fair and square,not sure about the fair part, but square for sure[/FONT].
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[/blockquote]
I agree. I believe that the issue is one of perceived fairness. Once everyone understands the rules (we should be approaching that time soon), then the complaints will stop. I'll bet we alienated more passengers through inconsistent application of rules than we do by making the system fair for everyone, including the company. Everyone hates change; especially the abusers of the old policies.
 

CS-pro

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Oct 24, 2002
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[FONT face=Comic Sans MS]Have not heard a one extended discussion complaint about the standby.By proposing elite be waived, what do you do when elite is traveling with one or more other pax? Waive all? waive just one? What if they come back different days, the elite and non elite? Waive one and not the other? It would be too difficult to remain consistent without causing more complaints to csd and CA.Which is why all rules now apply to all passengers fair and square,not sure about the fair part, but square for sure[/FONT].
 

TomBascom

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I'm not sure what the point of an extended discussion would be. We all know that it's pointless to argue. If I asked and was denied I'd just walk away in disgust and add it to the this airline is unbelievable side of the ledger.

I agree that the policy, whatever it is, should be uniformly interpreted and enforced. The policy could be preferred and companions are exempt and that could be easily explained.

But in truth the policy is brain dead beyond belief. It cannot be adding to revenue at anything like the rate that it is destroying goodwill.

With all of the schedule reductions that we're enduring one of the few things that would have slightly mitigated that and preserved a little flexibility for customers was stand-by. But the new policy is like a slap in the face -- not only are there fewer flights at less attractive times but now you want to reach into my wallet again and grab $100 if I want to stand-by for an empty seat? No thanks, I'll wait. And I'll probably pay more attention to other airlines better schedules in the future.
 

TomBascom

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[blockquote]
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On 11/14/2002 8:17:02 AM oldiebutgoody wrote:
... Everyone hates change; especially the abusers of the old policies.
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[/blockquote]

Just curious... was there some sort of abuse of the old stand-by policy that you had in mind? I can't think of a to have abused it -- unless somehow there was a way to turn stand-by into confirmed???
 

KCFlyer

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Golly...just a few months ago, in some of the Southwest versus the world discussions, one of the reasons given for flying U, UAL, and all the rest was that you could stand by for an earlier flight at no charge. When I read that, I interpreted it to mean that customers CHOSE U because of that privlege. Now...it appears that managment, in trying to copy Southwest, has implemented a stand by fee. True enough, SWA does charge you to upgrade to full fare to stand by (although a quick call to reservations to change your ticket to the earlier flight means you don't have to :Stand by...just pay the upgrade fee and check in). But in a lot of cases, that upgrade fee is less than $100. [BR][BR]What managment has successfully done is given business travellers (who are still loathe to pay the full unrestricted fares) another reason to look at all their travel options. What do the see:[BR][BR]1. LUV makes you upgrade to full fare to stand by. U charges a hundred bucks[BR]2. Flexiblity on an unrestricted ticket can cost thousands on U...it's no more than $299 one way on LUV[BR]3. Changes made on a restricted ticket will cost the business $100 plus any fare difference. Only LUV, it's just the fare difference[BR][BR]The nickle and dime tactics are impacting your customers. Even your elites are not paying full fare. You used to have something that businesses may have percieved as enough value to justify a slightly higher fare - no fee for stand by. No that you have eliminated that, just what exactly does the customer (non elite) get in return for a $1,000 one way unrestricted ticket? Short answer - an assigned seat. Period. They most likely won't get a meal...a coach seat is still a coach seat....and non elites are lined up down the jetway with all the vacationing travellers who are saving the company by taking advantage of your loss leading fares. [BR][BR]Try this -- drop the standby fee...drop the change fee...and (yawn) restructure pricing. Give a business a strong reason to pick U over the competition. Right now, everybody might as well be dressed up like clowns and have Monty Hall running down the aisle, playing let's make a deal
 

pk45cu

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Aug 26, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/14/2002 6:51:27 AM ITRADE wrote:

If I were going to be snide, my answer back to the US1s and US2s would be in the form of a rhetorical quesiton:

"What's your upgrade success rate in comparison to AA or UA?" You'll get nothing but dead silence.
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[/blockquote]

And my reply would be,

Do you have more legroom through coach, or a Economy+ section, so that I won't worry about getting upgraded?
 

CS-pro

Member
Oct 24, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/14/2002 8:31:24 AM TomBascom wrote:

I'm not sure what the point of an extended discussion would be. We all know that it's pointless to argue. If I asked and was denied I'd just walk away in disgust and add it to the "this airline is unbelievable" side of the ledger.]


What I was referring to was nothing more than a simple OH when did it change or I know,thanks but no thanks type response. The original poster made it sound as if there were lonegr drawn out need to contact a supervisor type complaints, which I myself really have not had




I agree that the policy, whatever it is, should be uniformly interpreted and enforced. The policy could be "preferred and companions" are exempt and that could be easily explained.]


In an ideal world this would work great but you're still going to get THATS NOT FAIR, MY DAD IT, SO WHAT IF HES PREFEREED, THATS PREJUDICED, BLABLABLA..we used to get that type response with internet fares where someone who either didn't have internet or didn't trust credit card over computer and wanted res to book internet lower fare and cried it wasn't fair to not offer that cheaper discount to all passengers. How do you respond to someone like that? A simple explanation rarely sufficed and with time constraints we don't have time to get into it. But folks would keep pushing anyway. You either booked it online or you did not. No exceptions. NOW internet and phone fares are the same so that is no longer a prob.



With all of the schedule reductions that we're enduring one of the few things that would have slightly mitigated that and preserved a little flexibility for customers was stand-by. But the new policy is like a slap in the face -- not only are there fewer flights at less attractive times but now you want to reach into my wallet again and grab $100 if I want to stand-by for an empty seat? No thanks, I'll wait. And I'll probably pay more attention to other airlines better schedules in the future.
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[/blockquote]]

With Schedule reductions/changes AFTER you have ticketed, US has a very liberal rebook policy (for changes over an hour or jet to express),or if new times/svc. unacceptable, full refund policy applies. Before ticketing, you are starting from scratch with a new res, You basically buy the tkt according to the schedule posted and who and when is most convenient.The passenger has made his or her choice.
In general re:sched chgs,everyone has them, everyone is reducing schedules, and everyone is at the mercy of the schedulers who are supposedly doing their best to maximize schedules efficiency for passenger need ,flow, use of equipment,and gate slots etc etc.
Sched changes/reductions and new standby policy are not hand in hand related.
 

TomBascom

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/14/2002 6:51:27 AM ITRADE wrote:

If I were going to be snide, my answer back to the US1s and US2s would be in the form of a rhetorical quesiton:

"What's your upgrade success rate in comparison to AA or UA?" You'll get nothing but dead silence.
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[/blockquote]

AA: Didn't even know what an upgrade was the last time I flew AA.

UA: It's been a while but the last couple of times I was on UA I was upgraded. Once was completely unexpected -- I never even asked about it they just came and got me. The most recent time I purchased coupons and was able to use them. I used to be Prem-Ex but switched to US years ago. (At that point I was certain that upgrade coupons were an airline scam to get me to pay more -- when I think about how many I wasted I just want to cry...)

CO: Darn near perfect record. One or two misses due to poor planning on my part.

NW: Perfect record. Was even upgraded as a nobody just for asking (before I got CO elite status).
 

deelmakur

Advanced
Aug 26, 2002
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I'm a US1 that took a walk. I was unhappy about the way the company suddenly declared us undesirables. At the time, I had booked 8 trips in the first and second quarters of '03. Commutes from the NYC area to PBI. Couldn't get refunds, so I kept them, pulled 160,000 miles from my DM account (of nearly 800,000 miles) for US20's (enough of that upgrade baloney), and went elsewhere, where other carriers have comped me top status. What has happened with those 8 trips, however, is instructive. Firstly, because most morning hub flights didn't operate until after 10AM, there was no way for a business guy to get north (HPN) from PBI in time to be effective in the office on the same day. So I reluctantly booked departures the night before I really wanted to travel. Then, in a sked change, they reinstituted the 6AM departure to PHL from PBI, making it possible. I called, explained the situation, and they kindly agreed to let me move to the next day, morning flight on all trips, however they re-fared me at something around 30 percent more than I had paid, which I agreed to. Now, in the latest round of sked changes, they knocked out the 6AM flight again, forcing me back to the night before. So, in addition to ending up where I started, traveling when I don't want to, I am out a thousand bucks in add collects. And just to be sure it's a total experience, they also knocked out my originating Express flights on the return, requiring me to change departure airports. If this company thinks it can operate on that kind of decision making, they had better seek professional help, because they are nuts. A schedule is not a living organism. It is a necessary part of the customer's planning process, and as such, is a tool. As I indicated, I have taken my business elsewhere. This post is simply informational, but what I have described is a continuation of the kinds of management decision making by people who are so busy chasing their tails, they have lost touch with reality.
 
OP
R

Res

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
361
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www.usaviation.com
Don't think lettting the elite passengers standby would be a problem..elite travellers ONLY..travellling companions would pay 100.00 with standby coupon...this stop most of the complaints....the complaints are mostly from single travellers on business...not family vacations...it's the business person that would like to try and get home a little early...
 

CS-pro

Member
Oct 24, 2002
88
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/15/2002 2:34:08 PM deelmakur wrote:

I'm a US1 that took a walk. I was unhappy about the way the company suddenly declared us "undesirables". At the time, I had booked 8 trips in the first and second quarters of '03. Commutes from the NYC area to PBI. Couldn't get refunds, so I kept them, pulled 160,000 miles from my DM account (of nearly 800,000 miles) for US20's (enough of that upgrade baloney), and went elsewhere, where other carriers have comped me top status. What has happened with those 8 trips, however, is instructive. Firstly, because most morning hub flights didn't operate until after 10AM, there was no way for a business guy to get north (HPN) from PBI in time to be effective in the office on the same day. So I reluctantly booked departures the night before I really wanted to travel. Then, in a sked change, they reinstituted the 6AM departure to PHL from PBI, making it possible. I called, explained the situation, and they kindly agreed to let me move to the next day, morning flight on all trips, however they re-fared me at something around 30 percent more than I had paid, which I agreed to. Now, in the latest round of sked changes, they knocked out the 6AM flight again, forcing me back to the night before. So, in addition to ending up where I started, traveling when I don't want to, I am out a thousand bucks in add collects. And just to be sure it's a total experience, they also knocked out my originating Express flights on the return, requiring me to change departure airports. If this company thinks it can operate on that kind of decision making, they had better seek professional help, because they are nuts. A schedule is not a living organism. It is a necessary part of the customer's planning process, and as such, is a tool. As I indicated, I have taken my business elsewhere. This post is simply informational, but what I have described is a continuation of the kinds of management decision making by people who are so busy chasing their tails, they have lost touch with reality.
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[/blockquote]


Two things I am quite curious on..]
]
A-if sched change was bad, why no refunds? It is definite corp policy to offer refunds, if requested, for any undesireable sched chg generally off by an hour or so from original..I don't see why this was not an option as it appears from your discussion it had to be more than an hour off for you to drastically change to a night before flt.

And B-if you are forced to change plus or minus a day because of a bad sched chg, there should be no fare diff, no pnlty, again assuming sched chg was off by more than an hour.Orig fare class doesn't have to be available for major sched chg, even for one day difference.

Both these premises are approved,sanctioned, and practiced by most people in the know.
 

deelmakur

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Aug 26, 2002
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Happy to answer your questions (and if you are a res type, email me privately, and I'll give you my DM number so you can access the PNR's). Firstly, the original reservations were made when I was interested in keeping my mileage earning up for requalification, so while I did not want to travel the day before, I was willing to do it for the miles. The new flight, while a sked change, was not a change to my bookings (they couldn't read my mind). That's why I indicated that they were kind enough to change the tix for the fare difference. My point was, that paying the money was a zero sum gesture, because with all this dropping of flights, I ended where I started, but a thousand bucks poorer for the experience. Secondly, yes, I think I could have gotten refunds, but by that time (these tix were bought months ago) fares on other carriers were higher (as well as on US), and there would have been all those DM redeposits for the US20's. Incidentally, before I get a speech from someone about upgrade opportunities versus other carriers, there has been a lot of dilution at DM. I have CO Platinum, Alaska MVP Gold, DL Gold Medallion, and AA Plat. I do just fine in that area. My further point is, this ceaseless changing of schedules produces a level of unreliability that is equal to, or greater than habitual late arrivals or cancellations. When I put that against what I see with fleet plan changes, continued outsourcing of smaller aircraft (and a general reduction of mainline flying), and the almost daily restatement of what they have to do to stay alive, I reluctantly conclude that this management is largely two dimensional in what is clearly a sea of three dimensional problems. I just hope I get through these last 8 trips without further dislocation. The rest of it is somebody else's problem, although I continue to be mystifed about why Marketing went off on people like me, who, for many years, bought prevailing rate tickets, never did back to backs, and never took an upgrade seat they could have sold first. It upset me. I had choices. I made them. It was hardly useful, or necessary. Surely they had bigger problems to spend time thinking about. As an aside, while I was cancelling my BofA DM Visa, I asked the lady if there were many other cancellations. Her reply was that yes, there were, and they really didn't know why. Appears it just feeds on itself.
 

JS

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Aug 24, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/15/2002 3:29:01 PM Res wrote:

Don't think lettting the elite passengers standby would be a problem..elite travellers ONLY..travellling companions would pay 100.00 with standby coupon...this stop most of the complaints....the complaints are mostly from single travellers on business...not family vacations...it's the business person that would like to try and get home a little early...
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[/blockquote]

I disagree, although not because of the logistics.

Standby is part of the fare rules. *ALL* the fare rules (min/max stay, day/time, etc.) have to be the same for *all* passengers.

The frequent flyer program gives away things that have minimal marginal cost to the airline. Free flights cost just a couple bucks of fuel, free upgrades cost just a couple bucks of food & drink, and the preferred ticketing queue just means fewer coach passengers get to use the F agent when he/she is available (no cost to the airline at all).

Letting elite passengers fly standby for free would cost $100 (in terms of marginal revenue), and that's about 10 times the cost of a free ticket. Forget it!
 

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