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Old 08-07-2012, 01:27 AM   #41
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Funny about those low cost airlines. They don't fly out if my major city and usually not where I want to go . Air travel is cheap if you have a fair amount of disposable income.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:16 AM   #42
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I usually travel alone on AA (getting close to a million miles, 930,000, but they have also changed THAT - earning miles toward that permanent gold status) and it is becoming ridiculous. Fares have gone up, especially to Europe. You can play online then your fare is "no longer available " when it's time to pay or hold. And the seat selection is beyond frustrating. About all they will show are center seats unless you want to pay extra. I will stay home rather than take a center seat in coach to Europe.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:25 AM   #43
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Wow, rodi - could that be where we're heading?
If I'm not mistaken - I recall Ryan Air (Europe) being similar. I looked at flights to Sicily from Genoa Italy and the nickle/dime charges were pretty intense. I didn't end up using them because our itinerary changed - but it made me do some serious math to compare the full costs (with all the unavoidable fees) of the ryanair flight to the major airlines.

http://www.ryanair.com/en/terms-and-...ns-tableoffees

Sometimes a bargain price is not a bargain price.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #44
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I didn't realize this but apparently there was a sale last weekend and now it costs $34 to pick a seat next to a "free" ($400) seat.

If you live in Dallas-Ft. Worth you are basically American Airline's bitch. Idiotic legislation keeps Southwest from being a competitor if you want direct flights. I looked at JetBlue before I booked this but their flight times didn't work. I have heard too many horror stories about Spirit to try them.

I remember when I looked forward to getting AA miles because you could actually, you know, redeem them for flights. It is so hard to get award tickets now that the miles are bascially worthless.

The worst part is I have to fly several more times this year for work and there really is no other option besides American for most of my destinations.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:27 PM   #45
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That's insane. I took 2 AA roundtrips this year (one on frequent flyer miles and they charged $10 just to book). On the second one, the ride was so crappy - and it was a long one - the woman sitting next to me said, "What, is this pilot drunk??"
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #46
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the woman sitting next to me said, "What, is this pilot drunk??"
Maybe there was confusion concerning what "AA" stood for.

ANyway, in more good AA news, the government has informed the court handling the AA bankruptcy that they will be slapping a (reported) $162 million fine on the airline for safety violations.

No problem, they'll just bump up the extra fees.

I sure hope US Air doesn't buy AA. US Air's merger with America West was pretty bumpy, and I can't see that buying American will make things better. The only thing worse than a middle seat is having to sit back there with a bunch of deadheading pilots kvetching about everything under the sun. Save it for the break room, us customers crammed back here in this can with you don't need to hear it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #47
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I love Southwest! They have some new charges for early check in, but beyond that you pay for a seat and you get a seat. You want to sit next to your spouse, check in early. A lot of people don't like the open seating, but I prefer it to the games the other airlines play, not to mention the money they charge.
I wind up taking southwest because it is the only airline that flies direct to Las Vegas from my hometown. I think many people are cheapos like me and dont pay the $10 early checkin for better seating. I always lock in exactly 24 hours before and always wind up in the A's so I always can get two seats together no problem. Being retired, I can let the airline dictate when I go. Sometimes my vacation is longer because the price of paying for an extra nights hotel is a lot cheaper than waiting the following day to fly. Going to Minny over Labor Day for $120. I would spend double in gas driving there, not to mention the advantages of trading 20 hours of driving in exchange for 3 hours of airtime.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:25 AM   #48
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But really they need to raise fares , but cant because people wont pay the fares. So they nickle and dime you which apparently studies have shown people accept that.
EXACTLY - there was a noted restaurant chain that advertised a "Grand Slam" for ... what... $1.99. The KICKER - cofee was another $1.95 - even back then. You see... the revenue PER PAYING CUSTOMER had to be $X.xx. How you slice and dice it is irrelevant. Same with airlines. They NEED so much revenue. BUT to keep the "advertised" prices (which we ALL compare) low, they are going to more of an ala cart style of pricing. Look... 20 YEARS ago we paid $1,200 to fly from San Francisco to Helksinki. Today we are ticked if we pay over $1,000 to visit our daughter in Frankfurt. So today fares are CHEAP. But costs rise. So, the TOTAL revenue has to come from somewhere. Next... turnstiles on the restrooms.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:01 AM   #49
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A theater-world friend is having a 40th birthday party in London. I'm invited and I have 450,000 Aadvantage miles hoarded for early retirement. So I have to go, right?

I look and find that I can get the trip for 20,000 miles each way - great! Then I see the return has one stop. Oh well not that good but only 40,000 total. So after getting a little frustrated selecting non-premium seats, I get to the check-out/ purchase page. The fees and taxes are like $450! What, this must be a mistake - a year ago that was like $125. Tried again. No mistake! There go my RE travel plans.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:00 AM   #50
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I look and find that I can get the trip for 20,000 miles each way - great! Then I see the return has one stop. Oh well not that good but only 40,000 total. So after getting a little frustrated selecting non-premium seats, I get to the check-out/ purchase page. The fees and taxes are like $450! What, this must be a mistake - a year ago that was like $125. Tried again. No mistake! There go my RE travel plans.
How in the world is that kind of fee possible? I just used Aadvantage miles to book a round trip to a Scandinavian capital late this year. A round trip in business class cost me 100,000 miles plus $41. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten economy class ticket for the same route for 40,000 miles plus $41 (low season mileage requirement). Part of the trip is actually with a partner airline, but all the flights have AA codes and I booked through AA phone desk.

I consider myself very successful booking with frequent flier miles. DW and I travel to Europe for vacations almost every year, and have not failed to get frequent flier tickets since 1996. Usually we book 3 to 6 months in advance and have several weeks of flexibility in scheduling to get otherwise exactly what we want and still use relatively low mileage. I agree though that the past two years or so it seems to have gotten a bit more difficult and we more and more often end up using one or two stop flights instead of getting frequent flier seats on the direct option. Regardless, I don't mind the extra 6 to 10 hours of extra travel time per round trip if that saves us $2000 in economy or $6000 to $10000 in business or first class vs a purchased tickets.

One principle I adopted as soon as DW and I started flying extensively for business and amassing miles: I will never try to save the miles for the future, if I can save a little money today by using them. Considering everything going on in the economy and airline business right now, IMHO there simply is no guarantee about the programs to even exist a couple years from now. This has worked pretty well for us so far. We still have never run out of miles to use for the next trip, and for the past 10 years we have saved anywhere between $10k to $25k per year with almost free flights we got with the miles. Well, not really because I would never fly first class or business class intercontinental trips if I had to pay for it, but calculating it this way makes it sound so much more impressive.
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:40 PM   #51
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As someone who has a small plane, airlines fares are cheap.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #52
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I almost always fly Southwest for all these reasons. I hate to fly, but at least they make it a little fun and there's no bag fee.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:59 PM   #53
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I hope to never fly in a comercial airliner again. No more TSA, long lines, small seats, no legroom, delays ect.

And I am a private pilot. Lots of fun to fly for recreation.

Best time I flew commercial was with British Air back from Nigeria. First Class. Filet Mignon and Champaign, recliners. Nice stewardess.

I was grateful to eat airline food. Sometimes flying is good if it gets you out of someplace you don't want to be.
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