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Rant: airline crews storing their oversized bags in the customers space
Old 05-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #1
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Rant: airline crews storing their oversized bags in the customers space

I am not surprised by bad customer service on the airlines, but this really rubbed me the wrong way.

I boarded a Delta flight in zone 9 (I was the last group to board) for a seat in the middle of the aircraft. Delta's decision to charge $15 each way for your first checked bag means that everyone is bringing as much as they can onboard instead of checking it, crowding the overhead compartments. I get to my row and there is a bag in the overhead compartment that is clearly longer than you are allowed to bring as a carryon. Because it is so long, someone has turned it sideways so it takes up the space of two normal sized carryon bags (when you put them in wheels first, the compartment holds 3 bags. Due to the oversized bag, it only holds 2).

I turn the oversized bag so it is sticking out of the compartment and make room for my bag, let the flight attendant figure it out, and sit down. Obviously the compartment door won't close this way. Then the FA comes over and chastizes me for moving a crew bag and removes my bag from the bin, and puts the crew bag back the way it was. I tell her that the crew bag is too long for the overhead bin. She says its a crew bag, so it complies with FAA regulations. I guess 22" is measured differently if you are "crew" versus one of the commoners. She adds that "without the crew, the plane can't fly." Well guess what - without paying customers, the plane isn't going to do much flying either!

Surely in an airplane of this size, there is a designated space for crew bags. If a crew member wants to sit in row 27 with me, then I have no problem if he wants to store his bag in my row's compartment. But if I tried to bring a bag on that was a large as this crew member's, I would've been stopped at the gate.

I guess the biggest problem was the attitude of the FA - we take care of employees first, and if there's time, maybe customers. The airlines are really doing their best to make flying as miserable as possible.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:44 AM   #2
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Oh, this would get me steamed. Surely there's room up on the flight deck for some of these crew bags. Or, maybe they could check the big bags as we have to--waiting at the baggage carousel with the customers might give the crew a chance to interface with the passengers a little more in a less formal setting, maybe get some helpful feedback.

The fellow passengers are also an irritant in this regard. I've seen lots of folks with seats in row 30 stow their bags in row 10 as they walk by, rather than carry it with them. So, the poor guy in row 10 who boards later has to put his bag somewhere aft. And when everyone deplanes, he's stuck waiting until everyone gets off so he can swim "upstream" to go get his bag.

I guess it's a good thing they don't let weapons aboard.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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Were you flying Idiot Coach Class?

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On takeoff and landing I always listen to the cockpit communications. Hearing the dulcet tones of the pilot helps ease some of my flying nervousness. During flight 941 I didn't hear anything from the cockpit during takeoff and once we were in the air I heard something odd on the cockpit communications channel. It appeared I was hearing the flight attendants communications. I could see them talking on the phone near the bulkhead and I could hear it on the cockpit channel. Most of the conversation was fairly innocuous but when it was time to serve drinks I heard: "We start on drinks for the IDIOTS in coach". It was at that point one of my fellow passengers let them know we could hear what they were saying. They stopped using the communications system and offered no apology.
Consumerist - United Airlines Offers Drinks To "The Idiots In Coach" - Travel
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:34 AM   #4
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Don't get me started on this topic. You know, if you are going to start charging for checking bags it's not hard to figure that means everyone is going to try and bring it all on board for free so how about monitoring and enforcing the size rules.

I had a similar experience to Sam on my last flight back from Hawaii. All the morons seated in the back of the plane boarded first and on their way they deposited their bags over rows 10 to 15. Not only did they put their bags over the seats of other passengers but they had so much baggage they should have had it confiscated. I am talking about bags that took up the entire luggage compartment. They were loaded up like a pack mule about to depart across the Sahara for a month long safari.

In the meantime the flight crew stand around chatting and get pissy at the poor people who board last and can't find somewhere to store their regulation size bag. About the most use they were was lecturing everyone who got on last that they need to stick their bag under their seat.

I wonder when airline crew will finally get it, that without us pesky passengers they don't have a job.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:50 AM   #5
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After 25 years of flying 100k+ miles year - mostly on business, I will offer this perspective:

The airlines are responsible for the current baggage mess. They are trying to force their customers into checking bags, so they can charge them for it, just like pillows, blankets, stale peanuts, and a coke. Paying for toilet paper would be next, if the evil b*stards thought they could get away with it. If the flight crews were forced to check their bags like the "idiots in coach" , it might go a long way toward fixing the airline baggage problems. And, if they had to wear the same clothes two days in a row because their bags didn't make it to their final destination, it wouldn't make them any less professional or surly....

Most (not all, but the exceptions are few and far between) of the FA's I have talked to all feel like they are socially superior to the "idiots in coach" and have a nasty sense of job entitlement- they feel they are obligated to provide the bare minimum amount of morose service with a F-U plastic smile pasted on their faces, and that only reluctantly- Unless of course, you are some sort of minor celebrity flying first class, whereby they instantly metamorphose into chirping, preening, sycophants. IMO, most folks working for the airlines really don't give a sh*t about their customers--until they stop buying tickets, of course.

SWA excluded- they seem to be able to hire people with the right attitudes for the job. Their corporate culture produces a customer service experience and perceived value that makes them money year after year.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
Most (not all, but the exceptions are few and far between) of the FA's I have talked to all feel like they are socially superior to the "idiots in coach" and have a nasty sense of job entitlement- they feel they are obligated to provide the bare minimum amount of morose service with a F-U plastic smile pasted on their faces, and that only reluctantly- Unless of course, you are some sort of minor celebrity flying first class, whereby they instantly metamorphose into chirpy preening sycophants. IMO, most folks working for the airlines really don't give a sh*t about their customers--until they stop buying tickets, of course.
Freakin' hilarious!!

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SWA excluded- they seem to be able to hire people with the right attitudes for the job. Their corporate culture produces a customer service experience and perceived value that makes them money year after year.
They make money year after year because the CEO was forward thinking and got futures contracts for CHEAP JET FUEL on a longterm basis.......
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
SWA excluded- they seem to be able to hire people with the right attitudes for the job. Their corporate culture produces a customer service experience and perceived value that makes them money year after year.
Slightly off topic, but this reminded me of an interview I heard yesterday with a guy who's just written a book on getting the best deal on air travel.

He commented on the anti-customer philosophy prevalent in most commercial carriers. He gave an example of the fare restrictions on American Airlines - hundreds of lines of detailed legal language, including rules on what happens to a ticket if the holder dies prior to using it. He contrasted that to the language on the most severely restricted fare on Southwest: seven sentences.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Of course I was flying coach. Lately when I have walked through the first class cabin, things look more cramped than ever. Still better than economy but not nearly as roomy as I remember from several years ago. And they want $900 for FC versus $300 for coach on this flight? Yeah right.

Another story: I booked this ticket on a credit left over from a nonrefundable ticket that I had left from a year ago. I was having trouble getting the website to take my voucher number so I called 1-800 to book it. The price quoted on the phone was $20 higher than the website. Only when I asked about the discrepancy did they disclose the $20 fee for this 4 minute phone call. I hung up and messed around on the website until it worked.
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