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Old 04-29-2013, 10:44 AM   #21
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Flying is torture. And that is about the most positive thing I can say about it. I love world travel. I despise travelling.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:09 AM   #22
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I ask this seriously: Are we better off as a result of deregulation? As customers/passengers? Shareholders? Employees?

Its a choice. Deregulation has yielded vastly lower costs of flying. Ad vastly lower service standards...
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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I have been flying on business heavily since 1979. I have (had) FF programs on every major airline. I flew Continental from LAX to all parts of the world and never had any big customer service issues. Once the CEO sold out to United, customer service has bottomed out (I think it can't get much worse). For us long term customers, they have forgotten our dedication and treat us like cattle.

My next door neighbor works for United and was a corporate person with Continental for many years, now demoted to a ticket agent. She hates her "new" job and "new" company and wishes she had enough years to depart FI.

I now go out of my way to use another airline when I have to travel. Southwest has become my favorite now that they have added flights to the East Coast from Texas for a fraction of the cost of United.

When I use up my free "miles" on United, I will cut up my One Pass card for good.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:25 AM   #24
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Its a choice. Deregulation has yielded vastly lower costs of flying. Ad vastly lower service standards...
Right on both counts. One part of air flying that was not deregulated is airport terminal control, and this still restrains competition.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #25
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I ask this seriously: Are we better off as a result of deregulation? As customers/passengers? Shareholders? Employees?
Price-wise and availability-wise, the consumer is far better off. Almost everyone can now afford to fly, not just the wealthy.

Deregulation took an industry that operated like Nordstrom's and turned it into Wal-Mart. At the end of the day, 90% of pax will go where the lowest-priced ticket is sold.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #26
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Try buying airline tickets on less than a weeks notice and see what deregulation has done. Us guys in the working world are faced with some very high ticket prices. I paid $3,100 for a coach ticket from Houston to Toronto and back a while ago with less than a weeks notice.

Also, try changing a United ticket and see how you like paying a $200 change fee!
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 PM   #27
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There was a short-lived series called Pan Am. They were making omelets cooked to order in first class!
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #28
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There was a short-lived series called Pan Am. They were making omelets cooked to order in first class!
It certainly was not reality TV.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:27 PM   #29
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I traveled extensively when I was w*rking on just about every major airline and numerous others. For the most part, they all suck at some point in time.

I flew Continental and United a lot (had status on each) and I thought they were both as good as any. I actually remember when they used real dishes and silverware in first class - that seemed short lived.

I recall traveling first class (on a short hop) and we got coffee in a styrofoam cup. I said to the stewardess, pointing to my styrofoam cup "If this is what you are serving us in first class, what are they getting back there?" motioning to coach.

That said, I think air travel is generally very affordable it you shop around. Where else can you travel coast-to-coast for a few hundred bucks?
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:30 PM   #30
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That said, I think air travel is generally very affordable it you shop around. Where else can you travel coast-to-coast for a few hundred bucks?
Amtrack has some nice features and cost about the same as air travel. You just need to have the time.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:49 PM   #31
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Amtrack has some nice features and cost about the same as air travel. You just need to have the time.
Agreed, I love traveling by train. I wish the US had a more extensive train system.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:56 PM   #32
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I used to think united was the worst with terribly unfriendly staff. And then I flew other airlines...

The only airline I actually like is southwest.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:15 PM   #33
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Just arrived home after three flights, the first of which was a sleepless overnight on United, from OGG to LAX on a 737-800. It was 5+ hours of torture, wedged into a window seat with no pitch to spare. I spilled cranberry juice over my white pants and was given three segments of paper towel. No flight attendant was visible between the juice run and preparation for landing. There was less than one inch between my knees and the seat in front, so I could hardly move and had no access to my carry on (under the seat in front). The young couple between me and the aisle were wearing very new wedding rings but did not say one word to each other throughout the entire flight. I was unable to go to the washroom and I sure hope I won't get a DVT. I groaned when I saw my seat assignment but was unable to change it. They were paying passengers to get off this flight as the full plane was overloaded for the very warm weather in Maui. I was glad to get to LAX, but if you arrive on United and need to find any other airline, there is zero signposting to help you. I was one of a large group of people who had to resort to asking multiple people how to get from A to B.

My subsequent two flights were on Embraer 190s and were far more comfortable. I had an additional 5 inches of pitch.

Rant over. Next time I will try to avoid United. And at least it was a great vacation.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:25 PM   #34
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I fly United quite a bit, and find it "OK." One thing I liked was that when I missed a connection in O'Hare (that's not the part I liked) all I had to do was to walk up to the kiosk machine, enter my credit card to identify myself, and it spit out my replacement boarding passes in no time flat. When the same thing happened on US Air in Charlotte, I had to wait in line for 20 minutes to talk to a surly agent. With my FF status I get premium economy for free, as well as one free bag, so I can't complain.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:54 PM   #35
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I just booked award tickets a week apart for us to fly to London in July. Can't beat that 30k miles and $5. And nice to be able to transfer Sapphire points 1:1 to United.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #36
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When the same thing happened on US Air in Charlotte, I had to wait in line for 20 minutes to talk to a surly agent.
As a frequent flyer, I'm sure you are aware of this. But, I've heard several experts interviewed over the years that said as soon as anything out of the ordinary happens at the airport (cancelled flight, missed connection), you may have a better chance of getting quicker service through the airline's reservations phone line rather than standing in line.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:16 PM   #37
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After 35 years of business travel on all the airlines and in all the FF programs, I have come to realize the automated kisok is a better choice than live airline employees. I never check baggage so I have no reason to stand in line. I use the website to book and change tickets. It's almost like banking anymore!
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:44 PM   #38
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I just booked award tickets a week apart for us to fly to London in July. Can't beat that 30k miles and $5. And nice to be able to transfer Sapphire points 1:1 to United.
30k miles for an international flight?

That doesn't sound right.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:20 PM   #39
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Yep, and I happily just found a 32.5k miler on American for a return for DH from Tokyo. Now,the hard one...return from Ulan Baatar, Mongolia for me!
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #40
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So it's not 32.5k for the round trip, just for the return segment?
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