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(The Province)   American Airlines, tired of simply screwing passengers with fees, now bundles them for a complete one-flight stand experience   (theprovince.com) divider line 46
    More: Interesting, American Airlines, Americans, fares, customer complaint, Saint Lucia, dennis  
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2831 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Dec 2012 at 12:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-13 11:21:07 AM
It all bundles into that "here's the final charge on your card when you buy your ticket" experience no matter which airline you go with.
 
2012-12-13 11:26:49 AM
The important thing is to make price comparisons as difficult as possible. The cell phone and health care industries have raised this to an art form. Looks like airlines are next.
 
2012-12-13 12:04:31 PM
$88 for a checked bag, early boarding and a drink? All things that used to be free?

I would pay $88 extra to sit in a guaranteed child-free section of the plane that also had wifi, allowed me to use my cellphone, and was restricted solely to people who know how to properly use overhead bins. I won't pay $88 to get something I used to get gratis.

If you want to make more money, offer more or better services. Don't just repackage the bare minimums and try to sell them as something new. This is why companies like Southwest are kicking your ass, and if US airspace is ever opened to foreign competition you will go out of business.

/ that will be $28.50 for the advice, please
 
2012-12-13 12:11:42 PM
In edition to "Choice", "Choice Essential" and "Choice Plus", you can choose "Choice FU" and just not fly American. That's the one I'll be choosing.
 
2012-12-13 12:41:07 PM
Does anyone else think this way?
When baggage was free, and they lost a bag, I used to think WTF, pain in the butt, they will find it eventually. Hey, I didn't pay for it so what can you expect.
Now I think, hey butthole, I paid you to get my bags here, where are they? I expect service because I paid for it. Lost my bags, refund the baggage fee.
/ cranky old dude
 
2012-12-13 12:41:34 PM
I actually like this idea.

I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.
 
2012-12-13 12:42:27 PM
Link

This is just more of the same!
 
2012-12-13 12:44:02 PM

whistleridge: $88 for a checked bag, early boarding and a drink? All things that used to be free?

I would pay $88 extra to sit in a guaranteed child-free section of the plane that also had wifi, allowed me to use my cellphone, and was restricted solely to people who know how to properly use overhead bins. I won't pay $88 to get something I used to get gratis.


How about $200 a year for a checked bag, early boarding, a drink, and a seat in the front of coach with other passengers who paid the same money (ie., regular fliers)? Pay once, get the bennies every time you flew American.

That's how I'd do it if I were running an airline.
 
2012-12-13 12:45:48 PM
It's calling the new fare levels "Choice," ''Choice Essential" and "Choice Plus."

New fare levels five years from now:

crystalmoth.com
 
2012-12-13 12:46:58 PM
This is ridiculous. For the same price for a round-trip flight from Hartford, CT to Minneapolis, MN, on planes that nickle and dimed me for everything, I booked a round-trip flight from Boston to Hamburg on Aer Lingus and got complimentary drinks, two nice meals, and a complimentary tea and pastry before the red-eye landed. Aer Lingus is doing just fine, and was a much more pleasant experience.

And American air companies wonder why people like me are electing to drive more. Driving from Hartford to Minneapolis, even with gas prices like they are now, costs the exact same, I don't have to worry about the TSA and I can bring as many bags as I like.
 
2012-12-13 12:52:37 PM

LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.


Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.
 
2012-12-13 12:58:56 PM

whistleridge: $88 for a checked bag, early boarding and a drink? All things that used to be free?

I would pay $88 extra to sit in a guaranteed child-free section of the plane that also had wifi, allowed me to use my cellphone, and was restricted solely to people who know how to properly use overhead bins. I won't pay $88 to get something I used to get gratis.

If you want to make more money, offer more or better services. Don't just repackage the bare minimums and try to sell them as something new. This is why companies like Southwest are kicking your ass, and if US airspace is ever opened to foreign competition you will go out of business.

/ that will be $28.50 for the advice, please


Quiet car on the Acela. Exactly what you want, and so so worth it. And no "freedom gropes" before boarding.
 
2012-12-13 12:59:02 PM

cig-mkr: Does anyone else think this way?
When baggage was free, and they lost a bag, I used to think WTF, pain in the butt, they will find it eventually. Hey, I didn't pay for it so what can you expect.
Now I think, hey butthole, I paid you to get my bags here, where are they? I expect service because I paid for it. Lost my bags, refund the baggage fee.
/ cranky old dude


iirc, a few years ago a passenger sued an airline for losing his bag. he claimed since the airline collected a baggage fee, they had entered a contract to be responsible for his bag. judge agreed and ruled in his favor.
 
2012-12-13 01:01:30 PM
They are going to get you one way or another.
Went online for tickets two months early and all the seats were "taken" so that you couldn't get two adjoining seats together without paying an extra fee for the second seat.
/why yes it was USAir
//threw BS flag on that one.
 
2012-12-13 01:01:41 PM

UnrepentantApostate: This is ridiculous. For the same price for a round-trip flight from Hartford, CT to Minneapolis, MN, on planes that nickle and dimed me for everything, I booked a round-trip flight from Boston to Hamburg on Aer Lingus and got complimentary drinks, two nice meals, and a complimentary tea and pastry before the red-eye landed. Aer Lingus is doing just fine, and was a much more pleasant experience.

And American air companies wonder why people like me are electing to drive more. Driving from Hartford to Minneapolis, even with gas prices like they are now, costs the exact same, I don't have to worry about the TSA and I can bring as many bags as I like.


There's an airport in Hartford? What does it have, one and a half gates?
 
2012-12-13 01:04:07 PM

not5am: cig-mkr: Does anyone else think this way?
When baggage was free, and they lost a bag, I used to think WTF, pain in the butt, they will find it eventually. Hey, I didn't pay for it so what can you expect.
Now I think, hey butthole, I paid you to get my bags here, where are they? I expect service because I paid for it. Lost my bags, refund the baggage fee.
/ cranky old dude

iirc, a few years ago a passenger sued an airline for losing his bag. he claimed since the airline collected a baggage fee, they had entered a contract to be responsible for his bag. judge agreed and ruled in his favor.


Thank You, That's exactly what I'm talking about, it is now a contract because I pay for the service.
 
2012-12-13 01:04:57 PM

Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.


This^^

I have never understood why people don't just want to board early, but actually pay for the privilege. If airlines boarded back to front, boarding would be faster, no one would have to deal with 150 butts hitting their elbow, and the nicer tickets would spend less time on the plane, not more.

I always wait until the absolute last minute to board, and I can't figure out why anyone would do otherwise.
 
2012-12-13 01:05:07 PM

cig-mkr: They are going to get you one way or another.
Went online for tickets two months early and all the seats were "taken" so that you couldn't get two adjoining seats together without paying an extra fee for the second seat.
/why yes it was USAir
//threw BS flag on that one.


That's how they pretty much all do it now. Seems like 70% of the seats on the damn bird are "economy plus" and they charge another $10-20 per seat, per leg of the trip. If you don't want to sit in the middle of the row, you're paying.

Last time I flew Delta, paying the extra was the only way to get two seats together. On top of the luggage fees.

There's a reason I always check Southwest FIRST.
 
2012-12-13 01:06:17 PM

Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.


I try to save my farts for the first class section myself.
If it's first class why is a herd of cattle plowing through it?
 
2012-12-13 01:09:53 PM
obligatory I-would-rather-drive comment
 
2012-12-13 01:15:14 PM
My favorite lately are the Southwest commercials, where they tout their cattle-call boarding practices as some kind of cool perk. "Oh, you can choose whatever seat you want! And you only had to kill 9 people on the way in to gain this privilege!"
 
2012-12-13 01:20:58 PM

whistleridge: Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.

This^^

I have never understood why people don't just want to board early, but actually pay for the privilege. If airlines boarded back to front, boarding would be faster, no one would have to deal with 150 butts hitting their elbow, and the nicer tickets would spend less time on the plane, not more.

I always wait until the absolute last minute to board, and I can't figure out why anyone would do otherwise.


Because the savvy traveler boards early and puts their carry on bag in the overhead at the front of the plane.
Less hassle.
 
2012-12-13 01:23:03 PM

akula: cig-mkr: They are going to get you one way or another.
Went online for tickets two months early and all the seats were "taken" so that you couldn't get two adjoining seats together without paying an extra fee for the second seat.
/why yes it was USAir
//threw BS flag on that one.

That's how they pretty much all do it now. Seems like 70% of the seats on the damn bird are "economy plus" and they charge another $10-20 per seat, per leg of the trip. If you don't want to sit in the middle of the row, you're paying.

Last time I flew Delta, paying the extra was the only way to get two seats together. On top of the luggage fees.

There's a reason I always check Southwest FIRST.


I'm in Charlotte and pretty much stuck with USAir, it's their hub. Bastards
 
2012-12-13 01:30:27 PM
Fly first class, it is all included. Duh
 
2012-12-13 01:31:12 PM

whistleridge: Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.

This^^

I have never understood why people don't just want to board early, but actually pay for the privilege. If airlines boarded back to front, boarding would be faster, no one would have to deal with 150 butts hitting their elbow, and the nicer tickets would spend less time on the plane, not more.

I always wait until the absolute last minute to board, and I can't figure out why anyone would do otherwise.


Because the last 10% have to suddenly gate check their carryon bag because farksticks take up extra space.
 
2012-12-13 01:39:29 PM
Sorry, American Airlines. I've read so many no-reason-to-lie stories about your deplorable service that I now put you in the same category as Bank of America -- so hopelessly flawed at the consumer level as to be not even worth considering.
 
2012-12-13 01:50:56 PM
You know, for all the griping that is currently going on (and will continue below this post), it's not a bad deal to get the Choice Essential, if you ever think you might need to change your itinerary.

For example:

Check one bag, round trip: $50
Fee for changing: $150

It appears to me that they're just taking advantage of the trip protection insurance they try to sell you during checkout which ranges from 13-50 depending on when and where you're traveling.
 
kab
2012-12-13 01:52:32 PM
You can change rates all you like. Unless there's an ocean separating me from my destination or some sort of dire emergency, I'll be driving anyhow.

fark the airline industry.
 
2012-12-13 01:56:01 PM

Unknown_Poltroon: Because the last 10% have to suddenly gate check their carryon bag because farksticks take up extra space.


Alaska Air lets you board early if you aren't using the overhead bin. That makes no sense to me as the only reason I'd want to be at the front of the boarding line is if I needed bin space.
 
2012-12-13 02:35:16 PM

Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.


Well, yeah, there's nothing worse than being in Group 5 or 6 and there being no overhead space left then getting into your seat to find out that half of the underseat space has been taken up by odd boxes that make up the upgraded inflight entertainment.

I ride public transit, so 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face is no biggie.

Huck And Molly Ziegler: Sorry, American Airlines. I've read so many no-reason-to-lie stories about your deplorable service that I now put you in the same category as Bank of America -- so hopelessly flawed at the consumer level as to be not even worth considering.


I don't find American to be any worse than United or Delta. Big airlines with big debt loads have their pluses and minuses, and since JetBlue and Virgin America don't fly to Louisville just yet, I'm kind of SOL. Even with the additional fees, I'm still flying over Christmas for less than $800; cue the "I'm OK with that" guy.
 
2012-12-13 02:41:15 PM

whistleridge: Lawnchair: LibertyHiller: I'm flying Monday, (American) and I'm going to check a bag, which puts me $50 toward the Choice Essential; you mean I can pay $4.50 per flight (changing planes at DFW, of course) for early boarding? Sign me the fark up, now.

Not judging, but why? Just about staking out overhead space? I've never really tried 'early boarding', but it just seems to me like it equals more time in the plane, and 150 farting buttholes shimmying six inches from my face.

"First off the sumbiatch plane", that I could see paying for.

This^^

I have never understood why people don't just want to board early, but actually pay for the privilege. If airlines boarded back to front, boarding would be faster, no one would have to deal with 150 butts hitting their elbow, and the nicer tickets would spend less time on the plane, not more.

I always wait until the absolute last minute to board, and I can't figure out why anyone would do otherwise.


Forget back-to-front. Window seats first, then middles, then aisles. Paired up seats can go together.
 
2012-12-13 02:46:04 PM
There are few things I hate more than waiting in the airline terminal, just before my flight is supposed to leave, afraid that I'm going to miss my boarding announcement. Once I've boarded, I can relax, knowing that I can plug in earphones, go to sleep, or otherwise ignore pretty much all announcements from then until we land. So, yeah, I like boarding early.

/But not enough to pay for it myself. For $88 I can get a pretty good dinner when I land, which makes up for a lot of inconvenience.
 
2012-12-13 03:02:00 PM
Fine.. it almost is just getting rid of the fees and including the checked bag in the airfare, which is how people want it and it used to be. It's more expensive to be sure, but as long as its just part of the fare the consumer can just decide whether or not it's worth it to them.
 
2012-12-13 03:13:01 PM

almandot: Fine.. it almost is just getting rid of the fees and including the checked bag in the airfare, which is how people want it and it used to be. It's more expensive to be sure, but as long as its just part of the fare the consumer can just decide whether or not it's worth it to them.


No, by Not including it, and making it optional, you get to decide. I don't check luggage 99% of the time, and don't want to subsidize those that do.
 
2012-12-13 03:16:33 PM

cig-mkr:
Because the savvy traveler boards early and puts their carry on bag in the overhead at the front of the plane.
Less hassle.


I've seen a 'savvy' traveler get chewed the fark out by a flight attendant for pulling that crap. Put your shiat in the overhead above your own seat. If everybody did that, it wouldn't be near the pain in the ass that it is now.
 
2012-12-13 03:19:51 PM

gutterman: almandot: Fine.. it almost is just getting rid of the fees and including the checked bag in the airfare, which is how people want it and it used to be. It's more expensive to be sure, but as long as its just part of the fare the consumer can just decide whether or not it's worth it to them.

No, by Not including it, and making it optional, you get to decide. I don't check luggage 99% of the time, and don't want to subsidize those that do.


You do realize that unbundling has nothing to do with providing anyone with a choice, and everything to do with dodging taxes, which are levied on airfare, and not on ancillary fees. Good to know people actually believe it is a nice gesture on the part of the airline to save you money though.

/Those taxes pay to upgrade the ATC system that keeps planes from running into each other
//Who needs that revenue, anyway?
 
2012-12-13 03:34:31 PM

buzzcut73: gutterman: almandot: Fine.. it almost is just getting rid of the fees and including the checked bag in the airfare, which is how people want it and it used to be. It's more expensive to be sure, but as long as its just part of the fare the consumer can just decide whether or not it's worth it to them.

No, by Not including it, and making it optional, you get to decide. I don't check luggage 99% of the time, and don't want to subsidize those that do.

You do realize that unbundling has nothing to do with providing anyone with a choice, and everything to do with dodging taxes, which are levied on airfare, and not on ancillary fees. Good to know people actually believe it is a nice gesture on the part of the airline to save you money though.

/Those taxes pay to upgrade the ATC system that keeps planes from running into each other
//Who needs that revenue, anyway?


I also realize that it goes beyond that: by moving more bags in overheads they reduce the baggage going through an antiquated luggage handling system at each hub, reduce the number of baggage handlers etc. But at this point adding it back in for everyone, to keep the revenue constant, is not something I am interested in. Fix the tax loop and tax the fees.
 
2012-12-13 03:48:18 PM

whistleridge: If airlines boarded back to front, boarding would be faster


What airline, besides SouthWest, doesn't board that way? I've never experienced anything else.
 
2012-12-13 03:56:33 PM
1) Why isn't there a website out there for comparison shopping that lets you put in your travel requirements (for instance, two seats together, one by the window, two carry-ons, two checked) and then check all of the airlines to find out which one is actually cheaper for you?

2) This reminds me of Louis CK's bit, everything is amazing and nobody is happy: "You're in a chair, in the sky, experiencing the miracle that is human flight and you're still complaining?"
 
2012-12-13 04:02:01 PM
you can call it anything you want but that doesn't change what it is. Do they really think anyone will appreciate this "choice?"
 
2012-12-13 04:09:23 PM
Frequent business traveller but no longer frequent enough to avoid change fees.

$55 per RT ticket to be able to change either of my flights? Sign me up! It's normally $150+ per ticket.
 
2012-12-13 05:07:54 PM

whistleridge: I always wait until the absolute last minute to board, and I can't figure out why anyone would do otherwise.


Someone may have addressed this, but I think early boarders want to ensure they get all of the overhead space they need for their bags.

I tend to travel very lightly; on overseas flights, my only bag is my checked one. The last few times, I've sat and finished a crossword as people cued up and waited in line for an hour to board. I wait for the line to board, get on plane, sit down. It's funny; some of them look at you like you're an idiot for not waiting in the line, and some with more than a little resentment.

I'm tempted to find a spot in a bar next time where I can hear the name call announcements. Shiat, have you ever heard how many times they'll page people that have checked in and not boarded? I could squeeze in at least an extra beer and a shot!
 
2012-12-13 05:48:26 PM
Where's the "I'm okay with this" gif? I am dissapoint.

The airlines are not going to go back to the way they were. They're going to unbundle everything they can in order to make money. Some passengers really don't want a drink. Others are willing to take the gamble that they won't need to cancel a flight. Others are willing to hump carryon bags with them or pack less than they need so they can jam it all in one bag.

The extra fee is probably cheaper as a bundle than all of those things presented a la carte.
 
2012-12-14 12:26:31 AM

whistleridge: $88 for a checked bag, early boarding and a drink? All things that used to be free?


Early boarding was never 'free' unless you are a frequent flyer, cripple, or had rugrats that need assistance.
 
2012-12-14 12:02:13 PM

buzzcut73: cig-mkr:
Because the savvy traveler boards early and puts their carry on bag in the overhead at the front of the plane.
Less hassle.

I've seen a 'savvy' traveler get chewed the fark out by a flight attendant for pulling that crap. Put your shiat in the overhead above your own seat. If everybody did that, it wouldn't be near the pain in the ass that it is now.


Exactly, that's just not cool, maybe the people sitting near the front have a bag to put up there too.
 
2012-12-14 01:01:19 PM

cig-mkr: They are going to get you one way or another.
Went online for tickets two months early and all the seats were "taken" so that you couldn't get two adjoining seats together without paying an extra fee for the second seat.
/why yes it was USAir
//threw BS flag on that one.


I don't know if anyone responded, so I will on this.

Those seats aren't taken, they're just reserved for "better people" than you.

I had to travel a bunch for work last year, mostly on Delta, and just booked a trip with reward points for my wife and I. I learned 2 things:

a) Delta has a broken rewards booking system where you can't book a reward ticket and use pay with miles to lower the price of a second on the same transaction, so I had to book the farking tickets separately.
b) As a silver frequent flier, I had more than double the seats available to me than my wife did, even though both were booked with my miles.

The first is stupid, and they should fix their storefront model. The second is complete BS to me, I understand offering better rows to the frequent fliers, but to wholesale block the signle trip traveler to middle seats was completely uncalled for. Had I not had my status, we wouldn't have had any ability to sit next to each other even if we booked together, which is completely unacceptable to me.

rant/
And don't get me started on spirit. I flew them once last year due to the low fare, and said never again just based on the experience. Then I did it again because I'm an idiot, but this time with my wife. While every other airline maxes bags at 50lbs before they charge you extra, spirit is 40. Try packing a mid-sized suitcase full for less than 40lbs. It's impossible, and becomes $65 each way per bag. add $10-15 per person each way to pick a seat so you're not shotgunned on opposite ends of the plane. I would have spent less money flying a real ariline, and had no idea how badly they would fleece me, even given their cheaper tickets.
/rant
 
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