Long and whiny so don’t read if you don’t want to.
I know there are worse things in the world. Thank God my kids are safe and I’m reminded of how petty this is in the wake of what just happened in Texas. And I know this started 20 or more years ago. Heck maybe 30 or 40. But when did airline travel go from being a tremendous customer service experience to treating you like crap and there is nothing you can do about it? So family and I (6 of us) planned a vacation. Very carefully. Had to fit in dates for my work, kids out of school, mandatory practices for kids sports at school. Spent thousands on flight. Had a row picked out for all of us to sit together for months. At the 24 hour point I get an email saying weather may affect your flight. Then I go to check in and our flight is cancelled. I get weather. But, I then see an article posted almost simultaneously (probably actually hours earlier but first time I see it), about how Delta is strategically cutting back 10% of their flights this summer AND they had applied some option for Memorial weekend due to weather that allowed them to cancel fights. I look at the weather and I just don’t see it. I think they just wanted to cancel it and came up with a way to do it. They then automatically booked us on a flight out tomorrow at 530 am. All in all if we get on the flight this will be a small disruption and we will still have a great time. But, I called and they can’t give me seats. I checked in this morning and don’t have seats assigned but do have a boarding passes. Two of our kids are 9 and one is 13, another 16. We could all split up but think the 9 yr olds need to be with someone and would prefer that the thirteen year old be too. Then we actually have seats for leg from Atlanta to dc but none of them are together. I just think it’s crazy how we are treated. And I could list several more. I don’t believe in bad luck but I sure seem to have it with flying. If I step back and look at it, I do believe God is in control, and that this is ultimately a small thing. I also am so thankful that I’m not complaining about my 9 year old being shot at school. Those thoughts will keep me humble and ultimately things will probably go fine and be a great trip. But I know if I provided a service or customer service like that I’d be out of business. But delta er al are so big and subsidized by govt etc that essentially one one person or family doesn’t matter. They do apologize for the inconvenience. Man first world problems, right?
Wife and kids are headed to Florida in July (from the Upstate). They wanted to fly and rent a car. I encouraged them to add an extra day to the vacation so they can drive...and BE IN CONTROL.
If you look around, you see the problems. Nobody wants to work on Monday's anymore. Nobody wants to work the day before or the day after a holiday. People quit a job when they get their tax refunds.
Kids that are growing up now (teens) don't see it as an "issue". They are used to it. They would rather do something via text/email than have a face-to-face conversation with a representative.
I went into a very large bank in Birmingham last week. Must have been 30 stories...all leased by said bank. I had a mortgage issue in an estate. I wanted to speak with someone and had made the very inconvenient trip into the downtown area to do just that. Guess what? All of the mortgage people work from home now! I sat in this very sterile room and "met" with a representative over a phone. TOTAL BS!
It began devolution in the 90’s. It went off a cliff on 9/11 and no one has ever attempted to rebuild it. There are multiple problems simultaneously eroding airlines. Airlines ARE NOT in the customer service business. Airlines ARE in the money making business. When you buy an Airline ticket, it’s an agreement to take you from point A, to point B….sometime…..that’s a problem…..because nothing else in this world begins…..sometime. Airlines have slashed and burned what used to be their “customer service employees” much like William Tecumseh Sherman slashed and burned his way through Georgia 158 years ago. For an Airline like Delta, your talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs. Reservationists, Gate Agents, Flight Attendants. Those used to be good jobs that payed a livable salary, but paying a livable salary to hundreds of thousands of employees that provided customer service meant that the CEO couldn’t have a 20,000 square feet house in St Kitts……so they had to go. Those customer service employees were replaced by 3rd shift, drive thru, Taco Bell employees that were fired because they couldn’t make change correctly. Now…..there are two things that former 3rd shift, drive thru, Taco Bell employees don’t do. #1 is get paid (works out great for the CEO). #2 is provide customer service. You don’t wanna know about the mechanics…… Until it’s against the law for a CEO to come in, strip away a company’s assets (yes, competent employees are assets), fill his pockets with tens of millions of bonus dollars for ###### the company he/she was supposed to be running….until that ends….this is what you get. May we should talk about the 10’s of Billions of dollars in airline pensions that magically vanished in the last 30 years?
a very nice pension built up. And next thing you know Bankruptcy and its, well you either take this or you get nothing, your choice. Dirty business for sure. Its why I believe in 401 now so much over that. Problem is I wouldn't be surprised if a certain side of the isle figures out a way to either screw up the stock market and/or take our savings on the other side.
I used to fly 3-4 times a month before I retired. Pre-9/11 it was nice. Post-9/11, it was torture, even for high mile frequent flyers. Now, I drive anything within 6 hours and will pay extra for business class when I do fly. I don’t like spending the extra $$, but it’s worth the slightly better treatment.
“+” seats, definitely not first class but a little more and a little roomier. As I understand it because some people were flying through and could check in earlier than we did, when I went to check in we couldn’t sit by each other. And bc we were in the plus seats they couldn’t change the fare class they said and we couldn’t sit together even in the cheaper seats. Because the people around us didn’t speak English No one would change with us. Even though we had good seats. So we didn’t sit together on the way back. In the end not a big deal our kids weren’t with us etc but what other venue, sports, restaurants, concerts etc do they sell you two tickets together and then when you show up or check in or whatever you then don’t have seats together. I’m irritated. But I know they are too big and I’m too little for it to matter.