Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Not So Friendly Skies



I normally do not like to use this blog for my rants. However since I usually just rave, what is one little rant now and then. Of course this is the second time I've complained about the airlines on this blog so I'll just continue the series.

As many of you know, I'll be going to Culver City the end of this month to see Sony perform with the Theo Saunders quartet. I booked the trip way in advance as soon as I heard she would be performing there. I got a great fare with Virgin America at $39.00 each way. So, I will fly down on the 29th and return on the 30th.

Those of you who know me well, know that the Grammy awards are an event for me each year. I usually attend a Grammy's party and enjoy the show. Well I didn't even think about the awards when I booked my trip to LA. The show is usually in February so I didn't even think about it until today when I saw online that the show was going to be held at the Staples center on the 31st. I immediately went to the airline website to find out that changing my return flight would cost me $75.00 plus an additional amount that would incur due to the fares having been increased since I booked.

Now I'm the type of traveler who travels on a budget and saves months in advance for trips. So, I have everything budgeted to a point that I cannot spend alot of extra money to stay an extra day. Not to mention, they are charging basically what I paid for the original flight. If I change the flight online myself, they'll charge $75.00 plus additional fees and the difference between the older and newer fares. If I call to change the flight it's $100.00 because, heaven for bid a customer service agent should have to spend five minutes on a computer to change it for me.

In all fairness, all the airlines do this. And, I knew when I booked that there would be charges incurred should I need to change my flight. My question though is how do they all get away with these inordinate charges and fees. Now mind you, my wanting to stay an extra day so that I could hang out with thousands of other people in front of the Staples Center so I can possibly take photos of stars is not an emergency. But, what if someone actually has an emergency situation and needs to change a flight? They have to pay these ridiculous charges on top of being stressed already? It's just crazy.

As it stands, I will be leaving my reservation as is and coming back home to attend my Grammy's party. I'm probably more angry at myself for not checking this out before I booked but it is so much easier to blame the airlines than it is to blame myself. After all, we all know that the airlines are basically price gauging businesses who care more about the almighty dollar than the customer. They are no different than any other business out there - I'm generalizing here.

So, in closing, thank you for listening to my rant and I promise not to make a habit of venting through this blog. I should start another blog, just for my rants.

14 comments:

Darrel said...

I absolutely Love your site. One day when my novels take off, I will travel a bit myself. Keep doing what you are doing. It is wonderful... Darrel

JourneyDreams said...

I agree airlines are more concern on their profit than customer service. Hope you'll still have fun on the Grammys. Thanks for sharing

Margie said...

Everybody wants more money & they'll sneak in all the charges they can. As for Grammy's, just stay home with a nice book. I'm not up for an award this year anyway.
You just rant all you like. I get tired of being the only one with so many rants.
By the way, find a rich man who owns his own plane then your problem is solved.

Ann said...

I find it very frustrating that everyone seems to be adding so many fees, additional charges and so forth. It's all about the money and it doesn't seem to matter any more if the customer is satisfied or not.
The funny thing is that when it's you who want to change your flight, they charge a fee. But if there would happen to be a problem on their end that would change your flight they certainly wouldn't reward you for their mistakes or problems.

I like the idea of a rant blog by the way :)

RNSANE said...

I know what you mean, Jo...I was using frequent flyer miles for my India trip. When I couldn't go, I was allowed to put them back into my account...thank heavens, since, otherwise, I would have lost 100,000 miles...but they did charge me a fee of $100!!! Can you believe that. It didn't matter that I am at Silver Medallion level ( of course, that's the lowest level ) with the airline. I still haven't gotten my ticket...I'm trying to figure out whether I can manage to stay a week so I can go see Sony in Fulleton. I know I can stay a night or so with Ed and Lois ( my ex ) who live in Fullerton - I hope they will go as I know they will love Sony and they both are jazz fans. Ed used to play bass in a college band and he also plays guitar! He looks like an older version of Shawn but in his college days, they looked like twins!

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Thank you so much Darrel, very sweet of you. And, when those novels take off, I'll be reading them :)

Journey, thanks for visiting and yes just like many businesses it's not about customer service anymore.

Margie, you mean you weren't nominated this year? Well there's no point in even watching. Yes, I like your idea or even a pilot will do :)

Ann, I never even thought of that but you are right. A rant blog would be fun but it's all I can do to manage two blogs now.

Carmen, I cannot believe they charged you that amount. I'm not sure about Fullerton yet since it's so close to the Culver City gig. I'll decide probably the last minute. I'd like to wait and see what else is in the works before I commit to fullerton. Ideally, another LA or hollywood gig would be great and I could stay longer.

betchai said...

I can understand what you feel Jo, I was in similar boat when I was stil in Connecticut and would often make trips to CA, because of some unavoidable circumstance, I can not make it on the day of flight, however, after all the charges ( so unbelievable) they asked, I decided to get another ticket from another air line since it would be cheaper for me than to change the date of my ticket!

Bangchik said...

Business is the same anywhere Joanne... they stay relevant if they make enough profit... I think most hold on to that principle.... I love seeing "buy 1 get 2" advert at supermarkets!!!.... haha. Have fun, ~bangchik

Poetic Shutterbug said...

That is unbelievable betchai. I don't know how they get away with this kind of treatment. Thanks for commenting.

dawn said...

Actually that was a good rant! I hope you enjoy the grammys despite the aggravation.

Icy BC said...

I love your rant, Jo, since through it, you're helping others to avoid unpleasant experiences or at least know what to expect..

Don't stop ranting..

Poetic Shutterbug said...

dawn, Thank you, I'll try :)

Icy, :D I am kind of liking it

AVCr8teur said...

The airlines get away with all kinds of fees these days because they know they can. Sometimes driving is less of a hassle especially with the new restrictions. Have fun at the Grammy's!

Writer Lady said...

Fly Southwest. They like their budget customers well enough to want to keep them.

Sorry you missed seeing the Grammys while in LA.