A Comment or Two About Modern Air Travel

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February 21st 2016
Published: February 26th 2016
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It is an amazing thing to be able to board an airplane and within hours be whisked away to destinations thousands of miles away in a matter of hours. As amazing as it is, we've been able to do that since the dawn of the jet age in the late 1950's, some 50 odd years now.

At the risk of coming off as an old curmudgeon, I wonder why the experience has to be the way it often is today. At one time, it was an exciting experience to fly somewhere. They used to feed you a meal or two on a long trip like this and now you're lucky if they give you a 1/2 oz. package of crackers. Plus many of the flight attendants seem like you are a pain in their butt. I have never taken a bus trip anywhere, but everyone puts that travel in very low esteem. I would guess bus travel is better than air travel today. We flew United both ways and it was one problem after another. We bought our tickets almost six months ago and the day before we were to leave, Jan received a text that they were changing our seats. We had booked all of our seats together in economy plus and now we were all split up. Why did that have to happen? No explanation. Several days before our return, we received a message that the return flight was changed. Instead of Hawaiian Air leaving Maui for Honolulu at 3:30 PM, We were now on Island Air leaving at 12:00, adding 3 more hours onto the return trip and cheating us out of three more hours on Maui. On the night before our return, both Jackie and Jan received messages that our seats were changed again. When they called United, they found out that our seats weren't changed, the whole return itinerary was changed and we were on separate flights. After both of them spent two hours on the phone with United's customer service, we finally ended up flying direct from Maui to San Francisco lay over for 3 hours and then fly to O'Hare. And we lost our economy plus seats in the process.

As Jan reminded me, the fine print they put into buying an airline ticket gives them the right to do pretty much anything they want to you. Well, it seems to me that they run the airline and treat their customers by the fine print, not the reservation you actually make.
It was one thing after another. It seems that they are screwing with you just to make it all as miserable as it can be.

We spoke with other passengers on our flights and we were not alone in getting bumped around. A family of 5 seated around us lost their economy plus seats and were no longer sitting together either. By the way, economy plus seats for these flights cost an additional $119. You wonder what happens that you lose your seats reserved months in advance. Who are they putting there in place of you??

It's just amazing the terrible level of customer service they provide. I yearn for the past days of air travel when you felt important and were treated to a very good experience, not the heartburn of today's air travel. They sure have taken the fun out of it.


26th February 2016

agree. what happened to you 3 is unacceptable, given the fact that you arranged your flights months in advance. Scary to separate three people traveling together, especially at the cost of the flight. Not right.
28th February 2016

Complain to customer service...
and ask for (demand) air miles. I did this and got enough air miles to fly to Lima, Peru. And if you ever fly to Europe, there are passenger rights that include monetary compensation.
28th February 2016

Complain to customer service
We've sent them an email. We'll see what they say.
29th February 2016

Airlines poor customer service
Bob, we agree with all that you have said. As a world traveler, I love to fly, I need to fly to get to these amazing locations but if there was ever an industry that you wanted to see fail it would be several of the top airlines that run America. Often times, not all, the flight staff are detestable and you wonder why they selected these jobs. There is very little customer service. When we do find someone who treats us kindly and with respect we write letters praising them....but it should not have to be that way. Good luck with a refund or points. I would send a certified letter to prove they received it and there must be some airline hotline that you can call or write in addition. Good luck.

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