overpay for schedule - delay - end up on originally cheaper flight

 
Old Jun 23, 08, 3:17 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Sam - DFW View Post
then why are flights on a given day between city pairs priced differently?

look at LAX/JFK for july 7th return july 11th (price and schedule). outbound flights are $149 at 1:15 and 3pm. however, if i want to arrive earlier than 9:55pm then it costs $255 - an extra $106 (71% higher fare). is it worth it - absolutely. it is a premium that i am willing to pay. i am not just paying for a guaranteed spot on a flight - otherwise i would expect to pay $149 for whatever flight i choose that day.

let's assume that i pay $249 so that i can arrive at 7:24pm, but AA puts me on the later flight that arrives at 9:55pm (b/c there was a non-weather delay in santa barbara for example???). my argument is that i have received diminished service and that the diminished service is reflected in the original fare difference. (in this scenario) i made a conscious decision to pay more to avoid getting to my hotel room at midnight. through no fault of my own, i got diminished service while paying for what i would consider a premium service. by electing to pay for a more for a preferred arrival time, i am arguing that i have a reasonable expectation to receive what i purchased.

SDG has made it very clear that this is a losing argument. i am just asking why?

if AA makes me pay more money for certain flights (same day, same cities) then there should be a cause of action when i am forced onto the inferior flight.
The cheapest fares sell out faster at times, more than others.
A good example of this is SNA-SJC on Sundays. Morning flights tend to have the cheaper seats for a lot longer than the PM departures, but booked far in advance, the fares for all of the flights are the same.

I have no problem not getting a refund on flights that would have been cheaper to book than my original flights, but I ended up on after irrops.
I have, by far, saved far more by standing by either for $25 or $0, on flights that would have cost far more. Not only did I save money, but I have saved a lot of time by eliminating connections. Most recently, for $0, I turned a SJU-FLL-DFW-SFO into a SJU-MIA-SFO
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Old Jun 23, 08, 3:28 pm
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The flip side is originally buying a more inconvenient routing to save a few bucks and then being rerouted on a more desirable itinerary, as happened to me in April during the MD80 mess. I would have been unhappy to pay more for the flight but they didn't charge me more, and I ended up in a higher fare bucket with more EQPs to boot.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 4:02 pm
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Only tangentially related: a colleague of mine was flying (on NW, not AA) to Alaska last week. His initial flight was cancelled, and he was moved to a flight the next day that he had specifically paid extra to avoid. He asked a reservation agent whether they would refund the difference to him, to which they said "Let me check" and then "Okay, you're refunded!" It turns out upon hearing the word refund they cancelled the itinerary and refunded the whole value of the ticket. This is clearly not what he had asked for, but they also wouldn't budge on restoring the itinerary (because it was "impossible") and forced him to buy a new ticket at the walk-up price.

Yet another reason it's good that AAgents have a good command of the English language.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 4:11 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
The cheapest fares sell out faster at times, more than others.
A good example of this is SNA-SJC on Sundays. Morning flights tend to have the cheaper seats for a lot longer than the PM departures, but booked far in advance, the fares for all of the flights are the same.

I have no problem not getting a refund on flights that would have been cheaper to book than my original flights, but I ended up on after irrops.
I have, by far, saved far more by standing by either for $25 or $0, on flights that would have cost far more. Not only did I save money, but I have saved a lot of time by eliminating connections. Most recently, for $0, I turned a SJU-FLL-DFW-SFO into a SJU-MIA-SFO
I'm not sure all flights even have the cheaper seats available. Revenue management may zero out the cheapest fare buckets right away.

Sunday JFK-SFO flight 85 is always more expensive because it is a very popular flight for business people and for international connecting passengers continuing on to the west coast. Compare with the 7 am JFK-SFO Sunday morning flight.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Fornebufox View Post
The flip side is originally buying a more inconvenient routing to save a few bucks and then being rerouted on a more desirable itinerary, as happened to me in April during the MD80 mess. I would have been unhappy to pay more for the flight but they didn't charge me more, and I ended up in a higher fare bucket with more EQPs to boot.
I would say I have more often been rerouted onto more expensive itineraries than to cheaper ones.

The downside of the irrop reroutes is losing confirmed upgrade or exit row seats. I had a lot of this during May and June. Even if I got a last-minute upgrade on the new itinerary, it was likely to be in the worst possible seat IMO (bulkhead window on an odd-numbered flight, for example), negating careful FEBO choice.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 4:24 pm
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I have had success getting a refund when moved to a 'less desirable' flight but, in my case, the difference was black and white. It was on a KHI-DXB ticket with Emirates - the cheapest fare specifically excludes travel on one of the 4 daily flights - EK603. The next fare up is identical except that it allows travel on EK603 and is about US$70 more. I paid this extra amount and was moved to the next morning's flight (EK605). I was able to get the fare difference back.

Unfortunately, it seems that weather delays seem to basically remove all liability from the airline for anything, consequently screwing over the passenger. If AA moves me to a cheaper flight, even if it was due to weather, IMHO I should be able to get the fare difference back if I gave AA extra $$ to be on that specific flight.

However, in all practicality, I don't think that there is any feasible way to implement such a system. If the passenger could prove that he paid extra and was moved, I think he might have a case in court. But then again, I'm not a lawyer...

Cheers,
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Old Jun 23, 08, 5:09 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
And in the interest of fairness, if AA were to refund your money, then the following would also be necessary:

You have a choice of Flight A (6:00 am departure) for 200.00 and Flight B (8:30 am departure) for 350.00, you don't want to get up at 4:00 am but you still book flight A b/c it is cheaper. It gets canceled and AA rebooks you on Flight B - the more expensive flight - so you then owe AA $150.00.
you are missing a very important point.

AA is dumping me on a more expensive flight (albeit one that i did not choose), so it's their problem to eat the fare difference. they would never have a cause of action against me when they are forcing schedule changes.

i see no logical relevance in your example.

a more accurate use of your hypothetical: in your example, if i oversleep the flight (as opposed to it being canceled), AA could possibly charge me hundreds and hundreds of dollars (a lot more than your $150) or preclude me from flying altogether depending on availability.

in that situation, it is my fault, and i am forced to take responsibility. if i have irregular ops, i can assure that AA doesn't care.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 5:19 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
The cheapest fares sell out faster at times, more than others.
A good example of this is SNA-SJC on Sundays. Morning flights tend to have the cheaper seats for a lot longer than the PM departures
, but booked far in advance, the fares for all of the flights are the same.
this proves my point that certain flight times are preferred. AA increases fares on these flights as tickets are sold (or before depending on who you ask). higher fares serve to push passengers to other, more economical flights. others are willing to pay a premium fare for the time they prefer or need.

while it might be as simple as supply and demand, the fact remains that i elected to pay a premium fare for a specific arrival time - not a time hours later with no explanation of cause.

again, it's a losing battle, but i don't think anyone can successfully defend AA's (apparent) position here.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Sam - DFW View Post
again, it's a losing battle, but i don't think anyone can successfully defend AA's (apparent) position here.
I can see your point in this issue, but as you say it is a losing battle. As others have said, sometimes when there is a problem we get a little more than we paid for (schedule that was more expensive or maybe a complementary upgrade).

Given the sad state of airline finances and operations in the US, I consider it a victory to get from A to B on the same day that I actually wanted any more. Routing cities, seat assignments, meals, pillows or blankets and FA/GA who actually care are all a bonus.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 5:26 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Sam - DFW View Post
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while it might be as simple as supply and demand, the fact remains that i elected to pay a premium fare for a specific arrival time - not a time hours later with no explanation of cause.

again, it's a losing battle, but i don't think anyone can successfully defend AA's (apparent) position here.
Sorry, but yeah, it really is easy to defend their position. I think the argument that, in the case of delay, all itineraries should be repriced based on the times actually flown, and referred back to the date/time of purchase, with adjustment made if less, is the position that's hard to justify.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Sorry, but yeah, it really is easy to defend their position. I think the argument that, in the case of delay, all itineraries should be repriced based on the times actually flown, and referred back to the date/time of purchase, with adjustment made if less, is the position that's hard to justify.

Cheers.
Why?

The general argument here seems to be if you pay a premium for something time-sensitive and don't get it, you should get the extra you paid for the different service back. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

Other examples: 1) I pay FedEx extra for 10 AM arrival instead of 3 PM arrival; package shows up at 3 PM. 2) I pay for an extra night at a hotel to hold a room for early check-in. When I show up, no rooms are available until the normal check-in time. 3) I go to my local copy store and have a big job. I pay a "rush job" fee to get it done faster than normal, but they end up doing it at the same speed as normal. In which of these scenarios would you not expect to get your money back?

I know in the arcane world of contracts of carriage and yield management that the letter of the "law" probably doesn't favor the customer in these cases, but the default assumption on most of the rest of the world is that if you pay extra for something and don't get that something, you get your money back.
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Old Jun 23, 08, 6:14 pm
  #27  
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
Why?

The general argument here seems to be if you pay a premium for something time-sensitive and don't get it, you should get the extra you paid for the different service back. That seems pretty reasonable to me.

Other examples: 1) I pay FedEx extra for 10 AM arrival instead of 3 PM arrival; package shows up at 3 PM. 2) I pay for an extra night at a hotel to hold a room for early check-in. When I show up, no rooms are available until the normal check-in time. 3) I go to my local copy store and have a big job. I pay a "rush job" fee to get it done faster than normal, but they end up doing it at the same speed as normal. In which of these scenarios would you not expect to get your money back?

I know in the arcane world of contracts of carriage and yield management that the letter of the "law" probably doesn't favor the customer in these cases, but the default assumption on most of the rest of the world is that if you pay extra for something and don't get that something, you get your money back.
I agree, in principle. In practice, I agree with companies like FedEx, and I have taken them to task for late deliveries.

The "in principle" part applies (in this case) to airlines. Yeah, it would be nice, and might even be reasonable. But the complications of reconstituting all flights for all delayed passengers, referenced back to the time of purchase, is infeasible. The FedEx rates are pretty well fixed (barring price increases) and do not change by the hour.

The "get you there" thing in the travel world is not the same as package delivery. If I take a train and it gets me in 30 minutes late, I'm not getting any money back, that's for sure.

So, I just think that the reality of this is hard to justify, even though it would be nice in an ideal world.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Old Jun 24, 08, 1:29 am
  #28  
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Unlike FEDEX, the fare paid to AA doesn't guarantee you arrival by a specific time. It's like a request for an aisle seat. AA will attempt to get you there, but there are no guarantees you will get an aisle seat or arrive on the flight of your choosing.
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Old Jun 24, 08, 1:32 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Unlike FEDEX, the fare paid to AA doesn't guarantee you arrival by a specific time. It's like a request for an aisle seat. AA will attempt to get you there, but there are no guarantees you will get an aisle seat or arrive on the flight of your choosing.
Also, for early am delivery, Fed Ex charges everyone who requests that service a premium, they do not apply that charge after say 40 people have requested the service at a lesser rate.
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Old Jun 24, 08, 1:35 am
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
Also, for early am delivery, Fed Ex charges everyone who requests that service a premium, they do not apply that charge after say 40 people have requested the service at a lesser rate.
I also wouldn't want to be shipped in a box at per pound price.
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