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-   -   Customer-unfriendly decision: 120-minute delay for a full refund (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/2022687-customer-unfriendly-decision-120-minute-delay-full-refund.html)

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 12:22 am


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32577326)
No, I get that this is a complaint, I just think that when you get a benefit ( lower price) with a very clear and published Restriction, then this is not customer unfriendly. If they said fly from a to b at $500, no choices, that would be customer unfriendly.

You seem to be saying that it's *never* customer unfriendly for an airline to impose draconian policies -- so long as the customer chose to purchase less than a full fare ticket and those terms are disclosed. The logical extension of your argument is that it's NOT customer unfriendly for the airline to draft their contract such that they can unilaterally switch you from a non-stop to a connecting flight, or delay your flight by 6 hours, or reroute you to a nearby airport, etc. -- and you're SOL to do anything about it because you bought a discounted ticket. I'd like to know what you would consider to be consumer unfriendly.


You do know that airlines are a commercial business intended to make money for their owners, don't you ?
You do know that the US airlines repeatedly get billion$ and trillion$ of taxpayer bailouts and are pretty much the antithesis of free market capitalism, don't you?

sethb Aug 3, 20 12:28 am


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32577225)
The proper analogy is: you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm, and your barber TOLD you to come in at 3pm instead, when you have to be at work at 3pm, otherwise he's keeping your money and tough doodie.

No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

At least, that corresponds to what has always happened for me, even when changes were under 90 minutes.

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 12:48 am


Originally Posted by sethb (Post 32577344)
No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

If you prepaid for a haircut at 5pm today and the barber requires you to come in at 3pm instead but you want/need a haircut at 5pm today, fairness demands that you have right to get your money back so you can find a different barber to cut your hair at 5pm today.

Justin026 Aug 3, 20 7:56 am

A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

A new, positive factor in the changes in schedule timing is the numbers of markets with increasing, not decreasing, service. I am flying ATL-PNS for business regularly right now. I had gotten used to leaving ATL on an 8:30 PM flight and returning on a 4:30 PM flight. Now they have 5 flights each way each day (In April there were only 2 and in July 4). So I had a reservation change to pick flights on either side of my previously booked times. This is a good story for consumers.

ethernal Aug 3, 20 8:07 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32575838)
I think 2 hours is not an unreasonable threshold, though I try to avoid travel with tight scheduling requirements. Too many things can go wrong, so I make sure the critical phases of a trip have enough slack built in (e.g. arrive the day before for a meeting with a client).

Depends on the context. Sometimes it's about the least-worst option. To me the more unconscionable thing is that Delta is happy to charge you a significant premium for a two-hour difference in departure time. A 6:30 AM flight may be $200 cheaper than an 8:30 AM flight. In other words, customers value a 2 hour difference in departure time and Delta is happy to reap the revenue increase from that published time. But then on the flip side, if they cancel the 8:30 AM and put everyone on the 6:30 AM, then they are saying there is zero (contractual) recourse available to the customer. Good luck getting that $200 premium you paid back.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 8:08 am


Originally Posted by Justin026 (Post 32577894)
A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

I am amazed how many mental gymnastics and excuses people can make. I understand that traveling 500 to 10,000 miles is a large distance. However, people are still forced to pay premium for specific times to travel. You'd pay more for travel on Friday afternoon with a return on Sunday night.

However, airlines give themselves a right to screw passengers by altering schedule and giving no recourse to passengers. As LAX_Esq noted, the point of fairness and justice is to allow consumer decide what she wants to do, and not keep her money and force her to continue using the service that no loner works for her.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 8:10 am


Originally Posted by sethb (Post 32577344)
No, if you can't make it then you get an appointment tomorrow instead or a certificate for a haircut later.

What if I want to go to someone who can get me the haircut at a time I want? I don't want someone to rob me out of my money by holding on to it?

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 10:23 am


Originally Posted by Justin026 (Post 32577894)
A better analogy would be a barber who was running ten minutes late. The time scale involved in travelling 500 to 10,000 miles is somewhat different than for a haircut.

This is desperately trying to fight the analogy. If you're trying to fight the analogy by using relative time scale, switch the 20-30 minute men's haircut session to your wife's 90 minute haircut with her hairdresser... or to your hour-long personal training session / private tennis lesson... etc. The relative time scales involved in the hairdresser / tennis pro / personal trainer / etc. shifting your 60-90 minute appointment by two hours are parallel to the airline shifting a short domestic flight by two hours and telling you to go pound sand (which they are now able to do). And beyond this, the notion of fighting the analogy by using relative time scale rather than absolute time scale is already dubious.

No_Name Aug 3, 20 10:57 am


Originally Posted by ethernal (Post 32577915)
Delta is happy to reap the revenue increase from that published time. But then on the flip side, if they cancel the 8:30 AM and put everyone on the 6:30 AM, then they are saying there is zero (contractual) recourse available to the customer. Good luck getting that $200 premium you paid back.

and it goes the other way also. I've had flights that had delays and Delta would let me change to a more desirable time (the 8:30 vs 6:30 in your example). Things happen and sometimes you come out ahead monetarily and sometimes you don't. Getting all angsty about it is not worth the effort, unless that is something that person enjoys.

I really don't see how Delta, or any airline for that matter, would be able to operate in the way some posters advocate without charging significantly higher prices. Increased risk means higher costs, which means higher prices. I prefer to manage the risk of a two hour delay myself and take the reduced air fare as it is a more cost effective solution (from my perspective).

TomMM Aug 3, 20 11:00 am


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32577086)

Do you pay the barber without the expectation of getting a haircut? You pay, and the assumption is youíll get a haircut within 15-30 minutes in a way thatís pleasing and nice.

Please adhere to the same standard when using the lav. The expectation is that you get in, do your 'business" and exit within 5 minutes.

No_Name Aug 3, 20 11:06 am


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32578187)
This is desperately trying to fight the analogy.

The hairdresser/personal trainer is a horrible analogy for this scenario in every possible way. A hairdresser does not have the cost structure nor the operational constraints of an airline. It's even worse than comparing a child's lemonade stand with McDonald's (and at least both of those care in the same sector).

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 11:10 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32578246)
I really don't see how Delta, or any airline for that matter, would be able to operate in the way some posters advocate without charging significantly higher prices. Increased risk means higher costs, which means higher prices. I prefer to manage the risk of a two hour delay myself and take the reduced air fare as it is a more cost effective solution (from my perspective).

But why do they need to charge more? I do not see the correlation.

If they alter the schedule, passengers should be able to receive their money back and take their business elsewhere. After all, they pay for specific flights at specific times.

If airlines want to keep passengers money, they have two options:
  • Strive for operational excellence, better timeliness and organization
  • Offer additional perks to passengers to accept a schedule change
With the current set up, where airlines are omnipotent and all-powerful, there's a race to the bottom. We can clearly see this in the US. Service is horrible, no decent meals on trans-continental flights, unhealthy snacks, dirty planes (buses).

When you look East or West where there is REAL competition, you see much improved service and treatment of passengers. Further, the EU regulations now force airlines to be much better at organization and scheduling. KLM for instance is SUPER consistent with times, and they BARELY change schedule. When passengers buy tickets, they know with 99.99% certainty that their flight would occur at a time/day they purchased it for.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 11:11 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32578273)
The hairdresser/personal trainer is a horrible analogy for this scenario in every possible way. A hairdresser does not have the cost structure nor the operational constraints of an airline. It's even worse than comparing a child's lemonade stand with McDonald's (and at least both of those care in the same sector).

In the end, nobody forced airlines to do business they are in. If they are not happy with keeping schedules that consumers pay for, then maybe they should consider quitting?

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 11:25 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32578273)
The hairdresser/personal trainer is a horrible analogy for this scenario in every possible way. A hairdresser does not have the cost structure nor the operational constraints of an airline. It's even worse than comparing a child's lemonade stand with McDonald's (and at least both of those care in the same sector).

Again, this is fighting the analogy with irrelevant references to matters that have nothing to do with the analogy. (If you think you have a better analogy, feel free to offer it up!) And it's a perfectly nice analogy to illustrate the basic point that a customer who is promised a service at a 5pm should -- based on principles of fairness -- be entitled to his money back if the provider of that service switches the time to 3pm.



Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32578246)
I really don't see how Delta, or any airline for that matter, would be able to operate in the way some posters advocate without charging significantly higher prices. Increased risk means higher costs, which means higher prices. I prefer to manage the risk of a two hour delay myself and take the reduced air fare as it is a more cost effective solution (from my perspective).

Let's dispel the notion that airline reductions in service quality are passed on to the customers as lower fares. What the quality reductions do is enrich the corrupt airline execs who pocket all the extra cash for years, until the stock crashes and they collect the next round of billion$ and trillion$ in taxpayer bailout ca$h.

ethernal Aug 3, 20 11:25 am


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32578246)
and it goes the other way also. I've had flights that had delays and Delta would let me change to a more desirable time (the 8:30 vs 6:30 in your example). Things happen and sometimes you come out ahead monetarily and sometimes you don't. Getting all angsty about it is not worth the effort, unless that is something that person enjoys.

But the passengers that booked the 6:30 AM flight either (a) really needed to be on the 6:30 AM flight and picked that over the 8:30 AM or (b) weren't willing to pay the premium to begin with - therefore, they valued that "better" flight time less than $200. So it's not a net wash, everyone is still made worse off (except for Delta who captures the benefit).

Schedule changes happen. It's fine. It's not a big deal. But if the schedule changes materially - and let's be clear, a 2 hour difference in departure on a domestic short haul flight is incredibly material - then a refund is warranted. I'm not talking about the +/- 5 minute adjustments of course. But anything over an hour is clearly material. Not just because of people's schedules, but because that is (roughly) the "time cost" of a connection which creates a very different competitive environment for fares.


I really don't see how Delta, or any airline for that matter, would be able to operate in the way some posters advocate without charging significantly higher prices. Increased risk means higher costs, which means higher prices. I prefer to manage the risk of a two hour delay myself and take the reduced air fare as it is a more cost effective solution (from my perspective).
I don't see how giving refunds for a flight change of >1 hour would really create that much difference in terms of costs - this COVID situation aside. It's marginal at best. Airlines would slightly reduce the amount of speculative scheduling they do. They'd potentially do a small fraction fewer scheduling changes. It's not a sky-is-falling cost difference.


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