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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)

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 5:14 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 32579199)
None of this has to do with the simple fact that DL does not contract or otherwise agree to maintain a specific schedule and that the customer expressly agrees that DL may not be able to do so.

If you have a ticket contract which includes provisions by which DL agrees to run within 5 minutes of schedule, you have a beef. Otherwise, the assertion that DL has contractually committed to a specific schedule means that you either disregarded the contract when you purchased or read it but choose to ignore it now.

And, that's what the conversation is about above. Just because Delta or other airlines indemnify themselves from any obligation does not mean that they shouldn't have that obligation. We provided an example of a barber who wants to shift a haircut by 2 hours and then holds on to the money without refunding.

No_Name Aug 3, 20 7:19 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32579207)
And, that's what the conversation is about above. Just because Delta or other airlines indemnify themselves from any obligation does not mean that they shouldn't have that obligation. We provided an example of a barber who wants to shift a haircut by 2 hours and then holds on to the money without refunding.

Many businesses indemnify themselves from certain outcomes. In many cases they don't even need to explicitly state the outcomes. In the US, the UCC codifies the concept of good faith.

Example 1: In most cases, if I hire a lawyer and agree to pay them for their time and expenses, I don't get a refund if the outcome is not what I wanted. When lawyers take on a client and payment is only made if you win, the lawyer is much more selective or charges more for their time.

Example 2: If I want a construction contractor to finish a job on a specific date and they miss that date because the city fails to issue a certificate of occupancy, I'm going to be sued if I don't pay (or the property seized if they placed a lien). I also won't be offered a refund if I paid upfront. If I brought action to avoid paying or recover funds, I would likely fail if the contractor demonstrated that they put forth a good faith effort.

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 8:03 pm


Originally Posted by No_Name (Post 32579427)
Many businesses indemnify themselves from certain outcomes. In many cases they don't even need to explicitly state the outcomes. In the US, the UCC codifies the concept of good faith.

Example 1: In most cases, if I hire a lawyer and agree to pay them for their time and expenses, I don't get a refund if the outcome is not what I wanted. When lawyers take on a client and payment is only made if you win, the lawyer is much more selective or charges more for their time.

Example 2: If I want a construction contractor to finish a job on a specific date and they miss that date because the city fails to issue a certificate of occupancy, I'm going to be sued if I don't pay (or the property seized if they placed a lien). I also won't be offered a refund if I paid upfront. If I brought action to avoid paying or recover funds, I would likely fail if the contractor demonstrated that they put forth a good faith effort.

In many situations, including the two you list, it's perfectly fair and sensible for businesses to "indemnify themselves from certain outcomes" (as you call it). That doesn't mean it's fair and reasonable in every context. Here, it's just not reasonable for an airline "indemnify themselves" in such a way that their contract allows them to tell you to pound sand if they change your flight time by two hours and you want your money back.

People in this thread don't seem to like analogies, so I'll take the liberty of saying that I think your two analogies are not helpful. It seems perfectly logical and fair that a lawyer getting paid by the hour doesn't have to bear the risk of not getting paid if he loses a client's garbage case, and that a contractor doesn't have to bear the risk of not getting paid if he blew a deadline because of some governmental inaction that's outside of his hands. Further, the customers in these examples can bargain for these various outcomes -- or do business with other providers since the free market is actually at work in the legal and contractor industries. In contract, it's not at all logical for the airline pax to solely bear the consequences of the airline unilaterally shifting the flight time by two hours. Plus, the airline pax doesn't even have any bargaining power in this contract of adhesion situation in an oligopolistic industry.

TomMM Aug 3, 20 8:06 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32579207)
And, that's what the conversation is about above. Just because Delta or other airlines indemnify themselves from any obligation does not mean that they shouldn't have that obligation. We provided an example of a barber who wants to shift a haircut by 2 hours and then holds on to the money without refunding.

How many people prepay for a haircut?

LarryJ Aug 3, 20 8:15 pm


Originally Posted by TomMM (Post 32579493)
How many people prepay for a haircut?

I do. I get a discount from SportClips for buying a six-haircut 'Season Ticket'. They don't punch my ticket until each haircut is finished and no guarantees on when I'll be seated.

The nature of transportation is that you can't guarantee schedules. A line must be drawn somewhere. Either 90 or 120 minutes seem reasonable to me. Do any major network carriers use a shorter cutoff? I don't know.

ethernal Aug 3, 20 8:41 pm


Originally Posted by LarryJ (Post 32579513)
The nature of transportation is that you can't guarantee schedules. A line must be drawn somewhere. Either 90 or 120 minutes seem reasonable to me. Do any major network carriers use a shorter cutoff? I don't know.

Why can't you guarantee schedules (published schedules, not IRROPS)? Airlines are actually atypical in this regard. Most rail CoC allow for refund-ability for any schedule change for example (they give you a voucher, but the voucher itself is refundable). If you do agree to a schedule change, Amtrak will even automatically refund you (via a refundable voucher) the difference between the original and rebooked itinerary (if cheaper).

Airlines take advantage of speculative schedules to do demand sensing. Basically teasing consumers with schedules they never intended to fly to see if - maybe afterall - they should fly the route. And then cut it later. It's little better than false advertising. Anything that reduces this is a good thing, not a bad thing. The idea that airlines are somehow special that they should be able to advertise routes they never intend to fly (or have not done enough due diligence on) is silly.

defrosted Aug 3, 20 9:22 pm


Originally Posted by ethernal (Post 32579559)
Airlines take advantage of speculative schedules to do demand sensing. Basically teasing consumers with schedules they never intended to fly to see if - maybe afterall - they should fly the route. And then cut it later. It's little better than false advertising. Anything that reduces this is a good thing, not a bad thing. The idea that airlines are somehow special that they should be able to advertise routes they never intend to fly (or have not done enough due diligence on) is silly.

In fairness you are confusing the issue, your example of advertising routes they never intend to fly is a cancelation not a schedule change of 90 vs 120. Correct me if I am wrong cancelations are still refunded.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 9:28 pm


Originally Posted by defrosted (Post 32579632)
Correct me if I am wrong cancelations are still refunded.

you are wrong. If they can put you on a plane that arrives within 2 hours on either side, youíre out of luck for your refund.

You bought this flight departing at 8am arriving at 11am? Nope, now you gotta be catching a flight at 6am, or else youíll lose your money.

Similarly, you may be forced to take a 10am flight and miss important arrangements later in the day, just because someone else decided to change your schedule.

BRITINJAPAN4 Aug 3, 20 9:28 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32579207)
And, that's what the conversation is about above. Just because Delta or other airlines indemnify themselves from any obligation does not mean that they shouldn't have that obligation. We provided an example of a barber who wants to shift a haircut by 2 hours and then holds on to the money without refunding.

But they give the customer a very straight forward choice. Low price but airline is indemnified in case of a schedule change within a 2 hour window, or High price but complete flexibility. seems the OP wants the low price with no restrictions, what possible incentive does the airline have to offer that ?

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 9:33 pm


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32579648)
But they give the customer a very straight forward choice. Low price but airline is indemnified in case of a schedule change within a 2 hour window, or High price but complete flexibility. seems the OP wants the low price with no restrictions, what possible incentive does the airline have to offer that ?

We seem to be talking past each other.
1. What low prices are we talking about? Can I, like in Europe, fly the distance equal to London-Athens in the US, and still pay $20-$100? No. The same distance in the US would be $200-300. US airlines just feed everyone with crap about the choice between cheap prices and no-frills flying.

2. If I want flexibility for MY OWN choices, then I purchase my own fully changeable and refundable ticket. However, Iím typically very set and certain about my decisions and I purchase flights based on specific departure and arrival times. Why am I being penalized and forced to accept something that the AIRLINE decides to do? If they want flexibility, they need to pay to passengers. The payment here is the full refund to passengers who do not agree to new departure or arrival times.

LAX_Esq Aug 3, 20 9:34 pm


Originally Posted by BRITINJAPAN4 (Post 32579648)
But they give the customer a very straight forward choice. Low price but airline is indemnified in case of a schedule change within a 2 hour window, or High price but complete flexibility. seems the OP wants the low price with no restrictions, what possible incentive does the airline have to offer that ?

We've already been through this. OP wants a lower price with restrictions on how THE CUSTOMER can change his ticket, and a higher price with no restrictions on how THE CUSTOMER can change his ticket. OP and many others are saying that, regardless of the price of the ticket, if THE AIRLINE makes a 2hr change, the pax can get a refund.

defrosted Aug 3, 20 9:37 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32579646)
you are wrong. If they can put you on a plane that arrives within 2 hours on either side, youíre out of luck for your refund.

You bought this flight departing at 8am arriving at 11am? Nope, now you gotta be catching a flight at 6am, or else youíll lose your money.

Similarly, you may be forced to take a 10am flight and miss important arrangements later in the day, just because someone else decided to change your schedule.

I was referring to "routes they never intended to fly", getting you to your same destination within 2 hours seems more than reasonable in the vast majority of cases.

Not ideal, not customer friendly, sure, but reasonable all the same.

smartytravel Aug 3, 20 9:39 pm


Originally Posted by defrosted (Post 32579661)
Not ideal, not customer friendly, sure, but reasonable all the same.

Fair? No
just? No
killing the ideals of free market and consumer choice? Yes

ATOBTTR Aug 3, 20 9:40 pm


Originally Posted by smartytravel (Post 32579653)
We seem to be talking past each other.
1. What low prices are we talking about? Can I, like in Europe, fly the distance equal to London-Athens in the US, and still pay $20-$100? No. The same distance in the US would be $200-300. US airlines just feed everyone with crap about the choice between cheap prices and no-frills flying.

2. If I want flexibility for MY OWN choices, then I purchase my own fully changeable and refundable ticket. However, Iím typically very set and certain about my decisions and I purchase flights based on specific departure and arrival times. Why am I being penalized and forced to accept something that the AIRLINE decides to do? If they want flexibility, they need to pay to passengers. The payment here is the full refund to passengers who do not agree to new departure or arrival times.

Possible airline response: no point in selling discount advance purchase tickets if they donít know exactly what schedule they operate. So instead you have to wait until schedule is finalized to be able to book, and ticket may well be far more expensive than the discount advance purchase ticket you would have otherwise bought.

No_Name Aug 3, 20 9:41 pm


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32579490)
It seems perfectly logical and fair that a lawyer getting paid by the hour doesn't have to bear the risk of not getting paid if he loses a client's garbage case,

Just so I understand, when a lawyer loses it's because the client had a "garbage case" and therefore the lawyer should be paid because it was the client's fault. Are you basically saying that it is not possible for a lawyer to forecast their ability to generate revenue because either (a) they don't know how many "garbage cases" they will get or (b) they are not sure of their ability to win even when they have non-garbage cases? Thus, the client should bear the risk of that the lawyer will not achieved the desired outcome. Is the legal profession special and should not be held to the same standard as an airline? A lawyer should be able to forecast their revenue based on historical performance so that they can charge appropriately on the cases they win and refund when they fail.


Originally Posted by LAX_Esq (Post 32579490)
and that a contractor doesn't have to bear the risk of not getting paid if he blew a deadline because of some governmental inaction that's outside of his hands.

Governmental inaction is a good reason to miss a deadline but weather, airport delays (say due to some other flight having an emergency), etc is not a good reason to miss a deadline?

According to a paper (DOI: 10.1109/IC3INA.2014.7042596), the departure delays for Garuda Airlines from Djuanda in excess of 120 minutes is less than 0.5% of the flights. Those values are also consistent for United Airlines departures from Denver. According to a NASA paper (AIAA 2002-5866), 91% of the delays (in the year 2000) are due to problems outside the control of an airline (weather, traffic delays, runway delays, and ATC equipment problems). In general, airlines have done a good job in reducing delays due to factors within their control.


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