Questions Re New Standby Policies

 
Old Sep 14, 02, 4:10 pm
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Questions Re New Standby Policies

I am still unclear about a couple of things: If I finish things earlier and want to come home a day early, it was simple to pay the change fee and any fare class differential (if any) and get confirmed on a flight a day early. Do I correctly understand that this would now be impossible without buying an entirely new unrestricted ticket for the return?

2.) Standing by for an earlier flight same day will cost $100, but if you do not clear, you get your $100 back, right?
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Old Sep 14, 02, 5:00 pm
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Robert,

I get dizzy reading the fine print of the new rules, but I think (key word is "think" as opposed to knowing for sure) that there is a disclaimer in the rules that for the return leg of a trip you can still change it for the $100 fee like we have done in the past. I may be wrong.

But my understanding on your other question is somewhat clearer: as it stands now, and none of the "unofficial" Delta people on the board have suggested otherwise (in fact, one of them actually rubbed it in a little bit), you pay the standby fee for the opportunity to stand by. If you don't succeed, you forfeit the fee, which I believe they have labelled as "nonrefundable."
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Old Sep 14, 02, 5:53 pm
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My sources in Delta's headquarters have told me that the plan is as follows: If you want to fly standby after 1/1/03, you must pay $100 to get on the syandby list. If you clear, Delta keeps the money. If you don't clear, you get a refund. Maybe you have to ask for the refund (that part isn't clear), but you do get it one way or another.

I still object to this fee. Delta could provide a seat on an earlier flight at no cost whatsoever -- in fact, doing so has the potential to benefit Delta. Refusing to do so is just mean-spirited.

Maybe the public's overwhelmingly negative reaction (see The Ticket) will cause the airlines to rethink this one.

Bruce
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Old Sep 14, 02, 8:21 pm
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"While a passenger may have the impression they are giving the seat back to Delta, it is basically worthless when they give it back because we have virtually no opportunity to re-sell it.

Based on the lost revenue we realize when customers standby, we feel that the new fee is a reasonable charge and far less expensive than the alternative of purchasing a full-fare ticket with no restrictions when travel plans change at the last minute."



(DL's official explanation for "The Ticket".)



[This message has been edited by fannin (edited 09-14-2002).]
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Old Sep 14, 02, 8:37 pm
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In fact, if Delta is losing any revenue, the loss is attributable to Delta's failure to sell the seat on the earlier flight -- for which the passenger flying standby has NO responsibility. This passenger has given Delta revenue for a seat already. What does Delta care if he or she takes an empty seat on an earlier flight? At least Delta has a chance to make some use of the seat that the passenger is giving up.

Needless to say (although I'll say it, anyway), Delta's explanation of this proposed new fee does not withstand ordinary scrutiny.

Bruce
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Old Sep 14, 02, 9:24 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by bdschobel:
This passenger has given Delta revenue for a seat already. What does Delta care if he or she takes an empty seat on an earlier flight? At least Delta has a chance to make some use of the seat that the passenger is giving up.
Bruce
</font>
If you have a reservation at a restaurant for 8PM and show up at 7PM, would anybody playing with a full deck refuse you a table if one was available and there wasn't a reservation holding it?

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Old Sep 15, 02, 12:05 am
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They may not be able to re-sell the seat, but
the vacated seat can be used for mis-connects, mitigation of oversells, accomodation for weather/mechanical delays and lastly, for NRSAs. The EMPTY seat that would have otherwise departed certainly would have gained them ZERO!

[This message has been edited by RobertS975 (edited 09-14-2002).]
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Old Sep 15, 02, 6:50 am
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Rssrsvp,

Your restaurant analogy is perfect! The fact that nobody is using the table at 7 p.m. is not the responsibility of the person who reserved for 8 p.m. And if that person agrees to take the empty table at 7 p.m., the restaurant can't lose. The 8 p.m. revenue is shifted to 7 p.m. And the restuarant might be able to take an extra customer at 8 p.m., so they might actually come out ahead.

Delta's explanation that they lose money by letting customers fly standby early just doesn't hold up. How can this be true?

Bruce
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Old Sep 15, 02, 7:10 am
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Though I highly DL is going to listen as I sure this was debated internally on both sides... I have to add/agree just out of principle.

The empty seat leaving the gate can NEVER EVER be resold. The empty seat two hours from now might be sold or used. Granted it may well not be, but there is a chance.

To repeat myself, the seat leaving the gate on the earlier flight will NEVER be sold.
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Old Sep 15, 02, 7:12 am
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Though I do not agree with Delta's new ruling, I checked out Southwest's site. If you book any fare other than full fare, you get the following rule:

"Standby travel requires an upgrade to the full unrestricted fare"

I have no idea how this works in practice, but I have seen the signs at the airport and did try once and got that response.
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Old Sep 15, 02, 8:31 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by NoStressHere:

Though I do not agree with Delta's new ruling, I checked out Southwest's site. If you book any fare other than full fare, you get the following rule:

"Standby travel requires an upgrade to the full unrestricted fare"

I have no idea how this works in practice, but I have seen the signs at the airport and did try once and got that response.
</font>
Southwest's pricing structure and policies are such that tickets have no value except for the flight taken (although you can standby for a LATER flight for free...) and they are nonchangeable, generally nonrefundable (except full-fare), and their full-fare are about 10-30% those of other major airlines. They are what you call a discount carrier, and their policies shouldn't really be compared to a major carrier.
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Old Sep 15, 02, 9:13 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Robert Leach:
I get dizzy reading the fine print of the new rules, but I think (key word is "think" as opposed to knowing for sure) that there is a disclaimer in the rules that for the return leg of a trip you can still change it for the $100 fee like we have done in the past. I may be wrong.</font>
that's certainly how i read the rule:

III.AFTER DEPARTURE FROM TKT ORIGIN-AND/PRIOR TO DEPARTURE DATE OF EACH FLIGHT COUPON CHG TO CONTINUING/RETURN FLIGHT WITH NO CHG TO ORIGIN/ DESTINATION OR STOPOVERS. A. CHANGES TO CONTINUING/RETURN FLIGHTS AND TKT REISSUANCE MAY BE AT ANY TIME FOR THE CHG FEE WITHOUT REGARD TO THE ADVANCE RSVN REQUIREMENT PROVIDED THE CHG MEETS ALL OTHER FARE RULES.

so, as long as you call the day before your *return* flight leaves, you can change the return flight, without regard to the advance purchase requirement, as long as inventory is available and you're still meeting the min/max stay, day/time limits, etc.
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Old Sep 15, 02, 9:42 am
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The restaurant analogy was pretty darn good, although I will wait for the apologists to come up with the difference.

And thanx for clearly pointing out the difference between WN's policy and DL's proposed policy. The notion of "full fare" is so completely different--to Southwest it is a minor surcharge, to Delta it is a massive change in price, almost always 100% greater in the East and 200% to 400% in the West.

And yes, an empty seat later in the day does have value. Accomodating passengers who standby earlier leaves the seats free for the myriad of things that happen: missed connections involving any of the inbound or outbound flight crews, cabin crews or machines, weather, other airline problems involving rebookings, getting the luggage moving when there is certain space for it...and finally, it allows yet another group of people downstreram to standby for YOUR booked space.

My most important reason against this is the MASSIVE and BLOCKLIKE nature of the change. Thirty days ago we were opeating under a standby system that was decades old. Now the three largest US carriers have a brand-new system that it utterly different.....complete with pious justifications about why this is the way it "should" be. It is almost Orwellian newthink.

The idea of change fees is a decent counterpoint. The initial fees were modest, often waived, and then raised in stages as the airlines thought the market would bear them. But these jacked-up standby and inflexible discount tickets, all done at once, are unreasonable. The market will speak.

This traveller will nurse along his 2002 DL segments to reach a suitable award plateau, as insurance if these restrictions are lifted. But I am thinking hard: picked up an AirTran schedule last night......booked NW recently for a flight to DTW to cover at least Silver with them.



[This message has been edited by Justin026 (edited 09-15-2002).]
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Old Sep 15, 02, 9:48 am
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i raised the restaurant analogy, and one i liked even better--the dentist's office--in one of diesel's threads. the excuse for not accepting them was that reservations/appointments are not prepaid, and are therefore different.

anyway, at the dentist's office:

- if you don't show up, they charge a no show fee. (use it, change it, or lose it)

- if you show up early, and they have space, they'll take you. gladly. always nice to open a later slot in case of a dental emergency.

- they maintain a standby list! when someone cancels, they'll call me and ask if i'd like an earlier appointment. this is a free service, offered because it's better to use a time slot than to have it go empty.
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Old Sep 15, 02, 11:33 am
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BDSchobel - regarding standby fee being refundable all information we have received states that the 100.00$ is NON refundable!
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