Standby Change Fee Logic?

 
Old Sep 20, 02, 11:54 am
  #1  
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Standby Change Fee Logic?

Last night I was on Delta Flight 196 (redeye) LAX/ATL. This is a 757 Flight, there were 78 people on stand-by. Seventy Eight! I would guess the main reason is that there is another redeye flight 30 minutes later and people who got there early figured, what the heck, let's try it.

They were late loading baggage, late departure.

IMHO, the $100.00 will put an end to this type of nonsense. It has to take another staffer just to hand that many inquiries.

Here is a case where it DOES make sense. Charge the hundred bucks and find out who REALLY does want to get home early.
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Old Sep 20, 02, 12:21 pm
  #2  
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The gate agent should be able to close the standby list at a reasonable time before departure in order to process standbys and not delay the flight. This would be more logical than charging $100.
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Old Sep 20, 02, 12:35 pm
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If the number of people on a standby list gets excessive, Delta should be able to close the list. One flight I remember the agent told me there were already 21 people on the list, and certainly didn't make any offer to put me on the list even if the odds of me getting on were slim (of course it was my first fly as a new PM, and I didn't realize that if I was added to the list I probably would have moved to the top).

If there were that many people wanting to get on the standby list such that it was delaying ticketed passengers from checkin in, then Delta could have said, "All ticketed passengers go to agent 1, all those wishing to standby to go agent 2)." They also could have said that, "For now, only Medallions wishing to be put on the standby list should approach the counter."

You didn't mention how many ticketed passengers there were for the flight. If there were only 10 non-ticketed seats, then listing 78 people for standby is a bit ridiculous. If there were 50 seats free, or the flight has a history of a hihg no-show rate, than 78 standby's may not be that far fetched.

In any case there are better ways to deal with the passengers (some mentioned above) than to make them pay for standby travel. You need to remmeber that for this flight, there are probably hundreds more where standby space isn't a problem, and doesn't inconvenience any ticker passengers for that flight. The $100 fee does change that though.

Jeff
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Old Sep 20, 02, 12:38 pm
  #4  
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What if the second flight was overbooked or gets cancelled? Delta should fly as many people as possible on the earlier flight. It's in their own best interests. Never mind what the passengers want.

Bruce
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Old Sep 20, 02, 12:47 pm
  #5  
 
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I think the issue is one of increasing efficiency rather than creating an artificial financial barrier. Increased efficiency (some of the ideas mentioned here are excellent, by the way) benefits every one. Increasing costs cuts both ways. It may appear help the company's bottom line and it certainly will minimize standbys but in the long run it will decrease system flexibility and chase loyal pax away to friendlier sky's.
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Old Sep 20, 02, 1:00 pm
  #6  
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I would be willing to bet that the issue lies with peopel booking a cheap non-peak flight late in the day and standing by on a more expensive peak flight. This is the logic used by the majors in instituting the $100 standby fee rule. While I find it irritating, I don't have a major beef with charging this fee. Of course they may change their tune when the first winter storm hits.
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Old Sep 20, 02, 1:01 pm
  #7  
 
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I really would have liked to have heard the arguemnets by Delta management on this fee. Was it something they had been looking at for a while, but were afraid to implement because they would have been the only airline doing it? Or, did no one even think about it until the USAirways announcement, and then they had to decide how to respond to it?

The sad thing is Delta was the last one to implement the change, so they very easily could have not changed their fee's, and instead promoted that heavily to disgruntled flyers from other airlines. I'd expect there was a fair amount of standby travel before the announcement (when it was free), I wouldn't think that there would be that many people who wanted/needed to spend the $100 that you need to now.

It seems on the surface that if Delta could have picked up just one new flying passenger, it would make up for at least 1-2 standby fee's change they otherwise would have changed.

Jeff
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Old Sep 20, 02, 1:18 pm
  #8  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by underpressure:
Last night I was on Delta Flight 196 (redeye) LAX/ATL. This is a 757 Flight, there were 78 people on stand-by. Seventy Eight! I would guess the main reason is that there is another redeye flight 30 minutes later and people who got there early figured, what the heck, let's try it.

They were late loading baggage, late departure.

IMHO, the $100.00 will put an end to this type of nonsense. It has to take another staffer just to hand that many inquiries.

Here is a case where it DOES make sense. Charge the hundred bucks and find out who REALLY does want to get home early.
</font>
DL 196 is a 767-400, so if you flew a 757, those "standby's" could have been ticket-holders being shoe-horned into a smaller plane due to equipment change.

Any chance?

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Old Sep 20, 02, 1:39 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jwhite4:
I really would have liked to have heard the arguemnets by Delta management on this fee. Was it something they had been looking at for a while, but were afraid to implement because they would have been the only airline doing it? Or, did no one even think about it until the USAirways announcement, and then they had to decide how to respond to it?

The sad thing is Delta was the last one to implement the change, so they very easily could have not changed their fee's, and instead promoted that heavily to disgruntled flyers from other airlines. I'd expect there was a fair amount of standby travel before the announcement (when it was free), I wouldn't think that there would be that many people who wanted/needed to spend the $100 that you need to now.

It seems on the surface that if Delta could have picked up just one new flying passenger, it would make up for at least 1-2 standby fee's change they otherwise would have changed.

Jeff
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And if DL had resisted following the lemmings off the cliff, there would have been major corporations that would have shifted to DL for their travel needs. It was alrerady happening when DL decided to follow...

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Old Sep 20, 02, 3:27 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by jwhite4:
I really would have liked to have heard the arguemnets by Delta management on this fee. Was it something they had been looking at for a while, but were afraid to implement because they would have been the only airline doing it? Or, did no one even think about it until the USAirways announcement, and then they had to decide how to respond to it?

The sad thing is Delta was the last one to implement the change, so they very easily could have not changed their fee's, and instead promoted that heavily to disgruntled flyers from other airlines. I'd expect there was a fair amount of standby travel before the announcement (when it was free), I wouldn't think that there would be that many people who wanted/needed to spend the $100 that you need to now.

It seems on the surface that if Delta could have picked up just one new flying passenger, it would make up for at least 1-2 standby fee's change they otherwise would have changed.

Jeff
</font>
I still contend that the $100,00 standby fee will be dropped by January. Then Uncle Leo, AKA Dr. Evil, still gets his massive fare increase by sticking it to us (and our companies) with the fully non refundable non cancellable fares.

How many unused tickets, or portions of tickets, will be burned by us while Dr. Evil resells our seats?????????

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum21/HTML/007316.html

[This message has been edited by mikey1003 (edited 09-20-2002).]
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Old Sep 20, 02, 4:30 pm
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To echo fannin's comment.......the original poster had the wrong type of plane.......also the timetable shows the next flight following 90 minutes later and not 30 minutes as was said.

If these relevant facts are wrong, how much of the rest that we read in the post is right?

I have flown redeyes LAX to ATL many times, with the following observations:

1.It is often heavy with airline employee standbys.

2. LAX often makes awful work of the boarding process in general........there is always extra drama in the holdroom

3. Bear in mind that this is the first eastbound flight to ATL since THREE PM; in those seven hours a host of people could have migrated onto a standby list from other carrier problems at LAX or their own hubs, misconnects from Asia from other carriers to Delta, or a scrubbed Delta flight to DFW or CVG.

A quick check of the ITA site shows that upgradeable RT fares seem to be in the range of $450 or so for K-type seats; the inventories of these seats seem abundant for the 10:25 OR the 11:55. (And I assume they were on the evening in question, if they actually sat 78 standbys on the earlier flight). I do agree L inventory seems to vary between the two flights out at the 14 day mark, even then the difference in fare is less than $40 each way between K (abundant on the earlier flight) and L. The people on this board won't bite at that, lose any hope of the upgrade, and then try to standby, would they? Forty bucks for a transcon?

[This message has been edited by Justin026 (edited 09-20-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Justin026 (edited 09-20-2002).]
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Old Sep 21, 02, 11:58 am
  #12  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Justin026:

LAX often makes awful work of the boarding process in general...
</font>
Agreed. Several of the LAX GA's are among the very worst in the DL system, IMHO.

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Old Sep 21, 02, 12:34 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by gilpin:
Agreed. Several of the LAX GA's are among the very worst in the DL system, IMHO.

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Interesting! Whenever I have made a complex reservation with SMS only to discover that it has been done all wrong, sure enough it is the LAX reservation center that did the messin' up!
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Old Sep 21, 02, 12:58 pm
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Just to address the title of this thread. It's clear to me that the "logic" of this fee is to exact a penalty, not to recover damages for pecuniary harm caused to DL as a result of the change.

My understanding of general contract law was that "liquidated damages" (a pre-determined compensation among) were permitted only as a reasonable estimate of loss. A "penalty" is not permitted.

(Of course, try lugging "Farnsworth on Contracts" to the podium for an in-depth discussion with the gate agent....)
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Old Sep 21, 02, 1:12 pm
  #15  
 
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I am not sure Delta views it as a penalty or as liquidated damages. They see it as a fee, or sales revenue. They made quite a point in their annual report about 5 yrs ago emphasizing that change fees were a source of growth revenue for them.

The only issue is whether we are willing to pay it. I vote "no," and I think the ground will move beneath their feet in January.
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