Emirates over rated?

Old Oct 4, 15, 12:42 pm
  #76  
 
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Emirates FAILED to deliver its PROMISE to ME

Let's be clear here, 10KWD is 33USD at today's rates...
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Old Oct 4, 15, 1:35 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
I wish to place on record my respect for all those fellow members who have shown such admirable patience in taking the time to reiterate the very basics of commercial air travel ; the sort of basics (law of supply & demand, no divine right to any specific seat number, upgrade availability changes by the minute (let alone by the hour/day) .......etc etc....) which really shouldn't need explaining to anyone who has flown anywhere near as much as the OP claims to have done.

And ....... a special mention to eternaltransit. Your detailed response (post #11) is above & beyond the call of duty ^
You are right! I have to give credit where credit is due and I sincerely appreciate your patience & feedback folks I must admit that the members I respect most on this forum are subject2load, eternaltransit, and m3red. While I may not completely agree with your opinions and feedback, however, I do take your feedback seriously and sometimes tend to act on such feedback on my future flights. Now let’s clear up some misunderstandings here shall we?

Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
The rest of your complaint is really based on the idea you seem to have in your mind of EK promising you something, whereas actually that is not the case. For instance, where there is married segment upgrade availability, that is what they are showing you at that very moment

……. Unfortunately, when you went to the airport, onward availability ex-DXB for upgrades (D class) had gone
Many of the readers here clearly misunderstood my statement, which was: “When I arrived at the airport, I was shocked that the check-in agent was unable to process my upgrade for the entire journey, and could only upgrade my flight from KUL – DXB”

What I’m trying to explain here is that it was not the fact that there were no available seats for my sector from DXB – KWI, but the fact that the check-in agent had no authority to upgrade me on that sector. He told me that he can only upgrade me to my next destination (in this case KUL – DXB.) He also told me that this rule applies globally to all EK check-in counters (for example I will fly from KWI – HKG. Upon check-in at KWI airport I can only upgrade my flight to J from KWI – DXB, but not for my entire journey to HKG! For my journey to HKG I must upgrade at DXB and not KWI!) Finally, the check-in agent did inform me I can upgrade my flight to J from DXB – KWI, but I must do it when I land in DXB since the agent had no authority to issue me the upgrade from DXB – KWI at the check-in counter, despite calling EK office

This is completely unacceptable. How can the EK call center upgrade me all the way from KUL – KWI but the check-in has no authority to do so? Why did the system not allow me to upgrade for my entire journey despite having seats available? Can some one please explain this to me?

Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
So really, your own expectations (e.g. feeling that EK promised you something when they actually didn't, and then compounding your own error by refusing to take an upgrade when it was available) have really conspired to anger you, rather than I think any external party...
Again, upon booking my flight online the airline promised I could upgrade my entire journey to J class for 40,500 (this is in the contract BEFORE I purchase my ticket,) and promised me that I could do it online. On my departure day, neither was I able to upgrade my entire journey online nor upgrade my entire journey to J class upon check-in, hence the airline failed to deliver its promise of 40,500 miles upgrade to J class to me.

Am I missing something here? My issue has nothing to do with availability, but with check-in upgrade authority....

Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
Non-serious reply

Did you check to see if lotion has returned to the J lavatories? I did spy a small tube of it on my last flight...
I did, but was disappointed to have found only 2 types of cologne in the J lavatory as opposed to my precious hand lotion
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Old Oct 4, 15, 1:44 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
...so I think there's a back-end issue here.
As in talking out of ones back-end???
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:30 pm
  #79  
 
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For me Emirates is great value why .... whether in Y J or F its "3 movies to Dubai" starting for when you get into the seat and normally there are 3 movies I want to watch even better when I travel out in one month and return the next so that there are some more movies to watch!

Last edited by Kaid; Oct 4, 15 at 3:33 pm
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
Many of the readers here clearly misunderstood my statement, which was: “When I arrived at the airport, I was shocked that the check-in agent was unable to process my upgrade for the entire journey, and could only upgrade my flight from KUL – DXB”

What I’m trying to explain here is that it was not the fact that there were no available seats for my sector from DXB – KWI, but the fact that the check-in agent had no authority to upgrade me on that sector. He told me that he can only upgrade me to my next destination (in this case KUL – DXB.) He also told me that this rule applies globally to all EK check-in counters (for example I will fly from KWI – HKG. Upon check-in at KWI airport I can only upgrade my flight to J from KWI – DXB, but not for my entire journey to HKG! For my journey to HKG I must upgrade at DXB and not KWI!) Finally, the check-in agent did inform me I can upgrade my flight to J from DXB – KWI, but I must do it when I land in DXB since the agent had no authority to issue me the upgrade from DXB – KWI at the check-in counter, despite calling EK office

This is completely unacceptable. How can the EK call center upgrade me all the way from KUL – KWI but the check-in has no authority to do so? Why did the system not allow me to upgrade for my entire journey despite having seats available? Can some one please explain this to me?
Check-in agents are correct in that they can only do things regarding their station - they aren't allowed access to any flights at other stations: only ticketing offices, or lounges, or really EK-owned facilities with online EK system access can do that.

When you are upgrading at the airport, what has happened is that load control and the manifest for that particular flight has now been passed to the control of the station itself, which means any changes (so new bookings, new upgrades, new cargo etc.) eventually go through the load controller on the day who will approve/deny based on their needs.

Of course, the average passenger never sees any of this - upgrades are processed as normal through the website, or through the call centers. However behind-the-scenes, each flight, 24-48 hours before departure, a member of staff at the station is actively monitoring the flight to make sure revenue is maximised and loads are acceptable.

Most outstations have contracted staff who wear EK uniforms - they are not EK employees and as such will not have access to all EK systems. The call center, and other ticketing offices, however, have access to the entire EK booking system (and are actual full time EK staff) and indeed their systems are the EK management system itself, rather than the check-in system which plugs into that. That's why when you do a check-in time upgrade, it's space-available, and only applicable to the sector departing that station. The discounted married segment upgrade cost (aka 2x D class tickets) was no longer available for sale - you would have had to ask a ticketing office or the call center who could check for you. It is likely that internally, once control is passed to the airport, all redemption fare classes are closed, and the controller flags up space-available upgrades (which don't come out of a certain fare bucket, but are flagged as AWUP - award upgrade instead). A subtle, but important difference.


Again, upon booking my flight online the airline promised I could upgrade my entire journey to J class for 40,500 (this is in the contract BEFORE I purchase my ticket,) and promised me that I could do it online. On my departure day, neither was I able to upgrade my entire journey online nor upgrade my entire journey to J class upon check-in, hence the airline failed to deliver its promise of 40,500 miles upgrade to J class to me.

Am I missing something here? My issue has nothing to do with availability, but with check-in upgrade authority....
There was no promise that the offer for 40500 miles would be available forever - all airline availability changes and is on a first come first served basis. You called, it was still available to process: but you didn't decide to do it then. Hours later, the seats were no longer available at that price. This is exactly the same as a flight getting more full costing more. There is a reason that EK can charge money for "fare holds".

The issue is not availability per se, but rather a mismatch between your perception of the obligations that EK have to you (which are, upon reading the contract of carriage and all the terms and conditions of purchasing and upgrades etc.) and the reality of your relationship with EK, imho...
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:36 pm
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Originally Posted by aceboy44 View Post
This is completely unacceptable. How can the EK call center upgrade me all the way from KUL KWI but the check-in has no authority to do so? Why did the system not allow me to upgrade for my entire journey despite having seats available? Can some one please explain this to me?



Again, upon booking my flight online the airline promised I could upgrade my entire journey to J class for 40,500 (this is in the contract BEFORE I purchase my ticket,) and promised me that I could do it online. On my departure day, neither was I able to upgrade my entire journey online nor upgrade my entire journey to J class upon check-in, hence the airline failed to deliver its promise of 40,500 miles upgrade to J class to me.

Am I missing something here? My issue has nothing to do with availability, but with check-in upgrade authority....
This has something to do with timing. Had you made the decision to upgrade earlier via the call centre you could have done so (I think you refused the option as someone may have been sitting close to you - which may explain why the bar is a difficult experience for you); however closer to departure (I think around 24 hrs) control of seating passes to the airport of origin and as such decisons about upgrades etc are taken locally. This means that at check-in you can only upgrade that sector if seats are available, the next sector is already under the control of the airport of departure of that sector and seats may only be released when you get there.

In any event EK only offer you the opportunity to upgrade if space is available at the time - they do not 'promise' that space will be available when you finally decide you want to take it.

Anyway all academic now as you are off to QR - hope their hand lotion is all you could want
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:38 pm
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Shucks- ET got there before me
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:42 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by coliseum View Post
This is my first post on flyertalk and I cannot believe I actually read this whole Drama. I thought it was something that I could benefit from... oh well!
This post should tell you all you need to know about the over-entitled OP: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ocean...w-zealand.html

Last edited by UA1K_no_more; Oct 4, 15 at 2:47 pm
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Old Oct 4, 15, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by pomkiwi View Post
Shucks- ET got there before me
Sorry, it's been a very slow Sunday...
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Old Oct 4, 15, 3:26 pm
  #85  
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I just flew AKL - DXB - CPT return and couldn't help noticing the general air of humour/relief among the crew. Eventually I asked one of them and she couldn't help a smile as she told me they'd received an all-staff e-mail that aceboy had gone for good. She then tripped off giggling to the galley...
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Old Oct 4, 15, 3:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Nickolash27 View Post
I just flew AKL - DXB - CPT return and couldn't help noticing the general air of humour/relief among the crew. Eventually I asked one of them and she couldn't help a smile as she told me they'd received an all-staff e-mail that aceboy had gone for good. She then tripped off giggling to the galley...
^

Great news. I wonder which new destination they will announce to celebrate the occasion.
Meanwhile, QR executive management has gathered for an emergency meeting to quickly find a supplier for the "Temper Tantrum Handling Kit". Perhaps EK is willing to sell some of their kits since they won't need as many in the future.

Last edited by UA1K_no_more; Oct 4, 15 at 4:12 pm
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Old Oct 4, 15, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
Check-in agents are correct in that they can only do things regarding their station - they aren't allowed access to any flights at other stations: only ticketing offices, or lounges, or really EK-owned facilities with online EK system access can do that....
I'm not chiming in on the merit or non-merit of aceboy's OP. But there is an interesting point here, that often an airline's systems and procedures, as important as they are to the operation of the airline, don't make sense to a passenger calling in to a call center, or standing at an airline counter trying to get something resolved or changed. We've all been in that situation, saying to an airline employee "It just doesn't make sense." I had an award flight on CX this year from BJS to JFK via HKG where my BJS to HKG flight was cancelled and I ended up with a 2 hour earlier flight from BJS to HKG (not because I was notified by CX of the cancel and reaccommodated, but because I happened to catch it with a last minute flight check on my way to the airport). So I arrived in HKG two hours earlier and asked if I could catch the earlier flight to JFK (which had open F seats.) Not possible, because I was on an award ticket. It was one of those "It doesn't make sense" moments. So I spent 5 hours in the HKG airport rather than 3. Same experiences on every other carrier. Why can't you change the connecting origin flight on an SQ SGN/SIN/JFK award ticket to HAN/SIN/JFK if HAN-SIN is available in award space? The answer is married segments, but it "Doesn't make sense."

Every airline should have a "Department of Common Sense", accessible to both front line agents and customers, that can override procedures in the name of 'common sense'. Systems are important, but so is common sense. Airlines, even the ones regarded as premium', are sorely lacking is that department. If you can't make a common sense accommodation for a passenger, give a reason that makes sense. Caviar and Krug and Dom are great. But the true yardstick for customer service is whether airlines handle situations with common sense or bureaucratic babble. Using that yardstick, I'd actually give AA and DL higher marks than EK or CX. (OK, i hear the incoming fire.) But honestly, I think the American carriers (except UA) empower their front line agents, and give them more flexibility, to solve a problem than their Asian and middle eastern counterparts. Or maybe the US airline front line poeple aren't as beholden to authority or procedures. But when I've been in a tough spot, I've seen some of those old hand AA or DL agents work magic in ways that I can't imagine an EK, CX or SQ agent doing.

Last edited by rgdave; Oct 4, 15 at 7:25 pm
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Old Oct 4, 15, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by rgdave View Post
I'm not chiming in on the merit or non-merit of aceboy's OP. But there is an interesting point here, that often an airline's systems and procedures, as important as they are to the operation of the airline, don't make sense to a passenger calling in to a call center, or standing at an airline counter trying to get something resolved or changed. We've all been in that situation, saying to an airline employee "It just doesn't make sense." I had an award flight on CX this year from BJS to JFK via HKG where my BJS to HKG flight was cancelled and I ended up with a 2 hour earlier flight from BJS to HKG (not because I was notified by CX of the cancel and reaccommodated, but because I happened to catch it with a last minute flight check on my way to the airport). So I arrived in HKG two hours earlier and asked if I could catch the earlier flight to JFK (which had open F seats.) Not possible, because I was on an award ticket. It was one of those "It doesn't make sense" moments. So I spent 5 hours in the HKG airport rather than 3. Same experiences on every other carrier. Why can't you change the connecting origin flight on an SQ SGN/SIN/JFK award ticket to HAN/SIN/JFK if HAN-SIN is available in award space? The answer is married segments, but it "Doesn't make sense."

Every airline should have a "Department of Common Sense", accessible to both front line agents and customers, that can override procedures in the name of 'common sense'. Systems are important, but so is common sense. Airlines, even the ones regarded as premium', are sorely lacking is that department. If you can't make a common sense accommodation for a passenger, give a reason that makes sense. Caviar and Krug and Dom are great. But the true yardstick for customer service is whether airlines handle situations with common sense or bureaucratic babble. Using that yardstick, I'd actually give AA and DL higher marks than EK or CX. (OK, i hear the incoming fire.) But honestly, I think the American carriers (except UA) empower their front line agents, and give them more flexibility, to solve a problem than their Asian and middle eastern counterparts. Or maybe the US airline front line poeple aren't as beholden to authority or procedures. But when I've been in a tough spot, I've seen some of those old hand AA or DL agents work magic in ways that I can't imagine an EK, CX or SQ agent doing.
I totally sympathise with your point of view about resolving issues - especially if I put my customer hat on for a moment. As customers, we all want, at a minimum, what we pay for, reasonably delivered - and I don't think we should expect anything less.

We've got to be specific and separate out the response of an airline when something goes horribly wrong and we get less than what we agreed on (i.e. service recovery), and when one receives exactly what one has paid for, to the letter, which is not in line with what we think (to our point of view) is reasonable - which in my experience in the hospitality industry, is when you get the most contentious arguments between customers and suppliers.

Service recovery of course should be a test of customer service of any hospitality business. I have found every airline I have flown on regularly to be quite variable at this - indeed most businesses I have a longer relationship have had their ups and downs. I find EK, CX and SQ to be pretty average when it comes to them fixing their mistakes, either through compensation or making alternative arrangements. It's not 100% all the time, but I'm a jaded enough traveller to not expect 100% from any airline. The success rate is acceptable to me.

However - in your examples, what we're looking at is a situation where a customer is asking you (the airline) to do the customer a favor. Let me put my supplier hat on for a moment. The hospitality industry is a rather interesting business - you're selling the illusion of special treatment of a commodity (to you) product; indeed you are often selling the same product at the same time to different people at different price points.

At times it might seem rather unfair and unethical, but the name of the game is maximising the value of your asset (e.g. rooms in your hotel, or filling your aircraft with passengers and cargo). You are there to make money (let's not reopen that whole debate about EK!) - which means extracting maximum money you can from customers.

The difficulty is, you can never admit this, because you are trying to be hospitable. You have a marketing department to set expectations, revenue managers to extract maximum cash, service staff to make your customers feel as if they are special and their money is well spent (even though someone has paid x more or less for the same thing!) and have invested a lot of capital in the hard product.

So when it comes to something like married segments, there is a choice - do you come clean with customers and say: "I'm sorry we can't move your flight because we would rather sell it to someone else who will pay more than you" or do you simply say "our system won't allow it". Both are bad - but I'd wager one answer would do more to irritate than the other. Neither are outright lies, which is not what you want your staff to be telling!

This can be found in all parts of the customer facing operation - you are constantly trying to balance the perception that you're trying to engender in each customer that they are truly valued and special, with the reality that some customers are much better than others, and if you gave every customer everything they ever wanted, you'd go out of business quickly.

Let's take two quick examples: one is on EK, where special offer upgrades via email aren't eligible for lounge access. It seems churlish and I would say "doesn't make sense" - if you are paying for business, why can't you access the lounge like anyone else. The answer from EK's hidden point of view is: "we were desperate to extract extra money from you as we have lots of unsold J space/want to sell your Y seat for full fare to someone else, but we also don't want to pay for your lounge space" or "the lounge at this station is quite small, we don't want it to get busy so the customers who spent more than you feel bad".

So what do you do - market the thing as a very special offer with lots of restrictions. Doesn't stop people complaining loudly at the lounges though!

Another one is this - on US carriers, there is a history of giving elite FFP members complimentary upgrades. This got so ingrained into the psyche of the frequent travelling public in the US that this behaviour had to be incorporated into future fleet planning and cabin outfit capital budgets. If no one was going to pay for F, why bother having a good premium product. Which made no one purchase premium class. Rinse, repeat.

It's only very very recently that US carriers have started to reinvest in their premium products - on a few routes (AA 77W for instance). What started out as a solution to "it doesn't make sense that you'd fly a plane empty" put US carriers at a disadvantage in the markets where there was latent premium demand (i.e. internationally).

So really - from a supplier's point of view, having systems and procedures have an additional use: to protect customers from recognising the reality that they are really just another number in a database somewhere, and that the vast majority of customers are not special or critical to the airline at all, and that it is too costly to go "above and beyond" for everyone all the time.

One of course could argue that to do this for a long period of time will eventually cause all your customers to leave and then you go bust - but it seems that the airlines manage to survive even with battered reputations
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Old Oct 4, 15, 9:36 pm
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eternaltranit, thanks for such a thoughtful, reasoned and thought provoking resonse to my last post. It's something I find so refreshing on FT, when there's a thought provoking comment that doesn't degenerate into flaming.

You raise a very interesting point, that every day, there are hundreds of thousands of passengers that, to the airlines, are little more than revenue data points. To each airline, we have sort of like a FICO score, in terms of our revenue potential. If you're a super platinum loyal to a single airline, you have an 890 score and get better treatment. Every airline has overrides for those flyers. But the vast majority of passengers don't have high flyer FICOs, and that's the challenge, particularly for airlines that promote themselves as premium, and can lead to a wide expectation gap.

I'm an airline agnostic. I don't have strong airline loyalty (maybe my bad). My revenue flights tends to be coach/low categories, while my award redemptions are premium. I'm an independent business person who pays for my own travel, but I still drop a good amount of change every year on airline travel. I'm am FT groupie who works every angle. For example, if I'm paying to fly coach on a long haul flight, I'll pick an airline that gives me an opportunity to bet an an upgrade through Optiontown or an airline bid system over one that doesn't, or an airline like Alitalia that has attractive awards upgrades. I'm that weird " free agent" that has $20 or $25 thousand a year in airline revenue up for grabs, but with varying travel patterns that don't fit placing all my chips on red or black.

I understand revenue management decisions about pricing. But in a lot of cases the decisions aren't directly about revenue management, but about inflexible policies and procedures. In the case of my CX flight from HKG to JFK (which, by the way, my longer layover was the result of CX's actions, not mine), moving me from the later flight to the earlier flight would have been revenue neutral. Three hours prior to departure, it's highly unlikely they're selling another revenue F seat. And given CX's tight upgrade policies, unlikely they're holding seats out to upgrade J pax, either. That seat likely went out empty, not because of anything revenue related, but because of an internal policy. And I sat for an extra couple of hours in the HKG airport. Likewise, on an upcoming SQ res, I'm already holding the filet mignon part of the itinerary, SIN/FRA/JFK in suites; the connectors SGN/SIN or HAN/SIN is the hamburg or sirloin, and it's probably revenue neutal for SQ to shift my connector (both flights have plenty of J award space to SIN). This is what I mean by common sense.

So in aceboy's case, what I think is the frustrating aspect, is that the EK agent at the origin station, if they don't have the ability to clear to upgrade for the continuing ex-DXB flight, why can't they pick up the phone and call to some central EK number, to clear the upgrade for the ex-DXB flight, and issue the boarding passes? If you market yourself as a premium carrier, then your internal systems aren't the passenger's problem. Figure it out. It's not rocket science. If they're contract staff rather than EK, again it's not the customer's problem. Especially if a passenger is flying in a premium cabin, pick up the phone and get it dealt with, if the computer terminal in front of you can't deal with it.

Why do we have to replay this situation, over and over again, of having to HUCA (hang up call again), or trolling FT for the hidden numbers for specific off shore call centers (with supposedly 'better' staff to deal with issues), or having to call US call centers while sitting on planes delayed at PVG or NRT because of clueless outstation personnel? This isn't an EK issue, but a global airline one.
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Old Oct 4, 15, 10:00 pm
  #90  
 
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Your example about an upgrade without lounge access I don't find churlish, as along as it's stated upfront. Offer me an upgrade for $400 ( or whatever) , without lounge access and no reward points for the higher class of service, and I can make my take or no take decision based on that. (But do I at least get priority check in and security clearance?) Anytime you go below 'full retail price', it's fair for either side to negotiate the details. But this isn't a "common sense" issue. It's a negotiated value issue, of what is the value to each party. With my SQ SGN/SIN/JFK versus HAN/SIN/JFK example, if there'e an actual value difference, give me a price and let me decide.
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