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It was my fault: I was the guy trying to get 25k miles

It was my fault: I was the guy trying to get 25k miles

Old Jan 15, 07, 7:23 pm
  #1  
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It was my fault: I was the guy trying to get 25k miles

first, let me say that i agree with everyone that was angry with me yesterday.

to take advantage of american's ord promo - i flew 2 RTs DFW-ORD over the weekend. joined by many others, i was doing what a lot of us here would do. in fact, at least 5/18 seats in F Saturday night ord-dfw were making the same day RT.

as most of you know the weather was bad in chicago and worse in dallas this weekend. half of the dfw-ord and ord-dfw flights were cancelled - which seemed to fit with other dfw flights - cancel half and fly half.

granted i didn't know the weather was going to be bad a month ago when i booked my $118 RT fare ($98++), but me wasting a seat on 4 flights was not received very well. again, i understand why the FAs would think my quest for 25k miles (over 3 flights) was rather dumb given the circumstances. at least 72 people were standby for the last flight - trying to get to dallas after being stuck in chicago for who knows how long. one lady i spoke to arrived at ord while i was at yoga in dallas that morning. she waited all day to get to dallas - enough time for me to go home from yoga, shower, go to church, fly to chicago, wait and then fly home on the same flight.

in situations like this, i wonder why the airlines don't let pax pay and not fly. yesterday they could have sold all of the mileage runners seats twice and accommodated a few more people. i know this question gets raised quite often, but is it that important for a person to actually be on the flight.

i talked to skydiver about this saturday and sunday, and while we agreed that this would dilute status - especially exp, there are situations where it costs LOTS of money for AA to allow you to take up time, space, food, etc. while having to bend over backwards to assist other passengers.

i felt BAD about taking up seats and forcing people to miss the flight.

apparently the FAs weren't happy either. i don't think it was necessarily intentional, but having the same crew all four flights caught up to me on the way home last night. i got a less-than-stellar response from the purser and horrible service from the other F FA. it might have been b/c they were tired of dealing with crap from everyone, but it was not good service AT ALL (worse than usual).

in the end, it was worth 2/3 of 25k miles, but it was far from a smooth weekend.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 7:25 pm
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Well they offer these kick ... promotions, and then get upset when people use them when they're busy. Shrug. What can you do?
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:08 pm
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you bought the seat and they let you fly, they shouldn't have treated you any differently.

that's just the way it works. if there wasn't snow and the plane was 30 percent empty they would have been dang happy to have you.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:12 pm
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I was thinking NWA would be smart to offer something for all the MRs on the YVR-BUH, I booked sixteen of this tickets! Just give the customer the choice of whether or not to fly, issues the miles, keep the fare & re-sell the seat. Do the best to keep everyone happy! I would think it would be less expensive for NWA than paying a partner airline(s) to fly us back and forth.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
I was thinking NWA would be smart to offer something for all the MRs on the YVR-BUH, I booked sixteen of this tickets! Just give the customer the choice of whether or not to fly, issues the miles, keep the fare & re-sell the seat. Do the best to keep everyone happy! I would think it would be less expensive for NWA than paying a partner airline(s) to fly us back and forth.

Of course, if they did this on MSP-ORD recently, it would have been an MD-80 with 200+ people on the flights.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:19 pm
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If someone had wanted a full refund for convenience on one of these flights on a non-busy, good-weather day, would he or she have gotten it? I doubt it.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:20 pm
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Did you point out to the FAs that perhaps they should be mad at AA and not you, the fare-paying passenger that's helping to keep them on the job? I'd report the degradation in service to AA.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:23 pm
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I watched a little bit of that AA show on MSNBC tonight before I left for work.
They gave the math of flight profit on AA1 JFK-LAX. A couple things stood out. The net profit was $200 for the flight. I didn't hear how full it was. The marginal cost of an additional pax was $10. On a good day, AA makes $88 from you on that $98 fare and a couple of you make the difference between breakeven and the $200 net profit. Weather happens. The OP and other MR'ers are the folks that really drive the overall profit of the airline. It is all marginal business. To treat you as anything less than royalty is disgraceful and shows a poor understanding of business and economics. Feel better now? We've all had days when we needed to get somewhere and it didn't happen. Did we pick out someone to blame? There's not usually someone there to point a finger at. There wasn't this time either. Stuff happens. This sounds too much like the boohoohoo liberal whine that you're consuming other peoples resources. Screw 'em. Let them think what they want.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 9:24 pm
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I don't blame you....I blame AA for initiating these ridiculous fares and promotions. I guess it is necessary for them to defend their hub in DFW but I think they should evaluate what they are trying to accomplish. It also dilutes the product (EXP) by allowing people to earn it for minimal dollars. The product was intended to reward the heavy business traveler and now it is diluted to the point of being almost meaningless. It doesn't impact me because I buy full fare tickets but I see the jostling for upgrades at the counter and I am certain there are high paying customers who may not be EXP sitting in the back which isn't right.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
I was thinking NWA would be smart to offer something for all the MRs on the YVR-BUH, I booked sixteen of this tickets! Just give the customer the choice of whether or not to fly, issues the miles, keep the fare & re-sell the seat. Do the best to keep everyone happy! I would think it would be less expensive for NWA than paying a partner airline(s) to fly us back and forth.
Goodness, no wonder I couldn't find any available dates.
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Old Jan 15, 07, 11:49 pm
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No, routinely allowing miles for just the cost of the ticket wouldn't do. But why shouldn't the airline preferentially take MRers starting their runs as "volunteers" and give them as compensation for their given up seats the miles they would have earned for flying their scheduled (and paid for!) itineraries? Wouldn't that be fair and serve the interests of the airline, of those who might otherwise be IDBed, of those hoping to go standby, and the MRers? Seems simple and straightforward enough to me. (But GAs have to be able to guarantee that MRers will get the miles they would have received through flying.)
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Old Jan 16, 07, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
I watched a little bit of that AA show on MSNBC tonight before I left for work.
They gave the math of flight profit on AA1 JFK-LAX. A couple things stood out. The net profit was $200 for the flight. I didn't hear how full it was. The marginal cost of an additional pax was $10. On a good day, AA makes $88 from you on that $98 fare and a couple of you make the difference between breakeven and the $200 net profit. Weather happens. The OP and other MR'ers are the folks that really drive the overall profit of the airline. It is all marginal business. To treat you as anything less than royalty is disgraceful and shows a poor understanding of business and economics. Feel better now? We've all had days when we needed to get somewhere and it didn't happen. Did we pick out someone to blame? There's not usually someone there to point a finger at. There wasn't this time either. Stuff happens. This sounds too much like the boohoohoo liberal whine that you're consuming other peoples resources. Screw 'em. Let them think what they want.
That must be a really good day, because by my estimate, that's very optimistic. I've flown some NW trans-con specials that had NW netting about $32 for each segment (the rest is taxes, fees, airport charges, etc), as noted on the e-receipt. I can fill up my car with super-unleaded and get some change back for $32, and NW is flying me 1600 miles (with a 98% chance of being EUA'ed to F) for $32.

I'm all for an option of people being able to sacrifice their MR seats, and forfeiting their fare, if they can keep the EQMs. Not sure how the back-end processing would handle the posting (as you never boarded), but when you have 70+ people on standby, it would seem a good customer service feature to let someone fly who just wants to get home, and leaving the guy just "filling the seat" with EQMs and a good feeling for letting someone get home.

Steve B.
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Old Jan 16, 07, 6:44 am
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I don't see anything wrong with this. You paid for a seat. You have status with AA making you a loyal customer. Other pax have probably no status, and rarely fly AA. Heck, I wouldn't be suprised if there were pax that used miles for a flight like ORD-DFW.
I wouldn't of cared as I paid for my seat and since I have status was able to get a seat due to weather. If I was nice and decided to give up my seat for a standby, I would expect a VDB voucher of some sorts and a hotel for the night and rebooked on the next flight the next day.
MR or business or leisure, at the end its still who paid for a seat.
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Old Jan 16, 07, 8:06 am
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AA is the one that made the rules that you couldn't change your flight. They have a license to offer any kind of flexibility they want to help out their stranded passengers by offering flexibility to those that don't have to travel at that time. They could have called you and every booked passenger that day and offered you an alternative reservation, the mileage or whatever your motivation was. In a bad situation they failed to act fast and think creatively. I can't really blame them in hind sight but hopefully they will set up more flexible supervisor authority and call center ways of dealing with stranded passengers in the future.

More likely they will clamp down on fares that allow MR over the bad PR.
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Old Jan 16, 07, 8:57 am
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If the airlines really didn't want MR's, all they would have to do is put a one night stay requirement in the cheapest fares. That wouldn't kill all of them, but it would kill a lot of MRs. But they don't, so I figure they must be OK with the concept.
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