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United Airlines strikes again

Discussion in 'Consumer Affairs' started by sun rise, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    If the airline can't move employees to where they're needed,
    there could be delays to passengers downstream. What
    makes the most sense is to raise the offer to volunteers.
     
  2. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Pretty much this.
    What we appear to be looking at is the results of airline cost cutting to provide the cheap fares everybody shops for. The lack of redundancies keeps prices down, but risks this sort of problem due to staff getting sick or reaching flight time limits or something like that.
    Tom
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    I've heard talking heads on NPR blame competition between airlines.
    I say hogwash to that.
    Competition needn't result in brutality & the PR disaster to follow.
    (Note that the assault itself was committed by government workers.)
    This (I expect) was a learning experience for the airline, ie, to enlist
    volunteers is better than having cops assault the unwilling.
    I strongly advise them to simply auction off the bumping (the usual
    procedures), which would be far cheaper than the aftermath of this fiasco.

    Overbooking makes sense economically, even if airlines pay some
    fliers to delay. It's also greener to fly with full planes because it means
    fewer of them in the sky.
     
  4. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Perhaps you are suggesting some government regulations on the "bumping system "?
    Tom
     
  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    If the airlines have any more such incidents, then we'll talk.

    But I caution you....
    The same government which writes the regulations governing the cops &
    TSA would be writing airline bumping regs. They might make things worse.
    There are always costs & risks with gov regulation...there should be a clear
    net benefit.
     
  6. Callisto

    Callisto Active Member

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    The problem is there is a cap on what can be offered to compensate bumped passengers and it's pretty low ball. As Harvard Business Review notes,

    "... the DOT has adopted a rule that encourages involuntary bumping — which is undoubtedly less popular with flyers than voluntary bumping. The regulation specifies that if a passenger is involuntarily bumped, airlines have to pay a penalty amounting to 200%–400% (depending on the delay length) of the one-way fare that they paid with a maximum cap of $1,350. This provides an incentive for airlines to bump passengers who paid the least amount for their ticket, often the poorest travelers on the plane. So while United was offering $1,000, the unlucky four who were told to deplane could end up receiving less than half of that amount if they were flying on discounted $200 roundtrip tickets. By setting such a low liability, the DOT is inviting airlines to excessively bump passengers."
     
  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    If true, it would seem that government regulation is more of a problem than a solution.

    But the wording is ambiguous....is the cap a limit on what government can impose
    upon the airline, or a cap on what the airline can voluntarily offer?
     
  8. Callisto

    Callisto Active Member

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    The cap is on what can be offered.
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Is this based upon case law, additional text, or later rulings?
     
  10. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    Yes, although isn't there a cap on the maximum amount they can offer?

    It's not really the passengers' problem if the airlines can't move their employees without causing a lot of disruption. That's something they should resolve behind the scenes, even if they have to pay another airline to fly their crew or even if they have to charter a private plane. Whatever they have to do, that's their problem to solve - not something the passengers should have to worry about.

    EDIT: I didn't notice that you addressed the issue of the cap in subsequent posts, so you can disregard the first question.
     
  11. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Suppose Delta takes this slightly more expensive route, and provide slightly better service. Do you suppose that customers will choose the more expensive fare required to support that choice? Or will the large majority take the $115 fare over Delta's $117.25?
    My guess is that they will take cheap, 90% of the time.
    Tom
     
  12. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    That is SAD! Two dollars? I'd agree if it was a substantial savings, but two dollars?
     
  13. Stevicus

    Stevicus Well-Known Member
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    I don't think the issue is competition. My understanding is that the current system has airlines operating "fortress hubs" which actually inhibit competition. There are also international airlines who are trying to break in to the domestic US market, and the US carriers are fighting hard against that (because they don't want competition).

    It's also tougher for those who live in smaller cities away from the large hubs. I find that I get much better deals if I drive up to Phoenix and fly out of there as opposed to flying out of Tucson.
     
  14. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    When was the last time someone factored the possibility of being dragged, bloody, off a jet by government officials into their tickets buying decision?
    Yeah, a $2 difference will sell a lot of tickets on a route like Chicago/ Louisville.
    Tom
     
  15. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    I am not rich, but I wouldn't even notice a two dollar difference. Do you go out to eat much?
    If I had to fly every day I would notice the difference, but I might still spend the extra little bit to punish that airline.
     
  16. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    Would you be inclined to punish them by buying a ticket on an airline with the same policies? If you wouldn't, how would you find out what the policies of any other carrier actually are? As far as I know, even Delta didn't know that this was their policy until it happened.
    Tom
     
  17. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    There is no policy in place that allows for an assault against a passenger. I believe what they did is not legal. I realize it wasn't United Airlines' people who did the dragging, but it proves to me that the airline personnel are not alert. Alert personal is what I might pay for.
     
  18. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    You are wise not to ask me about why I questioned your going out habits.
     
  19. columbus

    columbus Conservative Catholic from Hell

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    That is not true. The reason that there are air marshals is for that possibility. They are like policemen, they have powers and protections that the rest of us don't have.
    Tom
     
  20. savagewind

    savagewind Veteran Member
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    I know other people who define assault wrong too. That is why I am here, imo.
     
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