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#13 IVIYTH0S

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:12 PM

I've only flown Southwest my who life and while they offer minimum accommodations, I got where I had to and was comfortable enough doing so. It may have been a different airline I flew when I was on my senior trip to disney land but I don't remember and it wasn't a bad experience anyhow.

who neg 1'd my comment but didnt reply? if your going to disagree, at least tell us why!

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#14 robAP

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 07:53 AM

WHERE do I start?
(I am angry now. and I will rant here. this is my personal rant. I don't care what you think because I am on the other side of the fence than all of you and my perspective is 100% different so because of my viewpoint, I will be very much opposite to you. But you have your opinions and I do respect that. no matter how wrong you are)

I just re -1'd your comment and here's why. You're a nice guy but that comment I would have -2'd it if i could.
I fly frequently....up front...row 0....that guy who flys it and makes announcements and gets paid less than a union garbage man to do it.

AA going bankrupt.
Well I have some thoughts.
They're the last major airline to go bankrupt post 9/11. All of the other majors went through or are finishing up their bankruptcy. The reason? The whole economic industry of air travel has changed not just post 9/11 but also post deregulation. The OP of this topic says this is what happens when you take a dump on your people for so long. AA has financial obligations they cant meet without going ch.11, they're the only major alirline paying pensions....and that's going to change. Alot of their people working there 30 years are about to loose all their retirement. don't forget, pensions were still a big thing that every one counted on just 12 years ago. AA can now reorganize into something profitable....the problem with that? You. You wont pay what it really costs to operate that airplane and adequately compensate the crew that flys, maintains, cares for you inside it. Oh...the other thing....the flight attendant...is not there to serve you drinks...they are trained to save your LIFE when it goes wrong....when....that's why they are there. but while you are there, they might as well give out drinks and try to keep you happy. as happy as they can on almost poverty levels of compensation.

i 100% disagree with your comment.

There is a book explaining it all and it reads VERY well. it's called "Hard Landings" and it tells you everything you need to know about why for your $100 ticket from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago you're not in a 747 eating caviar. De-regulation.

Used to be a fully regulated sky. An Airline could not charge less than a govt. set price for a specific route. so every airline was making some money if it filled a plane. How did they get people to buy a ticket over other flights? Customer service. Buy a ticket on your company's expense account and you get to take home a bottle of something and an ice bucket and have a nice meal on the plane. that filled seats. They De-regulated it to spur competition and grow a business. Since the public will buy the cheapest ticket, the first thing to go out the window? the meals...and then the bottles of stuff for free you get to take home. So now the cheapest ticket wins. Allegiant Airlines is profiting quarter after quarter. They don't fly into the major airports if they can avoid it. Why? Landing fees cost alot to land at Ohare or JFK or Atlanta. Heck Allegiant flys into Georgia and lands at an airport a 2 hour drive from ATL and calls it Atlanta....all in the name of being cheap enough to make money off your cheap butt.

It costs money to have the best people doing the best job to give the best customer service. Your hate of the way things run now is what happens when there is no regulation on ticket prices and you think $100 is unbearably expensive for a ticket. Customer service costs money. You don't want to pay for it. The airline needs people to buy tickets and fill the plane, so they skimp on pay to make money. The not-so-good-but-acceptable people are hired to throw drinks at you. Now,....the plane costs anywhere from $50million to $200 million to buy and then pay off with plane loads of people who wont pay what it really costs to operate it. Since De-regulation, prices have dropped in order to get butts in the seat just to make money. I hate the after effect. How much was a ticket in 1985?...it was around $600 round trip, sometimes a bit less but not by much. Well run that through the cost of living and inflation index and in today's money you will see that round trip ticket cost you $1000 to $1200 in today's money. So...today....when according to that index, fuel costs 2.5x what it used to and tickets in comparison are 1/3 of what they used to be and you can see how hard it's getting to make any kind of money. The bulk cost of jet fuel going into the planes tanks is now $3 a gallon or just under. Before in 1985?...20 cents or so. A Jumbo jet flying from Japan to LA will burn 150,000-250,000 pounds of fuel depending on it's size and newness of manufacture. How much money is that?....a$$loads. The actual cost of operating the jet has multiplied and the price people pay is way way less. There is a reason they are charging for baggage and everything they can....it's because you're no longer paying what you should for a ticket to keep that airline running. Here is how bad it is. A few years ago, an interview with the then Frontier CEO stated that a 1 cent increase in fuel cost per gallon added $1million to their operating expenses. That's how serious it is today.

Now the airline behavior in response to the higher costs of flying and the lower profits on a ticket? Well, Today, out of the whole operating expense of the airline, they have to pay their employees. EVERYONE combined takes about 30% of the whole expenses. Any place they can make cuts they will to hopefully keep some money and make any profit they can. So, Under bankruptcy law they can legally adjust anyones Labor contract and cut other things the employees count on. They have taken everyone's retirement through these bankruptcy's and given it to the government to pay. (they only pay 1/3 of the actual pension payout so when you are forced to retire at age 65 due to FAA law, you have to go back to work at home depot or drive a truck to make ends meet. What was a $3k a month check is now a $1k a month check...as a 60+ yr. old guy what you gonna do now?) So now the pilots at AA have to work to the maximum age limitation of 65. I can tell you there is a huge difference in how people are able to do their job in the last 5 years of their ability. Being an airline Pilot at 65...I can only imagine how horrible it is with the international time zone changes and jet lag. The standing rule when we get home from an international trip? no power-tools. period.

So, In mid 2000's when an AA full MD-80 only profits just under $3,000 per flight. You realize how important it is to fill those seats....especially when you only make money if it's 80% full or more. How to do that? Make it attractive for people to buy those tickets. Cheap gets people to buy. customer service costs money and even if they had good customer service? A regular person would still buy the cheaper ticket because its cheaper. I have had people tell me that they would pay another $20 if it was a happy good service airline. They might but the rest of the people wont.

I flew a load of passengers from Madison, WI to Milwaukee (20 minute flight!). They asked where the connection was to Chicago. Well for that they had to go out of security, into another terminal an back through that security all inside of 30 minutes because the Travelocity/Expedia website they booked their flight on found the cheapest way by putting them on 2 different airlines. If they spent the $20 more, they would have had a direct Madison to Chicago non-stop and saved that hassle.

If you want a good comfy airline that's not horrible to travel on. PAY UP. Everyone on my flights wants everything for free and when asked how much they paid for their ticket they say "fifty bucks one way". So is it a surprise there's nothing free for you? Is it a surprise wee can only afford some surly recently divorced mom to give you a drink and maybe save your butt if something goes wrong?

Lord knows they have already taken the pilots pay/pensions/benefits away from them. taken the flight attendants pay/pensions/benefits away from them. taken the mechanics pay/pensions/benefits away from them. MY CEO was on undercover boss. He said things and made promises. He never followed through and has actually taken even more back. He has half of a basketball court in his house....indoors. My first year flight attendants qualify for food stamps and have to work 20 years to make $36k a year....being gone more than half a month from home. At this rate, I will only retire with a remote control in my hand and a recliner if i choose to help my daughter go to school in another 16 years. I would like to do a little travel, but I know they will take those benefits away if we let them. My company is about to strike and honestly? nobody wins in a strike...but i cant wait to do it and take something that belongs to me.

The job honestly has turned to crap. This industry is unregulated and hitting bottom. It is operating at a loss just to fill seats. And before you say airline pilots make boatloads of money. ask yourself. what should we get paid? you trust us to take you up to 35,000 feet where if there's a decompression you will only be conscious for 10 seconds and die in 3 minutes...and we know how to save you in that situation.. You trust us to not fly through big thunderstorms where people puke and get hurt if they didn't fasten their seat-belt. The real moneymaker pilots flying these things are taking 300 people across the ocean....how much should they get paid for that kind of liability? There is no shoulder to pull over on. there is no pause button. I train 8 weeks to fly a new plane and every 6 months have to go prove in the simulator that i'm still good enough or i have job troubles...every 6 months. I get paid statistical average household income for that and a garbage man makes more.. I would make more money being a plumber or a trash man.

But. the jokes on your guys. There are no more pilots starting to take lessons. They have seen how bad this job has become in the media and no one wants to start. It's good for me because they're going to have to pay us in the upcoming pilot shortage. how short? Well, there re more pilots retiring form the majors than there are total pilots in the regional airlines in the next 6 years. What are the regionals going to to do to replace them? They can't. there's no one. Your tickets are about to go up. I have single friends that are leaving the country to go fly in china because they PAY MORE than here.....same thing in the middle east countries. That's how bad it's become.

apologies for the randomness of the thoughts but I don't have time to sit down and think it out clearly so everyone understands. I only have 12 days off a month.....oh yeah that's nice you think. but get this. all other days? im GONE sleeping in crap hotels, getting bad sleep, and not able to do anything to my house or in my house until i get home. when I get home? no time for me...i gotttta make up the time i lost playing with my daughter. I actually have less time off at home than a 40 hour a week guy working a few blocks away.

Edited by robAP, 03 December 2011 - 11:56 AM.

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#15 greengiant912

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:09 PM

If you don' t like your job get a new one....


Sorry to sound like an butt, but its up to you to make your life happy. Regulation of the Airline industry isn't going to help...


You didn't say directly in your post, but I am assuming your a pilot?


You can be frustrated all you want, but if your not getting paid as much as a garbage man, then why don't you become one?


I am so sick of the people who complain about how much they make and blah blah, I hate my job etc... You are the only one that can change that, the government isn't going to do that for you.

My dad is the same way, he would rather work in a dead end job because he dosen't think there are other opportunities out there for him. Their are if you are wan't it bad enough and are willing to work hard enough for it.



To go back to my main point however. Americans want a high quality of service. That is why we goto PF Changs, and the Olive Garden, over cheaper alternatives. We want an environment that is oriented to customer comfort, and that cares about the customer. The government de-regulated airlines, the airlines didn't have to throw out customer service. They did, and now people dread flying... They shot themselves in the foot, LET them FAIL! It sounds harsh to the many that would lose their jobs, but thats capitalism, according to many conservatives. Its not the government's fault that the airlines don't want to pay their pilots a fair wage.


You always have the opportunity to strike as well... Take action if you don't think your getting paid well, do something about it...


BTW the majority of people who work Monday-Friday, Only get about 8-9 days off a month... You get an extra few days dude!

Edited by greengiant912, 03 December 2011 - 11:28 PM.

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#16 Deathmineral

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 12:35 AM

To go back to my main point however. Americans want a high quality of service. That is why we goto PF Changs, and the Olive Garden, over cheaper alternatives. We want an environment that is oriented to customer comfort, and that cares about the customer.

What part of the US do you live in? None of that sounds accurate, Americans love the cheapest price, that's the goal of most Americans. If that wasn't true then we wouldn't be losing factory jobs to China and other countries, we wouldn't be hiring illegal mexicans to do the "jobs we don't want", we wouldn't eat at the worst restaurant in the word, McDonalds, we wouldn't do a lot of the crap we do if our first thoughts were Quality or Good Customer Service.

Maybe you go to PF Changs or the Olive Garden, maybe you pay that premium for a nice quality computer or piece of furniture, maybe you strive for quality in everything you buy and jump at any chance to buy something made in the USA. Sadly most Americans do not, because they're usually under educated and can only understand simple math, that's why they would gladly choose a disgusting, heart attack on the way, cheeseburger at McDonalds instead of a nice chicken salad from some locally owned restaurant.

As a person who lives in once nice town, but now a small dying town, it's pretty depressing to see everything I just mentioned happening around my town on a daily basis.

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#17 flareback

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:24 AM

Americans want the illusion of quality at a cheap price. Hence why we go to Olive Garden instead of a good Italian restaurant and pay more.
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#18 greengiant912

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 01:29 AM

What part of the US do you live in? None of that sounds accurate, Americans love the cheapest price, that's the goal of most Americans. If that wasn't true then we wouldn't be losing factory jobs to China and other countries, we wouldn't be hiring illegal mexicans to do the "jobs we don't want", we wouldn't eat at the worst restaurant in the word, McDonalds, we wouldn't do a lot of the crap we do if our first thoughts were Quality or Good Customer Service.

Maybe you go to PF Changs or the Olive Garden, maybe you pay that premium for a nice quality computer or piece of furniture, maybe you strive for quality in everything you buy and jump at any chance to buy something made in the USA. Sadly most Americans do not, because they're usually under educated and can only understand simple math, that's why they would gladly choose a disgusting, heart attack on the way, cheeseburger at McDonalds instead of a nice chicken salad from some locally owned restaurant.

As a person who lives in once nice town, but now a small dying town, it's pretty depressing to see everything I just mentioned happening around my town on a daily basis.



What I ment to say is "prefer". The two examples I gave, were just that examples. You could apply it to a local restaurant, or any other higher quality of service business...

Believe it or not Americans are very service aware. Even with the crappy economy we spend a lot of money on service oriented businesses. Think about this for a second, you see a bottle of your favorite name brand soda in the super market, and you see the cheaper store-brand alternative right next to it priced cheaper. Chances are your still going to shell out more for the name branded one.

Same goes with businesses, if business A offers a service that is pretty basic, and business B offers the same service but offers you a free widget, chances are the person is going to chose. Its Business 101 dude...


Lets take the same example and apply it to the airline industry.

ValueMax airline offers roundtrip service from destination x to destination y for $250, and charges you $50 to check your bag, as well as a e-ticket fee of $30. They also fill the plane to max capacity, offering little comfort. For a total of $330.

Superair has the same service from destination x to destination y for $340, they do not charge you extra, and also have more comfortable seating.



Is the choice really that hard? Of course your going to pay a little more upfront to ensure your comfort. The problem is the airlines don't even try to attract customers anymore, at least a great majority of them don't. They kinda just expect customers to fly regardless, They have no need to compete with each other, Thus they all offer the shoved into a steel tube like cattle "service".



There are a few airlines who are trying to bring back the service in flying, flying should be treated like eatting out, you are paying a premium to fly, thus you should receive service on-par with what you have paid...

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#19 robAP

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:02 AM

customer service in airlines.

read the book i mentioned.
"hard landings"
it will show you exactly how it all went down hill and why the airlines in the past failed.
Written from the perspective of the guys in charge by a WSJ writer. very nice read if you have any curiosity about what goes into business decisions and tactics.

that answers all questions of what happened to everyone up until the late 90's and it explains whats going on now with AA.

Edited by robAP, 04 December 2011 - 08:39 AM.

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#20 Samursus

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 11:13 AM

I have read this entire thread and see valid points being made by all.

Personally, my flights have dropped significantly only because of personal finances. But when I do fly, I opt for Westjet over Air Canada, because of service. Granted there are only 2 airlines in Canada right now afaik. However, if Air Canada was significantly cheaper, I would endure the drop in service. But only until I experienced a sufficiently annoying experience. Then my reactive anger would cause me to use only the competitor.

My point is, consumer's can be fickle, and no matter how much research the marketing companies do, the masses will continue to confound them.

#21 cirro

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:07 PM

heh rob, its ironic your mad at me, when it seems like the crap job your employer gives you that makes you upset.

that $100 ticket you speak of, is $240 at the cheapest seat. that $100 is from a local company (allegiant air) which offers the same customer service anymore.

i don't care what excuse you have for a company, but if your company cant offer a service without losing money, maybe then the chapter 11 "reconstruction" of the company is the best idea.

you want me to feel bad it costs alot for fuel now? i love how because its a huge company its not supposed to be like the rest of business world who sometimes close their doors because of the same exact reason.

this is the worlds fourth largest airline, this isnt a small company, people are making insane bank at the top and if they cant sprinkle a little bit down onto the employee or customers then to heck with ya.
those planes? planes made 10-15 years ago, running daily don't make money?

im just going to randomly shoot an example of my above statement

Chief Executive Gerard Arpey received $5.2 million in total compensation last year, even though the parent company of American Airlines was the only major U.S. carrier to lose money in 2010.

Arpey's compensation grew 11 percent over 2009, boosted by an increase in stock awards and options that were granted in May.



tell me why AA is going chapter 11 but chargers 2.4x as much as the cheaper aircraft? too many fingers in too many pies. not MY fault the company cant compete anymore. adapt or die is a business strat...


i can go to vegas from my city for $79, AA has nothing to offer anymore except more people getting onto a bigger aircraft, meaning more lines, more waiting

Until this week, American Airlines was the last legacy airline hanging on without filing for bankruptcy. Its two main competitors, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, both filed for bankruptcy within the last several years, allowing them to shed billions in costs, renegotiate labor contracts and merge with smaller airlines


Oh that makes sense why they were the last, they didn't wanna give up and have to share the pie so they clung unto what they had until the last min.




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#22 SpeedCrazy

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 04:13 PM

greengiant..... what cloud are you living on?
Most of us can't afford the cheap ticket let alone pay a bit more for better service. Everything Rob has said makes sense. Most people i know will do everything they can to save a dollar, and unfortunately that forces companies to cut service and quality to make sure they manage to make ends meet.
And your comment about the average 9-5 guy only getting 8-9 days off, how many of those days off come after 3 or 4 days(or more) constantly on the go, when you are so tired you cant function? I would say none. Your 9-5 joe gets off at 5, a pilot? Nope, he gets a couple hours sleep and is back in another plane before joe goes to bed.
In a perfect world your arguments might hold water, but it isn't.
As for your last comment, paying a premium? Seriously. $100 or so is not a premium. That doesn't even pay for your fuel let alone the staff, food, whatever else they offer in flight, your luggage handling. Airlines are operating at a loss. And all you can do is gripe and tell the pilots to change jobs? What then prices would go up and up, all the pilots with any potential would leave we would have expensive unsafe uncomfortable flights. And people would blame the airlines still.
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#23 dr_bowtie

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 04:17 PM

I have never been in a plane or up in the air in one so I don't miss a thing ;)
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#24 greengiant912

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:08 PM

greengiant..... what cloud are you living on?
Most of us can't afford the cheap ticket let alone pay a bit more for better service. Everything Rob has said makes sense. Most people i know will do everything they can to save a dollar, and unfortunately that forces companies to cut service and quality to make sure they manage to make ends meet.
And your comment about the average 9-5 guy only getting 8-9 days off, how many of those days off come after 3 or 4 days(or more) constantly on the go, when you are so tired you cant function? I would say none. Your 9-5 joe gets off at 5, a pilot? Nope, he gets a couple hours sleep and is back in another plane before joe goes to bed.
In a perfect world your arguments might hold water, but it isn't.
As for your last comment, paying a premium? Seriously. $100 or so is not a premium. That doesn't even pay for your fuel let alone the staff, food, whatever else they offer in flight, your luggage handling. Airlines are operating at a loss. And all you can do is gripe and tell the pilots to change jobs? What then prices would go up and up, all the pilots with any potential would leave we would have expensive unsafe uncomfortable flights. And people would blame the airlines still.



I am not usually very conservative on most issues, but this one I have to agree with them on... Its not the governments job to provide welfare, in whatever form (regulation, bailouts, anti-piracy laws, etc). If he doesn't like his job its simple find a new one... Its not my fault or any other tax payers fault that these businesses have failed to innovate and find a way to operate at a profit.

Let American Airlines fail, some other airline will take its place, thats CAPITALISM... If airlines aren't making a profit, they need to be innovative with their ideas, to offer an affordable service that customers will like.

One of the things that was mentioned was how Midwest airlines always gave you a fresh banked cookie on your flight. It didn't cost the airline much to provide that, but it created a sense of comfort.

I am not saying that airlines need to start serving caviar, and champaign again. I am only saying that they need to be mindful of customer comfort, in a time where Americans care about comfort more than anything. Even if it is just an illusion, or something as simple as a cookie.

Its also about having the staff go the extra mile and not treating you like another number.

Its about giving you an extra inch of leg room, even if you have to sacrifice one row of seats to get it,


Its about getting the people who have bad memories of flying back into the air again.


The airlines need to do this themselves, or fail. Simple as that. No airline is too big to fail...

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