Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flight Jerks

     I cannot even begin to tell you how pissed off I am at the airlines.  They should all probably be put in jail because they are generally raping the American - and all other national - publics with their bullshit.  Seriously, we should have the folks from Law & Order: SVU on tracking down the executives to question them about their crimes.  I mean, first of all the fare for flying out of anything other than JFK, LAX, Chicago, or Atlanta is just ridiculous, secondly they are ending service to all the sorts of places that need it the most (small towns that are located far from big city airports) because they aren't profitable enough destinations, and third they pack you in like sardines and there are no more movies or meal service on most flights, and fourth they charge you for everything and pass all the fee costs of doing business on to you.  It is a bullshit racket and they have people by the crotch because there are cheaper ways to get places, but in general we only get so many days of vacation a year and I can't spend four days on a train to get to Seattle.  That kind of shit might work in Europe where everything is generally pretty close and where they get like 8 weeks of vacation a year, even for new employees, but I just don't have time.  And don't even get me started on the securtiy bullshit at the airports.
     As you can see, I am generally unhappy with the airlines, but I noticed a little something going on today that really set me off.  Now the object of my ire today is going to be Frontier Airlines, and I have nothing specifically against Frontier Airlines, okay?  I find them just as good or bad as any other airline, but they happen to the be one involved with this situation I am blogging about today.  So, nothing personal, Frontier, you just happen to be today's subject.  I am sure that American or Delta or whomever would do the exact same thing.

This is coming to Denver.  And yet it will effect American
as well.
      The article that I read in the friendly local newspaper was about a snowstorm in Denver - which is Frontier's hub - possibly affecting flights in other parts of the nation.  So since the airlines have learned in the last couple of years that being proactive works really well in these situations in order to keep people happy and prevent two hundred thousand people from having to live in airports for days and probably also to keep costs down, the following line appeared in the article: "Frontier Airlines said that people who have travel plans which would take them through Denver on Wednesday may make one itinerary change without a change fee, if they follow particular rules listed on their web site."  I added the emphasis because that is the part that makes me so spectacularly angry this morning.  These ass hole pricks (again, nothing personal Frontier) are going to allow you to do something that will help them out immensely - because they have to cancel less flights, it is good public relations, and you are still flying with them and not possible going with another carrier - so they aren't going to charge you, but because it might also be beneficial to you in some way shape or form, you have to abide by their certain conditions.  That is fucking bullshit.  So let's see what the rules are, shall we?
      First of all, verbatim from Frontier's website: "Customers currently enroute who would like to adjust a return trip may make one itinerary change, rules, and restrictions regarding standard change fees, advance purchase, day or time applications, blackouts, and minimum or maximum stay requirements have been waived.  Origin and destination cities must remain the same.  Changes must be made by midnight, October 26, 2011 and travel completed by November 9, 2011."  Well, that is not so bad I suppose.  Still, some parts of it make me a little angry.  First of all, that all those things are waived that means a.) they have change fees, which I am sure are not insignificant and that pisses me off, b.) there are requirements for advance purchase to get the best rates, which really makes me angry because they just fuck over anyone who walks up and needs to fly TODAY, which makes no sense to be because they MAKE MORE MONEY FLYING WITH A FULL PLANE  so they should really be happy selling a seat that they wouldn't have otherwise sold, and therefore increasing their profit margin, but they would rather charge you for not knowing ahead of time that your mom who lives in Baltimore would need that emergency gall bladder surgery, c.) the airline blacks out certain fares from certain dates, so if you have the audacity to try and fly at the same time of the year when everyone else does, then you are going to have to pay up, asshole.  How dare you try to go home for Thankgiving or Christmas, d.) for some reason they want to force you to stay in certain places for certain amounts of time, which is fine if you are forced the spend a week in San Diego, but is a totally different story if you are being forced to stay in Omaha or something, not that Omaha is without its charms.   So I am glad that we don't have to deal with all that shit, but it sort of makes me violently angry that we have to meet all those restrictions in the first place.

Someone get some sweaters for these poor anmials, it is going to snow.
       They require that the origin and destination cities must remain the same, which sort of angers me because I understand that if you are flying from Charlotte to San Francisco, a snowstorm in Denver should not allow you to suddenly fly to New Orleans as your final desination or something.  I get that.  But if you live in Omaha and flew out of Denver on Monday, and you could just as easily fly into Chicago o Wednesday on your return trip and rent a car to get home, and that would help keep people out of DIA, then they should let you do that without penalty.  Because that would be helpful to them, and it probably isn't going to make your life easier.  Now if you were going to try and change your desitnation in a way that still made you fly through Denver that shouldn't be allowed either.  The date restrictions I have no problem with, unless of course you were flying out through Denver today and weren't originally planning on being back until Thanksgiving because you are going to Amsterdam or something.
      Now let's look at the rules for those who have not yet begun to travel.  They "May make one change to travel plans without a change fee by October 26, 2011.  All recheduled travel may be subject to higher fares if it does not meet original rule or booking class."  What the fuck does that mean?  So if I am flying from Miami to Denver with a layover in Milwaukee, and I decide instead to fly from Miami to Cheyenne, Wyoming with a layover in Milwaukee, I might have to pay extra because I got on a regional jet in Milwaukee instead of an Airbus?  Just because Cheyenne is smaller?  Now I have to pay extra because I helped you out by not being on a cancelled flight?  That is horseshit.  Fucking horseshit, especially since there was a pretty good chance I was going to get diverted there anyway once things started piling up in Denver.  And another thing: How the hell are we supposed to know what the original rules and booking classes are?  Last time I took a poll, a majority of Americans do not work for Frontier.  Just to let you know, jerkbags.
      I just don't get it.  I serously don't get it.  It is this sort of arrogance that just makes me wild, and for some reason they airlines have it.  They act like they are providing up some sort of essential service to the people - which they are - but they act like they are doing it out of the goodness of their heart.  Well, no they are not, they are doing it to make a butt-pile of money, and it is not my fault that all the sudden jet fuel prices have gone up, the FAA has cracked down on your maintenance, and people are hijacking planes left and right so you lose a first class seat on every flight to an air marshal.  That doesn't mean you have to be an asshole every time Harry Smith wants to take his family to Universal Studios.  It just doesn't.  Maybe you should just stop paying your executives $4,000,000 a year.  How does that sound?
     I will say this to the folks at Frontier, because I have been picking on them today: At least they are going something to help alleviate the situation.  I know that it helps them out too but they could have been super pricks about it and still charged they shit out of everyone.  And they are doing it for a moderate snow event (as they call it) whereas most airlines would probably only do it for a major dumping.  I am sure that the timing of things has something to do with it, as 2-8 inches of snow usually wouldn't make Denver blink, but this is the first of the year and things always tend to be shaky with the first one, just like when you piss first thing in the morning sometimes you have to prop your hand against the wall for extra balance.  Shit happens.  And, as an added bonus, they are pretty user friendly about getting the information out and kind of cool about the way that they are telling people.  Again, verbatim from their website:

Not so bad, but still an airline nonetheless.
 With the treat of moderate snowfall (forecasts calling for from 2 to 8 inches) in our Denver hub Tuesday night through Wednesday, October 25 and 26, we want to do everything we can to safely get our guests to their final destination.  Forecasts are forecasts and always subject to change, but we want you to know you have options if you choose to change your travel plans.  We are currently planning to fly our regular, full schedule on Wednesday; however it is likely that several flights could be delayed due to the weather conditions in Denver.  As the length of these delays are often very fluid, we ask that you make sure to check the status of your flight below.

That is done in pretty plain language, and they are offering similar options for people travelling to Mexico because of Hurricane Rina, which is spinning somewhere out in Caribbean.  So good for them.  But in the end, they are an airline, and they act mostly like all the other airlines do. And that is like oppressive dicks.

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