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…A Small Aside: Techcrunch, Please Stop Whining About Airlines

AOL’s Techcrunch, a site focused on the minutia of the tech startup world, has included a couple of pieces recently where their writers whine about airlines. Yesterday, one of their writers, under the headline @AmericanAir, You Suck, told of his experience flying home on American from Chicago to New York over the weekend. It’s worth reading if only because I am continually amazed at the myriad things people will complain about when it comes to airlines.

In short, he was flying home over the busy holiday weekend and his flight was canceled due to weather. And oh did the airline owe him for that: “Never once was I offered a hotel stay, a flight voucher or an upgrade.” FOR A WEATHER CANCELLATION. Yes, because when a blizzard blows through town and cancels flights for 2 days, the airline should hand out 37,000 free ticket vouchers.

Since there were 5 of them traveling and, as you might imagine over Easter, most flights were full so they were only offered an early morning flight, which, while traveling with kids, is not ideal. The writer was already upset because he was not emailed or texted when the flight was canceled – he only received a phone call. He was upset that the rez agent could not pull 5 seats out of thin air. Then he was upset that when he tweeted (and the airline responded nearly immediately) that they could not pull 5 seats out of thin air.

Then, he says, “the worst was yet to come.” The worst, we find out, was that there was no cushion on his seat, so he had to switch seats. Yes, that was the worst.

Also, there was a mechanical issue and they had to go back to the gate where, and perhaps this is the “worst,” they let everyone off the plane to stretch their legs.

Yep, sounds like a flight from hell. No cushion!!

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  1. One small thing on weather cancellations. I once had to sleep over in PHL because my USAirways flight connecting there was super late. They told me it was “weather related”. So, I checked the North-American weather map, then dopler, then precipitation, then everything. No weather issues ANYWHERE. No airport delays in the “airport delays map”. All little planes were green… HuHmmm… Airlines know to use the “weather related” excuse because they don’t owe the passengers anything when it’s out of their hands. Air Canada (the other airline I use quite a bit) used to do that too but they are now much more open to the “real reasons”. I think we are moving into a more transparent world but not everyone is catching on as quickly… In the end, USAirways gave me a 10$ voucher (they called it a pink voucher) for a rebate at the airport hotel. Turns out my AAA card also did give me the same 10$ off… So I used my AAA card. I didn’t want the hotel to thank USAirways for sending me there… They just might start to like that too much ;-)
    It’s all about trust and not losing it. Personally, that dinged mine…

  2. You might want to read his (annoying, I agree) rant again, Jared. He didn’t complain that he didn’t get a voucher/upgrade/hotel room for the weather cancellation. It was the return flight, which was cancelled as well, alas apparently due to lack of crew.

  3. Still – does he really think he was owed an upgrade? Or a free filght? Sheesh.

  4. Certainly not a free flight, though UA has been kown for throwing vouchers at pax for delays. Upgrade? Maybe he was hoping to get away from his three kids and wife, cuz sur he didn’t expect to get all of them upgraded.

    The hotel is potentially reasonable request, though, if the cancellation was AA’s fault (vs weather).

    Still, the post was an abuse of his position as tech blogger. He should file a complaint with the DOT if he felt mistreated.

  5. “I am continually amazed at the myriad things people will complain about when it comes to airlines.” You mean like you’re complaining about here? :oops:

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