Allen On Travel

A 30 year veteran of world travel (but knows nil about Orlando-area attractions), Will Allen III writes about his weekly odysseys by air on business and how the airlines rob him--and you--of time, the most precious commodity on earth. Time: It's all we have, and the airlines routinely take it from us. This blog challenges the airlines to keep their basic promises.

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Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States

Born 1948 in Kinston, NC and raised there in beautiful eastern North Carolina, I now live in Raleigh and commute around the country and the world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Practices Not Logical By Any Business Standards, Yet Pass For Normal In The Travel Biz

Why is it that I was able to get a last minute round trip Raleigh to Indianapolis fare on American for $337.60 that is fully refundable, yet over a week in advance recently Delta wanted $1,100 round trip Raleigh to Cincinnati, and it was nonrefundable?

Oh yeah: no competition in Cincy.

Why is it that even after AA has cancelled my flights Raleigh to O'Hare and then O'Hare to Indy due to the Tuesday blizzard this week the electronic lady from American keeps calling me over and over and over for the next three days to tell me the flight status of of all four of my cancelled flights on that now-defunct itinerary?

Hmmm, could be the lack of system integration at AA.

Why is it that British Airways announced a new one bag per customer policy after which they intend to charge about $100 per bag one way? Do they really hate their customers that much? Or are they just plain stupid? Could they be any more callous than that? Are they trying to one-up Ryanair, known for fleecing its customers? Whatever are the answers, I am stunned by management decisions as poor as this one. Logic was nowhere in the room when the decision was made.

Why is it that when I looked on the Hilton website to book an Atlanta airport-area hotel for one night next Thursday that the range of prices between their lowest ranked properties (Hampton Inns) and their top-of-the-line full Hilton was just $26? And why did that range begin at an eye-popping $144 for a Hampton, with the Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, and Doubletree brands in the Atlanta airport area just dollars apart in-between up to the $170 per night rate for the Hilton Atlanta Airport? Why even have different hotel brands if there is no real differentiation of products and services among them?

Why is it that I have to take more and more generic, slow rental car buses to a distant common rental car facility (examples include Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale and DFW), which take more time for all of us both getting to our cars and getting back to the airport than ever before, yet then the added fees and costs tacked onto our bills for these so-called "benefits" often make our total car costs $100 per day or more?

Why is it at Chicago O'Hare that most Hertz and Avis shuttle buses, already packed to Tokyo commuter train sardine-can fullness, nonetheless make that stupid circle over to the O'Hare International Terminal to drop off/pick up customers when there are never any customers at the International Terminal?

Such practices taunt the logical minds of right-thinking businessmen and businesswomen who have to go somewhere by air each week. One is forced into a suspension of belief that reason plays any part in the industry that gets us there and back.


Blogger kpage said...

I would add, "Why is it that airlines (esp. Delta) operate on knee-jerk mode and cancel a host of flights out of LGA to e.g. GSO and CLT(3-22-07) due to 'weather' when it is sunny on both ends? Could it be the little commuter planes used on so many of the runs now? And why is it that when you must rebook due to a canceled flight, you sit on hold 2+ hours (no kidding) waiting for someone in India to tell you that she/he must transfer you to another department because she/he is not trained to rebook!?!

3/23/2007 1:45 PM  

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