This Thursday, as I reflect on the happenings from Wednesday, I am reminded of an old saying, that encourages one to be vocal if things aren’t right.  A while back I related the tales from our holiday travels and tribulations here on the blog.  Suffice to say, the experience was less than pleasant as the airline pretty much left us flailing about aimlessly and helplessly.  On top of the travel troubles, we were also frustrated by the severe lack of customer service (which in my opinion was the very essence of not right).

It was on the lack of customer service basis that I wrote to the airlines.  Included in the correspondence were our flight numbers, names of people we dealt with, and the topper – a weather report from Charleston on the day of travel.  The reason that was the topper was because the airline originally claimed that weather problems delayed our initial flight.

This documentation, and the simple fact that I wrote to them, was the likely reason I received a check for almost a full reimbursement of all extra expenses we incurred.  While the reimbursement is definitely nice, what floored me was both acknowledgement of where the responsibility lies, and an apology from the airline.

My faith in corporate America is somewhat restored, but more so…it’s my firm belief that The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

Happy shooting!

One thought on “As the old saying goes…

  1. Congratulations on your reimbursement! Oddly enough, I read both photography and aviation-related blogs, and there has been a lot written about the shady practices of airlines in pursuit of your dollar. Simply put, almost all delays are TRAFFIC delays, due to the fact that airlines are attempting (and have been for years) to force more flights into airports that can only handle a certain amount of traffic at a time. (One caveat: many of the traffic delays CAN be caused by weather, in that weather reduces the total amount of landings and takeoffs that can occur at airports, and those delays ripple through the system. I don’t know what happened in your particular case, but airlines could be technically correct in describing a delay as a weather delay even though the weather is fine at the destination airport. The problem is caused by their overloading of the system so that one delay anywhere causes delays everywhere.)
    To make matters worse, the airlines have launched attack campaigns against everything under the sun in an attempt to shift the blame elsewhere. They often blame the antiquated air traffic control system. However, no matter what equipment controllers are using, they can still only force a certain amount of planes into an airport at a time. And the airlines consistently schedule more flights than airports can handle. Recently, they attacked general and corporate aviation, claiming that these flights were the ones causing delays in the system. They used inflated and incorrect numbers and faulty logic in their arguments, which they spread to the general public through TV ads in airports and articles in in-flight magazines.
    As I understand it, one of the major causes behind the worsening mess is a business decision the airlines made a few years ago. With the development of regional jets, which carry fewer passengers over small and medium-length routes, the airlines decided that what customers really wanted was flexibility in their airline travel times. They decided that they should offer more flights per day using smaller jets. This would move the same amount of passengers, but people would have a choice of more flights during the day. This sounds great from a business sense, but it poured hundreds, if not thousands, more flights into the system, and into airports that can still only handle a finite amount of takeoffs and landings. For example, I see regional jets leaving the airport here in New Orleans for large cities such as New York and Washington, D.C. These routes would usually be covered (and still are by many airlines) by a larger Boeing 737 or Airbus 320, which would carry around twice the number of passengers. And don’t even get me started on the wasted gas these additional flights are using up.
    Recently Don Brown address this issue in a FANTASTIC article on his blog Get the Flick. Here’s the MUST-READ link: http://gettheflick.blogspot.com/2008/01/air-traffic-safety-vs-capacity.html
    His blog, along with Patrick Smith’s Ask the Pilot over on Salon.com, are GREAT sources of information about the aviation world, and well-written without too much industry jargon.

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