Much like the financial reform that we had, we need an airline reform as well. It seems to me that the airlines no longer feel responsible for anything, and since they are no liable for anything, their service and reliability has suffered greatly.
If you hang around airports much, you will see that none of the passengers are happy with the airlines. In fact, I know of folks that drive for up to 6 hours due to this and the headache of having to go through security at the airport. In the end, it takes them the same amount of time to get to their destination….that is to say now-a-days a 1 hour flight will take you 6 hours door to door, so you can either relax and drive yourself, or through the headache of airport security and dealing with the airlines.
As a consultant, I get paid by the hour while on site, so every hour of travel (and worse…delay) is literally costing me money. Today, for the third time in the last 4 months, I got screwed over by United Airlines again. There is no apology, no compensation, just “we’re doing you a favor by putting you on the next flight.” As someone who travels about 26+ weeks out of the year, I have a lot of horror stories.
I remember the days when airlines used to give you a $300 coupon for a 15 minute delayed flight. When they used to give you the same status on their airline, just so you would fly them.
Now, I understand that times change, and 911 had a huge effect on the airline industry, but lets look at what has happened since then. You get nothing while flying except for water or Soda; you have to pay for your checked luggage; You have to pay to use the points you paid so much to gain; if you make any changes to your flight, you have to pay a change fee even if the new flight is cheaper than the old one, and for added fun you get frisked at the airport if not lit with a dose of cancer.
So why is it that the government is not slapping the airlines with more regulations to make sure the people don’t get screwed? The housing crisis was partially the people’s fault to taking on mortgages they could not pay off, but this is not.