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Thread: Ridiculous Airline Crap

  1. #1
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Ridiculous Airline Crap

    For over 30 years, I have shouted the same thing at the airlines...

    Stop it with the stupid crap, and just give us what we want.

    By that, I mean that we all just want transportation. Yeah, if it's a 14-hour flight, a lie-flat bed seat would be nice. It makes a big difference. But why is it that, even on the short flights, the beverage cart comes out? I have been on 40-minute flights where the flight attendants were scrambling to serve every person on the airplane a 4-ounce plastic cup of Coca-Cola. Why? Why does everyone expect to be served a beverage and a tiny bag of pretzels or peanuts on every flight? A flight for which they paid $250?

    I ask... If you really want cheaper flights... How much cheaper would flights be, if we just eliminated all meals, snacks, and beverages from all flights?

  2. #2
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Then the airlines stopped keeping pillows and blankets on board. Then the airlines put the pillows and blankets back on board, but started charging for them. That was utterly ridiculous. The pillows and blankets on airliners are specifically designed for minimum mass, and cost maybe 10 cents each to wash and dry. So the airlines started getting stingy with the pillows and blankets, but will still serve you a free Coca-Cola. The cost is higher, and the weight is higher (can, liquid, and ice). I chastised one airline severely on this issue... "Free Coca-Cola, but you're charging $2 for pillows and blankets? Really?" The airline accepted my advice, and it worked out well for them. The truth, as that airline realized, is that a free beverage doesn't really do anything for an airline's reputation... but a pillow and blanket, which costs the airline far less than a drink, is a much more "personal" touch.

    After that, I told the same airline, "That worked out for you quite well, didn't it? Now... Discontinue all catering on all flights of 1 hour, 30 minutes or less. We'll set up a vendor cart near your gate and advertise that for in-flight meals. And you'll get a cut of every meal sold." Two weeks later, there was a guy selling ham-and-cheese sandwiches and 8-ounce Coca-colas just outside the boarding gate, for $7 a pop. The airline got 50 cents per sale, at an average of 40 sales ($20) per flight. $20 isn't much to an airline, but cutting the catering saved the airline over $200 per flight.

    I was one of the first people to tell the airlines that they were way too late with on-board entertainment. Really? In the year 2016? I want to flip through a limited selection of movies and music, and watch movies on a 5-inch seat-back screen? Everybody and his brother has a 10-inch tablet with a 64-Gig USB drive... limitless music and movies. The airlines were hauling around 500-plus extra pounds of A/V equipment and paying the royalties for all of those movies and music, not to mention the extra cost and hassle of installing and maintaining that equipment. All that the passengers really want is an A/C electrical outlet, so that they can charge all of their personal shit. All of those 5-inch screens and the supporting hardware were outdated before they were ever installed on the aircraft. Put in the WiFi and forget about the rest, right?

    I am also a big fan of segmenting the overhead airline bins into specific sections for each seat. If your bag fits into your slot, good for you. If it doesn't, then fuck you... Check It! I am also getting a bit pissed off with the people sitting in bulkhead seats who shove their personal stuff under their seats. That's my "foot space", not your "bag space."

    I have also been pushing for the increased availability of cellular service aboard airliners, but there are multiple issues involved with that. WiFi is easy, but cellular is tough. That's just the way the system works. Also... any pilot will tell you... if you leave your cellphone on during a flight, it will kill your phone's battery. If your phone is on, once you are in the air, your phone will go into "high power" mode, searching for a signal. Even if your phone is fully charged, it will probably have a dead battery after a 3-hour flight.

    Speaking of which... can a cellphone interfere with an aircraft's systems? Very unlikely. A cellphone certainly can't make an airplane crash. However, a cellphone could potentially interfere with an aircraft's systems... something like the pilots saying "Why is it doing That?" Newly constructed airliners are designed to resist interference from onboard cellphones and other electronics.

    I also had this idea... just as a hypothetical example... suppose that a ticket costs $100 each way... charge $103 each way, but offer a $5 rebate (in some form to be decided by the airline), if the customer does not have any carry-on bags. This would speed up the boarding process, and could also increase the airline's revenue.

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    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    You also need to know your "rights" as an airline consumer. You don't actually have any "rights" with the airline(s), but there are some solid agreements among the airlines, including international agreements. Most importantly, if you ever have a serious issue with any airline, don't open a case until your trip has been completed. It's OK to complain prior to the completion of your trip, but don't open a case, officially, until your trip has been completed. For domestic-only trips, your order-of-contact is your travel agent, then the airline, then the airline consumer bureau in your country. If your trip involves any international travel, then you may be able to elevate your complaint to IATA, but you will have to do so through an intermediary, such as your country's department/ministry of transportation/state.

    If international flight is involved, then you will need to understand or hire an expert or a lawyer who understands the Montreal Convention and the nature of Special Drawing Rights. Before you ask... I am forbidden from serving as counsel in these matters, as I am a designated servant of the international court regarding matters of the Montreal Convention. In other words, if you press a complaint against any airline which involves the Montreal Convention, I will be present, as an SME and friend of the court, to interpret the rules of the convention. I can represent neither the plaintiff nor the defense.

    Nowadays, taxes on airline tickets are substantial. It depends upon each individual's circumstances, but most people are entitled to at least a partial refund on all canceled tickets, even nonrefundable tickets, because a significant amount of the ticket price is governmental taxes. The airline doesn't have to refund the fare on a non-refundable ticket, but the airline may be required to refund the taxes charged on the ticket, depending upon the circumstances.

    The airlines, and specifically the Captain of your flight, are, in fact the Judge, Jury, and Executioner... once the aircraft is airborne. Many States (including the USA) claim legal rights over the airspace which is above their own land territory, but legally and practically speaking, the Captain is the ultimate authority while the aircraft is in flight. The Captain is normally bound by International Aviation Law, as agreed upon by the member nations of ICAO, and the laws of the airline's "Flag", regardless of the Captain's own nationality. If you have an issue or dispute in flight, especially on an international flight, the best thing to do is to keep your pie-hole shut until the aircraft lands, then address the issue with the authorities on the ground. Never forget... if you become antagonistic, unstable, or violent while aboard an aircraft, particularly on an international flight, the Captain will probably put 2 bullets between your eyes, and no court on Earth will question his judgment.

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    1) Hierarchy: Most of you probably know most of this, but here goes anyway... The epaulets or "shoulder tabs" that airline crew members wear do actually mean something. For almost all airlines: a Captain wears 4 stripes, a First Officer wears 3 stripes, and a Flight Engineer or Purser wears 2 stripes. Flight Engineers and Pursers are quite rare these days, although the lead flight attendant, particularly on wide-body flights, will often wear 2 stripes and refer to himself/herself as the "Purser." Flight attendants other than the purser or lead flight attendant are entitled to wear 1 stripe, but they rarely do.

    On those airlines which still use the position of Purser, the Purser is the lead Flight Attendant, and is also responsible for all monetary concerns of the aircraft. In the past, the Purser would be the first person to exit the aircraft upon landing, and would settle the airline's accounts with the local authorities, purchase fuel for the aircraft, and arrange for the immigration and customs clearance of the aircraft's passengers. In the present day, these responsibilities have mostly been removed from the onboard flight crew, and are handled at the corporate level.

    On some flights, particularly long-range international flights, there may be more than one Captain aboard the aircraft. It is not unusual to see 3 or more pilots wearing 4 stripes on trans-Pacific flights. All of those pilots are entitled to be referred to as "Captain", although many airlines reserve the use of "Captain" for the "Pilot-in-Command." The Pilot-in-Command (PIC) of any airline flight is almost always a Captain (4-striper), and is designated as PIC of the flight by the airline, prior to departure. The PIC has ultimate authority over the entire flight, from departure until arrival. On long flights, particularly trans-oceanic flights, the PIC will usually be seated in the Captain's seat on the Flight Deck (Cockpit) during arrival and landing, although he will not necessarily be the "Pilot Flying" during arrival and landing. At airports such as Juan Santamaria/Alajuela/San José, Costa Rica (SJO), even though the flight may be short, there may be an extra Captain (4-striper) aboard, serving as "Special Pilot-in-Command." SJO requires a "Special Pilot in Command Qualification" for all airliners operating at SJO, in compliance with ICAO rules. Most likely, the "extra" Captain is the PIC, and is aboard the aircraft to assist in the qualification of one of the other pilots for flights into SJO.

  5. #5
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    2) Hierarchy outside of the Aircraft...

    The Gate Agent is NOT your friend. The gate agent is usually the least senior airline employee in the airport, and is often not even an airline employee. Gate agents are often contracted as "temp" workers from nearby community colleges and technical colleges, and are often paid the minimum statutory wage. If your flight is cancelled, or if you need a flight rebooking or any other assistance, the gate agent is the very last person that you want to be talking to.

    Your Number One resource for all off-aircraft concerns is the highest-level customer-service telephone representative that you can access. If you have frequent-flyer status with your airline, then call your frequent-flyer customer service number. If you don't have frequent-flyer status, then call the regular customer service number. If you have access to an on-site airline (not airport) club, then go to the club and speak with one of the desk agents. They are not specifically trained to help you with flight issues, in most cases, but they do have priority access to the airline's call center. If none of those options are working for you, leave the gate area and proceed to the departure area ticket desk. In many airports (not all) the most senior and knowledgeable airline employees will be working at the departure area ticket desk.

    3) Never be afraid to ask for anything... but always ASK... POLITELY... NEVER Demand. If the airline is obligated to give you something, they will give it to you. You won't have to demand it. If the airline is NOT obligated to give you something, the only chance that you have at getting it is by asking politely. Almost all airline employees are used to hearing all kinds of abusive language and threats on a regular basis. They will not acknowledge or grant any of your demands. Some airline employees do, however, have the authority to "grant" you certain benefits. If you play nice, you might get them. If you start playing "hard ball", you won't get any of them.

    One of my favorite stories... We landed over 90 minutes late. Everybody on the airplane had already missed their connection, although many people refused to believe it... "They're probably holding the airplane for me", etc.

    After we landed, as soon as the pilot made the "OK to use cellphones" announcement, I immediately got on the phone with the airline's call center, using my frequent flyer number. They already had me re-booked, and I verified all of the details. I managed to squeeze an extra $30 in meal vouchers out of them, too... just by being polite. The airplane reached the gate, and of course there was a mad rush for the boarding door and the gate desk. The airline had sent over an extra gate agent to re-book everyone. I took my time getting off the airplane, and by the time I walked into the terminal, there were at least 70 people in the line at the gate desk, and nobody was happy.

    I walked up to the gate desk, and the passenger at the front of the line immediately yelled, "Hey! There's a Line!" I answered, "It's OK. I'm not cutting." The gate agent looked up at me and I just said, "I'm Speedy1. My stuff already printed out, on your printer there. Go ahead and take care of all these people first. I'll be over at that bar, right there (pointing) getting hammered. Don't forget me. Just come on over with my stuff when you're ready." The gate agent said, "No problem, sir", and smiled. I walked to the bar, smiling, as the front-of-line person scowled at me. One hour later, the gate agent walked over to the bar with all of my shit, and an extra $200 voucher.
    Last edited by Speedy1; 08-25-2016 at 05:41 PM.

  6. #6
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    4) Never Pass on a Good Thing...

    I was supposed to depart on an early morning flight from the Sheremetyevo (Moscow) airport. As soon as I arrived at the airport, I could see that the fog was abysmal, with no indication that it would let up anytime soon. As soon as I got rid of the taxi guy, before I even walked into the terminal, I phoned the airline's call center. The rep on the phone balked at first, insisting that the flight might leave on time. I assured her that it would not, and that I didn't want to spend the whole day at the airport. Her response was, "Well... If you're just giving up, the best that I can do is to book you on the same flight tomorrow." I responded, "That's fine with me. I can sell that to the boss." She said, "Well, Fine, then. Go to the ticket desk inside to get your new paperwork." So... I did...

    I had to wait in line behind 3 or 4 poor suckers who were probably going to wait all day to board a flight that was just going to get cancelled 6 hours later, but I reached the ticket desk after about 15 minutes. The girl behind the desk was a smokin' hot 22-year-old blonde Russian girl... and I hate blondes... but... Damn! She was clearly frustrated by all of the irate customers that she had been dealing with. I'm no Casanova, but I do know my job, so I figured, why not play that advantage as best I can?

    I said, "Hi there! I'm Speedy1, scheduled out on XXX flight 100." She answered, "Of course. Well, that flight has been delayed, and..."

    Me: Relax, Sweetie. I know that the flight has been delayed. In fact, it's going to be cancelled here in about 5 or 6 hours.

    She: Oh... How do you know that?

    Me: Because I know stuff like that. It's magic.

    She: Oh...

    Me: No... Seriously... I already spoke with the airline, and they told me the flight was going to be cancelled. They re-booked me. The stuff is right there on your printer... I'm just here to pick it up.

    She: Yes... Here it is. [she looked at the papers] You're re-booked for tomorrow? You didn't want to try to get out on a different flight later today? You want to spend another day in Moscow?

    Me: Well, I didn't think so at first... but now, I'm thinking that i could spend another day in Moscow... with you...

    She: What? I'm Sorry? What?

    Me: What time do you finish work? How about dinner? Can I have your phone number?


    She glanced at her boss to make sure that she wasn't looking, then scribbled her phone number on the papers and handed them to me quickly. "Go. Now. Before my boss sees. I finish work at 3 in the afternoon." I said, "I'll call."



    Although I suck at picking up girls, I have noticed 2 very important things during my travels...

    1) When you travel all the time, there's no harm in being brash and bold. You'll never see the person again anyway. Go all "James Bond" on 'em. They'll either bite, or they won't. No big deal, either way.

    2) Russian girls are easy to pick up.
    Last edited by Speedy1; 08-25-2016 at 05:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    I already discussed how you can at least get the taxes back on an unused ticket. Here are some additional tactics for getting a refund on a "Non-Refundable" ticket...

    1) "Trip in Vain"... Don't count on a lot of sympathy from the low-cost carriers with this one. However, the legacy carriers are generally helpful, especially if you are little bit flexible, too. A "Trip in Vain" is a trip that, due to the delay or cancellation of any portion of the outbound trip, is rendered useless. For example, if you book a round-trip departing on Friday afternoon and returning on Sunday afternoon, to visit your parents for the weekend, but weather, mechanical problems, or other issues delay your departure until Saturday evening, you can claim that that would be a "Trip in Vain"... arriving at 2 a.m. on Sunday and departing at 3 p.m. on the same day. The purpose of the trip has been ruined. Once again... Spirit will probably tell you to go fuck yourself, but Delta will happily refund the price of the ticket, or at least issue an unrestricted voucher for the amount of the ticket price.

    2) "Foreseeable Circumstance" ... This one is a bit more difficult to negotiate with the airline, so don't be shy about asking to speak with a supervisor. Basically, this issue refers to a trip which will likely result in a big headache for you and/or the airline. The more it affects the airline, the better. An Example from my personal files...

    I had scheduled a trip to Ukraine, flying through Amsterdam to Kyiv. This trip was scheduled for early April, 2000... precisely during the time of the major volcanic eruption in Iceland, which disrupted air travel all over Europe, and stranded thousands of passengers in Europe, including many passengers at the Amsterdam (Schiphol) airport. 7 days prior to my departure, I decided to cancel my trip to Ukraine and go to Costa Rica instead. I called the airline's call center...

    Me: I'd like to cancel my ticket.

    She: I'm sorry, Sir. I can't help you. The ticket is non-refundable.

    Me: You do know about the huge volcanic ash cloud, right? Flights have already been canceled for 3 days.

    She: Yes, but your flight has not yet been cancelled.

    Me: It's going to be. Shall I call you back up in 5 days, when you're much busier with cancellations? Or shall we take care of it now, while you have the time?

    She: Sir... I can't cancel the ticket and refund your money unless the flight has been cancelled.

    Me: OK... I'm going to re-book for a trip to Costa Rica, anyway. So instead of a refund, we'll just call it a change.

    She: I can do that, but the change fee is $200.

    Me: No. I'm not paying a change fee for a ticket that I can't use.

    She: Then I can't help you, sir.

    Me: OK. Fine. I'll board that airplane next week, and open the flight. Then... I'll be another stranded passenger that you'll have to deal with next week. I'll be stuck in New York or Amsterdam... and you'll have to find a way to get me back home... and when I finally get home, I'll file a "Trip in Vain" claim, because I spent my entire vacation in New York or Amsterdam, instead of in Kyiv.

    She: Could you hold for one minute, please, sir?

    Me: Sure. Take your time.

    Supervisor: Mr. Speedy1? I have credited the full amount of your ticket back to your credit card. Is there anything else that I can help you with?

    Me: Nope. That'll do.

  8. #8
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Here's a handy tip, whether you live in Costa Rica or not...

    If you live near a busy international airport, find out where the airlines put their crews for their layovers. The airlines that have crew layovers in your city "block out" hotel rooms for their crews. Most legacy carriers put their crews up in very nice hotels. For example, right here at SJO, at least one airline puts their crews up in a 4-star hotel. I almost slipped and told you guys the name of the hotel... but that's not going to happen. You'll have to do your own research to find out where the crews stay. It's not difficult to find out where they stay, but I am not going to just hand it to you guys on a silver platter... where the Avianca and Iberia girls stay...

    Oh... when the Iberia girls come to Costa Rica during January... it's so cold in Spain during January... but it's so warm here. Their clothes just... fall... off...

    Banging hot flight attendants is just a matter of odds. If you become a regular at their hotel's bar, it's inevitable. You're here... they're young and in an exotic country, 5000 miles from home... there's a bar... with alcohol.. and many of them have never heard a gringo accent before...

    It's funny... 5 years ago, I never would have thought that I would spend the night with a REAL Señorita in Costa Rica... and now it has happened on more than one occasion. In Atlanta, it was the Singapore girls.

    Besides the girls, its good to meet the flight deck crews, as well. It's good conversation, and you can pick up quite a lot of valuable "inside information." I have gleaned a shitload more useful information from pilots in hotel bars than I ever have on flight decks or in airline executive offices.

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    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    More on refunds for "Non-Refundable tickets"...

    Once again, you can pretty much expect the low-fare carriers to tell you to go fuck yourself... but the legacy carriers are generally willing to listen.

    One Exception... Southwest, even though it is a low-fare carrier, tends to be a bit more sympathetic than the other low-fare carriers


    FIRST... a MAJOR POINT...

    Non-Refundable tickets are sold that way by the legacy carriers as a way to establish their "base" for each flight. The legacy carriers generally expect to sell the bulk of their seats on any given flight well in advance of that flight, with non-refundable fares. These fares are good for the passengers because they are cheap, and they are good for the airlines because they fill most of the seats and cover most of the costs of the flights. For these reasons, the airlines are not in the habit of making exceptions to the "non-refundable" rules. However, the legacy carriers have been known to be quite gracious, on occasion... depending upon the passenger, the passenger's attitude, and the situation.

    Don't think of a "Non-Refundable" ticket as "Non-Refundable." Instead, think of it as "Only Refundable if You Have a Damned Good Reason." And by "Damned Good Reason", I mean that you had better be ready to back up your reason with some kind of legal, official documentation.


    1) "Death in the Family"... If you have an unexpected death in the family, it never hurts to call the airline to see if you can cancel or re-book a ticket. At the very least, most of the legacy carriers will allow you to re-book the ticket with no change fee, if you can prove that the reason for the re-book is legitimate. Although it might seem callous, it's hard to blame the airlines for demanding proof of death, as this excuse can easily be faked.

    2) "Court Subpoena"... Most legacy carriers will waive the change fee if you can present documentation of a Court Subpoena which would affect your trip. Jury Duty is another valid reason to request a refund... but it's your trip. Most governmental entities will allow you to reschedule your jury duty obligation.

    3) "Serious Illness"... Any serious and/or significant contagious illness will most likely get you a refund, or at least an unrestricted voucher. If your doctor gives you a handwritten, signed letter that says you have Ebola, no airline wants you anywhere near its airplanes, and will happily issue a refund.

    4) "Political Unrest"... The airlines will most likely "beat you to the punch" on this one. If What-the-Fuck-istan suddenly erupts into war, then Nobody is flying there.


    ---------------


    Other Situations which may not entitle you to a refund, but may give you some options...

    1) Severe Weather... Most airlines will grant "Waivers" for severe weather, such as hurricanes. These waivers don't necessarily entitle you to a refund, but will allow you to reschedule your trip with no change fees, and may also give you some flexibility with your itinerary. With a phone call, you may be able to apply the full price paid for the original ticket to a completely different itinerary.

    2) International Flight Disruptions... If your ticket crosses international boundaries, you have additional rights, which are affected by the Montreal Convention, and which may be affected by the rights of any and/or all States included in the ticket. Your airline is aware of all applicable rules and restrictions, but if you feel that your airline is not acting in good faith, then you should retain expert council to petition IATA and/or ICAO for resolution of the dispute.


    3) Unreasonable Connection... The airlines are usually quite adept at avoiding this problem, but they do occasionally mess up. A 40-minute connection in Atlanta might seem like no big deal, if your connection is in the same concourse and you're seated in the middle of the cabin. But what happens when your airplane arrives at the gate 5 minutes late, you're seated in the last row of a 757, and you're connecting from Concourse D to the T-Gates in Atlanta? And what happens if it's 10 p.m., and that's the last flight to your destination, until 9 a.m. tomorrow? I have raised hell (politely, of course) about this very same situation, on 3 occasions. If the airline is going to schedule a 40-minute connection, then, by God, the airline should ensure that the connection is reasonable. The flight arrived technically "On Time", but that was still only 20 minutes prior to boarding door closure. I didn't even walk out of the arrival door until 10 minutes prior to boarding door closure. Yes... I have received a full ticket refund... twice... due to this situation.


    ---------

    Keys to getting a refund, particularly on a "Non-Refundable" ticket...

    1) Once again... BE POLITE. The airline is not obligated to give you very much, in most cases... but the airline will voluntarily give you a lot, if you know how to "push the buttons." Be persistent, but be polite, friendly, and cordial.

    2) Be flexible... With all of the airline mergers in recent years, there are few airlines to choose from these days, so don't burn any bridges. Refrain from thinking or saying "I'll NEVER fly with this airline again." That's just dumb. Of COURSE you're going to fly with that airline again. But if you say that, then where is the airline's incentive to help you? It's just business, and even the best business has the occasional moron working for it. Don't let one moron wreck your relationship with the airline.

    One HUGE help in getting a refund is being flexible with how you receive that refund. The first words out of my mouth, as soon as the subject of refund comes up, are "I'll happily take a refund in the form of an unrestricted voucher." A voucher is as good as cash, unless you're planning on never flying again. From my point-of-view, a $200 credit with the airline is just as good as $200 in cash. On top of that, you can expect the airline to be very generous if you offer to accept a voucher before the airline offers a voucher. That $200 refund can turn into a $300 or $400 voucher very quickly.

    EDIT: Conversely, for example... If the airline offers me a $400 Cash Refund, My immediate reply is "Well... How much would it be if I just want a voucher?" Normally, the response is, "Oh... You WANT a voucher? Let me see... OK... that's $600 for a voucher." My reply is "Sign me Up." Once or twice, the person has responded, "It's the same either way. $400 Cash or a $400 voucher." My response is always, "Well... in that case... I'll take $400 cash." "But you said you wanted a voucher." "Not if it's the same amount as Cash, I don't." "OK... $500 voucher." "Sold. I'm not as stupid as you thought I was, am I?"
    Last edited by Speedy1; 08-25-2016 at 06:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Speedy1's Avatar
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    Other situations that may entitle you to compensation...

    1) If you were sold a "Non-Stop" flight, and the airline changes your flight to include a stop or a connection, then you are probably entitled to some compensation. This rule may also apply if your flight is changed to include more stops/connections than the original purchase indicated. However, this does Not work in reverse. For example, if the airline sells you a ticket from Los Angeles to Boston, with a connection in Denver, and then changes your ticket to a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Boston, you are Not entitled to any compensation. At all times, the airline is only selling you a ticket from the departure to the destination. The airline is Never required to guarantee any intermediate stopover/connection points, unless the ticket is specifically booked to include those points.

    If you book a ticket from Los Angeles to Boston, with a stopover/connection in Denver, and then walk out of the terminal in Denver and discard the rest of the ticket, Denver then becomes what the airlines refer to as a "Hidden City." This is a violation of your contract with the airline, and could result in the forfeiture of your frequent flyer status and all of your frequent flyer points/miles. Any remaining portion of your ticket will automatically be cancelled.


    --------


    A couple of airline flying tidbits...

    1) We've all heard -- for our entire lives -- that sitting over the wing provides the smoothest ride. Not True. Over the wing is a good seat, but it's not the best. In reality, the smoothest ride is as close to the front of the airplane as you can get. Yes... the pilots get the best ride on the airplane. Here's why...

    The airplane -- theoretically -- pivots about Three (3) Axes. These are the Vertical (Yaw), Longitudinal (Roll), and Lateral (Pitch) axes. In almost all non-aerobatic flight, the Vertical (Yaw) axis is usually not a significant factor in passenger comfort. In the context of passenger flight, we try to minimize/eliminate all movement about the Vertical (Yaw) axis, except in certain, very specific situations. The Longitudinal (Roll) axis is the axis which is most evident to the passengers. The aircraft "Rolls" about the Longitudinal (Roll) axis, usually for the purpose of turning. Whenever the airplane "tilts" to the left or right, that is the result of the airplane rolling about its longitudinal axis. Movement about the longitudinal axis affects all passengers approximately the same, as the longitudinal axis generaly runs right down the center of the airplane, from nose to tail. All passengers are seated within a few feet of the longitudinal axis. On a wide-body aircraft, the passengers seated in the center of the aircraft might notice less movement about the longitudinal axis than passengers seated by the windows, but the difference is not very significant.

    That leaves us with the third and final axis, the lateral (pitch) axis. At first glance, it would appear that since the lateral axis runs through the center of the aircraft, from left to right, roughly at about the point where the wing roots attach to the fuselage, that the seats over the wing would experience the least movement when the aircraft pitches. However, that is not the case. The control surface for pitch, on almost all airliners, is located at the tail of the aircraft. Aviation professionals usually call this control surface the Elevator, Stabilator, or Flipper. This control surface can take a few different forms, but the simplified explanation is that, whatever you call it or whatever its specific design, it is the pitch control surface, and it is located at the tail end of the aircraft. Because of the location of this surface, and because of the aerodynamic forces acting upon the airplane as it moves, nose-first, through the air, the airplane Does Not pitch about the lateral axis. Rather, the pitch control surface forces the tail of the airplane up or down, effectively pivoting the aircraft about its nose, Not about its lateral (pitch) axis. So... when the airplane is in flight, the passengers in the tail section of the airplane will experience the most movement, and the passengers closest to the nose will experience the least movement, when the aircraft is pitching.

    it is notable that the aircraft pitches about an entirely different axis when on the ground, during takeoff and landing. While on the ground, the aircraft pitches about the axis defined by a line through the main gear attach points, which is usually near the center of the wings.
    Last edited by Speedy1; 08-25-2016 at 02:16 PM.

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