BlathrWayne Lorentz

Showing blathrs with the tag “Airlines.”

Airline humor

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

A signboard at Midway Airport

I know Southwest is trying to be folksy and humorous by having the status sign at the airport gate tell me I have plenty of time to read magazines. But I canʼt help but think, “No kidding. My flight has already been delayed six times tonight.”

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Optimism

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

A signboard at Midway Airport

And by “peace and quiet” Southwest Airlines means “listening to the simultaneous FaceTime calls of half-a-dozen people who think pajamas and flip-flips are appropriate attire for a flight across the country.”

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No wonder boarding is so slow

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

A signboard at Midway Airport

Southwest Airlines encourages people to download its app for a “contactless day of travel.” You know what else is contactless? The way it was done up to now.

There's nothing about using an app that is more contactless than using a home-printed ticket, or even the old-style paper tickets. Both are read by a contactless scanner. It's not like the gate agent is going to lick your face because youʼre not using an app.

There are more disadvantages to using an app for your boarding pass than using a piece of paper:

  • Ask any janitor — people drop their phones in toilets all the time.
  • Restrooms, bars, restaurants, payment kiosks — there are a thousand ways to lose your phone in an airport.
  • Phones run out of battery.
  • Phone apps crash.
  • Phone apps malfunction.
  • Internet connectivity is required, but not guaranteed.
  • Internet connectivity in airports is notoriously slow and unreliable.
  • People run out of data on their mobile plans while waiting for their planes.
  • Screens time out and turn off just when someone gets to the gate agent. It happens constantly.

My observation waiting in line behind people using app-based boarding passes is that the paper passes scan more quickly, and more reliably than the phone-based equivalents.

The only reason to use an app-based boarding pass is if you enjoy forking over even more of your personal information to an airline so that it can sell that information to other people.

I am a paying passenger. I am not your recurring revenue stream.

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Where the big boys are

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 Alive 18,733 days

IAH

Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), as seen from a plane that just left Hobby Airport (HOU).

They're only about 17 miles apart, but Iʼve flown between them a few times.

In the 1990's there was a bit of a kerfuffle when Bush Airport raised its parking rates. People were mad. Like Texas mad. Because in Texas, parking is virtually a human right.

To capitalize on this, hometown flyer Continental Airlines offered a promo: Fly with Continental from Bush, and you can park at the much cheaper (my memory says it might have even been free) Hobby Airport. Continental would fly you from the smaller airport to the larger one to catch your real flight.

The magic of this was that, at the time, airlines would give you 500 frequent flyer miles just for getting off the ground. I was able to bank several thousand frequent flyer miles just hopping back-and-forth between IAH and HOU on my way to other cities. This was back when frequent flyer miles meant something, and werenʼt just Monopoly money.

One day as my flight from HOU to IAH was getting ready to take off, the plane taking off ahead of us crashed. We were still on the taxiway, so you could see the wreckage right there.

It was a small non-commercial plane, but that didnʼt make any of us passengers feel better because the Continental flight was a puddle-jumper so small that it only had seats on one side.

After a delay, we ended up taking off from another runway. Since then, my flights have been mostly uneventful. As they should be.

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Well, it is Southwest…

Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 Alive 18,732 days

My flight from Chicago to Houston cost $68. At check-in, Southwest Airlines helpfully offered me an upgrade to priority boarding for just $298. What a bargain!

Yes, I know why this is, but that doesn't make it any less stupid.

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Connection over sneakernet

Saturday, July 30th, 2022 Alive 18,722 days

The Chase United Guide to benefits

Iʼm supposed to have super-duper awesome benefits with United Airlines because I have a Chase credit card. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to see what those benefits are. Naturally, the link on the Chase web site was broken. It just looped though a login screen over and over.

Since Iʼm a paying customer, I moaned about it to Chaseʼs customer service.

I ended up booking my ticket on another airline, and forgot all about it until I got this in the the mail today. I guess someone at Chase figured it would be faster to mail me a book about the benefits than to fix the link.

I guess this ends up being a story about good customer service, because not only do I have the book, but I just checked, and the link is fixed, too.

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United in failure

Saturday, July 16th, 2022 Alive 18,708 days

United Airlines not working

I sure wish I could book a flight on United Airlines. But for three days in two different browsers on two different computers, all I get when I search is this screen, which never changes.

Maybe American Airlines wants my money.

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Wing, please

Thursday, January 21st, 2021 Alive 18,167 days

Thing nobody at an airline asks anymore:

“Smoking or non-smoking?”

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Too poorly run to fail

Monday, March 16th, 2020 Alive 17,856 days

The big airlines want taxpayers to bail them out because of the impact of COVID-19.

Maybe we should learn a lesson from the big banking bailouts of last decade, and add some conditions to this bailout. Like requiring better service and facilities, instead of just allowing megacorps to blow billions on self-serving stock buybacks.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again.”

— American Airlines C.E.O in 2017
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Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 Alive 17,235 days

A headline from Apple News

I can go two ways with this:

  1. The chairman is apologizing because Asiana flights lack suicide?
  2. The chairman of Asiana Airlines is apologizing for providing the same level of service that American airlines provide.
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