Dear US airlines,
For years, I’ve respected you and liked you. However, things have been bothering me lately. So I need to share these airline complaints with you.
When we first met, I thought you were polite, accommodating, and helpful. I really enjoyed traveling with you. However, you have changed.
You are now greedy, stressed, overworked, and care more about my money than you do me.
To be fair, you have some positive qualities. People may not dress up to fly any more but at least you offer some cheap flights. We no longer have to deal with smoking on the plane. Your food tastes a lot better too (even though we pay for it now – more on that one later).
You’ve allowed me to see some great places in this world and have given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve seen you do some great things.
There is that time you allowed a passenger to give his first class seat to a solider on Memorial Day while you served other soldiers on the flight for free. You’ve served others with a smile and make sure people arrive safely to their destinations.
I don’t want to dismiss all the great things you have done. However, you are not who you were when we first met. You’ve changed – for better and for worse.
My long list of airline complaints
Sadly, after all our years together the time has come to air our dirty laundry.
Service with a smile now requires some money in the pocket to get any service at all. Some things used to be standard and complimentary – a pillow and blanket, checked bags, and a meal.
Now we have to pack light to avoid excessive baggage fees. Never mind that you need the weight of our bags to help balance the plane anyways. Now we have to pay for something you used to do for free.
One of you even charges a fee for carry on bags (which may cost more than the flight).
I wish I could charge people to do the same things I’ve always done. However, let’s move on to more of your excess baggage.
There’s a fee for everything now. You were once that friend that was helpful and kind. Now you are pinching every penny and asking for money every time you offer help. You’re greedy, self-centered, and extort rather than assist.
A few of your fees I can even understand. After all, you are providing a service and want money for things others charge (food, blanket, pillows). However, your latest fee has gone too far.
Family airline fee – the worst fee of all
Paying for a seat on a plane isn’t enough anymore. Now people must pay to sit together in certain seats. Welcome to the family airline fee!
Parents now have to pay more to sit next to their own child. This fee also applies to anyone who wants to travel together – couples, friends, and relatives.
You say it’s OK for people to switch seats with a parent (or friend or relative) so they can sit beside their child. However, what person is going to switch seats with a parent after paying more for that seat?
Not only is your greed showing – so is your stupidity. I think you’ve gotten dumber over the years too. Expect many airline complaints and maybe even a few lawsuits over this one.
Who is going to take care of that screaming child when he misses his mommy or needs something? The stranger beside him in 6A? What if the kid has allergies his fellow passengers don’t know about?
What if there is an emergency on the plane and a parent can’t get to their child? Is that parent going to exit the plane quickly when their child is seated 10 rows in front of them?
Is that business traveler going to entertain a kid or put on the oxygen mask if needed? What if the child needs to go to the bathroom or starts crying? At least if a child sat with a parent, the parent could help control or console the child.
I could go on but that’s just a few examples of this family airline fee stupidity (even though the family airline fee isn’t the name, that’s what I am calling it). Just another fine example of your desire to extort…I mean…make money.
Blame it on the rain
I’ve read the books and the blogs so I am not fooled like I was before. I understand things happen that you can’t control. However, sometimes things are your fault but you lie about it.
A weather delay may actually be a mechanical delay. Then again, a weather delay may mean the pilots are late. With the new passenger bill of rights, any delay that is your fault means compensating passengers. So you lie or stretch the truth.
I’ve seen airlines intentionally leave passengers behind by not announcing final boarding, closing the gate, and not allowing passengers on the plane (even though the plane was at the gate).
You said that everyone was called to board the plane. However, I know you lied. This was during the holidays and you were overbooked. Yet you didn’t want to compensate me because of your mistake.
I used to believe you when you said something. I don’t any more. Thankfully, there are those trying to stand up for our rights as passengers. However, there are still many things you do which make airline passengers angry.
Bad customer service by the airlines
If all the fees, hassles, frustrations, and delays weren’t enough, poor customer service is on the rise. Just add it to the list of airline complaints that I have.
I understand that flight attendants get frustrated and even quit their jobs because of the stress of dealing with passengers. However, part of this is your fault. You are making the flight a bad experience for passengers and employees.
However, poor customer service happens well before we board the plane.
For a long time, your airfare sales were a lie. You advertised base fares but didn’t include the total price. Now airline taxes and fees are part of the airfare price. Now passengers feel overtaxed by the airlines.
However, airlines will still do a bait and switch on customers. Airfare sales allow customers to get a good deal on flights but at what cost? Many times, the results are poor customer service and changing airfares.
To be fair, Southwest Airlines deserves some credit. Their fares are low (but airfare prices are increasing), they don’t charge baggage fees, and they make flying fun.
We’re both different now as we look ahead to the future
We’ve both changed over the years. I am not as naive and young as I was. You aren’t as friendly, helpful, or as much fun.
Some things get better with age. Unfortunately, flying hasn’t been one of those. I do see a lot of positive things. Yet you aren’t what I remember either.
And that’s a shame.
Greed, poor attitudes, lies, and excuses are part of who you are now. I do appreciate the low airfares, no smoking, and food. However, I can’t say you’ve improved with age.
Can you change? Can things get better? I am not sure. Call me pessimistic but even your airline mergers seem like bad news for passengers these days.
I know I am not the only one who has seen you change. Maybe we can be good friends again. However, finding new friends may be better than waiting on you to change.
Budget traveler and frustrated flier
What other things would you include in this list of airline complaints?