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Old 01-22-2018, 07:33 AM
 
2,680 posts, read 1,544,220 times
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We've been planning for a trip the past month or so, to Belgium and the Netherlands for spring. But the thought of dealing with airlines and their terrible service has led us to plan to do a stateside driving trip instead. After all, who needs to deal with vanishing fares, uncomfortable cabins, surly staff both on the ground and in the air, delays (and delays and delays...), long lines - such as a two hour customs line we were in (US no less) a few years ago, and so forth.

The worst for me is all the fare games carriers play - low fares often won't book, prices seem to be all over the place, both in city pairs and day to day on a particular city pair and so forth. I usually feel like a chump when I finally book.

Has anyone else changed travel plans in order to avoid airlines?
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:58 AM
 
1,203 posts, read 804,012 times
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No I never have. Most of the annoyances I've experienced on airlines is other passengers and that didn't happen enough to discourage me from flying. I don't like to fly but I like going to the places it takes me to.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:35 AM
 
12,299 posts, read 18,417,176 times
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Well if you want to go outside the Americas you gotta fly (or take a boat but that would take days/weeks). Some of us have no choice - travel for business you are going to fly.

Really the decision should come in to play only for domestic travel - hours driving vs. cost of plane tickets vs. hassle factor vs. time - calculate it all together using your own hassle tolerance to determine if you should fly or drive - not for international travel. If you want to go to Europe you shouldn't say no just because of the hassle of flying, that's an overreaction even under the most extreme "hassle tolerance" and you are missing a lifetime opportunity that has no relation or equivalent to the negative airline experience 99% of the time.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:49 AM
 
9,819 posts, read 5,020,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Has anyone else changed travel plans in order to avoid airlines?
Nope. I guess I don't have the same problems you do. Or they don't bother me to the extent that they do you.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:55 AM
Status: "I work to ski" (set 9 hours ago)
 
Location: SE WI
510 posts, read 355,371 times
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I flew 4 legs a week, 45 weeks last year and the year before and the year before that.
I know nothing about what you mentioned in your first paragraph. The information you received this from is extremely misleading.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,109,576 times
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Unbookable low fares are typically a technology issue- the air fare search engines cache results from previous users and will often send you data several hours old in the name of making the search quicker for you and reducing server load for them. So you're looking at fare buckets now that might have actually been booked two hours ago.

Sometimes there will also only be a limited number of tickets left in each fare bucket and the system is set up to put all the tickets in each purchase into the same fare category. If there's only one V fare (deep discount coach) left on your proposed ticket, and you're trying to book two tickets, the system goes up the price points until it finds the same fare bucket for both tickets, which can be a lot more expensive on a full flight. So try searching tickets one at a time and then calling the airline later and asking them to 'link the PNRs' which somewhat ties the tickets together in the event of flight delays and rebookings.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:43 AM
 
2,680 posts, read 1,544,220 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Unbookable low fares are typically a technology issue- the air fare search engines cache results from previous users and will often send you data several hours old in the name of making the search quicker for you and reducing server load for them. So you're looking at fare buckets now that might have actually been booked two hours ago.

Sometimes there will also only be a limited number of tickets left in each fare bucket and the system is set up to put all the tickets in each purchase into the same fare category. If there's only one V fare (deep discount coach) left on your proposed ticket, and you're trying to book two tickets, the system goes up the price points until it finds the same fare bucket for both tickets, which can be a lot more expensive on a full flight. So try searching tickets one at a time and then calling the airline later and asking them to 'link the PNRs' which somewhat ties the tickets together in the event of flight delays and rebookings.
...and airlines never push out a low fare that gets cached and withdrawn a short time later? Heck, I've even seen this game on airline sites. It is a game, to get folks to spend more than they planned.

"lifetime opportunities"? Hardly.

Business travel I understand. I also know how bad air travel has become in the past decades.

Glad others still find it tolerable. Maybe you've never overnighted in an airport on the floor, or had flights so delayed that you missed overseas connections.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,109,576 times
Reputation: 7710
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
.
Glad others still find it tolerable. Maybe you've never overnighted in an airport on the floor, or had flights so delayed that you missed overseas connections.
I've stayed i airport hotels so bad overnight on the floor would have been better in retrospect and missed international connections. Stuff happens; unpleasant stuff happens; the road trip can can break down too and all.

In the end, there are things and people I still want to see that are far away from home, and flying is how you get there. Despite occasional issues, my flight and airport experiences are still far more positive than negative.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:01 AM
 
1,391 posts, read 637,810 times
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Of course there are other alternatives to airlines, i.e cruise lines especially Cunard's Queen Mary 2 which makes regular transatlantic crossings. Though it would cost more in time and money. There are people who do frighter cruises as well for those who want an alternative to crowded with tourists cruise vessels.

If one goes by airline usually the non US based carriers/particularly the Asian country/middle east flag carriers are much more customer centered compared to the ones based in the US who these days seem to care only about lining the pockets of their executives and unions than anything else and skimping on everything else.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,685 posts, read 16,109,576 times
Reputation: 7710
While the Middle Eastern flag carriers have a reputation for good customer service under normal circumstances, I know a good number of people who refuse to fly them again because of extremely poor handling of IRROPS situations- things get weird, and the airline just shrugs and refuses to help them get the problem resolved or provide reasonable flight rebooking options.
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