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Old 12-30-2009, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,417 posts, read 17,394,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
... I've also heard of young soldiers having to fly on stand by because they didn't get approval for leave time soon enough to make reservations ahead of time or book several weeks/months ahead. So they have to wait and hope that someone does not make their flight so that they can fly.
It's been a long time since I was in the military -- 39+ years -- but I normally flew on standby because it was half price and, if you picked your flight times right, there were usually plenty of empty seats. I think the only time I didn't get right on was once flying out of Okinawa.... I had a TEN DAY wait! But that was for a free hop on a military flight.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:57 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,595,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
I've heard of this happening to several young soldiers, and I bet that it happens more often than we think. I've also heard of young soldiers having to fly on stand by because they didn't get approval for leave time soon enough to make reservations ahead of time or book several weeks/months ahead. So they have to wait and hope that someone does not make their flight so that they can fly.

As far as most airlines finding a way to get a soldier on a flight there isn't a whole lot that they can do. The only thing that the airline that they are booked with will do, will see if there is an empty seat on their next flight to the soldier's destination or put them on stand-by in case someone does not show up for the next flight if that flight is booked full. They can't or won't ask to see if another passenger would be willing to give up their seat.

As far as other airlines go, not many will allow a soldier to take an empty seat on their flight if they have an empty seat or even allow them to wait on stand by if they have a ticket on another airline. They can have a seat on their flight if they wish to purchase a ticket from them. Like young soldiers have that kind of money to purchase yet another ticket. I do not know if this is because they won't or don't get some sort of reimbursement from the original airline the soldier booked with. If that's the case then that should be changed somehow.
In all honesty, I think you are over-exagerating a bit. I get the feeling you don't fly all that often. I see tons of military in airports, I'll bet thousands of them fly commerical airlines every single day, and less than .1% of them aren't on the flight they want/need to be on.

You had said that flights are all full, well, I have to disagree. In the past years I've flown cross country twice, to the Caribbean, and multiple trips to the northeast, and less than 20% of those flights were 100% full. Those that were full had filled up the last couple of seats with non revs--airline personel flying for free.

Also with many of the airlines, their tickets are easily endorsed to another carrier--you just have to know who and how to ask. Now that said, jetBlue, Allegiant, Southwest, Spirit, etc. don't endorse, and their tickets won't be accepted by another carrier. But the legacy's, absolutely. I've been endorsed over from US to American and it would be a no-brainer to get a United ticket endorsed to US, or a NW icket endorsed to Delta. You need to get the ticket reissued as a hard ticket in order to get it endorsed except with carriers that codeshare.

I've seen gate agents bend over backwards for a military person, and you are absolutely wrong, they can, will, and DO ask if someone is willing to take a voluntary bump. They might not say that it's for a military member, but on an oversold, they ALWAYS look for volunteers before denying boarding to any ticketed passenger--including standbys. They have to, it's in their contract of carriage.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:53 AM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Also with many of the airlines, their tickets are easily endorsed to another carrier--you just have to know who and how to ask. Now that said, jetBlue, Allegiant, Southwest, Spirit, etc. don't endorse, and their tickets won't be accepted by another carrier.
And I have seen the folks at Southwest bend over backwards to help stranded servicemen get to their final destination on time.

I really doubt that it is much of a problem.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:59 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 4,304,128 times
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
In all honesty, I think you are over-exagerating a bit. I get the feeling you don't fly all that often. I see tons of military in airports, I'll bet thousands of them fly commerical airlines every single day, and less than .1% of them aren't on the flight they want/need to be on.

You had said that flights are all full, well, I have to disagree. In the past years I've flown cross country twice, to the Caribbean, and multiple trips to the northeast, and less than 20% of those flights were 100% full. Those that were full had filled up the last couple of seats with non revs--airline personel flying for free.

Also with many of the airlines, their tickets are easily endorsed to another carrier--you just have to know who and how to ask. Now that said, jetBlue, Allegiant, Southwest, Spirit, etc. don't endorse, and their tickets won't be accepted by another carrier. But the legacy's, absolutely. I've been endorsed over from US to American and it would be a no-brainer to get a United ticket endorsed to US, or a NW icket endorsed to Delta. You need to get the ticket reissued as a hard ticket in order to get it endorsed except with carriers that codeshare.

I've seen gate agents bend over backwards for a military person, and you are absolutely wrong, they can, will, and DO ask if someone is willing to take a voluntary bump. They might not say that it's for a military member, but on an oversold, they ALWAYS look for volunteers before denying boarding to any ticketed passenger--including standbys. They have to, it's in their contract of carriage.
Well maybe it's just the airport it'self, but this happened just within the last week to a young soldier who missed his connecting flight due to delays. He flew out of a smaller airport on a small airline into a larger airport to connect with a larger airline. The small airline had mechanical problems with the plane he and the other passengers were to board, so they sent a much smaller plane and it came in an a hour late to pick him and the other passengers up in the small town and thereby was an hour late getting into the larger airport. This made him miss his connecting flight with the larger carrier. He went to the gate agent to see what he and they could do about getting him on another flight. He even went to the USO and they did all they could to help him get on a flight even if it was on another carrier and none would check to see if they had a seat available. The only thing the carrier he was booked with would do about putting him on thier next flight to his destination was put him on stand by along with 3 other passengers who flew out with him on the small carrier from the smaller airport and thereby missed their connection as well.

When he wasn't able to get on that flight they stuck him on a flight that had empty seats and got him closer to his destination, but would still get him to his original destination late because he would have had to make annother connecting flight at that destination which flew out 6 hours later. His checked baggage got lost to boot as it went on the next flight to his destination on whole other airline.

So no airlines do not ALWAYS look for volunteers to give up a seat, nor do other airlines honor other airlines tickets. BTW the other airlines who would not help him out unless he wanted to buy a ticket from them was U.S. Airways, United and Southwest.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:37 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,595,142 times
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Originally Posted by wyoquilter View Post
Well maybe it's just the airport it'self, but this happened just within the last week to a young soldier who missed his connecting flight due to delays. He flew out of a smaller airport on a small airline into a larger airport to connect with a larger airline. The small airline had mechanical problems with the plane he and the other passengers were to board, so they sent a much smaller plane and it came in an a hour late to pick him and the other passengers up in the small town and thereby was an hour late getting into the larger airport. This made him miss his connecting flight with the larger carrier. He went to the gate agent to see what he and they could do about getting him on another flight. He even went to the USO and they did all they could to help him get on a flight even if it was on another carrier and none would check to see if they had a seat available. The only thing the carrier he was booked with would do about putting him on thier next flight to his destination was put him on stand by along with 3 other passengers who flew out with him on the small carrier from the smaller airport and thereby missed their connection as well.

When he wasn't able to get on that flight they stuck him on a flight that had empty seats and got him closer to his destination, but would still get him to his original destination late because he would have had to make annother connecting flight at that destination which flew out 6 hours later. His checked baggage got lost to boot as it went on the next flight to his destination on whole other airline.

So no airlines do not ALWAYS look for volunteers to give up a seat, nor do other airlines honor other airlines tickets. BTW the other airlines who would not help him out unless he wanted to buy a ticket from them was U.S. Airways, United and Southwest.
Like I said, the legacy carriers will generally endorse tickets to each other. Smaller carriers do not do this. The carrier might have been operating as a charter--where the rules are very different and tickets are never endorseable. (I'm going to take a wild guess that Allegiant was one of the carriers involved.)

The airlines wouldn't help him out because the airline he was booked on doens't have a reciprocal agreement with them. It's also possible that this all happened during the blizzard that shut down airports throughout over half of the country, and caused delays throughout the entire nation. If so, he was one of hundreds of thousands of stranded, delayed, and inconvenienced travelers. It's possible that no one would "check to see if there were seats open" because they had checked eight times in the past hour for other people and knew that every flight was overbooked with a 180 pax standby list.

You have heard one side of the story, possibly third or fourth hand. Without hearing the entire story and knowin all the facts, I wouldn't rush to judgement.

PS--Knowing full well that it was a holiday week and the weather was going to create havoc, he probably should ahve tried to change his lfight to leave a day earlier to be on the safe side. Live and learn.
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