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Posts Tagged ‘airline tickets’

Delta Now Running Chicago New York Shuttle

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 11, 2010


Delta Regional Jet

Delta Regional Jet on Runway

Delta Airlines launched new shuttle service from Chicago O’Hare to New York’s LaGuardia airport on June 14. The shuttle service offers 11 daily roundtrips linking Chicago and New York City. The flights depart LaGuardia on the hour between 7AM and 8PM. The Chicago flights depart at 5 minutes after the hour. The new service is operated by Delta’s regional partner Shuttle America using regional jet aircraft.

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That’s The Spirit – Screw Your Customers with Carryon Fees!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on April 29, 2010


Sprit Airlines Aircraft

Sprit Airlines, The All Fee Airline!

Ok, so the airlines started the whole fee deal with charging for food on the airplanes. Then they decided to charge to check a bag. But now one airline has crossed the line. Spirit Airlines has decided that to many people are bringing carry on luggage onto the plane. So to punish these passengers, they are going to charge them up to $45 to carry on a bag. That’s right, you heard me $45 to carry on a bag. What are they smoking over at the Spirit executive offices?

Spirit Airlines really does not understand that they caused the problem of to much carry on luggage in the first place.  This is how it happened. More then a year ago, Spirit decided that checked luggage was costing the airline too much money. So they decided to start charging to check a bag. The first bag would cost $25 to check and $25 for the 2nd bag. So passengers decided to carry on their luggage rather than pay the $25 to check it. Now Spirit feels that too many people are carrying on their bags. HELLO!!!  Are you idiot’s or just plain stupid Spirit! Have you ever heard of “Cause and Effect?”  You caused the passengers to carry on their luggage by charging them $25 to check it. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out Einstein!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that executives from American, Delta, Jet Blue, United and US Airways called to assure him that they would not follow Spirit’s lead in adopting the new carryon  charges. “we have begun to put the brakes on runaway and out-of-control airline fees,” Schumer said.

Schumer and 11 other senators have introduced legislation called the Block Airlines’ Gratuitous Fees Act (or BAG Fees Act), which would subject any fees charged for carry on baggage to the excise tax imposed on fares. A similar bill was introduced in the House.

Good for the Senators! Thanks for taking the bull by the horn. The airlines deserves what it gets!

I will tell you that I will not be flying Spirit anytime in the near future. Any airline that wants to charge me gratuitous fees will not get my business period!

Let me know how you feel about the subject.

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United Airlines Needs Customer Service Lessons

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 20, 2009


United Terminal at O'Hare

United Terminal at O'Hare

This has got to be the height of how not to treat a customer. My daughters Mother-in-law purchased 2 round trip tickets for my daughter and her husband for their honeymoon. They were headed to Rome, Italy from Chicago. The best fare and connections were through Toronto on Air Canada. The entire itinerary was on Air Canada except for the first leg of the trip which was from Chicago to Toronto. This leg was a code share flight with United Airlines. That means that United Airlines operated the flight, but the ticket showed an Air Canada flight number but also said “Flight Operated by United Airlines.”

The tickets were purchased about 4 months ago. During that time, United Airlines had a major schedule change and canceled a large number of flights. One of those flights  was the Air Canada code share flight that my kids were on. Now you would think that United would have let us know that the flight was canceled. That would have been the proper thing to do, but remember, this is United, an Airline that does not know what the words “Customer Service” means.

So let’s jump ahead to the night before the flight. I ask my daughter what the flight number was so I can check the times and maybe even get them checked in and get a boarding pass. She gives me her itinerary and I proceeded to look up her flights, but I could not find her first flight number. So I checked all the flight from Chicago to Toronto and I found that her flight did not exist anymore. So I tried to check her in on the United website. But it was not able to check them in as the website said that they did not have a flight from Chicago to Toronto. Now I am really worried. So we call Air Canada. They tell me that they have rebooked them on a United flight to Toronto at 110PM. So I felt a little better, but I still didn’t trust United. So I  called United Airlines Reservations. By the time we got to a real person I was very nervous. I gave the United reservation agent the reservation number and I was told the flight was an Air Canada flight. I told the agent, “No it is your flight, because it is a 737 aircraft and Air Canada does not have any 737’s. The agents argued with me for a few minutes, but then agreed with me that it was a United flight. I hung up, but I still was not feeling very good about this, as it was still not showing the flight correctly in the United reservation system.

The No Customer Service Gate Check In

The No Customer Service Gate Check In

Fast forward to the next day. My kids arrive at O’Hare Airport at 11AM for the 1;10PM Flight. They get in the International check in line and they wait, and wait and wait. After 50 minutes in line, they get to the kiosk and try to check in. But my fears come true and it will not let them check in. It says on the screen “Cannot complete check in, Please see agent.” So they turn around and grab an agent and she tells them they have to go and stand in yet another line to see an agent. They have now been at the airport for 1 hour trying to check in. The next line has at least 40 people in it and only one agent working the line. It takes them 40 minutes to get to the agent. Once they get to the agent, they are told  by the agent “You are too late, I cannot check you in, there is only 20 minutes before flight time. Go to Air Canada, it’s their ticket.” Can you believe that! And she was rude on top of it. They told her that they have been waiting almost 2 hours in LINE! There was no response from the agent. So they gathered up their luggage and  walked from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, which is a long haul.

The Air Canada Agent they finally checked in with could not have been nicer to my Daughter and Son In Law. She could not believe that United treated them so poorly. She apologized and booked them on an Air Canada flight at 2PM and up graded them to First Class. This is the sign of a Class Airline. United can learn a lot about customer service from the Ticket Agent at Air Canada. Because if you don’t treat your customers with respect, then you won’t have any customers. And if you don’t have any customers, you won’t have an airline. Just some food for thought United!

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A Tale of Two American Airline’s Cities

Posted by thetraveldoctor on November 17, 2008


 

New American Terminal at Miami Airport

New American Terminal at Miami Airport

I am writing this on my way home from a conference in Miami FL. I am sitting in seat 28C on an American Airlines 757. I don’t know why, but American can’t seem to give me two problem free flights in a row. 

Let’s start on Saturday morning at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. I had a 9AM flight to Miami. I arrived at O’Hare at 7:20AM. I walked up to the self-service kiosk, checked my bag (for $15 –Ouch!) and was on my way to the gate. The American employees we very helpful and very pleasant.

I made it through security. Let me tell you, that is always an experience. I was behind a family of 3. They had 3 suitcases, 3 carry-on bags, a stroller and various stuff in their pockets. Well, it took them 10 minutes to get every thing on the belt and get it into the scanner. Then of course they could not get through the metal detector. They must have gone through that detector 10 times until they stopped beeping. It was a comedy of errors. I had to laugh or I would have started to cry. They need to bring the “Family Lane” to O’Hare so that people that travel a lot and know how to go through security can avoid these situations.

So I made it through security, finally! I proceed to the gate and waited to board. The boarding process went smooth, even with a full plane and we were off to Miami on time! Wow, what a great flight. I really enjoyed it, all the on board entertainment worked very well, and the seat reclined too, as little as it reclines, it’s still nice when it works. We arrived at Miami 10 minutes early and I was a happy customer. Now remember, I check my bag. I guess that was a mistake. I waited almost 40 minutes for my bag and my bag was one of the first ones to come around the belt. I guess this should have been my first clue that American at the Miami Airport has some major operational problems. I took my bag and I was off to the Hyatt Regency Miami in a cab. I actually got a cab driver that knew where he was going and got me to the hotel in record time.

It was a great weekend conference. I had hundreds of people at my workshop and panel. It was a really wonderful experience.

So it is now 5:30AM on Monday and I am on my way to the Miami Airport for my return flight home. I arrive at the American Airlines terminal and proceed to the self-service check-in. As easy as it was at O’Hare on Saturday, it was that very difficult in Miami. I had already checked in on my computer at the hotel and I had my boarding pass. So I followed the directions on the self check-in machine and I touched “Bag Check Only.” I am good at following directions. It then told me to scan my boarding pass or put in my record locator number. Well, my boarding pass would not scan, so I entered my record locator number. It took it a while but it found me. It asked me how many bags I wanted to check and I pressed 1. It then asked me for my credit card. I inserted my Amex, it didn’t like that one, it said, “Enter another Credit Card” so I entered my Visa. I guess it liked that magnetic strip, and it charged my credit card. It then told me to go to the “Checked Baggage Only” line. And then it printed another boarding pass for me. Why I don’t know. So there are signs all over that state “Look For The Baggage Only Check-in Line.” That’s great, I am looking all over the place for this Baggage line and I can’t find it. I ask one of the AA employees, where is this Baggage Only line for self-serve? She informs me that I should just get in any line, we don’t have a Baggage Only line. Now mind you, I am standing in front of this sign that is telling people to look for this Baggage Only line and this employee is telling me they don’t have a Baggage Only line. So I get in line and I wait 20 minutes to hand my bag to an agent and it is 6AM! Once I get to the agent, she could not print out my luggage tracking tag that I had already put in all the info in the check-in kiosk. Unlike the Chicago Check-in kiosk where your luggage tags are printed out at the front of the bank of kiosks. So it took 30 minutes for me to check in at a very disorganized Miami Check-in area for American. Then you have to lug your bag over to this area where another employee takes your bag. And this is out of the way. They really have to figure this baggage thing out in Miami.

Now it’s off to the security. I figured, 630AM on a Monday morning, how bad could it be. I came around the corner and noticed that the line was not that long. So that was a good sign. Little did I know that the TSA agent that was checking ID’s thought he was Columbo and was interrogating every passenger that had to pass through his post. This short line that should have been no more than 5 minutes turned into another 20-minute ordeal.

Once I got through security, and yes I was behind another family that had at least 120 pieces of stuff to put thought the belt. How do I get so lucky! All I want to do is check in, go through security and get on my airplane. Is that too much to ask?

I now hike to the new gate area at the Miami Airport. American has opened part of their new terminal. It is really very nice, but the hike to the last gate, well, it’s a REAL hike. And there are no moving sidewalks like some other new airports with long walks have. But I make it to the gate with about 35 minutes to spare. I find a nice spot to settle in to wait for boarding. Now I understand how AA wants to board. You have a group and you are to board by group. Well, it kind of didn’t happen, as the agents lost control of the entire boarding process, which in turn backed everything up. It was like watching a keystone cop movie. Instead of having each group board, they boarded the early boards and then they called group 1, then 2 minutes later they called group 1, 2 and 3. And this is on a FULL 757! On the plane, there was not enough space for the deluge of carryon bags that the $15 bag charge has caused. People standing in the aisles shoving these bags that should have never gotten past the gate agent, trying to cram them into the overhead bins. Well, we did leave 8 minutes late, because no one that was in the aisle would sit down. What a nut house!

So we finally get settled and the plane gets pushed back, taxied and we took off.  The crew was friendly and efficient, but the audio system had this terrible buzz that it was very hard to watch the video. After about 15 minutes of the buzz, it started to fade, so I was able to watch the “CBS eye on American” video entertainment on the video screen. They showed 3 sitcoms. “How I Met Your Mother” “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “The Big Band Theory.” Now these are prime time family sitcoms right? Well, I guess American doesn’t think so. Get this, they were bleeping out 25% of the dialog. It ruined the video. I was able to read lips at times and the words they were bleeping out were, sex, screwed and full sentences. Folks, these are not programs that are on pay per view, these are prime time network sitcoms. I just don’t get it. Why would they censor these programs? It really ticked me off. I think that American needs to chill out or stop airing video on its aircraft.

 The flight itself was comfortable and the plane was clean. But if you have to fly out of Miami on American, beware! They don’t have their act together like they do at Chicago O’Hare and it could be very frustrating.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Business Class, Coach, economy, Europe, first class, Hotels, Las Vegas, luggage, Mexico, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

AirTran to Cancun starting in February

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 2, 2008


 

 

AirTran 737 in Flight

AirTran 737 in Flight

For all of you living in the Atlanta area and The Baltimore/Washington area, AirTran will begin service to Cancun from your airports. The Atlanta  service will be daily and the Baltimore/Washington service will be on weekend only. The Atlanta service will begin on February 25 and the Baltimore service will begin on March 7. 

 

 

A press release states “Cancun is a premier vacation destination, and we will begin offering flights just in time to drive down fares and accommodate heavy passenger traffic for Winter and Spring Breaks,” said Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways.  “AirTran Airways is committed to providing our customers with high quality service and low fares to the destinations they prefer.”

Here is the schedule for both Atlanta and Baltimore.

 

Nonstop Service Between Cancun and Atlanta

From   To   Flight   Departs Arrives Frequency
Atlanta   Cancun   41   10:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Daily
Cancun   Atlanta   42   12:15 p.m.   3:50 p.m. Daily

The following nonstop flights between Cancun and Baltimore/Washington will be available beginning March 7*:

Nonstop Service Between Cancun and Baltimore/Washington

From   To   Flight   Departs   Arrives   Frequency
Baltimore /Washington   Cancun   84   11:35 a.m.   2:00 p.m.   Sat / Sun**
Cancun   Baltimore /Washington   85     2:45 p.m.   7:10 p.m.   Sat / Sun**

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Business Class, cancun, caribbean, Coach, economy, first class, free, Hotels, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, Mexico, news, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

United TED, A Good Idea Gone Bad

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 28, 2008


 

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

TED, was a great idea. Create an airline built on the Southwest model. One type of aircraft, one class of service. All crews can fly any flights as there is only one type of aircraft to be checked out on. Great Idea right! Wrong! United decided not to differentiate Ted and United and the public was confused. The passengers wanted to know what the difference was between the two airlines? Why should they fly TED? Unlike the Cruise industry, United did not keep the two brands separated, so there was no reason to fly TED instead of United. If United did their homework they would have made TED a separate airline and market it that way. But they didn’t and they drove it into the ground. I liked TED. It was a great idea, with friendly crews, clean late model planes and great fares. But just like the rest of the Higher UP’s in the executive offices at United, they just don’t understand how to run an airline let alone two airlines. I really hope that someday, someone with some business and customer service sense becomes the president of United. Until then, I guess we will just watch this once great airline implode piece by piece.

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Southwest New Boarding System Works Well

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 26, 2008


 

Southwest gate at Louisville Airport

Southwest gate at Louisville Airport

I just returned from a business trip to Louisville Ky on Southwest. I have to say that Southwest has their act together. I love the new boarding process they have instituted. When you check in at home on the web, or at the airport you receive a boarding pass with a letter and a number. The letter is the boarding group and the number is the boarding position within that group. So if you are in group A and position 15, you will board with the first group and you will be the 15th person on the plane. It worked so well and everyone was happy. We boarded quickly and we were closed up and out of the gate and in the air in no time. The plane was full and we were on time!

 

Southwest also does not charge you to check your first or second bag. They do not have any hidden fees. What you see is what you get. I love that. Clean, efficient transportation. I wish the other airlines got it. They should all take a lesson from Southwest. Thank you Herb! You know how to run a great airline!

Posted in airlines, airports, bags, Coach, Computers, disabilities, free, gas, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No Customer Service at United Airlines Reservation Dept

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 30, 2008


 

United Flight Board at O'Hare Airport

United Flight Board at O'Hare

I just got off the phone with a United Reservation agent. I don’t know what country he was in, but it was no where near the United States. I was trying to use a denied boarding compensation ticket voucher I received because I was bumped off a United flight from Seattle to Chicago a few months ago. This agent did not know which end was up. I told him I was flying from Chicago O’Hare to Las Vegas. He then asked me if I was flying out of Ontario CA, I told him I just said I was flying out of O’Hare. He probably has never even been to O’Hare. I told him that I wanted to use my Denied boarding voucher. He told me I would have to mail it to a PO box and have it postmarked by Monday to use it. Well, I told him Monday was a holiday, Labor Day and there was no way I could have it postmarked by Monday Sept 1 as the post office is closed on Sunday and Monday. He said he was sorry but I had to have it postmarked by Monday. I could not believe it. I told him that he was making it very difficult for me to make this reservation and then he insulted me by telling me I was the one that was making it difficult. What a jerk! I then said, OK, I will go to O’Hare tomorrow to pick it up. He said I would have to get it ticketed at O’Hare by 7PM on Sunday as the ticket counter closes at 7PM. I told him that there are flight out of O’Hare after 7PM, how can the ticket counter close at 7PM. He told me people can check in but they cannot buy tickets. Now how ludicrous is that statement. What if you want to take a flight at 9PM but you don’t have a ticket. Well, if you talked to the agent I talked to, you could not buy a ticket. Maybe United should just close up shop and call it quits, as their employees don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Needless to say, I did not get my reservation and I just said thank you and hung up the phone in discuss. I will try this again tomorrow. Maybe I will get someone that can help me and not criticize me.

Posted in airlines, bags, Business Class, Coach, Hotels, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AA Hawaii Bound Jet Makes Emergency Landing

Posted by thetraveldoctor on August 6, 2008


 

American aircraft at the gate

American aircraft at the gate

An American Airlines jet in route to Honolulu Hawaii had to turn around over the Pacific Ocean and make an emergency landing at Los Angeles on Tuesday. 

 

The Pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and requested clearance to return to Los Angeles. The plane was about 1 hour into the flight. The aircraft landed safely at LAX and passengers and crew evacuated through the aircraft’s inflatable chutes.

The cause of the smoke is still under investigation.


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Great Website for Airfares

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 3, 2008


Everyone that travels knows the drill. You need to find the best airfare for your trip. But where do you go to find these elusive fares? Do you go to Travelocity or Oribtz? Should you look at this site or that site? Should you call all the different airlines? What should you do.

Well fear no more. I have found this great website that will find the best airfare and tell you if you should buy your ticket now or wait a few days as the price may come down. Take a look at http://www.farecast.com. After you find your fare, you just click on the fare cost and farecast will take you right to the site where you can book your ticket.

Try it, I am sure you will love it!  Let me know what you think.

 

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