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Here’s Why we aren’t booking a cruise.


Dolebludger
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Posted (edited)

I just got an email from CC today, recommending that we all book air to the port two days before the cruise. And our airlines are so unreliable  that I agree. But that really complicates matters. I have to book two nights of hotel.that certainly adds to the cost, as hotels have become real ‘rip off machines. And what about getting home? I don’t like sleeping on airport floors because the airlines can’t figure out how to have sufficient staff, and no airline employee will direct me to,— or pay for,—a, hotel. Well, I know how to hire staff. PAY THEM! Airline fares are already inflated to the point that this should be possible. The airline situation is deterring us from cruising. And we think the airlines should be regulated, or better, be nationalized.

Edited by Dolebludger
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Thanks for your thoughts...but I'll continue to fly/cruise. Have done flights and four cruises this year so far and only one delay trying to get home from MCO-LAX...mechanical problems cancelled our flight and we were given vouchers for transportation, meals & hotel.

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2 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

Well, I know how to hire staff. PAY THEM! Airline fares are already inflated to the point that this should be possible. The airline situation is deterring us from cruising. And we think the airlines should be regulated, or better, be nationalized.

 

Anyone who calls for an industry to the "nationalized" should keep in mind that they are asking for a system that has the efficiency of the DMV and the compassion of the IRS. No, thank you. The airline industry is already a very regulated industry. 

 

You are also very ignorant of the events that have occurred since 2020 to the point that I've been calling this year 2020+2 instead of 2022. Remember, in the spring of 2020, the prevailing conventional wisdom was that all the shutdowns/lockdowns would precipitate a massive economic recession and it would take years for demand to recover even once things started to reopen. Most companies therefore made their decisions about how to handle the situation assuming this would be the case, and then got caught short when demand suddenly roared back way faster than expected. Many were laid off, and some used this opportunity to either pursue another career path if not retire entirely. You cannot hire someone on a Monday and expect them to crew a flight by Thursday. Even someone who was laid off and was rehired needs to be retrained on the latest corporate and government policies and procedures. That takes weeks. 

 

The same comments can be made of the rental car industry. In order to have cash, the rental agencies had to liquidate their inventories of then-idle inventory. Now, everyone wants to travel again, and because of supply chain issues, they are facing the same challenges in purchasing new cars that you and I have should be need a new (or used) vehicle at the moment. 

 

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4 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

Well, I know how to hire staff. PAY THEM! Airline fares are already inflated to the point that this should be possible.

 

Are you having a laugh? Air fares are probably only beginning their move back towards normality and commercial sanity after a decade of madness. I agree that airlines may have to pay more to get staff, but don't delude yourself that this is sustainable at current fare levels.

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Not even sure how to respond to this simplistic "solution" to airline problems.  Unless you are a very, very high status customer, airlines don't pay for hotels or food for delays/cancelations that are for reasons beyond their control.  I am happy to give you a hotel discount coupon though; there is never any need to sleep on an airport floor.   I have tried to rebook four sets of customers in the last 10 days because of weather delays.   They missed their cruises because they were flying in last minute and there was no availability to Europe on ANY airline, which seemed to shock them.  And, for those who love cruise air, the one who had booked through whatever NCL's cruise air is; the passenger told me they hung up on them and then didn't answer their calls.  No help at all with rebooking.

Stuff happens when you travel.  Buy insurance, bring a credit card and be prepared to deal with problems.  Don't yell at staff.  They can't pull a seat out of thin air.  They want you on your way as much as you want to be gone.  If it's too stressful, stick to land trips because there are never any problems with those.

 

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2 hours ago, 6rugrats said:

I am happy to give you a hotel discount coupon though; there is never any need to sleep on an airport floor.

 

Non-cruise related, but the only time I had a major flight issue was when I was on a business trip returning home in July, 2017. Due to a major power issue that affected not only Costa Rica, but parts of neighboring countries as well that significantly delayed the departure time from San Jose, and I missed my connecting flight (although my suitcase made the flight). It was much easier to just call United Airlines than to stand in line, plus they were able to transfer me to Hotels.com at United's rates so I had a place to stay until my departure the following evening. It helped that I didn't get upset at the agent because it was 100% out of United's control, especially when the airport was not allowing any airline departures. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Must edit, I have tried to or rebooked many, many people over the last two weeks or so, just referring to people going on European cruises in my post.

Edited by 6rugrats
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We are not cruising.  But we are travelling.   We will be avoiding certain airports, will be doing carry on only, and will expect some delays.  We had a seven hour

 

Just returned from a Europe trip.  One of the biggest complaints we heard for fellow travelers  was baggage checking issue. 

 

So for us, tentatively planning a trip to Europe in the fall means that we will avoid airports in the London area and others, stick to our usual  carry on only, and hope for the best.

 

As for pricing...the market decides.  At the moment our Europe flights in the fall look much more expensive than the flights we booked in late March for our May/June trip.  Our snowbird air to Thailand looks like it will be 50 percent higher in cost (at the moment) than our pre covid trips.

 

On the flip side of higher flight costs, we have enjoyed many low cost flight bargains over the years. 

 

The one thing we always try to do is book direct for air and understand what the fare code means.  Not all tickets are the same.

 

We had a seven hour and a two hour flight delay on the flights coming home from Portugal a few days ago.  We just had to grin and bear it.

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19 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

And we think the airlines should be regulated, or better, be nationalized.

 

Not nationalized.  But, a return to regulation of US airlines, yes.  I fully support that.  

 

12 hours ago, 6rugrats said:

simplistic "solution" 

 

My "simplistic solution" is that I am not spending thousands of dollars on a vacation experience that has a high probability, at this time, of meeting my expectations.  Either when I fly and/or cruise.  

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Posted (edited)

Regarding Bo 1953’s post number 5 above, it is easy for me to take a walk in the Rocky’s. All I have to do is go out any of my doors! In fact, it isn’t possible for me to avoid a walk in the Rocky’s, as I live there. Because I live in a mountain resort town, it is difficult to justify all the uncertainties involved in flying to and taking a cruise. 
 

Now about nationalization of airlines, you would be surprised how many airlines are the property of their country’s government. Too many to list here, but Iceland Air and Air Tahiti Nui are examples. Iceland Air offers affordable flights to Europe. Its business class isn’t lay down seats in pods but it, like coach, it is affordable with one unusual perk. All their flights have a stop in Iceland, and one can stay there for up to a week with no additional charge to continue to your destination. Air Tahiti Nui is a real class act. Food and drink in all seat classes, and business class is full lay down pod seats. Even coach is decent. The only limitation  for us in the US is that it flies only from LA to Tahiti. So my experience with government owned airlines has been much better that with US airlines that are “free enterprise”, privately owned, and totally unregulated as to passenger experience. 

Edited by Dolebludger
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Not nationalized.  But, a return to regulation of US airlines, yes.  I fully support that.  

 

 

My "simplistic solution" is that I am not spending thousands of dollars on a vacation experience that has a high probability, at this time, of meeting my expectations.  Either when I fly and/or cruise.  

Could not agree more.  I constantly hear people complaining about covid restrictions, etc in other countries (once they arrive), air fare prices, air schedule delays/changes/ hotel prices.

 

We have been traveling internationally for years.  Sometimes you need to bob and weave, roll with the punches.   

 

Everyone has a choice.  Travel, adjust your travel plans accordingly, or stay home.  It is just that straightforward. 

 

These are challenging times for everyone.  Suppliers, carriers, and customers.   A sense of entitlement will only make the challenges seem worse than they really are.

 

Edited by iancal
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I understand that everybody’s tolerance for travel  problems differ. But with US airlines cancelling 3500 flights on  Father’s day weekend and over 1500 flights the weekend after, this exceeds our requirements for travel reliability. US airlines blame the “labor shortage”. With the current fare structure they should be able to pay cabin attendants $100,000/year! That would get some employees! There is no sense of entitlement here, except if I buy an airline ticket to a place, I expect to get there at approximately the contract time. Not three days later with me footing hotel bills. This happened to many over Father’s Day weekend because of understaffing — not weather. Airlines, if not nationalized, should at least be regulated tightly. US airlines are relying on very “fine print” in their ticket contracts to avoid being sued to death for canceling flights due to staffing shortages with inadequate compensation to passengers. I mean, if they are short on staff, why did they accept money for the flight?  And I resent the comment that there is a 
“sense of entitlement” if one expects (no demands) to get what one payed for.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Dolebludger said:

I understand that everybody’s tolerance for travel  problems differ. But with US airlines cancelling 3500 flights on  Father’s day weekend and over 1500 flights the weekend after, this exceeds our requirements for travel reliability. US airlines blame the “labor shortage”. With the current fare structure they should be able to pay cabin attendants $100,000/year! That would get some employees! There is no sense of entitlement here, except if I buy an airline ticket to a place, I expect to get there at approximately the contract time. Not three days later with me footing hotel bills. This happened to many over Father’s Day weekend because of understaffing — not weather. Airlines, if not nationalized, should at least be regulated tightly. US airlines are relying on very “fine print” in their ticket contracts to avoid being sued to death for canceling flights due to staffing shortages with inadequate compensation to passengers. I mean, if they are short on staff, why did they accept money for the flight?  And I resent the comment that there is a 
“sense of entitlement” if one expects (no demands) to get what one payed for.

Exact same thing is happening in the UK.  In spades.  The airlines are cancelling flights.  Several airports are directing carriers to cancel scheduled flights because of staff shortages and clogged airports.

 

In some airports there is a serious labor shortage.  Not always foreseeable.   It is what it is.  It is not always the carrier's fault.  Regulation will not solve staff shortages attributable to covid.

 

Cost of flights, like cruises, is down to supply and demand.

 

Our flight from Portugal was delayed by 7 hours.  We have made a claim under the EU261 regs for 600Euro compensation each.   Of course, claiming and being paid out are two different things.

 

We flew from Calgary to Toronto in mid may.  Fare is usually about $300.  This time it was $58.   The return one way fare had jumped to $600-800.  We managed to grab a $250. late evening flight...last two tickets at that price.   

 

Our base fare to Portugal, purchased in March, was $650.   Shopping for a similar fare in September.  They are at $950-1100.   Thailand pre covid was $750-800 return.  Now fares are $1200. for our Jan travel. 

 

 Everyone suddenly wants to travel.  It if was your business and you had more demand than product what would you do?  No different than hotels, resorts, cruises, etc.

Edited by iancal
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Sorry that this is an international problem. I wonder where all the workers went? I used to be one of them, and I had to work to survive.  I guess I am lucky, as I can quickly take a walk in the Rocky Mountains, as Bo 1953 has suggested. And I have read complaints of poor service on cruises due to lack of staff (on Regent, can you believe?) even when the people can get to the cruise!  Perhaps the air problem will eventually be solved — by regulation, nationalization, or free market when people like me refuse to fly and get treated like crap. And when I tire of the mountains in which I live, I can drive to other mountains for a vacation (even on $5 gas) with no real problem. But not all are as lucky as I to live in a resort vacation area — as I didn’t over 10 years ago. They need to go somewhere, and now, I don’t see how they can.

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We are definitely cruising again, but we are not flying.  We found a local bus company that offers five cruise trips a year.  Tried it, liked it, have more booked.  We have complete confidence that if they say they will transport us on June 2, they not only will do so, but they will drop us at the cruise terminal at exactly the time they advertised, and they will be waiting for us the morning the cruise is over.

Since being on a ship at sea is our goal, we think we've found the perfect solution for us.

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6 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

There is no sense of entitlement here, except if I buy an airline ticket to a place, I expect to get there at approximately the contract time. ... And I resent the comment that there is a “sense of entitlement” if one expects (no demands) to get what one payed for.

 

This one comment shows how little you understand about the business.

 

The scheduled times of departure and arrival are not part of your contract, and you have no contractual entitlement to them.

 

So yes: If you think you are entitled to get to your destination at "approximately the contract time", you do indeed have an excessive sense of entitlement.

 

6 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

With the current fare structure they should be able to pay cabin attendants $100,000/year! That would get some employees!

 

So if you genuinely think this, you really don't understand how this business works.

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Globaliser - am surprised at your comment that one should not be “entitled” to arrive and depart at certain times.  You bet, I am entitled!   Am not buying an air ticket to go for an airplane ride but to get from point A to point B at a certain time.  

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11 minutes ago, alidor said:

Globaliser - am surprised at your comment that one should not be “entitled” to arrive and depart at certain times.  You bet, I am entitled!

 

You'd be wrong.

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3 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

You'd be wrong.

Yes, as many 'passengers' do not know what a CoC is and those who have heard of it, have never read it, in full.

 

Some of us have a 'vague' idea of what we are entitled to upon IDB or other such travel interruptions, yet what the exact terms are, different story for sure.

 

So we make up our own set of rights and privileges based on what we 'believe' we paid for instead of knowing in advance what was paid for...

 

bon voyage

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6 hours ago, alidor said:

“entitled”

 

"Entitled" is the wrong word to use  in the context of purchasing an air ticket, I think.  When I buy an air ticket, I am buying a "service" and I expect the firm from whom I am buying that service to provide that service.  If the firm considers it possible to not being able to provide that service when I buy it, the service should not be sold.  That, it seems to me, is the crux of the problems with air trouble today.  Too many "services" are being sold to too many people when the airlines do not have the capacity to provide those services.  

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Posted (edited)

The airline industry contracts of passage are explicitly for the legal protection of the airlines.

 

These contracts, plus the millions of money well spent on airline Government lobbyists, ensure that that their apple cart is not upset.

 

Yes, many people would be somewhat surprised if they bothered to read, let alone understand, these contracts.  Exact same issue with other contracts...most especially cruise and  cell phone contracts. 

 

The reality is that many people believe that an airplane ticket is an airplane ticket.  They appear to have no knowledge of ticket fare codes and what those those fare codes mean or imply when things go south.

 

No one reads them yet everyone assumes what they want to assume at any point in time regardless of the actual T's and C's/

Edited by iancal
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Right, and there is a question of whether any court would uphold such a one-sided, overreaching contract. But I am not talking about suing them. Instead I am talking about refusing to do business with them unless and until they clean up their act! 

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41 minutes ago, Dolebludger said:

Instead I am talking about refusing to do business with them unless and until they clean up their act! 

In which case,  you will never fly again!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dolebludger said:

Right, and there is a question of whether any court would uphold such a one-sided, overreaching contract. But I am not talking about suing them. Instead I am talking about refusing to do business with them unless and until they clean up their act! 

It is not about what the court may or may not do.

 

Rather it is about the financial ability of the average customer who believes he or she may have an issue to be answered, to engage legal services.

 

Edited by iancal
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