Airlines Have Enslaved Us

How many businesses do you know implement the following: No exchanges or refunds no matter what. Oh, and if you wish to return something, we will take it back, give you no refund for it, and resell it to someone else at a higher price. Hotels do this occasionally, but more times than not, they will just refund your money unless it’s last minute. But airlines…they are crooks…all of them.

Take the following scenario: Eli and Michelle purchase two round trip tickets from Dallas to New York in April. Their flight date is in July. In May, Michelle gets very sick and they know that she will be unable to take her New York trip in July. They call the airline company and explain the situation. “Sorry, we can not offer you a refund. However, you can change your dates for a $200 charge PLUS the difference in fare.” Oh, and by the way, since you’re not going to make it, we are now going to sell your seats at a higher price. That way, we get to keep your money and someone else’s. Mwahahaha!

The above example actually happened to people that I know. And it isn’t the first time. Another scenario: Joan is flying round-trip from Houston to Atlanta to pick up her pre-teen son, Josh, for the summer. Joan’s friend is dropping Josh off at the Atlanta airport. Joan will then come out and walk her son through. He has a one-way ticket from Atlanta to Houston. Seems simple enough. Wait, the crew doesn’t show up in Houston so Joan’s flight is delayed. It will be too late to get to Atlanta in time to make the return flight. However, it is not delayed long enough to warrant a refund. Now Joan is out the money for her flight, her son’s flight, and all other expenses incurred along the way (Uber, eating, etc). Ah, but wait, for there is a solution. Josh can fly by himself from Atlanta to Houston, but Joan will have to pay $150 fee because Josh is not yet 13 years old. This fee covers an airline worker that will be responsible for Josh. Ok, fair enough. This worker will meet Josh at the airport. She will walk him through TSA, security, and to the gate. She will ensure that Josh gets on the plane, deplanes in Houston, and is united with his mother. That’s a fair deal, $150 for that. I can accept it. OH WAIT…what was I thinking?? That would actually make sense. This $150 fee only covers a flight attendant watching the child on the plane—think about that. Where is the child going once he is on the plane?? He can’t get off while the plane it’s in the air. There is no need for this! No one will walk Josh through TSA and security and to his gate. The $150 doesn’t cover that. Oh, and TSA will not let him through without an adult. So what now? How does Joan get her son? She will have to call her friend to try it all again tomorrow. Meanwhile, nothing is refunded. She will now have to spend 5x the amount of money on tickets for the next day—but I’m guessing now she will just drive to Atlanta. Either way, the costs of all those tickets are wasted. And why? Because the crew didn’t show! Seems very crooked to me. Very.

You are thinking, ok Rusty, these are a bit far fetched. Nope. I’ve changed the names in the previous examples. But all this happened to people I know, people who are in my family—my in-laws, my wife and my stepson.

These are just two examples of how crooked the airline industry is. I have more, lots more. How about a round-trip ticket from Houston to Las Vegas costing around $400, yet you can fly round-trip from Amsterdam to Budapest for less than $100! Maybe those flights in Europe are subsidized by the government, or maybe not. I have done no research on that. What I do have is first hand experiences. Price gouging, stealing of seats, yes that’s right, STEALING. That’s what you are doing XYZ Airlines. When someone doesn’t use their ticket and you do not refund them, and then you sell that same seat, you are guilty of stealing. If I pay for a ticket and have a seat, that seat is mine. If I don’t show, then it should be empty. It’s mine. If you want to resell it, then give me a refund. No double dipping. It’s downright thievery.

Yet they get away with it–over and over and over. I want to stop flying. I do. I have boycotted Vegas because of these same things. If we had a high-speed rail in the States, I would never fly unless it was abroad. But, I like to travel. I like to see the world. Let me rephrase: I hate to travel, but my love of seeing this great world outweighs my grotesque disgust of the travel process.

And why the no transfer of a ticket? If I buy anything else in the world I can give it to whomever I want. Nope, not a plane ticket. Why? What’s the big deal with that? Another little freedom they took away.

It’s time we took a stand.   I don’t know how, but these airlines should be accountable for their actions. Can we all do something about it? Will they read this and laugh and count their money? Probably. Good, reputable service is going to the wayside in the world today. It’s not just the airlines; it’s a lot of industries. Workers and owners just don’t care. And why? Who’s at fault? You are. I am. The consumer. We let them take and take and take. They took a little at a time, until it was too late to say anything. Just like Hitler in the 30s. Take away a little, gradually, and everyone becomes slaves. We are enslaved by big business, and we did it to ourselves.  No more.  Freedom!!!