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LA Times story about really frequent flyers

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by playthrough, May 7, 2012.

  1. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Heck of a read here about an American Airlines lifetime pass program that was used and abused by two guys. I'm all for sticking it to airlines, but booking fake tickets for the extra elbow room, among other liberties, is a little much.

    (sorry if this was posted elsewhere; hadn't seen it)

  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Chicago Tribune ran this as well. Really interesting.

    Must really suck for the guys who lost their passes.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Great story. American f'ed up. I don't believe they should be allowed to get out from their mistake. If the terms of the AAirpass's said nothing about selling use of your companion pass, or holding seats with it, those people didn't do anything fraudulent. It's the airline's fault for going after a quick buck and offering something without thought FOR LIFE .

    Two things are telling: 1) For years, American didn't go after them for those things, but suddenly as the airline is sinking under its costs, it is now an issue. That's not the passenger's fault, though. And 2) It sounds like they trying to reneg, not really go after fraud, because they didn't even go to them and try to get them to agree that moving forward they would use the tickets and companion passes without selling the seats or holding seats they may not use. It was an immediate letter reneging on what those people bought fair and square.

    From a PR perspective, it's too bad that most people won't give a shit and won't feel sympathy for the people getting screwed, because AA should be catching hell for dirty business practices. Doesn't matter that they are struggling financially.

    As an aside. ... Airline employees are not supposed to do this and can get fired for it even though it is common. ... I know a bunch of people who have bought companion passes (which employees get as part of their employment) each year for a few grand from airline employees. Doesn't give you the booking rights those AAirpass's do, but you can fly unlimited standby, with a high priority. You monitor flights and if there are plenty of seats you can be certain you will get on. If there are first class seats available, you fly first (which is how everyone I know uses them). One airline I know doesn't charge anything, another makes you pay the fees and taxes. Still a great deal, because you can decide you want to go to Australia the day before, for example, and fly first class for $300 or so.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    1) is a great point, Ragu. And it's not like American stopped selling the passes right away, they just made them far more expensive, which was the smart thing to do. They should still sell them, but do a better job with the fine print.
  5. Zeke12

    Zeke12 Guest

    I hope these guys win in court.

    I loathe airlines.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Given that USAir may soon be running American they'd be better off losing.
  7. old_tony

    old_tony Well-Known Member

    This is a really interesting story.

    Makes me wonder if the people that came up with this program for American Airlines were once advisers for FDR on Social Security or LBJ on Medicare and Medicaid.
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