Flying the unfriendly skies

United is urging passengers again to “Fly the Friendly Skies of United” – a slogan they used in the 1960’s until the mid 1990’s.  That was a time when you could fly the friendly skies.  You had lots of legroom.  You were fed meals on a plane.  You could bring on carry on luggage.  You didn’t have to pay for checked luggage.

Fast forward to 2017 and all of the airlines are making it a much less friendly way to travel.

We have been coming across airfares for our clients that do not include seat assignments.  If you want seat assignments, you can:

  • pay extra for them upfront
  • wait until 24 hours prior to departure and try to grab the best available seats at that time.

We have seen this most recently with what looked like great fares to Thailand on Cathay Pacific, Delta to Italy and Emirates to Athens.

Kate and Alex booked their flights to Athens on Emirates from Newark.  The price for a nonstop flight was great – $999, which was about $400 per person less than United.  Then it cost them an extra $200 each to get seat assignments for their round trip flight.  It’s still less than United’s price but that was a “surprise” when they went to book.

More surprises were recently when we booked Delta flights to Italy for new clients.  The prices looked great but the seat assignment (for coach) are about $40 per person per flight.  Our supplier now is going to add the cost to assign seats into the cost of the tickets when he quotes a price because I want my clients to be able to get seats on European flights.

One of My Vacation Lady’s vacation specialists just posted on our facebook group about a situation that she just ran across with Delta.

Did you know?? You can no longer book a domestic trip on Delta and upgrade to Comfort Plus. On domestic flights (and soon international), I was told by Delta, Comfort Plus is now it’s own fare class (just like business/first); so, you have to initially book Delta Comfort Plus.

Effective immediately, we will be including wording on each quote we send to clients similar to this:

Not all airline fares will allow us to pre-book or even to request seats in advance of check in.  Some fares will not allow upgrades using points or even to buy them.  If pre-assigned seats, the ability to upgrade or even to check luggage, are important to you, please let us know so that we can find the airfares that will enable these requests.

Unfortunately, we may not know if we can get free seat assignments until we actually go to book the flights.  My Vacation Lady will try to give you the most accurate information about airline pricing that we include in your vacation or honeymoon reservations but until the airlines stop changing their policies, we are at their mercy.

My Vacation Lady is an award winning travel agency in New Jersey.  Contact us for more information on how we can create a honeymoon or vacation experience for you!



By |April 3rd, 2017|Categories: All|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Flying the unfriendly skies

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.