MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Thursday, July 10, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Partly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Comments on the paper, the website, the mobile site and all other Isthmus-generated products go here.

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:23 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
Crockett wrote:The industry is far from perfect, but it certainly is cheap.


About a year and a half ago I was flying in from Europe to Chicago. I was hoping to get a connecting flight to Madison. $600. You call that cheap. I call that bullshit.

Fares keep going up and the service keeps getting crappier.

When I was flying around in Europe, I was blown away by how good the service and food was on the flight. The flight from Belgium to Italy was pretty short, yet the food was something I would actually purchase in a restaurant. The airports were hit or miss, but overall on par if not better than here.

Why the hell can't we do this?

green union terrace chair wrote:One wonderful thing that was NOT available years ago is your ability to compare and buy airfares on your own without the use of a travel agent. And even beyond Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, etc. ... I recommend Bing's airfare comparison site (used to be an independent site called Farecast). It's fantastic if you have flexible travel dates.


When these first started I thought they were great. When I went this route my last two trips I found them a bust. Every site had virtually the same rates and even similar rates to the airline websites. I tried every trick in the book and spent weeks getting updates with no good deals popping up. I then tried something. I checked the cost for one-way flights each way and bingo, I saved about $150 by not booking round trip. How come these sites didn't do that for me? I'll keep using them, but they aren't what they used to be. I actually think Groupon and Living Social sites are gonna be the next way to get cheap airfare.


If Groupon lasts. But yes, I also know people who have found deals with one-way combos.

MSN has been called one of the most expensive airports and that's very often true. Sometimes you can get a deal or it's not that much more that Chicago. What it really depends on is where you're going. If you're going MSN -> DTW -> elsewhere, it's usually not much more than ORD -> elsewhere. But MSN -> ORD is usually expensive and when you factor in getting to the airport an hour before you flight and all other hassles, is it that much more of a time-saver than just taking the Van Galder to ORD?

I was recently pricing some fares to South America and found that flying out of MSN vs. ORD was nearly identical, probably because either of those both need to fly to the same hubs ATL, IAH (Houston) or some other southern US hub before using the same flights down to South America.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2836
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby Crockett » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:26 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
Crockett wrote:The industry is far from perfect, but it certainly is cheap.


About a year and a half ago I was flying in from Europe to Chicago. I was hoping to get a connecting flight to Madison. $600. You call that cheap. I call that bullshit.


And I flew to Denver in the 80's for over $400. I can get there for $200 now.

MSN is not cheap, but I suspect it never has been.
Crockett
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1206
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:37 am

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby ArturoBandini » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:28 pm

Stebben84 wrote:About a year and a half ago I was flying in from Europe to Chicago. I was hoping to get a connecting flight to Madison. $600. You call that cheap. I call that bullshit.
You should have taken the bus from O'hare to Memorial Union. It's like $26 and leaves fairly frequently. Depending on how long you'd have to wait for a Chicago-Madison flight, it's entirely possible that the bus would actually get you to Madison faster than waiting for and boarding an aircraft.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:55 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:You should have taken the bus from O'hare to Memorial Union.


The problem was that my flight was getting in late and if it had any delays I was worried I would miss the Van Galder and then be stuck at the airport overnight. I of course did not take the flight, opted for the Van Galder, and all went well.

Point is, in Europe, it's not this bad. Flights to and from cities of our size are not nearly as expensive.

Crockett wrote:And I flew to Denver in the 80's for over $400. I can get there for $200 now.


And about 8 years ago I flew to Vegas for about $175 and last year it was about $375. This was also using carry on. Had I checked my bags it would have been an extra $50 or so. Same airport.

I didn't fly in the 80's so I can't compare.

Crockett wrote:MSN is not cheap, but I suspect it never has been.


I do pay a bit more if I fly out of MSN, but considering the cost of travel and parking to MKE or ORD, it's often worth it. It's sooo easy to fly out of Madison. I can check in about 45 minutes or less for a flight and I have no worries.

Also keep in mind, when purchasing the ticket coming back from Europe, the cost ADDED to the ticket price was $600. It was not a single flight being booked, but a connecting flight. I've flown out of Madison many times with connecting flights to and from Chicago and never had the price jack up that much. Maybe it's anecdotal.

In the end, I don't like flying. I'd rather drive. You get to see more of the countryside. Unless of course you're going overseas. Then you would drown.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4722
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby green union terrace chair » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:18 pm

Stebben84 wrote:In the end, I don't like flying. I'd rather drive. You get to see more of the countryside. Unless of course you're going overseas. Then you would drown.

Take a boat. Is it even possible to take a ship from the east coast to Europe anymore that's not a "cruise?"
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2836
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:45 pm

green union terrace chair wrote: Is it even possible to take a ship from the east coast to Europe anymore that's not a "cruise?"


If you're a stowaway. For that matter, do these even occur anymore?
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4722
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby gargantua » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:04 pm

One aspect of air travel that we shouldn't overlook is the failure to maintain infrastructure. This means too few terminals/gates, failure to invest in modern air traffic control measures, including ground radar, and technology on the service side. That's government, at many levels. They'd rather build new roads.

GUTC a/k/a "Gramps" is right about one thing in particular: the technological capability to make one's own choices in prices and flights is pretty amazing when you think about it. I now plan complete vacations that I used to rely on travel agents for as recently as 6 years ago. While I do not give the airline industry itself a lot of credit for that, I would not care to go back to the times when a TA was absolutely necessary to plan air travel.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3942
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby NullDevice » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:52 am

What gets me are the creeping "other" costs. Things like "wow, that flight from ORD to LHR is only $200...oh, wait, when I try to book it there are $800 in 'fees'" and "This flight is great...except I have to pay $11 for a bag of pretzels. And $25 for any checked luggage (which is currently languishing at the Ohare baggage counter and I won't see it until 2 days before my return trip).

It all feels kind of skeevy. I wish they'd just roll together all the costs at the top and let us decide from there.
NullDevice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 736
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 2:53 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 pm

NullDevice wrote:What gets me are the creeping "other" costs. Things like "wow, that flight from ORD to LHR is only $200...oh, wait, when I try to book it there are $800 in 'fees'"
I'd love to see evidence of a transatlantic fare that was 80% fees. And who charges those fees anyway?
NullDevice wrote:"This flight is great...except I have to pay $11 for a bag of pretzels.
I usually stop at Walgreens or similar on the way to the airport and pick up snacks for $2-3. You do not "have to pay" for in-flight pretzels.
NullDevice wrote:And $25 for any checked luggage (which is currently languishing at the Ohare baggage counter and I won't see it until 2 days before my return trip).
Would rolling the $25 fee into your ticket price make it less likely that your bag would be lost? What point are you trying to make here?
NullDevice wrote:It all feels kind of skeevy. I wish they'd just roll together all the costs at the top and let us decide from there.
If all the various costs were rolled into one price, you would have fewer options to choose from.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:41 pm

Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19509
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby kittenwithawhip » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:56 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
green union terrace chair wrote: Is it even possible to take a ship from the east coast to Europe anymore that's not a "cruise?"


If you're a stowaway. For that matter, do these even occur anymore?


http://www.cunard.com/Destinations/Tran ... xperience/
Many people use these to move to Europe or vice versa. You can carry all of your stuff in storage. If I had the extra time and money, it would be the only way to cross for me!
kittenwithawhip
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:41 pm
Location: Shangri-La

Re: Mr. Dave - Airline industry consultant

Postby Bland » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:03 pm

I guess other folks have had different experiences with travel agents than I have. Given the choice between doing lots of research myself or having someone else do it for free, I tend to lean towards the latter. The only exception was when I wanted to go visit someone in California but was on a very tight budget. I didn't have any specific dates in mind, so I checked online everyday for a month or so until I was able to snag a super-cheap seat. Every other time I've flown, I knew exactly when I was going, so I didn't see any benefit in wasting my own time. Out of curiosity, I did once go online and check for myself after purchasing a ticket through a TA and found no tickets any cheaper than what the TA found for me. Have I just been lucky or do others find real benefits in doing the legwork themselves?
Bland
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:46 am

Previous

Return to Comments on Isthmus & TheDailyPage.com

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar