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Airlines randomly changing peoples' reservations


Reefmonkey

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Out of the last six flight reservations I have made with Southwest, four of them were changed by Southwest, so that I would be flying on a different flight either several hours earlier or several hours later than the time I had picked. These changes have been made as early as the same week I made the reservation, to a few weeks later, and usually weeks, even months before actual departure, so the changes have nothing to do with weather or sudden crew issues they don't have time to work out. These changes are announced through an innocuous "There have been changes to your reservation" email. And while all my experiences have been on Southwest, on one trip that was changed, I was meeting some other people, one of whom was on United and had his flight time changed on him. I don't understand what's going on or why the airlines think it's okay to being doing this. A lot of people, especially business travelers, are on tight schedules while traveling, and pick flight times to accomodate. If the airline moves a person to a new flight two hours earlier, he might not have time to get to the flight from a meeting he has scheduled before the flight; if they move it two hours later, he might not get to the meeting he has in the next city. I've also been moved from nonstop flights to flights with stops that add a few hours to my travel time. It's so annoying.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

Out of the last six flight reservations I have made with Southwest, four of them were changed by Southwest, so that I would be flying on a different flight either several hours earlier or several hours later than the time I had picked. These changes have been made as early as the same week I made the reservation, to a few weeks later, and usually weeks, even months before actual departure, so the changes have nothing to do with weather or sudden crew issues they don't have time to work out. These changes are announced through an innocuous "There have been changes to your reservation" email. And while all my experiences have been on Southwest, on one trip that was changed, I was meeting some other people, one of whom was on United and had his flight time changed on him. I don't understand what's going on or why the airlines think it's okay to being doing this. A lot of people, especially business travelers, are on tight schedules while traveling, and pick flight times to accomodate. If the airline moves a person to a new flight two hours earlier, he might not have time to get to the flight from a meeting he has scheduled before the flight; if they move it two hours later, he might not get to the meeting he has in the next city. I've also been moved from nonstop flights to flights with stops that add a few hours to my travel time. It's so annoying.

Airline schedules aren’t fleeted and finalized until 60 days out (was 30 earlier during the pandemic). And the airlines (WN among them) have been adjusting summer schedules to mitigate operational disruptions from staff shortages. If you make your reservation more than 30 days out, there’s a not insignificant chance it’ll change, most of the time minor, but sometimes more dramatic. If you make it 90 days out, you’re almost guaranteed to have some change. Southwest will continue to be among the hardest hit due not only to the industry-wide staffing shortages but also the delays in 737 MAX deliveries … they had to rejigger their entire delivery schedule last quarter due to ongoing delays in the certification of the MAX 7.

Your assumption that crew or fleet issues can be resolved months in advance is wrong, BTW. That’s exactly what they’re accomplishing with these changes. There’s nothing random about it.

Note also that you don’t have to accept the automated rebooking changes … you can try to rebook on a more convenient itinerary … if the website doesn’t let you do it, call Reservations. But if your reservation is for, say, October, I can almost guarantee you’ll end up going through that multiple times.

Edited by mattyt36
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Thanks Matty, but it’s not like I’m new to airline travel  I’ve been all over the world, been in jobs where I flew multiple times a month, flew frequently enough to have elite status on two airlines at a time, I know what’s normal, and what’s not. Four out of six flights since the beginning of February is not normal. Yeah, reservations are getting changed three months before departure, but reservations are also getting changed the week of departure, which I think you’ll agree is a hell of a lot less than 60 days out. Reservations are being changed a few weeks to a month after booking, reservations are being changed the week after booking. And the reservations that get changed the week after booking, they didn’t know they were going to have to change a flight the previous week, but they know now? That happens once, okay, but it happens twice less than a month apart, and you hear it’s happening to a lot of other people too, you begin to wonder why they are allowing people to book so many flights that they almost immediately know they aren’t going to fly. Again, going from having this happen almost never in over 20 years of being a frequent business flyer, to having it happen four times in three and a half months, this is different. 

Edited by Reefmonkey
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10 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

Thanks Matty, but it’s not like I’m new to airline travel  I’ve been all over the world, been in jobs where I flew multiple times a month, flew frequently enough to have elite status on two airlines at a time, I know what’s normal, and what’s not. Four out of six flights since the beginning of February is not normal. Yeah, reservations are getting changed three months before departure, but reservations are also getting changed the week of departure, which I think you’ll agree is a hell of a lot less than 60 days out. Reservations are being changed a few weeks to a month after booking, reservations are being changed the week after booking. And the reservations that get changed the week after booking, they didn’t know they were going to have to change a flight the previous week, but they know now? That happens once, okay, but it happens twice less than a month apart, and you hear it’s happening to a lot of other people too, you begin to wonder why they are allowing people to book so many flights that they almost immediately know they aren’t going to fly. Again, going from having this happen almost never in over 20 years of being a frequent business flyer, to having it happen four times in three and a half months, this is different. 

OK @Reefmonkey, it's obviously a random big conspiracy and nothing to do with what's been written about over and over and over and over in the press or come up in almost essentially every airline earnings call for last quarter.  So sorry for your bad luck.

(I know frequent fliers think they know anything, but consider that those who actually work in the industry may have a bit better grasp on these things than you.)

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Hot off the presses from today:

JetBlue cuts 20 routes, trims new Canada service, to boost summer reliability

Likewise, Spirit had a big buildup planned for IAH for June (including the new MTY service) that has now been deferred to August.

Southwest rolled out a new "Back to Basics" management plan to focus on staffing and increase operational reliability in Q1. 

Life becomes difficult and unpredictable when there aren't enough pilots to fly the planes.  And, even when you can hire them, you can't train them because all of the training slots are full.  And it's not for lack of "planning," per se . . . this was all planned for, but the plan turned out (almost universally across the industry) to be a bad plan.  Mesa is actually parking relatively new EMB-175s (a very limited commodity for United if you know anything about their pilot contract) this summer because they don't have the pilots to fly them.

They probably don't put that stuff in your monthly Rapid Rewards newsletter.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2022 at 8:19 AM, mattyt36 said:

OK @Reefmonkey, it's obviously a random big conspiracy and nothing to do with what's been written about over and over and over and over in the press or come up in almost essentially every airline earnings call for last quarter.  So sorry for your bad luck.

(I know frequent fliers think they know anything, but consider that those who actually work in the industry may have a bit better grasp on these things than you.)

Okay, smart guy, explain how this has anything to do with the airline apologist reasons you've given for "crew or fleet issues" making changing travelers' schedules necessary and reasonable:

I fly to Helsinki through Frankfurt on June 11. My original flight, booked April 28, had me leaving Houston at 3:45PM and arriving in Frankfurt 8:20AM, then 9:15AM from Frankfurt arriving  Helsinki 12:40PM.

Last night I got an email telling me my itinerary had been changed. Same 3:45PM flight out of Houston, but now I'm on a 2:05PM flight out of Frankfurt, arriving 5:30, increasing my total travel time by 5 hours. My return flights were unchanged.

I get on the airline's site to see my options, and I note that the flight that was changed, the Frankfurt-Helsinki flight 9:15AM-12:40PM, is still available, same flight number and everything. But if I want that FRA-HEL flight, I have to choose a different IAH-HEL flight that leaves almost 4 hours sooner, even though there was nothing wrong with that flight....and I'd have to drop down a cabin class on the IAH-HEL flight....and the different itinerary would cost $1,200 more.

You said "Airline schedules aren’t fleeted and finalized until 60 days out", but my original itinerary was booked within that timeframe, 41 days before departure, and the itinerary was changed by the airline 18 days before departure, all well within the 60 day timeline for fleeting and finalizing the schedule. And the flight I was booted off is not only still flying, but even still available for me to book.

[Oh, and by the way, just to head off any potential rationalization about upgrades no longer being available or fare class having anything to do with it, the higher cabin level on the IAH-FRA leg is not an upgrade, I am paying for it, I'm traveling regular coach on the FRA-HEL leg, and I paid extra for a fully refundable ticket in case the event I am going to in Helsinki gets canceled due to a Covid outbreak or Russia does something else stupid.]

I am very excited to hear your explanation about how this should be expected based on the time between booking and travel, and what "crew or flight issue" resolution "they're accomplishing with these changes."

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Posted (edited)

@Reefmonkey, whoa.  Let me just start by saying that you seem like a real treasure and definitely give off a totally "with it" vibe.  I mean treating an architectural forum as a some sort of sensationalized Yelp complaint page.  I combed this entire sub-forum and found one other person who thought they would post a complaint in the past 7 years, but, alas, I opened that one up "United Customer Service fail" and see that the person just supplied a link to a NY Times story--it wasn't actually anything that happened to him.  So, cheers--it definitely takes a special kind of person, you truly are in a class by yourself.  I suppose I should not be surprised that such behavior would be correlated with, let's say, a very strong ego and a naked desire to prove someone wrong who tried to, uh, you know, explain why these things were happening with a juvenile "gotcha, Mr Smarty Pants."

So, yes, let me once again tip my hat to you . . . your original post definitely was substantive . . . and you've got it figured out . . . this is indeed all random and very sinister, and the airline people are laughing all the way to the bank with your suffering . . . all while I'm "apologizing" for them.  (Maybe "very strong" isn't the right word . . . a bit "manic," perhaps?)

Let's start at the beginning:

On 5/17/2022 at 5:03 PM, Reefmonkey said:

Out of the last six flight reservations I have made with Southwest, four of them were changed by Southwest, so that I would be flying on a different flight either several hours earlier or several hours later than the time I had picked. These changes have been made as early as the same week I made the reservation, to a few weeks later, and usually weeks, even months before actual departure.

Aha.  That's what you originally said, Mr SEP/LEED Green Associate.  (Who puts that in their footer, I mean, seriously?!  Love yourself much?!  At least it's totally on-brand!)  Reservations made months in advance and changed "usually weeks, even months before actual departure."

Then you somehow concluded:

On 5/17/2022 at 5:03 PM, Reefmonkey said:

so the changes have nothing to do with weather or sudden crew issues they don't have time to work out.

I mean, the arrogance!  The sophistry!  Cheers to you, sir, well done!  This conclusion is absolutely wrong.  There is no other word for it.  100%, totally, completely wrong.  You seem to think that if Southwest has a deficit of pilots, it can be fixed weeks in advance.  How so, might I ask?  Pilots have capped duty time.  Also takes a while to train them, with minimum flight hours stipulated by the federal government for a Part 121 airline.  (Do you know what that is, Reef?)  Does @Reefmonkey seriously think that Southwest can, say, train a flight attendant or a person off the street in a couple of weeks to be a certified commercial pilot?  I mean, it's so self-evidently, ridiculously absurd on the surface.  I expect a little more from the engineering types, especially those 20-year world travelers who so obviously know the industry inside and out.  But I applaud your chutzpah.  As was pointed out, there's plenty of press out there explaining this clearly, but, yeah, I know, that's no fun, is it, when one can play victim otherwise.

On 5/17/2022 at 5:03 PM, Reefmonkey said:

A lot of people, especially business travelers, are on tight schedules while traveling, and pick flight times to accomodate. If the airline moves a person to a new flight two hours earlier, he might not have time to get to the flight from a meeting he has scheduled before the flight; if they move it two hours later, he might not get to the meeting he has in the next city. I've also been moved from nonstop flights to flights with stops that add a few hours to my travel time. It's so annoying.

Yeah, you totally sound like a really competent, seasoned business traveler here.  "The airline reschedules my flights weeks, even months in advance, and still that is not enough time for me to figure out how to get to a meeting on-time."  Hilarious!  (Accommodate has two "ms," BTW.)

On 5/17/2022 at 9:38 PM, Reefmonkey said:

Thanks Matty, but it’s not like I’m new to airline travel  I’ve been all over the world, been in jobs where I flew multiple times a month, flew frequently enough to have elite status on two airlines at a time, I know what’s normal, and what’s not. Four out of six flights since the beginning of February is not normal. Yeah, reservations are getting changed three months before departure, but reservations are also getting changed the week of departure, which I think you’ll agree is a hell of a lot less than 60 days out. Reservations are being changed a few weeks to a month after booking, reservations are being changed the week after booking. And the reservations that get changed the week after booking, they didn’t know they were going to have to change a flight the previous week, but they know now? That happens once, okay, but it happens twice less than a month apart, and you hear it’s happening to a lot of other people too, you begin to wonder why they are allowing people to book so many flights that they almost immediately know they aren’t going to fly.

And then we get the standard "Do you know who I am?"  I mean, again, hilarious!  I haven't been on FlyerTalk in a long time, but it's nice to know that that demographic is still alive and well.  As I said, it definitely takes a special kind of person.

(Also, forgive me, but reservations being changed the week of departure that are not related to a weather-related travel waiver or other event?  Please send me a list of all the times this happened to you, the original flight number, the booking date, the original flight date, and the booking change date.  I'm honestly intrigued.  I mean, funnily enough you didn't bring this claim up in your original post.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Forgive me if I just don't believe you.)

On 5/17/2022 at 9:38 PM, Reefmonkey said:

Again, going from having this happen almost never in over 20 years of being a frequent business flyer, to having it happen four times in three and a half months, this is different. 

I mean, again, much press written about this.  It is different!!!!  It has never happened before!!!!  There has never been such a labor shortage!!!!  BRAVO FOR NOTICING!!!!  You're stuck in a logical circle as if it proves something.

11 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

Okay, smart guy, explain how this has anything to do with the airline apologist reasons you've given for "crew or fleet issues" making changing travelers' schedules necessary and reasonable:

I fly to Helsinki through Frankfurt on June 11. My original flight, booked April 28, had me leaving Houston at 3:45PM and arriving in Frankfurt 8:20AM, then 9:15AM from Frankfurt arriving  Helsinki 12:40PM.

Last night I got an email telling me my itinerary had been changed. Same 3:45PM flight out of Houston, but now I'm on a 2:05PM flight out of Frankfurt, arriving 5:30, increasing my total travel time by 5 hours. My return flights were unchanged.

I get on the airline's site to see my options, and I note that the flight that was changed, the Frankfurt-Helsinki flight 9:15AM-12:40PM, is still available, same flight number and everything. But if I want that FRA-HEL flight, I have to choose a different IAH-HEL flight that leaves almost 4 hours sooner, even though there was nothing wrong with that flight....and I'd have to drop down a cabin class on the IAH-HEL flight....and the different itinerary would cost $1,200 more.

You said "Airline schedules aren’t fleeted and finalized until 60 days out", but my original itinerary was booked within that timeframe, 41 days before departure, and the itinerary was changed by the airline 18 days before departure, all well within the 60 day timeline for fleeting and finalizing the schedule. And the flight I was booted off is not only still flying, but even still available for me to book.

[Oh, and by the way, just to head off any potential rationalization about upgrades no longer being available or fare class having anything to do with it, the higher cabin level on the IAH-FRA leg is not an upgrade, I am paying for it, I'm traveling regular coach on the FRA-HEL leg, and I paid extra for a fully refundable ticket in case the event I am going to in Helsinki gets canceled due to a Covid outbreak or Russia does something else stupid.]

I am very excited to hear your explanation about how this should be expected based on the time between booking and travel, and what "crew or flight issue" resolution "they're accomplishing with these changes."

And now yet ANOTHER story that didn't show up in your original diatribe.  And it's not Southwest. And the original flights are still operating . . . I mean . . . this . . . is . . . obviously . . . not . . . the . . . same.  You're all over the place, buddy!

Let's investigate.

Saturday, June 11, IAH-FRA

LH441, leaves IAH 1545, arrives FRA 0820 +1 (your flight)

UA46, leaves IAH 1820, arrives FRA 1115 +1

Sunday, June 12, FRA-HEL

LH848    0915    1240 (your original flight)

LH850    1405    1730 (your new flight)

AY1416    1925    2250

LH854    2150    0115

I mean, I didn't have to check this out or anything, but there is no earlier IAH-FRA flight than LH441.  In fact, the first TATL departure from IAH is KL662, which leaves at 1500.  Pretty much has been like this for years.  But, let's say you were going to double connect . . . there is 1 option via IAD that leaves at 1200 and arrives at 0720.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that's your flight leaving 4 hours earlier.

Minimum connect time at FRA back in the day was 45 mins, assuming you're on the same ticket.  So there are 2 possibilities here:

(1) The minimum connect time has since changed to 1 hour, which wouldn't necessarily surprise me with COVID.  Sadly, 55 minutes is less than 1 hour.

(2) The notice you were sent was in error (hey . . . it happens!).  LH848 is still operating . . . can I suggest you pick up the phone, call whichever airline you booked your ticket, either Lufthansa or United, and request to be back on the same flight?  The conditions of carriage are pretty clear as to what happens in a situation like this.

(I mean, I hate to think it, but maybe you did attempt (2), but thanks to your, er, unpolished "bedside manner" (I mean, I'm just speculating here based on our lovely interactions) you were unsuccessful?  Ever heard the phrase, "You catch more flies with honey?" Mr-LEED-Green-Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am-World-Traveler?) 

Also, if you need a shoulder to cry on, read the following from yesterday's NY Times . . . they seem to be a bit more sympathetic.  I do understand bruised egos do hurt.

Help! The Airline Changed My Flight Itinerary (for the Worse) - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Edited by mattyt36
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Posted (edited)

So, other than insults, name calling, nitpicking typos, accusing me of making things up, mocking my credentials which I didn’t even bring up and he gleaned from my signature, Matty here doesn’t add anything to the conversation. He makes a big deal about my changed Helsinki itinerary not being in my original post, I guess he missed the part where I said it just happened to me last night, and I was presenting it as the most recent example of this happening. But moving on from people who can’t seem to interact respectfully, I’ll provide an update for any others reading this. The person I am traveling with had the exact same original itinerary as me, and hers was not changed. I did call United, and did get my itinerary changed back to my original one. But when I asked the agent why my itinerary was changed in the first place, she couldn’t give me a reasonable answer, just “it appears the system made that change.” It had nothing to do with the minimum connection time that had been posited by the other poster as a face-saving attempt. As far as the poster’s number 2 suggestion that this was a mistake, considering the agent couldn’t explain the change, it does seem to be a mistake, a RANDOM mistake, which supports the point of my OP, that lot of random inexplicable reservations are being made by airlines lately, despite the other poster being very insistent that these things are NOT random and were about crew or fleeting issues.  

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

So, other than insults, name calling, nitpicking typos, accusing me of making things up, mocking my credentials which I didn’t even bring up and he gleaned from my signature, Matty here doesn’t add anything to the conversation. He makes a big deal about my changed Helsinki itinerary not being in my original post, I guess he missed the part where I said it just happened to me last night, and I was presenting it as the most recent example of this happening. But moving on from people who can’t seem to interact respectfully, I’ll provide an update for any others reading this. The person I am traveling with had the exact same original itinerary as me, and hers was not changed. I did call United, and did get my itinerary changed back to my original one. But when I asked the agent why my itinerary was changed in the first place, she couldn’t give me a reasonable answer, just “it appears the system made that change.” It had nothing to do with the minimum connection time that had been posited by the other poster as a face-saving attempt. As far as the poster’s number 2 suggestion that this was a mistake, considering the agent couldn’t explain the change, it does seem to be a mistake, a RANDOM mistake, which supports the point of my OP, that lot of random inexplicable reservations are being made by airlines lately, despite the other poster being very insistent that these things are NOT random and were about crew or fleeting issues.  

So, basically, at the end of the day, what I said was accurate: I proposed 2 potential explanations and provided advice to remedy. 1 of those 2 explanations proved accurate, and you had already done what I advised, et voila, it was fixed! It also proves that your original description of the issue was, essentially, a lie! No one was going to force you to take the earlier flight to FRA or the later flight to HEL. I mean, it’d be so funny if I wasn’t so embarrassed for you. 😬

Somehow, in your mind, this one experience logically proves that everything you said in the first post was correct, i.e., it’s all random, crew shortages, not to mention airlines explicitly saying, “WE’RE MAKING THESE CLOSE-IN CHANGES DUE TO CREW SHORTAGES,” does not figure in whatsoever. OK, buddy, whatevs! I was delayed for 36 hours this week, which is a rarity, but it was a 2 flight/day station. It was due to aircraft maintenance. That does not mean that every delay is therefore due to aircraft maintenance, or that there are not crew shortages. Surely you can see that? 🥴 Again, I’d expect more systems thinking from an engineer type. I mean, YIKES!

And in terms of "interact[ing] respectfully," I mean, c'mon man, you were essentially lying to try to prove a point!  I know everyone feels "attacked" on here when confronted by basic facts, I guess next time I will respond with, "Poor baby!" cuz that seems to be what you're going for … “poor baby” somehow constitutes respect. I mean, YIKES!

Very “bruised,” very “unpolished” indeed.

Edited by mattyt36
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To recap, in my OP I complained about a healthy majority of the flight reservations I have made the last 5 months being changed by the airlines to less convenient itineraries, and couldn’t just be explained by flight or crew issues, many were random. I explained the difficulties this can cause travelers, especially business travelers on tight schedules. My account…let’s just say it was “called into question.”

Two nights ago, it happened to me again, and the flight I was booted off of was still flying, was still available to book, someone traveling with me on the exact same itinerary and exact same fare class wasn’t booted but the airline website wouldn’t allow me to return to my itinerary. I called the airline, and after being on hold with them for longer than it took me to write all my posts in this thread, the agent I finally talked to was able to get me back on my original itinerary, but could provide no explanation of why my itinerary was changed in the first place, other than “it looks like it was done by the system.” That’s a reservation change by an airline that couldn’t be explained by crew or fleet shortages, couldn’t be explained at all, just “random”, and whatever question anyone might have had about the details of my previous flights’ itinerary changes, this well documented and undeniable instance of a random unjustified change by an airline coming so soon on the heels of my complaint about these kinds of changes cannot honestly be dismissed as an isolated incident. The fact that I could not correct it online and the long wait time I had to correct it over the phone illustrates the legitimate problem these frequent, often unnecessary changes present. A frequent business traveler should not be expected to have to spend 90 minutes on the phone to fix a reservation he made online almost every time he needs to travel. 
 

It’s common wisdom that when a person resorts to a torrent of childish insults, aspersions of character, and unsubstantiated accusations of lying, that person has lost the argument, it’s a tacit admission they don’t have a cogent argument to make. I believe it also violates the rules of this website, but I will leave that up to @editor

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

To recap, in my OP I complained about a healthy majority of the flight reservations I have made the last 5 months being changed by the airlines to less convenient itineraries, and couldn’t just be explained by flight or crew issues, many were random. I explained the difficulties this can cause travelers, especially business travelers on tight schedules. My account…let’s just say it was “called into question.”

Two nights ago, it happened to me again, and the flight I was booted off of was still flying, was still available to book, someone traveling with me on the exact same itinerary and exact same fare class wasn’t booted but the airline website wouldn’t allow me to return to my itinerary. I called the airline, and after being on hold with them for longer than it took me to write all my posts in this thread, the agent I finally talked to was able to get me back on my original itinerary, but could provide no explanation of why my itinerary was changed in the first place, other than “it looks like it was done by the system.” That’s a reservation change by an airline that couldn’t be explained by crew or fleet shortages, couldn’t be explained at all, just “random”, and whatever question anyone might have had about the details of my previous flights’ itinerary changes, this well documented and undeniable instance of a random unjustified change by an airline coming so soon on the heels of my complaint about these kinds of changes cannot honestly be dismissed as an isolated incident. The fact that I could not correct it online and the long wait time I had to correct it over the phone illustrates the legitimate problem these frequent, often unnecessary changes present. A frequent business traveler should not be expected to have to spend 90 minutes on the phone to fix a reservation he made online almost every time he needs to travel. 
 

It’s common wisdom that when a person resorts to a torrent of childish insults, aspersions of character, and unsubstantiated accusations of lying, that person has lost the argument, it’s a tacit admission they don’t have a cogent argument to make. I believe it also violates the rules of this website, but I will leave that up to @editor

Reef, brother, just do a little more forensics and this time take the emotion out of it.

The situation you described in the OP, i.e., flights getting changed weeks and months in advance, was literally answered in the original reply. I mean, again, so much has been written about this, it’s not just me, buddy! 

The pride and the snark and the attitude were all introduced by you. Presumably because, it is WAY important to you that your original post (which you are probably now embarrassed you posted to begin with) is perceived as accurate and totally legitimate. (You know the concept … you used it incorrectly … it’s “saving face” … I fear it is the exact opposite of what you think it means, and, man, to go through life not knowing how that works, truly rough. Feel for you, bro.)
 

Forgive me for trying to shed some light on what was going on, I was obviously a fool to even attempt to do so. I see now that the purpose of your original post was to just “let off a little steam,” and you didn’t really want anyone to engage with you other than to say, maybe, “Yeah, man, that happened to me, too, and it s*cked! Damn those airlines!” and “Man, elite status on two airlines, how’d you do it, you lucky guy?” (Been there, done that, doing it now. You talk like a total Silver, BTW. 90 minutes on the phone? Yikes! Worse than I thought. I’m so used to not having to wait. I really shouldn’t kick a man while he’s obviously so (far!) down.)

But, sure, go ahead and call the Sheriff and lecture me on rhetorical techniques and what people who have “lost the argument” do. Again, it’s like the total opposite of what you think it is. I believe the psychological term for this is PROJECTION. I must admit, it is fascinating to me that you can’t seem to see this for yourself, but, again, I’ve read that’s how projection works so it totally checks out.

Regardless, enjoy your trip to HEL. I hear it’s nice.

Edited by mattyt36
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Posted (edited)

You definitely have a point that my original post was “letting off steam,” and I didn’t expect that anyone would react to it the way you did, and I was a bit taken aback by your condescension, and so I pushed back against it. And now I know that is where I erred; had I reviewed all the ongoing clashes you are currently having with so many people on the I-45 Rebuild thread, and the thread on Greg Abbott running for reelection, and the one on Lina Hidalgo’s aides being indicted, (and probably others I haven't even seen), I would have understood what I was dealing with. I would have seen you engaging in:

Homophobia:

Quote

 

On 5/24/2022 at 8:32 PM, mattyt36 said:

Having met Kim, I kind of think that may be what she is gunning for. Lesbians can be so unpredictable. Man Hands Mealer will most definitely be foaming at the mouth for a ticket, I have no doubt about that.

 

Ableism in the form of mocking peoples’ disabilities:

Quote

 

On 5/25/2022 at 8:57 PM, mattyt36 said:

In, other news, our illustrious Governor Hot Wheels, in a typical display of true crisis leadership,

 

Misogyny and body shaming:

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On 5/25/2022 at 10:46 PM, mattyt36 said:

And as compensation for your donations and support, I hope you get an autographed photo of [Alexandra Mealer's] Man Hands. The campaign team definitely has shaven off at least 20 pounds, femmed her up a bit, and made her less mouthy, I’ve noticed.

 

and I definitely would have known then what kind of a person you are. (By the way, the way you use derogatory nicknames and focus on physical appearance is very similar to how Donald Trump talks). Seeing all the anger and hatred and need for conflict with people you have, I would have anticipated that me simply calling you “smart guy” and presenting you with a piece of information that challenged your self-satisfied conclusions would have triggered you and provoked such a disproportionate response as this torrent of insults:

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you seem like a real treasure and definitely give off a totally "with it" vibe.

it definitely takes a special kind of person, you truly are in a class by yourself.

such behavior would be correlated with, let's say, a very strong egand a naked desire to prove someone wrong

 a bit "manic," perhaps?

Mr SEP/LEED Green Associate.  (Who puts that in their footer, I mean, seriously?!  Love yourself much?! 

the arrogance!  The sophistry!

so self-evidently, ridiculously absurd

one can play victim

you totally sound like a really competent, seasoned business traveler here

still that is not enough time for me to figure out how to get to a meeting on-time

then we get the standard "Do you know who I am?"

 it's nice to know that that demographic is still alive and well.  As I said, it definitely takes a special kind of person.

Forgive me if I just don't believe you.)

 your original diatribe

You're all over the place, buddy!

but thanks to your, er, unpolished "bedside manner"

Mr-LEED-Green-Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am-World-Traveler?) 

if you need a shoulder to cry on

I do understand bruised egos do hurt.

 

Obviously I made a huge mistake in not recognizing what kind of person you are, what kind of issues you’ve got going on earlier. I can tell you’re the kind of person it doesn’t pay to get crossways with, and someone with as much seething anger at so many people and classes of people is usually the kind to hold grudges for a long time, look for ways to needle a person long after an initial confrontation, and that probably wouldn’t make my use of this forum very enjoyable going forward. So mattyt36, I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to you. I apologize for triggering you by calling you “smart guy.” I apologize for not having immediately prostrated myself before your obviously vastly superior knowledge of both the airline industry and my own personal experiences. I hope my expression of contrition will be satisfactory to you and we can part ways with no lingering animosity.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Reefy, I do appreciate the time you have taken for a bit of self-reflection.  I’ve also taken some time to think. After all, it’s the only way we can learn and grow.

As I think I mentioned before, I work in the aviation industry, and have always been interested in the stories behind air disasters.  What a great system we have!  We've got a whole investigatory arm, separate from the regulating agencies, that gets to investigate why there are major transportation accidents and make recommendations to the government on how to improve safety.  One of the first things you learn is that this work is not about assigning blame--in fact, every report speaks to "contributing factors" that led to the accident.

So our exchange has reminded me of one such event in particular, viz BN352, a HOU-DAL L-188 "Electra" flight in the 1960s.  Now I'm going off memory here, but essentially what happened is that the pilots were a bit late leaving Houston and a massive thunderstorm was on the direct route to Dallas.  They saw that thunderstorm but decided to go through.  I mean, it's not like they wanted to crash.  They probably thought they had been through something similar before and that they could do it again, but maybe there was a bit of adrenaline, too . . . who knows?  But they decided they just weren't going to be any later getting into Dallas. They told people they were going to land at a certain time, and by God, they were going to do it. And they got into that thunderstorm and it was really bad.  I mean, obviously I wasn't there, but I imagine the rain must have been pounding on the plane, the plane was being bounced around, it was at night so it was pitch black.  And they probably saw it relatively fast, I mean, they could've turned around, but somehow they thought either, "I'm sure the worst is over" or, more likely based on the CVR transcript (I did have to Google this one as I wanted to be specific--I'm shamelessly copying from Wikipedia here), they just were too proud to turn around.

The NTSB correlated the cockpit conversations with the ATC communications transcript and noted that it was the first officer, at the captain's request, who asked ATC if they had received reports of hail in the area and received the response from ATC that they hadn't because other aircraft had "all deviated around to the east." At that point, according to the CVR transcript, the captain advised the first officer: "No, don't talk to him too much. I'm hearing his conversation on this. He's trying to get us to admit (we're makin)[6] big mistake coming through here."[

And so they kept on flying directly through it, and I mean, it must've gotten really bad and even caught them by more surprise than they had already been surprised, and they decided to cut their losses and request permission to turn around.

Alas, it was too late.  In short, in the execution of the turn in the thunderstorm conditions, the aircraft was overstressed, the wings tore off, and the plane plummeted to the ground in Dawson, Texas, near Buffalo.  All 85 onboard died.

And, why did they die?  Foolish pride.  Well, I suppose the captain died of foolish pride . . . sadly, everyone else was just along for the ride.

So, you know, your comments here are very enlightening in helping me "put more pieces of the puzzle together" and add to the list of "contributing factors."  You had a bad experience, just wanted to blow off some steam, someone responded to you with an accurate description of the cause, it so happened to be me (lucky me, BTW 🤢) and you decided to "pick a fight" because you read some other posts of mine and thought, "Man, that guy is an arrogant SOB and he needs to be brought down a peg."  In other words, you saw the storm and thought you could get through it.  (That whole plane crash thing was a metaphor, just to be clear.)  Turbulence got rough, so to speak, much rougher than you thought it ever could get, you said some silly things, but kept on digging in your heels because "He's trying to get us to admit we're makin a big mistake coming through here," so to speak (can you just admit that you aren't getting flight changes willy nilly days in advance, at least not more than once?), and now is the time you decide to turn around.

So well done.  No need for the wings to fall off.  I'm happy to extend a hand and help you get back on course (metaphor alert!).

But, before I do that, I must just take issue with your characterizations of my posts, my rhetorical style, my skirmishes and kerfluffles so to speak.

I will say that foolish pride is at the root of most. (Did I mention there’s a song about that?) I remember Luminaire making some comment once suggesting it would be "hilarious" to erect a statue to policemen killed in the line of action across the Bayou from the statue of Jose Campos Torres (who, in case you weren't aware was murdered by HPD in the 1970s).  I believe I responded something to the effect of "Well, that wouldn't be the word I'd use."  And man, he barreled through that thunderstorm.  His response wasn't, "Sorry, poor choice of words," but rather something to the effect of "Sorry, not sorry, all they're trying to do is buy votes with some stupid statue."  😳 Man, I mean the wings came off very fast with that one.  But, I will say, I have since learned through other posts of his that he lost his job relatively recently and that's probably why he moved to Utah, so I see how that could not have been anything short of a major life trauma (especially for someone so qualified because it’s clear to me from his other posts he knows what he’s doing and is good and very thoughtful at it) which does lead to lashing out and, at the end of the day, essentially blaming entire groups of people.  It's a story as old as time, so to speak.  I can't say I agree with his position, but I feel some empathy for him now that I did not before.

Then there was editor, some really strange comment about something being unequivocally proven (I don't even remember what it was, quite honestly, but it was definitely objectively subjective), and I said, "Oh yeah?" and his response was to, again, barrel through that thunderstorm and say, "Books have been written about it" and sent me a link to the library.  I mean, really juvenile at the end of the day, don't you think?  (Definitely common themes here in terms of "contributing factors,” I submit foolish pride is the biggest one)  I did read a few other editor posts, and noticed some other common themes . . . I mean, they're mostly negative and critical.  And then I remembered, "Hey this guy just moved back to Houston not too long ago, so he's probably going through the whole, 'Why in the hell did I move back HERE?!'") second-guessing phase that occurs to all of us who do.  Probably needs another good year, but he'll be a changed and happier man, no doubt!  The long and the short is, I feel empathy now for him, too.  (And, in fairness, maybe he just wanted me to check out the damned library!  I dunno.)

As for the NHHIP stuff, hey, maybe in the early days I argued with more, but I think if you do the forensics on that one, I spent a couple of months trying to earnestly share information.  At the end of the day, it really was a "tiff" between samagon and me.  Most of the original people who argued against whatever points I made, I think, realized that what I was saying was true, there was no choice between a freeway and a train, there weren't tens of thousands of people being "ripped from their homes," etc., etc. so they kind of dropped it.  Samagon, well he took the BN352 approach.  He is proud to say he blocked me, much like you're like Dwight Schrute screaming "Michael!  Michael!!!" at the moderators trying to get my posts deleted or posting privileges revoked.  

I've got other buddies I argue with, august948 is my fave, but even Blue Dogs, I mean, I'll be the first to congratulate him when he gets to ride his red wave.  Do I agree with him?  Absolutely not.  Do I think he’s crazy? Yes. Does he think I’m crazy? I’d be disappointed if he didn’t. But, at the end of the day, you know, he's just Blue Dogs doing Blue Dogs.  

Here's a fun fact--I have not reported a single post for a violation of forum rules.  I have not ever mentioned forum rules.  I have never asked for anyone to be banned (and I know at least several people have asked for me to be banned).  OK, maybe now's a good time to mention "forum rules" for the first time . . . do you really think it's in the spirit of the "forum rules" to get the air traffic controller banned for suggesting you turn around when you’re the guy who made the decision to fly into a thunderstorm in the first place?  You got us here. Doesn't seem like it should be that way to me. In fact, it kind of seems totally wrong, you know, wrong, like on a moral level. Like, this is on you, buddy. Take some ownership.

In re your comments about all my societal flaws, I mean, man, really, you got it all wrong again.  I mean like the total opposite.  I am gay, have been (officially at least) for 25 years now, which probably coincides with the time you were at the Bubble Gum elite level of the Continental Young Travelers program.  ANOTHER fun fact--I don't even call the Guv Hot Wheels--except on here--I use another word, which I think is a little too on the nose for this forum.  So credit for the whole Hot Wheels thing actually goes to my very good friend (also a gay), who--again--interesting fact--his mother is a paraplegic!  It shouldn't be that difficult to see if the ADA were being debated today, Greg Abbott would be the poster child for the opposition . . . he would have zero problem standing up (oooops, metaphor!) and saying, "I don't need any help, why do these other losers?"  So you also shouldn't be surprised that, sure, there will be plenty of people to line up and accuse me of being insensitive to the disabled, but I will guarantee you that the common denominator will not be their disability, but rather their political affiliation.  Likewise, there are plenty of disabled people out there who would love to push the Guv down a cliff and stick a steel rod in his spokes on the way down (figuratively speaking, of course) . . . surely you must see that!  (Sanctimony is never pretty, and it's always about one's self, not the people you are appealing to.  I've noticed Samagon has the same problem.  They don't need you speaking on their behalf, especially if you're doing it only to further your position (there's that pesky pride again!) . . . you might be surprised that lesbians love lesbian humor, BTW.  I mean I'm almost certain Kim would at least chuckle at that post . . . I can say that cuz I've met her.  I don't project experiences I haven't had, in other words.)

As for Man Hands, I mean, it's the same.  I'll let you think through it as a thought exercise.  Maybe look up the concept of "reclaiming" identity through humor.  Take a little moment to dig a little deeper and notice other patterns--towards what group of people do I use such language?  You are right on something--it is indeed modeled on Trump.  Fight fire with fire, brother.  Humor works on many different levels, and I make the decision to operate on the level I do acknowledging the cost that some people may not "get it."

21 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

So mattyt36, I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to you. I apologize for triggering you by calling you “smart guy.” I apologize for not having immediately prostrated myself before your obviously vastly superior knowledge of both the airline industry and my own personal experiences. I hope my expression of contrition will be satisfactory to you and we can part ways with no lingering animosity.

Buddy, thanks.  I don't need an apology, but, again, I appreciate the reflection.  Let's start over!  See you on the battlefield, brother! ❤️

Oh, and while we're on it, from today . . . once again, just trying to keep you informed!  This summer is going to be rough!  (It's going to be even more awful for the employees who are living it every day, and I know you're all about empathy for others, so please keep that in mind … for sure don’t be misogynistic or ableist, don’t body shame them, and, whatever you do, don’t be homophobic! There’s a lot of us homos in the aviation industry, after all.)

Flying with Delta this summer? Here's what to know and how to prep | Delta News Hub

""From July 1-Aug. 7, we’ll reduce service by approximately 100 daily departures, primarily in markets in the U.S. and Latin America that Delta frequently serves. This will build additional resilience in our system and improve operational reliability for our customers and employees; we’ll continue to proactively adjust select flights in the coming weeks."

(July is in a matter of weeks, just FYI)

And from Europe, totally not the same but speaks to the general labor issues:

KLM Halts Ticket Sales at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport – Airways Magazine

Edited by mattyt36
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I’m sorry, I’m sure you worked really hard to craft a litany of clever insults in that very long post, and I really tried to make a good faith effort to read it, but my eyes glazed over midway though the second sentence and I just lost interest. This gotten really tedious and I’ve lost interest. Bye bye

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5 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

I’m sorry, I’m sure you worked really hard to craft a litany of clever insults in that very long post, and I really tried to make a good faith effort to read it, but my eyes glazed over midway though the second sentence and I just lost interest. This gotten really tedious and I’ve lost interest. Bye bye

Well thanks for telling me you were tapping out (turning around?) brother! That’s what we call GROWTH!

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On 5/18/2022 at 8:19 AM, mattyt36 said:

OK @Reefmonkey, it's obviously a random big conspiracy and nothing to do with what's been written about over and over and over and over in the press or come up in almost essentially every airline earnings call for last quarter.  So sorry for your bad luck.

(I know frequent fliers think they know anything, but consider that those who actually work in the industry may have a bit better grasp on these things than you.)

Try to be less dismissive and more civil in your discourse.  We aspire to a higher standard at HAIF.

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