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Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

It is clear you just aren't representative of the bulk of the US market.

I think I admit that when I say that for some reason Americans are willing to accept shitty service.

Meanwhile, you should realize your view on this differs from the majority of US customers

I realize that the majority of US customers suffer from a form of Stockholm Syndrome that they confuse with brand loyalty. I think you're one of them.

I would hesitate before asserting that I am wrong about US customers wanting airlines to overbook

I'm just trying to suggest that if people knew what they were missing, they would demand better service. The only reason you might be right about your assertion is if people think that's the way it has to be. It doesn't have to be that way, but it stays that way because people don't demand a change in their relationships with service companies. Again, airlines aren't the only ones who get away with treating their customers unfairly. And, again, major industries like these simply don't have an actor which treats their customers substantially better, so people don't even have an opportunity to choose that company and vote with their wallet.

especially since every airline does it

That's simply not true, not even among major domestic carriers. JetBlue, for example, doesn't overbook. People still get bumped if flights get canceled or things change, but they don't overbook. Even so, if you told me that everyone beats their wife that doesn't mean I'm going to go home and beat my wife, or that I should beat my wife, or that my wife wants me to beat her.

innovation in the US airline industry is almost exclusively focused on price

You have correctly identified the root cause of the problem. I'm glad that you're understanding what I'm saying.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

Literally every experience I've had as a coach passenger on a foreign airline has also been wonderful. Even coach on Hawaiian, it was just fine. It's stupid that Americans are willing to accept shit service from the 8 major US airlines if they fly coach. Again, it is not that way in the rest of the world, for some reason people accept it here, and each of the 8 major airlines has profit margins of around 20 - 30%. It is a profitable business and they could very well spend additional money to hire good people and train them (and fire them if needed), but they don't feel like they need to do that because people like you don't blame them when they treat you like shit, and will actually *defend* them. "Their customers WANT THEM TO OVERBOOK." No, we don't. A fair price and fair service shouldn't be mutually exclusive.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

Almost every airline allows you to pay an extra $500 to ride in first class, and it's a much better experience.

That doesn't really matter when you still have the same shitty employees who for some reason think that they can work in a service industry and be cunts to everyone. Again, compare with airlines from different countries. Here in the US we accept shitty customer service for some reason, as long as we don't have to pay much. I'm talking about an entire plane filled with comfortable people, staffed with employees who, for some strange reason, think that their job as a service worker means that it's their job to make sure their customers are happy. I'm not talking about 12 seats in the front of a plane staffed by cunts who are looking for any reason they can to get you off the plane.

We have tons of options if you want to pay more for comfort, flexibility, and certainty.

Right. Options like Korean Air, FinnAir, Virgin Atlantic, etc. Plenty of options that aren't US airlines.

Airlines have like 20 fare classes where you can choose the rules you want to abide by.

What a weird statement. How about "treat me like you would want to be treated", is that an option written into some contract somewhere? Is that something that I have the option of paying extra for? After all, this is the US, and if someone is willing to pay $100 for something, don't give it to them for free, right? If someone is willing to pay extra to be treated like a decent person, then don't do that for free. Make the default shitty service and then get everyone to pay extra if they want to be treated fairly.

So whining about the rules and pretending you don't have full control over those rules by paying something more than the lowest available fare class is either your ignorance on how airlines work or just willful denial because you want to blame "that corporations!!!!" for only being able to fly anywhere you want for next to nothing using under whatever rules you desire. Ok...

That's what you think, huh? I just want to be treated fairly, by a person who understands it is their job to make customers happy and not the other way around. That's all. It's not just about airlines either, this country is full of entitled cunts in service jobs who think that helping a customer is some sort of burden instead of their damn job.

Maybe you want an even nicer experience where your short girlfriend is massaged in her seat.

My wife doesn't want special treatment. She wants to be treated fairly, like she has been when she's lived in Brazil, Finland, and Ireland, but not here in the US. It's just about being treated fairly, that's all. And you're suggesting that we charter a flight in order to be treated fairly in the US. You know what the real stupid thing is? You're right, chartering your own plane is probably the only way to guarantee you're going to be treated fairly in the US.

And, if you've only ever lived in the US, then you're as blind to the problem as anyone else here. You accept it because that's the way it is, even though that's only the way it is here. There's a reason why the stereotypical American tourist in other countries is loud and rude. It's because we are, especially to each other. Certain industries like airlines and telephone/cable providers are particularly known for this, according to customer satisfaction rankings.

it turns out planes are expensive and operating them is expensive and maintaining them is expensive and landing fees at airports are expensive and security is expensive and paying commercial pilots is expensive....

Therefore, hire the cheapest cunts you can find and don't bother training them how to deal with other people. Because that $21 billion market cap for United Continental doesn't mean anything if the CEO can't get all the money they can out of it while spending as little as possible on finding and training decent employees. The TSA uses this technique also, that's why TSA job ads are on pizza boxes.

So it's clear to me you have no idea what you're talking about

Jesus Christ, like every other American, aren't you?

Perhaps that gives you some remote idea of how efficient commercial airlines are and how much you would need to pay to have the experience you are imagining

Gee, thanks for explaining that to me, Mr. Smart Guy. Good thing you're here to give me a learnin'!

You've proven my point with those last few lines though. Since it's so cheap, we have to put up with absolute shit customer service. If they want to shove their arm in your ass, hey, at least it's cheap for you, right? Because spending as little as possible is all that fucking matters, isn't it? Now be a good American and go buy some shit you don't need.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

I came to the same realization yesterday. From bottom to top it seems like this country is filled with people who are either trying to screw everyone they can to get money, or pay as little as possible. Instead of doing their jobs and being courteous to people, and treating them the same way they would want to be treated, people treat each other like assholes just because they can. Like the flight attendant who informed my short wife when she asked for help putting her bag in the overhead bin that, if she couldn't do it herself, she should have checked her bag, or maybe she should find a boyfriend who thinks she's attractive to help her. People treat each other that way instead of taking 5 seconds to help them, it's awful. It's part of the culture and society in this country, at every level, and it's going to be the reason why we eventually find ourselves living in another country. Your sentiment about people wanting to go through things like overbooking just so that they can pay a lower price is a symptom of that problem, and it's difficult to argue against because we have no counter-examples in this country, every airline is trying to squeeze water from stone and get everything they can. No airline charges higher prices and guarantees that you'll have a comfortable seat and be treated humanely and courteously, so we have no comparison. The chase of the almighty buck causes people to accept shit service and treatment just so that they don't have to spend a little more, and on the other end it causes owners to spend as little as possible to make as much money back. It's a toxic system and it pervades the culture and society of this country at every level. It's not like that in a lot of other places and I don't know why we accept it here, but it's been going on for generations.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

Also, since you travel so much, the next time you do I would encourage you to book travel on Korean Air, or maybe FinnAir if possible. When you board a Korean plane and get to your seat you'll notice that you have slippers, a blanket, a pillow, and a bottle of water waiting for you on your seat. You can take off your shoes and put on slippers for the flight. The cabin staff is far more polite than any American would think is necessary. It's almost like they want you to have a pleasant experience flying. Compare that to getting your face bloodied because United decided they needed your seat for their own employee to get to a city that is only a 5 hour drive away anyway.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 1) 575

You are having difficulty with this concept of tradeoff, aren't you?

No, I'm not, I just think your assertion is stupid. Sorry if that's hard to understand. You keep saying that people want airlines to overbook. No, they don't. People want low fares, sure, and you think that the single and only way to achieve that is by overbooking, and therefore that overbooking is something that people love. That's stupid. You're not doing yourself any favors either by pretending like I don't understand your point. I understand your point, I just think it's stupid.

For years and years airlines have reduced the room for each passenger, squeezed as many chairs as possible onto a plane, increased fees on anything from checked or carry-on bags to snacks that used to be free, and they are currently enjoying a boom as low fuel costs and high demand mean extremely high profits. It's not like airlines are operating a low-margin business here, their margins are high, on everything. That's why this United video can cause United Continental Group to lose $800 million in market cap. It's because they are making insane profits. They are trying to squeeze everything they can out of every plane, and you're sitting there acting like people should be happy for it to avoid a higher ticket price. I think that's a stupid assertion.

You want an example? Look at movie theaters. When was the last time you went and saw a movie in a theater where they had as many chairs and people in there as humanly possible? I can't even remember the last time I was in an "old-fashioned" theater, every movie I've seen for years has been in a theater with large recliners, waiters bringing food and drink, and a max of about 50 people in a theater that used to seat 250. I'm willing to pay more for that. I don't want to feel like cattle shoved into a car, that's what airlines do. And you're trying to suggest that people are happy because they oversell their flights (and I don't even know why you're talking about this, because the United debacle has nothing to do with an oversold flight).

There is no free lunch.

Yeah, it's almost like everyone paid for their tickets. Weird. Also, if you want lunch on the plane that's an extra charge, because fuck you. And if you want a drink with that lunch, that's an extra charge too, because fuck you. And if you want to listen to the movie then you have to pay for the headphones and still give them back after the flight, because fuck you.

Here's another thought - if it's profitable for the plane to travel with, say, 80% occupancy (and it is), why does the airline care if someone paid for a ticket but didn't make the flight? Why do they feel like they need to put another ass in that person's seat? They already paid for it, the airline still gets their money, and shit the plane is now lighter than expected so extra fuel savings. It's not like the airline loses money if someone doesn't show up for a non-refundable flight. But you're sitting there saying that people want airlines to try and plan for that and sell too many tickets. No, they don't. You're wrong. I understand your point just fine, and you're wrong. It's that simple. People want to be treated fairly, that's what they want. It's not hard to figure out.

Comment Re:Why do airlines overbook? (Score 4, Insightful) 575

No one except airlines WANTS THEM TO OVERBOOK, because the only entity that overbooking benefits is the carrier. Overbooking does not benefit the customer (no, overbooking does not "help them keep fares low", competition does). The obvious solution in this case was to continue offering higher and higher incentives until they reached the point where people were willing to give up their seats. Dragging a bloody paying passenger off the plane is going to end up costing them far more than just raising the offer until they got enough volunteers.

In this case overbooking wasn't even necessarily the case. The plane was fully loaded when 4 employees showed up and told the gate agent that they needed to be on that plane, because it was the last plane to their destination that day. They weren't booked for the flight, they just showed up and said they needed to be on it. Overbooking doesn't even apply to this case. The problem is how United handled the situation, by deciding to call in the police and drag a paying customer off the plane instead of just offering whatever it took to get 4 people to agree.

This whole whine session is silly.

I'd like to see if you still feel that way if you decide that getting to your destination is worth more than $800 to you and instead the police come on board, bloody your mouth, and drag you off the plane.

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 1) 755

I was really offended when they killed a bunch of Australians

Well, it's a good thing you don't care then.

I will enjoy continuing to take the piss out of the US government, as I have done for the last decade

Yes, I'm sure that they have noticed and can't wait for your reign of terror to end. Best of luck "taking the piss."

Comment Re:Attn Americans (Score 1) 311

No, I'm not a lawyer. I understand that it costs money to go through the process. I also understand that there are medications that cost $0.18 per dose in other countries, and $30 per dose here (or $89,000 for three months here, versus a few hundred dollars if you're in India or Egypt).

but there is so much "profit" to be made, then why don't you go do it yourself and become a bajillionaire?

If I had the resources to start that I would, believe me. I would find generic drugs that aren't under patent and I would go through the process to manufacture and market them and sell them for a price that is more on par with the rest of the world. I don't have the resources to do that right now, but even so, the goal would not be to become a bajillionaire, I would be happy to break even and see more people who need medications have access to them. In the US no one is going to do anything if they can't make a buck off it, and if they can make $1 then shit, why not crank up the price and make $10,000, right? How many stories have come out over the past few years of pharmaceutical companies raising drug prices by hundreds or thousands of percentage points? What happened, did it all of a sudden get so much more expensive to make them? Did they just get the lawyer bills?

Comment Re:More US warmongering (Score 1) 755

yet 70 claimed dead people trigger that waste

You're thinking that we attacked the airfield over a single incident, as opposed to Assad killing hundreds of thousands of his people over 6 years? The recent attack might have been the trigger, but if the last 6 years hadn't happened and Assad all of a sudden shot some gas into a village we wouldn't send 59 cruise missiles his way. And it's a shame that this war has been going on for over 6 years with hundreds of thousands dead and no other country is doing anything about it other than Russia helping Assad with his murders. It's stupid that the US has to be the one to do something to try to stop Assad from dropping barrels of explosives on villages from thousands of feet in the air. The UN isn't going to do anything because Russia would veto any security council measure since they want their Mediterranean port and they want their weapon customer, so the world stands by while Assad kills his own people. I really wish that we weren't attacking him, I wish that many countries would have gotten together when he started killing everyone and imposed a no-fly zone at that point. It's sad that it's gotten this far, and it's even sadder that it takes someone like Trump to stand up to Assad. Not that Trump doesn't have ulterior motives, but it's sad that no other leader besides someone like Trump takes a stand against all of the killing. Really, it's a sad state of affairs when Donald Trump is leading any kind of humanitarian effort, even if he has his own reasons for doing it.

About the only likely reason it seems so many failed, was they were possibly self destructed when they went off target because they could not afford to kill more civilians than they were claiming revenge for

This wasn't a "revenge" attack, the apparent stated purpose was to degrade Assad's ability to keep killing people. In reality, from what I can tell the runway was not hit, only several aircraft shelters and some additional support buildings (mostly fuel storage and air defense), so I don't know what the strategic goal was other than sending a message, and it's probably no coincidence that this happened while Trump was meeting with Xi Jinping. But, there are also several tweets from people in Syria claiming that all aircraft and virtually the entire base were destroyed. The truth is probably somewhere in between. Trump also notified Putin several hours before the attack, and Putin would have notified Assad, so Assad had several hours to plan for this attack. So ask yourself why anyone at all was killed if he knew that missiles were about to rain down on that base. Ask yourself why children died on an attack on aircraft shelters. Assad had several hours to get those kids either in or out of that base. And, if houses in villages were hit or missiles went off course and caused deaths, where are those pictures? The only pictures I'm seeing are burned out aircraft shelters. Apparently you think that all the US does is lie but you can trust someone like Bashar Al-Assad, right?

Comment Re:Attn Americans (Score 1) 311

So you're suggesting that if everyone is selling a certain medication at $30 per pill in the US, and that this pill costs less than a dollar to manufacturer, then if someone enters the market and sets their price at $20 per pill, that they aren't going to start raking in cash? Why would anyone buy the exact same thing for 50% more? The fact that profits are so high on pharmaceuticals indicates that there is plenty of room for a competitor to set a lower price and make a huge amount of money on quantity. But, hey, obviously I don't understand economics. I do understand the difference in prices for drugs in the US and other countries though, I have plenty of first-hand experience on that.

Comment Re:Attn Americans (Score 4, Interesting) 311

Here's a problem with your assessment, we don't have a free market with drugs.

I know, that's my point. I said that if the free market was working, then we would see more competition and lower prices. The fact that we don't means that it is not working. The fact that no one is coming in to undercut prices on generic drugs that are not encumbered by patents is indicative of the fact that the free market is not working here. It might be evidence of collusion and price-fixing, or a situation making it impossible for competitors to enter the market.

Prescription rules, if you want even a common drug for a chronic condition you will need a permission slip from a physician. Why? Can't people figure this out on their own?

I understand that problem well. My wife is from Brazil, when we are there she can walk into any pharmacy and get whatever she wants, she can even consult with the people working there. There are certain limitations on what they're allowed to do, but they can sell her any of the drugs they have there. Many of those drugs are not even available in the US even though they do not have patents and are generic drugs. She can't get steroids that she needs for inflammation and other issues, and she can't even get the drug that works to get rid of her headaches without going to Brazil and getting it straight from the pharmacy without ever needing to see a doctor. She feels lied to after coming here and realizing that she cannot get the quality of care that she is used to from living in other countries, and the reason seems to be money, like so many of our other problems. So many people have their hands in the pie and what gets lost is actually providing good quality care to people who need it, even if it only means making drugs readily available like they are in other countries. She knows exactly what she needs, what works and what doesn't, and she simply can't get what she needs here. She feels lied to after hearing how great the US was supposed to be, and then getting here and realizing that it's all about money, and if someone can make money restricting access to health care then that's what they're going to do.

More laws will not fix this problem. The problem is too many laws.

Which laws do you think need to be removed in order to fix these issues?

If you think that there is price fixing then I ask you to prove it.

Really? You want evidence of a price-fixing scheme in a trillion-dollar industry? Well let me just hit Google, I'm sure there are signed documents online that will clear that right up.

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