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Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

I fly once or twice a year, I'd prefer to be seated first, get comfortable, and not have to worry about everyone else (and not fight for overhead space). In business or first class, people can easily get by you if they are in your row and you were first. I don't think I'm in the miniroty there, as most first class and airline club members seem to enjoy being first. First class and business seats are also more comfortable than anything in the boarding area, and you often start getting service immediately.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

It's not just U.S. airlines... I flew Varig to Brazil, a great airline by most standards. While in Sao Paulo awaiting our flight to Miami, we were informed the plane had mechanical difficulties, and we wouldn't be able to fly until the morning. They ushered us out to the public transportation lanes and issued taxi after taxi a voucher to drive us to a 4 star hotel that they contacted and requested they hold the evening buffet open for the passengers, as it was quite late by that time (after 11:00pm). In the morning, two beautiful tour busses (nice and clean and new), complete with air conditioning and full bathrooms, picked up the passengers at the hotel and brought us back for our flight.

Needless to say, every single person on the flight missed their connection in Miami. Keep in mind this is the SAME airline, just in Miami instead of Sao Paulo, Brazil: The plane got in fairly late (I don't recall exactly what time... but late evening at the earliest). No one was there to meet the plane and make arrangements for connecting flights. No one was at the desk. We had to call the airline in order for them to get someone to come and deal with us. They arranged our flight for like 6:00am the following morning, and told us we could go to a particular hotel (decent, not great hotel), and we needed to catch the hotel's shuttle in the public transportation area. So there we were, like 150 people waiting the the curb... with all of our luggage, and the bus pulls up, the driver opens the door and says "I'm sorry, I can't take all y'all," and drives off without taking anybody. So we go back to the Varig desk to complain (yes, the shuttle bus should have taken people, but it would have taken 10 trips to get everyone on their luggage anyway). They called the hotel, but would not pay for taxis or arrange any other transportation. I ended up just taking a taxi at my own expense anyway. We get to the hotel and it's jam packed... the check in line was out the door. Many people didn't even get a room until 4am, enough time to take a shower and go back to the airport. In Brazil we walked into the hotel and were just handed the keys to a room, the airline had taken care of everything; everybody had a room in, I'd guess, no more than 20 minutes.

The conclusion is the airlines don't have the onus in the U.S. that they have elsewhere to treat passengers better. Why the amazing treatment in Brazil? Are there laws about it? I don't know. We made Varig aware of our dissatisfaction and haven't used them since, but what else are you going to do? You're usually limited to flights available, there isn't always a lot of choice.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

Yes... general boarding. But before that, they let on first/business class, airline club members, frequent flyers, etc.; this guy wanted to board 2 other people ahead of others because he was a frequent flyer. Southwest over reacted, but the guy was not entitled to do that, either.

Comment: Re:too much math (Score 1) 877

Yes, because that would only happen in the U.S.. In my international travels, travelers from other countries (South America in this case) act like a herd of starving people getting bread off the back of a truck when the first row is called to seat.

What they should do is print a boarding code on the boarding pass, and call by code... and guess what? Some of them do that!

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

It's actually not uncommon for this in the U.S. as well, however, some people pay for the privilege of boarding first: first/business class customers, "gold club" members (or whatever the airline wants to call it, frequent flyers... then when it comes to general boarding, after those people, it's usually handicapped and people traveling with young kids. In this case, the guy wanted frequent flyer privileges for three people because one of them was a frequent flyer, and then got mad he didn't get it, expecting someone to break the rules always because people had broken the rules in the past.

I'd again re-state my position that the Southwest agents acted inappropriately, no doubt, but the guy was a jerk, too.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

Why is the rule stupid? I think it's pretty fair... the kids aren't frequent flyers, they aren't allowed early boarding. Case closed. How is it fair to everyone else waiting to board? Or, how about someone goes to a theme park and buys a single "fast pass" and tries to use it for the whole family. I guess the ride attendant would have to be brain dead to say "no."

There's no excusing Southwest's reaction, but the guy was a jerk, too.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 877

I agree, the reaction was ridiculous - but so was the tweet. The agent was rude because she was following rules? So just because some agents broke the rules related to boarding in the past means they are forever obligated to break the rules in the future?

As so often happens in these cases, I see the clash of two idiots, not a one sided sob story.

Comment: Re:~50% have no degree... (Score 1) 173

by gfxguy (#47523299) Attached to: For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs
Yes... I taught myself how to program before ever taking a class, but learning all the different data structures and techniques for design and development at school helped a lot; getting out in the real world helped cut the cruft and continue to learn what works, but education actually did help... and with this field, it's all ongoing education and development and new techniques and tools, but there's always the basics they were built on.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 128

by gfxguy (#47522871) Attached to: The Psychology of Phishing
The thing with my bank is that they don't send links in the email, and they often warn people that they won't. If there's something you should look at on your account, like a notification of bill pay or something, they simply say in the email "log into your online account" without providing a link. Most people have their bank bookmarked, so it's not like it's some kind of hardship.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 128

by gfxguy (#47522781) Attached to: The Psychology of Phishing
I pretty much do the same thing, but instead of useless data I put insulting data. Sometimes I'm impressed with the effort... sometimes it links to a google form, and that's pretty sad. Some of them are so good, though, if they just put that much effort into honest work, they'd be pretty well off.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle