Dirty Secrets of Flying: What the Airlines Don’t Tell You

Travel writer Joe Brancatelli tells Yahoo Travel that passengers don’t realize how few rights they have – “You have virtually no rights, if the airlines can screw you, they will.” Below are his eight secrets (you’ll have to click the “read more” link for full details on each of the secrets):

1. You signed a contract with the airline, whether you know it or not (read more)

2. The airlines don’t really have to take you anywhere (read more)

3. Class mapping (read more)

“Let’s say between Peoria and New York, there’s a $99 fare in Fare Class XYZ,” says Brancatelli (in their booking systems, airlines assign each fare class a letter or letters). “But from New York to St. Petersburg, the only fare that’s available is a fare in the M class, which is higher priced. The computer will go back to the Peoria to New York part of your flight, reprice it at the higher price in the M class, and that’s the fare they will show you [for the entire trip]. That’s class mapping. The airlines will automatically bump you into the highest fare class on any one segment they book for you.” So if you’re booking a flight with one or more connections, Brancatelli says, you are vulnerable to class mapping. “On a simple journey it may mean a couple of bucks,” he says. “But on a longer-haul international journey, we may be talking about hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars.”

4. Flying is a cattle call (read more)

5. Tickets are no longer exchangeable (read more)

6. Good luck taking the airlines to court (read more)

7. The Supreme Court says your frequent flier miles aren’t your miles (read more)

8. Even if your carry-on bag is “regulation” doesn’t mean it’s getting on an airplane (read more)

Comments

  1. 3. Class mapping – seriously? this guy has no idea of what revenue management, bid-price, O&D steering and class mapping is…. chart1, chart2…I cant believe people call themselves ‘travel writers’ and write such gibberish

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