Sunday, July 05, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2982, July 5th, 20015

 (Photo: the
I saw this story last week and it made my blood boil. The Airlines are sticking it to their consumers and are not about to stop. I actually worked for an on line travel company and sold airline tickets. Or rather I took orders for airline seats because it was a necessary evil. Also when someone needs something and you happen to have it, 90% of your sales work is done. The rest of it is just courtesy and upgrades. This was shortly after 911 and prices were slashed.
Well the Airlines who were in debt throughout the first decade of the century merged. Then they started charging for everything including carry on luggage and bag check. And the prices just kept going up while the service went down.
This first quarter, this first quarter alone, the profits of the airlines were 3.3 billion. Jet fuel used to be $3.90 a gallon, now it $1.68. Has that cost been passed on to consumers? What do you think?
Now I heard pundits on both Fox, CNN, CNBC and MSNBC say “well if cheese went up in cost and should your favorite pizza shop give you a break?” That’s not apples and oranges, that’s apples and watermelons! You don’t need a pizza to travel for the funeral of a dead relative on short notice. You don’t need a pizza to travel to a conference. This is a case of out and out corporate greed. When they were struggling, the airlines would say, “Oh America needs us, can you help us pleeeeze?” Then when they get on top, they screw American travelers.
My GOP conservative friends always complain about how guys like me want government involved in overseeing the practices of private business. Not all, just sum. Paul Kanjorski, our former Congressman summed it up best, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Government regulations exist for the 10% of those people and companies who can’t or won’t do the right thing.
The Airlines are a case in point.

So apparently the Secret of Victoria has been cracked by a group of shoplifters who not once, not twice but multiple times robbed the lingerie facility of inventory in broad daylight. To my knowledge it appears the only store in that line seems to be one at the Wyoming Valley Mall.
There has to be issues that need to be addressed. Like who is watching the store? Is it lack of help? A friend of mine was an Assistant Manager at a clothing store in the 90s. Granted these were boom times and the store had 4 people on duty most of the time. One person’s job was to be near the door. The employee would watch the transaction or the shoppers and track them to see where they went. But is it because the staffing isn’t there?
Is it because people get hired and don’t show up? There is a police presence in the Mall. That factor alone makes the robbery all the more daring. Most people I talk to say it has to be an inside job yet that’s unfair without proof of any connection of store personnel to the theft. Mainly because no one has been apprehended yet.
This caper will go down in the annals of store security, police and criminals. The two basic questions will be,
1. How’d ya do it?
2. Who got that lingerie?
If someone is apprehended and at this point that is a big IF, this trial should make big news.


At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.Every thing with you is a ****ing entitlement Business exist to make a profit. They can charge what people who can afford to will pay. Those who can't, are not able to use their products or services. For a man of age and experience you really need to grow up. on

At 9:52 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Every thing with you is a ****ing entitlement Business exist to make a profit. They can charge what people who can afford to will pay. Those who can't, are not able to use their products or services.
I don't see airfare as an entitlement. It is true they can charge what they want and that people who can afford it can buy it. But is it an entitlement to ask an industry that was crying in their beer after 911 to be fair to consumers who stuck with them? How reasonable is it to pay a baggage fee, and when they lose your baggage it is non refundable? That is not a ****ing entitlement, that is ****ing the consumer BECAUSE THEY CAN!

For a man of age and experience you really need to grow up.
Well that growing up thing, as Mrs. LuLac will attest, we're still working on. But when I was growing up, the middle class expected business owners to have a little more than the workers. It was a time when the business owners took the risk and it was understood by all that they should get their just rewards.
BUT now, industries are not just happy to make a profit, they need to make mega profits that essentially blackmail their consumers.
No one likes to fly anymore. Wonder why? Because you are overcharged for horrible service and nickel and dimed to death with no refunds on screwups.
Granted, they get you there safe....and as a infrequent air traveler I certainly appreciate that. But good customer service, a fair price and some refunds for mistakes is not an ENTITLEMENT but an EXPECTATION from people paying the fares.

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The airlines were NOT given a bailout, they were loaned the money, which they repaid in full, and the taxpayers earned about 300 million dollars in interest.
So, what are you belly aching about?

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about. I travel by air approximately 3-6 times a year, and I receive very good service. I have never had a bag lost, and I don't mind the nickle and dimming, because it keeps the price of the ticket lower.
People don't like to fly any longer because of the TSA checks and all that entails. While the safety is necessary, that is what makes flying a pain in the ass.
Overcharged? Are you on drugs? Overall, adjusted for inflation, the price of flying is considerably lower than it was in the 1980's and 1990's.It would cost anywhere between 700 - 1000 dollars to fly to the West Coast one way, from AVP. Now tickets, roundtrip, from AVP to LAX or SFO can be had in the 300 range.
As far as crying after 911, really, do you have a brain condition? 911 almost decimated the airline industry. The were loaned money that was paid back with interest.
Do you have any idea what you are talking about? You said you worked in the industry, WTF were you a phone clerk at an internet ticket re-seller? Because you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground concerning the industry
Do you just wake up and look for something to complain about?

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Yonki, you are truly are uninformed and have become so reactionary.

Do you know what the airline profit margin is?
25%? NO
15%? No
10%? No

The airline industry's profit margin is under 5%. This low profit margin means that these record profits are fragile. Large businesses don't pocket these record profits, they reinvest them and try to hedge against future drops in dollars earned.

Although fuel prices are currently low, that doesn't mean the contracts for fuel reflect that decrease in price. Many airlines purchase contracts for fuel at a current price. If this was done before the drop, they are stuck, if the price goes up after, then the airline is ahead of the game. They do this so they can go ahead and set their future budgets. The jet doesn't run out of fuel and the pilot pulls up to a Sheetz and pay the current price.

Additionally, airline profits are up because of greater efficiency. And the fact that fewer planes are in the sky with under a full load of passengers. And these additional fees are part of the reason the profits are up. Airline don't simply make money on passengers, they also transport cargo. If they book a flight, and set aside space for baggage, and the passenger doesn't check any bags that is money lost to the airline. Now, that they are charging, it counterbalances the lost revenue.

As far as additional fees, they can be mitigated by a smart consumer. Taking a carry on, or if it is an extended trip, UPS or FEDEX baggage, can be less expensive, and avoids the hassle of waiting at the baggage carousel. And the baggage is waiting for you at your hotel instead of you waiting for it.

I have flown about a dozen times this year and on-time and safety have been on the money. And, I have paid some very low fares.

Not sure what you are talking about baggage fees not being refundable, I have only had one piece of luggage completely lost, ever, and I was compensated. Yes, sometimes the baggage gets to me a little later, but that happens, especially in the winter when flights are delayed and I've barely gotten to my connecting flight. If I just got there before they shut the doors, I know the baggage isn't making it. That is part of traveling, and one of the reasons I no longer check baggage unless I really need to.

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Additionally, I have been willing to take the "bump" on an overbooked flight and have received numerous free tickets over the years. If a free ticket for a 2 hour delay isn't good customer service, I'm not sure what is. The last one I didn't get a free ticket, but I received a nice chunk off my next ticket, and since I had to stay overnight, the airline put me and my wife up in a hotel.

Everyone wants Norstrom's products at WalMart prices.

The price of flying is more than fair, and the fares are so affordable that people who have never been able to fly before can now save up and take vacations in places before they only dreamed. The other benefit to the lower fares that I have been able to purchase an upgrade to first class on the day of a flight for between 50 and 200 dollars. On a long flight, that is money well spent. And, even with the extra money, it is still less expensive than flying coach 20 years ago.

As far as expectations. The only expectations people should have with flying is getting to a destination safely, and reasonably on time.
Are there times when this doesn't happen? Of course, but they are really far and few between. It is so rare that when it happens, it leads the news.

I almost forgot, on the bailout you are squawking about. Are you aware that it wasn't a grant, it was a loan? And out of the money that was available, only a little over 20% was actually taken by the airlines. Additionally, all money was paid back with interest.

The airlines were not given a free ride after one of the most devastating attacks that have ever occurred on US soil. The reason jetliners were able to be utilized for the attack was a failure of the US government, so I really don't have a problem with the bailout, since the cause of the devastation was inadequate government.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean people don't need pizza? Have you seen the fat, lard asses in this country?

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" It was a time when the business owners took the risk and it was understood by all that they should get their just rewards.
BUT now, industries are not just happy to make a profit, they need to make mega profits that essentially blackmail their consumers. "

Yonki, you are an amusing fellow. This isn't about democratic or republican, although you seem to see only in those terms. Businesses, to survive in the long term, must maximize profits. There is no blackmailing. If you can't afford, or don't want to pay, you find an alternative. If enough people can't afford or don't want to pay, the price will drop, or the company may find alternate ways to increase earnings.

Steve Jobs, when he returned to Apple, learned many lessons in the interim, but perhaps the most important was a company had to maximize profits, even when profit was not the sole driving force. Jobs's return to Apple wasn't driven by money, he was already a billionaire, but because he wanted to save the company he founded, and he wanted to continue to challenge himself and head a company that made "insanely great products."

When he returned, Apple was on the brink of financial ruin. He turned the company around and made it one of the most valuable companies in the world. Yes, he made great products, yes he was a master marketer of those products, but if Apple didn't make maximum profit, there would have been no company left.

These large companies don't continue to grow based upon an individual need for money. Rockefeller was a billionaire in 1916. H. Ross Perot, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, etc... these people continue to evolve because of the personal satisfaction of achievement, the lust for competition, and they all understand that companies must maximize their earnings to not merely survive, but to thrive.

It could be argued that in today's society computers and software are much more important to people than airlines. Bill Gates has plenty of money, should he start selling his products at cost? Of course not, because a business is about much more than a solitary individual. A publicly traded company not only makes founders, CEO's, board members and shareholders wealthy, but is also responsible, through mutual funds and other investments, public works, retirement funds, etc... If that business did not do all that was possible to maximize profit, not only would the company be hurt, but even the smallest investor who may have nothing more than a diversified IRA that happens to have airline stocks, would suffer ramifications.

It is sad that you went off on something you know so little about, and understand the large picture even less. But, I guess that is the coal cracker mentality that has metastasized to the country at large; many people only think in very limited, small minded and myopic terms with no understanding of the larger view.

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't be that the airlines are having to pay more to conform to new airline regulations could it?

Seems to me it's still cheaper to fly domestic airlines over foreign airlines.

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought everybody would be posting on the panties at VS. Yonk, should have put your girl Kate Upton on the blog instead of the pink logo!!

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 9:20am, I worked with Yonki at an on line travel agency. He was one of the best sales people we ever had billing nearly 2 million dollars.
The fact is when people like us started to make too much money, they shipped the jobs to Canada.
He is expressing an opinion that the customer can't get a break. Good for you that you never had lost baggage. I have. I understand that businesses must have a surplus to grow for a rain day and research and development, but how much is too much?
Just saying.

At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I understand that businesses must have a surplus to grow for a rain day and research and development, but how much is too much?"

Hard to say since you never know when our government will target a perceived "cash cow" and go for more "milk". So its tough to plan in this environment.

BTW: I don't/won't fly anymore thanks to the useless TSA maze. Haven't missed it yet.

At 10:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Yonk is seeing more and more issues through his Democrat political lenses/leaning.
Its disturbing but when your favorite tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail.
It was entertaining when he was more reasoned, a little volatile and sounding ever so slightly conservative.

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki ... Yonki ... YONKI !!!!!!!

At 7:43 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

It was entertaining when he was more reasoned, a little volatile and sounding ever so slightly conservative.


Let's see, I'm for the death penalty. Choice of weapon and execution by the next of kin of the victim.
I'm for cutting off welfare benefits after the third child and second father.
I'm for a full blown multi nation attack on ISIS with no prisoners of theirs surviving.
I'm for Israel's airstrikes to protect their nation. Collateral damage be damned.
I'm for a sales tax where a millionaire will pay for his 30 pack of Bud Light just like the welfare slob that is waddling to the store in the morning in his jammies while I'm going to work.

Slightly conservative? As Maynard j. Crebbs used to say, "Oh come now!"


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