Southwest’s Mechanics Fire Back at the Airline and How Bad Uber is at LaGuardia

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I usually take the M60 SBS + subway home from LaGuardia (hard to beat $2.75 for the ride). But always with my wife and luggage, we take a shared Lyft, Uber, or Juno (and we end up getting home in Manhattan in about the same amount of time). And just about every time we use one of the these shared mobility platform (SMP) providers, I end up with a sequence of drivers that take (or are assigned) to my ride, and then some number of minutes later, cancel. At that point my ride is reassigned (or taken) by another driver, and the cycle repeats. Extremely frustrating and inefficient for everyone. The only reason I can think that the SMP managers allow this to continue, is to keep the customer “hanging” onto the hope that their pickup is imminent (so the customer doesn’t cancel and move on to one of the other providers or a taxi or public transportation). From my experience, it seems like all the SMPs do this (at least Uber/Lyft/Juno at LGA and JFK).

    A related further annoyance is that sometimes the Lyft driver will text or call me to cancel the ride, which I always politely refuse to do. Why should I get the demerit as a customer rather than the driver that accepted the ride (probably not knowing the destination beforehand) and then decided for some reason that they didn’t really want it?

  2. @SE Rob: please don’t decline these requests “politely.” The drivers know damn well they’re scamming you. Please text or call them back with the most haunting insults you can muster so as to deter these drivers from pulling the scam on others. Protip: guilt trips combined with family and deity references work well. “You bring such dishonor to your family by trying to make a buck from my cancellation fee, shame on you and God is watching.”

  3. Jason: point well made! As I said, my wife is generally present and becoming a sailor with Tourettes is not an option – she holds me to a higher standard. But your protip seems right on the money! Bravo!

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