What No One Ever Sees: What Checked Bags Look Like Inside The Plane [Roundup]

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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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Delta has changed my flight when I’ve paid for FC and I’ve suddenly discovered my seat downgraded to not even business.

    Fortunately caught it in advance but the phone rep was like, I’m not seeing the problem here.


  2. Yeah, it’s hard to stomach the airline’s attitude when they’ve downgraded you. I don’t think those agents ever go anywhere other than in a coach seat; they just don’t seem to get it. However we manage to buy a seat up front … with miles, credits and/or cash, we want that seat. Flying for us is far more meaningful than getting from Point A to Point B. As for being downgraded when there are empty seats up front … that’s an absolutely horrible situation.

    The obvious solution is to give the gate agents more power to keep the customers happy. But airlines are caught between a rock and a hard place; it’s a matter of the sheer numbers of agents and trying to write procedures for all of them to follow consistently. A given percentage of the agents are not capable of handling any power and make really dumb decisions, or they don’t handle problems well. So it’s better from the airline’s point to just be hard-ass in their approach to handling the customers. What the airlines need, of course, is a ‘flight manager’ who shows up at the gate an hour before boarding starts. This manager is truly a manager, has proven capability in making proper decisions. S/he is charged with making as many pax happy as possible. Like the Captain is in charge of the airplane, this manager is in charge of the pax until the door closes. It’s only a matter of cost, of course.

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