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Day 176: A Dilemma, Boycott an Airline Regardless of Budget Prices

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united flyingWhen you’re a budget traveler, you’re always out for the cheapest price on everything: accommodation, tours and transport. Airfare typically becomes a place where I go for cheap, regardless of the amenities on board or if it costs me an extra hour or two. Heck, I’ve flown Aeroflot before from Ukraine to Moscow to Bishkek because it was cheap, so you know my standards are quite low if the price is right.

I’m having an internal struggle at the moment, however, because of a certain airline (United, I’m talking about you). Because of this airline, we were able to get an amazingly cheap multi-stop USA itinerary, but then again, it had a big computer glitch that caused us to be delayed and a big flight cancelled, and it put our luggage on the wrong flight. Top this off with less-than-stellar customer service and poor compensation attempts and I’m ready to say, “Never again,” to the company.

Only, the problem lies with the fact that whenever I search for cheap international flights from Sydney to the USA, United shows up at the top of the list. How annoying. I’m sure this has something to do with the sad quality of the in-flight entertainment setup on these long-distance planes in particular (no personal TV’s, seriously?).

Sometimes, the price difference isn’t that much, so paying an extra hundred bucks for a different airline isn’t a big deal… but then again, it’s a hundred bucks! Damn.

So where I’m going with this is the following: I want to boycott this company, but at the same time, I know there is a good chance I’ll be tempted in the future by their budget fares from Oz to the USA. Who knows how much I’ll value my extra money at that time.

Anyone else here have experiences like this, perhaps where you want to forgo using a company’s services but are tempted repeatedly because of a cheaper price?

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8 Responses to Day 176: A Dilemma, Boycott an Airline Regardless of Budget Prices

  1. Zoe July 6, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Brooke,

    I wrote about a similar thing just a couple of days ago. It looks like budget airline Tiger is going belly up – we’ll know more by the end of the week.. But is it worth flying on budget airlines with the risks involved?

    http://www.thepursuitofadventure.com/risk-life-100/

  2. Caroline Eubanks July 7, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Heck yes, US Airways. Dreadful customer service. After they lost my luggage on the way home from Ireland (after being delayed for over 10 hours in Philadelphia) I said never again. But then I flew them to London for a short weekend trip because they were the cheapest. After a flight attendant screamed at me for drinking my cup of water during landing, that was the last straw. Staff is downright vicious.

  3. Erik July 7, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    I’d probably take the cheapest flight. Airline customer service is going to suck most of them time- just count yourself lucky if you have a good experience.

    • Brooke July 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

      That’s my normal impression.

  4. Lissie July 7, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    What about Virgin blue – they fly that route? Does it have to be direct – I think sometimes if you get a good enough deal with AirAsia or Jetstar to Asia it would be cheaper to go that way!

    • Brooke July 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

      Hmm I’ll look into it… thanks for the tip 🙂

  5. Randy July 8, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    Have you taken your complaints to Twitter? Put the fear in them by unleashing the wrath Brooke vs. the World on the twitter-sphere! I hate to say it, but I would probably breakdown and fly them again, if the price was right. I have a hard time sticking with my boycotts; though, I have managed to stick to my boycott of a San Diego radio station. Its been about four years since I’ve listened to that phony rock station.

  6. Nomadic Chick July 8, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    I’m such a cheapo, I’ll admit it, I will still fly with someone unless they outright abuse me. However, I haven’t had near the experience you did. That might change my mind. Wait, I lied. I have officially banned Air Canada, but the diff is their flights aren’t cheap in Canada AND the customer service is atrocious!

    I”m sorry you had that experience. Boo!

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