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  • You pay for this and they give you that...

    Spotted this on social media:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...712053,00.html

    While the reaction of certain passengers here was idiotic, I understand the reason behind it. Substituting code-sharing operators is one thing but substituting a trusted operator with a charter company is just breach-of-contract. Many Israelis choose to fly only on Israeli carriers due to security concerns and the paramount security they employ. Even I routinely skip the lowest price flights if I don't like the operator. Almost all crashes today are traceable to a lax safety culture or bad pilot vetting and if there is one thing I've learned on this forum, it is the importance of that culture. If operators can sell you a flight based on the trust they've earned and then put you on a lesser operator, you have no way to defend yourself (aside from your fists. apparently).

    Smartwings is a reputable operator, I know this, but these people probably didn't. Arkia can't be allowed to sell a person one thing and deliver another. Not when what they are selling is a trusted brand. It's unethical.

    (Ignoring of course the irony that Israel itself might not even exist today except for the Czech aircraft and Czech pilot-training donated during the 1948 war).

  • #2
    evan, perhaps now you're beginning to realize the the "contract of carriage" really is what the law calls an "illusory contract." meaning that while you are STRICTLY required to adhere to the contract, the airline can do, or NOT do, whatever the F it pleases.

    schedules? bah. all they "promise" is to get you to your destination. when? not important.

    aircraft? HAH! what's the difference, says they? we got you there, didn't we?

    Airline? again, why are you bitching?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
      Airline? again, why are you bitching?
      Ok...Hotwire, let's try Travelocity, what'cha get going directly to the airline site?
      Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
        evan, perhaps now you're beginning to realize the the "contract of carriage" really is what the law calls an "illusory contract." meaning that while you are STRICTLY required to adhere to the contract, the airline can do, or NOT do, whatever the F it pleases.
        But a modicum of legislation (or a precedent-setting case) could change that. Brands are fiercely protected these days and are the subject of endless infringement suits because they are acknowledged to represent real value. If you sell a passenger a branded flight and then remove the brand, you have effectively devalued the transaction. That is a textbook breach-of-contract.

        I know, I know, you will point out that the contract allows them to do this and its all there on page 138 of the terms and conditions, but certain things must remain inviolable in commerce if our societies are to be based on the principal of free exchange. One of those things is the absence of coercion or subterfuge (as per Milton Friedman); you must be free to choose what you pay for and get what you paid for. Otherwise the transaction is one-sided and oppressive.

        Why can't the law enforce that basic principal?

        (I'm accustomed to seeing parenthetical "flight operated by ---" disclaimers that are fairly prominant on booking sites, so I assume there is some legal incentive for doing this, but last-minute operator swaps still occur.)

        I wonder... If an Arkia flight got swapped like this one and subsequently hijacked and destroyed, would Arkia be liable for willfully endangering their customers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan View Post
          (...) If you sell a passenger a branded flight and then remove the brand, you have effectively devalued the transaction. That is a textbook breach-of-contract.
          Where in the contract does it say that you are selling a branded flight?

          Originally posted by Evan View Post
          (...) you must be free to choose what you pay for and get what you paid for. Otherwise the transaction is one-sided and oppressive.

          Why can't the law enforce that basic principal?
          Why would it be a matter of law, if an airline enters into a contract with a passenger to get them from A to B, and for what ever reason doesn't do it on their own aircraft? I am pretty sure that the terms of the contract will in no case and for no airline specify that it has to be their own, branded aircraft. If it did, it would be impossible to charter a plane on short notice to stand in if one of their own planes had a tech problem.

          Originally posted by Evan View Post
          (...) I wonder... If an Arkia flight got swapped like this one and subsequently hijacked and destroyed, would Arkia be liable for willfully endangering their customers?
          Why do you assume that a Smartwings flight departing from Israel under contract to Arkia would be held to a lesser standard than a regular Arkia flight? If there is a law in Israel, that an Israeli flight has to carry a certain amount of armed guards, they would have to be on the Smartwings flight as well, if it operates on behalf of Arkia and (presumably) under one of their flight numbers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Evan View Post
            But a modicum of legislation (or a precedent-setting case) could change that. Brands are fiercely protected these days and are the subject of endless infringement suits because they are acknowledged to represent real value. If you sell a passenger a branded flight and then remove the brand, you have effectively devalued the transaction. That is a textbook breach-of-contract.

            I know, I know, you will point out that the contract allows them to do this and its all there on page 138 of the terms and conditions, but certain things must remain inviolable in commerce if our societies are to be based on the principal of free exchange. One of those things is the absence of coercion or subterfuge (as per Milton Friedman); you must be free to choose what you pay for and get what you paid for. Otherwise the transaction is one-sided and oppressive.

            Why can't the law enforce that basic principal?

            (I'm accustomed to seeing parenthetical "flight operated by ---" disclaimers that are fairly prominant on booking sites, so I assume there is some legal incentive for doing this, but last-minute operator swaps still occur.)

            I wonder... If an Arkia flight got swapped like this one and subsequently hijacked and destroyed, would Arkia be liable for willfully endangering their customers?

            here is how one carrier does it:

            "Responsibility for schedules and operations American will endeavor to carry you and your baggage with reasonable dispatch, but times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. American may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft and, if necessary, may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket. Schedules are subject to change without notice. American is not responsible for or liable for failure to make connections, or to operate any flight according to schedule, or for a change to the schedule of any flight. Under no circumstances shall American be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing."



            essentially, every pax is considered to have read, understood, and agreed to all the terms in the contract of carriage. how many do? ZERO. with all the flying i've done, well over 1.5 million miles, i have NEVER read a contract of carriage BEFORE buying a ticket. why? because they are contracts of adhesion, i.e., take it or leave it. absolutely non-negotiable. so why bother?

            i read for a living and prefer getting paid to do my reading.

            the law can and will enforce exlplicit and sometimes not so explicit contract terms. the problem here is that airline contracts likely all have the same or similar terms as aa's above.

            Arkia's COC provides:

            8.The carrier undertakes to do its utmost to transport the passenger and baggage in reasonable time. It does not guarantee the times stipulated in the timetables or elsewhere and they are not part of this contract. The carrier has the right to substitute carriers or aircraft without notice and change or omit any stopover stipulated in the ticket if necessary. The timetables may be changed without notice. The carrier does not assume any responsibility for connections.

            nearly word for word identical to AA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
              Where in the contract does it say that you are selling a branded flight?
              Unless you book one of those 'undisclosed airline' flights on a third-party booking site (and therefore safety culture doesn't mean much to you), you are always presented with the brand. That determines value for a lot of people, particularly Israelis. In this case, the passengers were expecting an Arkia-branded aircraft and crew (and all that goes with it). They didn't get what they agreed to pay for.
              Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
              Why would it be a matter of law, if an airline enters into a contract with a passenger to get them from A to B, and for what ever reason doesn't do it on their own aircraft? I am pretty sure that the terms of the contract will in no case and for no airline specify that it has to be their own, branded aircraft. If it did, it would be impossible to charter a plane on short notice to stand in if one of their own planes had a tech problem.
              You might be right. I'm saying it SHOULD be a matter of law. A last-minute technical problem is an exceptional situation but in this case the airline should communicate to the pax that there is a technical problem and a charter is going to conduct the flight and offer them the option to decline it with some compensation for the inconvenience. That's just the cost of doing ethical business and the law should require this.
              Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
              Why do you assume that a Smartwings flight departing from Israel under contract to Arkia would be held to a lesser standard than a regular Arkia flight? If there is a law in Israel, that an Israeli flight has to carry a certain amount of armed guards, they would have to be on the Smartwings flight as well, if it operates on behalf of Arkia and (presumably) under one of their flight numbers.
              I don't assume Smartwings has a lesser standard, but obviously some of these passengers did and it is their right to do so. They chose to fly with Arkia because they trust the brand. Arkia knows that. They were reluctant to fly on an unknown carrier that might lack the legendary security aspects of the Israeli brand. For obvious reasons, these people are quite cautious about flying.

              ...

              Let's say you walk into my bar and order a Tanqueray and tonic. I charge you for Tanqueray but then substitute it with some discounted Czech gin. Technically it's gin. It gets you from a to b, so to speak. It might be just as good or it might be methanol-based and kill you. Are you cool with that?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TeeVee View Post
                here is how one carrier does it:

                "Responsibility for schedules and operations American will endeavor to carry you and your baggage with reasonable dispatch, but times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. American may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft and, if necessary, may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket. Schedules are subject to change without notice. American is not responsible for or liable for failure to make connections, or to operate any flight according to schedule, or for a change to the schedule of any flight. Under no circumstances shall American be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing."



                essentially, every pax is considered to have read, understood, and agreed to all the terms in the contract of carriage. how many do? ZERO. with all the flying i've done, well over 1.5 million miles, i have NEVER read a contract of carriage BEFORE buying a ticket. why? because they are contracts of adhesion, i.e., take it or leave it. absolutely non-negotiable. so why bother?
                This is exactly what I mean by one-sided, coercive commerce. You are agreeing to the terms under duress, because you have to fly and there is no other option available. That kind of contract SHOULD always be superceded by inalienable rights and restrictions under the law. To put it as simply as possible, an operator using a brand to add value to their service MUST deliver that brand or offer both compensation and the option to nullify the contract, in other words, return the money.

                One of the reasons business ethics is currently at a nadir not seen since the days of the railroad trusts is that the law allows contracts to negate what should be inalienable rights in any transaction, i.e. the right to receive what you agreed in principal to pay for.

                So contracts become a means of deception and escape. "Terms and conditions" become the means to escape the requirements of the perceived agreement. So, you go the American Airlines site, you click on the offer "Fly American to Morroco" which is right next to the "The World's Most Trusted Airline" button, just above the "Best Economy Class Service" button, and the contract allows them to put you on a Globalwings flight with questionable pilot-training standards, colicky flight attendants and an inch less seat pitch. AND THAT IS LEGAL!!!

                Contract law is one of the last holdouts of the medieval world.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is the first you have really noticed this Evan?

                  There were a few grumblings on the topic after the Cogan crash..."I bought my family member a ticket on Continental, not some airline called Cogan where they have second rate, under paid pilots who don't watch airspeed and pull up relentlessly"

                  Of course, it's a no-win argument to suggest that there are the vast differences in safety culture that you like to cite. All airlines subscribe to FAR's and pretty much all of them tell their pilots to follow the FAR's.

                  Sure, there was some evidence that the Cogan crew was less experienced, but conversely, the professional pilots here can tell horror stories of experienced guys who don't perform so hot either. And yes, Gabriel and I are quick to point out that you only really need 20 hours to know to watch airspeed and not pull up relentlessly when going slow and when stall warnings are going off...

                  And Tee Vee, the contract that they owe you nothing is another tough one- there's two sides to it. The airlines do make a reasonable effort to get you where you want to be on time. But crap breaks, and weather happens, and at that point, it isn't good logic that you can sue for punitive damages and additional damages... you are simply entitled to your money back.
                  ...

                  Sure, there's the other side of the story of penny pinching for spare fuses, tires, mechanics, (or whole entire airplanes), along with fairly crappy responses when they do screw you over...(here's a 5 dollar voucher, go get yourself a beer).

                  Definitely a tension between what could be done and what should be done and $$ and legalities and Evans and Tee Veers and 3BSs and pilots and bean counters and lawyers and PR departments and FA's and so forth...
                  Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    !

                    Originally posted by Evan View Post
                    ...Brands are fiercely protected these days and are the subject of endless infringement suits because they are acknowledged to represent real value. If you sell a passenger a branded flight and then remove the brand, you have effectively devalued the transaction.
                    Ummm...yesss and nooooooo.

                    They may be copyrighted and protected, but conversely they're pretty extremely hollow... as has been said many times, competition is greatly reduced, and "the brand" has no problem over booking, canceling, losing bags, and sub contracting to regional airlines where desperate, second rate pilots who can't get jobs elsewhere can sometimes find a place to fly, yada, yada, yada.

                    (apologies for edits...I THOUGHT the post failed.)
                    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 3WE View Post
                      Ummm...yesss and nooooooo.

                      They may be copyrighted and protected, but conversely they're pretty extremely hollow~
                      If people equate them with something desirable (i.e. safety, positive experience, etc.), they equal value. Conversely, if people equate them with something undesirable, they equal liability.

                      In many cases, it's a mixed bag, but I think most Isrealis place a high value on Arkia and a nuetral-to-negative value on Smartwings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Evan View Post
                        (...) You are agreeing to the terms under duress, because you have to fly and there is no other option available. (...)
                        Hmmmm... nobody HAS to fly. You can always stay at home (or take a train, bus, car, bicycle...) If you choose to fly, then you accept the terms and conditions that come with it. If you did not read them and then get a surprise, I'd say "Whose fault is that?" Screaming foul then is like posting on Facebook that Facebook does not have the right to use your information. By the time you are in a position to post that, you already have agreed to their terms by opening up the account and you can not nullify that by saying "No" afterwards, but still using the service provided.
                        As for those Israeli people put on the Smartwings plane: if they didn't want to travel with a Czech plane, they should not have boarded. Period. Attacking the Czech crew was definitely not the right way to react here. Of course, if you don't get on board and ask Arkia for compensation you probably won't get any money back or any compensation as per the contract, but then again that's your own fault. And by the way, those people were travelling to Paris. They always had the option of flying on ElAl (most definitely at a higher fare). Instead, they chose to pinch pennies and fly on an Israeli charter/low cost airline. You get what you pay for

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
                          Hmmmm... nobody HAS to fly.
                          Well, first of all Peter, this is not true. In the age we are living in we often have to fly. But also, under the policy of the airline, arriving at the airport and finding a different operator conducting the flight, you do not have the option of not flying with them, getting your money back and flying with another airline. At this point, they have your money and they will keep it.

                          Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
                          If you choose to fly, then you accept the terms and conditions that come with it. If you did not read them and then get a surprise, I'd say "Whose fault is that?" Screaming foul then is like posting on Facebook that Facebook does not have the right to use your information. By the time you are in a position to post that, you already have agreed to their terms by opening up the account and you can not nullify that by saying "No" afterwards, but still using the service provided.
                          As for those Israeli people put on the Smartwings plane: if they didn't want to travel with a Czech plane, they should not have boarded. Period. Attacking the Czech crew was definitely not the right way to react here. Of course, if you don't get on board and ask Arkia for compensation you probably won't get any money back or any compensation as per the contract, but then again that's your own fault. And by the way, those people were travelling to Paris. They always had the option of flying on ElAl (most definitely at a higher fare). Instead, they chose to pinch pennies and fly on an Israeli charter/low cost airline. You get what you pay for
                          Caveat emptor is a philosophy of convenience that always fascinates me, both in its antisocial cruelty and in its arrogance. Since the industrial revolution, businesses have acted as if they are apart from society and immune from the basic decency that being a member of society entails. In short, cheating people with fine print is fair game. That's a fine attitude, huh?

                          Don't you think the role of government should include certain protections against this sort of behavior? Because the role of government currently includes enforcing contracts, it should also enforce certain inalienable rights for the consumer (and in other industries it does this). Again, its as simple as requiring businesses to either deliver what the IMPLIED agreement required or nullify the contract and return the money.

                          Caveat emptor is what makes commerce medieval.

                          And I agree, attacking the crew was idiotic. The company itself put them in this situation.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan View Post
                            Well, first of all Peter, this is not true. In the age we are living in we often have to fly. But also, under the policy of the airline, arriving at the airport and finding a different operator conducting the flight, you do not have the option of not flying with them, getting your money back and flying with another airline. At this point, they have your money and they will keep it.
                            ... but you can't say they didn't warn you that this might happen. After all, it was in the contract.
                            (And I disagree... nobody is FORCED to travel on a plane. It's all a matter of where your priorities are. What's more important to you? Getting there or being right?)

                            Originally posted by Evan View Post
                            (...) Don't you think the role of government should include certain protections against this sort of behavior? Because the role of government currently includes enforcing contracts, it should also enforce certain inalienable rights for the consumer (and in other industries it does this). Again, its as simple as requiring businesses to either deliver what the IMPLIED agreement required or nullify the contract and return the money. (...)
                            But who decides what is IMPLIED? Maybe the seller has a very different idea of what was implied than the buyer does.
                            Furthermore, substituting a plane for another or chartering one from another airline to get you from A to B is - in my opinion - NOT a matter of "caveat emptor", because everybody who buys a ticket and reads the terms of the contract should be aware that this might happen.
                            Finally, what is the alternative to allowing airlines to substitute planes or charter from other airlines to get you from A to B? Cancelled flights, cancelled travel plans, and a lot more inconvenienced people.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Peter Kesternich View Post
                              (And I disagree... nobody is FORCED to travel on a plane. It's all a matter of where your priorities are. What's more important to you? Getting there or being right?)
                              One of my priorities is to be successful in my job. other than the self-motivation of being good at what I do, this enables me to sustain my family, including paying the mortgage, the car loan, the food, the clothes, the health care and the education.

                              On the other hand, that requires me to do certain things necessary to achieve that goal: Breath, work, and... yes... fly in airplanes.

                              But who decides what is IMPLIED?
                              I think that Evan made a very good point about what is IMPLIED when you go to SkyBestAirline.com and, among banners and links that say what SkeBest gives you the best travel experience (and "best" means "better than any other"), you buy a ticket in SkyBest flight 123 that doesn't say "Operated by Other Airline", but then when you arrive to the gate you find yourself boarding an Other Airline flight which, according to the very same people that sold you the best flight experience, don't offer you the best flight experience.

                              Maybe the seller has a very different idea of what was implied than the buyer does.
                              Furthermore, substituting a plane for another or chartering one from another airline to get you from A to B is - in my opinion - NOT a matter of "caveat emptor", because everybody who buys a ticket and reads the terms of the contract should be aware that this might happen.
                              Finally, what is the alternative to allowing airlines to substitute planes or charter from other airlines to get you from A to B? Cancelled flights, cancelled travel plans, and a lot more inconvenienced people.
                              I think we all agree that, in case of force majeure, the airline not only can but should do its best to minimize the impact on the customer, and that may include a substitute plane from a substitute airline. But the customer should be entitled to say "thanks for the effort, but this is not what I bought, I prefer not to accept your alternate solution, please give me my money back".

                              --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
                              --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

                              Comment

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