Social Question

RayaHope's avatar

Why do people take vacations when the weather is bad and then complain when their flight is delayed?

Asked by RayaHope (7448points) December 27th, 2022
37 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Maybe they should plan their trips around the weather conditions a little better. I realize holidays only come on certain days but maybe take the vaca on another date and just Skype on the big day.

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

When I book a flight for around Christmas in September, how would I know the disaster that happened this week-end was going to happen ? ?

LadyMarissa's avatar

It’s kind of like when you went to the doctor in Florida in the midst of a hurricane. You didn’t plan it that way…it just happened!!! Even as this storm formed on the west side of the country, my local weather people weren’t sure that we were going to get it here in the east. Actually, it was even MORE dangerous for them to drive in such weather. When I lived 500 miles away from my family, I looked sooo freakin forward to getting home for Christmas & I’d do almost anything to get there!!!

zenvelo's avatar

Friends flew from LAX to Albuquerque last Thursday on Southwest. Yesterday they were scheduled to fly Albuquerque to Denver to visit relatives; there were no weather issues in New Mexico or Colorado, but their flight was cancelled because of Southwest computer issues. Southwest helped them rent a car to drive to Denver.

But predicting which day a storm will hit in two or three weeks is necromancy. It can’t really be done with that much accuracy.

RayaHope's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Of course no one could have known that would happen but winter time in the US has very bad weather around this time of year most every year. I guess my question isn’t so much like “How could this happen?” but more like “We should not complain because we should assume this will happen”

RayaHope's avatar

@LadyMarissa I really didn’t complain about the hurricane and my visit to Florida was for medical reasons that my doctor’s had arranged and was mostly out of our control. Fortunately, for us, it wasn’t a problem since the location of the impact was farther south anyway.

RayaHope's avatar

@zenvelo It’s nice of Southwest to help with their rental car. I feel that people have to know that we don’t control the weather and to plan accordingly and don’t complain if problems arise that are beyond anyone’s control.

Zaku's avatar

Tis a holiday tradition!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

~ ~ ~ ~ So we should change Christmas to the third weekend in June ? ? j.k.

RayaHope's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Heck yes! You got my vote! :D
“Santa, get me another cheeseburger!” “I’m gonna take a dip in the surf!”

smudges's avatar

The vast majority of people work, and often aren’t given a choice of when they can take their vacation. It’s not fair, but companies will say they’re going to be closed for two weeks around christmas or in July so take it or leave it.

Holidays are also times with memories attached. People want to be with loved ones and reminisce about when they were young.

I remember you being worried about the hurricane and also majorly about flying. If you had wanted to, you could have rescheduled. You were in control.

RayaHope's avatar

@smudges My doctors were really in control of when we had to go but I suppose I could have protested. I did want to get the testing done to get the help from the new medicines though. They did keep an eye on the hurricane and since it was heading farther south and the hospital did remain open we went ahead with the plans. I was more afraid of the flight than the storm but I ended up loving the flight. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

What hospital @RayaHope?

jca2's avatar

When people have kids in school, they have no choice but to schedule vacations around the school schedule, which is, Christmas break, winter break, spring break, and two months in summer. It sucks because everythig is more expensive during those times, and everything is more crowded during those times, but if you have a kid or kids and you want to take vacations with them, that’s what you have to do.

Last year I went to Florida in February and I chose to drive because I didn’t want to deal with airlines’ shit and overcrowding, cancelled flights, etc. It’s more time spent to drive, and probably not a whole lot cheaper because I rented the car, but I would have had to rent the car once I got down there anyway. I like driving, when possible, because you leave when you want, with flexibility due to the weather, and you stop when you want, and you just throw all your crap in the car like a big closet and you go.

kritiper's avatar

I learned years ago that If I want to go and see the folks, go at Thanksgiving.

LuckyGuy's avatar

People take vacations when they have time off. Many companies have holidays in the Christmas – New Years season. Also, if applicable, their kids have no school at that time.
For some folks that is the only time when they can get away and visit other relatives in the same situation. .

Smashley's avatar

@Tropical_Willie – You can complain, but you’re screaming into the void.

I think the point here is that we can’t assume the world will bend to our wills, just because we spent money on a ticket. Our arrogance as a species is astounding when we all decide we deserve the same experience at the same inconvenient time using the same infrastructure we expect to efficiently serve us the rest of the year.Of course some people are going to be squeezed out.

If it was that important to be somewhere on the 25th, you would have left earlier or taken a different mode of transport. If you couldn’t, I just call that analogous to anyone who couldn’t afford to travel this Christmas; the resources just weren’t there. Weather and volume delays are always a thing at Christmas, and at least 10% of the time, wreak total havoc on peoples plans. If you couldn’t or weren’t willing to do what it takes to plan accordingly, that isn’t nature’s fault.

If something about the chaos this year forces airlines to build out their systems, prices will only continue to climb across the board. Better to manage your expectations, what with you being a tiny thing in an unhappy ecosystem.

RayaHope's avatar

^^ GA!

jca2's avatar

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed, is, I guess what the lesson is.

smudges's avatar

@Smashley I haven’t seen anyone complaining about their flights and weather. The OP is the one who brought it up, everyone else is simply explaining why they can’t just go off on vacation when they wish to which is what the OP said we should do. I’m pretty sure most of us here are old enough to know that weather may interfere with flights and we’re willing to take the risks. @Tropical_Willie was merely pointing that out, not complaining.

Get over yourself and stop being insulting. It’s a holiday/vacation tradition for people to compare horror stories regarding the weather; it even makes headlines. I don’t believe you’ve never complained about it, whether it’s a flight that got delayed or a drive to work that’s been slowed.

jca2's avatar

Southwest Airlines has cancelled thousands of flights in the past few days.

Cut and pasted from NY Times:

Peter Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation: “We all understand that you can’t control the weather,” he said, adding that “this has clearly crossed the line from what is an uncontrollable weather situation to something that is the airline’s direct responsibility.”

Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement on Tuesday that the committee would be investigating the causes of the meltdown, and that “the problems at Southwest Airlines over the last several days go beyond weather.”

SnipSnip's avatar

People can, will, and should complain when whatever they were forced to pay for before receiving the purchased item is not as promised. The complaint belong with the company and not an airplane’s passenger assistants. Weather will always interrupt travel regardless of the means. We should ne’er forget that.

Smashley's avatar

@smudges – just sayin we, as a people, are rather arrogant, if we don’t, as @Tropical_Willie had seemed to suggest, consider the effects on our lives of the massive, obvious forces that we all live under. Perhaps I didn’t get his sarcasm, but to suggest that when everyone wants to fly for Christmas, a higher than usual percentage of people will always have their plans ruined, is not an insult. I have lamented weather delays, but never exposed myself so broadly to the uncertainly that I had a whole trip ruined. I have never spouted off on twitter or demanded the secretary of transportation fix my problems. When I do fly for Christmas, it’s Christmas in January or February, when I can manage 7–9 days for a trip. Delays happen, but without the volume, you get there eventually.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Many years ago on a Saturday flight from New England to Kauai Hawaii, we stopped in Houston at lunch time, we had boarded a plane to Honolulu. We sat on the taxiway for 10 minutes without moving., Captain came on PA to tell us we were waiting for crosswinds to drop. I had the window seat and looked out at a Haboob (sandstorm) coming right at us. We got back to our gate and deplaned. people were lining up for re-bookings, over heard a couple that won a trip to Honolulu and Waikiki for yell “WHAT DO YOU MEAN THERE WON’T BE SEATS UNTIL WEDNESDAY! Thousands of people were stranded. We walked to a gate about 50 yards a away and lady in ‘company colors” came up to desk and asked if she could help. We said we were on our way tp Kauai, she explained that it could be Wednesday or Thursday before we could get there. I aske if there was still a flight Los Angeles LAX to Kauai, she said “Yes” and booked to LAX that evening. We spent in the Airline lounge (cost me $50) we slept on the loounge sofas and had snacks soft drinks for dinner, next morning had fruit, pastries and coffee before boarding the plane to Kauai.

Thousand were stranded in Houston and it took until Wednesday for everything to straighten out ! Sometimes you have to go sideways not straight ahead.

Caravanfan's avatar

Well, this current crisis is more than just weather. Most of it is from Southwest, and most of that is because they are using outdated software based upon how southwest was 20 years ago. No other airline has come close to this level of chaos this season.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Psst @Caravanfan I think the software was bootlegged Sabre software from American Airlines, written more than 50 years ago.

cheebdragon's avatar

Weather conditions can quickly change, traveling isn’t cheap and tickets are often non refundable. Walk away or change the channel if you don’t want to listen to people complain about it.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie You are probably correct. All I know is what I’ve read in the LA Times.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@RayaHope You misunderstood what I was saying. Most of the problems were weather related & most of the people stuck at the airport were NOT just going on vacation. They were trying to get home to family & friends. You are very close with your family. Just think…for whatever reason, your life has you living in Calif. You can only get home once a year & it’s Christmas. In order to guarantee a seat & a decent rate, the airline insists that you book your flight months in advance. So, you book your flight in Sept to be sure you have your schedule meet your needs. It’s 90 degrees outside & the weather people can’t give you anything better than a 7 day forecast. It’s impossible for you to know that there will be a blizzard the week of Christmas. By the time you’re into the 7 days where the weather is better accessed, the airlines won’t refund your money nor will they change your flight without charging extra. Much like with your doctors controlling your situation, the airlines were pretty much in control of this situation. They wouldn’t refund the passengers money & it was going to be too dangerous to drive anyway. Still, the passengers were looking forward to getting home to family for Christmas!!! Part of what happened is weather related with part strictly falling on the shoulders of Southwest. You will understand better once you graduate high school & college & start your own life in your own home.

Smashley's avatar

@LadyMarissa – if a person chooses to live very far from their family, but still finds it necessary to travel at the worst possible time to see them every year, and their resources/ability to plan are simply insufficient to overcome the unpredictably predictable chaos of Christmas, it isn’t some mystery or gross injustice. There is no such thing as “for whatever reason” they live far from their family and can’t get there any other time of year, yet continue to feel this act is of the utmost importance. It is series of choices and their associated consequences.

It is no one’s fault but their own, unless we want to blame Reagan for killing carbon control in the 80s, which is always worthwhile. People’s planning or expectations need to change. Expect this trend to get worse for the next 75–100 years at least as major precipitation events increase as the climate rapidly warms.

Sure Southwest had a bad system that cracked this year, and their reputation will take a hit, and they will probably be forced to shell out a ton a money to fix the problems, but come on, it is the discount airline for a reason. Air travel always sucks. Choose to do it in the least predictable way possible, and guess what sometimes happens?

RayaHope's avatar

I know I have much to learn. But, to me, complaining about inevitable and seasonably reoccurring events should not be something to complain about and should be considered as much as reasonably possible whenever planning a trip. I know “things happen” and it can really suck but complaining is something that far too many entitled people do nowadays.

Now to complain to Southwest for having an outdated system, is something that is truly understandable and fixable. If Southwest wants to continue to do business they shall get on to fixing their problems right away.

smudges's avatar

^^ …complaining is something that far too many entitled people do nowadays.

I guess that includes you, because the very question you asked is a complaint.

jca2's avatar

There are a lot of reasons why people live where they live, and there are a lot of reasons why people may choose to travel when they do but we should really expect more of an airline than taking five days to fly someone from point A to point B.

Smashley's avatar

@jca2 – Why exactly? Because air travel is a human right? We ask SOO much of airlines, from perfect safety to affordable prices to on demand service to the flexibility to efficiently deal with spikes in demand, all under the reality of a planet where travel is getting harder, while air travel itself is at least partially to blame for the climate?

Let it all burn, I say. If we didn’t set up our lives to require quite so many resources to fulfill what we see as our right to go anywhere, anytime, maybe the planet wouldn’t be trying to kill us so badly.

At any rate the safety bit is the part I expect to disintegrate next.

jca2's avatar

@Smashley: I think, because as a consumer of a service (a flight), I have a reasonable expectation for the schedule to be somewhat reliable. Due to weather, yes, it’s unforeseen circumstances, but today I just read that 58% of Southwest’s flights are cancelled (Thursday 12/29), which is obviously not due to weather.

cheebdragon's avatar

Customers have every right to complain, even during busy holidays.
You’ll figure it out one day, kiddos.

JLoon's avatar

I don’t complain – But I do bitch ;p

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