Airline Speak

In the past, The Curmudgeon has conveyed his low opinion of airlines.  Nothing has happened since then to change that.

But he did learn recently that airlines have a language all their own.

Take US Airways, for example.


Sorry, it’s a cheap joke but it had to be said.

With airlines now charging passengers extra money to take luggage on their flights, they’re eager to maximize this source of new revenue.  Consequently, after about a dozen passengers board a plane, someone will announce that “The overhead bins are now full.  Passengers with carry-on luggage will need to check their bags.”  This translates into “We want your twenty-five dollars, suckers,” which passengers grudgingly fork over and then have the displeasure of seeing numerous empty overhead bins when they board.

US Airways now boards its flights by “zones” instead of by rows.  Zone 1 is best, Zone 5 is worst, and like a sleazy maitre’d, the airline offers passengers several ways to buy their way into a better zone.  You can spend your dividend miles to buy a better zone, you can join their club to get a better zone, you can sign up for their credit card to get a better zone, you can pay extra for a better seat to get a better zone, you can pay a separate early boarding fee to get a better zone.

So when you get your boarding pass from US Airways and it says “Zone 5,” understand what this really means:  “Feel free to take your business elsewhere.”

US Airways:  where customer service always takes a back seat.

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