Thursday, June 21, 2007

United Isn't Happy Until You're Not Happy

So, I'm supposed to be taking a free flight on Frontier Airlines to Orlando in a few weekends for a trumpet lesson. I have lots of Frontier free flights queued up, and I really want to use them because I absolutely hate Frontier Airlines and their rewards program. You literally have to book out 6 months in advance because they only have 10 rewards seats per plane. Anyway, it turns out my teacher is only available Friday evening as he has Disney World gigs all weekend, and my Frontier flight gets in too late on Friday to allow for that. Of course there are no earlier flights available. So I get my miles re-credited and start shopping around. The cheapest flight Expedia pulls up is $400. Ouch. I prefer to save my United miles for international trips, but if I have to I have to. I certainly don't want to shell out $400 right now. It turns out there are no Economy Saver awards left (for 25k miles), but there are business class seats available for 45k miles. Or I can book a United Economy standard award for 50k miles.... hmmmm.... let me think here....

Does airline ticketing seem backwards to you? Why are empty seats the most expensive immediately before the plane leaves? Don't you think they'd want to sell the empty seats and at least get some revenue? My friend sent me this link:

Sabre Ticketing System

on the Sabre ticketing system. Apparently the airline ticketing system was built in the 1960's and while it has been slightly customized by each airline, it is used by every airline and is still basically still the same code. Probably nobody understands it anymore because the original coders are all dead. At least that makes the nonsense make a little more understandable, if not rational.

And let's not forget about United's computer crash yesterday that wreaked havoc with flights. Maybe they should update that code by using Agile programming methods like SCRUM to do some Aspect Oriented Programming on Ruby-on-Rails. Can they run Linux on their system? OK, that's enough buzzword BINGO for today.