# Planning Another Trip to LA. Any new advice?

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Hello there,

I am planning another trip to Los Angeles and i was wondering if anybody has any advice with the virus pandemic in mind.
I got a lot of good advice from people here last time i went i was hoping some members might have some good information about how the virus has affected both airports, other transportation, and the flight itself. I looked around the web but some of the info is outdated as it is pre pandemic, and first hand experience is more valuable anyway.

Thanks much in advance. Any ideas no matter how small would be appreciated.

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,498
It is a matter of prudence and personal choice. Wife is currently in Pittsburgh helping our oldest daughter with our newest grandson. Her choice was to drive non-stop and sanitize after each refueling instead of the exposure of flying or spending the night in a motel. My and our adult son's choice was to stay home rather than add to the household stress or stay in a motel. Personally, it would have to be a dire emergency for me to fly now or sleep in any public housing. FWIW

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
It is a matter of prudence and personal choice. Wife is currently in Pittsburgh helping our oldest daughter with our newest grandson. Her choice was to drive non-stop and sanitize after each refueling instead of the exposure of flying or spending the night in a motel. My and our adult son's choice was to stay home rather than add to the household stress or stay in a motel. Personally, it would have to be a dire emergency for me to fly now or sleep in any public housing. FWIW

Yeah that makes sense. This is almost an emergency though she is having a bunch of problems and i have been promising for months now to get out there again.
It is especially bad because i hear there is a resurgence of the virus around the country.

#### DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
IDK, maybe play GTA5 instead, it's kind of a horrible game in ways, the older I get, the more I realize how this really encourages ghetto violence.

But from a re-creation POV, the team's all did a great job on making the City/countryside.

I've never been to LA, but it sure feel's like I've been there.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Hello again,

Finally back from Los Angeles it was an interesting stay to say the least, and longest i have ever been out there at one time which was over a month. I was going to stay even longer but things brought be home sooner.

One thing that went wrong was that i booked a flight with United to come back a bit early and then we decided i would stay longer. That meant i had to cancel my flight back. The deal now is that you can cancel and not loose anything. However, what i didnt know was than when you go to book your actual flight back later you have to somehow 'change' the first reservation to the new flight plans. Needless to say i didnt do that i booked another flight and now i am having a poblem getting a full refund. The agent says that "that was an entirely new reservation" and that was their excuse for not giving the refund even though i never aactually boarded the plane and in fact canceled with United. So for now they are sticking to their 'policy' and so i had to write a letter to them and i hope it will work. My only other option is to get a special travel ticked that is good for 2 years and it transferable to any person that wants to fly. That emans i would have to find someone that would buy the ticket from me (at reduced price of course) just so i could get some of my money back.
But i'll tell ya, if they stick to their 'policy' then i wont take United next time. I'll take any other airline but them. They way they loose not just one flight profit they loose at least two or more, and i know other people that fly too more than i do so i'll advise them not to fly with United for several trips. They way Unitied will loose several profits from several never made bookings. See how their policy works from them then

Btu anyway, nice to be back i hope i can get to reading some posts again soon.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,828
Oxygen is in short supply and being rationed.

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,064
Well being a little late I hope that airline reservations aside you had a good visit. As to airline reservations the airlines are driven by greed and what really annoys me is the government using tax dollars to constantly bail them out. There was a time when you could book a flight and leave the return open. Every time something goes amuck the airlines are first in line for a government handout. I guess when you have enough elected officials in your pocket you can pay them off and still reap rewards. While I can't say I would have any desire to go to LA about now, as I mentioned I hope the trip was enjoyable. Wow, November 2nd and I missed your initial post completely. Anyway I hope things are well with your cross country friend.

Ron

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,828
Well being a little late I hope that airline reservations aside you had a good visit. As to airline reservations the airlines are driven by greed and what really annoys me is the government using tax dollars to constantly bail them out. There was a time when you could book a flight and leave the return open. Every time something goes amuck the airlines are first in line for a government handout. I guess when you have enough elected officials in your pocket you can pay them off and still reap rewards. While I can't say I would have any desire to go to LA about now, as I mentioned I hope the trip was enjoyable. Wow, November 2nd and I missed your initial post completely. Anyway I hope things are well with your cross country friend.

Ron
One way tickets raising red flags is a 9/11 artifact.
My wife got hassled all the time while we we trying to take care of FIL who developed Alzheimer's Disease.

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,064
One way tickets raising red flags is a 9/11 artifact.
My wife got hassled all the time while we we trying to take care of FIL who developed Alzheimer's Disease.
Not so much a One Way ticket but a ticket with an open return. Just a round trip ticket but with an open return which was pretty common but that said I have not boarded a plane in decades. I will drive from Cleveland, Ohio to Fort Lauderdale, Florida before I will fly just to get on a cruise ship.
My wife got hassled all the time while we we trying to take care of FIL who developed Alzheimer's Disease.
Yes, like you can easily predict your return. The airlines get away with entirely too much. Have a sudden death in a family and you pay the price for booking a flight at the last possible moment. I just lost any sympathy for airlines years ago. COVID managed to shut the US down and also provide an excuse for government handouts.

Ron

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Oxygen is in short supply and being rationed.
Hi,

Not sure what you men by that

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Well being a little late I hope that airline reservations aside you had a good visit. As to airline reservations the airlines are driven by greed and what really annoys me is the government using tax dollars to constantly bail them out. There was a time when you could book a flight and leave the return open. Every time something goes amuck the airlines are first in line for a government handout. I guess when you have enough elected officials in your pocket you can pay them off and still reap rewards. While I can't say I would have any desire to go to LA about now, as I mentioned I hope the trip was enjoyable. Wow, November 2nd and I missed your initial post completely. Anyway I hope things are well with your cross country friend.

Ron
Hi there Ron,

Yes it's weird the way things work these days. But it is interesting also that i took JetBlue from New Jersey to Los Angeles and had three seats to myself because they were not filling the middle seat due to social responsibility about Covid and it just so happened that the guy who sat in the isle seat moved to another seat so i had the window seat with two empty seats to the right of me, nice. On the way back however i flew United out of pure necessity and the whole plane was packed as i thought because i had read that United does that. So i am going to have to put United on the end of my list next time i have to fly.

But the way they are all (i think all) are working the "reservations" is that if you cancel you can use that reservation over again and just pay the difference. So if you book for say January 20th and it cost 200 dollars and you cancel that the next day (say), then if you want to fly instead on Jan 25th you simply change rhe "reservation" to the 25th and the cost only goes up by any difference like say the new flight cost is 220 dollars then you just pay the extra 20 dollars. I dont know what happens though if the new flight is 180 dollars if you get the 20 dollars back or just credit, i am guessing credit. The credit is good for 12 months only unless you "convert" it into a travel ticket which is then good for 24 months. That's the way it seems to be now but could change at any time. So really it sort of is like a variable return date but i did not know i had to change the reservation so i did not do it right that's why i have the problem now with the refund and i am hoping that they make good on it.

It was an interesting trip this time but too complicated to go into detail here. We had some problems and some really good times together this time. Thanksgiving was really nice we had ordered turkey dinners delivered and they were really incredible from a really good place near there. Couldnt have asked for a better dinner.
We had a lot of laughs too binge watching "Schitts Creek" which won a lot of awards. It's funny as all heck. It appears on Netflix.
The hard part was keeping up with the two dogs and other housework she needed help with. The big dog has to be let out several times a day and that meant walking from one end of the house to the other several times a day and i am not used to that ha ha. That big dog eats more than i do too
Later sometime I might post more about some interesting things that happened too some are funny.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,828
Hi,

Not sure what you men by that
So many people are getting infected with the COVID-19 virus in LA county, and the Oxygen used to stabilize and revive folks with respiratory problems is in short supply. EMT's are supposedly rationing the remaining supply, and making decisions on which people to transport. I guess if you are going to travel you should take an extra level of precautions.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
So many people are getting infected with the COVID-19 virus in LA county, and the Oxygen used to stabilize and revive folks with respiratory problems is in short supply. EMT's are supposedly rationing the remaining supply, and making decisions on which people to transport. I guess if you are going to travel you should take an extra level of precautions.
Wow i wasnt aware of that. im back in NJ now though.

Another interesting point is that two days after i got back United Airlines started using the Boeing 737 Max again. i just missed that one too.

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,828
Wow i wasnt aware of that. im back in NJ now though.

Another interesting point is that two days after i got back United Airlines started using the Boeing 737 Max again. i just missed that one too.
I wasn't paying much attention to the dates on the original post(s) and just realized you'd probably already gone and returned. Glad you're safe and sound. Be well.

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,064
So many people are getting infected with the COVID-19 virus in LA county, and the Oxygen used to stabilize and revive folks with respiratory problems is in short supply. EMT's are supposedly rationing the remaining supply, and making decisions on which people to transport. I guess if you are going to travel you should take an extra level of precautions.
Rather than an actual shortage of oxygen it looks more like a logistics problem. Jammed LA County hospitals get assistance with overtaxed oxygen-delivery systems . Years ago my mother-in-law required oxygen and we had an oxygen service which delivered the large bottles every several days. Then we went to LOX (Liquid Oxygen) for several years. Smaller container and easier to manage than the large bottles. Finally with the wonders of technology came the first oxygen concentrator and those early ones were large and heavy and the process generated a heck of a lot of heat. I cut out a section of floor and mounted two fans in the floor to move the exhaust heat to the basement. Today people carry around the new small lightweight small concentrators. Reading that and a few other articles it seems LA County has oxygen but the logistics of delivery is a problem. Looks like they are getting a handle on things.

Ron

#### Papabravo

Joined Feb 24, 2006
16,828
Rather than an actual shortage of oxygen it looks more like a logistics problem. Jammed LA County hospitals get assistance with overtaxed oxygen-delivery systems . Years ago my mother-in-law required oxygen and we had an oxygen service which delivered the large bottles every several days. Then we went to LOX (Liquid Oxygen) for several years. Smaller container and easier to manage than the large bottles. Finally with the wonders of technology came the first oxygen concentrator and those early ones were large and heavy and the process generated a heck of a lot of heat. I cut out a section of floor and mounted two fans in the floor to move the exhaust heat to the basement. Today people carry around the new small lightweight small concentrators. Reading that and a few other articles it seems LA County has oxygen but the logistics of delivery is a problem. Looks like they are getting a handle on things.

Ron
It is hard to argue that the logistic systems in place anticipated the spike in demand. Good to know the problem is solvable.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Hello again,

Finally back from Los Angeles it was an interesting stay to say the least, and longest i have ever been out there at one time which was over a month. I was going to stay even longer but things brought be home sooner.

One thing that went wrong was that i booked a flight with United to come back a bit early and then we decided i would stay longer. That meant i had to cancel my flight back. The deal now is that you can cancel and not loose anything. However, what i didnt know was than when you go to book your actual flight back later you have to somehow 'change' the first reservation to the new flight plans. Needless to say i didnt do that i booked another flight and now i am having a poblem getting a full refund. The agent says that "that was an entirely new reservation" and that was their excuse for not giving the refund even though i never aactually boarded the plane and in fact canceled with United. So for now they are sticking to their 'policy' and so i had to write a letter to them and i hope it will work. My only other option is to get a special travel ticked that is good for 2 years and it transferable to any person that wants to fly. That emans i would have to find someone that would buy the ticket from me (at reduced price of course) just so i could get some of my money back.
But i'll tell ya, if they stick to their 'policy' then i wont take United next time. I'll take any other airline but them. They way they loose not just one flight profit they loose at least two or more, and i know other people that fly too more than i do so i'll advise them not to fly with United for several trips. They way Unitied will loose several profits from several never made bookings. See how their policy works from them then

Btu anyway, nice to be back i hope i can get to reading some posts again soon.
Update...

My United Airlines refund was denied. Total value about 160 dollars USD.
This means my next two flights will be on a different airline, total value about 400 dollars USD.
This also means that any of my friends that fly will be asked to fly at least 2 times on a different airline. Total value at least 1600 dollars USD.
Total loss to United Airlines about 2000 minus my 160 comes to about 1800 dollars USD.
Even if i dont ask friends to fly non United a few times just for me alone it is at least 400-160 which comes to 240 dollars USD lost by United. Either they are very bad at math or just plain stupid.

Also interesting is that i can get the ticket converted into a 'travel ticket" which i can give or sell to a friend, which then can use it for credit for their next flight. So in that case United would lose at least the total 400 dollar USD flight costs i would incur for my next two flights.
Also interesting is that the flight costs are lower now then usual, so if they go back up to 400 dollars each way that would be a loss of 800 dollars USD for United.

Does it make sense for them to deny a mere 160 dollar refund? I dont think so. Who would not be very annoyed by their sad handling of customer support. Anyone would want to take another airline after this kind of behavior they must know this.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
Even if i dont ask friends to fly non United a few times just for me alone it is at least 400-160 which comes to 240 dollars USD lost by United. Either they are very bad at math or just plain stupid.
Your logic doesn't seem sound to me. You're claiming that United, in its enforcement of its change-of-flight policy, is saving $160 at the expense of losing at least$400 in future sales. But you're not accounting for all the costs associated with not enforcing their policy (or having a less restrictive policy). I'm quite sure United has done the math.

Does it make sense for them to deny a mere 160 dollar refund? I dont think so. Who would not be very annoyed by their sad handling of customer support. Anyone would want to take another airline after this kind of behavior they must know this.
Every airline has a cancellation/re-booking policy, most of which I imagine are very similar. The airline industry has razor thin profit margins, and though they try desperately to instill loyalty, airline tickets are a commodity to the average casual traveler. The airline that can offer the cheapest ticket (modulo some threshold of convenience) for a destination usually gets the sale. It's unreasonable to expect boutique service from such an industry. And in this case, you made the mistake of not checking their policy.

#### MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
8,479
Update...

My United Airlines refund was denied. Total value about 160 dollars USD.
This means my next two flights will be on a different airline, total value about 400 dollars USD.
This also means that any of my friends that fly will be asked to fly at least 2 times on a different airline. Total value at least 1600 dollars USD.
Total loss to United Airlines about 2000 minus my 160 comes to about 1800 dollars USD.
Even if i dont ask friends to fly non United a few times just for me alone it is at least 400-160 which comes to 240 dollars USD lost by United. Either they are very bad at math or just plain stupid.

Also interesting is that i can get the ticket converted into a 'travel ticket" which i can give or sell to a friend, which then can use it for credit for their next flight. So in that case United would lose at least the total 400 dollar USD flight costs i would incur for my next two flights.
Also interesting is that the flight costs are lower now then usual, so if they go back up to 400 dollars each way that would be a loss of 800 dollars USD for United.

Does it make sense for them to deny a mere 160 dollar refund? I dont think so. Who would not be very annoyed by their sad handling of customer support. Anyone would want to take another airline after this kind of behavior they must know this.
On a related note...

Market Watch:
United Airlines posts nearly 2 billion in quarterly losses.

Story:
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/u...in-quarterly-losses-11611181287?mod=home-page

Oh United i feel so bad for you (ha ha ha).
Gee, i just wonder how the heck this happened! Bad customer relations maybe? (ha ha ha ha ha).

In all seriousness i think Amazon can teach them and us all a lesson in customer relations. Maintaining good customer relations equates to really, really, really big success.

#### bogosort

Joined Sep 24, 2011
678
Oh United i feel so bad for you (ha ha ha).
Gee, i just wonder how the heck this happened! Bad customer relations maybe? (ha ha ha ha ha).
Just a guess here, but maybe the pandemic crippling the entire airline industry had something to do with it?