Delta vs. American Airlines

Over the past nine weeks, I’ve flown three times: twice with Delta and once with AA.  As I sit here trying to decide which was worse, I’m actually not sure.

On my first Delta flight, the plane needed maintenance that took so long that everyone on the flight missed their connecting flights (unless their final destination was Atlanta).  They promised us a free hotel room at the Atlanta airport, and of course, when we got there, the hotels were full.  In short, Delta promised this to us without checking, and while a person like me was fine (albeit annoyed and frustrated) just sleeping in the airport, I do wonder what happened to the British lady who was traveling with her sister, who had come to America to get surgery on her head.  Certainly she couldn’t sleep in the airport.

Out of that situation, I got a $50 Delta voucher and a $125 Delta voucher, which I later found out could not combined or transferred to others, and also can’t be used on travel sites like Orbitz.  For these vouchers, I had to visit the Delta customer service desk in ATL, and then I later called Delta for the bigger voucher.  They gave me no hassle, but of course they wouldn’t, as they probably give out those nearly worthless vouchers by the thousands every day.

On my second set of Delta flights this past week, everything went great.  No delays, no problems.

On my AA flight a few weeks ago, my flight into Boston was delayed two hours, and my return flight was flat out canceled, and I was automatically put on a flight for the next day.  This meant that I missed a day of work at my new job and had to take a bus to the airport, essentially costing me about $272.  AA doesn’t handle reimbursement requests over the phone, so you have to email them.  I got a response in one day from a guy that offered me a $150 AA voucher.  I told him this was unacceptable and that I needed actual monetary reimbursement.  Of course, despite emailing him back twice, I have yet to hear from him again to this day.  Yesterday, I submitted another reimbursement request to AA.  I’m betting I’ll get nothing out of that.

Honestly, in trying to decide which experience was worse (comparing the one botched Delta flight and the AA one), I have a hard time making up my mind.  On one hand, Delta not checking the hotels near ATL before promising us rooms was really shitty, but AA not having a phone complaint line and not responding to their emails is probably worse.  They did offer me a voucher, which was all I got from Delta, but I feel like Delta tried harder to make me happy, even if they failed at it.  And also, they give out drinks and peanuts/pretzels/cookies on their flights and AA only gives drinks, and I honestly don’t give a crap since I bring my own snack onto the flight, but the thought means something to me.

I will probably be flying Delta again, but I plan to avoid AA unless they make this right.

Taxing the Rich

As I’ve written about before, I think income tax is theft, but since getting rid of the income tax isn’t in the spotlight as much as tax rates themselves are, I thought this may be a good thing to write about.  There are a lot of people out there that would advocate taxing the rich at a higher rate than others because “they can afford it.”

This is an awful idea, because taxes themselves harm the economy.  How, you ask?  It is an extension of the broken window fallacy.  If you want to stimulate the economy, you wouldn’t go break your neighbor’s window to create business for the local window installation company.  All you’d essentially be doing is making your neighbor spend money that he would’ve spent on a new pair of shoes, for example, on a window instead.  Now the window installation company is getting that money instead of the shoe company.  You haven’t created work by breaking your neighbor’s window; you’ve just diverted that money to another purchase that your neighbor wouldn’t otherwise have had to make and caused more harm than good.

This, essentially, is what taxes are.  If you start taxing a rich person at 75% like France is doing, then you are taking money away from them that they would’ve used to create jobs.  You can argue that rich people don’t create jobs if you want, but they do, even if they don’t own businesses that actively employ other citizens.  When a rich person buys a yacht, who do you think makes it?  Who cleans it?  Who fixes it when it breaks?  All of these things are jobs that are created when money is spent instead of taken away through taxes.