I know I am supposed to condemn Andie MacDowell for daring to complain about being downgraded from 1st Class to Coach...
But I cannot.
She paid for a 1st Class seat and that's the seat American Airlines should have seated her in, or offered a huge refund.
It's Econ 101, if you sell something you have to deliver what was sold. You owe at least what was agreed at a minimum.
Considering that I've witnessed 125% capacity for the aircraft standing in the terminal with tickets in hand... someone obviously isn't hold up their end of the agreement.
It's an example of what's wrong with businesses at many levels.
Airlines should be dirt simple in concept.
Assign planes to a route. Schedule their departures. Sell tickets. Fly the plane.
If the plane has 100 seats, you can sell 100 tickets.
If you only sell two tickets for that flight, you fly anyway with 98 empty seats.
Can't afford that? Cancel the route, not the flight. But you honor the tickets sold.
How we ended up where we are is when 100 tickets are sold, but only 90 people show up at the gate. The airline realized they could sell those 10 seats to people who wanted to take the flight and didn't already have a ticket. I don't have a problem with this.
The problem is they got greedy and started doing calculations that predicted the number of people who wouldn't show for flights and then routinely overbooking the flight(s). This works until your model meets reality and everyone who bought a ticket shows up. Now what?
With 125 ticket holders and 100 seats...
Rather than have a contingency airplane available, they simply rewrote the contracts to read they weren't actually obligated to take you anywhere and were transporting your paying ass out of the kindness of their hearts, aren'tyouluckyweare?
So they can sell you something they're under no obligation to deliver to you and since you signed the contract you can't even do much more than sullenly complain about it on Twitter.
Is it any wonder that airlines are in cyclical bankruptcy?