Happy Holidays Coin Enthusiasts!
My name is Vic Bozarth. I am the Rare Coin Road Warrior and my wife Sherri and I own and operate Bozarth Numismatics. We both love our coin show travel, but some days are better than others……
Here we sit once again stranded by United (Continental Airlines). Don’t get me wrong, both Sherri and I love our business travel, but…..This morning we left for the airport at 4:00 a.m. for our 7:35 a.m. flight. I don’t like to fight traffic (in Houston) nor worry about missing my flight because of traffic, lack of parking, or an accident on the freeway. This morning, we were lied to by United/Continental from the get-go. We were confirmed on our Continental/United flight in first class, but we didn’t have seat assignments. We paid for our tickets three months ago and used frequent flyer miles to upgrade our seats to first class.
When we left our house this morning we got on the phone and called the airline to see what our seat assignments would be. The customer service agent was very evasive and only said ‘nothing is guaranteed’. She didn’t tell us the flight was overbooked, oversold, or that we weren’t going to have seats on the plane, let alone the first class seats they reconfirmed by email last week. This isn’t the first time Continental/United has LIED to us. We were stranded after the ANA Mid-Winter Convention in Sacramento earlier this year overnight without our luggage for over 36 hours.
One of my ‘pet peeves’ is dishonesty. Frankly, I can tell tall tales with the best of them, but…when it comes to business, my word is my bond. I expect others to honor their word also. I just don’t tolerate liars and would rather forego business with a dishonest person or company than let my greed convince me that ‘it is worth it’ to deal with that LIAR.
This morning the Continental customer service agent we finally dealt with at the airport was obviously horrified by the way we were being treated. The airline already had our bags and basically told us if we wanted to go to Los Angeles we would take what they had to offer and tough cookies. Oh, but we will give you your frequent flyer miles back. LIARS hide behind lawyers and ‘doublespeak’. Most people can easily identify a liar. Their mouth is open!
This month’s rare coin show schedule started off with a bang in Houston with the Houston Money Show. Yes, I am biased-we live here. But, this show is growing and business was brisk from Thursday morning during set-up through Saturday evening when the show closed. The weather cooperated this year-the year before last year we had a ‘freak’ six inch snow fall the second day of the show. In Houston that usually means wet roads for an hour or two. The weather was great and folks were actively pursuing collector coins as well as gold and silver bullion related items. We were busy for the entire three day show.
The second week of December dealers converged on the Ontario, CA Convention Center at the Eastern edge of greater Los Angeles. The SoCal Coin Show is a growing venue and we believe this July and December Show will continue to grow. The Ontario Convention Center is nearly brand new and the show hotel was only $69/night this year. Yes, if you are looking for a Ritz Carlton or even a Hyatt you are going to be disappointed, but if you want to attend a good show and get a bourse table for a reasonable price in the largest population metropolitan area in the entire United States, Ontario is a great bet. People are still learning about this show and we believe patience on the part of the great people Frank and Dawn who run this show will most definitely pay off in years to come. After all, the Baltimore Show started
out pretty small.
Who doesn’t love Vegas? Although I am not much of a gambler, I will play a few hands of poker now and again. Yet Vegas has so many things going on besides gambling including the great PCGS Trade and Grade Shows held here several times a year. We were really pleased to have a table at this super show this month and hope to continue attending in the future. The Professional Coin Grading Service is the gold standard for the coin grading industry and they run a ‘class’ operation. Members of their collector’s club are welcome to attend this show and there are even refreshments. The venue itself in the palatial Palazzo/Venetian Casino complex is absolutely incredible and one doesn’t need to leave the building to find virtually anything one’s heart desires. The restaurants and shopping options are totally first class and this show ‘fits right in’. Hey, you can even take a gondola ride!
And now we turn to the back page where we find the obituaries. I am truly saddened by the ‘death’ of the Santa Clara Coin Show. Santa Clara has been one of my favorite show venues for a couple of decades. In my earlier years working for companies on the East Coast we would take an evening flight from Philly or Newark, watch a movie, relax, and six hours later land in San Francisco or San Jose with time to still catch a late dinner. This show used to have a Wednesday afternoon set-up and lots of dealers, myself included, loved the schedule because we could work in our offices all day Monday and Tuesday, do the show Wednesday and Thursday, and still be home at a reasonable time Friday to have a decent weekend.
The Westin Hotel, later purchased by Hyatt, was so convenient with the connection to the convention center. One of the best things about the Santa Clara Show was the great coins that came out of the ‘wood work’ here. Multiple dealers didn’t fly from all over the country to attend for no reason. Security was excellent and the business was good. The Bay area is going to sorely miss this great show. Santa Clara Rest in Peace.
Bozarth Numismatics is a full service rare coin dealer. We buy, sell, and trade high grade PCGS, NGC, and CAC coins on our website bozarthcoins.com and in our ebaY Store, bozarthnumismaticsinc, as well as at nearly 40 shows each and every year. We offer free confidential want list services and are often able to locate hard to find items because of our extensive show travel schedule. Listed below are the upcoming shows Bozarth Numismatics will be attending during the next couple of months.
- FUN Show, Orlando, FL-TABLE
- San Jose Coin Show, San Jose, CA
- Long Beach Coin Show, Long Beach, CA
- St. Louis Coin Show, TABLE
- NGC Trade & Grade, Sarasota, FL-TABLE
By now everyone knows that overbooking is a fact of life is this deregulated industry where many passengers are allowed to no show flights with no financial penalty. There are also a myriad of other reasons that an airline might have to swap equipment at the last minute – resulting in a change of seat layout. There are things that can be done to decrease the frequency of these events – each costing money which in turn increases ticket prices. Take your pick.
This does not excuse unhelpful or surly agents, but often agents have very limited time to keep things moving for the benefit of the majority. Again, it’s a cost thing. Airlines are forced by economics to do more with less. Don’t like it? How would you like an increase in prices? Again, it’s a choice we make each time we purchase that cheap ticket.
My compensation has been cut by about 35% in the last 5 years. My retirement has been cut by about 75%. All to provide passengers with cheaper fares. This model obviously has problems, but that is what the public chooses – that is what the public gets. Believe me, airline workers do not like it either.
An Airline Employee