Six Flags New England testing rainy day return tickets

Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:24 AM | Contributed by rollergator

John Winkler, park president at Six Flags New England, says people generally will hesitate to visit the Six Flags park in Agawam if there’s any real chance of rain. So the park’s management has come up with a potential solution: a “weather guarantee” program.

Read more from The Boston Business Journal.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

My first thought was, "Well, this opens up a big can of worms. Guests can be ridiculous and there's tons of potential for taking advantage of this."

Then I read the article.

At one point it says:

"Park operators, Winkler says, will have some discretion to prevent people from abusing the offer."

The second you make a statement like this shows that there's a grey area involved and when that's the case, you're opening the door for issues.

No sir, I don't like it.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:41 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:34 PM

Kennywood has been doing this for years and it hasn't caused any major problems.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:47 PM

Sounds like a terrible idea to me... Squeaky wheel gets the grease as they say and it opens up too many chances for people to argue how long its been raining and rides have been down and nit picky things like that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:55 PM

I wonder if the return customers will be paying for parking again? Six Flags has increasingly made their entrance fees and season passes cheaper (and have a larger percentage of season pass holders), so I'm sure that plays heavily into it.

This is just one move in Six Flags' plan to take over the world. Mwahahahha!

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 1:56 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

That's actually a decent point, Billy. Parking at SFNE is $20. I mean it's only 20 bucks, but that free return is sudddenly 20 bucks - even if it is a car full of 5.

Not necessarily a dealbreaker, but something worth noting.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:32 PM

Dolly wood also does this.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:21 PM
bjames's avatar

I'm not getting how this could be abused. SFNE keeps track of its own rides and knows how long they're closed, I would guess. Where's the gray area?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:33 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm guessing you don't deal with customer service.

Customers are assholes. Open up the door for someone to get something for free and they will take every advantage, loophole, interpretation and argument to get it. Why would you open that door?

It should be as simple as "the park says it wasn't closed long enough to give a refund" but it's not. It's just not.

This is a customer relations nightmare...unless you're ok with giving away the gate. Which SF seems to be.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:38 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

Dollywood has a fairly ambiguous policy about rain checks, but no one seems to complain there. I don't see what the big deal is.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:52 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think they're going to deal with a lot of unreasonable guests..and all this does is open the door to that. That's all.

Based on the comment I quoted from the article they seem to be wary of the potential too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:55 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

They do the same thing when baseball games are rained out.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 4:56 PM

If Six Flags had the sea of happy guests that Dollywood seems to be able to maintain, then there would be less opportunities to complain. But Six Flags sucks. (I'm kidding on the last bit, and I'm sure someone else can explain it better.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

eightdotthree said:

They do the same thing when baseball games are rained out.

But that's black and white.

I could see them saying, "If we close the park due to weather, then you can get a free ticket on the way out."

But what they're saying it much more open-ended and debatable on the guest end while somehow being oddly specific, yet unenforceable on the park end.

How do you make a guest happy that's convinced you owe them something because their day was ruined by the rain when the only reason they think that is because you told them it's ok to think that in the first place.

Then they come to complain, but the major rides were only closed for 45 minutes so you tell them, "Sorry. Based on the criteria we've set, it has been determined that your day wasn't ruined."

It's creating a lose/lose situation. You're either giving away free admissions or turning away pissed off guests.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:09 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:21 PM

Do I get a little bit of my season pass investment back with each rainy day I'm at the park? (I wouldn't ask for that...)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:25 PM
Vater's avatar

I see your point, Gonch, but I don't think it's going to cause the world of issues you're implying it will...or might, or whatever. Granted, if they had left it at this--

Here’s how it works. If park staffers shut down the park’s 15 major rides for at least an hour straight due to weather-related reasons, then park customers will be eligible for a free ticket to return to the park on another day in the same year.

--without the caveat that it's up to the discretion of the park, it would be much simpler. As you said, black and white. No room for customer bitching.

I still don't think it will be that big a deal, though, because the frequency of all 15 rides closing for right around 60 minutes, close enough to the point where customers might think they could take advantage of the guarantee, is probably fairly is the number of guests that will complain.

Last edited by Vater, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:25 PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Vater said:

I still don't think it will be that big a deal, though, because the frequency of all 15 rides closing for right around 60 minutes, close enough to the point where customers might think they could take advantage of the guarantee, is probably fairly is the number of guests that will complain.

This is where I think you guys are giving human beings WAY too much credit.

All that people are going to see is 'rain' and 'free ticket' - from there the fun begins.

And when I say problem or issue, I don't mean for us or the company or really anyone other than the people manning the customer service desks on a day with rain. I'd pay for a ticket to stand there and watch the line on days when it rains. That would be amazing.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:46 PM
Vater's avatar

There will be some customers who suck, no doubt. But I would bet that quite a few of them who dealt with only a 30 to 60 minute closure of all of their favorite rides throughout their day would probably have no plans to return anyway, whether they were given a free ticket or not.

I'd love to see the numbers on that, actually. I remember getting a free return ticket at SFA when the park closed early. I had a season pass so it made no difference to me, but I wonder how many of the other non-passholders actually used their ticket on another day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:53 PM

Next -> park closes for good (for the day) if X number of rides are closed for a certain amount of time. A good way to close the park down early on those "dead days" where there are only season pass holders in the park (and a tiny bit of rain). The end of the world is coming!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 6:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Here's another one.

Am I expected to leave the park when I get my free ticket?

It doesn't really say that anywhere. So if it rains (supposedly under the conditions of major rides closing for an hour, but real life doesn't work that way...whatever) I get a free ticket. That's it. The day doesn't even have to be a bust. Stuff just needs to close down for one hour and I come back for free in addition to enjoying the current day minus one hour.

I wonder how many trips you could string together for the price of one ticket? Probably wouldn't really matter as a season pass is barely more than a one day visit anyway.


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