• 所屬考試大學英語六級試題庫
  • 試題題型【閱讀理解 Section B】
A. A few months ago I booked a flight for two and then went to select seats on the airline's site. Based on the destination and time of year, I was surprised to find only two adjacent seats were available without paying a premium (額外費用). But I was even more surprised a few weeks later, when we boarded the aircraft and a flight attendant announced that only 30% of seats were occupied, so we should all feel free to stretch out.
B. So how could a flight that looked nearly full a month earlier wind up with seven out of ten seats empty? That's a question only the airlines can answer, and they're not eager to provide many details.
C. Are some carriers intentionally holding back seat assignments, in the hope we'll all pay for "premium" seats?It's a fair question, and the evidence is intriguing.
Behind the screen indeed
D. An awful plot goes on behind airline and travel booking screens, and much of it is strictly off-limits to consumers. What we do know is that for decades now airlines have become masters of what the industry calls yield management, offering millions of combinations of fares based on advance purchase patterns and other booking trends, so nearly everyone pays a different price based on when they buy. But now that paying extra for your seat selection has become common practice, securing your reservation is just half the battle.
E.Some industry experts have connected the dots. "They're trying to get people to buy premium seats," says George Hobica, USATODAY.com's Fly Guy columnist and the founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. "They want to increase revenue. And we're getting more complaints about it. " He notes that it "really annoys" passengers who want to sit together, particularly when traveling with small children.
F.He's echoed by Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition (聯盟): "With yield management,consumers are aware and they know that airlines are constantly changing prices on seats. But if this is true, it is unethical--they're grossly misleading us. The thing that I find so offensive is conveying to me that I have no options, but if I wait a week or two then I do have options. "
G. According to the airlines, the reason for ancillary ( 附加的 ) revenue is unbundling (分類計價) ticket prices,so passengers who desire a given service--say checking a bag or ordering a soft drink--pay for it, while those who don't are spared the cost. But as Mitchell notes, "There's another twist to this. The airlines are saying fees are for 'optional services.' Well, seats aren't optional! "
H. Of course, securing a good seat isn't an issue if you're in first class or you're an elite member of a frequent flyer program. But what about the rest of us? As I've pointed out repeatedly in recent columns, we're faced with record-high load factors, the highest for the U.S. airline industry since World War II. But even with the average percentage of occupied seats for domestic flights at 82.7%, it's still an average--some flights will be fuller but others will not, particularly weeks in advance. Yet searching for seats keeps getting harder and harder.
Seats for sale
I.Hobica cites the major airlines as the prime culprits (起因), but he also notes even low-cost carriers can make securing seats difficult. On the flip side, he credits JetBlue and Virgin America for providing customers with clear policies. And then there is British Airways, which allows passengers in economy and business classes to select seats only 24 hours in advance. I asked an airline representative if seeing fewer free seats is a trend, and the response was: "That's going to vary because there are so many variables. "
J.I decided to check on seat availability at Delta.com. I inquired about economy-class availability for two seats on a busy route--Atlanta to Chicago--and conducted an apples-to-apples search for the same morning departure seven days in advance, and again 14 days in advance. For the flight one week out, a total of only eight seats were available, one preferred and seven standard, but only one set of two seats together. For the flight two weeks out, a total of 29 seats were available, consisting of 20 preferred and only nine standard, and still with only one set together. Remarkable how even twice the booking time still produced so few "free" seats, separately or together, yet there were plenty of seats that could be bought for the fight price.
K. I contacted Delta and a spokesman said the price for preferred economy varies "depending on a number of different factors," so customers need to compare the costs on a flight-by-flight basis. The preferred seats are reserved primarily for Medallion ( 大勛章 ) members, and become available without additional charge 24 hours prior to departure. When asked if Delta has received complaints about a dearth of free seats, he stated,"Overall, our seat program has been received very well. "
L. But my findings dovetailed ( 吻合 ) with recent complaints filed with Airfarewatchdog:(1) When (my husbanD. tried to get a seat assignment on the first flight there was just one "complimentary (免費的 ) seat"(near the back in the middle) available.., the other available seats had to be purchased for $69. On the connecting flight there were no "complimentary seats" at all! Is this legal? He bought and paid for a ticket on these flights and now he is supposed to "buy" a seat! (2) (After) paying for the flight, a message popped up and said that I could only get a seat assignment when I checked in. In order to get a confirmed seat, I had to pay $129 extra! Unless I pay, without a confirmed seat, I am the first one to be bumped from the flight if they are overbooked. How do they get away with this? (3) Does checking in online at the 24-hour mark before the flight give me a number in line or let me select seats then? Or do we all rush the gate with our boarding passes (and no seat assignment) in order to get the seat assignment?
How to respond?
M. So what can you do? It's a tough proposition. Usually I would offer strategies for countering such airline initiatives, but in this case the options are limited. That's why some believe the U.S. Department of Transportation should investigate these practices. As Mitchell says, "The airlines are holding all the cards with this one. There is a sore need for transparency on this. When people are confused, they make bad decisions. "
N. That said, consider the following: (1) When budgeting your airfares, make sure you consider not just baggage fees but the added cost of seat selection--for all travelers and in both directions.(2) If possible, book early,when there should be more seats available, and check in early too. Why the qualifier "should"? Because if availability is artificially manipulated, it's hard to be certain.(3) Book airlines that offer more transparent seat-selection policies. Of course, this is not an issue with Southwest and other carriers that offer "open seating" policies. (4) Finally, the last resort is what Hobica calls "horse trading": negotiating seat swaps with other passengers. But this has become a risky and undesirable option with flights so full, overhead bins (行李倉) so crammed and fellow passengers who may have paid for premium seats in advance.
1.[選詞填空]The airlines' excuse for additional fees is unbundling ticket prices, so those who want the given service like baggage check and soft drink ordering will have to pay.
    • 解題思路:題干意為,航空公司把實行機票分類計價作為額外收費的借口,所以那些想要諸如檢查行李或點軟飲料等特定服務的乘客就必須承擔相應費用。注意抓住題干 中的關鍵詞unbundling ticket prices和the given service。原文段落中,論及機票分類計價和要求特定服務的內容在G段出現,該段第一句就提到航空公司稱,之所以收取附加費是實行機票分類計價的緣 故,這樣一來,如果乘客想要某種特定的服務——比如,托運包裹或者點一杯軟飲料——就要為此付費,而那些不需要此類服務的乘客則無需付費。由此可見,題干 是對原文的同義改寫,故答案為G。
    2.[選詞填空]The last strategy to counter the airline's initiatives is to exchange seats with other passengers by negotiating with them.
      • 解題思路:題干意為,應對航空公司這類行為的最后策略是和其他乘客商量調換座位。注意題干中的關鍵詞the last strategy,exchange seats和negotiating。文章段落中,論及與其他乘客商量調換座位的內容在N段出現,該段第(4)點提到,最后一個應對策略,即霍比卡所說的 “討價還價”,是和其他乘客商量一下調換座位。由此可見,題干是對原文的同義改寫,故答案為N。題干中的the last strategy和exchange seats with other passengers by negotiating with them分別對應原文中的me last resort和negotiating seat swaps with other passengers。
      3.[選詞填空]Whether some carriers withhold seats on purpose for earning consumers' premium is a question deserving to be cleared up.
        • 解題思路:題干意為,部分運營商是否故意保留座位以賺取消費者附加費這個問題值得弄清楚。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞carders,premium和 question。原文段落中,論及運營商們是否故意收取附加費的問題在C段出現,該段中作者提到,這是一個值得研究的問題,而且其情況到底如何也很引人 關注,實際上就是在說這個問題值得弄清楚。由此可見,題于是對原文的同義改寫,故答案為C。題干中的withhold和on purpose分別對應原文中的holding back和intentionally。
        4.[選詞填空]When people budget their airfares, they should consider both the baggage fees and the added cost of seat selection.
          • 解題思路:題干意為,人們在為買機票制定預算的時候,應該把行李的費用和附加的選擇座位的費用都考慮在內。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞 budget,airfares,baggage fees和the added cost of seat selection。文章段落中,論及制定機票預算的內容在N段出現,該段第(1)點提到,預算票價的時候,確保自己不僅將行李費用考慮在內,還要考慮為 選擇座位而支付的額外費用。由此可見,題干對原文進行了同義改寫,故答案為N。
          5.[選詞填空]While Hobica ascribes the main responsibilities to the major airlines, he also mentions that the low-cost carders are making securing seats difficult.
            • 解題思路:題干意為,盡管霍比卡把主要責任歸咎于各大航空公司,他也提到,低成本的運營商們同樣使得座位的獲得變得困難。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞 Hobica,themain responsibilities,themajorairlines和thelow—costcarders。原文段落中,提及Hobica和低成本的 運營商使獲得座位變得困難的內容在I段出現,該段第一句話提到,霍比卡認為各大航空公司是造成這種狀況的罪魁禍首,低成本的運營商也起到了推波助瀾的作 用。由此可見,題干是對原文的同義改寫,故答案為I。題干中的ascribes…to…和main responsibilities分別對應原文中的cites…as…和prime culprits。
            6.[選詞填空]Behind the airline and travel booking screens, a terrible plot is being carried out, much of which is rigorously kept confidential from passengers.
              • 解題思路:題干意為,在航空公司和旅行社的訂票系統中,一項可怕的陰謀正在實施,而其中的隱情則嚴格對乘客保密。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞airline and travel booking screens,a terrible plot,rigorously和confidential。文章段落中,論及航空公司和旅行社訂票陰謀的內容在D段出現,該段第一句提到,在航空公司和 旅行社的訂票機制幕后,一個可怕的陰謀正在上演。而且對其中的內幕消費者大多毫不知情。由此可見,題干對原文做了同義改寫,故答案為D。題干中的a terrible plot和is rigorously kept confidential for分別與原文中的an awful plot和is strictly off-limits to相對應。
              7.[選詞填空]Kevin Mitchell considers the so-called yield management of the industry unethical and misleading.
                • 解題思路:題干意為,凱文·米切爾認為所謂的收益管理是不道德且具有誤導性的。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞Kevin Mitchell,yield management,unethical和misleadin9。文章段落中,提到Kevin Mitchell和航空業收益管理的內容在F段出現,該段引用米切爾的原話中提到,對于收益管理,消費者心里有數,他們知道航空公司經常改變座位的價格。 但是如果情況果真如此的話,航空公司的做法確實是不道德的——他們在嚴重地誤導人們。由此可見,題干是對原文的同義轉述,故答案為F。
                8.[選詞填空]Mitchell holds that there is an urgent need for transparency on carriers' seat assignments.
                  • 解題思路:題干意為,米切爾認為運營商們在分配座位這一問題上亟須透明。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞Mitchell,need和transparency。原文 段落中,提到Mitchell且論及分配座位透明度的內容在M段出現,該段第五句引用Mitchell的原話,指出這一問題亟待透明。由此可見,題干是對 原文的同義改寫,故答案為M。題干中的urgent need對應原文中的sore need,carriers’seat assignment代指原文中的this。
                  9.[選詞填空]What the spokesman of Delta says suggests that the preferred economy-class tickets are available 24 hours in advance of the plane's departure.
                    • 解題思路:題干意為,達美航空公司發言人的話表明,經濟艙優等座在飛機起飛前24小時內可獲得。注意題干中的關鍵詞the spokesman of Delta,the preferred economy.class tickets,available和the plane’sdeparture。文章段落中,論及達美航空公司發言人的內容在K段出現,該段第二句提到,優等座主要是為獎章成員預留的,在飛機起飛前 24小時內無需支付額外費用就可獲得。由此可見,題干是對原文的同義轉述,故答案為K。
                    10.[選詞填空]Some believe that, in order to solve the problem of airlines' withholding seats, some actions should be taken by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
                      • 解題思路:題干意為,一些人認為,為了解決航空公司保留座位的問題,美國交通運輸部應該采取一些措施。注意抓住題干中的關鍵詞 theU.S.DepartmentofTransportation。文章段落中,論及美國交通運輸部的內容在M段出現,該段第三、四句話提到,通常作 者會就如何應對航空公司的這類政策給出一些策略,但是在這種情況下,可選擇的策略非常有限。這就是為什么一些人認為美國交通運輸部應該對此類做法進行調查 的原因。由此可見,人們認為交通運輸部應該有所行動,故答案為M。
                      • 參考答案:G,N,C,N,I,D,F,C,K,M