Airlines’ business practices never cease to amaze me. It appears that the “extra fees” (read blankets, ear buds, movies, baggage, change fees etc.) now make up ~10% of total revenue according to an article in the NYTimes. The data is actually from a survey from hopper.com – full data here. All this while the quality of “service” continues to be awful at best. Read and weep.
This one should resonate with frequent fliers
Another good one from the New Yorker.
Consultants are of course painfully aware of the awfulness of flying. The fact that airlines seats have become smaller and more uncomfortable over the last 50 years will not then come as any surprise.
What was surprising was the fact that airlines may only be part of that problem. Airline seat widths, pitch have apparently declined ~10% over the last ~50 years, while (ahem) our seats / weights have increased by ~20% over the same period.
The innovation of American airlines never ceases to amaze me. Apparently the executives all sat around one day and thought up a new way to torture their passengers: the result – “basic” economy. Here the seats don’t recline, one can’t pick a seat and they charge for everything (including water).
The NYTimes has the gory details. Apparently, the normal cattle class was too fancy.
It’s hard to believe, but a recent survey from Kaiser suggests that there are industries out there that are more hated than airlines. Apparently just 44% of people have a negative view of airlines, vs. ~50% for health insurance, pharma and oil companies. I’m sure this will warm the hearts of airline execs this holiday season.
I found this letter in last weeks’ Economist funny.
I see that United Airlines, facing huge competition, has appointed a railroad executive as its new boss (“The chairman’s flight”, September 12th). I am sure his experience with cattle cars will serve him well when squeezing passengers into planes.
It would be unfair to single out United, however. I think none of the US carriers (with maybe the exception of Virgin) know the meaning of service. Sad.