David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
Problems With The Amazon
No, not that one. While the rainforest is certainly in jeopardy due to climate change and other factors, my blog this week is about the other one. Love or hate them (or sometimes both at the same time) Amazon has won the market for online shopping. Whenever you need something quickly – and especially during the pandemic – you could go to their site and order it to arrive at your door…and usually pretty quickly as well. But what does this market power mean for their performance and transportation impacts?
While we frequent travelers may not fly on their airplanes, it doesn’t mean they don’t hold a large portion of the air-travel spectrum. According to this CNBC article, “Amazon Air now makes an average of 140 flights per day and is expanding its fleet, signaling a growth spurt.” “Amazon’s aircraft fleet is on pace to have doubled in size between May 2020 and June … laying further groundwork for Amazon Air to rival the likes of carriers FedEx and UPS, according to a study.”
Because of this growth, Amazon Air has become one of the founding members of a new aviators group committed to driving investment in sustainable aviation fuels. They join Jet Blue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and a number of other non-airline companies in the new Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance. This group will work to accelerate the path to carbon-neutral air transport by driving investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF.) This effort is certainly commendable, especially as climate change approaches the point of no return. Maybe Amazon’s efforts can actually do something good for that other Amazon…
We can only hope that their promises to do something about sustainability hold more weight than their customer service promises.
I’ll admit I am an Amazon shopping addict. In many cases I can look at their app on my mobile phone, see something I want or need, and have it delivered that same day or the next day. Without expressing an opinion about their ownership and it’s questionable ‘paying their fair share of tax’ implications, I think it is important to point out negative aspects of their process – the frequent bait-and-switch they have been engaging in for years – and still are.
Not always but often, I look for and choose a product specifically because of Amazon’s “guaranteed” availability. I need the thing to arrive on the date it was promised. After the purchase on Amazon, the “guarantee” somehow, annoyingly morphs into an “estimate.” Then, in the cases when the delivery is missed, there often isn’t even a notice much less an apology. One has to look at their app or website and find a notice that says the prior “guaranteed” delivery is “running late” and should arrive “in the next few days.”
As the holiday season approaches with its rush of gift and package deliveries it is important that we consumers NEVER let them get away with this without complaining. Amazon will usually give shipping credit or promotional credit if one complains through their help process (on-line chat or call.) Please do this every time this happens. It is the only way that we can stop this annoying bait and switch. If something can’t arrive in the “guaranteed” day or two then they shouldn’t be able to claim that.
If Amazon’s promises to be sustainable are as solid as their guarantee to deliver packages on time, the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance will prove to be more hype than help, and that other Amazon will remain in jeopardy.
I hope all my US readers have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your (vaccinated) friends and families. It’s been a heck of a nineteen months of this pandemic, so being able to (safely) celebrate with our loved ones comes as a welcome holiday gift.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.
As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree. Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me. Thanks!