David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
Very Backwards – August 2023
As I sit in front of my computer this morning something seems very backwards. I’m not sure when it happened, but over the last few years it’s clear that to the US airlines, we travelers have changed from cherished customers into nothing more than tolerated cargo...and suckers It’s a weird mix of two events that has me coming to that conclusion. Let me explain.
First of all, I received an email from the folks at the formerly-friendly-skies of United airlines. Here it is:
Let’s take a look at everything that is backwards in that message. It clearly knows who I am, and that I’m a Million Miler. It’s inviting me to a special event taking place, not at EWR – which is 15 minutes from my house – but at ORD. I’d have to pay my own money to fly there. Next, it’s inviting me, not as a Million Miler because it appreciates my decades of loyalty, but rather because I have a Mileage Plus credit card (which I stopped using years ago.) Then, it’s not really inviting me to this event, but rather, it's inviting me to ‘buy a spot’ to this event. I have to pay them (money or miles) for the privilege of then having to buy a roundtrip ticket out of my own pocket to fly to Chicago…just to sample some airline food. Are people really this dumb to pay to travel and attend something like this? When did the customer / service provider relationship get so backwards?
The other thing that has me wondering when everything turned backwards is something I purchased on Amazon this week:
Airplane seat-back-pockets have become so useless that I just spent $25 bucks to buy my own pocket to attach to the seat in front of me to restore its traditional usefulness. I was happy to spend the money to make myself just a bit more comfortable in-flight, but it struck me how backwards it is that this basic convenience is something I have to now buy – there is no guarantee that the airline will provide anything remotely useful for me in-flight. (I assume you’ve all read my multiple complaints about the mesh-pocket garbage that is on many flights nowadays masquerading as a seat-back-pocket.)
When did everything become so backwards?
The answer to that rhetorical question is of course is when the US airlines became deregulated and we passengers let them get away with this garbage. As I said at the beginning of the pandemic, we should have let them all fail and let new firms grow from the ashes of the disaster that they’ve become. That is after all, the epitome of capitalism. We should have let them die by the same deregulation that they asked for. Alas, we handled that whole situation…..backwards.
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.
Copyright 2023 David Danto
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