David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
The Bank Of Good Will Is Empty
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog on the current state of “loyalty” between airlines and their passengers. I was asked to speak to the airline and hospitality industry at their annual gathering for the Freddie Awards (at least those that bothered to show up) and I laid-into them pretty good. You can read the blog via the link above for yourself, but one of the key conclusions I made was that airline customers are through…done…finished…etc. There is no more loyalty amongst most of today’s frequent business travelers. The airlines have no more good will to call upon, and are gambling they’ll never be another issue or disaster where they would need to leverage satisfied customers to gain some support. My exact words were:
Well, guess what? I was reading industry news last week and came across an article that discussed the financial costs of the ongoing 737 Max debacle. “Hundreds of millions of dollars” is the phrase the industry is throwing around. Can you guess what the reaction of the frequent traveler is? I would suppose – when cleaned-up for public printing – it’s something like: ‘Good. I hope they all drown in debt and all go bankrupt, the greedy bums.’ This may not be the next economic downturn or national disaster, but it is a situation where the public is appropriately exhibiting righteous indignation over the callous way the US Airline industry certified an aircraft that clearly wasn’t safe, blew-off the problem until not just one, but two planeloads of passengers perished in a crash, then fought against grounding the aircraft until other countries forced their hand. One can expect that there will be lawsuits, hearings, insurance claims, etc. I, for one, would be happy to volunteer for one of the juries needed. I’m pretty sure hundreds of thousands of my fellow frequent flyers (and casual flyers as well) would also be glad to serve. ‘What decision can we render that will screw the airlines as much as they’ve screwed us’ is clearly what will be in most people’s minds.
No one knows what the conclusion of this debacle will
ultimately look like, or when it will end, but it is one clear example of when
the airline industry management could have used a friend amongst their
customers, and have only to look in the mirror to understand who is responsible
for them having no friends in this group.
You know what they say about
karma. Hundreds of millions of
dollars in losses? Oh, well – It
couldn’t happen to a
nicer greedier bunch of people.
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.