FLYING THE BLOODY SKIES – HAROLD MEYERSON, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT

Soon, no one will fly unless they have no choice. The financial “bonanza” airlines have seen will diminish. Vacations involving flights will sink to the bottom of the pile — and are already doing so. 

We know many people who won’t fly. We are two of them. Between TSA and the airlines, it’s horrible, more like torture than vacation. Every day, more people say “NO PLANES. NO THANKS.” When the numbers start piling up, watch how quickly the airlines will shift position. 

You can’t continuously mistreat the majority of your customers without a payback. It always comes. Sooner or later. 


Dr. Dao received exceptional treatment, but passenger abuse is built into the airlines’ business model.


 By Harold Meyerson / The American Prospect  –  April 12, 2017

Dr. Dao received exceptional treatment, but passenger abuse is built into the airlines’ business model. While the videos of security cops dragging a bloodied physician down the aisle of a United Airlines plane clearly shocked the millions of people who viewed them, my guess is that, at some level, it didn’t surprise them. Indeed, the reason the videos were so damaging to United—and at some level, to the entire airline industry—is that everyone who’s flown in coach during the past several decades knows that the welfare of airline passengers, save for those who fly first- or business-class, is the least of the airlines’ concerns.

Photo Credit: PhotonCatcher / Shutterstock

The systemic abuse of those who fly coach has become the sine qua non of the airlines’ business model, as the incessant shrinkage of the seats and legroom afforded passengers clearly attests. “The roomiest economy seats you can book on the nation’s four largest airlines,” according to Consumer Reports’ Bill McGee, “are narrower than the tightest economy seats offered in the 1990s.” Maverick airlines that try to market themselves as more customer-friendly have been compelled to revert to the industry’s dismal norm.

JetBlue did indeed offer coach passengers more space, partly because many of its planes didn’t devote space to a first-class cabin. When Wall Street analysts condemned company management for being “overly brand-conscious and customer-focused,” however, the airline deposed those executives and in came a new team, eager to install first-class accommodations up front even if it meant squeezing the saps in coach.

The rest of the story on Alternet: Flying the Bloody Skies @alternet

9 thoughts on “FLYING THE BLOODY SKIES – HAROLD MEYERSON, THE AMERICAN PROSPECT

  1. On one of my recent flights (3 years ago?) I waited an hour after the plane that was to take me to Denver was due. The airport in Colorado Springs essentially shut down. The airline (United) never announced that the flight would be late. Time passed. If I hadn’t been online on my laptop, I wouldn’t have known. TSA agents backed up against the door that would lead to the jetway and folded their arms across their chests, looking very police-esque. Still no word from the airline. The gate attendant picked up her stuff and went home.

    I found a flight out of Denver for the next day, called my friend to come and pick me up. I went back to her house. She had to drive me to Denver the next day. United never said anything. I blasted them on social media until they refunded that leg of the flight, though I thought they should pick up the cost of the Frontier flight I ended up taking as well.

    I think if you have to fly you have to fly. If you don’t have to fly, you won’t. Flying has NEVER been convenient, fun, comfortable. It’s just a grueling ordeal any way you slice it unless you get VERY lucky.

    Like

    • We had that happen in 1997 flying New Orleans to Boston. They made us get off in Atlanta. The plane was supposed to be a short stop, then continue on to Boston. Instead, the plane left. Empty, and apparently, broken.

      We were all left standing there. No company rep, no information, no help in finding a new flight. It was a full flight, too. A LOT of people.

      I think airplanes are worse now than in the past, but they weren’t all that great in the past, either. We have had plenty of bad airplane experiences, in and out of the U.S. People forget, I think, that airlines have been heading downhill for a long time. Eventually they will notice a lot of people won’t fly anymore. Then they will get all enthusiastic about making us feel welcome … until the next time.

      It’s just business as usual.

      Liked by 1 person

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