Friday, 23 May 2008

QotD, how to bamboozle the public the right way edition

Hei Lun Chan, in response to American Airlines’ decision to charge $15 per checked bag starting June 15:

They should have just raised prices by $15 then announce a ”$15 off if you don’t check any bags!!!” special.

The ultimate irony is that if they’d just raised each-way fares by $15, it would simply be another “the sky is falling because airfares are finally catching up to inflation for the first time since deregulation” story, but now American is cast in the role of being this side of the pond’s version of notorious buried-fee carrier Ryanair, which apparently combines Southwest’s low-cost business model with the customer service standards of your local DMV branch, at least until another of American’s dwindling band of competitors comes up with an even more boneheaded PR move like adding a cash-only “boarding fee” for use of the jetway to access the aircraft.

Given the ongoing fee-fest at the airlines, somehow trying to keep my elite status on Northwest for 2009 doesn’t seem quite so useless—although given that the only scheduled carriers that can take me anywhere other than Las Vegas from Laredo are American and Continental and driving to San Antonio to save time by avoiding a connection only works for places you can fly non-stop from San Antonio, much of that value is predicated on Continental continuing to honor Northwest status in 2009, which given the potential Northwest-Delta merger seems decidedly uncertain at present.


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[Permalink] 1. Rick Almeida wrote @ Fri, 23 May 2008, 10:15 am CDT:

Laredo Airport also seems to feature service by Allegiant Air, which serves a lot of airports outside of major areas for very low fares. 3 weeks ago, I flew from Orlando (Sanford airport, not the huge one in Orlando proper) to Wilmington one way for $59. Check-in was quick and painless, staff were friendly, plane was clean, flight was on-time and comfortable. I will definitely fly Allegiant whenever I can in the future.


Unfortunately, Allegiant only serves Las Vegas from Laredo. A nonstop to Sanford would be nice for me since I have family in central Florida, but no such luck.

[Permalink] 3. Alfie Sumrall wrote @ Fri, 23 May 2008, 1:37 pm CDT:

In response to Hei Lun Chan’s response, AA could have just raised fares $15 and, granted this is a sad commentary on recent affairs, no one would have batted an eye at such a small increase, compared to the $25+ ones we’d been used to.

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