Pay More Get Less!
A recent article in The Chicago Tribune with the headline, Pay More Get Less addressed the plight of the airline industry. Essentially because of high fuel costs, it has become very difficult for airlines to be profitable and in some cases survive. Even my favorite, Midwest Airlines is having difficulty. From a business customer perspective paying more getting less doesn’t seem like a great business model. Airlines in the past have been sensitive to business cycles and operating with questionable leadership. Several years ago a book entitled Nuts came out about Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines. Nuts was really good and provided great insights into a successful business/customer model. As a result Southwest Airlines has remained profitable, though it also is coping with the challenges in today’s transition economy.
I don’t have the magic bullet for solving the problems at these airlines. Although it seems to me the Pay More Get Less strategy is not a long term solution. There are several good airlines that operate throughout the world that are profitable, provide a good customer experience and get passengers safely to their destination.
I for one am willing to pay a higher fare for good service, safe travel and a well managed airline. For what it’s worth. Factor in the fuel costs to a reasonable fare. Provide great service to the customer. Forget charging $3 for a bag of pretzels.