Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Think: Airline Craziness and You

This is a picture of an American Airlines plane landing in St. Bartholemy in the Caribbean. It is crazy to watch planes come in there. Not unlike the entire airline industry.

The airlines are very bass ackwards and stuck in their ways incestuous industry. The entire industry is a great example of the "not invented here" mentality. (For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with that mentality - basically, if it didn't come from insert company name here then they don't want to hear about it or the possibilities.)

With Worlds only days away, consider that it is $900 cheaper to fly to Seattle and drive to Vancouver versus going direct to Vancouver. So if it takes you three hours to drive to Vancouver (times two - because we are assuming you are coming back) the airline is saying your time is worth about $150 per hour. This assumes you are renting a car regardless of where you go. Let me throw another crazy price at you...$650 to fly to Des Moines, Iowa from Chicago. For $212 I can fly to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Orlando, Miami, New York or Dallas.
Just wondering: How much of this is the world changing and companies failing to keep up with the changes? Continuing to manage to the lowest common denominator.
Think about your own policy, process, and procedures in your business, life and triathlon...what are you doing that sounds crazy too?

This article is from Bloomberg News...

Will airlines start charging passengers by weight?
Tuesday, June 3rd 2008, 3:40 PM

Imagine two scales at the airline ticket counter, one for your bags and one for you. The price of a ticket depends upon the weight of both.
"You listen to the airline CEOs, and nothing is beyond their imagination," said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. "They have already begun to think exotically. Nothing is not under the microscope." He declined to discuss what any individual airline might be contemplating, including charging passengers based on weight.

With fuel costs almost tripling since 2000, now accounting for as much as 40 percent of operating expenses at some carriers, according to the ATA, airlines are cutting costs and raising revenue in ways that once were unthinkable. U.S. Airways Group Inc. has eliminated snacks. Delta Air Lines Inc. is charging $25 for telephone reservations. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines last month became the first U.S. company to charge $15 for one checked bag.
Even a cold drink may be harder to come by aloft. Singapore Airlines Ltd., whose shares have fallen 8.9 percent this year, is "trying to eliminate unnecessary quantities of extra water" to save weight, Chief Executive Officer Chew Choon Seng said in an interview. "When you hear some people talking about putting showers on their planes, that strikes me as counterintuitive," he said.

After U.S. airlines reported combined first-quarter losses of $1.7 billion and crude oil jumped to a record $133.17 a barrel on May 21, almost double from a year earlier, fares based on a passenger's weight may be a logical step, said Robert Mann, head of R.W. Mann & Co., an aviation consultant based in Port Washington, New York. "If you look at the air-freight business, that's the way they've always done it," he said. "We're getting treated like air freight when we travel by airlines, anyway." "Laughter aside, the airlines are just in a desperate situation," said David Swierenga, president of consulting firm Aeroecon in Round Rock, Texas, who dismissed weight-based ticket sales and steep price increases as unrealistic.
Since December, eight companies have ceased flying, largely because of fuel costs - MaxJet Airways Inc., Big Sky Transportation Co., Aloha Airlines Inc., ATA Airlines, Skybus Airlines Inc., Eos Airlines, Silverjet Plc. and the charter- flight operator Champion Air. Air Midwest, a division of Mesa Air Group Inc., is ceasing operations this month. Japan Airlines Corp. is using crockery in first-class and business-class cabins that is 20 percent lighter than the service items they replaced. Southwest Airlines Co. is flying slower - by 72 seconds, for example, on Houston-Los Angeles flights, which now take 3 hours 14 minutes. That saves 8.7 gallons of fuel for each of the airline's four daily nonstops on the 1,387-mile route, 34.8 gallons a day overall, said Marilee McInnis, a company spokeswoman. Southwest comes closest to charging for weight, asking passengers to buy a second seat if their girth prevents the armrest from lowering. One airline that is unlikely to start weighing its customers is Dubai-based Emirates, the largest carrier in the Gulf region. "That is something that when I was a check-in agent in the early 70s I used to do and it was the most horrific experience, trying to get people to stand on scales," said Tim Clark, the airline president. "It's not something that we would do."

1 comment:

  1. Perfect.... charge charge people by weight. Better yet how how BMI, that would be much more fair. Then maybe the truly obese americans might have an incentive to get in shape and help decrease our overall health care costs.

    Unfortunately when the obese have health issues the Darwin effect does not take immediate action and we all have to suffer.