Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The stupidity of American Airlines

American Airlines has decided to charge $15 for the first checked in bag. This move indicates that they lack leadership and their management is braindead...

Most flights are fully oversold and one of the more annoying issues is that the overhead storage always gets filled with luggage halfway through boarding. People just don't like checking in their luggage - overstuffing a carryon (or carrying a bigger one onboard) is much more convenient.

If capitalism has taught anybody anything, it is that usually businesses get ahead by offering convenience; they make profits by taxing convenience. People will pay for something that is perceived as having value, and will resent a price increase on a bad service.

I work with lots of consultants from Accenture, IBM and other firms. Most of them resent having to check in a bag because of the additional time required to retrieve it, as well as an increased risk of losing the bag in transit. Statistics state that you have a better chance of Robert McIlree suggesting lighter weight processes than finding your bags.

So, this ultimately will cause airlines to loose even more money. Consumers will do one of two things. First, they will fly Southwest Airlines even more as they have adopted lunatic thinking. Second, they will simply pack even more as a carryon.

Enterprise types may see a resurgence in trenchcoats with lots of pockets. Maybe they can learn from inner-city children on how to smuggle things in their clothing so that they can carry really heavy things and simply shove them under the seats.

It would seem to me that if all the folks go to the effort of avoiding fees, it will make the plane departures even later, which means you would have to burn more fuel by flying faster to make up time. Haven't we learned that more people to a late project makes it later? More late people to a late flight carrying their own luggage has the same effect.

Usually such bad strategies are created in the minds of insultants. I wonder which insulting firm was behind this debacle...

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