Re: Not so fast Joel


[Bulletin Board]


Posted by Jim Williams on 2013-02-26 08:37:34 in reply to Re: Not so fast Joel posted by Peter Patricelli on 2013-02-25 22:44:56

You're not going to find me defending airlines, but it was US who drove most of them to do that. When Expedia and Travelocity and the rest of those outfits started becoming the way most people booked flights, the competition was on to score the lowest fares. They were responding to our changing approach to travel. Southwest works on a completely different model. It does not offer booking through those travel sites and, quite frankly, I believe is the only major airline with little or no union participation. When I've checked lately their fares have been higher than the other airlines, but you're right: no change fees, no baggage fees, and no fees for choosing your seating. I don't think other airlines will ever go back to that approach unless they decide to quit offering bookings through the travel sites. Personally, I refuse to book that way.

I've mentioned here before that I do far less travel by air than I used to do. Certainly, frustration with the airlines is a big part of it, as well as TSA, and the amount of time you kill at airports. Our biggest frustration where I live is that with fewer airlines it's almost impossible to get anywhere without circling the entire country. To fly from Milwaukee to Knoxville, TN meant I had to fly to Baltimore, Orlando, or Dallas first. I could almost drive to Knoxville from here (almost!) in the amount of time (almost 10 hours) it would have taken me to get there including layover time. Truth is, Peter, I don't see this getting any better any time soon. The reasons why the airlines are a poor business model are mostly financial and include huge capital expenditure and the widely fluctuating price of fuel. The flights I'm on are full or close to it so I don't see a real huge problem with people boycotting due to their fees, etc. Sure, they bellyache about it, but most are flying anyway.


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