Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Airline woes

I have heard many recent stories about poor service on airlines lately. I was just at the IHS conference and there was a whole list of horror stories resulting from participant's travel problems. If 10% of travelers are having nightmarish experiences there must be some explanation.
Here's the one I offered to my fellow IHS friends:

The airlines have appealed more and more to the Federal Government for assistance over the last few years, and this is the kind of service we get. They are insulated from customers because they have artificially low prices due to subsidies. So they poo-poo on us, and we take it, along with the cheap rates. Question: do we prefer the cheap rates, or would we rather have higher quality service? In other words: How much more would you pay to insure a seat on the flight you planned to take with a guarantee that your luggage and belongings will be there waiting for you when you get to your destination unharmed?
Does the state have a responsibility to insure cheap airfare to all at the cost of quality to those who are willing to pay for it?

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