Reading this article on Reveries.com this morning, I felt a sense of calm coming over me. Finally, an article that tells the truth: airlines really DON’T care about treating you all that well. Yeah, they know they have to fix some personal interactions and flight delays, but dammit, they don’t care about giving you anything once you’re in that metal flying tube.
Its an interesting result of travel aggregate sites like Orbitz, Travelocity, and Kayak: by making it easier to search for the lowest price, the airlines need to compete on price, and often, on price alone.
My only beef with the cattle article is that it ignores those of us who fly regularly enough to care about service and amenities – not always shopping on price, but on schedules and getting mileage points – but not so regularly that we get consistent free upgrades and travel in business or first class all the time. I have a decent number of frequent flyer points – enough for some free tickets and upgrades – but not enough to throw them around willy-nilly. So I actually am loyal to those airlines that I have the most points with (US Air and Delta) and will fly with them so that I can use them for leisure purposes.
I also avoid those airlines that I don’t like. I really hate Continental. Every time I’ve taken a Continental flight, its been late, and if you look at this chart at SeatGuru.com, you’ll see that while Continental doesn’t have the SMALLEST seat pitch, it probably has the smallest on average, with other airlines having at least a few planes that go past 32 inches. When you’re 6′ 2", those things count.
While I understand that travel web sites have changed how airlines compete, it is too bad that they are abandoning service and quality because of it.