I Guess the Marketing Department Nixed the “Robbing Customers at Gunpoint” Strategy

| February 16, 2010 | Reply

It seems the public has rebuffed the major airlines’ attempt to jack up the cost of a flight. Huh. I wonder why that happened.

Last week, UAL Corp’s United Airlines increased fares by $10 per round-trip, and other top carriers followed suit. But by Monday afternoon, most airlines had rolled back their prices, Farecompare.com Chief Executive Rick Seaney said in an email.

“This is (the) second, relatively modest hike to fail this year,” he wrote.

Low-cost carriers like Southwest Airlines did not raise fares, which may have hurt major airlines’ ability to make the higher fares stick, said Morningstar analyst Basili Alukos.

“There’s always a lot of competition,” Alukos said. “You’ve got low-cost carriers preying on weaker legacy carriers to pick up (market) share. I’d attribute the failure of the price increase to that.”

Well, maybe. But, and this sounds like one of those crazy-go-nuts ideas that we bloggers have from time to time, the airlines might want to consider that people do not want to pay more to be treated like a criminal suspect or a member of an unruly herd of cattle.

It doesn’t require an MBA to know that people just might show a slight amount of hesitance to stand in security lines for hours only to be crammed like cattle into seats with less legroom than a Lada, assuming they haven’t spent hours out of their day to endure the trip to the boarding gate only to find out they won’t be taking the flight they paid through the nose to take because the airline oversold the flight. The general public might also find it odd that they have to pay yet more for a flight after having to shell out cash to have thier luggage (hopefully) make the flight with them, to get a paltry bad of peanuts or a lukewarm soda, or to get a pillow or blanket for a long flight.

But what do I know. I’m no financial analyst.

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Category: The Economy and Your Money

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