$1000 Airfare

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

$1000 Airfare

USA Today has an article about airfare for the holidays hitting $1000 for domestic coach (plus fees). As a frequent traveler, I can say that the airlines need to go under - no more bail out. We gave them billions after 9/11 and they ended up in BK court anyway. These companies do not understand business nor customer service.

Why don't they just charge what the seat costs? It's a basic math equation. Southwest can do it. Why can't the bailed out bloated legacy carriers? I thought only in CLEC-Land did people price underwater.

Almost 75% of my flights in the last year have been delayed. Some was weather; some mechanical; and others who knows. It's always something. Again, a lot like an installation date in telecom.

Then there are schedule changes. Three of my last six flights changed, including Delta changing a direct flight to LA to a 1-stop (with no chance to get a refund). AirTran and JetBlue changing my flight times as well.

The airlines have tacked on so many fees*. (You have no idea what the final cost of the flight will be until it is over and you add it up - curbside check-in, baggage fees, etc.). Why would you charge to check bags? You should be encouraging it so that you can turn the planes around faster.  However, you lose a lot of luggage and people can't risk that. Plus when you do lose the one in 138 bags, airlines just don't care -- and have no responsibility or liability.  We taxpayers have forked up billions to keep these dinosaurs alive without getting any improvements. Why? Every hear of RFID tagging? How about plain old logistics and tracking?

(*Again, telecom has a ton of fees. More and more clients are asking me what the total bill will be for a circuit including taxes and fees. I actually have no idea. there are thousands of rate centers and taxing bodies. Plus some of VoIP has taxes and fees; some doesn't. Some of Internet is taxed and some is not. No way to know.)

If I want to switch flights, but checked a bag, it's a no-go. So you can track that, but not my bag? Makes no sense.  Passengers rights? HA! Hardly. Look here and here.

The concept of customer service is so lost on these unionized employees that it galls me. But dare you say anything and they will call security. It was annoying at $400 per coach ticket; but at $500 or higher, they better re-think their attitude because they may be standing in line next to a lot of former financial or telecom  folks soon (in the unemployment line).  (In telecom, it doesn't matter which Duopoly you choose, many folks consider the customer service horrible. CS reps may not be able to be helpful, but they will try to upsell you.)

Like a monopoly, the airlines have you in a gotcha situation. But why more passengers don't plan ahead is beyond me. When you procrastinate, it costs more. If you go home to family at Thanksgiving, why wouldn't you have bought your ticket already? If you are going to ISPCON, why haven't you booked that ticket already?

Video conferencing will take a bite out of travel. Logitech just bought SightSpeed. Video conferencing will see an uptick.

Conferences are in trouble. How many small business owners are going to drop an additional $600 for the cost of a trip? Not many I know. The shows are going to have to adopt. There are way too many shows in telecommunications. It isn't just the show owners, but exhibitors. Companies that are going to exhibit need to become creative. Make product announcements. Do roll-outs. Add value. Make appointments ahead of the show. Double down at the show - maybe a sales meeting at the conference. There are a lot of ways to drive booth traffic and to showcase your company at a show, but most companies have not made the effort. A big, loud booth only goes so far. Don't hire former airline personnel to man your booth. You need excited, passionate people to engage the audience.

That's enough ranting for one morning.

Notice I didn't even mention the annoyance of the worthless security lines?


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