Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Airlines are stupid

I just can't believe anything else. I don't understand how they can want to charge $600 for a one-way ticket, but only $400 for a round trip. Or the frequent flyer gig - can't give you a free flight when you want it, but you can use your miles and pay the same as another airline instead. Huh? No wonder the airline industry is hurting. So Northwest is not getting my business this trip.

Of course Airtran just ended their nice direct flights from Dayton to Las Vegas - I really liked those. But I can understand the need to cut back. At least their pricing makes more sense. $400 for a round trip, and $200 for a one way. In fact all their prices are based on one-way - a round trip is simply two one way tickets.

I also hate all the reservation systems. I guess they need to hide the information to continue to make their huge profits. Can't just show the flight schedule could they? No, that would be bad business.

Of course their business model isn't working anyway. So they continue to do the same thing over and over and expect to get better results. Einstein called that Insanity.

Instead we will take away peanuts (oh, those are gone anyway because of a few people with alergies - I keep trying to forget that we are now a society ruled by the smallest minorities - who cares what 98 to 99% of the people can have - we have to do everything based on the 1% who can't) or pretzels - that will make the profitable.

It sure seems to me that Airtran is close to doing it right. Still hasn't quite gotten it, but close.

Open schedule - and consistent pricing. Figure out the costs of a given flight - and the expected number of seats to sell on that. Then figure out the price based on this figure - so that you fill the expected seats you are making money on the flight. Fill more you make more. Keep the price the same up to 14 days in advance - the you can raise it to take advantage of people who can't plan ahead - I don't see a problem there. But then IF there are seats left at the last minute, drop the price to put butts in them, and don't fricking oversell. Then nearly all of the flights should be profitable, and the costs should be lower because you don't need the computer programs that adjust the price of a seat 10 times a second or whatever they do.

But then I could be wrong - these are the experts after all - and the industry is doing so well under their guidance, isnt' it.