Another Open Letter to Management (Trying to be Constructive)


Aug 26, 2002
Guys, when you're right you're right. Providing elite benefits to people who can figure out how to get them on the cheap is something you should fix. Doing it the way you have so far is, at best, somewhat inelegant. Castigating people who have been your customers for many years for having taken advantage of tariffs and rules you yourselves promulgated is unfair. My guess is that if they were to study your current approach to problem solving as a case at Harvard, it might not be so well reviewed. Anyway, back to the topic. If it makes no sense to transport people coast coast for 300 bucks, it also makes no sense to charge over two thousand dollars for an unrestricted ticket on the same route. For one thing, at those prices, your real live full fare corporate guys and ladies move to charter, or various permutations thereof. You should be just as concerned about that migration. I actually welcome some of these events. For one thing, I've been flying more than I need to, in order to maintain status. I'd pay 2 to 3 times what I presently do to get better treatment, and by eliminating the 25 to 30 percent of flying I do just to hit the US1 level, I'd be happier, probably not paying all that much more, and you would have those seats you believe you can sell to others. There are a lot of threats from various contributers to these threads, about taking business elsewhere. Who knows. You are gambling it won't happen. Some people will leave, but your route system still serves lots of travelers with fewer choices. Personally, I've booked several trips with other carriers, going forward. I didn't want to do it, but I wanted to preserve my opportunity to travel cost efficiently, and in some comfort. Maybe I'm atypical, I don't know. On the other hand, to feign surprise at discovering how much you have been giving away, is ludicrous. You clearly have had ,for some time, the ability to calculate the annual spend of your regular customer. And to convey some of the less attractive analogies that have been used, suggesting that good customers are disloyal and dishonest, in open forum, where your less that satisfied employee group can see them, is to encourage disdainful treatment of those customers. We are already seeing examples of this, including some of the stuff that has been posted on this Board in recent days. Going to the airport since 9/11 is no fun anymore. From my perspective, the less I have to do it, the better. The airline industry (and by extension, this company), would do well to lower the rancor, spend time fixing its own problems,while trying to find a pricing paradigm that not only makes sense, but gets everyone where they want to be in this process. I, and many like me, have the elasticity to spend more to get more. But you have to market us, not vilify us, while shifting the entire repsonsibility for your travails on the passenger. We are part of the problem, but so are you. That can't continue, but it really is a 2 way street.
Hopefully you sent this to the people who make decesions and this isnt a letter tossed in the wind? Frankly the subject is becoming a little stale but hey its a forum so have at it good luck
Dont you think if your intentions are to get them to make changes, that a letter directly mailed to them would make more sense? The fact that an anominous letter out in the opem wouldnt get to much attention, other than people who enjoy debating? Just trying to help.