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R.O.A.R.: Fuel prices are not to blame

Sep 18, 2008

Having been in the travel agency business for over 20 years, I have witnessed some good years and bad years. The bad years have a lot to do with the lack of top airline management, insofar as intelligent, creative ways to manage goes. Back when they, or should I say Delta, decided abruptly to reduce and then eliminate commissions, I am not convinced that "they", meaning the top airline companies, were not all in the conspiracy to do away with commissions.

For some unknown reason, even with not paying commissions (or much) now, the airlines seem to not be able to show a profit (with the exception of Southwest Airlines). Please don't put the blame only on the price of fuel. Sure the fuel price will alter the bottom line, but where is the intelligence of the airlines, or the lack thereof?

All the past presidents and CEO's of the airlines the past 15 years are forgotten and how many replacements have repeated the prior, poor performance? Airlines are carrying record numbers of passengers, but continue to flaunt bad service, bad airline attitudes toward passengers and stupid fare rules. Southwest isn't perfect, but they do show some understanding of what the customer wants and deserves. Ticket buyers who cannot take a particular flight do not deserve to have their investment destroyed just because the airlines say "that's our rule."

No common sense prevails in the airline business. The airlines as a whole go out of their way to offend passengers with ridiculous fees and less and less service. It used to be an enjoyable way to travel, but now, that's not the case very often.

Maybe if the airlines cleaned house, new management, new board of directors and tried real hard to create a nice experience on the part of their customers, they might be surprised at the result.

Tom Perryman
Louisville, KY

R.O.A.R.:  Fuel prices are not to blame
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