So after the recent debacles with United and American, the government is getting heavy. Finally, we are seeing the government recognizing that consolidation is creating an arrogance in service and in amenities. After deregulation in 1978, industry charges like baggage fees and bumping passengers have been pretty much left to the airlines. And 80% of USA domestic business is now in the frightening hands of four airlines. Power to the few and less power to the consumer.
Airlines claim that overbooking helps keep fares low and provides less risk so more choice for consumers. Understood, but you have to be nice too! Honestly, whoever comes off a plane and says that they had a fab and fun experience? Now United are going to have to put their money where their mouth is. Dragging a guy down the aisle sounds like a bad wedding arrangement. It nearly cost them their business. CEO Munoz stated that he is committed to making things better and now overbooking as a policy is going to be phased out. Southwest, the darling of consumers, actually has the highest overbooking of any airline. They were just smarter and nicer about it.
We all get that overbooking creates more flexibility for airlines and lots take advantage of the compensation. It doesn’t take much but being nice and being smart makes the difference. Having a positive attitude and being customer friendly is key. That’s all we ask for. We are not cattle.