Stupid Business

As a person who is responsible for creating systems and processes for an organization, I try to be gracious with other companies and organizations when they aren’t getting it quite right.  But after my experience with US Airways last week and then hearing other similar stories I couldn’t help but share what I believe to just be a stupid business decision.

Decision: US Airways begins charging $20 per checked bag on all flights

Customer Response: Everyone opts to carry-on their luggage rather than checking their bags

Result: So many carry-on bags equals not enough overhead bin space.  As a result some bags have to be checked anyway

Problem #1: Frustration; travelers who are trying to be frugal and efficient are now forced to check their bags anyway

Problem #2: Checking bags plane-side is not efficient, paperwork is sketchy and bags get losted

Result: US Airways now has to pay a courier service to deliver last bags to frustrated customers.

I’m pretty sure that the cost of courier delivery, not to mention loss of customer loyalty, is more than the $20 they were trying to make by charging for checked bags.  Seems like a lose-lose to me.  That’s stupid business!

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  • fullofboys October 6, 2008  

    Oh – I completely agree! I can remember when the first surcharges for bags came (I worked in the travel industry)…I thought that was bad. Now this…it is crazy! I bet you anything they will retract this new rule in the near future!

  • blair farley October 6, 2008  

    could not agree with you more! i truly dislike the current a la carte pricing method of air travel… you pay a base rate for your ticket, then add in taxes, surcharges, fuel charges, government fees etc. now you can select to purchase a meal or snack, a movie, headphones, blanket or pillow. luggage? extra charge as well. I wish that as a business they would just charge me what it costs to get from here to there. it would be like going into a restaurant and being required to pay extra to have my food served on a plate, or I could pay for the use of fork, spoon and knife individually based on my needs. crazy.

  • nathaliewithanh October 6, 2008  

    They may as well bill $20 as part as their fare. It would be less aggravating than having to pay extra at the airport.
    I think that having to pay for checking in luggage is less infuriating than having to pay for a blanket in the plane when the cabin temperature is kept too low.

  • lisa gardiner October 6, 2008  

    Did you send your blog to them ? You should….

  • Cindy Beall October 6, 2008  

    You are a smart, smart woman.

    I agree with your conclusion 🙂

  • October 6, 2008  

    This reminds me of a great Seth Godin blog post. COMPLETELY AGREE!

  • Christina Schmidt October 6, 2008  

    The airlines LOVE to charge you every which way they can because of fuel and what not. Working for Priceline, you end up having to hear people blame you for whatever the airlines are charging for, like, if you have a flight, whether it be domestic/international, it’s 100/200 to just make a change, that’s not including the fare increases, if there are any! The airlines are such a mess right now, there’s no telling where they’re headed down the road, but just to fly from Nashville to Detroit has increased over $100 since last Thanksgiving, when I last flew!!!! And you know the customer service there has to be on a downslide too, people not getting the raises they deserve, or are stressed about losing their jobs, so I just try to avoid the whole experience

  • tam October 6, 2008  

    i cant figure why, when i went to kansas last month, i didnt have to pay for my checked baggage going out. but coming home, on the same airline, i did.