If there’s one thing that pretty much everyone agrees on it’s that flying these days sucks.
The litany of complaints about how horrible and degrading it is to fly is unending, as is the nostalgia for the days when flying was a classy and elegant way to travel.
But it’s time for everyone who whines about how lousy flying is to at least acknowledge one thing:
The reason flying is the way it is is because that’s exactly what today’s fliers want.
Specifically, fliers want:
- Safe, rapid travel between two cities
- The lowest possible price
Oh, sure, people who fly won’t say that they’re getting what they want — because then they would reveal themselves to be cheap bastards who care mostly about price.
But price is exactly what they care about most.
How do we know that?
Because, again and again, fliers choose their airlines based primarily on one selection criterion:
Don’t believe it?
Think that an airline that differentiated itself based on service and quality of experience would immediately distance itself from the pack?
Airlines that spend more to set themselves apart based on service often do worse than airlines that focus on price. In fact, they often go bust.
Virgin Atlantic, for example, is going through a very rough time financially, even though it goes to great lengths to try to set itself apart.
If fliers really wanted what Virgin was selling, Virgin would be in excellent financial health.
But they don’t.
They want the lowest possible price.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting the lowest-possible price. Walmart has built an excellent global business based on that value proposition.
But you don’t hear Walmart customers whining about how they’re not getting Nordstrom-level service.
The level of whining about today’s Walmart-style flying experience, meanwhile, is so deafening that it almost drowns out the jet engine noise.
Time to quit whining, fliers.
If you want better service, pay up for it.
Otherwise, enjoy your extremely cheap trip and shut up about the flying experience.
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