Friday, June 27, 2008

Here's Your Free Ticket ... 50 Bucks Please

We have commenced upon another slippery slope.

Delta said it will ding customers $25 for frequent flier award tickets in North America and $50 for international award tickets starting Aug. 15. Delta calls it a "fuel surcharge."

Here's Delta's press release announcing the new charges for formerly free tickets. Note that it is headlined "Delta Continues to Adjust to Unprecedented Fuel Costs with Addition of Fuel Surcharge on SkyMiles Award Ticket Travel."

On June 12, US Airways made a similar announcement about charging $50 ($100 internationally) for award tickets.

The headline on its press release was: "US Airways Accelerates Business Model Transformation."

Hmmmm. "Continues to Adjust...with Addition" ... "Accelerates Business Model..." All these forward-sounding words!

Let me ask a question: Who the hell do these airlines think they're kidding? Why do they find it impossible to simply come out and say what they're doing in a straightforward manner?

I can't tell you the number of business travelers I have heard from lately who say: I wish the airlines would cut the crap, raise their fares to whatever it takes to stay in business, and stop nickel-and-diming us and insulting our intelligence. The leisure travel market is about to shrink substantially, and it's probably a really, really bad time to keep pissing off business travelers.

Hey airlines: Continue to adjust. To this.


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