Delta Airlines and a Policy of Petty Theft

You know I’ve been flying for more than 40 years now. I hold frequent flier miles with NW Airlines and with Delta Airlines. Oh, and now that they’re one big company, those frequent air miles have been consolidated.

The travel experience is not what it used to be. Back in the day the airlines actually pandered to the traveler trying very hard to anticipate and cater to every need. They gave you drinks, they gave you meals, and your luggage was a part of the travel deal. Frankly the seats used to be bigger. It is a terrible circumstance that these days as my butt is getting bigger the seats are getting smaller.

All of the good stuff is really gone. The traveler is pretty much treated like an assembly line widget. The real difficulty with Delta Airlines today is that it doesn’t have a “Don’t Be Evil” point-of-view in shaping its consumer policy. The Bean Counters have taken over. And you know what that means… if the traveler is the greatest source of expense… they’ll cut expenses by getting fewer travelers.

I was surprised on this trip by a $15 charge for my checked bag; and of course I have to pay another $15 charge on the trip back home. And you can’t really say “Oh screw this…” because you’re at the airport standing against their kiosk check-in machine with your bags packed and you’re due to get there today.

Here’s the deal guys, why pretend that your ticket prices is $Nn when it’s a complete lie?

I stopped flying Northwest Airlines more than a year ago because they adopted the pay for checked bag policy. In real terms this caused most travelers to not check their bags and instead try to take them onto the airplane. This led to a terrible overhead and under-seat storage problem on the inside. Stewards were harried and overworked. Guys were getting in fistfights at the back of the plane. People were screaming at the stewards. It led to a terrible travel atmosphere.

This makes Southwest Airlines look very attractive. While I don’t like the cattle-car mentality of flying with Southwest I do like the lower ticket prices and the fact that they aren’t going to nickel and dime the traveler to death.

What I like even more is the prospect for driving where I have to go. I’m seriously considering getting me a travel trailer with the idea that I’ll drive anywhere that I can get to in two days. Delta, which used to be the best airlines in the sky for flying your dog (obviously of great interest to a dog guy like me) has assumed the overpriced “handling” fees of Northwest Airlines; and so I will not be flying dogs with them anymore. What neither Northwest nor Delta realized in the dog pricing policies is that it was their ability to fly dogs in the first place that made them attractive carriers for the hundreds of thousands of dog sports enthusiasts in this country, even when we weren’t flying with our dogs. I’m fairly sure that most dog sports enthusiasts in this country, like me, are saying “Oh screw this!”

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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