|Quoting Lemurs (Reply 4):|
Wait, are you sure about that? I'm pretty sure I read in another thread somewhere that AA was single-handedly responsible for everything bad in the airline industry. Yeah sure
Well, some airlines think that the Frequent Flyer program is a bad thing.
My understanding is that early in the deregulation era Robert "Fang" Crandall was looking for ways to keep business fliers, who were used to half empty planes with seats that were much larger than today, on flights that were full, sandwiched in between tourists and other discount ticket holders. One of his executives (I forgot his name) came up with the idea and Crandall apparently wrote "good" or something like that on the memo. Fang also pushed hard to computerize the reservation system, which helped to make having a frequent flyer program possible.
Of course, Crandall's problem was that he was so tough and aggressive he undermined himself in his number 1 goal: to surpass United as the largest airline in the world. When PanAm was crumbling and needed to sell of its prized routes, they were not even offered to American because they were afraid Fang would outmaneuver them in negotiations, so they sold them to the more collegial Dick Ferris at UA
. Obviously AA
did eventually surpass UA
, but only after Crandall's departure.