Well this guy is just too far out there to not send him a letter. Here's a CC
of an email I sent to him rather than post on his message board...
Having just today found your commentary on flying LCCs versus Legacy Carriers, I truly can't believe you claim to be an expert of Air travel. The only point you made that is dead-on correct to any educated and/or informed individual is the union-labor issues.
The LCC (Low Cost Carriers) not Low-budget carriers (Low budget defined is the quality of your commentary) are the single reason we aren't paying more than double the cost of air travel we pay now. You're correct that SW
and Jetblue aren't always the cheapest ticket, but they ARE always the most consistently cheap. They have brought a new level of efficiency and cost control to an industry mired in bad business decisions and worse cash management. The Legacy carriers have always merely passed those ever-higher costs of doing business to the customer rather than disciplining themselves and reasonably holding themselves accountable to those that really own these companies; the stockholders. Today, they're held accountable in the marketplace, today everyone's watching, the world is smaller, information is easy to come by, and there's no more place for these kinds of management teams to hide.
Sure the LLCs expand to markets that they perceive will be the most profitable to them. That's a good business decision. All this whining about route losses like Des Moines (which in principal I disagree with the probability that they're really all that unprofitable) just enforces my point. Corporations aren't in business to waste millions on unlicensed charity. If the routes are unprofitable, usually due to frequency issues or aircraft size in excess of market demands, then they should be shut down and the resources moved into markets that are profitable. Period, end of story, it's about business not Grandma. Whining about such issues is like intentionally slamming your own head in a car door every single day and complaining to anyone that will listen that the scars won't heal.
I fly them all but I enjoy Southwest the most not because they're cheaper, they're not always, however their frequent flyer program is the simplest, the employees are the friendliest, they're consistently on-time and reliable. You never hear of a deferred maintenance issue with them as they are meticulous in maintenance and safety. It boils down to the end product and with all the points factored in, they're a wonderful experience practically every time. Delta mostly has been as well. American too. United, not so much in my personal experience.
True, the Legacy carriers have blazed the early history of air travel, but, just as pilots no longer barn-storm on Sundays, the marketplace is evolving and some day soon we will have a domestic market and an International market and the service will be distinctly different, you already see that for the most part, it's just not yet clearly defined. The last time I flew American on a 2.5 hour flight, all I "got" was peanuts and Diet Coke. Pretty much the same as I get on Southwest. And you know what Joel? That's ok, I'll have meals before I board the aircraft or after I land because with the ticket prices now in 'under control', the meal on the ground, in effect, is a hell of a lot less expensive than it used to be at thirty-thousand feet and typically a better quality.
People should "fly" whatever they feel is safe and affordable for them. Our only REAL issue here is the evolution of air travel and believe me, I'm certain we're seeing just the beginning, but, it's getting better all the time, the strong will survive and those that resist the change in the marketplace will founder, just as it does on all levels of all business since the beginning of time.