Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mr. Steenland, You Want Me To Do What?

Doug Steenland is the CEO of Northwest Airlines. I received an email recently from NWA, asking for my help. I laughed so hard that I peed my pants. Here is my response:

Dear Mr. Steenland,

I am writing in response to an email you sent to me on behalf of your fellow airlines, asking me, one of your customers, to assist in your quest to have Congress act on your behalf to combat what you claim to be rampant speculation in the oil markets and help keep your costs down. You played to my feelings by suggesting that if nothing is done to curb energy prices, dire consequences are in store and that we must all band together in this time of need.

Are you fracking kidding me? YOU want ME to weigh in on YOUR behalf?

Ok, Mr. Steenland, let's make a deal. Before I do anything for you, you must agree to do some things for me. After all, I AM one of your customers.

You will remove hidden fees from your business model. If oil is high, just price your airfares to reflect that. Don't try to use services as a profit center. Fifteen dollars for the first bag, $250 dollars for rebooking. Some service. How do I know that you're not going to start charging me for the ability to change my seat assignment? You already charge extra for certain select seats. You know what this practice reminds me of? Yes, your attempt to have Congress make money for you by rigging the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Airspace System, even if it threatened to drive the General Aviation industry to extinction. You wanted to set up a controlling board, away from congressional oversight, that would impose fees at will on the general aviation industry for the use of airspace. Good thing we caught you on that, because it's clear this is where you would have headed with it.

Next, you will fly your schedule on schedule. Quit trying to put more than one plane on the same spot on the runway at the same time and hoping the weather cooperates. Maybe then you'll get your planes to their destination more than the current on-time rate of around 75%. You might save some fuel and make your CUSTOMERS a little happier.

Oh, I almost forgot. How about getting my luggage to my destination when I arrive? In the last year, I've taken roughly 100 trips, and my bag did not make the plane 3 times. That is completely unacceptable. So get my bag there, and you'll save some money on couriers and even save some gas in the process. Fancy that.

Mr. Steenland, you and your cohort have miles and miles to go before you convince me that this latest ploy was little more than a cynical attempt to play upon our emotions for your gain. You have shown no inclination over the last decade to do anything for your customer except demonstrate that you could not care less about us. I have my own interests to look after with the high cost of oil, but I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to go to Congress to help you out.

I hope this letter finds you in good health.


Richard Fraser
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2 astute observations :

  1. Anonymous said...

    This one cracks me up!

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