“How do you become a millionaire? Make a billion dollars and then buy an airline.” — Warren Buffett
American Airlines emerged from bankruptcy and merged with, well, actually into, US Airways.
And now, American has announced to its frequent fliers (like me) that it’s “creating a consistent experience when traveling in First Class on American and US Airways” by “adjusting the times we serve meals and improving product offerings.”
Gee, thanks for the favor.
What they really did is cut out meals on most domestic flights under 2 hours and 46 minutes in duration. But not to worry, they’ll pass out snack boxes.
Why do anything so stupid?
In an article on Bloomberg.com, Casey Norton, an American Airlines spokesman said that “we looked at what the customers wanted, and found a good number of customers didn’t want a full meal on a flight less than 2 hours.”
Ah, but 2 hours became 2 hours 45 minutes, and if you’re not hungry, don’t eat.
So what’s the lesson: Remember that you’re in business, I’m in business, and American Airlines is in business to get and serve customers. Do things that make sense for your customers and tell them all about it. Don’t do things for yourself and then tell your customers that you’ve done it for them (as opposed to them). Especially when, like American Airlines, you are doing it to your best customers.