Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where are you Going?

I find the airline industry fascinating. Perhaps of the many things that fascinate me in this business is that at all times of the day, there are is a subset of several people in one location who want/need to go to every other location in the world. Right now it is Wednesday at 8:40 pm PST and I am sitting in the San Francisco Airport waiting for my 9:40 flight back to Detroit (unfortunately I will not be able to post this until I am back in Royal Oak with an internet connection. Seriously, what is up with that? The airport is 20 minutes from the most technologically based center in the world and they charge you for airport internet access. That makes no sense). This flight does not get back home until 5:00 am, at which point I need to groggily drive back to my home to grab a few hours of sleep. This isn’t the most pleasant time to fly, and I always get so hungry on red-eyes that I want to eat my arm. Despite these facts, this flight is absolutely, totally , completely full. How can that be?

I absolutely love Michigan and it is the place that I want to be, but I can think of no possible reason that this many people have a reason to take an overnight flight from San Francisco to Detroit. I imagine some of them have connecting flights out of DTW, some of them are on business (though probably not many – Wednesday night is a pretty light business travel night), and some of them live in Michigan, but it’s hard for me to imagine that the combination of these three things amounts to a completely full airplane. It’s an enigma to which I will likely never know the answer, and the next random night I’m flying from California to Detroit, I bet you that plane will be completely full as well. I don’t claim to fully understand the business model, but with all of the newer flying fees (I had to pay $50 extra for something called an “ego accommodation fee”) and full airplanes, is it even possible for the airline business to make a profit?


el Presidente said...

It is not possible for Spirit Airlines to profit off of me. After analyzing their fee structure, I have vowed never to fly Spirit for more than $19 round trip. They charge a fee for seat selection!

Stephanie said...

Ego Accommodation Fee? Clever :) Hope you expensed that.

Ken said...

Thanks Stephanie. I like everything that I write, but there are a few times where I think I've actually added something creative. This is one of those times, and it's nice to know that it's appreciated.