The Wall Street-ization of Everything: Airline Edition

Tim Wu at the New Yorker:

This fall, JetBlue airline finally threw in the towel. For years, the company was among the last holdouts in the face of an industry trend toward smaller seats, higher fees, and other forms of unpleasantness. JetBlue distinguished itself by providing decent, fee-free service for everyone, an approach that seemed to be working: passengers liked the airline, and it made a consistent profit. Wall Street analysts, however, accused JetBlue of being “overly brand-conscious and customer-focussed.” In November, the airline, under new management, announced that it would follow United, Delta, and the other major carriers by cramming more seats into economy, shrinking leg room, and charging a range of new fees for things like bags and WiFi.

I’m not against the airlines being more profitable. Just wish there were a way for that to happen without the flight sucking more. I’ll pay more for my bag if that’s what Wall Street demands of JetBlue – just please don’t shrink my legroom!

Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer (New Yorker)

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