Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
No, not just for reading this column.
You’ve done far, far worse.
You’ve been whining and whining about how air travel has changed and if you don’t shut up, you’re going to be sent to your rooms and grounded.
No, these aren’t my personal views.
They are, though, the views of more than one person in charge of airlines.
Not so long ago, United Airlines president Scott Kirby offered the view that flyers simply don’t want to pay enough to deserve even a modicum of comfort.
But now here comes Bill Franke to offer his sage parental advice.
Franke has a private equity firm called Indigo Partners. It invests in several budget airlines, such as Frontier, Spirit and SqueezeYouToDeath.
I’m sorry, that last one doesn’t exist. Yet.
Yesterday, he announced that his company is buying 430 Airbus planes to help his budget investments grow.
He also directed his scorn at American passengers who, in his eyes, just don’t get budget air travel.
As CNBC reports, Franke said: “The consumer is essentially like your teenage spoiled brat. They had been flying with all the amenities for ever and ever and that’s what they think they ought to get.”
Oddly enough, Economy Class humans — for he’s surely referring to them, not to the fine people in Business — didn’t think of those things as “amenities.”
They thought of them as akin to the knives and forks you get to eat your restaurant food with.
Checking your bags for free was surely no different to the restaurant hanging your coat up on its rack for free.
And having at least enough space to place your knees in front of you seemed so basic as to not even need explaining. Yet now even the courts are concerned that the space-squeezing has gone too far.
So what changed? Why, the money men moved in.
They realized that because more than 80 percent of airline seats are in the hands of just four airline groups, and because US regulations don’t exactly favor competition, they could nickel-and-dime passengers until those passengers could breathe no more.
The money men don’t care about customer service. They don’t care about comfort.
They care about money. After all, it’s not as if too many of them fly Economy, is it?
So, dear U.S. Economy Class flyer, stop your sexting, do some homework and quit being so entitled.
Be grateful that the airlines give you a seat and, at least on some airlines, a free glass of water.
And if you don’t behave, the next time you fly from, say, Phoenix to JFK, the airline will make you stand.