Airlines Pledge to Continue Gouging Customers

TEXAS—At their annual meeting in Big Bucks Bay, Bahamas, airline executives promised that cheaper jet fuel would not lead to lower prices. Instead, they vowed to follow a long airline tradition and raise prices while lowering their services.

After years of poor-mouthing, airlines merged, drove out competition and are now able to set prices with little thought to competition or regulation.

“We rule the skies,” said Joe Butspark, CEO of Gouge Airlines. “We have no competition. What are people going to do, take the bus?”

As Butspark addressed his fellow CEOs, they sipped $8000 champagne, gorged on caviar and steak, and congratulated each other on their bottom lines. A feeling of exuberance rose with the expectation of profits of more than $200 billion in the coming year.

The profits made from fuel savings will be distributed to stockholders so that the top 1% can continue to benefit from a poor economy. When asked if they expected a backlash, airlines executives remained confident that the public would go along with anything they demand.

At the same time, many airlines admitted that they are in a constant struggle to come up with innovative ways to get more money out of passengers. New methods this year include plans to increase luggage fares, cut wages, and charge for safety checks. By charging for safety checks just before the plane leaves the ground, the airlines expect to raise billions.

“What flyer in their right mind wants to fly on an unsafe plane?” asked Alpha Airlines CEO Roger Rabbit. “From the time they get on a plane, we have a captive audience. When we tell them this is the only safety check of the plane, passengers cannot refuse a fee before take off.”

A new advertising campaign will focus on new customer retention programs, mostly involving cosmetic changes to make customers feel better. For example, Rip-Em Airlines is introducing a new motto; “We enjoy taking you for a ride!” SouthBySouth Airlines also has a new motto, “Nobody Charges More,” and Alien Airlines is changing its motto to, “Nobody Loves Your Money More than Us.”

Several airlines are particularly concerned about public relations due to a letter sent last year offering 50% fare cuts to businessmen’s wives if they travel with their husbands on an upcoming business trip. Angry wives deluged the airlines with calls asking, “What trip?”

The airlines hope to cut fees sometime in the future, but in the meantime, passengers continue to claw their way on board no matter how many obstacles are put in their path.

“One of the biggest reasons why airlines continue to gouge customers is because we can,” said A. Neander Thaw, CEO of Top Notch Airlines.

Don Monkerud is an California-based writer who follows cultural, social and political issues. He can be reached at: monkerud@cruzio.com. Copyright © 2015 Read other articles by Don.