Reflections: What's up with the airlines?

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By Thomas W. Ivines

Just this week three airlines filed bankruptcy. The airline industry is failing miserably it seems. They say it is because of competition and fuel prices. I say it's from mismanagement.

And too, it seems like everyone gets left holding the bag when the airlines bail out - except for the executives. They leave with their pockets full. What does that tell you?

Well yes, fuel is expensive and the competition is fierce, but if you are going to run any business you have to manage it well. Managing a business means seeing that a profit is made. Not simply executives profiting at the expense of the businesses.

Companies that do well do well because their customers are happy. They treat people right and that's what keeps people coming back.

Of course, there is more to running a business than keeping the customers happy. The employees have to be happy, too. Happy employees make for a better relationship with customers, and it all works hand in hand.

Here lately the airlines have been plagued with delays and unfriendly, impartial treatment to their customers. Most fliers are already chagrinned waiting in the long security lines just to get to the terminal where they wait some more. It's no wonder so many airlines are failing.

No matter what kind of business you are running, it has to sell a product whether that product is a service or a commodity. In our democratic society people have the freedom of choice to choose whatever and whoever's service they want, and they exercise that right regularly. They spend their money with the businesses that make them happy, including the airlines of their choice

Now I'm not sure where all this will end, though I do not think the three airlines that just went under will be the last. There will be more soon if they do not change their ways.

Flying is not just a way to get somewhere for Americans. It is time spent away from home, away from the comforts they are accustomed to. Only when the airlines offer the comfort and respect their customers come to expect, will they ever be truly successful.

So, with the aforementioned, which do you suppose will be the next airlines to go under?