Anyone who travels today knows how bad they are treated by US Airlines. They all have a cattle car mentality and they are often ranked last in terms of customer service. To them it’s about squeezing every last dollar out of every seat while most travelers seem powerless to do anything about it.
If you read about the experience of flying airlines like Luftansa or Emirates it’s hard not to be jealous. They have invested a lot of money in the “brand experience” while airlines like Delta and American continue to shit on their best customers.
With fuel prices at an all time low the airlines are making boat loads of cash and in turn they reward flyers with smaller seats and no leg room. Business travelers have become used to the experience, but because of selling out flights there isn’t much they can do but on the horizon looms competition.
Carriers, based outside the US see an opportunity to come in and scoop up frustrated passengers by providing a great brand experience from boarding to departure and a lot of passengers are willing to pay the extra money to be treated like “people”. Of course the airlines here are doing everything they can to block new entrants into the US market, but consumers are angry and that anger could manifest itself into changes.
In the end competition changes a lot. Just look what Microsoft and Google are doing to Apple right now. Apple has become the mass market cash cow, but they are not innovators anymore.If other airlines appear in the US market and start raising the bar for customer service flyers will flock to them like ants going to sugar. Until then the airlines will continue to treat us all like cattle and get awards for providing basic services that we all once took for granted.