Posts tagged ‘Business travel’

Airlines ‘Should Charge Fat Passengers More’

CarryingOn didn’t say it, so hold off on the protests for any political correctness infractions, but in case you didn’t see it, this was reported today in the Sky News  http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/airlines-charge-fat-passengers-more-014228613.html

Seemed a Dr. Bharat P Bhatta, writing in this month’s Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, suggested it, and offered one of three formats for its deployment:

  • Fare according to weight
  • Base fare plus/minus an extra charge for heavier passengers
  • Same fare if the passenger has an average weight, but discounted/extra fare for low/excess weight below/above a certain limit. This option results in three types of fares: high fares, average fares and low fares.

After reading the article, my mind was racing with blog post possibilities.  But in this day of political correctness I was hesitant to tackle such a heavy topic.  Some confidents warned, “Don’t chance it man, you must ignore the temptation to weigh in”, but throwing caution to the wind I replied “fat chance of that happening, I must engage”.      

In my opinion, this one is a no brainer.

Aircraft fuel consumption is based in large part on the weight an airplane carries.  The more weight the more fuel, ergo the more cost for the airline.  So the rules of economics should hold here.   You bring more weight you pay more and in fact, the airlines have already starting doing this with their checked bags policies, and now it’s time to get to the people. 

But beyond the economics which are pretty easy to defend, there are other more personal reasons. 

C’mon you know what I’m talking about, you’re just afraid to say it.  How depressed do you get when you make you way to your seat and see a seat mate of size (was that the best PC way to say what I just said?).

fatty arbuckle

The guy has put the arm rest up and given he is already encroaching halfway onto your real estate, there isn’t much you can do about it but slink your way in.  It’s impossible to avoid contact, and after not too long you notice that the guy’s body seems to be throwing off the heat of a blast furnace, and you actually start to perspire three minutes into a four hour trip. 

And that’s if you have an aisle and he has the middle, or heaven forbid you have the middle.  What if you have the window and this guy is next to you and falls asleep?   You’re now forced to refuse all requests to hydrate for fear you will have to climb mount fatso to get to the lav for some relief.  Who among you can concentrate on email or your March Madness Picks when you’re thinking “I could be developing an embolism in my leg due to the lack of movement and fluids”.   Now I ask you, is that any way to fly?   No, of course it’s not and it’s time to take a stand!   I say the airlines put a seat with two armrests right next to that thing that measures the size of your carry-on bag.Carry-On-WALKINBAG

If Fatty Arbuckle can’t fit in the seat, he pays for two seats.   Charge the guy a few extra bucks he might call Jenny Craig, and who knows maybe this becomes another way to deal with the obesity problem everyone claims we have here in America beyond another season of The Biggest Loser.   

But this might make too much sense and will surely offend some, so I’m guessing this idea is destined to crash before takeoff.

March 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

To shut off or not to shut off, that is the question…

As a follow-up to our last post, looks like the FAA is going to take the lead on updating the rules with respect to the use of electronic devices in-flight.

Being as thorough as they are, they plan to bring together manufacturers, consumer electronic associations, aircraft and avionic manufacturers, airlines, pilots, flight attendants and passengers, but, and this is a BIG but, they have yet to secure funding for the project. 

CarryingOn therefore expects we’ll get a definitive ruling at some point in 2018, or a full year after Mariano Rivera is enshrined unanimously on the first ballot to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Actually, I’m thinking Mo will be introducing Derek Jeter to the Hall in 2019 before you’ll know for sure if you can turn on your iPad and watch the induction ceremony from 35,000 feet.

March 21, 2012 at 7:09 am 5 comments

The Daly Grind New Year’s Resolutions

by Mike

Mike Daly here.  You may note that I’m curiously absent from the 2012 Carrying On suitcase.  But I’m not going to let that stop me from blogging periodically with Tony D. Besides, there wasn’t room for both our baggage on this blog.

Last year, Tony and I put together a highly demanding list of New Year’s Resolutions. I can’t carry on from here before I circle back with my own resolutions for 2012. I never made a resolution I didn’t break — including all 14 of last year’s.  So I’m cutting back this year to 10.

  1. I pledge to keep my White Dinner Jackets clean, so I’m ready for all my travel conference receptions and all weekend soirées in the Hamptons.
  2. I will wear the same suit (white or not) 2-3 times each trip to avoid checking a bag.
  3. I will eat more salad, and will start by asking for extra lettuce on my Big Mac.
  4. On a related note, I will limit serving fast food to my family to just twelve meals a week. Unless the McRib comes back.  Then, twenty four meals per week.
  5. I’m going to finally confirm through lab testing that the only difference between the face bar and a bath bar in the hotel is the size and shape of the soap.
  6. I’m going to re-grip my golf ball retriever. Or I’m going be patient when lining up my fifth putt.
  7. I will stop sending emails to my wife when we are in the same room.
  8. I will stop tagging pictures of myself in pictures on Facebook even when I’m not in them.
  9. I won’t SPAM anyone this year.  I take that back.  I love SPAM.  I grew up eating the stuff.
  10. Now that I don’t report to Tony anymore, I will go back to calling him “Old-Timer” again.

We’ll be sending Tony off in style by way of a Bowling tourney.  I’m sure you’ll hear directly from him about that.  And as we charge ahead in to 2012, you can continue to hear my point of view (about such topics as building customer loyalty in the travel space, and the convergence of offers and online travel booking) on Rearden Commerce’s Deem Blog. And let’s connect on Twitter — my new handle is @drmstck.

Wishing you all a happy New Year!

January 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Tony D. is The King of Logic

by Mike

Tony D. first redefined “logical” when he recycled old newspapers by reselling them at the local junkyard. Today, TheBeat.Travel features TD’s latest challenge of all things logical. “Travel managers are missing the mark!,” he shouts, insisting that the definition of “Lowest Logical Airfare” must change forever. Today’s travel managers must expand their definition of “logical” beyond price, scheduling and corporate discounts — to benefit both business travelers and their organizations. Let’s be real: companies that keep their road warriors happy with in-flight wi-fi and priority boarding have more productive business travelers, at minimal incremental cost. Read more here, then please answer for us: what is the most logical way to help your business travelers succeed? And if I may quote Tony: “Soldier On, Travelers.”

November 29, 2011 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

Keep It In Check, Travelers

by Becky

I’ve been following Joe Brancatelli for some time now.  Though he sits in business class (seat 2B) while I am back in coach (almost always in 6B) — we agree on many things.  His post this week for Portfolio.com gives attitude adjustment advice for business travelers, to ensure a smooth road warrior experience. Like I always say, “Go Zen, be prepared and save the arguments for later.”  Safe travels!

October 27, 2011 at 6:54 am Leave a comment

In-Flight Diva Antics: A Traveler’s Rant

by Tony

OK, not sure if you all read the article about Whitney Houston going Diva on a Delta flight, but it caught my attention as silly things like this do. I guess she didn’t want to buckle up, which I found to be a rather strange Diva action. We’ve all been on flights where we’ve see normal people go a little Diva.  It can be little things like the guy who wants his coat hung immediately because he can’t bear to hold it for another second, the guy who refuses to share the armrest, or the Entitled boarding line crasher, who had me fired up on my recent cross-country journey.   Or how about my favorite… the dude who refuses to pull his pants up to a respectable level, and who just happens to be traveling with the girlfriend whose skirt looks more like a belt (and yes, I will admit had she been traveling alone she would not have made this list :).

They say Whitney’s sober, so maybe her Buckle Rebellion is how she gets her “living on the edge” thrills these days.  Speaking of living on the edge, our old flight attendant friend Steven Slater just burst back onto the scene.  He was sentenced to one year of probation for his Diva-like “spectacular exit” down the emergency chute, beer-in-hand, before “scampering home.” Slater became a national sensation for his behavior and a hero to downtrodden workers everywhere who have fantasized about quitting in a blaze of uhhh… glory.

What’s next?  Pilots who fall asleep?  Air traffic controllers who watch movies instead of planes? Oh right, those have already happened. I mean, come on people, let’s just get it together. Passengers, quiet down, buckle up and put on some pants.  Flight attendants, pilots and controllers, keep your eye on the ball and make sure we get where we’re going without too much drama.

I’m headed to San Antonio next week to give what I hope will be an inspiring talk on technology at the CTD Conference.   A flight attendant from the Miracle on the Hudson is keynoting at the same event, and it made me think “If that crew could keep its head on straight, can’t the rest of us?”

October 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm 2 comments

Good news for the miles junkies out there…

by Tony

As an admitted collector of miles (or points depending on the program), I read with interest a recent article by Randy Petersen, the Publisher of Inside Flyer magazine. Titled “Web tools for frequent flyers,” it described how venture capital is funding start-up companies whose value propositions are all about making you a more intelligent frequent flyer. Not only will the tools keep track of how many miles you have, but they will also help you determine which bonus offers are best for you, which offer delivers the best bang for the buck, and how you should plan your award usage over the years ahead.

Now, as I fly to Vegas for The Beat.Live conference, I’m reminded that I’m more a collector of miles at this point than a redeemer. And that’s not because I’m trying to get on A&E’s Hoarders (which, if you haven’t seen, is worth a look just for the shock value). Rather, my redemption tends to lag because I either don’t make the time to use my miles or I have trouble redeeming when I do want to fly for fun. Although I have to say, my daughters have discovered this new form of “free” currency and have made a nice dent in my stockpile as they jet back and forth to school or wherever, and they don’t seem to appreciate how hard I work to earn this stuff.

I’m not sure where you come out on this one, but a tool that shows me how to collect more miles and helps me use them better would be very cool. And it sounds like some people agree, including some VCs who are usually wary by nature (I’m guessing their inner “miles junkie” kicked in when they funded these start-ups). Anyway, look for a few of these to hit the radar including; MileageManager.com, UsingMiles.com, MileWise.com, and Superfly.com, because I’m guessing the frequent flyers in your travel program have already noticed.

As to why I bring it up, our industry has debated the pros and cons of frequent flyer points and their impact on a managed travel program for years, and these new entrants might prove a boon or an irritant, depending on your perspective.   Whatever you think (and maybe you didn’t think), at Carrying On we take seriously our pledge to keep you informed (and thinking), so consider yourself warned. Because I’m guessing this will grab the attention of some of your most frequent travelers who might now have a new inventory management tool of their own.

As for me, I’m all for it.  I’m not sure how these new companies plan to make money, but if they charge a small fee for their services, I figure I can use my credit card and collect some more points.

September 19, 2011 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

The Best Things About Business Travel: Showing Them the World

by Becky

I’ve been tweeting since last week about the 30 things I love most about business travel (#30things), and just today I got to #14: “We help people see the world.”

When she was head of Carlson Companies, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, one of my personal heroes, frequently referred to this as one of the more important roles business travel plays in the world, and it always inspired me. Just think: Because of our industry, professionals young and old are seeing Singapore and Beijing, Dubai and Mumbai, Minneapolis and San Francisco, Cairo and Rio de Janeiro.  With each of those trips, cultures are shared, minds are expanded, perspectives are broadened, stereotypes are challenged, and the world gets a little bit smaller.

After traveling to Denver for GBTA, I got to see a new part of the world myself, when, as promised in my last post, I hiked with friends to the top of our fifth 14,000-foot peak in the Colorado Rockies, Mount Quandary outside of Breckenridge. A wonderful added bonus was getting to see Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, and Elia Viviana sprint to the finish line in stage 5 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Breckinridge the next day. The world looked pretty amazing at 14,265 feet and at that finish line.

But then, the world has also looked amazing to me from a yurt in the Hong Kong harbor, from the banks of the Seine in Paris, from Queen Street in Toronto, from a pink-sand beach in Bermuda, from a balcony in New Orleans…. All places I have stood for the first time thanks to business travel.

Where has business travel taken you for the first time? Let’s keep the inspiration going!

August 30, 2011 at 11:44 am 1 comment

Tony D went to Oxford?

By Mike

His Sean Connery impersonation causes Sean Connery to believe he is hearing voices. He bowls a 220 with the grace of a soaring eagle and the panache of Liberace. No…he did not attend Oxford, but he did quote an Oxford Economics study in his latest contribution to Forbes. In my mind, Tony D. is The Most Interesting Man in the world.

Whether you are a CFO, a corporate travel manager, or just an old school road warrior, I highly recommend you checkout Tony’s latest Forbes article, Road Trip! The Case For Business Travel Despite Gas Price Spike. Once you’ve checked that one out, be sure to take a look at some other Carrying On postings that address this topic, the ROI of travel: May your travel lead to profits and The ROI of “comfortable” business travel. Just ask Dan Quayle.

Click here to join Carrying On Compadres, our LinkedIn group.

May 20, 2011 at 9:18 am Leave a comment


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