The Traditional Airline Business Model is Dead

Sep 21, 2011

The Airline Business Model is Dead, by John Malmo

Memphis, TN – The life of an airline chief marketing officer must be absolute hell. For all but Southwest, airline brand stature in America is in the toilet. They hemorrhaged money. Cut flights. Cut people. Cut cities. Cut advertising. Raised fares. Added extra fees for everything but the co-pilot. The traditional airline business model doesn't work anymore.

A few weeks ago, I arrived in Halifax two days before my bag. Only when I asked for it did they give me a lost-bag-kit. The toothbrush was so tiny I could get only three fingers on it. The handle bent like rubber, and the bristles started falling out at the first brushing. The toothpaste ran out before my bag arrived. A tiny deodorant capsule was too small to grip.

Common sense should tell any airline person that among his unhappiest customers is one who arrives two days before his bag. So you should put in a lost-bag-kit items that are usable. Then you learn that airlines lose three-thousand bags an hour. Twenty-five million a year. Nobody even counts the tens of millions of bags that are delivered late?

Another buck for a decent lost-bag-kit is just a dollar more you'd have to pay for the co-pilot. The traditional airline business model is so deep in the flush cycle that even common sense won't save it.

John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or ask him a direct question, go to

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