Christmas list: five things I want from the airlines

‘Tis the season, right? Regardless of beliefs, we’re all secretly wishing for something, even if we’re not hoping for a big fat guy to slide down a slim chimney to deliver it. And, I don’t think I’m unusual in having my own list of wishes. I’m not so naïve as to think the airline industry will turn my Christmas list into its New Year’s resolutions, but I can always dare to dream!

So, here it is – air travel industry, take note. I want five things I want for Christmas.

1. Name change: stop calling me a passenger, and start calling me a customer. I know, I know … I’ve asked for this before. Pay attention: I’m still asking for it. Without me – and a lot of people like me – you wouldn’t have had such a fantastically profitable year in 2010. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not begrudging you the profits. In fact, I want you to be profitable (I am a capitalist after all). Just show me that you realize I’m the guy spending, and extend this courtesy to everyone else who does.

2. Be realistic: I know there are some things you can’t control, such as weather and the TSA. But, there are plenty of ways you can improve. Take a long, hard look at your operations, and make some tough decisions. It’s not easy to admit your shortcomings, but in the end, doing so will benefit everybody (even you).
3. Add a clause: every frequent traveler has heard it said by a flight attendant: “Our primary job is safety.” We know this … good god, do we know this. I’m asking for a simple statement to be appended to that: “but we’re also committed to service.” Now, put it all together:

“Our primary job is safety, but we’re also committed to service.”

That sounds incredible. I could definitely get on board with that kind of thinking. And what does it cost the average flight attendant? Six extra words. The whole thing could be pushed out on Twitter, with plenty of room for hashtags and retweetin!

4. Leg room: okay, I know I’m getting greedy on this one, but I’d really love a little more. I’m not a tall guy, and I still feel cramped.

5. More a la carte pricing: maybe I’m the only guy out there who’s a fan of getting nickel and dimed … but I like choosing which nickels and dimes. I’d much rather pay only for what I use. Let the other guy pay for his own damned sandwich.

[photo by morberg via Flickr]