In the last of the series where I look back on the last 10 years of Cranky, I pull out some posts where I screwed up. I’d like to say that every post I’ve ever written has been completely, 100 percent right. I’m sure this is shocking to you, but that hasn’t always been the case. Sometimes, my best guess is proven wrong with time. Other times, I just got it wrong when I wrote the thing in the first place.
Here are 7 posts that I’d like to take back (or modify), in date order.
- The US Airways/America West Res System – Technically it looked like the migration to a single reservation system went well for US Airways and America West when it happened, but that proved to be wrong. It went very poorly and in fact, became a case study that US Airways itself used to successfully pull off its integration with American.
- United’s “Rock Star” Business Class – I thought United’s pre-merger flat beds in Business Class looked like “rock stars.” Oops. The flat beds were nice, but going 8 across on a 777? Bad, bad idea. People do not like these seats, and they can’t disappear soon enough.
- United’s Second Bag Fee – When United rolled out a fee for its second checked bag, my knee-jerk reaction was that it was bad. But as frequent readers know, over time I’ve come to believe in the ancillary strategy. I know some of you will say I got this right way back in 2008, but I disagree… with myself.
- Allegiant in Hawai’i – When Allegiant acquired 757s to fly to Hawai’i, I was excited. I thought this plan would do well, and I hoped it might even mean service from Long Beach. None of that happened. The original small-city routes did poorly, and only a couple of big city routes survived. It wasn’t enough, however, and the 757s are on their way out, as is all Hawai’i service.
- Miami’s Decline – There were some obnoxiously angry commenters who disagreed with this one when I said Miami’s air service was in peril because of absurdly high costs. What I didn’t quite pick up at the time was that while insane costs did indeed keep low cost carriers out, it created a perfect fortress hub for American. Nobody else could justify challenging the airline with airport costs that high. Sure, the airport has cooled off as Latin America has struggled with economic problems, but that won’t stop American from continuing to dominate one of the few true fortress hubs left. That’s not how I’d want to run an airport, but I was still wrong.
- The United/Continental Res System – Sensing a trend here? Again, this one appeared to switch successfully at first. But the problems and glitches grew from there and it took years before the airline could get them under control. This was really, really wrong.
- American’s A321T – I thought American was insane for rolling out a new First Class-equipped transcon airplane, but sure enough, it’s been a profitable hit (at least in LA). Even the incoming US Airways management team had to admit it was totally wrong on this one. I must do the same, since at least in LA, it has worked very well.
Now, the moment the trolls have been waiting for… what else did I get wrong? Post your favorites in the comments.