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US airlines thrown a curveball as consumer habits change post-pandemic

CHICAGO, May 10 (Reuters) - Shifting travel patterns by consumers in a post-pandemic world are forcing airlines to guess at what is the "new normal" as they seek to adjust by cutting flights, revamping networks and packing even more passengers into planes. ( More...

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Nathan Cox 16
Times like these are what the big CEO's get paid for. They will have to make some tough choices and ultimately please the customer, or lose business and market share. I've been using Delta exclusively the last year and overall have been happy with them. Yes, they have canceled flights, made us switch aircraft because of issues, but their product is fairly consistent. More snack choices, good perks for those who use their services regularly have kept me there. What do y'all think of the other Legacy carriers?
1mooneymite 15
I agree. Delta is generally superior to United and American. It is interesting that Delta has always paid its largely non-union work force well, but has remained competitive fare-wise, but Delta customer service is definitely superior..especially during irregular ops.
Fred B Rillo 4
American has certainly changed since the merger with USAir.
Keith Candline 7
I agree wholeheartedly. I've had United ticket agents rip Visas out of my passport (when did they become anointed with Customs and Border Patrol authorities???), Flight Attendants behave rudely and unprofessionally, Flight Crews that can't make simple, coherent PA announcements. American is just sloppy. I had a chance to fly on British Airways recently, and I honestly thought that would have been world class compared to US carriers, but alas, I was wrong there, too. They had no organization and no sense of how to deal with people. 500 people at a gate waiting to board an A380 and they might as well have just called a free-for-all for boarding. Got back on a Delta itinerary on my latest trip and it was so much smoother and put-together.
21voyageur 1
My thought on who to be "ultimately pleased" as you reference, is not the customer (assuming you are referring to passengers as the "customer") but the shareholders. Boeing may be a good case study.

My 2 cents worth.
Jaime Terrassa 1
they don't care as long as the airline is doing well and they the get their royal paycheck they could care less about the people that make their paycheck possible.
M20ExecDriver 8
"We believe demand is just structurally different than it was pre-pandemic," CEO Scott Kirby said. "We're still figuring out that new normal."

What???? At your salary and with your education, you haven't figured it out yet? Time to get a new CEO.
SkyAware123 2
It's not a static thing. IT's still recovering and changing.
Mark Guyton 5
I think the article missed the point: People are simply tired of crappy service and overbooked flights, therefore they are choosing not to fly as much, but drive more. I had a recent flight on DL JAX-ATL-MEM, storms in ATL canceled my middle of day flight to MEM. I was rebooked on last flight of day (actually 11PM that night). So I could sit in ATL airport for 10 hours with the high likelihood that the late/last flight would be cancelled, or drive home. I chose to drive and I was home by 6pm. The late night flight? It was cancelled! Delta would not re-emburse me the $150 for car/gas.
Lance Neward 1
Assuming you got a refund from them, I don't understand why you think DL should pay for your car and fuel. A weather delay is inconvenient, to be sure, and we have cone to rely on what is an amazingly efficient air travel system, but they should not be forced to pay for conditions beyond their control. No other form of transportation would do that, why should airlines? Believe me, and contrary to popular opinion, a delay is generally as big, or bigger, a PITA for airlines as it is for an individual traveler.
i would say, that the "curveball",is/was having to hire literally thousands of new employees (all carriers)becasue so very many quit,took early buyouts or retirement as it was offered at that time..the flights during the pandemic were cut back drastically,and people became used to working from home and not taking business nor vacation trips..when things started to improve the airlines found themselves in a quandry as to how to "restaff" the companies,get new routes and also convince people it was ok too fly once again..the "new normal" for travelers since the end of covid restrictions etcetera, has been to shop around more for bargain flights if they travel,make sure of baggage restrictions and schedules,and prepare themselves for long lines and probable delays or cancellations which have really been an issue..service complaints ar also part of the "new normal", as people are seemingly expecting much better customer service to encourage travelers,yet employees seem overwhelmed and don t want to go that extra mile as they used to..
Garrett Taylor 2
Most airlines have take the advice Dwayne Andreas, CEO of ADM, gave to his son Michael As quoted in the ADM trial for price fixing "We have a saying here in this company that penetrates the whole company. It's a saying that our competitors are our friends. Our customers are the enemy."

Except many companies now treat their employees as the enemy.
hryoung 1
Hi Ken here is one that does a good job.

During Covid I traveled AeroMexico 737 LAX/MEX Business class. The Crew were wonderful pre takeoff juice hot towels, Great IFE screen, normal beverage service, no meal service but a large basket of snacks that came around often, and prior to landing a good cup of coffee. We were nicely asked to keep our mask on when not eating.

My return flight was a bit different because of codeshare. I was on Delta 757 old tired First Class seats. Boarding was normal and we were given a little plastic bag with tiny water and Biscoff cookies, no headsets, no hot towel, and our pre takeoff drink was in the small plastic bag. After take off I asked for a coffee and to quote the flight attended "where have you been?" no coffee, no soft drinks or juice but the couple behind me enjoyed the Beer and Wine, while I was given another mini water and had first choice of a little meal box of salt and sugar The crew marched up and down the aisle with a placard "Wear Your Mask" when they weren't eating in the galley. Delta did not have any signage at check-in saying buy your food and beverage and take onboard. When I complained to Delta they gave me 2000 miles, a pro-active airline would have sent me gift card to enjoy a restaurant. I'd still like to speak to the Delta team that implemented this concept for first class. I continue to travel to MEX with AeroMexico on their 787 or 737. Delta lost me.
John Marks 1
The reduction of connector flights is a big issue flying across N.A. Who wants to wait 5-10 hrs. In an airport for a connection? Or make a few stops flying around the country just to make it to your destination the next day. Or you can pay double and hope the connector flights actually fly on your date.
dcmeigs 0
I recently passed on a vacation trip with friends because American was the only airline serving that route with a nonstop. As it turned out American, true to form, cancelled their flight leaving them on the hook for rooms etc. I get that this outcome is the new normal across the board, but American has truly lost their way. I’m done with American Airlines.
David S 1
I once had to wait 3 hours to receive my luggage from an AA flight with my two young children. We landed at 9pm, bags weren't dropped until midnight. A full 787, all of us waiting in the baggage claim area at LAX for three hours while flight after flight arrived after us and received their bags in a timely manner. It was very frustrating.
Ely Dennis 0
American will not lose any sleep by you not flying with them. There are hundreds of passengers waiting on line to take your seat. And you can bet that all the other Airlines feel the same way. Every airline has it’s great service and also poor service. It is unfortunately a sign of the times post COVID. 🛫
Ken Jackson 0
Can you name an airline that does things differently? I cannot.
Ken Bravogel -2
When you have to be where you are going on your schedule, contact me at [email protected]


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