Robert “Bob” Crandall, the man responsible for reviving American and a legendary critic of the Carter-era deregulation of the industry, is asking airline bosses to pay more attention to their dissatisfied customers, Forbes reports. Crandall offered insight on the industry at a recent ARC conference.
Robert “Bob” Crandall, the man responsible for reviving American Airlines (AA) and a legendary critic of the Carter-era deregulation of the aviation industry, is asking airline bosses to pay more attention their customers – especially the unhappy ones, Forbes reports.
Offering his insight at a recent conference sponsored by the Airline Reporting Corporation, an organization that offers a wide array of services to the airline and travel industry, Crandall alluded to the fact that the airline industry as it currently operates – as well as the experience that it offers its passengers – is down to the deregulation that occurred within the late 1970s.
Crandall, the outlet says, was vehemently opposed to the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act. “In addition to today’s tight seating, Crandall blamed deregulation for high fare prices in small markets, the lack of any service at all in some small communities, and long lines (of people and planes) at inadequate airports jammed by huge growth in passenger demand over the last 40 years,” it reports.
Notably, this piece of legislation was responsible for the disestablishment of America’s Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the federal agency that was tasked with regulating the nation’s aviation industry.
During the conference, Crandall apparently criticized this lack of regulatory oversight and was quoted as saying that, “I think we’d be better off with some modicum of regulations that moderate the behavior of the industry.”
Deregulation of the airline industry may certainly have benefited consumers in terms of sheer cost, the outlet writes, but Crandall’s view is that, “…airlines today simply are doing the economically wise thing to do in order to maximize profits … In short, we travel consumers are getting what we most want, cheap transportation. And we are paying for it with those reduced levels of service we complain about so much.”
Crandall, however, was quoted by Forbes as beseeching airline bosses to “pay some more attention to the reaction of your customers,” in order to strike the right balance between offering a decent travel experience and maintaining or even maximizing profit margins.