Bedford's "Foot in mouth" comments

Old Dec 18, 09, 6:58 am
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Bedford's "Foot in mouth" comments

As one of my parents used to advise, think before you speak.

http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/mil...1600%5E2609511
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Old Dec 18, 09, 8:35 am
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Perhaps we'll see how their consolidated damage control works. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by knope2001 View Post
Perhaps we'll see how their consolidated damage control works. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
+1

Bedford could take a few pointers from WN's Gary Kelly or even FL's Kevin Healy, who know how to cater to their markets with appropriate talking up, not trashing. You simply do not disparage your valued customers/potential customers (at least not publicly), without some collateral damage.

I presume there will be some additional backpedaling.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 9:09 am
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IMO, people are making way too much out of Bedford's comments.

If you read the transcript from his presentation, he made the comments about Milwaukee when discussing price stimulation and traffic growth. Bedford indicated that price stimulation works on some of the leisure routes, such as Florida, but doesn't draw many more passengers to the business markets and therefore Republic feels it can maintain a revenue premium because there is no need to dramatically slash fares. He indicated that this makes sense to most people except perhaps AirTran (given how light the loads have been on many of the traditional business routes AirTran serves in MKE, Bedford seems to be correct). Milwaukee is very much an origin market for travelers. People come to Milwaukee mainly for business or to visit family/friends. How many people wake up everyday and say, "I want to visit Milwaukee?" Not many.

Could Bedord have worded his comments better? Probably. But if you look at his comments in the context they were presented, what he said was 100% correct.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 9:47 am
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Midwest was gutted by Bryan Bedford to reduce CASM. He truly thinks the "cookie" is the reason Midwest has earned countless airline industry awards.

The focus for employees at Midwest was to make the customer happy and that attitude was felt by passengers.

I can't remember Bryan Bedford talking about customer service. In the "pay for depart" regional airline business it's all about reducing your CASM below the fee paid by Delta, US Airways, United, ...
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
IMO, people are making way too much out of Bedford's comments.

If you read the transcript from his presentation, he made the comments about Milwaukee when discussing price stimulation and traffic growth. Bedford indicated that price stimulation works on some of the leisure routes, such as Florida, but doesn't draw many more passengers to the business markets and therefore Republic feels it can maintain a revenue premium because there is no need to dramatically slash fares. He indicated that this makes sense to most people except perhaps AirTran (given how light the loads have been on many of the traditional business routes AirTran serves in MKE, Bedford seems to be correct). Milwaukee is very much an origin market for travelers. People come to Milwaukee mainly for business or to visit family/friends. How many people wake up everyday and say, "I want to visit Milwaukee?" Not many.

Could Bedord have worded his comments better? Probably. But if you look at his comments in the context they were presented, what he said was 100% correct.
Yes, he should have phrased it in a positive sense. He could have said that Milwaukee is more of a business destination than a leisure destination. He could have said that Milwaukee is a great place to route connecting passengers from throughout the YX/F9 network. He could have said that, while YX focuses on business travelers, he'd like to increase both business and leisure traffic to Milwaukee to see what a great city it is.

Moving forward, he will certainly learn to be more careful. He probably doesn't have a lot of experience in getting a lot of attention from the general public. He's probably seeing more of it now than he's ever seen in his entire career, and I suspect he's still learning how to deal with public presentations and the news media. When you own actual airlines (and not just planes operated for other carriers), you are under the microscope a lot more. The public eye tends not to focus on contract carriers, but when you're branding yourself as Milwaukee's "Hometown" carrier, you must certainly understand the importance of communicating the message that Milwaukee is a great place to visit and do business.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:47 am
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Some further thoughts on this, the more I think about it:

There are a great deal of reasons that people might make a leisure trip to Milwaukee. The Harley-Davidson museum, PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Milwaukee Art Museum, and professional sporting events like the Brewers or Packers (if no non-stop to Green Bay is available, some folks might choose MKE) just to name a few.

In addition, Chicago gets a lot more leisure visitors that Milwaukee. Perhaps a few people fly to MKE to take advantage of lower fares.

Granted the cases I cite above may not bring in much leisure traffic, but it's got to be at least a small but real component, especially during the summer months. To flat out say that no one goes to Milwaukee unless they have it is flat out wrong. Some people come here because they genuinly want to.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
Yes, he should have phrased it in a positive sense. He could have said that Milwaukee is more of a business destination than a leisure destination. He could have said that Milwaukee is a great place to route connecting passengers from throughout the YX/F9 network. He could have said that, while YX focuses on business travelers, he'd like to increase both business and leisure traffic to Milwaukee to see what a great city it is.

Moving forward, he will certainly learn to be more careful. He probably doesn't have a lot of experience in getting a lot of attention from the general public. He's probably seeing more of it now than he's ever seen in his entire career, and I suspect he's still learning how to deal with public presentations and the news media. When you own actual airlines (and not just planes operated for other carriers), you are under the microscope a lot more. The public eye tends not to focus on contract carriers, but when you're branding yourself as Milwaukee's "Hometown" carrier, you must certainly understand the importance of communicating the message that Milwaukee is a great place to visit and do business.
I don't disagree with what you're saying, newsmanhoss. Bedford has in the past said many of the things you mentioned.

The point I was trying to make was that if you take his quote about Milwaukee in the context it was given he was spot on. He wasn't trashing Milwaukee.

I suspect that Bedfor will chose his words more carefully in the future to avoid "controversies" like this.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I don't disagree with what you're saying, newsmanhoss. Bedford has in the past said many of the things you mentioned.

The point I was trying to make was that if you take his quote about Milwaukee in the context it was given he was spot on. He wasn't trashing Milwaukee.

I suspect that Bedfor will chose his words more carefully in the future to avoid "controversies" like this.
If we want to get the full context, we'll need more than a text transcript. The tone in which the comment was ade would be very telling. The article indicated there was laughter in the audience after the remark was made. It must have been at least somewhat disparaging.

If anyone has access to the video/audio of the presentation, that would be helpful.

Or, perhaps you're right. Maybe I and others are focusing in too much on one little mistake that Bedford made.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:03 am
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WTMJ Radio is leading into the story about his comments by saying that "The head of Midwest Airlines is ripping its hometown."

This story will have legs for a few more days, then probably die down.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
To flat out say that no one goes to Milwaukee unless they have it is flat out wrong. Some people come here because they genuinly want to.
Of course there are some people that want to come to Milwaukee, but the point remains that the city is not a destination market. This is especially true during the winter months and when there are no big events going on. Low fares will not change that.

Bdford could have said the same thing about Dallas. How many people really go there just for the heck of it? I bet not many.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by mke9499 View Post
WTMJ Radio is leading into the story about his comments by saying that "The head of Midwest Airlines is ripping its hometown."
LOL...must be a slow news day in Milwaukee.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
I don't disagree with what you're saying, newsmanhoss. Bedford has in the past said many of the things you mentioned.

The point I was trying to make was that if you take his quote about Milwaukee in the context it was given he was spot on. He wasn't trashing Milwaukee.
I suspect that Bedfor will chose his words more carefully in the future to avoid "controversies" like this.


Are you joking? Bedford straight out said,

--Milwaukee passengers will pay more because of the "cookie"!
--We don't have to lower airfares... Midwest can charge a premium to passengers!
--No one would want to go to Milwaukee!


Let me translate it for you...

Milwaukee passengers are Fat, Stupid, Hayseeds living in the handpit of America.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by BlueHorseShoe2000 View Post
LOL...must be a slow news day in Milwaukee.
This is now the discussion topic on Jeff Wagner's talk show on WTMJ Radio.
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Old Dec 18, 09, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by newsmanhoss View Post
Some further thoughts on this, the more I think about it:

There are a great deal of reasons that people might make a leisure trip to Milwaukee. The Harley-Davidson museum, PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Milwaukee Art Museum, and professional sporting events like the Brewers or Packers (if no non-stop to Green Bay is available, some folks might choose MKE) just to name a few.

In addition, Chicago gets a lot more leisure visitors that Milwaukee. Perhaps a few people fly to MKE to take advantage of lower fares.

Granted the cases I cite above may not bring in much leisure traffic, but it's got to be at least a small but real component, especially during the summer months. To flat out say that no one goes to Milwaukee unless they have it is flat out wrong. Some people come here because they genuinly want to.


Hey...don't forget Summerfest!
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