I recommended a link last week to an Economist podcast on the Airline industry. This week I have a story from Scott Simon of NPR's Weekend edition. While light in tone and filled with humour this piece proposes an interesting link between the perpetual rescuing and protection of bankrupt and debt laden airlines in the US and the horrendous customer service and acts of deceit (such as discussed here). If airlines can be inefficient and so bad at what they do, resulting in debt piles and losses that are borne by the economy, yet can still fly and can rely on the protection of the government and regulation, then there is no incentive for them to work hard to retain and please customers. Anyone who has sat on a US tarmac for hours (like me), had luggage lost and no-one care (like me) or spent time talking to a customer service person who clearly does not care if you ever fly again with the airline regardless of status (like me) would surely agree.
The podcast is good for a laugh and worth a listen.