In Lean and Six Sigma we speak about the importance of understanding value from the perspective of the customer. If you miss this all the Kanban and Control Charts in the world won’t help you. Most of the airline companies in American don’t get this concept. Let me explain.
I recently booked a trip to Virginia. I scanned the website of the airline company I usually travel with and realized that they didn’t have a return route that suited me. All the routes left too late and I hoped to get home sooner for personal reasons.
So I call up my company’s travel agency to see if there were any other options. The agent found me a one way ticket to Virginia via airline company A for $700. In order to get home sooner I would have to take my return flight via airline company B for $700. So I am up to $1400.
The agent then told me that my other option was to fly round trip with airline company A. I would take the SAME flight to Virginia while having to take my return flight several hours later than airline company B’s flight. Guess how much this ROUND TRIP ticket with airline company A cost? $225 total!
Obviously I took the $225 option since it is only costing me a few hours delay (even though my wife was not so happy). But for the life of me I cannot understand how the same company can charge $700 for a one way ticket to Virgnia while only charging me $225 for the same flight to Virginia PLUS an additional flight home to Dallas.
The morale of the story is to never book a one way trip without verifying how much it will cost to book a round trip… even if you never use the return option.
If you work for an airline company and wish to enlighten me on what it is I am missing, please do. I sure can’t figure it out.
My father in law had an equally shocking experience with another airline company recently… I will share that with you all later.