Yesterday during an IM conversation about United Airlines shutdown with my friend Steve, I wondered aloud if the reason why legacy carriers are so terrible at managing the actual experience of commercial flight is because all of their tasks break down into two categories:
1) Things that can kill hundreds of people.
2) Things that won’t.
I could see a lot of office conversations at UAL going something like this:
Sir, people don’t like the food or the leg room on our planes. They also don’t like losing their luggage 25% of the time.
I’M KEEPING PEOPLE FROM TURNING INTO PULLED PORK IN AN INFERNO OF JET FUEL AND TOILET SANITIZING AGENT RIGHT NOW. I’LL GET TO THE TRUFFLES AND BELLHOPS LATER, JOHNSON.”
I’m guessing when you have two daily to-do lists on your desk, the one that does not involve preventing catastrophic tragedy tends to get balled up and used for waste basketball more often than the other.