AirTran announced that it will offer XM satellite radio on its flights, and that 20 of its aircraft will feature the smiling face of Elton John (for some reason) painted on the side (see link above). If you haven’t heard satellite radio, it’s incredible.
Which brings me to my flights on JetBlue and Song earlier this week. If you haven’t flown either, they’re actually rather similar, though JetBlue flies new A320s (slightly wider aisle) and Song flies older 757s (slightly less wide aisle). JetBlue also offers an extra inch or so of legroom, though Song is quite comfortable. JetBlue has live TV, Song has live TV, pay-per-view movie choices, and a kinda cool MP3 selection. Most importantly, both have staffs that seem to actually enjoy working there. On my flight home I started to wonder why I continue to deal with Continental’s more restrictive tickets, higher change fees, 3 inches less legroom and utter lack of entertainment options. And I LIKE Continental.
I cannot understand how Delta can charge MORE and sell more restrictive tickets on its mainline product when it is vastly, vastly inferior to Song. Delta is a Ford Pinto to Song’s Mini Cooper. It is a dinosaur of the past that, for some reason, is positioned as the BETTER product. As a marketing guy, I am offended by this.
It is no shock whatsoever that people are flocking from legacy carriers, the surprise is the reason. As virtually all articles on this subject mention that lowfare carriers offer (obviously) lower fares, they are completely missing the point. Lowfare carriers have been around since deregulation. The lower fares are not the problem. The problem is that the lower fares are for a significantly better product. THAT is the problem. Southwest has not been a life threatening competitor to the majors because Southwest offered a budget product. JetBlue, Song and Frontier are not budget products. They are great products that cost less. This is called innovation, and it is a good thing. The government must stop propping up companies offering inferior products; they didn’t prop up the typewriter industry and they should get their hands out of the airline industry.
If you have any doubts, hop on a Song flight and tell me what part of the experience is inferior to the so-called "higher end" Delta brand. It is a joke.