Off To Dallas

Lynne Kiesling

I’m at the airport, on the way to give a talk at the Dallas Fed on a recently-completed research paper.

Shall we start the pool on how many minutes late my flight will be tonight? Or should I say hours?

3 thoughts on “Off To Dallas

  1. If by normal you mean on time then there is probably no viable business model. In order to operate efficiently, and profitably, an airline must try and maximize the utilization of its aircraft so that they can carry the most passengers with the fewest number of planes. Unfortunately the fewer planes you have the larger the rippling effect of a single delay throughout the system. Since planes are only machines they do break eventually and with the large numbers of planes and the ever-shortening amount of redundancy in the system “normal flight services” are only being stressed further. The only way to increase profit and service is through improved productivity such as ACARS or other technologies.

    Unfortunately it seams that the industry is trending towards low costs and away from “normal flight services” so while it may be possible to offer exceptional service I don’t think anyone would want to pay the price.

  2. Maybe you’re onto something, Lynne: A betting pool on flight arrival times.

    Passengers traveling into O’Hare on a late Friday afternoon could bet that their flights will run late, and the payoff when (if?) it does run late would help compensate the traveler.

    Of course the airline might want to bet that they will be on time, and it they made that bet it would enhance their incentives to make the arrival time. On the other hand, if much money was at stake, the airline may make more money betting against on-time arrival and then make it happen.

    How about requiring airlines to rebate customers 10 percent of the ticket price for each hour late? I’m sure someone has had this kind of idea before, anyone know of an analysis?

    Almost anything has got to be better that the U.S. Department of Transportation arranging reductions in flights in individual meetings with airlines at airports with consistent flight delays, but that’s the current law.

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