Threatening to complain to the media or the Department of Transportations is the single best way to reach an airline’s executive customer service team, according to an anonymous airline executive. The jaded executive also shared his dour insights on the availability and effectiveness of short-term sales.
There’s no law stipulating that a certain percentage of seats be discounted when an airline announces a sale. In 1993, the DOT slapped Continental’s wrist and stated that a combination of flights with sale-fare seats ranging from 0 to 7 percent of capacity wasn’t reasonable. Our lawyers say we’re safe if we discount 10 percent of capacity during a sale. Can an airline get away with 7.5 percent? Probably.
Of course, there’s the “float the boat” effect, in which a well-publicized sale brings in customers who wind up buying tickets at much higher prices. Another executive recently boasted to me that he offered a rock-bottom sale for a limited time–and nearly two thirds of the tickets were sold at higher fares.
Isn’t that great? Good thing we have corporate lawyers waiting in the wings to shower slick campaigns with their legal blessings. Beyond sharing his locker room chortles, the executive also endorsed the strategies behind our previously published tips for handling lost luggage and complaining to the government.