I'm a little surprised the following provocative comments by US Airways Chairman and CEO Doug Parker did not get picked up--and, frankly, misconstrued--by the general press. In a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce annual Aviation Summit in Washington, D.C., this week, Parker said one of the problems with the airline industry is its "misguided focus" on customers.
As I explain in my Aviation Daily story here (subscriber only), Parker did not mean that airlines should not focus on customers at all. Instead, he meant that their area of focus is misguided. Parker contended airlines focus too much on "softer" service and product items--many of which can increase costs--instead of what customers really want: safe and reliable travel at a reasonable price. But rather than spend my post writing about what he had to say, I'd rather you listen to it yourselves. You can hear his comments on the "misguided focus," as well as his defense of checked bag fees and his hints of plans for more fare unbundlling, by clicking here (3:03).