• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Charge! The new airline slogan – and I don’t mean charging ahead.

Here is more great news for airline passengers. JetBlue has announced that it will end its practice of not charging for checked bags. This leaves only Southwest (in the US, anyway) as the sole airline that still allows you to check a bag for free.

I am hereby positing a new theme-line for America’s legacy Airlines. Fees. Fees. Fees. Has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

I had hoped JetBlue wouldn't join the greedy crowd.
I had hoped JetBlue wouldn’t join the greedy crowd.

So, United will no longer be identified with Fly the Friendly Skies and Rhapsody in Blue. Instead, United can simply intone the ring and bells of a cash register and remind flyers to Fly the Greedy Skies.

American/US Air can intone, rather than the NEW American, the Shareholders American.

And Delta can tell us not to worry about Keep Climbing and instead can say Keep Charging.

Why is it that Southwest keeps making money, flies cheaper fares and lets travelers check bags for free? Why do passengers consistently view it in a positive light? How can this be?

Well the answer is to be found in us. Yup, we are to blame. Including myself.

We ask for little and demand even less. Passengers will pass up an airline ticket if they can find another carrier that flies the same route for a savings of $5. We are so price conscious that the airlines are afraid to remove a few seats (for more leg room) or let you check a bag for free.

A month or so ago, I grabbed a cheap flight on Frontier from Raleigh to Trenton. Frontier wanted to charge me to check my bag (which I did) because it was going to charge me even more if I took my bag on board. In other words, it always charges for bags. For the pleasure of saving a few bucks, I got charged additional fees that in no way paid for my savings on the base fare.

I had an hour drive to Raleigh and an hour back. I dind’t figure my time as a real cost (which it is) and the cost of gas. But if I did look at my final costs, it would have been the same cost to fly my regular carriers to Philadelphia or Newark.

But wait, it gets worse. At the West Trenton Airport, I had to stand in a snaking line for over an hour just to get through security. Then I got to stand in the bus terminal-like waiting area until my flight boarded.

Southwest is not a viable choice for me because it does not have Greensboro as a hub. But I have to tell you… airlines are wearing on me. What about you?

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