The experience on low cost carrier AirAsia is so bad their CEO flies Singapore Airlines? Tony Fernandes says the reason is because his flights were full, three in a row, and he couldn’t get a seat – and didn’t want to bump paying passengers. So he was humble bragging.
Fernandes, who recently got a shirtless massage at a management meeting, was humble bragging about his airline’s load factors.
No seat on @flyairasia for three flights so had to take @singaporeair. Hehehe
Airline executives flying competitors is common, and should be more common to understand their product.
- Then-American Airlines Executive Vice President Elise Eberwein flew United and filed a trip report discovering that seat back entertainment (which American was moving away from) really matters to customers.
- Then-American CEO Doug Parker was well known at American Airlines for not bumping passengers in order to fly, and so he opted for Southwest back in May 2020 meeting a flight attendant who had a conversation with him about race as he was reading White Fragility in the aftermath of George Floyd. He stayed connected to her and she’s now a board member of his new non-profit.
- Meanwhile Southwest CEO Bob Jordan flew American Airlines back to Dallas after his pilots walked out on him at a company event.
- The CEO of Dallas-based JSX, Alex Wilcox, is an American Airlines Executive Platinum member. However he no longer plans to fly the airline and has instructed employees to avoid it as well since American has lobbied the federal government to put his carrier out of business telling employees they see JSX as a competitive threat.
- When United CEO Scott Kirby’s operations were melting down, he abandoned his passengers and flew private instead. He enjoys lifetime free first class travel on former employer American Airlines as well.
What Tony Fernandes would have learned flying Singapore Airlines economy is that the experience is much better than flying AirAsia and indeed better than most other airline coach classes, featuring amenities like foot bars and cup holders as well as seat back video with an extensive library of selections. Singapore Airlines meals in economy are quite decent, and the service is generally good.