Airline CEO: Customers Don’t Care “About the Interior of My Airplanes”

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Customers Don’t Care About the Interior of My Airplanes”
    Allegiant’s CEO thinks like Doug Parker.

  2. I don’t think he is wrong. If you see the type of people getting on Allegiant planes (not that there is anything wrong with these people) its obvious that they are willing to forgo creature comforts for rock bottom pricing. Allegiant is basically like the Greyhound bus of the skies. It also helps that Alliegiant serves a lot of smaller markets and flies to many places that are vacation destinations. Sometimes I’d rather be on a slightly worse plane that flies direct than a mediocre plane with a connection

  3. I have never been on Allegiant but I absolutely cringe when I see my city announce a new major spend for something that most people just want in and out of as quickly as possible. So, I rather agree with this guy, if the price is right and the ride is safe I don’t really care about the interior. Since AA can’t seem to deliver me anywhere on time, I don’t feel any better about a high budget airline.

  4. He’s right. I’ve said elsewhere that if cheap is going to be your business model, you need to be darn good at it. Part of being cheap is saving money on facilities. Take a look at the terminals EasyJet uses at AMS and TXL. While the main terminal at AMS is gorgeous and pleasant to spend a little time in, the EasyJet terminal is a bus station. Likewise, the same is true for their terminal at TXL. While the major carriers have this old nostalgic place, EasyJet has a dump.

    When I want cheap first and foremost, I fly EasyJet and deal with it. When I do not want cheap, I pay more and fly someone else. The thing with the legacies and what not is their “brand” isn’t about being cheap, so when you get on one and it feels like a ULCC, a bad impression gets left.

  5. “They don’t give a damn about your airports nor do they give a damn about the interior of my airplanes.”

    Last time I flew United was EWR-HNL and found the interior so dirty that during the entire 11-hour flight I swore I’d never fly United again. That was four years ago.

  6. He’s right — I don’t give a damn about Allegiant interiors. That’s why I never fly with them.

  7. Yep, agree 100% with CA Mason!

    Don’t care about Allegiant’s interiors because I never fly with them.

    But, in general, interiors DO matter – especially cleanliness as a 2017 United SFO-EWR flight aboard a 757 that my partner described as the “dirtiest plane ever” (with pictures that sure did fit his description) was among the reasons he switched to Delta shortly thereafter.

    Oh, the other reason for ditching United for his trans-cons (he has another coming up next month, too)?

    3 out of 4 (the “4th” flight was the above noted 757 aka “dirtiest plane ever”) of his flights were aboard 10-abreast “densified” Boeing 777s (brand news -300ER & reconfigured -200), which he **HATED** even in Economy Plus.

    So, it’s been exclusively Delta since then for trans-cons, especially the 767s whenever possible.

    And speaking of Delta, while it wasn’t the “dirtiest plane ever” because the 757 at United featured an array of nasty carpet stains, dirty seat covers, and a beat up bulkhead wall (among other things), back in May, we boarded a relatively new Airbus A321 at JFK for a flight to MCO that was littered aplenty.

    However, and to its credit, after tweeting (pics included) just before the door closed, an army of cleaners were standing by as we deplaned in MCO to get that littered up cabin restored before the next group of passengers boarded for their flight.

    So, hate to disappoint, Maury, but methinks more pax than you’re willing to admit, DO CARE very much about the interiors of the aircraft cabin, even if it fits your own narrative to “normalize” overly densified, uncomfortable cabins by stating otherwise, as United’s “dirtiest plane ever”, its horrible 10-abreast 777s, and before those 4 flights, an LAX-EWR flight aboard an IFE-less Boeing 737-900 in a 30” pitch row were the dealbreakers that for the past 2+ years have been exclusively aboard Delta for his transcons – and most of his other flights for work and personal travel that has included trips around the world, nearly all in Comfort+ or in Premium Economy for Delta’s SkyTeam partners!

    That’s a fact.

  8. Oh, and don’t even get me started about my partner’s flat out refusal to fly Vueling ever again, what with that airline’s very “Allegiant-y” like seats and row pitch.

    We’re talking “never, ever” for that terrible airline!

    Yikes! 😉

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