TODAY’S MODERATOR: Airlines and ‘calculated misery’

Airlines and the general state of the flight industry have been much in the news lately. We spotted this bit on Vox.com:

“The smartest move the commercial airline industry ever made was to convince consumers to pay extra for what used to be the minimum. It’s even got a name: ‘calculated misery.’ That sounds like a movie featuring a slow-boil revenge plot — one that involves social media and tears of frustration. Instead, it’s the concept that there’s money to be made by making an experience so awful that a customer will want to avoid it.

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“And not only is it sinister, it’s profitable — at least when it comes to air travel. It’s common to pay extra for higher-quality products or services. And it’s natural to want to pay the lowest possible price for whatever you want or need to buy. That’s why many Americans are always looking for the best deal, regardless of what they’re shopping for.

“That mindset allows airlines to use ‘calculated misery’ to make their baseline products and services so low-quality and unpleasant that lots of people will be willing to pay more to avoid them.

In other words, we’re suckers. Your thoughts? Email rrollins@coxohio.com.

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