Views on Continental’s new cost-cutting moves?

Steve Cosgrove, Dynamic Travel & Cruises, Southlake, Texas If the major airlines keep this kind of thinking up, Southwest will be considered the upscale airline. I guess if Continental really wants to make some money, they can charge per piece of luggage, per piece of carry-on, per soft drink o


Steve Cosgrove, Dynamic Travel & Cruises, Southlake, Texas

If the major airlines keep this kind of thinking up, Southwest will be considered the upscale airline. I guess if Continental really wants to make some money, they can charge per piece of luggage, per piece of carry-on, per soft drink on the flight, rent the magazines out and change the toilets of the plane to pay toilets.

It is a real shame no one at any of the major airlines has any marketing savvy beyond cut, cut, cut.

Nancy Vinson, Vacation Discounters, San Ramon, Calif.

Since we are a non-ARC agency (by choice), these new policies are the same old news. Until an airline considers and truly means that travel agents are their partners, it is just another way of punishing a once loyal and solid distribution system.

Judy Wolfe, Sea Gate Travel Centre, Huntington Beach, Calif.

I’ve been around long enough to remember Continental’s Peanut Fare. Deja vu? But let’s not just focus on Continental. There’s more than one pig in the trough these days. They all deserve to roll around in the mud together.

Ellen Ben-Shalom, Albany Travel, Albany, Calif.

I think it will cost them much more in the end.

Deena Whitesman, New Act Travel, Los Angeles

I think they are insane. Just because they have run themselves into a hole by having the dumbest people running their airline, why should the agents and the American public pay for their mistakes?

Sheila Hyman, Tanforan Travel, San Bruno, Calif.

They made a business decision and so did I. We do not sell Continental.

Stephen Shields, Shields World Travel, Pleasanton, Calif.

I find it all a race to the bottom. [A recent edition of] the Wall Street Journal says that US Airways’ nonrefundable tickets will be fully nonrefundable “like theater tickets,” but theater tickets do not cost $500 each. And they report airlines are charging as much as $270 each for bags over the size limit.

In their rush to clean out the pockets of their clients, they are alienating more and more travelers, and they will eventually, I think, implode. The concept of service has been totally lost.

I was even more amused this morning when American faxed us a form saying no more waivers. In 21 years in business, they’ve never given me a waiver or even the time of day.

Peter Splingaerd, All Travel, Phoenix

Continental announced it would start charging for some amenities passengers are now getting free. I presume they mean the free soda and whatever meal they have been serving.

All these policies have the effect of restricting air travel rather than promoting it. These guys are nuts. The only way I can understand such irrational behavior is that management sees a brick wall coming at them. These are acts of desperation, not part of a plan to promote business and increase revenue.

We are in a severe recession at this moment, and no end is in sight. The stock market is expected to go lower, further decreasing the national travel budget. The airlines know this and know that they cannot pull out. They will have to enter Chapter 11, and after that fails, they will be dissolved, and their assets will be sold to new entrepreneurs. United needs to enter Chapter 11 to get leverage on their unions.

Can you believe that Southwest could possibly be the No. 1 airline in the United States in the near future? I see it coming.

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