Crunching numbers at 30,000 feet

June 18, 1999|By Arnold Rosenfeld

THE traveler began to speak:

"Every airline has one, but this guy was the original. He started by getting rid of complimentary meals in coach. The savings, when annualized, were astounding.

"Then he got rid of peanuts by convincing a group to demand peanut-free zones. He is now at work on a plan to catheterize passengers as they enter the plane, explaining the procedure is for `your comfort and convenience.' Covertly, the airline will cut the number of restrooms to one.

"He is considering eliminating the standard announcement, `If there is anything we can do to make your flight more enjoyable, please do not hesitate to ask.' "

The traveler made a curious gesture, then moved off into the shadows.

Arnold Rosenfeld is editor-in-chief of the Cox Newspapers.

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