An open letter to airlines: “When is enough, enough?”

If you haven’t read the airline industry’s whiny open letter to customers yet this morning, you should. No one plays the blame game better than our coddled, oversubsidized domestic carriers, and this is a prime example.

No sooner had the letter and accompanying Web site posted than I received a response from an angry passenger. It’s comes from frequent flier Jeff Fusaro, a consultant for an international software company. (Incidentally, I posted a translation of the letter on our sister site, Tripso, this morning.)

“Something has finally snapped in me,” he wrote. “And I have to scream from atop my soapbox ‘When is enough, enough?'”

He continues ..

I can’t believe we, as consumers, have sat back and watched this happen (including myself).

I can’t believe that any of these many government agencies that are supposedly in place to protect the consumer and regulate the airlines have done nothing other than spout off a quote or two that the issues facing the airline industry should be studied and or looked at.

And where is our government, the representatives we elected and put into these positions to be our advocates and make our voices heard in the grand scheme of things?

I feel as if I am in the plot of a bad movie waiting for a hero to emerge out of the darkness and save us all just in the nick of time. Only in this storyline, the hero we are looking for never does make his appearance.

For any airline executives reading this, I should note that Fusaro’s sentiments are widespread. There is a growing sense of airline fatigue — a sense that the American taxpayer has given the airline industry a free ride during the last seven years, and that something needs to be done.

So I have to ask: Where do we go from here? What do we need to do?

Do we sit back like sheep, cowering in the shadows with blind faith and continue to wait for our hero to make an appearance and save us all?

Or — here’s a novel idea — do we finally turn from sheep to wolves? How about we become our own heroes? How about we band together and as one strong voice and power answer the question ourselves and state loud and clear so that all can hear — NOW, RIGHT NOW, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

I agree with Fusaro. I find the airline industry’s flippant, customer-hostile attitude to be in serious need of a readjustment. Its open letter shows how out of touch the airlines are with reality.

The only change can come from a serious, deep grassroots movement among voters. I think we’re about to get one.

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