Is outsourcing good for travelers?

Anatoliy Lukich /
Anatoliy Lukich /
If you think the outsourcing and off-shoring of American jobs has gone too far, you might think twice before flying on United Airlines.

The carrier recently fired 220 airport employees and as of Oct. 15 will be contracting its ramp and customer service jobs at airports from Albany, N.Y., to Tucson, Ariz.

“While these were difficult decisions, we must continually look for new opportunities to run a more efficient and financially sustainable business,” United spokesman Luke Punzenberger says.

But is outsourcing really so awful? The reflexive answer among consumer watchdogs is: of course. They say it creates shoddy products, frequent service failures, and, naturally, forces you to speak with incomprehensible agents in offshore call centers.
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