Originally published August 14, 2006

Timothy McSweeney's Header Image

YEAH, AIR TRAVEL
DOES SEEM A LITTLE
WEIRD RIGHT NOW.

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Re: Increasing
Airline Revenue
Through Fear.

By Michael Patrick Sullivan

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From: Larry [CENSORED], Marketing
To: J.M. [CENSORED], CEO, [CENSORED] Airlines

Per our conversation in the elevator this morning, here's that short note to let you know how things are progressing on our end.

Now that we've gotten liquids banned from aircraft, it's time that we ramped up our revenue generation by charging for not just alcohol but all beverages onboard the aircraft.

We can also now begin to sell those liquid products that travelers need but can no longer bring through carryon luggage. An airline-brand-specific line of hair-care products and toiletries is called for.

This presents two unique problems: the availability of space for warehousing product onboard the aircraft, and those passengers who seek to subvert our revenue generation (and anti-terrorism measures) by placing their liquid-based necessities in their checked baggage.

The former dovetails nicely with the next phase of our plan, the elimination of all carryon luggages. Overhead bins will now serve as our onboard stock storage. The latter, of course, leads us to our plan for eliminating baggage entirely. Instead, we will provide consumers with the means to ship their baggage to their destination in a timely fashion. (It has been suggested that we do this by placing each passenger's baggage onboard the same flight as the passenger in question. I think this bears looking into.)

Surely, we can do more to maximize profits beyond these simple measures. I believe we can convince Homeland Security that all foreign material onboard an aircraft is suspect; therefore, all worn clothing is also a potential hazard.

Each terminal gate shall be fitted with a clothing boutique that will sell a complete line of airline-branded apparel (or "clothing solutions"), which passengers may purchase rather than board the aircraft nude (which, if not already, will be prohibited) after the confiscation of clothing. By "complete line," I mean nothing more than one-size-fits-all socks, slippers, sweatpants, and shirts. Fashion is hardly a concern in matters of security. This approach will serve to keep our R&D and production costs to a minimum.

Upon further consideration, I suggest we also add a $20 handcuff fee to the price of each ticket, so we may recoup the cost of restraining passengers. (See my report on the program rollout scheduled for Thanksgiving.) First-class restraints, such as padded handcuffs, and the option to forgo three-point restraint are, of course, an upsell.

Also, the department has still not resolved the issue of how to ban the passengers from the planes while still providing an incentive to purchase tickets. We might want to backburner this one for a while.

Lastly, I will be out of the office beginning this Friday, as I'm traveling to Oregon to see family. I've taken an extra few days to allow for travel by Amtrak.

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