This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Delta, JetBlue Could Sell More Seats This Way

Stocks in this article: AKLDALJBLU

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I like the Priceline.com (PCLN) commercial in which pitchman William Shatner and an "enforcer" convince the front-desk clerk that a hotel room is a perishable commodity, and accepting a lesser amount that covers costs is better than receiving nothing.

An airline seat is also a perishable commodity. Unlike most things you can buy, its price gets more expensive the closer it gets to its perishing point. And that point is every time a flight crew closes an aircraft door, right?

Well, that need not always be the case, especially on longer routes.

I used a Delta (DAL) reward ticket recently to fly business class from Paris to Atlanta. The plane was full in the back but about half of the business-class seats were empty. That scene, repeated many times around the world every day, underscores that not only is it hard for airlines to make a profit, but its reputation doesn't include exceeding customer expectations.

J.D. Power and Associates' most recent airline survey of such, conducted last summer, found a decline for a third consecutive year. Alaska Airlines (ALK) ranked highest among the traditional network carriers for the second straight year. JetBlue Airways (JBLU) was No. 1 among low-cost carriers for four years running.

There are a number of things that airline companies could consider to boost revenue and customer satisfaction. (Those two measurements mustn't be mutually exclusive, which seems to be a corner that airline carriers have painted themselves into based on terms and conditions that many customers view as takeaways.)

Here's one example of what could be done, with the example of my flight on Delta from Paris using a reward ticket for business class. It's criminal to me that half of business class was empty, given that airlines are losing money and aren't known for exceeding customer expectations. On most flights, airlines sell food and on international flights, they sell duty-free items, so they have credit-card processing machines onboard. Why not let people buy an upgrade once they're on board? That could be a significant amount of incremental revenue with little cost.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,805.41 +127.51 0.76%
S&P 500 1,964.58 +13.76 0.71%
NASDAQ 4,483.7150 +30.9230 0.69%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs