Fly The Friendly Lies?

Here’s a question posed by Joe Brancatelli, the business travel guru, in a recent USA Today column: why do the major air carriers fail to tell the truth about delays and cancellations when lying is such a lousy business strategy?

The column lays out several instances of various airlines failing to tell their passengers the complete truth about problems ranging from computer malfunctions to runway delays to labor problems.  And in each case he describes how the airline’s reputation and/or  stock price has suffered for it.

There’s no question that this is a summer of crisis for an industry in crisis. But why lie about it? Especially if  lying doesn’t work.

Brancatelli throws a quick, deserved jab at the aviation press for letting the airlines get away with too many obfuscations. I think it’s worth mentioning some news outlets that have done a pretty good job of uncovering the real story:  USA Today for strong overall coverage of the travel industry and the Dallas Morning News for thorough coverage of the airline industry.


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