Congratulations to Continental for suing some of its fellow
airlines at Washington's Dulles Airport.
The other carriers at Dulles voted to install carry-on baggage
templates on the X-ray machines at a shared concourse. Continental
says it bought bigger overhead bins for its planes, and it accuses
the other airlines of conspiring to prevent it from capitalizing on
its investment in customer service.
That may be a valid claim, but there is another issue here:
The X-ray checkpoint is not the place for the airlines to
enforce their baggage policies. Security screeners are not customer
service agents. They are not even airline employees.
If the airlines want to be strict about carry-on baggage, they
should have the guts to say "No" to our faces. Hiding behind
underpaid security workers is bad form, a customer service cop-out
for which the pusillanimous airlines deserve to be sued.
• • •
Statistics about the on-line world flash by at a pace that
defies analysis. Just when we stop to absorb the news that on-line
travel sales topped $500 million in January, we learn that the
number may reach $11 billion for the year and could double in three
Now comes a report from Media Metrix in Seattle about the Web as
an advertising medium that contains a few statistics to pause over:
Travel accounts for only 3% of Web advertising. Travel agents and
other intermediaries account for 87% of Web travel advertising.
Suppliers account for a mere 13%. Of all Web users, 61% do not
visit travel sites at all. Whoosh.
Frankly, we don't know what to make of all that. We haven't had
time to stop and think about it, but we're pretty certain that
somebody should, before everything doubles.