Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I admit I haven't got over it.
Ever since I heard American Airlines CEO Doug Parker admit that he's never flown in the airline's new Boeing 737 MAX planes -- they have seats akin to the ones at your local ballpark, and almost as many of them, too -- I've been perplexed.
His own Flight Attendants have been explaining some of the plane's problems to him.
The two feet-wide bathrooms, for example, in which many passengers splash themselves because the washbasin is so small. (American says it's introducing a fix for this.)
Moreover, when the bathroom doors are open opposite each other, they lock together.
Then there's the seats themselves. As thin as a congressman's argument and not a seatback screen in sight (For the greater good and turning good into great, you understand.)
I'd imagined, though, that Parker would at least see the PR problem that came with making his admission.
Yet again, I'm mistaken.
As View From The Wing reported, a couple of weeks later Parker again chatted with employees about the plane and offered this sentence: "I haven't flown the 737 MAX, as people like to report for some weird reason."
Is it truly a weird reason?
Or is it a little weirder that the CEO himself cannot grasp why personal experience of his own product might be, well, useful?
Isn't it always easier to understand a customer complaint when you've actually used the product for yourself?
I contacted American to wonder whether, since this statement around a week ago, Parker had, indeed, braved the plane. And the back of it, especially.
I will update, should I get a reply. Weird or otherwise.
Still, some CEOs have their own ways of deciding what's important.
It seems that Parker is convinced that the 737 MAX planes are fine because customer surveys show there's an equal "likelihood to recommend" score as for other planes.
This is delightful, of course.
Save for the fact that currently American is flying very few of these planes -- so imagine how large the survey sample might be -- and isn't charging for Wi-Fi on the MAX flights.
Oh, I really should forget all about it.
After all, these planes are the template for configurations that will be shoved into a lot more American Airlines planes in the near future.
Soon, far more people will be enjoying this new level of (dis)comfort.