Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Every time there's an airline scandal -- which, too often, seems to involve United Airlines -- you have to wonder what an airline's customers are thinking.
Especially if they have a flight on that airline coming up.
I'm delighted, therefore, that the oversized brains at Morning Consult Brand Intelligence decided to ask customers how they feel about United, after its latest snafu in which a dog died in an overhead bin and another two dogs were sent to the wrong countries.
Here's the good news. Certainly for United, and perhaps for humanists everywhere.
People don't dislike United quite as much after the dog incident as they did after the airline got police to drag a paying passenger down the aisle of a plane and bloody his face.
United's favorability score dropped by 16 points since March 11.
This compares quite favorably with the 47 point drop after the dragging incident.
News does, though, travel fast.
On March 19, 40 percent of Americans said that, yes, they'd recently heard something bad about United.
Humans, though, are garlanded with hypocrisy.
So the researchers then tried to see whether such negative emotions would prevent people from flying United.
Well, when the fares and schedules were identical, 55 percent said they preferred American over United.
How often, though, does that happen? With the relative lack of competition on so many routes, might this feel a touch theoretical?
Here's the real joy.
When the price difference in the flights between American and United was $34, 79 percent of people chose the United flight.
I dug a little more deeply into the numbers.
Of those who'd heard that United had been involved in some less than pulchritudinous things, 70 percent still chose the United flight.
Of those who hadn't heart of United's missteps, 87 percent chose the United flight.
And you wonder why airlines are more concerned with money than anything else?
And you wonder why airlines want to squeeze every last seat into planes?
And you wonder why your fellow humans always let you down?
Or could it be that, when airlines have largely the same offerings in terms of service quality, the only difference between them is the price?