Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

It's been fun watching airline CEOs explain their recent hikes in baggage fees to $30.

At the recent Skift Global Forum, Delta CEO Ed Bastian declared it was simply a way to pay for higher fuel costs.

For his part, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz sounded almost frustrated. He insisted that customers just don't get it.

Higher baggage fees aren't apparently being dedicated to executives' bonuses.

No. Instead: "All of that money we get is being plowed back into the business."

Oh, but where in the business? Executives' bonuses, perhaps?

Munoz has now given the explanation another try.

In an interview with the Denver Business Journal, he said of baggage fee hikes: "This isn't about making money, it's about easing the experience."

You must be as relieved as I am. I had a fleeting fear that the airline needed to show Wall Street it was keeping up with the Joneses. I mean, with the numbers.

But no. It's taking more money from passengers, so that it can ease the painful nature of the flying experience for those same passengers.

Some might wonder whether no baggage fees would do that. Others might ponder how United intends to do its qualitative easing.

Will seats suddenly be fur-lined? Will passengers be able to avoid thrombosis in Economy Class? Will every customer be greeted as a long-lost member of the family?

Munoz has promised that, next year, there will be good news for passengers "literally every week."

I'm not quite sure passengers can cope with that much, well, winning.

Still, he's a popular CEO within United.

Employees see him as the human face of an organization that may get taken over by machine thinking, in the form of airline president Scott Kirby.

For now, Munoz says: "There are softer things in life that sometimes you have to invest in but you don't get immediate metrics for."

Yes, there are.

Softer expressions from gate agents and softer seats inside the planes would be a start.

Published on: Oct 11, 2018