Who Pays?

Should the government pay for airline marketing programs?

In the past few years, special lines have appeared at airline security checkpoints, reserved for the “elite” members of airline frequent flyer programs. Is this right? Should government-funded employees give special treatment to the best customers of private companies?

Full disclosure, that may open me up to criticism: I sometimes take advantage of this service. Yesterday, at the American Airlines terminal at O’Hare, I encountered a Disneyworld-esque snaking line at security. I was able to avoid the wait and walk right up to the special taxpayer-funded station reserved for AAdvantage Gold members.

Yeah, I’m confused about whether I should do this or not … maybe I’m being a hypocrite. But I can tell you this with certainty: I would rather see this go away, and give up my occasional privilege. The big airlines should pay for their own marketing programs.

What do you think?

Steve Yastrow posted this on September 18, 2004, in Marketing.
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