Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Women are special according to AA

American Airlines thought it was clever targeting women with a special website dedicated to female travellers. According to the New York Times, many women are far from happy about being patronised by the airline, and treated like they have "special needs".
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It talks about women connected to each other, because after all, an airline that is not sex specific clearly baffles women, and they feel alienated to those big phallic things called planes! No wonder women (ha!) need a special website, which when you look at it, has exactly the same information that I'd expect it to have for men - except it's a women's page (all breath "aaaaaaah") so you can't feel oppressed by the testosterone of aviation (which let's face it, is about planes and jets and speed, damned manly stuff right?).
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However, it does have slightly different advice for safe travel. Points like "If you need directions, ask other women or couples". Yes, don't trust those men, they are just out to lure you back to his dungeon for a good ol' bondage and discipline session. Couples, after all, are always safe, none of them are twisted and perverted.
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One comment on this attempt is:
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"As a female frequent traveler for both business and leisure, I’m quite indignant that AA thinks this kind of silly fluff is going to appeal to me. I want a clean plane, a comfortable seat, and good service at a fair price (not cheap, just reasonable). That’s what my husband wants. That’s what my colleagues of both genders want.”
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Yes American Airlines is a private company (mollycoddled by US protectionism that reserves the domestic airline industry to US owned airlines, and the subsidies thrown at it), and can do what it likes, but there remains an absolutely yawning gap between the standards of virtually all US airlines and the likes of BA, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and even Qantas and Air NZ.
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This is because US consumers don't demand better, and because the US airline industry lobbies for less competition.

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