Scott McCartney

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

A money-back guarantee from an international airline?

Unheard of!

In an industry where CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Mayhem," this is a breakthrough concept.

Yet there it was in Scott McCartney’s "Middle Seat" blog in The Wall Street Journal and on the OpenSkies Airlines Web site.

Okay, the "Terms and Conditions" contained 598 words in unreadable, light-gray mouse-type crafted by lawyers. And to get a refund, a disgruntled passenger had to write a letter describing the unhappy circumstances that prompted the refund request.

But the typical direct marketing shyster would not pony up $1400 plus fees and taxes in the vague hope of getting $700 back. This is a serious offer made to serious travelers, with little danger of frivolous claims by typical direct marketing bandits.

Merger talks—United and Continental and US Airways, with its $8.65 billion hostile bid for bankrupt Delta—have the investment community a-twitter. When AirTran made a hostile bid for Midwest Air Group, its stock jumped 4.1 percent while Midwest’s skyrocketed to 22 percent. The first commercial airline—the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line— was founded in 1914. The line carried a total of 1,205 passengers without a single accident. It never made money. Call the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line a harbinger. Since its beginnings, 92 years ago, the airline industry cumulatively has never made money. The idea that “investors” are seriously looking at airline stocks is a

Is it smart to dump all over your customers? Oct. 27, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 43 IN THE NEWS AirTran Airways says it may stop serving Anheuser-Busch Cos. products on its flights to protest a radio ad for Bud Lite that ridicules discount airlines and their pilots. --Scott McCartney "Discount Air Carrier May Bump Bud Lite Over Air-Safety Joke" The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2005 What follows is the script of a radio commercial for Bud Lite that the discount airlines objected to. Bud Lite Presents Real Men of Genius Today we salute

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