After being born in Frankfurt (that would be Germany, not Kentucky), Jay's family moved to Vandalia, Ohio where Jay spent his time learning to play the greatest game ever (baseball), by smacking the daylights out of fastballs from his next door neighbor Roger Clemens. (Disclaimer: At 9 years of age, this would have been a pre-steroid era.)
During his high school years at Carlisle High School, Jay spent most of his free time at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Center helping his Dad to build the condominiums at the course for a variety of Cincinnati sport's legends like Nancy Lopez, Ross Browner, Tom Seaver and others. In 1981 he watched his father build the ATP Tennis Stadium for the likes of Connors, McEnroe, Lendl and Borg.
Jay's passion for baseball continued thru 1983 when he was invited to tryout for the 1984 US Olympic Baseball Team. A torn hamstring six weeks before the tryouts ended his baseball dream. (He was able to write about the greatest game ever played for Reader's Digest, winning their Editor's Choice award and having it read by more than 88 million people worldwide.)
It was then Jay's attention turned towards the airline industry, where he loved the daily challenges of cancelled flights, delayed luggage (they weren't referred to as 'lost' until they were MIA for 90 days), weather problems and the always-wonderful Sunday after Thanksgiving! Cities Jay worked at included Monroe (LA), Florence (AL), Cincinnati, and Dayton. It was also during these years Jay was able to serve as the Travel Coordinator for the Detroit Lions - spending his Sunday afternoons on the NFL sidelines!
Jay continues that adrenaline rush by educating travelers with information specifically designed to help them find the cheapest of fares, resolve complaints, and having multiple options when flights are cancelled.
Jay lives in the Dayton area with his wife, Sherry and their two boys, and his older daughters serve as nurses to Dayton area hospitals.
If you have any questions, you can contact Jay through his Day Trading website - he is an avid Day Trader and teaches others on his system. (www.daytradefun.com)
Mornings on Jim Scott's show
American Airlines does it again.
If you ever find yourself on a TV game show and the topic is “Who was first…?” on an airline topic, guess American Airlines and chances are you will be right. American has a way of blazing the trail which other airlines eventually follow.
In the late 1960’s American was the first to place their SABRE computer reservation system in travel agencies around the country (SABRE: Semi-Automated Business Research Environment, because I know someone will ask.) When other airlines saw the revenue being generated, they quickly copied American’s move.
After the airlines were deregulated in 1978, American immediately went to work on developing a program which would reward loyal customers. While doing so was banned during the days of regulation, after 1978 they were free to develop a program which would reward passengers for flying on American. In 1981 they rolled out the airline industry’s first frequent flier program (Advantage) and other airlines…yes, quickly followed.
A couple of years later American released a QE30 fare. This was a fare which gave customers a discount if they would buy their ticket (gasp!) 30 days in advance. Give American your money well in advance of your travel date and they would reward you with a discounted air fare. Nice plan and although it was initially met with incredible skepticism, it caught on. When you think of it, the move was brilliant because passengers had no real motivation for paying for their tickets in advance of their date of travel. Now, using this 30 day advance purchase ticket, American was getting much needed cash a month in advance, or longer since these fares were “inventory controlled” and only a few discounted seats per flight were made available.
The real laughter amid the travel industry came when American announced their discounted fares would come with a 10% change or cancellation penalty. What? A penalty? No way!
If you paid for an advance ticket and wanted a refund, you would be forced to forfeit 10% of your fare. Again, the concept was brilliant because American was now collecting money when no transportation was provided. Not too bad, from a business standpoint.
Surprisingly there was little adverse reaction to the 10% penalty, so American decided to increase it to 25%. This time there was a little reaction, mainly by other airlines, but consumers continued buying tickets because the great fares was worth the gamble of needing to change their itinerary.
Of course as you know the penalties were then increased to 50%, 75% and then “non-refundable tickets” were introduced and by then most people were immune and continued to hand over money for a trip they may or may not be taking.
Airlines around the world followed the lead of American and joined the revenue-generation party with a new era of airline tickets.
Well, American has done it once again with their recently announced “Choice Essential” fares.
Choice Essential allows is a $68 add on fee for customers, which includes one checked bag each way, early boarding and (the key component) also waives the $150 change fee if the itinerary needs to be changed. Keep in mind passengers with checked bags are already paying $50 for their bags and this new bundled fee is only $18 more and gives passengers the added protection of being able to change their reservation.
The also have a Choice Plus level of $88, with a few increased perks as well (see American’s site for the specifics of the program).
In the end most every passenger will consider paying the increased bundled fee for the peace of mind of being able to change their reservation, if needed. Of course American knows the vast majority of people who buy this will not need to change their reservation, which provides (once again) much needed cash in exchange for no additional services provided.
It’s another grand move by American which will be immediately adopted by nearly every other airline. After all, when one airline sees another making money through a new fee, the scrambling begins to follow suit.
Nice move American, this is actually a fee I like!