Passengers Are Getting Bagged, The Loan Danger and The Not So Magical Magic of Macy’s

Bagging it…

Image courtesy of phasinphoto/

Image courtesy of phasinphoto/

Results of the JD Power & Associates 2014 Airline Satisfaction study were just released. 11,370 travelers were surveyed. I was not among the surveyed. Out of a possible 1000 points, the industry as a whole scored 712, which is actually a 17 point increase over last year. Again, I was not one of the people surveyed. There were seven categories that were rated some of which include cost and fees, crew and aircraft. According to Rick Garlick, head of J.D. Power’s travel and hospitality practice, “It isn’t that passengers are satisfied with fees; it’s that they are simply less dissatisfied because they realize that fees have become a way of life with air travel.” Apparently 44% of travelers feel this way. I am of the 56%. Noticeably absent from the list was Virgin America. Sir Richard Branson’s airline does not yet qualify for the survey and the other airlines should be grateful for that. Alaska Airlines came in first for traditional airlines. Shockingly enough, American Airlines came in third (and not last!). Once again, I was not given the survey. Jet Blue ranked first in low-cost airlines. However, I find that Jet Blue tends to charge just as much as “traditional” airlines. US Airways came in last.

Student groans…

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/

Just when you thought having to take out student loans was irritating enough, a new study, courtesy of the Pew Research Center, adds salt to the borrowers fiscal wounds. The study disconcertingly found that student borrowers don’t earn nearly as much as their debt-free peers. As if the socio-economic divide wasn’t enough to highlight the difference between the haves from the have-nots, the burden of having to pay back those education loans, which are exceeding the $1 trillion mark, are trumping the demand for home loans. Hence, the mortgage market is suffering some blows as well. All that money tied up in loans in the name of higher education are dragging down the US ecnomony even more than (gasp!) credit card debt. Because borrowers have a harder time building up assets, their debts tend to lead to more debt. The median net worth of a young household (young being under 40 years old) paying off student loans is $8,700 while a debt free young household has a median net worth of $64,700. But on the bright side – if you can call it that – college-educated households tend to earn twice as much income than a home sans college degrees.

Macy’s retail tale…

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

Image courtesy of cooldesign/

Oh the magic of Macy’s, as the slogan goes. But it wasn’t that magical as their first quarter revenues fell 1.7% to $6.28 billion, which the 85 year old department store is attributing to the nasty winter that wreaked havoc on our lives and economy. However, first quarter net income rose 3% to $224 million, up $7 million from a year earlier thanks to lowered sales. It also beat analysts expectations which is always fun to watch when that happens. Its confidence in its ability to sell sell sell must be pretty intense since they increased their dividend. They’re also planning on putting big chunks of money into e-commerce.  Macy’s has about 840 stores nationwide.

2 responses to “Passengers Are Getting Bagged, The Loan Danger and The Not So Magical Magic of Macy’s

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