David Neeleman's Contrarian Streak
In the late 1990s, he saw opportunity in New York that no one else did. Today, as the industry pursues a bigger-is-better strategy, Neeleman is betting on smaller-is-better.
I'm back from New York City, and I can report United's new and more environmentally sustainable bedding is just as comfortable as what it replaced. Its business class food is still mediocre, though it has improved. Kudos to whoever chose the new transcontinental snack: a hummus and tabouli plate.1
As promised, I'm here with an update on David Neeleman. During my interview with Neeleman at the Skift Global Forum, we spoke a little about JetBlue’s origin story, which might be old news to many readers, but I found it interesting, particularly since it overlaps some with what Neeleman is doing at Breeze. In both cases, Neeleman told me, he is pursuing a contrarian strategy, counter to what other airlines view as best practices.
Let me explain.