Friendly skies?

Some time ago, United Airlines equipped its business-class sets with power plugs from which, with an appropriate adapter, passengers could charge their laptops. That was a great convenience.

However, on most of the smaller aircraft, United never bothered into install the boxes that would actually send power to those plugs. Nor does its reservation system have information about whether the flight you’re about to take does, or does not, have power for your laptop. That is less convenient.

Fortunately, United does not operate in a competitive industry, so there is no risk that its inattention to the convenience of its customers will cause it go go bankrupt.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: