business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

It probably didn't seem like a big deal. It certainly wasn't at the top of anybody's to-do list.

But it got a lot of attention from customers at Newark Airport's United Club lounges last week when they stopped serving alcohol at the bar there for two days.

"This wasn't the result of some cost-cutting measure or attempt to rein in drunk, unruly passengers," the Chicago Tribune reports. "It was an administrative error: somebody at the airline never renewed its liquor license."

The Tribune goes on: "The Chicago-based airline has spent the last year trying to win back once-loyal business travelers who abandoned the airline over frequent delays.

"It has made progress by improving its on-time performance, unveiling new lounges and business class seats and reaching new labor contracts that are expected to increase employee morale and service.

"But this week's hiccup — at one of the airline's most important and busiest airports — just shows how many obstacles it still needs to overcome."

It also shows how important it is to pay attention to even the little stuff. It almost doesn't matter how many planes arrived on time last week, since the item that made the news was the liquor license story.

Little things matter. You have to pay attention. Because they can be, for better or worse, Eye-Openers.
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