I just don't think that if someone has constant delays and is flying HD seating should have a constant RI of 100 throughout the game.
No, their CI should suck because people wouldn't be thinking too highly of them. Unless perhaps their pricing was excellent, then they would be more tolerant of those things, especially the seating.
Those things shouldn't affect RI one bit because RI nothing to do with the market's opinion of your airline, only its awareness of your airline operating a route. People don't become less aware of your airline just because your seating sucks or you're constantly delayed. If anything they're more likely to become more
aware of your airline as your horrible operating practices become the subject of news headlines and conversations at work with friends with bad experiences.
I think RI could just be a lot more targetted version of CI. When flying the route well without major delays or cancellations, it would still be what it is - basically time flown. And over time, it would reflect growing awareness. I just think it should also reflect quality of the way it is flown.
CI should cover these things, not RI. When the vast majority of the market gets bad service at an airline they don't say "I'm never gonna fly that route again", they swear off the entire airline. A bad experience on a route ruins every other to some degree. People's opinions of a company aren't "targetted" to specific product or service, whether that be a bad car that makes you swear off an entire automaker or a bad flight that makes you swear off an entire airline, so there's no reason for there to be 500 different reputation levels to manage.
Suppose you schedule a flight with absolutely no gaps in the schedule over the minimum. Delays and cancellations are a routine. Shoult that flight be contributing to RI of 100? It is hurting the CI in a miniscule way, but it has virtually no impact that particular route / flight.
In my experience it doesn't hurt CI at all
unless it's happening as a large percentage of your flights, and that's what needs to be fixed. Not morphing RI into something that it's not and was never intended to be. Make CI far more variable than it is today (i.e more than perpetual growth) and more reliant on company service metrics. Today about 99% of it revolves around the money you throw at it, and that is it. You can run the crappiest, POS airline in the world, but spend some money on Marketing (and I'm not talking about any more than anyone else either) and all the problems go away and you get a stellar reputation on the market, easily even more than a competitor that flies cheaper, better seating, better timing, newer equipment, and is superior in every other way.
And I literally mean "easily more" than a superior competitor. Because, since running a crappy airline nets more money in AWS (minimum turns, higher density seating, higher pricing, etc) you can throw more money at CI Marketing, therefore you can afford to buy yourself a higher reputation far more easily than the guy running a far superior airline. Image in AWS is a function of profit, not of service, which is actually about as backwards as it could possibly be.
If 2 airlines are flying the same route, one well with new aircraft, no delays, good seating comfort, yeah, there is some effect on LF, but not huge. Delays and cancellation on a route have no effect on LF as far as I can tell. RI does, and if RI was made more dynamic to reflect delays and cancellations, the delays and cancellations would have an impact on LF. Making RI more dynamic is the easiest way to program this, IMO.
The last thing RI needs to be is more dynamic, even if it was to work the way you describe. People's opinions of an airline or any other company don't ebb and flow on a quarterly basis. It's wholly unrealistic that an airline could yo-yo from horrible to exemplary on a regular basis. Bad reputations take forever
to fix, and while good reputations are lost much quicker, even they take an extremely long time to damage barring something extremely inordinate like plane crashes. If an airline was scheduled to not operate a flight for a given 2 weeks for maintenance, 99.99999% of people wouldn't even have the foggiest idea that it happened, let alone have their opinion of the company go in the toilet. It was a scheduled maintenance, not a plane crash; there's no one to p*** off because you simply didn't sell tickets for a couple weeks, it's not like you ruined someone's vacation. If a flight had a delayed or cancelled flight, the entire market's opinion of that airline on that route wouldn't take a significant, appreciable, or even negligible hit -- it would take sustained delays of some period of time before any appreciable effect would occur. Not some 10% hit to some imaginary metric because a single flight was late. If that were the case, there'd be no one left flying American Airlines.