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Opinion: Don’t Feel Sorry for the Airlines

Before providing them any assistance, we must demand that they change how they treat their customers and employees. ( 기타...

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MSU Sparty 44
Delta Air Lines has been incredible to work with through this entire coronavirus. There will be a case study of what Delta did for their customers and brand loyalty. There will also be a case study of what American did not do and why there is so much disdain for the company and their employees.
I agree with you about Delta. I fly them by choice. Did you ever notice the Delta (employee) lunge provided free at Atlanta during Christmas. Delta's answer to my question has never been "NO", it's let me check. I may get a "no" but at least they tried.
Anecdotally speaking, since BPA used a 4' chain link fence to separate the pax from the ramp, TTA flew us to HOU - to fly the ONLY airline my very Southern "Belle", white gloves & pearl necklace mom thought was a "decent" airline - Delta! ;-)
Glad to hear people acknowledge the hard work Delta does to keep their Customers and employees happy!
At Air Canada it’s always “No”.
Cant say I’ve had the same experience.
That has been my experience with Air Canada...terrible customer service!
flyerh 2
Don't run my nations primary air carrier down........... Let me do it!!
Frontier and Spirit are my worst two. I will NEVER fly either again.
I remember Delta in the days when it was NOT unionized (are they now?) and they were that way because of how they treated their employees. We, at American, always wished we worked for them.
I think only the pilots… who have been ALPA for decades.
The Pilots are Unionized, the Flight Attendants are not.
I've been working at cancelling 3 major international trips over the past 6 weeks, and much of it, of course, has been a nightmare -- I'm talking to you Aer Lingus! The exceptions? Delta (for the most part) and above and beyond, Alaska. They. are. incredible. Responsive. Reasonable. Real.
Aer Lingus is the absolute worst airline in the history of airlines.
Nope, that accolade goes to Ryanair
ken young -2
Ryanair is a small regional low price carrier, It doesn't count. This pertains to mainline carriers.
AWAAlum 3
They're merely talking about level of why should it matter if they're talking about both RJs and mainliners?
Hello there guys; sorry to say that Ryanair IS NOT a small regional low price carrier. It is indeed the first airline in Europe by number of customers. This doesn't waive that fact that it really is the worst in the world for how they treat customers. So it counts a lot! ;-)
I worked for USAirways/American for 15 years. I can tell you they don't care 1 crap about how the employees feel or how the customer feel. There stance for the employees is you work here and we give you a check. You're free to leave at will and we're free to let you go at will, in many states. If you think you've been released unfairly then use your union. My dear friend has been one of there top fliers for years. Logging between 120,000-150,000 miles a year. I told him back in 2000 that there way of thinking is "if a customer keeps buying tickets on us. Then that makes there complaint invalid." Don't try and compare the two. A guy I worked with left and went to Delta years ago and said there approach and philosophy was totally different and that's why he left and went to Delta for a little less money. For those getting bad treatment from the employees. Their just venting to the wrong people "you". 2 of my co-workers that I personally knew killed themselves dealing with that company. How many did that across the country that I don't know about.
AWAAlum -2
I don't know in what capacity you worked, but I worked in the HQ offices in Tempe, Arizona ... and none of what you posted did in my experience, prove to be true. I had a challenging and totally enjoyable experience, and found upper management respectful and fair.
I’ve worked for AA/USAir for 41 years... they have never had respect for their flight attendants.. except maybe when Ed Colodny was CEO of Allegheny!!
You meant Agony not Allegheny, right? Colodny and Butch destroyed numerous airlines! They get no respect from me!
AWAAlum 2
It seems my comment was misconstrued. What I didn't mean is Jeffrey's experiences weren't true. I meant that hadn't been my experience. Sorry for being unclear.
Delta Airlines also paid all 90,000 employees a record profit sharing bonus where each employee received a bonus of 2 months pay AND painted an aircraft with every employees name on it. Delta is very good to its Customers and good Customer Service which usually a bi product of happy employees. Living in Hawaii, my husband flies the Asia routes. Delta was the first Airline to suspend service to China, United and American followed suit (Not THE PRESIDENT as he claims) the airlines stopped servicing China 8 weeks before Trump stopped calling it a hoax. They are now suspending service to The Philippines and it appears that they are suspending service to Japan based on the current cancellations. They also suspended service to Italy and many European destinations. Unfortunately, letters to prepare for furloughs and pay cuts have been sent. This is much worse then post 9/11. It took the Industry 10 years to recover. Pilots lost half their pay and their entire pension when all airlines declared bankruptcy. Without a bail out none will survive this except for foreign carriers because ALL Airlines EXCEPT the US CARRIERS are ALL Government subsidized just like most transportation is even in the US
This is getting old. Trump NEVER called the Covid-19 threat a hoax. He called the patently false CNN/NBC/WaPo/Times narrative of the Administration's response a "hoax". The ignorance of TDS goofballs is otherworldly. And, the "airlines" quite serving China AT HIS DIRECTION on January 31.
AWAAlum 3
I picked up the quote on Snopes what he actually said and posted it here.
ken young -3
You just HAD to figure out a way to take a shot at POTUS...Dismissed
Stating facts is just that, the person doing the statements/actions is the one who is responsible for them. Trump said he did something at a time when he did not then it is worth noting. Trump has made thousands of documented and fact checked lies including in the last few weeks and days. He never was ahead of the curve.
The amount of useless ‘shots’ that sleepy T takes - he deserves a few now and then.. or was that truthful facts.. i dunno

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AA would be named America West, if the acquiring company’s name had been retained after two mergers. America West acquired the bankrupt USAirways, used the better-known USAirways name for the combined company. Lather-rinse-repeat: the new USAirways acquired the bankrupt American, again kept the better-known name. The America West management then, namely Doug Parker, engineered both mergers, runs American now, and is responsible for the now-controversial stock buybacks.
AWAAlum 2
I loved working at America West. It was toward the end of Bill Franke and Doug being promoted. I don't know what he's like now, but he was a very down to earth, approachable man who always had time to keep the employees informed. He took over the helm the day before 9/11 and did a stupendous job pulling the company through those horrendous times.
USAir bought America West not vice versa... I was on the committee to combine the seniority of f/a’s.... your facts are WRONG !
AWAAlum 3
USAirways was in bankruptcy when America West came into the picture. On May 19, 2005, America West Holdings Corporation announced it would acquire the Arlington, Virginia-based US Airways Group name and was based in America West's former corporate offices in Tempe.
The company created by the merger was a new US Airways Group. Initial ownership was:
37% former America West Holdings stockholders
11% old US Airways Group debtholders
0% old US Airways Group stockholders
52% new equity investors
The new equity investors included Airbus, Air Wisconsin Airlines, and ACE Aviation Holdings (parent company of Air Canada.)
Headquarters of the new company located at the previous America West hq in Arizona, with America West management in charge.
The claim that USAir bought America West is not supported by these facts.

That said, of the two airlines, US Airways was a considerably larger operation than America West, which no doubt made the nitty-gritty of combining the two feel like US Airways was taking over. I recall that initially the two operated separately - East and West - and that it took several messy years to actually integrate the two into one airline.
ms06877 3
Thanks Matt, we employees appreciate that. No, we would like to stay employed. Perhaps you would accept a change in management instead.
HAH! Look at HP. When they split, I wondered how long until they were snapped up for their cash. Apple has a ton of cash too, but they have enough that they could likely buy out any suitor, and then kill them.

A local granite countertop company was bought out a few years ago. The buyer said they were 'in the area for the long haul', and moved all of the cutting and finishing equipment out of state. Oh, and left their new acquisition to rot. Some of the original owners ganged together and bought it back, but were sued when they tried to use something close to the old name. Those kinds of things go both ways.
mdburd 1
But it is the USAIR(ways)--or rather--the America West leaders--who run the current American. So if you liked US pre-merger, you should love the "new" American, no?
This has to be the STUPIDEST REAMARK EVER, did you sleep through your MBA classes?
USAIR brought American. American didn't buy USAIR. USAIR elected to keep the American name because it had more global recognition and appeal. That's the only reason USAIR took on the American name. So that wasn't surprising to me. What did surprise me was how much the way American operated was adopted by USAIR for both customers and employees.
I agree.

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Andrew, I agree that an airline is all the things you mention but you forgot the Customer.
Without the Customer, there is no airline.
There are no Pensions. All Pensions were removed in the bankruptcies post 9/11. When the Country was feeling good and making money prior to amd post the sub Prime Mortgage fiasco, the Airlines were still suffering and employees were still getting furloughed and/or paycuts. This pandemic by far exceeds the 9/11 fall out.

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It's not a"welfare" check.. It's a check to help keep the economy from becoming depression era status.. That and the fact that millions are without jobs, and if they can't pay their rent/mortgage the economy crashes further.. It's to help protect the American economy. Plain & simple
True. Unfortunately, we are in a Depression, the Economic fallout numbers just haven’t caught up yet to show that. The entire world is in a health and economic crises that it has not seen in today’s day and age. I suspect that many jobs will be lost for good as innovation will step up and create ways to help the economy survive and in the long run will create less of a need for employees.
Thank you! That made me feel better about accepting welfare.
Let me fix your dilemma....

If you think it's "welfare" and are against it.. Don't accept it...
Oh, no. You convinced me that taking money from others is NOT welfare. My hand it out!
My point, exactly!
Agreed, however, the airlines act, and get treated as, de facto utilities. Then the rules DO and should change a bit.
the ailrines have consistently in past 10 years opposed any governmdnt "interference" awth respect to minimum seat comfort, between baggage pricing, etc. etc. so let them get their wish and keep government out. no bailouts unless they are willing to give up autonomy
They do act as Utilities but have ne er been government subsidized as all other Carriers in the world are Government subsidized.
Reuters reports today that the US administration proposes $50 billion for secured loans to distressed airlines. Sounds like the Air Transportation Stabilization Board program after 9/11, which offered $10 billion in federally guaranteed loans. The idea then was tp prevent collapse of the industry to the point where we no longer had a functioning air transport system. Worked then, it’ll work now, but as back then airlines should have to show that they can’t get financing from the private sector. Loans are fine, cash grants to airlines are not. Any cash grants should go directly to out-of-work airline employees, not to the airline companies.
Isn't it interesting that all those people who despise "big government" and regulations, are the first in line to ask for "big government" assistance?
sjvmi87 6
I despise big government and I'm against assisting the airlines beyond giving them loans they must pay back.
Joel Zupon -8
Do you have an economics degree? Please tell us why we need a giant US Post Office running everything??
I do not have an economics degree. I run a 100 people small business and I understand the economics of this environment.
Wow a hundred people company is very challenging to run in good times let alone hard times! Hang in there hopefully this whole virus thing will blow through and give us clean air again.
Is someone proposing that a government entity "running everything" after the government helps secure loans for giant airline corporations? If anyone is proposing this, it has not made any news outlet for distribution. Does Joel know something the rest of us do not?
How is in the interest of the employees to give them temporary welfare checks but let their employer die? Wouldn’t the employees fare better if we enable their employers to survive so the employees can get paychecks and not welfare in the future?
What? A voice of reason? Here?
You are correct Sir! keep the goose alive!
Yes!!! This notion of $1000 to every person is ridiculous. It wouldn’t cover the majority of people out of work’s mortgage or rent for 1 month.
Well, not everyone lives in the Northeast ...
Unfortunately the Airline industry as we know it changed for good about a week ago. We just haven’t seen it yet. The airlines are way more crippled by the virus then 9/11 and have cut their capacity by 50% and the airplanes are still only 20% full. That number declines daily. There will not be very many, if any US carriers that survive this as all foreign carriers are Government subsidized transportation.
Actually, the 9/11 program DIDN'T work. The government really didn't have their heart in it and preferred the airlines go thru the bankruptcy process.
It worked in the sense that there were no significant airline shutdowns and chapter 7 liquidations because of 9/11.
It worked in the sense that there were no significant bankruptcy liquidations. We were in an economic downturn anyway, so some airlines which received aid later went chapter 11 bankrupt, notably USAirways and Frontier, but the aid likely postponed the reckoning.
Correct! The Government also allowed the airlines to default on the Pensions and do away with them in Bankruptcy Court then give millions of dollars in bonuses to the CEO and/or upper management. (see US Supreme Court docs)
stratofan 65
I still am amazed at the yelling and carping about fares & terrible service from the airlines. To quote Richard Branson, "If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars, open an airline, and you will soon be a millionaire." I have found in my travels that, customers want to pay ONLY 99 dollars to fly cross continent, and get treated like they paid 500.00! Respect is a two-way street. I have seen more customers act like jackasses the last time I was in Atlanta, than I have in many years. It is time foe people to act decent instead of jerks.
Greg Zelna 29
Agreed, I personally have observed the crew working harder not less, to make flying a less odious experience. Its the passengers who are becoming less patient, more inconsiderate, and frankly quite rude. And no no adult should reply with 'they made me this way' - No they did not, you choose your responses. Buy a cheap seat, you WILL be cramped back in the cattle car section, every time. People pay for seats that recline, so expect a seat back in your face. I don't recline mine out of consideration for others. Look simply lower your expectations, or purchase a premium seat, its that simple. Anymore I am grateful to #1 arrive in one piece, #2 arrive within an hour or two of the scheduled time. You have special needs, handle them. Don't bitch about the lack of food/drink, or your blood sugar crash- there was plenty of time for that in the terminal. Put on some headphones, read a book, watch a movie, have a beer, and take a nap and be glad you can cross America in 5 hours. Be grateful for those flights you did NOT have a screaming child near you. Think though how that parent of said child feels for a second, trapped, awkward, embarrassed, helpless....? Alternatives, well you could always drive, 50 hours and $350 in fuel, eh ?
Many of us agree with you, that in fact, the airlines should simply make ALL SEATS NOT RECLINE (except for first and Business class seats). Reclining is starting to cause fights, due to the normal behavior of the traveling public (that is, childlike behavior).
So whos fault is it that the seats can't recline so much? tell me why did they make it so hard to recline the seats? Its because they moved the seats to close together! Think of it this way put 12 people in a 8X10 elevator and send them up 20 floors at the top the door opens and the folks depart no fuss, then you send the elevator down again and this time put 25 people in the elevator! All the way up all you hear is people whining thats its too stuffy and cramped and who farted and ever hear of a tic tac? They all get irritated...Do you see the correlation with airplanes here? Cause is simple GREED! More seats means more revenue for the shareholders who ask each quarter where's my dividend.
Americans are greedy, whiney and self entitled. You wouldn’t find a Japanese National complaining the way Americans do. I live in Waikiki and my husband is an airline Pilot. I watch the Americans (yes I am an American) in flights and at the resorts act like self entitled brats, while all the foreigners are happy that they are on an airplane or beach and content with their trip because they paid for the room or seat the expected.
There has always been a solution available on just about every flight I have been on. Yet, you choose not to pay for it. The difference between us is that I don’t complain about the choice that I made and don’t expect to get something without paying for it.
sjvmi87 2
Doesn't apply when your employer mandates the cheapest fare and you are stuck with the caged chickens and goats in a seat that would be tight for an 8-year-old.
You have the option to pay to upgrade that seat, so it does apply. You also have the option to change jobs and work for a company that uses upgraded travel for their employees. Not to mention, you aren’t paying for the flight, your getting paid to travel so why are you whining about it? Get a different job
Thank you!!! That is being realistic. You don’t go to Burgerking and expect a $20 gourmet burger, so why expect more then what you pay for with the airlines. That goes for hotels etc
And if the passenger become too unruly, per the FAA they will be handcuffed and Airport Police will meet the aircraft at the gate and they will be taken off for not adhering to Federal Regulations. If you are sitting by a ride and angry passenger, for your safety and those around you, you should notify a Flight Attendant who will notify the Captain. Unruly passengers are dangerous as you don’t know how short their fuse is and you don’t want to be in a dangerous situation 30,000 ft in the air
Why the class system? Are first and business flyers any better than anyone else on the plane? (I am sure that some of them think they are) How about one standard one-size seat approved and tested by NASA/FAA and installed in all sections with plenty of space? I believe it was originally designed that way in the forties when everyone was happy with the seating.
First and business class pay more. I guess the solution should be to average out all the seats and give everyone more room, which will result in less seats per aircraft. Of course the seat prices will be averaged out as well. Try checking in to how much difference there is between the price of a first class seat and one from the cattle car class. Instead of a few hundred bucks to fly cross country, it'll be more like a grand. But.....everyone will be equal!!
Way more then that. The airlines took over 10 years to recover and start making money post 9/11 because the business travel or that occupied the $3500 seats were no longer flying. They were video conferencing and the employees lost 50% of their pay and all of their Pensions
The Airlines financially need the class system or everyone would be paying twice the amount. The $3500 first class seats off set the cost of coach
Yes! Remove our opportunity to choose seat size and we will all be happy!
If you genuinely want an answer to your question and you have 10 minutes, watch this video:

It explains how airlines make money from different classes of the plane.
It also gives a bit of history of the development of classes on airlines.

Bottom line is that, these days, those sitting further in the front account for about 2/3 of the revenue.
FYI, the seats are designed to recline all the same, so when the person behind you is declined and your seat in front of them is not, the only courtesy you gave them was a premium seat. I hear and applaud your thoughtfulness, but you truly are not doing anyone any special favors by not reclining unless the person behind you chooses to not refine their seat.
Adi Rabadi 25
If it is a 2 way street, why do my knees touch the tray metal before the seat ahead of me is set back?
I found, with American at least, the only seats you can reserve are either cheap, terribly cramped or 1st class & extremely expensive. To get a decent seat, you need to upgrade for about $40. The only airline that offers reasonable seats for a reasonable price is Southwest, but they don't go to Miami, only Ft. Lauderdale, about 75 miles from where I live.
Maybe If the airlines treated their customers decently, the customers would reciprocate.
Or many of the customers weren’t expecting more then what can be provided they wouldn’t be so unhappy
Amen! But might the Airlines do the same as well?
Every Christmas my Wife and I fly from the USA to Asia. Last year our 6 week Christmas Vacation was from MAF, DFW, NRT, HKG, SIN & MNL (with stays in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore & Philippines). With returns MNL, HKG, DFW & MAF. If we have to Fly on AA American Airlines again, we will not go! Compared to all Asian Airlines, USA Carriers are disgusting, except Alaskan. We already BOOKED this Year's Asian Vacation leaving MAF on Thanksgiving Day, returning on Jan 8, 2021. Going to 4 Countries including India this year. Booked everything on Japan, EVA & PAL Airlines. All I have to say, NO MORE American Based Airlines until they make MAJOR changes to their Seating and Customer Service! I ask you all to fly an Asian Based Airline and see for YOURSELF! As a Retired Pilot it is Heart Breaking to see HOW BAD the USA Based Carriers have become!
Not enough REAL domestic competition.

Far too many airports are dominated by a single carrier.

Airline consolidation has been great for the bottom line not so good for customers nor workers and the localities they serve.
Puleeze - I have flown on many foreign carriers but whenever I have an opportunity I will fly a US carrier - it might be considered as "taking care of our own." Your rant reminds me back in the late 60s/early 70s - people complaining about farmers with their mouths full! (age 68 / Semi-retired Pilot / 45 years in the business with 24 as an expat).
US Carriers are the ONLY carriers in the world that are not subsidized by their Government. Alaska Airlines is a Domestic Carrier with some Mexico and Caribbean stops and unfortunately They stand a significant chance of not being able to weather this storm. Also, only Delta and United are the only to Airlines in the world with what is called Fifth Freedom rights given post WWII. Which means they can fly to a foreign Country (Japan) take Japanese nationals to (day Singapore). Delta inherited those rights from NWA and United from Pan Am. All other Carriers and routes must be flown to the Foreign destination and return to the Country of origin. It’s called Cabbatage. (sp?)

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Unfortunately, most people who comment on the ‘Airline industry’ do not have a concept of what the ‘Airlline industry’ really is. Currently, commercial aviation consists of primarily two different types of operators. They are the network ‘Legacy’ air carriers (UAL, AA, DAL, etc.) who provide interconnected air service to the world and Scheduled Charter Companies (SWA, JBL, ALGT, etc.) that provide basically point-to-point service at a low price due to their low overhead costs.
While I support the basic ‘Free Market’ concept for domestic business, I strongly believe in the regulation of ‘Public Utilities’. That concept is the first point that needs to be resolved in this discussion.
Prior to Airline Deregulation in 1978, well over 500 communities had reliable commercial air service to the world. Currently, that number is down to about 300 communities and shrinking every year. The adverse economic impact on most of those communities has been substantial. As a part of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, communities who were scheduled to lose their air service were granted a subsidy to support air service and allow the community time to adjust to the loss of air service. This subsidy was called ‘Essential Air Service’ (EAS) and was scheduled to terminate in 1988. In 1978, EAS amounted to $120 Million and supported some 200 communities. Today, (42 years later) EAS payments are in excess of $300 Million and support over 200 communities.
In summary, we must decide whether we want a network of small vibrant communities in this country or to allow the demographics of this country to consolidate into some 20 ‘Power Centers’.
Congratulations, excellent comment..
Rob Palmer 12
Absolutely. I have been flying for over 70 years, and they have become rotten as self-servers. All corporations regardless of size should show some humility. FAA can and should set seat sizes, the world will follow in order to market here. Treasury: No more grants; call them loans with specific payback terms. On many routes they in effect hold monopoly patents, for which they should be closely supervised by regulators. This has become very sloppy government standards. I personally drive as much as I can.
The FAA did regulate the seat sizes and allowed them the current seat configurations post 9/11
Well, if the Dems takeover you'll all get your wishes. They'll nationalize the airlines and listen to nobody. You'll be left to complain to a government bureaucracy somewhere that never answers their phones or emails. What you complain about now will seem like the "Good Old Days".
Check your facts. We are currently in this situation because the President called this a hoax. The Farmers needed bail out because of the trade wars and we have the largest deficit in our History because of tax breaks to the wealthy and Corporations during a booming economy. Now what?
Should be pretty easy to post a link of this for proof, no? I don't recall Trump ever calling this a hoax.

I recommend you watch news stations that show comments in the FULL context.
Right on!!
AWAAlum 1
From Snopes: Here are Trump’s exact words on the topic at the South Carolina rally: Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ They go, ‘Oh, not good, not good.’ They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa, they can’t even count. No they can’t. They can’t count their votes.

One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax. But you know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We’re 15 people [cases of coronavirus infection] in this massive country. And because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.
In context, Trump did not say in the passage above that the virus itself was a hoax. He instead said that Democrats’ criticism of his administration’s response to it was a hoax. He muddied the waters a few minutes later, however, by comparing the number of coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. (none, at that point in time) to the number of fatalities during an average flu season, and accusing the press of being in “hysteria mode”:

In context, Trump did not say in the passage above that the virus itself was a hoax. He instead said that Democrats’ criticism of his administration’s response to it was a hoax. He muddied the waters a few minutes later, however, by comparing the number of coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. (none, at that point in time) to the number of fatalities during an average flu season, and accusing the press of being in “hysteria mode”:
Enough with the Trump bashing, OK? This is an aviation related forum and those of us that frequently read and post here do a pretty good job of keeping it apolitical. You've made 28 comments on this story and most of them do not add much (if anything) to the narrative. You obviously feel strongly about the President and that's fine. However I for one, would appreciate it if you would keep your opinions to yourself. If not, you will likely get down-voted off the site.
mbazell 12
What has happened to the railroad industry is now coming to fruition to the airline industry. Gov't regulation isn't all that bad when you consider the timely and quality service of the late 40's thru the late 70's. De-regulation brought about people like Icahn, Lorenzo and Wolf. It festered the demise and elimination of many good air carriers and competent and experienced employees who were more interested in providing quality service than just waiting for that pay check.
United Airlines is still ripping people off. They say they won't charge a fee if a person cancels but they charge a $125 fee to redeposit their Mileage Plus miles if they are used. I'm 69 and cancelled my flight and they billed my credit card. I've been back and forth in email with them and they consider that different. This is ridiculous. It cost nothing to redeposit points back into my account and there's no way to reschedule any flights under the present conditions, not knowing what's going to happen. I feel they just want to suck people dry. My cancellation was because CDC and government recommended that seniors NOT travel.
AA is not charging the fee.
Glad to hear that.
fitzhoyt 1
Delta isn't doing that! Fly Delta!
Delta is waiving their change fee for my tickets booked Feb 28 for travel April 24-May 6, but requires that my travel be completed by December 31 of this year or else I forfeit my fare. Although this is better than nothing, it is not great, and not nearly as good a position for me if I had booked with Southwest. I'll probably go back to flying Southwest almost exclusively; I only got into Delta this time because I booked a vacation through Costco.
But, please note, they were up until a week or so ago. When I tried to recoup the $450 cancellation fee (on a cash ticket from HND to LAX) no dice.
Please CALL them. I know it's painful, I KNOW, but I'm up there in age too, and cried med a river to an Asia-based UAL agent and got my flight cancelled, miles redeposited and fee waived in 2 minutes. Try calling UAL international customer service numbers.
sjvmi87 1
Yet another reason why I'll be happy to shit on United's grave.
Then boycott United. THAT will show them!
One comment missing in the story...
The salary and bonus of the person at the top.
Heck they should give that back to the company because they failed in their job
by not planning for how a business downturn would affect the company.
I’m sure you have done a lot better with your responsibilities...
I loved this NYT article when I read it on line. If companies don't treat their customers well, then they should not expect loyalty when the S___T hits the FAN!
If this thread is any indication, nobody has any loyalty any more. This is solely a "What can you do for ME?" world these days.
sjvmi87 3
No, it's not a "what can you do for me" world- it's a "what di you do to me when the times were good" world. Personally, I paid over $10,000 in change fees, baggage fees, the option to pick a seat, etc all while airlines were rolling in the cash hand over fist. They didn't cut us a break then so why should I be inclined to cut them a break now? I'd be lenient if they did anything to help their employees with better pay but no, they rolled it into stock buy-back activities instead. Fuck'em. I hope they go under and the other airlines see their greedy example and develop an airline that can provide good service at a fair price while paying the employees who do the actual work.
the latest outrage by American Airlines is the size of the restrooms on the new 737's. All the room that was needed for any semblance of comfort and the ability to turn around inside the restroom was given to more seats to generate more and more revenue. That mindset needs to be removed as do any seats that cause a user of any restroom to wish they could defecate standing up, as that was all the room that was given to them. THere is more to address- excess baggage fees, change fees- and the host of other fees that generate revenue and hard feelings from customers.Now that the company has become a beggar and gone away from being a bully, i hope to see revisions in customer care, or else no bailout bucks.
Any "Bail Out" should come with a rapayment with interest.
Yep, just like Chrysler.
stratofan 10
A little info that you will NOT see in the media. Chrysler PAID their loans back AGAIN. Unlike "The General" who is still on the hook to the taxpayers for Billions, as well as raiding the retirees pension fund. Something else the media does not tell you. No wonder Obama wanted you to buy a Volt or a Bolt.
Not that it has anything to do aviation but the portion GM has to pay is paid. The loss government is seeing is because it paid itself in stock from the IPO of the new company after the bankruptcy. Government choose to pay itself that way.
You can always choose to travel another way. Airfares are lower now then ever. Everyone expects high class service at mega bus prices.
Gas for autos is cheaper,too. Going down to $1.49, I estimate. I would much prefer to drive myself any day. Take a good look at the pictures of the recent crashes.
Auto crashes or airplane crashes? I guess the only reasonable course of action is to only look at the pictures of crashes for the method of conveyance you have chosen NOT to use. Doing otherwise may convince one that all traveling is dangerous and we all should just stay at home.
aurodoc 4
I agree that airline management has been greedy and passenger comfort and service has never been worse at the legacy carriers. That said, one needs to look at the consequences of an airline or two going under from the employee perspective. Loss of income and jobs for crew, ground staff, mechanics and all others who support the airline need to be accounted for. Getting money to the working people laid off in the short term and maybe providing a TARP like program for certain airlines with certain conditions would be helpful. GM was part of the program where the government provided cash and took some financial interest in the business and in the end the cost was minimal and even made the government some profit. Got to make it work for all sides.
Global air travel has finally had the cataclysmic event that will reshape the entire industry. Fewer airlines, fewer routes and less travel. Compare that to the cruise ship industry which is all but shuttered. And add in a lack of tourism and hotel stays and we are witnessing the Terrible Trifecta or the Humbling Holy Trinity of global travel.
Since they have paid out $$$ to shareholders they should ask the shareholders to do any bailing out.
Shareholders executing any type of "bailout" would actually be called "additional investment" in additional share of stock. The term "bailout" is reserved for non-free market entities who might contribute some "stake" in the companies continued operations.
I won't feel sorry for any airlines in Canada. They made the choice to please their shareholders in first place and then to their customers.

Now they are in position to simply steal their customers due to the Covid-19 by charging astronomical fees to bring back home Canadians.

I have no pity for those companies anymore.
Brilliant article by Mr Wu. I have been flying for 50 years and frankly, the airlines now treat passengers like s..t whenever they can and abuse at will. Why bail them out. Let new investors take over and lets see if they can have a little bit of empathy for their customers.if they want OUR tax dollars let them earn it
Congratulations for posting a link behind a Paywall...
That’s strange, I could read it without any problems.
Me too.
For American Airlines, the nation’s largest airline, the mid to late 2010s were what the Bible calls “years of plenty.”

In 2014, having reduced competition through mergers and raised billions of dollars in new baggage-fee revenue, American began reaching stunning levels of financial success. In 2015, it posted a $7.6 billion profit — compared, for example, to profits of about $500 million in 2007 and less than $250 million in 2006. It would continue to earn billions in profit annually for the rest of the decade. “I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again,” the company’s chief executive, Doug Parker, said in 2017.

There are plenty of things American could have done with all that money. It could have stored up its cash reserves for a future crisis, knowing that airlines regularly cycle through booms and busts. It might have tried to decisively settle its continuing contract disputes with pilots, flight attendants and mechanics. It might have invested heavily in better service quality to try to repair its longstanding reputation as the worst of the major carriers.

Instead, American blew most of its cash on a stock buyback spree. From 2014 to 2020, in an attempt to increase its earnings per share, American spent more than $15 billion buying back its own stock. It managed, despite the risk of the proverbial rainy day, to shrink its cash reserves. At the same time it was blowing cash on buybacks, American also began to borrow heavily to finance the purchase of new planes and the retrofitting of old planes to pack in more seats. As early as 2017 analysts warned of a risk of default should the economy deteriorate, but American kept borrowing. It has now accumulated a debt of nearly $30 billion, nearly five times the company’s current market value.

At no time during its years of plenty did American improve how it treats its customers. Change fees went up to $200 for domestic flights and to $750 for international. Its widely despised baggage fees were hiked to $30 and $40 for first and second bags. These higher fees yielded billions of dollars, yet did not help the airline improve its on-time arrivals, reduce tarmac delays or prevent involuntary bumping. Instead, American’s main “innovations” were the removal of screens from its planes, the reduction of bathroom and seat sizes and the introduction of a “basic economy” class that initially included a ban on carry-on luggage.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which is wreaking havoc on the airline industry, American Airlines has not yet asked for a bailout — at least not in so many words. Yet after a recent meeting with airline leadership, Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said that “certain sectors of the economy, airlines coming to mind” might require assistance. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the airlines, including American, would be “on the top of the list” for federal loan relief.

As the government considers what we, the public, should do for the airlines, we should ask, Just what have they done for us?

The United States economy needs an airline industry to function. The industry is in that sense not a “normal” industry, but rather what was once called a common carrier or a public utility: a critical infrastructure on which the rest of the economy relies. The major airlines know that unlike a local restaurant, they will never be allowed, collectively, to fail completely. In practice, the public has subsidized the industry by providing de facto insurance against hard times in the form of bailouts or merger approvals. And now here we go again.

We cannot permit American and other airlines to use federal assistance, whether labeled a bailout or not, to weather the coronavirus crisis and then return to business as usual. Before providing any loan relief, tax breaks or cash transfers, we must demand that the airlines change how they treat their customers and employees and make basic changes in industry ownership structure.

Beginning with passengers, change fees should be capped at $50 and baggage fees tied to some ratio of costs. The change fees don’t just irritate; they are also a drag on the broader economy, making the transport system less flexible and discouraging what would otherwise be efficient changes to travel plans. We should also put an end to the airlines’ pursuit of smaller and smaller seats, which are not only uncomfortable and even physically harmful, but also foster in-flight rage and make the job of flight attendants nigh unbearable. Finally, we have allowed too much common ownership, permitting large shareholders to take a stake in each of the major airlines, creating incentives to collude instead of compete.

The airlines will argue that their ownership structure, cramped seats, high fees and other forms of customer suffering are necessary to keep prices lower. But after the last decade’s mergers, no one should take that argument seriously. As any economist will tell you, in a market with reduced competition, and common ownership, there is limited pressure to reduce prices. Instead, as we’ve seen, the major airlines charge what they can get away with and spend the profit on stock buybacks and other self-serving enterprises.

The question of what the public should demand from an airline bailout raises questions that transcend the business of flying. The next several weeks will leave behind many economic victims, including nearly every provider of in-person services. Many small retailers, restaurants and other businesses, like caterers or fitness instructors, face grim prospects. Yet it is the economy’s big players, like banks and airlines, that are the best at asking for (and getting) government assistance.

During the last economic crisis, we largely let individuals suffer while helping out the big guys, leaving behind deep resentments that still fester. This time around we should start from the bottom instead of the top.
LW P 14
Why build a cash reserve when you know that the US Taxpayer will bail you out if things go sideways?
clarify 6
There's a term for it -- "moral hazard". From wikipedia: "In economics, moral hazard occurs when an actor has an incentive to increase their exposure to risk because they don't bear the full costs of that risk."

But it's worse than that. The companies' officers put their companies at risk in order to line their own pockets. They used the gobs of cash that they earned to buy back stock, thereby raising the stock price, thereby triggering bonuses and pumping up their own shares. And then they borrowed cash, which they're now in danger of not being able to make the loan payments on, and now need help from the U.S. Taxpayer.

The companies' officers weakened the airlines financially in order to help themselves. They are the winners and airlines' customers, employees, and the U.S. Taxpayers are the losers.

Clear and controlled presentation.
Thank you, Edward.

Seems to me the bailout process is a few guys helping out a few of their closest friends — how can we all get our input into the bailout process?
Wow Edward please run for Congress or Senate✓ u get my vite
He'd get mine
Well said sir,the airlines are nothing more like a bunch of prostitutes.They create their own problems.Your change fee cap is sound,or do what Southwest or JetBlue do
Maybe you should be an airline CEO
mdburd 2
Well written and reasonable thesis; nicely done.
However, be careful of injecting facts into discussions; some folks don't care for that. Stay heated and emotional!! Scream (SCREAM!!).. :-)
You must have reached your quota of free articles, otherwise you would have been able to read it.
Quick workaround to NYT's article limit (although I wonder at the wisdom of reading the NYTimes.)

Use firefox as your browser and set your options to "Clear all cookies on exit." I open firefox, visit site, and then close firefox. All cookies gone. Articles read reset to zero.
So you wanted cheap, now you have cheap, and bean counters that don't go to the airport running the airlines.
You got that right, the executive decision makers are definitely NOT flying coach !
I’m an AA employee.. they continue to show little or no compassion for their employees... CEO and top
Management just taking care of themselves.. no pay cuts for them!!
AWAAlum -2
I'm sorry you're having a poor experience at work. It might be time to look for a new job?
private airlines have been nickel and dimming all their customer and taking advantage of them. The tax payers should not be double dipped with the fares the fees the bad service and then the bail out. The last time I check nobody send me a check when they distributed gains among their investors and executive. So my answer is not don't bail them out and if they go belly up another will come
Commercial aviation does not just consist of scheduled air carriers. It also includes charter carriers who work on the slimmest of margins. These are the airlines that fly our troops around the world, that tour operators book air/hotel packages for the public to fly to Mexico and Punta Cana. It's also is the small commuter airlines. I work for many of these entities as a consultant, and I can vouch that they are not raking in money in good times, they are trying to turn enough profit for their shareholders while providing a living for the pilots, flight crews, dispatchers, back office administration and all the companies that support them. I don't think you should be so quick to judge airlines as being greedy or looking for handouts. It is one of the most regulated industries in the US. It ain't easy!
Let's just remember the auto "bailout" model in which the recipients of those funds EVENTUALLY PAID THE MONEY BACK TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I'm sure the airlines' executives can be reminded of this BEFORE THEY TAKE THE GOVERNMENT'S "BAILOUT". If I recall correctly, the auto executives DID in fact cut their compensation during the "bailout period".
Not only did the auto industry pay the money back, in some cases with them and the banks the govt got stock given to them for compensation that they sold back for a tidy profit.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Nice language... you just made my case about how crude passengers are these days.
boughbw 7
So all that lead-up to target capping change fees at $50? Really?
I get the desire to make receiving government assistance conditional on making changes to the airline industry, but it is abusive for government to condition a bailout in response to a pandemic on making changes better left to the normal legislative process. Nonetheless, I am shocked at this article being so threadbare in light of all the things that deserve to be addressed. Legroom is obvious, and the source of so much conflict.
Believe me that the airlines wouldn’t feel you needed help if you didn’t have the money for their services. I really think; 1) Before airlines or aviation carriers are bailed out, airline executives (i.e. CEOs, CIOs, VPs) should cut their salary at least by half. After all, why can’t they live on less than 2 million a year? 2) Check the pilot’s salary also… There are a lot of pilots making 3-4 times the “6 figure” mark… Maybe they should have saved some of that for time like these. 3) Make sure that the right people are going to get the help and it doesn’t go to the executive by way of bonuses or stock options.
Fact of the matter is that if any monies are dealt out (even to the small business owner) do you really think that the employee is going to benefit from it? Heck, businesses (all kinds) have laid off employees and cut their medical insurance without a thought and told them to go collect unemployment and check with the state for medical help. So where do you really think the money should go?
What money are your referring to? Money does not magically appear, new wealth needs to be generated. For the government to simply print more money and hand it out, let's face it, simply makes all of the existing money in circulation worth a little less. Let's try to remember our Econ 101 discussions from so many years ago, yes?
You need to get to Econ 201.
Do not mix up micro and macro economics.
Set a good example by cutting your own salary in half, first.
The airlines increase fares,lessen service and boast about profits. Yet, when a financial loss impacts them, they expect the public to bale them out. Then as history proves, when things return to "normal" they revert to old practices without a thank you.
They DON't need a bale out, they need to take a hit like everyone else. IF they do get assistance,they should thank the taxpayers "cash cows"by lowering fares and treating us like humans.
I so agree David, The Airlines for the most part seem to treat the traveling public like herd of cattle, get you in the plane, tell you what you can and can't do, then just dump you out at the other end of the flight. BUT as soon as things (For Them) get bad, then LOL they go screaming to the Tax Payer that they treated like Cattle in the past to bail them out !!!! Yea Right.
Airlines are getting more like major churches all the time. Treating people like cattle is a good metaphor.
Ra1n 3
The United States Department of Transportation keeps historical records of domestic air fares through various cities across the country.

It can be reviewed at this link:

Looking at few cities of varying sizes and the US average fares, it is clear that, over time, air fares have trended downwards over time when inflation is taken into account.

Anecdotally, through personal travel and hearing from family members, the cost of flights, especially those on major routes (direct flights between major cities), have come down considerably over the years.
The Airlines want to forget the very large tax breaks that the enjoyed as a gift from the President that was going to increase the pay of their employees which they never got because the Airlines chose to buy back stock instead.
If airfares were again to be regulated by Washington, several aspects that made travel easy will return. The first being any airline will accept tickets from any other. Since they cannot compete on price, they will compete with service.

Next the rules will allow each passenger 2 pieces of luggage, and additional bags at air freight rates, instead of the mark ups now collected.

Changes were as easy as a phone call, or at the counter. No charge. All fees, taxes, and other nonsense was included in the price, and you knew exactly how much you were going to pay when you bought the ticket. No seat selection fee, exit row upcharge, or $15 for a stale sandwich and a piece of fruit.
I am old. In my lifetime I have seen the cost of air travel plummet as well as telephone calls. You get what you pay for. You pay less for first class now than in the 1950-1960 days. Get yourself status with an airline and pay up for first class and don't worry about the people back in steerage. There is always Netjets.
All those benefits came at a very high cost. Adjusting for inflation, air fares were more than double then what they are today.
Although I do feel bad for the employees who have their livelihoods supported by their jobs at these airlines, I do not feel bad for the corporations themselves. Before they should even ask for financial support from the government, $10 billion no less, the airlines' executives should agree to work without pay for one year. A Dec. 2019 Chicago Business article said that Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO, was about to get a pay raise to 2 million USD when he stepped down from the position as CEO and became a chairman. It's not like he does not get payed enough as it is, ha and all the other executives earning million dollar salaries should work without pay until the airline gets back on its feet. Or perhaps give their airlines interest-free loans from their personal finances. Maybe then they should go begging for out tax payer money but until then, hands off!!

Munoz Salary Source:
You first!
Eliminate the middle seat :) Serve hot meals:) Then you get a buyout you tight wads.
The best way to charge for flying is have the customer stand on a scale with all their luggage making sure they are the only one who can see their weight so no embarrassment! Print a weight ticket and charge the customer by the pound! That's how freight flys, plus if you have a fat pig on board you all know that hog paid a premium for not stepping away from the fork! Just saying... It would be the best way to charge fairly, plus it lets the Captain know exactly how much lard he has onboard.
I am not a big fan of the so called flag carriers in the US. I had a Delta flight (company paid for) that I arrived for 2 hours early and checked in with 2 bags (paid $60 for though I was reimbursed) and while one bag arrived with me at my destination, they put the other on a charter flight for the Falcons to Cincinnati. That bag had a very important piece of equipment that I needed for work the next day and had to waste time traveling back to the hotel to see if it was delivered (it had and before I left for work orginally).

If an airline cannot put a passengers bags on the same airplane when the passenger arrives that early for a flight, they their inability to serve passengers is lacking. In such a case, they need to reconsider charging for bags in the first place or ensure that the luggage goes with the passenger if they want a loan to help them through the hard times.
Under no circumstances should any Government in any Country bail out the airlines. Poor management, fee grubbing, utter disdain for the passenger, their revenue source and lack of vision planning has brought them to this point. Shame on any Government that bails out these companies and ignores the little businesses that truly need the help.
The airlines in the1970 when I started flying wanted your business. The customer was king, more room , treated better, free baggage, or at least it was in the ticket price. Plenty of member benefits, Smokehouse almonds as much as you wanted.
Now smaller seats, pay for baggage, nothing free, no service, just trying to catch you doing something wrong.
Glad I retired last year. Traveling for my job was the pits, I don’t miss it.
The government shouldn't give them any assistance at all. The big 3 American, United, and Delta have raked in 250-300 billion in profit just in the 10 years, after all expenses. If they mismanaged and blew that money then that should be on them.
American has definitely declined in quality in recent times. I have categorically avoided the more recently especially for longer flights.
AA should only get the money if they get rid of Oasis seating!!
Seriously, seating dimensions and ticket pricing could be sold by traveller height and width — like parcel delivery pricing.

More or less:
Big and tall
Et cetera
Pay appropriately as to weight, use average human height as well. No skimping on seat distance.
The airlines are in this financial position as they are not raking in millions in baggage fees, change fees, food fees, and those 50 different fares for any flight, passengers packed like anchovies in uncomfortable seats.

Is it time to repeal the Reagan era deregulation of airlines? Many of the financial issues of today started when with deregulation and with the former chairman of AA, Robert Crandall. I understand he and AA devised the "super saver" fares we have today. I'm old enough to remember the OAG paper pocket publication that listed a total of 4 fares - F/Y/Fn/Yn. In that day, a well managed airline broke even, maybe made money. Passengers had a reasonable number of checked bags, complimentary meals, and no added fees. Changing a ticket was a free phone call to an agent you could understand.

I know some in the traveling public will howl about no cheap seats. Some businesses would bitch about having to pay a full fare with employers not booking flights 6 weeks out.

It's time the nickel & dime (ing) of passengers stop and airline services, some of us remember, are restored.
The airlines will survive and so will the traveling public and business travel departments.
In 1979 I flew Boston to Los Angeles and back. One-stop same plane BOS-CLE-LAX, same route coming back, both flights red-eyes, both on American 707s. My YN round trip fare: $345.

Did the same trip in 2016, nonstop BOS-LAX and back, westbound daytime, eastbound red-eye, both flights on Delta 737s. My round trip economy fare: approx $450. tells me that my 1979 fare would have been $1,140 in 2016 (assuming fare regulation continued, and assuming fares rose in line with overall inflation.)

If I’d budgeted up to $1,140 for the 2016 trip, likely I could have flown business class, and enjoyed all the perks we nostalgically remember (or think we do) from the old days, but it was good to have cheaper options.

Do we really want to go back to the regulation era, when many many people could rarely if ever afford airline travel? If we did, and fares were in line with my inflation-calculator exercise, the US airline industry would be a helluva lot smaller than it is now, and a whole lotta airline jobs would disappear.
Mark my words. When this "medical disaster" is over (it may never be over) there will be at best three(3) maybe only two(2) national airlines. Much like the Railroads 75 years ago, Airlines have forgotten they are in the Transportation Business, not the Airline Business. Their "financial behavior" is going to come back and haunt them.

W. A. Sullivan, 3rd
The airlines provide a critical service and as such should be saved.

However, it is absolutely fair, reasonable, and economically efficient that saving the airlines (and other industries) should come with a long overdue reset of the rules by which they operate. A good example is the fixed $200 change fee. Why? Because over the past 10 years, airlines took advantage of behavioral economics and found people don't directly "price in" the possibility of a change so the fees grew ridiculous. Now, people are afraid to book because they have been conditioned, in a fuzzy way, that the cost to change is excessive and the process Kafkaesque. Family of four? $800 lost. This conditioning has come back to haunt the airlines.

Having said that, it is true travel is far cheaper today than 40 years ago. We don't need to throw the market baby out with the "rent-seeking" bath water. We just need some economically efficient guard rails. When we taxpayers end up, by necessity, owning these airlines over the next year, we can restructure them in a thoughtful way and then refloat them as private, sustainable, and reasonably profitable and honorable businesses operating with a duty to serve, not exploit, the public. This will be part of a deeper values shift we will see for the overall economy..

The change fees are $50
As noted in the NYT Opinion piece which started this thread, change fees are indeed $200 or more (normally).

Delta, United, and American all moved to a flat $200 almost 10 years ago. International change fees can be much higher, e.g., $500+ for discounted business class tickets. You can see this buried in the specific fare rules if you can find them. US airline websites typically obscure this detail, European carriers are required to display it prominently before purchase, and other countries (e.g., Colombia) regulate these fees. (Note: You won't see these fees in the fare rules now because they've been temporarily suspended through March 31).

Of course Southwest famously has never charged change fees and smaller carriers could also be more liberal. But, on the majors where most people fly, it's $200 (even for a $50 promo fare).
While I may have some empathy for the rank-and-file airline employees, I have none for the executives who have taken massive bonuses now I want to be bailed out through the stimulus package. In the meantime they are charging fees for things such as returning miles to customer accounts for travel arrangements that had to be canceled because of COVID-19. It is one of the blatant examples of their greed.
They've been stuffing planes full for years now. They've made tons of money. They should have had more rainy day funds. Instead they decided to buy back stocks. Now the tax payer has to bail them out ?
Last time I flew I was treated as if I was a cheat. Using "basic economy" which forbids a carry-on which does not fit under the seat in front (as opposed to forbid use of overhead compartment space) I was blocked from online check-in. When checking in, the agent explained that people still bring large carry-ons so they force us all to use an agent to check in. That way the agent can confirm we do not have a carry-on too large to fit underneath. Hmmm, I felt like they simply said "we do not trust you and this extra annoyance is your fault." My response, I'll try and avoid ever using the airline for any future flights.
Ed Rich 2
American screwed STL, now it's there turn.
Well I agree with much of RainbowRiver'S comment, Pilots and crew members do a great job of providing Customer Service in the cabin of an airline Jet. Some People have an Entitlement clause in their brain's from whom, Nobody know's. Their is no Ideal Platform in any industry or everyday life to get Everyone to abide by The rules of Conduct, Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Respect other people's property and person (no hitting or stealing).
Laugh with anyone, but laugh at no one.
Be responsible for your own learning. Etc.
You do have the right to be Peeved & bash An Industry that has Nickeled and Dimed its customers for a long time and are looking for Tax Payers to bail them out. Like many who comment on this issue, I vote NO ! (Remember the Car industry Bailout).
Bail out the People who are now facing lost of income, Facing Rent or mortgage Lapses.
Its taking a Major Contagion in our life time to find out how ill Prepared we are as a whole. But alas, The politicians will be the one's who ultimately have the last say. Its just an opinion.
+1 But we're crying in the wilderness. Socialism is so seductive - until you're jammed into an 18 inch middle seat with nothing to eat or drink on a five hour flight
you are right, there are more businesses which are suffered from the situation and their activity is no less important
hotels, tourist operators and airlines made lot of money on people's back no need to over support them
if company gone bankrupt other will fill the vacuum
Let the airlines fail. Then buy the assets, and rebrand. Get new work rules and contracts. Pass the savings to the consumer. Don’t bailout a broken industry, and make the taxpayers pay for mediocre service. If anything bailout the taxpayers, and not big business. End of rant.
Time now to demand better seating accommodations without a price rise.
Yes! Demand everything at no cost!
Try driving, if you hate the airlines so much. Better yet, buy your own airplane and learn to fly.
Oh sure, bash the airlines. That's what most people do best these days... bash everything and everybody. The airline employees have to put up with all the rude, crude, lewd "customers" who think they know everything and that they are in charge just because they bought a ticket. I was a captain for a major U.S. carrier and even though the flight attendants had to take most of the abuse, I had to deal with the worst ones - sometimes in flight. And it's gotten a lot worse since I retired. This isn't the world it once was, unfortunately, when airline passengers dressed up for their flight and were pleasant to each other and the crew. Today, we're lucky if most of them wear clothes at all and are reasonably sober. I don't know how the agents and flight attendants can stand to do the job anymore. So bash away and make stupid, ignorant comments to the airline employees ("I bet I fly more than you do". Oh sure, you don't), at least I don't have to listen to it any more. And by the way, you're welcome for the fact that we get you there safely an astounding percentage of the time.
Your no Captain! Because if you were you would know that rude people as you call them are your boss! Without them you dont fly! Your company is to blame for for their rude behavior and if your a real captain then you would know its the airlines who created this mess! Yes it's true people use to dressup to fly but it was a pleasure to fly then! Now it's dreaded by anybody! Seats are to narrow and no leg room anymore and way to many charges for items that were once part of the pleasure of flying. TSA folks are rude the stewards are rude and extremely judgemental and they herd you in like cattle... What other industry treats its paying customers so poorly? None! (ok maybe Comcast) So your not a Captain! Cause us Captains care about our customers not the incompetent greedy shareholders who want to get more and more money for nothing, without regard for its paying customers the folks who make them rich! Their greed is is 100% the cause of all rude behavior from the flying public. I dare you to offer the same conditions and amenities as were in place a decade ago...Imagine folks wanting to fly on your airlines because its a pleasure!!
In a 44 year aviation career as a private, military (Vietnam combat decorated), corporate, and airline pilot, I was fortunate to never put a scratch on a passenger or an airplane. So I dare say, yes I was a Captain - and a far better one than a person like you would make. The Captain has nothing to do with all the things you mention - the "window dressing" of airline aviation. The Captain ultimately has only one, primary responsibility: to get people there safely.
And you, David Craig, should proof your post.....using incorrect grammar stops most people from taking you seriously. IMHO.
I like how you are able to call everyone else rude without being rude yourself. Well done!
AWAAlum 0
I agree with all your points...even your last sentence - even though that's what you're being paid for.
Interesting and on the mark editorial. I have to agree.
The airlines must treat both the pilots and passengers in a better fashion.
And pay their taxes!
It would be nice if the US traveler had something even close to the rights of the EU traveler. I believe they still make a decent profit. With the current shutdown of domestic travel you would think one could get a Global Entry interview for a RENEWAL somewhere in Northern California. They had no problem taking my $100 renewal fee. Why do I even need another interview? Did my fingerprints change?I am happy to say I have no plans to travel at this point.
They disappeared millions (billions?) of dollars by buying up their own stock to artificially inflate their stock price to increase management and investor income, all while claiming they were nearly bankrupt when employees came to them. 'No, nothing for you! ALL FOR US!!!'. It's raw greed, and to reward that is asinine! I hate to say it, but some of these damn airlines need to die!
I’m a big free-market supporter. However, a fee market needs to be free on both the supply and demand ends. If one end is tied down tight, the free end can only respond by running in circles. The airlines have grabbed control of the supply line so that it is no longer free market. As the airlines will not do it on their own, before anyone gives them assistance, they should be legislated into providing a least a decent experience without gouging and nickel and diming their customers to death. Until then, let ‘em suffer!
Your post indicates you are not that big of a free market supporter.
Oh, but I am. However, both ends of the string must be free or by definition it is not a free market
And they are. It’s a free country and anyone is allowed to do what is necessary to start an airline and run it the way they see fit. And I have never been forced to take a flight that I did not want to take. When I go on the travel sites, I typically have lots of choices (including prices) for flights that serve the needs I have. What you seem to be suggesting is “If I don’t get what I want, I’m not free, and the only answer is to enslave the supplier.’
I feel if any airlines is looking for our money to help them survive as much as we are trying to survive this crisis they should remember us by not charging for up to two pieces of luggage on any trip we may take in the future.
There are two problems with an airline bailout. 1. These funds provided would be government guaranteed, which by extension means guaranteed by the US taxpayer. I don't think you could find a single taxpayer, except airline executives and union members, who would agree to give such a loan. 2. Over the last decade of cheap money, Airlines have routinely spent tens of billions of dollars buying back their own stock. Why CFO's do this should be addressed in another essay altogether, but for the purpose of this comment, let's just say it was an incredibly shortsighted and irresponsible management decision that not only left certain Airlines in an extremely vulnerable financial position but made them beggars as well. Given gov't guaranteed bailouts save the C-suite stock and options packages that are often worth tens of millions, and save the sweet union deals of thousands of registered voters, while bankruptcy, on the other hand, wipes it all away. Gone, goodbye, nothing gets protected and everything gets restructured and reorganized with full oversight, you can understand who wants what and why.
Definitely better seat space economy were r all big in West... No director bonus or stock options.... fire all current directors...
Right on the money. Main St first then Wall St and IF we give the airlines a bail out then with all the points in MR Wu’s post attached . Plus the bail out repaid over time. ENOUGH.
Or add to the hundreds of thousands of people out of work with the hundred thousand employees per airline AND count on not get mail or Cargo since the major airlines subsidize mail and cargo on their passenger routes
Anything the passenger does not pay to an airline, it gets back double in government grants, tax benefits, bailouts ... . Open your eyes folks. Any service given in this world is paid in full. If it was a losing game, no wealthy and intelligent person would enter the market. The ones at the top are making a fortune and whining they are not making enough. Boohoo. Then they treat you like shite and with contempt because you can't figure out their game. Most people are verbally and intellectually castrated sheep.
Was offended at first until I realized what the article was really about. Companies that treat their employees fairly grow and create better experiences for all. Just look at Delta vs American. One is one of the most popular airlines in the world and the other is the embodiment of american business practices, AKA greed. Even working for a company that used to be a part of Delta, the truth is still the same. More money in the execs pockets means that the actual employees and customers are being screwed.
Make seat distance space acceptable. Need more seats, build a larger plane.
I absolutely agree with the message in this headline!
AMERICAN AIRLINES is just ONE example of American corporate greed ~ even globally. Citizens need a true "Corporate Watch" so when ANY corporation or business gouges citizens, the AIRLINE (or other business) is put on a "boycott timeout" BY ORGANIZED CONSUMERS until they change prices or policy! KEEP the boycott until "company X" FEELS the true POWER of the people ~ in their ca$h drawers (and their other drawers too)!
Then vote Democrat. They'll control EVERYTHING. You'll be happy with Russian airlines - or ELSE!
"airlines " or share holders"? "Airlines" is a shortcut but does not mean anything. It is the share holders who don't care and the top management who only think bonuses for whom we should not feel sorry at all. They are those who decide. But to be fair some flagship airlines are doing a good job at treating all their customers well. And some do not. And, not to confuse things: some airport companies are plain mall-type merchants bent ob quick profit alone, and this reflect badly on airlines services on the ground not their fault. Same for security checks: one airline will offer a good welcome at their counter or lounge, and then you have to deal with rude or illiterate "security" personnel or whatever and the temptation is then to blame the airline.
I agree complety with this article. The airlines have nickel and dimed passengers with fees and charges while packing them into cramped cabins.
Dear NY Times,

Can we demand a change in PAX treatment of airline staff? They want lower fares and more services, then feel entitled.


Another PAX that appreciates airline staff
We all appreciate our fellow workers and compatriots, but when Management starts to think of customers and staff as meat money bags and to herd as cattle and treat as liabilities, then it is time to change. Copying the Evil Socialist European trains would be a great start and if the Government Subsidized and Bailed Out (more than once) Free Market Airlines continue to treat customers and staff as sheep then it is time to see them go ! ! !
AWAAlum 0
I imagine that if large enough numbers feel the same, they will boycott and hence the demise of the airline. I, however, would hope for a better outcome; the message being taken seriously, and improvements made.
That's the idea, not just give high profit organizations money we could be using for infrastructure, education/research, reforestation and climate change abatement. They should have their own rainy day funds. We now see where wealth comes from, not from Bootstraps . . .
Delta is on the good list. Had flights to Turkey that needed changed to later in the year, waited three minutes on hold, eight minutes later we were rescheduled. Same flights, same class of service, they know how to be customer centric..... plus their Delta One service class is an awesome value for the money..
after all this,,,,covid19, etc..passengers/customers will be treated like "kings/queens" shit...worse than now/past.....because we do not know how are they going to "conduct" their starting over..
Bailout airlines? Yes! How? Some sort of government equity with interest and a salary reduction and cap on executive pay. No exec needs more then $1 million. No one.
Oh! Eliminate the stock option for anyone making $1 million or more.
One major takeaway I learned following the massive banking and insurance industry bailouts is no business is too big to fail. The airlines knew this was coming for months, yet failed to plan ahead fiscally.

I'm done with private profits and socialized debts.
jetserf 7
How exactly did airlines know there was going to be a global viral pandemic?
The airlines did not know this was coming. The Jet Blue flight I took last Saturday from KBOS to KHDN(ski flight) was completely full the week before. When we took off the flight was no where near half full. That was before the sh*t hit the fan on Monday. No one saw the shutting down of the country coming. I hope you are one of the lucky people who has enough savings to survive at least two weeks without pay. When you get your $1000 check from the government, I hope you spend it in a way to help the people less fortunate than you.
That $1,000 (if the Dems let it happen) it is going into MY POCKET.. I paid $31,734 in PERSONAL Income Tax this year. I am not going to give even MORE to those that do not provide for THEMSELVES!.. Just my opinion! I started working at 13yo, now at 67yo I have a FULL TIME JOB as a Hotel General Manager, operate an UBER Fleet, and we own 2 Businesses in the Philippines. Guess many have not figured out to have money you have to WORK?
Arthur, my younger brother - you must work hard but please remember “the measure of a man isn’t how much he has but rather how much he gives.”
Please stop making this political. I'm a Republican and we don't need your partisanship at this time.
Yeah, because the new tax code increased taxes to all except the upper 1% that paid no taxes and gave us trillions in debt. Hello!?!?
Hmmm, it appears you do not understand the complexity of the business and how it cannot easily or simply shed expenses even with “months” of alleged advanced clairvoyance.
They are not private, they are public ally traded Corporations AND suspended service to China immediatly while Trump was still at rallies calling it a hoax is now taking credit for Delta, United and American Airlines suspending flights to China. Why do you think a non known named Charter Company flew Americans back Because they Airlines suspended service while the orange buffoon was still calling it a hoax. Ignorance at its finest.
Dawn, you gave some good advice in an earlier post: “Don’t speak about things that you don’t know about That’s called spreading false information”

Would you do some REAL research on the liberal claim that Trump called the coronavirus a hoax? If you ‘man up’ and do it, I think you will find it is you who is spreading misinformation.
Don't like airline travel then hit the road and drive the distance. Enjoy that window seat in your car along with how comfortable that seat you will be in. For every airline flight hour you will need about 12 hours in your car to cover the same distance.
Look at all the planes that are now grounded, and soon you will have a similar effect with employees that will loose their jobs. Many employees will never return to work, or to find employment needing their skills.
This industry is critical to our economy, and defense. Imagine the USA without airlines, or Boeing that provides airliners and defense equipment.
It's time to support economic stimulus to keep our economy intact for your job is interconnected with the airlines even in a small amount.
Absolutely! They could care less about how they treat their customers. Let ‘em suffer!
What was that saying? It involves a nose. And a face. I wish I could remember...
Yea, most people are willing to accept the idea of nickel and dime'd to death, combating shrinking seat spacing and willing to be stuck in a metal tube for 8 hours on the ground. Yea, most airline workers are willing to be denied representation for crumbs from upper management and being replaced by contracted workers. Yea, most airline mechanics also are willing to be denied representation and are willing to go along with upper management cost cuts. Yea, most air travelers are amoured by shiny new airplanes and seek to blame pilots for software errors and cost cuts. All is well ! ! !
Isn't the US government bailout of major airlines the same as the subsidies that the ME3 get from their governments which the US3 whine and moan so much about??? Asking for a friend....
The difference is European airlines get subsidies or whatever you call it in good times
I think the point to be made here is that this is in no way similar to the auto industry’s “bailout” by the last administration.
While every last CENT of those loans were repaid to the American people, I’ve seen no such reporting that the current administration is demanding similar repayment.
If I’m mistaken (& I could very well be), please send me a link to it, without insults, if you’d be so kind.

It just confuses me when folks yell from a soapbox “NO SOCIALISM!!!” When they are the 1st ones to expect disaster relief, bailouts, trade war subsidies, FDA oversight, a &1000.00 check from Uncle Sam, etc., etc.....

You can’t have your cake, & eat it too, folks.
Taking ANY type of “handout” or Federal Assistance “ is SOCIALISM.

Be careful when screaming against “Socialism”. It’s the foundation of EVERY FEDERAL OFFICE IN EXISTENCE.
Muchits 1
The White House and Congress are offering up secured loans.

Let's revisit the definition of a loan - it is re-payed over time. So YES the airlines would be paying "every last CENT" back to the American people.
Jim has a point there! However it has gotten so bad that people who never paid into the system or hardly paid are treated as they won a jackpot.
I don’t think you know what socialism is... Perhaps you mean ‘welfare’? Socialism is state control of production. I know that AOC is proposing that (with the conditions she wants to place on any ‘bailout’.)
No. No, it’s not. The meaning has been bastardised over the last hundred years or so to mean whatever you want it to: anarchism, communism (your apparent definition of choice) social democracy, etc etc.

B/S labels design to put people in boxes don’t aid any discussion.
Wow!!!! What world do you live in!?! So that was pretty crappy of Delta Airlines to give their 90,000 employees a Profit sharing bonus equivalent to 2 months of pay. Not to mention, if the airlines go under, good luck traveling in the next 5 years. I take it you are a wanna be Airline Pilot that didn’t make it to the big carriers. The bail out of Farmers and now airlines is because the range faced stooge created unnecessary trade wars and the US whole economy and health is because that stooge in the WH called COV19 a Democratic Hoax. That same idiot now says it’s a dangerous pandemic. I haven’t met an airline employee that thinks the airlines treat them poorly. Don’t speak about things that you don’t know about That’s called spreading false information
sjvmi87 1
I have met numerous airline employees wh think they ere screwed by their employer and these are not people who tend to whine.
Prime example of false information: "that stooge in the WH"
John Robinson is absolutely right not to automatically give in to bail them out. This is perhaps a time to invoke the "creative destruction of capital"- Schumpeter. We do have some bad airline and American is one of them. They deserve to fail just based on how they treat staff. The better airlines will rise to the surface and pick up the slack once the virus is under control.

Markets undisturbed by the hairy hand of government work best. Remember Reagan's saying - the 10 scariest words in the language "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you." We need to be sure we get our monies worth with the companies we actively support during this virus mess.
I flew Allegiant last month from PGD to BNA, Nashville. I was very impressed. The staff, employees and of course flight crew and flight attendants all seem genuinely happy to have their jobs and working. I am considering applying for a job with them. the opposites are American and Delta which the employees always look so old, glib and pessimistic.
Muchits 1
You clearly haven't flown Delta recently if you lump Delta and American service together.
Not heard a peep out of Richard Branson, Virgin want a huge government bailout, that’s our tax money, how about you putting some of your money back into the airline you were so keen to shout about, instead of expecting us taxpayers to line your pocket again.....!
You have my Vote.

[This poster has been suspended.]

Trump for coronavirus?

But this isn't the place for those kinds of comments. Go away...
D. W. -4
The majors - - all of them - - who're now looking for handouts are the same who (a) did more, as a class/group, to spread the virus around the globe to begin with, (b) won't ever, ever miss an opportunity to gouge passengers down to the last nickel and penny, from peanuts to "preferred seating" (c) encourage their crew, both flight- and cabin, to be more and more aggressive cop wannabes, and (d) make up their own (un-regulated) rules as they go along with an eye toward stealing, and keeping, more and more passengers' money, as often as they can.

Help them? Let them ask for it in a Chapter 11 Petition - - and tell them, in court: "No. Not a chance."
DW, can I recommend Greyhound or Amtrak?
Muchits 2
You're comments are incredibly ignorant. The US carriers shutdown travel to affected countries extremely early. Even when China claimed there was no evidence of human to human transmission. Try flying an airline unlike Spirit, Frontier, or Allegiant that doesn't nickel and dime you and you'd get better treatment. I can tell you with unwavering certainty that my airline does NOT encourage crew to be cop wannabes. Please show me a flight operations manual in this country that shows what you claim. STEALING? Flying is cheaper now than it was 30 years ago. Go fly a kite.
Better yet, just let them ALL go out of business!!! Power to the PEOPLE! We can walk and drive across the country and around the world. Let the cruise lines who gave us this pandemic go out of business. Swimming is good exercise!
I’m very thankful that you have the financial resources to replace them with ‘D. W. Air, An Airline That Cares” when these un-Godly satanic institutions suffer the severely painful and lethal fate they so strongly deserve. You are our savior!
Mike Weger -1
Airlines should be buying up the cheap oil for future flights. They will save 2/3 on future expenses and without raising prices, will be able to recoup the losses from the slow down.
Can they store it in your basement?
In a free market, the customer rules. The current airline service/fee situation has been caused by customer choice. When given the choice between low price and great service, the customer chooses low price, and the resulting service that comes with it.

What is being proposed is to take away choice from the customers.
Lower price should always take in mind that yes we are human beings, seating should be accountable for an average person ie 6ft. 220 lbs.
Muchits 1
Lower prices won't get people on planes right now with Coronavirus and travel restrictions. Also the average person is NOT 6ft and 220lbs.
Your point would be better taken if it was backed up by accurate information. The average height of an adult person in the U.S. (who, on average, are larger than the rest of the world) is 5 foot, 6.3 inches. The average weight is 179.2 pounds. If your point is that seats should be ‘accountable’ for the average sized person, I think you’ll be happy flying on the airlines today.
The usual metrics for seat size in cars is the 95 percentile, meaning that out of 100 people only the five tallest or fattest will be uncomfortable. This is a lot better than looking at averages.
cowboybob -7
Uhhhh sorry, let's use information from a non-Obama regime source. ALL the "bailout loans" during the last government inspired fiasco Were not let's drop that little segue into the Trump bashing on every aspect of this nonsense.

Then, let's all try to admit that there are in fact two sides to this whole debacle. The airlines are by far not the most affected businesses in the country...we can't bailout everyone, so it's fair to debate who are the winners and losers in this sordid event. On the other hand, this entire scare mongering hoax has been foisted on us by every government agency that can get their grimy mitts on it under the auspices of protecting our's anything but that. It's about control and a good test case for just how much the American sheeple will roll over and up, martial law when people and businesses forced out of work/business take to the streets. Standby.

If the statistics on this were reported truthfully and accurately, we'd all know that the seasonal flu will kill more people this year then this cold virus on steroids. The last source for information you should rely on is anything from the WHO...the guy who runs that is a well documented crook from his previous international political scams. There is a money angle on all fronts on this including these massive international agencies like the WHO which have outstanding debt they cannot repay and are looking for opportunities to default. Believe it...or not. You're free, for now, to keep your head in the sand.
sjvmi87 5
"non-Obama regime source"? "political scams"? "keep your head in the sand"?

I'm not sure which is more frightening, this administration's cluelessness about how to deal with an INTERNATIONAL PANDEMIC or individuals like you who at least APPEAR to be intelligent but are so beholden to their party that they are brainwashed into ignoring the facts in front of them.
Like you know something, Obama policies are a sham.
sjvmi87 2
I know a lot of things. Like I know a brainwashed dumbass when I dee it. I'm not giving Obama a free pass- BOTH parties have screwed this country and you myopic retards continue to vote them into office thinking things will change. They haven't and they won't as long as you keep rewarding these idiots with yet another term in office! "It's the Democrats that did it!" It's the Republicans that did it!" You're BOTH right- BOTH parties are guilty of killing this once great country and they will continue doing so because you contone to let them!
Obama is not in office. Mute point
The word you are looking for is not mute.
AWAAlum 1
Maybe it is. Maybe Dawn was suggesting the poster should be muted?
Moot, since you’re being pedantic
I agree and support your example of fighting the hypocrisy by not even appearing intelligent.
Have you ever flown on Aeroflot? THAT'S what you'll get with socialism. Good luck complaining. The Dems have been pushed to the extreme left. Some bureaucrat will see or hear your gripes and suddenly everyone will wonder what happened to you. Just like all of the folks who crossed the Clintons.
sjvmi87 2
Take off the tinfoil hat, son. Your brain cell is suffocating.
sjvmi87 2
Yes, I HAVE flown Aeroflot ad the seat was more comfortable than the crap I have to sit in on the major carriers. And, please, for the love of God, stay on topic here.
Hmmmmm, we are WAY behind on this virus because Frump called it a Democratic Hoax. Every Trump Cult member deflects reality by going back in time and blaming some irrelevant point from the past be it true or not because they actually can not logically explain the current stupidity of this Administration. Stay on task with the current Admin and Current situation if you want an ounce of credibility
sjvmi87 2
We learn from history- but only if you're paying attention to the FACTS and not the spin that both parties puke on a daily basis to turn us against each other. And too many morons listen to their party over free-thinking and common sense and so we will continue to circle the drain until we die as a country. Thank your own party, clowns, THEY are the ones doing this because YOU let them.
Read ALL the news. Even snopes disagrees with you about your ‘hoax’ story.
jmilleratp -3
The Times is, of course, going to not care about what happens to any company.
United is confiscatory. Legitimate health concerns combined with CANCELLED flight to Spain; country closure and US federal recommendations. United will give credit but NO REFUND for their own cancelled flight.
I agree, the fact that the airlines are only issuing credits that must be booked within 90 days is unacceptable. Who can plan a trip for a year from now at a time like this. Airline profits over the past 10 years have been sky high (pun intended). Senior management will still take their bonuses even though they will lay people off. Corporate greed at its best.


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