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COMPLAINT: United Air's $590,000 anti-customer effort

 
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  #1  
Old Aug 24, 2009, 7:20 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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According to the San Francisco Examiner United Air spent at least part of this amount on fighting passenger rights legislation and legislation allowing long distance flights to and from Washington Regan Airport ("DCA")

See...

http://www.sfexaminer.com/economy/ap/54539232.html

Remember, United Air is bleeding red ink and is furloughing thousands. Yet they find in excess of half a million dollars to spend so they can, legally, abuse their customers.

Meanwhile, in the face of the Continental tarmac stranding earlier this month (and, probably, the strandings of this past weekend) the Air Transport Association ("ATA") continues to say, with a straight face, that tarmac strandings happen only "once in a blue moon." This, according to their PR dept. The statistical probability of being caught in a tarmac stranding may, indeed, be low. On the other hand, to try to dismiss the fact that thousands have, just within the past year, been held hostage, as the ATA is trying to do, is inexcusable.
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  #2  
Old Aug 24, 2009, 9:06 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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The SF Examiner also ran this story:

Quote:
Southwest Airlines spent $180,000 lobbying federal government in 2nd quarter
From other sources AA spent 1.4 million and DL almost 753K.
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  #3  
Old Aug 24, 2009, 9:58 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The airlines paid millions to protect their monopoly and power to abuse their passengers with impunity? I am shocked.

Next you will be telling me the Pope is Catholic.
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 10:59 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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The airlines paid millions to protect their monopoly and power to abuse their passengers with impunity? I am shocked.

All too often US-based airlines seem to forget their certificate of operation is a public trust authorizing the use of what, legally, are public highways--the nation's airways. Should we be shocked that airlines abuse said trust? Probably not. Taking things one step further: Should the airlines abuse the public trust, and engage in activity which is contrary to prudent airline management (the half million to million dollars political donations). In this context, I would submit that engaging in anti-customer activity is an abuse of the public trust.

Much like broadcast licenses, certificates of operation should come-up for periodic review and include a process which invites potential replacement operators. Such a procedure would be consistent with the concept of a public trust.

As to "activity which is contrary to prudent airline management:" I cite the case of former Continental/Eastern Airlines chief Frank Lorenzo. The man's anti-labor, anti-customer "performance" sufficiently "impressed" Federal regulators that he was permanently barred from the airline business. Current airline executives may wish to take note!
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 11:39 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
The airlines paid millions to protect their monopoly and power to abuse their passengers with impunity? I am shocked.

Next you will be telling me the Pope is Catholic.
During the war I believe he briefly converted to protestantism. Lutheran, I believe? Which religion was it where they marched the goose-step in shiny black boots?
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Old Aug 24, 2009, 11:54 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Not too sure about that, although I think he joined the Nazi Hitler Youth at 14. Wouldn't that help him get a job as a flight attendant on Delta?
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 3:09 PM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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I guess I'm not sure what the point is here exactly. They spent money to lobby. OK. The insurance companies have spent tons of money on lobbies. Many large corporations do. The airlines are no exception.

Don't misunderstand me - I know that you are pointing out that they are fighting Kate Hanni, and they are doing so while at the same time (some) are loosing money. And don't get me wrong, I don't think that people should have to sit on a plane for hours. What happened to Kate was inexcusable. Even what happened with Continental just a couple weeks ago shouldn't have happened, although that was due to Northwest not wanting to help a competitor. Still should not have happened. But then again, I never set foot in the boardroom, so the higher ups never gave a rip what I thought.

My point is that you have not uncovered some smoking gun that nobody knew about. It may not be right, but welcome to life.

Also, when you say that the current CEO's need to take note after Frank Lorenzo's deal, I think you are a bit off base. He didn't spend his time lobbying (he may have some, but not the majority of it, and it certainly was not his undoing.)

Lorenzo's deal was things like tearing down one airline to build another. He sold Eastern's reservations system and A300 jets to Continental REAL cheap, then leased them both right back to Eastern for a major premium. The planes never even got new paint. And that's just the start.

I don't believe that any current airline CEO has any reason to be shaking in their boots. I'm not saying that I agree with all they do, but none have gone as far out there as Lorenzo.
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Old Aug 25, 2009, 7:10 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The point is that the power of corporations who have millions of dollars to spare to buy influence on Capitol Hill are taking a sledgehammer to the democratic process in order to prevent consumer rights legislation.

The point is that they do this when they are heavily subsidised when compared to foreign carriers, with preferential treatment, Chapter 11 protection, infrastructure support, direct subsidy for insurance premiums, protectionist policies etc.

If you think the current crop of CEO's have nothing to answer for you are deluded. They rip up employee contracts and rights, destroy their pension plans, rob investors and suppliers by declaring bankruptcy and then emerge larger than when they went into administration and pay themselves vast sums of money at the expenses of shareholders, suppliers and employees.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 2:36 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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You are absolutely right about the dollars ripping through the process. But every large company has done this. And I'm very certain that even Butch's beloved Lufthansa has done so (or would if they could, I'm not that familiar with European politics).

All I'm saying is that this is not some big shocking deal that nobody knew about. And for the 4th time in a month Butch has turned this forum into his own little soapbox for his own personal agenda, by either starting a thread or outright hijacking another.
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Old Aug 26, 2009, 2:45 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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And for the 4th time in a month Butch has turned this forum into his own little soapbox for his own personal agenda, by either starting a thread or outright hijacking another.

Reported as an abusive, and uphelpful, post.

On more than one occasion, the moderator has indicated this board is a pro-CUSTOMER board.
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