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Idiot Writer

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Apr 7, 2002

Read this and e-mail the guy what you think. He's got a point until the remark about the pilots.


Airlines: Getting What We Paid For?
Were cheaper tickets worth the cost of deregulation? Six major airlines—count them six—are in Chapter 11. And unemployment claims have their biggest jump in almost a decade.
Friday, September 16, 2005
By Andy Serwer

Roll Tide! (Sorry, Auburn fans.) Well, make that Roll Dow! See, while the Naz was stinking up the joint, the Dow pulled its weight Thursday, climbing 13 to 10,558. Naz (boo!) fell 3 to 2,146. Hey, watch me, Arnold the Pig (My bro recently picked up some 34 episodes of G.A. "It's as good as it gets," he says.), I mean Andy Serwer, on CNN's American Morning and In the Money. Read Loose Change for Brian O'Keefe's jammin' college football roundup! Here's what is going on:

YARD: Some 68,000 Americans who lost their jobs because of Hurricane Katrina filed for unemployment last week, contributing to the biggest jump in almost a decade. Meanwhile inflation jumped because of soaring energy prices. (Duh!)... Say this about Carl Icahn, but he don't go away easy and he seems to have a nose for action. Did he plant the story in the New York Post about Time Warner selling a piece of AOL to Microsoft? I'm sure not, but hey, the stock went up! Ran into Dick Parsons Thursday over at Time Warner. He seemed cool, mildly annoyed, maybe by all the hubbub, checking his BlackBerry and sighing about stories in the press. Seems like TWX and MSFT are talking but nothing's imminent. That's my take. If deal happens one wag says: "Maybe our long national nightmare is over." (Gerald Ford on Watergate right after he took the oath of office...) TWX very active Thursday, up 58 cents to $18.50.... I've blasted Commerce Bank before (wife of CEO did some decorating for the company, and they got in some other hot water down Philadelphia way), but they are doing the right thing for Hurricane Katrina. The Street Life kids collected oodles of change lying around the place and brought it down to the local Commerce Bank to drop into their handy-dandy change counting machine (that charges no fee!). Kids decided they wanted to give it to 'cane relief. Teller tell us that we can donate it right there and that the bank will match it one for one! Suh-weet! We had $126 in change, so victims, et al. get $252! (Did the math myself.) Just hope Dickie Scruggs doesn't get it all!

AIRLINES: In 1978, the airline industry was deregulated and the Civil Aeronautics Board was effectively disbanded. Since then, over 100 airlines—let me say that again: over 100 airlines—have gone bankrupt or been liquidated, including a cool dozen of the majors. That includes the six—SIX—that are in Chapter 11 Thursday: Delta, Northwest, ATA, US Air, United, and Hawaiian. Before that: Braniff, Midway, Continental, PanAm, Eastern, and TWA (and I'm missing some). Since deregulation, the average price of an airline ticket has dropped significantly, and on an inflation-adjusted basis has dropped even more. But at what cost? First, customer service has absolutely gone from bad to worse. Horrible! No food, no legroom, no ticket clerks, no flight attendants, no baggage. And, of course, except for investors in LUV, everyone who's put money in has lost money. And what about the employees? Hundreds of thousands of Americans have worked in this business over the past. Many thousands, especially in the lower ranks, have gotten screwed (not so much the greedy pilots). So what did get from all this? Cheap tix, yes, but at a cost of everything else. Was it worth it? Not suggesting we go back to the days of the CAB, but we sure do need a plan here. Example #237: Markets by themselves can't cure everything.

CHATEAU BRANSON: This from Corey: "On Monday night I went to the launch party for Virgin Vines (napkin suggestion: drink it, love it, know when to stop) deep in the meat packing district where chic night clubs cohabitate with the scent of raw meat. I got to kiss Sir Richard Branson, which was a surprise and kind of made my heart a-flutter until I realized that he was kissing every single person that came through the door. Still, pretty impressive that he'd be willing to expose himself to that many germs. Guests were sipping from mini wine bottles, Chardonnay or Shiraz, and partaking of a random array of challenging finger food, all requiring two hands and more than one bite to finish. Women dressed in skimpy two-piece black outfits stood on pedestals in wine barrels grooving in a kind of funky grape stomping dance. The wine venture is a partnership between Virgin and Brown-Foreman Wines. The attitude is anti-wine snob. In small print on the front of the Chardonnay bottle is the phrase "Dare to..." On the back: "...enjoy this wine without commenting on hints of honeydew or perfecting your swirl, sniff, slurp action." More cheeky text follows. Branson only spoke for a few seconds, otherwise it was all music, chatting (thanks for saving me Micol!), drinking and watching the grape crushers. I think the great thing about Branson is that he's built this empire made up of stuff he likes. He doesn't seem to care about "synergies." It is good to be king. Good luck Sir Richard!

Loose Change

McDonald's and Albertson's up nicely. Corning got hit.... Did you see this one? Major ouch for CBS!… And now, Brian O'Keefe offers this most excellent preview of this weekend's college football:

"Starting this weekend, college football is ON. Great matchups on Saturday. Of course, there's 'Bama traveling to South Carolina to face Steve Superior and his 'Cocks. The SEC has a second marquee game, too, with Tennessee traveling to Florida (on CBS at 8 p.m. ET, notice how many more college games are at night these days?). Urban (The Pope!) Meyer talked himself up plenty this summer. Now the league will see what he's really made of.... Clempson (spelling reflects the correct pronunciation in South Carolina) has won two squeakers. It'll be interesting to see how they handle an angry Miami.... Speaking of which, Texas A&M had an extra week to ponder its opening loss to the Tigers. The Aggies will probably crush SMU, but if they don't the grumbling about Coach Fran will escalate among big-money boosters in College Station.... My upset special of the week is Boston College, at home, over FSU. Eagles fans are pumped! And I'm not yet a believer in Jeff Bowden's play calling or FSU freshman quarterback Drew Weatherford's ability to manage a tight game. We shall see..."

And how about them Irish????

As part of FORTUNE's 75th-anniversary special issue, we're taking a look at what people, ideas, products and trends will affect us all in coming years. So what do you think is ahead? Holographic TVs? Designer babies? Share your thoughts here.

Email Andy Serwer at [email protected].

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Greedy Pilots he says.....

Typical of somebody who has never flown a plane for a living.

Give it to him, don't be gentle...:D
CSY Mon said:
Greedy Pilots he says.....

Typical of somebody who has never flown a plane for a living.

Give it to him, don't be gentle...:D

You knew those words were coming from an idiot when the first thing he said was "Roll Tide". :rolleyes: I'm amazed he got a complete education at Football University*.

* Would also have been applicable if he would have started with "War Eagle".
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Well, first of all, who is this guy ? What credentials does he have that make him a person to whom anyone should listen ?

He says there are no flight attendants ? Don't give Grinstein any ideas, OK. The things about which he complains are totally out of the control of pilots; this guy is trolling for a response...don't give him one. He makes his living stirring up the pot...don't help him.

Most professional aviators are ( or used to be ) proud of their company and their contribution to it and naturally feel defensive when they see it attacked by people who don't know the pointy end goes in the front or what it takes to keep it there. However, to respond to this article ( and many like it ) merely plays into the hands of these people.

The best response to stuff like this is total slience from forward of the cockpit door. If you react, he wins.

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