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Uh oh, obama administration coming to save us next

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#199 of 201
Nov 17, 2003

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is taking its first step toward trying to fix the ailing airline industry, mired in a severe economic slump and facing safety worries.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is holding a forum Thursday to discuss the state of the industry and ways government can help provide economic stability for air carriers. The industry has been rocked by repeated crises in recent years, including the 9/11 terror attacks, the SARS virus and the current economic downturn.
"U.S. aviation is facing severe economic uncertainty and an open and frank conversation will help begin a continuing dialogue about the industry's future," transportation spokeswoman Sasha Johnson said.
The Air Transport Association, which represents major carriers, says airlines are offering the fewest seats to passengers as measured by available seats and distance traveled in over a decade. Airlines have shed more than 130,000 full-time jobs since 2000, and lost an estimated $33 billion over the same period. Thirteen airlines have filed for bankruptcy in the past two years.
LaHood's invitation to aviation stakeholders says the forum, which is closed to the public and the media, was organized at the request of the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department.
Ed Wytkind, the trades department's president, said the industry has become dysfunctional, and all involved are suffering.
He said he is hopeful the administration or Congress will create a blue-ribbon commission to recommend solutions.
"We can't keep doing things the exact same way and expect a better outcome," Wytkind said, adding that there "probably" should be consideration of new regulatory authority for the industry.
Pat Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said she doesn't favor returning to the type of government supervision that existed before airline deregulation in 1978.
"But, there are some areas where we think you can tweak the deregulation," she said.
Airlines are extremely wary of any discussion of a return to economic regulation. They contend they are already heavily regulated and taxed.
Airline deregulation has been regarded as a success for consumers because airfares have declined. But other trends have raised concerns about whether airlines are offsetting low fares at the expense of safety.
A report last year by a government watchdog said nine large U.S. airlines farm out 70 percent of major maintenance. Overseas repair shops handled one-quarter of the work, challenging the ability of U.S. inspectors to determine whether it is done properly, the report said.
Major airlines have also farmed out short-haul trips to regional carriers, which now account for half of all domestic flights. Regional airlines often hire pilots with significantly less experience and pay lower wages than major airlines. Both issues have been raised in the National Transportation Safety Board's investigation of the crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407, which crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., in February, killing 50 people. The flight was operated for Continental by regional carrier Colgan Air Inc. of Manassas, Va.
That's great news, I would welcome full and complete re-regulation including pay rates set back to 1977 and adjusted for inflation. Who cares if it would cost $2500 for a round trip coast to coast ticket...that's what it SHOULD cost, and all the better if our load factors plummet to 60%....if we are turning a profit then it's all good. Cheap air travel is NOT a constitutional right and the only reason it is as cheap as it is is because you and I are currently subsidizing it with our wages and retirement. 60% load factors would be great for commuting as well! Bring it on!
so basically jobs lost at the major while regionals double in size - whats he going to do about that?
Maybe he'll make regional captains "spread the wealth"....$56,000 can go SUCH a long way.
Maybe he'll just give mgt billions, oops, a trillion dollars so they can go bankrupt anyway and keep the coin.
Maybe he'll force regional FOs to pay for abortions.
Maybe he'll bow to JO when shaking his hand.
Or maybe he'll just butt out and let the free market dictate what happens...LIKE HE SHOULD HAVE WITH EVERYTHING ELSE.
"And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords" - KB
The airline industry is one of the heaviest taxed entities in the US anyway- second only to the tobacco industry. Given the highlights from 3407 and the limelight our industry wage/compensation has been in, I don't forsee this being a bad thing. If you are anti Obama, then fine and I can't blame ya, but at least be open minded enough to see what is proposed. Regardless of which administration does it, one of them needs to do something. I think we've aptly demonstrated time, and time again, that most airline managements are incapable of running an airline the way it should be run, while compensating pilots in a manner befitting our education, dedication, and sacrifice..........
Or maybe he'll just butt out and let the free market dictate what happens...LIKE HE SHOULD HAVE WITH EVERYTHING ELSE.
No way, let him screw this one up as well! It will teach all those ALPA goons who pushed for him as President. He's got the "Brown Touch". Everything he touches turns to poop!
As with all things Obama:

Pay attention to what he DOES, not what he SAYS!!!! This guy has absolutely no conscience-he will say anything he thinks will gain him a point of two in the polls.

Unfortunately, recent history has confirmed the fact that he is completely full of poop!

-I expect no improvement-people sure as hell want/demand their $59 each way fares, it impossible to have things like this both ways.

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