Sunday, June 1, 2008

A long ride . . .a long high ride . . . .

Having heard in the last couple of days that British Airways will be tacking a $400+ fuel surcharge to its "long haul" flights, this 1930's poster advertising a Long Ride for $2.50 and a Long High Ride for $5.00 makes graphically clear that we've come a long way, baby!
Other airline news in the past week reveals that the United/US Airways deal is off the table. This is United's second try after a proposed merger with Continental fell apart. The word is that no more airline mergers are likely in this $130+ barrel oil climate.
What about the merger that threatens to turn the little old airline on the prairie into THE BIGGEST AIRLINE IN THE WORLD? Northwest and Delta both claim that their deal is still on, pending Justice Department approval. Delta president Ed Bastian said that after the merger with Northwest the combined airline would be financially capable of withstanding high oil prices over the long term. Both Delta and Northwest will make substantial cuts in flight capacity this fall and Delta intends to grant voluntary buyouts to more than 3,000 workers. The "big six" legacy carriers have instituted 12 successful price increases since the beginning of 2008 plus fee increases for baggage and flight changes.
No cost is too minor to be overlooked. Southwest Airlines will remove the little complimentary bag of pretzels from its coach flights. Smaller airlines that haven't already gone under are also seeking creative ways to cut costs. Sun Country said this week that it will cut managers salaries by 10%. This was announced by CEO Stan Gadek, who took a 15% cut in his own pay.
Yes, it is becoming a very long ride, indeed!


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