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Thread: Southwest & American Airlines

  1. #101
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Southwest Remains Top U.S. Carrier

    Associated Press
    Southwest Remains Top U.S. Carrier
    Associated Press 12.14.06, 5:25 PM ET

    Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co. continued to dominate U.S. skies in September, carrying more passengers than any other U.S. airline for the second month in a row, according to a government tally.

    Southwest carried 7.5 million passengers that month, ahead of American Airlines Inc. (nyse: AMR - news - people )'s 7.3 million, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday.

    Southwest, which flies only in the United States, has been the leading carrier of domestic passengers since May 2003, but it bested American's combined domestic and international passenger figures for the first time in August, when it carried 8.7 million passengers to American's 8.5 million.

    American carried more passengers than any other airline in the first nine months of 2006, with 74.5 million passengers, ahead of Southwest's 72.2 million.

    Rounding out the top five for September and the year-to-date totals were Delta Air Lines Inc., United Airlines and Northwest Airlines Corp., the report said.

    Southwest's 72.2 million passengers in the first nine months of this year represented a gain of 6 million compared to 2005, the largest gain of any airline. American carried 200,000 more passengers in the same period, while Delta carried 11.3 million fewer. Northwest also saw a decline, while United gained 2.4 million.

    Overall, the industry saw a 0.8 percent drop in domestic and international passengers in September to 56.3 million, down from 56.8 million in September 2005, the third consecutive month with a year-over-year decline.

    For the first nine months of the year, total passengers carried increased 0.3 percent to 561.9 million, compared to the same period a year ago, the Transportation Department said.

    In addition, passenger revenue, measured as one passenger carried one mile, rose 2 percent in the same period, the report said.

    The preliminary data released by the BTS also showed that domestic passenger traffic dropped 0.4 percent in the period, while international traffic rose 5.6 percent.


    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2006/...ap3256656.html
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  2. #102
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    This really doesn't fit here, but oh well. Tell JetBlue to come to Dallas!!!

    http://www.jetblue.com/email/citysug...=where_we_fly1

  3. #103
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    Associated Press
    Southwest Remains Top U.S. Carrier
    Associated Press 12.14.06, 5:25 PM ET

    [SIZE=2]Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines Co. continued to dominate U.S. skies in September, carrying more passengers than any other U.S. airline for the second month in a row, according to a government tally.

    Southwest carried 7.5 million passengers that month, ahead of American Airlines Inc. (nyse: AMR - news - people )'s 7.3 million, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday.

    Southwest, which flies only in the United States, has been the leading carrier of domestic passengers since May 2003, but it bested American's combined domestic and international passenger figures for the first time in August, when it carried 8.7 million passengers to American's 8.5 million.
    And SW is adding how many new planes next year? 37? It will be interesting to see if SW carries more passengers than AA for all of next year mostly through increased passengers out of Love.

  4. #104
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnekster
    And SW is adding how many new planes next year? 37?
    They are adding 100 aircraft every 36 months, only because Boeing can't supply more....
    SWA was able to buy two low cycle 737-700's this year in addtion to the 35 new aircraft.
    Year end fleet will total 481. 194 -300s, 25 -500s, and 261 -700s.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  5. #105
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    American Airlines will begin selling more food on flights next year
    By TREBOR BANSTETTER
    STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

    American Airlines is expanding the in-flight food available to passengers — for a price, of course.

    The Fort Worth-based airline said Tuesday that it will begin selling "light meals," including sandwiches and salads, on flights longer than three hours. The airline will also sell snacks and muffins on flights that last two hours or longer.

    The changes, which begin Jan. 1, come after a test on 250 flights in September. Previously, American had sold snacks and muffins on three-hour flights.

    "Our customers value choice," said Lauri Curtis, American’s vice president of onboard service, in a prepared statement.

    The snacks, which will be available on more than 1,400 domestic flights, will include Lays Stax Potato Crisps, GNS Cinn-a-berry Breakfast Blend, candy and cookies, for $3 each, as well as bottled water for $2. Meals, which will be sold on about 600 domestic flights, include a breakfast bagel, club croissant sandwich, Italian wrap, turkey and swiss ciabatta or Asian chicken salad for $5 each.

    Beverages will remain free. American has tested drink sales in the past on some American Eagle flights, but customers balked at the idea.

    It’s the airline’s latest attempt to boost revenues from sources other than airline tickets, a strategy that has helped bolster it’s financial performance in the last year. During the third quarter, for example, revenues from sources other than passengers and cargo rose by about $39 million, more than 13 percent.

    Shares of AMR Corp., American’s parent company, were at $31.44, down 14 cents, in mid-morning trading.

    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/16274457.htm
    more detailed info (including little pictures) at: http://www.aa.com/apps/netSAAver/Vie...omotionContent

  6. #106
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    The Phony Age 60 Rule...

    I saw this clip on channel 5 last night, comparing AAmerican and Southwest pilot unions.

    http://www.nbc5i.com/video/10673863/index.html

    I found it intersting that the TV reporter did not mention that ICAO, (pilots from the rest of the worlds airlines) started allowing Captains to fly to age 65 starting Nov. 2006, and the USA allows these over 60 age pilots to fly passengers in and out of the USA, at the same time preventing US pilots from doing the same.

    Recalling the story I heard several times about how AAmerican pulled in yet another political favor to bypass the system, getting the "Age 60 Rule" in place a few decades ago, I did some research. I found lots of data verifying that info. This link is perhaps the best in putting all the events together. http://www.ppf.org/chrono.htm


    Age 60 Rule Chronology


    Early 1950's Several airlines unilaterally established mandatory pilot retirements at age 60. ALPA objected, but enhanced retirement programs were then taking precedence in its contract negotiations, so did not actively resist the issue.

    1956-58 Pilots at three carriers (Western, TWA & American) challenged the mandatory retirement issue through the labor grievance machinery. All three were decided in the pilot's favor. TWA and American had defended on contractual grounds. Western defended exclusively on the safety issue, which was decisively rejected by the arbitrator.

    1956 In response to a general breakdown of the air traffic control system, leading to several dramatic mid-air collisions, near misses, etc., the Congress authorized (and funded) a full review of the airman medical certification standards. The Civil Aviation Administration assigned the review to the non -profit Flight Safety Foundation and requested a separate, expedited examination of the standards applying to air traffic controllers.

    1957 Congress created and funded the Airways Modernization Board to manage the restructuring of the airways traffic control system. Then President Eisenhower appointed Gen. Elwood Quesada, his war-time commander of the European Theater's Tactical Air Forces as Chairman.

    1958 Congress totally reorganized the CAA. Assigning economic regulation to the CAB, and creating the FAA to manage the air traffic systems and overall safety responsibilities. Eisenhower appointed Quesada as the FAA's first Administrator.

    1958 Two Flight Safety Foundation (medical) reports (the first on air traffic controllers, the second on pilots) were released. The first recommended a specific retirement age for air traffic controllers. The second, after considering impact of the newly introduced jet transport aircraft, specifically recommended no change to the pilot medical certification standards.

    1958 TWA and Western acceded to the labor arbitrations, reinstating their over age 60 pilots. American refused. On December 20, the pilots at American went out on strike (over both contract renewal and the retirement issues). The airline capitulated to the pilot's demands on Jan. 10, 1959, including acceptance of the arbitrator's ruling on reinstating the over age 60 pilots.

    Feb.5, 1959 C.R. Smith, Chairman of American (and a personal friend of Gen. Quesada) addressed a personal plea (that, by its typographical errors [FOIA] he seems to have prepared himself), to Gen. Quesada, acknowledging his loss on the age 60 retirement issue, and seeking an FAA regulation to solve his labor problem.

    Mar. 1959 FAA initiates a complete revision of airman medical certification standards in response to the recommendations of the Flight Safety Foundation reports. No concern for any aspect of pilot aging is included.

    April 17, 1959 FAA Administrator Quesada in a letter to the Reverend Theodore Hesburg: President of Notre Dame University; "There exists at present no sound scientific evidence that airline piloting, or any other aeronautical activity, becomes critical at any given age."

    June 1959 FAA initiates the regulatory process in response to the request by C.R. Smith for a mandatory age 60 pilot retirement. Although the stated arguments were medical in nature, no mention of, or reference to, the Flight Safety Foundation reports, or the concurrent revision of the medical certification standards was acknowledged.

    Sect. 602 of the Federal Aviation Act 49 USC 1422(b) Ref. Certificate denials: Appeals were intentionally included in the Federal Aviation Act mandating that the burden of proof was to rest upon the Administrator, not the appellant.

    Sept. 1959 Revision of medical certification standards completed and promulgated.

    Dec. 1959 Promulgation of the Age 60 Rule.

    Jan. 1960 Federal District Court refuses to enjoin enforcement of the Age 60 Rule with a ruling that begins by lauding Gen. Quesada's wartime exploits, cites a Washington Post editorial, and quotes an after dinner speech by socialite-philanthropist Harry F. Guggenheim (with Quesada in attendance). ALPA v Quesada, 182 F.Supp. 595 (S.D., N.Y., 1960)

    Jan. 1961 Gen Elwood Quesada retires from the FAA and is immediately elected to American Airlines Board of Directors.

    1961-62 FAA initiates the Georgetown Clinical Research Institutes Studies, advertised as a "long-term" (planned 30 year) search for objective criteria with which to replace the arbitrary Age 60 Rule. However, the protocol seems to have been patterned on the 1958 Flight Safety Foundation report on air traffic controllers, not pilots, and enrolled primarily air traffic controllers as subjects, not pilots.

    1965 FAA suddenly terminates the Georgetown study during an investigation by the House Government Operations Committee. The Committee found the FAA's study to have collected no usable data during its five years of operation, and no system or capability to analyze data if it had any. Total cost is reported to have been $2.5 million (in 1960 dollars).

    1968 Congress passes the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Secretary of Labor (administrator of the ADEA) declares the Age 60 Rule to be a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ)

    1969-70 Relying on extremely favorable aging data of military pilots, flight test pilots, and air carrier pilots collected at the Lovelace Foundation, Albuquerque, N.M., in a study on normal human aging funded by the Nat'l. Institutes of Health (NIH), several pilots initiate petitions for exemptions to the Age 60 Rule.

    1972 As the action initiated above approaches the hearings and court stages, FAA "loses" the entire Age 60 "docket".

    1974 O'Donnell v Shaffer, 491 F.2d 59 is decided for the Agency by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on the basis of the "record" on which the rule was promulgated. However, no acknowledgment of the missing docket appears.

    1978-79 Four challenges against the Rule are decided in four different circuit courts. Starr v FAA, 589 F.2d 307 (7th Cir., 1978). Rombough v FAA, 594 F.2d 893 (2nd Cir. 1979), Keating v FAA, 610 F. 2d 611 (9th Cir., 1979), Gray v FAA, 594 F.2d 793 (10th Cir., 1979) Decided on a "substantial evidence" basis, presumably relying on the complete "record" on which the rule had been founded, none acknowledge the missing docket.

    1979 Congress amends the ADEA, creating the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), for administration.

    1979 The Aviation Subcommittee recommends overturning the Age 60 Rule by legislation. The recommendation makes it to the floor of the House, but intense lobbying by ALPA (with massive organized labor assistance°), waters it down to a "study" by the NIH and the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

    1981 EEOC rescinds the Department of Labor declaration of the Age 60 Rule as a BFOQ.

    1981 The NIA/NIH study finds no medical basis for the Rule, but recommends keeping it in place temporarily, with the FAA agreeing to grant waivers to selected pilots to determine the feasibility of raising or eliminating the Rule.

    1981 In its response to the NIH/NIA recommendation, FAA proposes inclusion of Flight Engineers under the Age 60 Rule. This totally unrelated proposal was initiated at the request of United Airlines, then losing a court effort to force mandatory retirement of its Flight Engineers at age 60. (This is a repeat of the C.R. Smith/American Airlines appeal to Gen. Quesada in 1959.)

    1984 FAA reneges. The Directors of the NIA and NIH criticize the FAA for its refusal to follow the panel's recommendations. The Director of the NIA, after consultation with the NIH, formally rescinds the earlier panel's recommendation to retain the rule temporarily, and declares (in Congressional testimony) that the agency policy is that medical science can adequately identify disability and protect public safety.

    Nov. 24, 1984 Letter to Dr. Stan Mohler from Dr. Frank Austin, Federal Air Surgeon; "There is no medical basis for the Age 60 Rule." "I believe this and Admiral Engen (FAA Administrator) believes this." "It's an economic issue."

    1984-present EEOC embarks on a successful, long term effort to erase the non-airline industry's reliance on the Age 60 Rule as a BFOQ for non-air carrier piloting.

    1988 Aman v FAA, 856 F.2d 946 (7th Cir., 1988) The Seventh Circuit remands a pilot group petition for further findings on the issue of whether an older pilot's greater experience overcomes any immeasurable decrement of aging.

    Feb. 15, 1989 Dr. George Kidera, original member of panel promulgating the (letter) Age 60 Rule: "Granting qualified pilots over the age of 60 exemptions from the provisions of 14CFR 121.383(c), will not compromise safety."

    1989 GAO: By 1980, 365 airmen were recertified for alcoholism with an 18% relapse rate. Fact Sheet By 1983, there were 409 alcohol recertifications, with 40 issued after 1 relapse and 3 after the 2nd relapse.

    1990 Baker v FAA, 917 F.2d 318 (7th Cir., 1990) FAA relies on a 1983 statistical study examining age, experience and accidents to deny the inference of the Aman remand. In its presentation to the court, the FAA concealed the fact that the author of this study was an accountant, not a statistician, the report had been severely criticized throughout the scientific community when submitted, had been rejected by the FAA's own office of Aviation Safety, under whose authority and direction the study had been conducted, and had never been published.

    Quote from Petitioners Brief.

    ALPA President Henry Duffy: It has never been my belief that professional expertise diminishes at age 60: on the contrary, our senior members possess a wealth of knowledge, aviation history, and insight that have been developed through their years of experience, which are irreplaceable.

    1993 FAA releases Hilton Study (also known as the CAMI study) [Civil AeroMedical Institute]. Study finds "no hint of an increase in accident rates as pilots near age 60" and concludes that the retirement age may safely be raised. FAA holds Public Meeting to gather comments on Hilton Study and the Age 60 Rule. Scheduled for a half day, meeting continues for two days, with 83% of speakers against the Age 60 Rule. Foreign airlines with waivers to the Rule attend. Professional Pilots Federation (PPF), formed in 1991 to eliminate the Rule, files a petition with the FAA to amend or eliminate the rule. Another petition asks for equal status for U.S. pilots given foreign aircrews flying into the United States, i.e., one pilot (not PIC) may be over age 60 if the other is below age 60.

    May 1995 Australian Chief Justice Wilcox: "Given the time and effort expended in America examining the age 60 rule, it is remarkable to say so, but it seems to me that none of the cited studies supports any conclusion about the relationship between that rule and aircraft safety." Australia drops Age 60 Rule.

    Dec. 1995 FAA issues "Commuter Operations and General Certification and Operations Requirements" imposing an Age 60 Rule on pilots operating 10-30 seat aircraft. (formerly exempted) FAA also issued a "Disposition of Comments and Notice of Agency Decisions on the Age 60 Rule", announcing no action at this time. All petitions and individual exemption requests were denied on December 28.

    Dec. 1995 PPF files for a review of the FAA's action in the D.C. Court of Appeals.

    Jan. 1996 PPF files an age discrimination case against Fedex in Memphis, TN, on behalf of one of its members forcibly terminated for reaching age 60.

    Jan. 1996 European Union (12 nations) officially changes to age 65 retirement for airline pilots.

    June 1996 The House Appropriations Committee introduces an amendment giving the NTSB authority to study the necessity of the Age 60 Rule. ALPA rallies its forces and the amendment is dropped by a vote of 247 to 159.

    July 1997 D.C. Court of Appeals denies PPF petition for review by 2-1 decision. Dissenting Judge Patricia Wald states: "More importantly, the Age 60 Rule stands as an instance of government-mandated age discrimination for a particular group of employees."

    Aug. 1997 The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rules in favor of Fedex, following quickly in lockstep with the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

    Aug. 1997 PPF files for Rehearing with Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc, in D.C. Court of Appeals. In an unusual turn, the Court ordered the FAA to respond to our request for Rehearing. FAA responds (Oct.) with a rehash of arguments used in original filing.

    Nov. 1997 Request for rehearing/en banc denied.

    Dec. 1997 Filing date for Supreme Court certiorari (Request for Hearing) of Coup v. FedEx.

    Feb. 1998 Filing date for Supreme Court certiorari of PPF v. FAA.

    Mar. 1998 Supreme Court denies certiorari (hearing) of Coupe case.

    May 1998 Supreme Court denies certiorari of PPF v. FAA

    June 1998 Filing date for "request for rehearing" of PPF v. FAA, to Supreme Court.

    July 1998 Request for rehearing denied.

    July 1998 New legal action tactics being finalized.

    Nov 1998 Bell, Boyd and Lloyd engaged for new legal action.

    July 2000 After refusal by the FAA to grant exemptions to 69 petitioners, PPF files for review with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The issue presented is whether, given the safety record of experienced senior pilots, an individual age 60 pilot qualified in all areas of physiological and cognitive function identified by the FAA in granting exemptions to medically disqualified pilots under age 60, provides a level of safety equal to that under the FAA;s age 60 rule.

    Oct 2000 The Civil Aviation Medicine Association, an organization of FAA approved medical examiners states that: The consensus of the Association is that mandatory retirement for an airline pilot who has reached the age of 60 is without medical basis.

    August 2001 The Court of Appeals defers to the FAA, and our appeal is denied. PPF decides not to request certiori.

    October 2001 A new legal action is formulated, based on a point of administrative law that requires the court to defer to the agency (FAA) unless fraud or abuse of power is charged.

    Dec 2001 An attorney is hired and the wheels are placed into motion for another legal action based on FAA Fraud and Deceit.

    June 2002 A Petition for Exemption is filed with the FAA, requesting exemptions for 10 PPF members, based on the FAA's long and continuing efforts to deceive Congress, the public and the courts in order to justify the age 60 rule. Exhibits show proof of the intentional doctoring of studies, misinformation given to Congress and the courts, and documents from within the FAA describing the Rule as not a safety issue, but economic.

    Oct. 2003 FAA rejects the Petition of 12 (amended) pilots for exemptions claiming their facts are redundant and they are attempting to change the Age 60 Rule rather than be granted exemptions.

    Oct. 2003 Filed Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Aviation Administration with the D.C. Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C. Filed Counter-Statement of the case to the FAA, as required.

    Jan. 2004 The prestigious AeroSpace Medical Association issues a position paper concluding; "Upon review of the existing evidence, the Aerospace Medical Association concludes there is insufficient medical evidence to support restriction of pilot certification based upon age alone."

    Mar. 2004 Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Court) filed by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association stating that "The Agency improperly based its decision on an erroneous construction of the data contained in the agency's Civil AeroMedical Institute's Pilot Age and Accident Rate Report 4". And that one Petitioner, "a SWAPA member, has provided the agency with the results of medical testing that proves his age does not justify application of the age 60 Rule to him".

    Sept. 2004 D.C. Court of Appeals denies Petition stating that Petitioners failed to include specific information required by 14 C.F.R. - 11.61 ("You must include the following information in your petition for an exemption...The reasons why granting the exemption would not adversely affect safety, or how the exemption would provide a level of safety at least equal to that provided by the rule from which you seek the exemption....") It would logically seem that if the Petitioners are accusing the FAA of Fraud and Abuse of Power, and offering proof that the FAA doctored the books to make it appear as if the Rule is a safety rule when it isn't, then supplying reasons why exemptions would affect safety is surrendering to the very basics of the fraud Petitioners are alleging.

    Nov. 2004 Petitioners filed for Rehearing En Banc, a review by ALL members of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

    Dec. 2004 Petition for Rehearing En Banc denied.

    Jan. 2005 Preparations requesting hearing by the Supreme Court (certiori) underway. Petition must be filed by March 14, 2005.

    Jan. 2005 Senate bill S.65 introduced by Senator James Inhofe (OK), which would connect pilot retirement age with Social Security age.

    Jan. 2005 House bill H.65 introduced by Representative James Gibbons (NV), which mirrors the Senate bill .

    Mar. 2005 Certiori filed with Supreme Court.

    Mar. 2005 Southwest Airlines files supporting Amicus with Supreme Court.

    May 2, 2005 Supreme Court denies Certiori without explanation.

    Nov. 2005 Senate mark-up on S.65 is completed with an amendment by Senator Ted Stevens (AK), to mirror the ICAO resolution, effective November, 2006, allowing Captains to fly up to age 65, if the SIC is not over age 60. FAA would have to conform within 30 days of the ICAO changeover. ICAO, tentatively, will start allowing Captains to fly to age 65 starting Nov. 2006

    Organizations, Government Agencies and Airlines
    who have testified, written and/or otherwise
    supported changing the Age 60 Rule.

    1. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    2. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    3. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
    4. U.S. Airways Retired Pilots Association
    5. National Air Carrier Association
    6. Joint Aviation Authorities for the European Union
    7. Civil Aeronautical Authority of the United Kingdom
    8. The French Representative to the JAA
    9. CorseAir International (French)
    10. Israel Air Line Pilots Association
    11. Experimental Aircraft Association
    12. Southwest Airlines
    13. Continental Air Lines
    14. America West Airlines
    15. World Airways
    16. Carnival Airlines
    17. Kiwi Airlines
    18. Emery International Airlines
    19. Society of Automotive Engineers
    20. Aircraft Ferry Group
    21. Southern Flyer, Inc.
    22. Mayo Clinic
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  7. #107
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    AA unveils upgrades in Tokyo
    03:03 PM CST on Tuesday, January 16, 2007
    By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....46a16be7.html

    A trip on American Airlines Inc. from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Seoul, Korea, is now about an hour shorter.

    Same goes for a trip to Singapore.

    No, the planes haven’t gotten faster. And the Fort Worth-based carrier hasn’t managed to alter how time passes.

    American’s shorter travel times are due to several improvements the carrier is unveiling at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

    The airline has relocated from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, where it has a posh new Admirals Club and close proximity to soon-to-be partner Japan Airlines and Finnair. American’s Oneworld global alliance partners, Cathay Pacific Airlines Ltd., Qantas Airways, will also relocate to Terminal 2...

  8. #108
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    AMR swings to a profit
    11:55 AM CST on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...r.50ce2ab.html

    AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines Inc., said Wednesday it posted $17 million in net income for the fourth quarter, giving the Fort Worth-based carrier its first profitable fourth quarter since 2000.

    That small profit also ensured that AMR would post its first profitable year since 2000, earning $231 million...

  9. #109
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    Southwest's profit falls 19%
    11:31 AM CST on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...t.4f6ec83.html

    Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday it earned $57 million in fourth quarter 2006, down 18.6 percent from the $70 million it earned in the last three months of 2005.

    However, the Dallas-based carrier said excluding special items, it earned $96 million, up from $81 million in the 2005 period.

    For the full year, Southwest earned $499 million, its third best year ever, behind $603.1 million in 2000 and $511.1 million in 2001. In 2005, Southwest reported net income of $484 million...

  10. #110
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njjeppson

    Southwest's profit falls 19%
    11:31 AM CST on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News

    AMR swings to a profit
    11:55 AM CST on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    LOL

    The ability of the media to use headlines to spin good news into poor news, and poor news into wonderful news, never ceases to amaze me.


    :huhcld:
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    LOL

    The ability of the media to use headlines to spin good news into poor news, and poor news into wonderful news, never ceases to amaze me.
    Well, apparently neither the AP, nor investors, share your sentiment:

    Southwest Airlines 4Q Profit Down 19 Pct

    [...]its shares fell 44 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $16.13 in morning trdaing on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.61 to $18.20.

  12. #112
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by interestedobserver
    Well, apparently neither the AP, nor investors, share your sentiment:

    Southwest Airlines 4Q Profit Down 19 Pct

    [...]its shares fell 44 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $16.13 in morning trdaing on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.61 to $18.20.
    As for investing in airline stocks, Waren Buffet said it best with his famous words of wisdom:

    “If a capitalist had been present at Kittyhawk back in the early 1900s, he should have shot Orville Wright. He would have saved his progeny money. But seriously, the airline business has been extraordinary. It has eaten up capital over the past century like almost no other business because people seem to keep coming back to it and putting fresh money in.

    You've got huge fixed costs, you've got strong labor unions and you've got commodity pricing. That is not a great recipe for success. I have an 800 (free call) number now that I call if I get the urge to buy an airline stock. I call at two in the morning and I say: “My name is Warren and I'm an aeroholic.” And then they talk me down.”


    Now back to my criticism of the medias use of headlines to spin and twist a subject into something it's not. Here is an example of another writer covering the same subject but keeping the headline in line with the facts.

    Associated Press
    AMR, Southwest Report 4Q Profits
    By DAVID KOENIG 01.17.07, 4:42 PM ET

    Their planes bulging with passengers and fuel prices easing, two leading airline companies reported Wednesday that they turned modest profits in the fourth quarter, a further sign of stability in the long-stalled industry.

    The results were particularly good at American Airlines (nyse: AMR - news - people ), the nation's largest carrier. Wall Street had expected parent AMR Corp. to lose money, but AMR recorded its third straight quarter in the black and its first profitable year since 2000.

    Southwest Airlines Co. (nyse: LUV - news - people ), which earned profits straight through the economic downturn and terror attacks of 2001 that ravaged other carriers, reported another profit but smaller than a year ago.

    AMR Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey called his company's results a milestone in its turnaround, and he vowed to "build on our momentum in 2007." But he also called the profit margin "modest" in view of the long industry slump.

    "The airline industry as a whole has lost something like $50-plus billion since the year 2001, and so I think it's quite appropriate to be encouraged by the fact that at least some of us are making a little bit of money," Arpey said. "But in order to replace (planes and other assets), we're going to have to do a lot better."

    AMR said it earned $17 million, or seven cents per share, in the Dec. 31 quarter compared to a loss of $600 million, or $3.46 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected a loss of 13 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

    Analysts who track AMR had switched from bulls to bears in late December, when the company warned that costs were rising and revenue wasn't growing as fast as Wall Street expected. That triggered the predictions of a fourth-quarter loss, but December fuel costs weren't as high as feared.

    Revenue rose 4.4 percent, to $5.40 billion in the fourth quarter from $5.17 billion a year ago and below the analysts' $5.50 billion forecast.

    AMR was helped because American's planes ran 78.8 percent full in the fourth quarter, and strong demand allowed carriers to raise fares throughout the year.

    At the same time, AMR cut costs by 6.1 percent. The company caught a break when fuel prices eased late in the year, as it slashed fuel spending by $135 million - more than enough to spell the difference between profit and loss for the quarter.

    Ray Neidl, an analyst for Calyon Securities, said AMR's profit was "a mild, pleasant surprise. Just the fact they made a profit in what is a weak quarter for airlines is good."

    For the full year, AMR earned $231 million, or 98 cents per share, compared to a loss of $857 million or $5.18 per share in 2005. Revenue rose 8.9 percent, to $22.56 billion from $20.71 billion in 2005.

    Shares of AMR rose briefly to a 52-week high, but closed down $1.45, or 3.6 percent, at $38.78 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Southwest fell 67 cents, or 4 percent, to end at $15.90 on the NYSE.

    That was after Southwest reported that its fourth-quarter profit declined 19 percent from a year earlier, although operating profit rose to meet Wall Street's expectations, and revenue jumped 15 percent.

    Net income fell to $57 million, or 7 cents per share, from $70 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding special items including accounting for fuel-hedging, the airline said it would have earned $96 million, or 12 cents per share, up from operating profit of $81 million or 10 cents per share a year ago. That met analysts' estimates, according to Thomson.

    Revenue rose to $2.28 billion from $1.99 billion a year earlier.

    But fuel costs per gallon rose 28 percent. For several years, Southwest offset rising fuel prices by buying options that let it purchase fuel at set prices that were much lower than competitors were paying.

    Southwest has hedged virtually all of its fuel for the first quarter, but that tactic has lost some of its muscle because easing fuel prices have greatly helped other airlines that couldn't afford to hedge. Chief Executive Gary Kelly said he wasn't worried.

    "I am not concerned about us paying the same price for fuel (as others) because we still have a much, much lower cost structure," Kelly said. Southwest held non-fuel costs flat.

    Robert Barry, an analyst with Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news - people ), said Southwest's costs in the fourth quarter were a bit higher than expected but that the Dallas-based carrier also generated surprising revenue growth given the slowing U.S. economy.

    CEO Kelly said Southwest has lots of opportunities for growth and could expand overseas by 2009 through its partnership with ATA Airlines.

    Southwest plans to add 37 planes and increase its capacity 7.7 percent this year. Much of the growth is coming in recently added markets, and Southwest said it also reaped an additional $11 million to $13 million revenue from increased flying from its Dallas home base, which was long restrained by federal law.

    Kelly was asked about Southwest's interest in slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport that might become available if US Airways Group Inc. succeeds in buying Delta Air Lines (other-otc: DALRQ.PK - news - people ) Inc.

    "This may be our only opportunity ... in my lifetime" to get into LaGuardia, Kelly said, adding that Southwest would give it "careful consideration."


    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/...partner=alerts
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  13. #113
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    Southwest CEO mum on details of likely changes

    Dawn Gilbertson
    The Arizona Republic
    Jan. 18, 2007 12:00 AM


    Southwest Airlines is ready to shake things up on a few fronts this year, but CEO Gary Kelly is spilling few details.

    In the airline's quarterly earnings conference call Wednesday, Kelly said the Dallas-based carrier, which carries more than one in three Phoenix passengers, is:


    • Still interested in buying gates, routes or operations shed by a combined US Airways-Delta or other industry mergers that may occur. advertisement




    In the US Airways-Delta case, Southwest has its eye on entry into New York's tightly controlled LaGuardia Airport. Tempe-based US Airways has said it would have to sell either the Delta or US Airways New York-Boston-Washington shuttle if a deal happens.

    "This may be our only opportunity to do that (enter LaGuardia) in my lifetime here at Southwest, so we would be foolish not to give that very, very serious consideration," Kelly said.

    He said the airline, which turned a deal with bankrupt ATA a few years ago into a huge expansion in Chicago, has the best balance sheet in its history and "all kinds of financial capacity" to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

    The airline's decision on whether to add a city to its route map this year also largely hinges on service cutbacks merged airlines may make because of overlap.


    • Seriously studying ways to increase revenue beyond ticket sales and fare hikes, with the first moves likely this year.

    He said the airline does not want to "nickel and dime" passengers with charges for basics such as soft drinks or snacks or checked baggage.

    Analysts asked whether options include selling more services through the airline's Web site, as well as additional partnerships like it has with ATA.

    The most Kelly would say: "I think there's a lot of things that can be sold related to travel."


    • Expected to make a decision on whether to begin assigning seats before the end of the year.

    He said the study is ongoing, even if the passenger boarding tests it did last year in San Diego are not.

    "We're lumping a lot of things into quote 'assigned seating,' " Kelly said.

    He didn't elaborate.

    Kelly, who had expressed some concern last fall about dampening demand for air travel in the face of a slowing economy, higher airfares and new security hassles, was generally upbeat on Wednesday. The economy is still a wild card, he said, but the airline sees continued good demand so far this year.

    The airline reported a 19 percent drop in net income, to $57 million, for the fourth quarter but it was largely due to accounting charges related to the future value of its fuel-hedging contracts. The charges were nearly quadruple the level of a year ago. Excluding those items, Southwest said it earned $96 million, up 19 percent from the comparable figure a year ago despite a big spike in its fuel bill. The airline's results were in line with Wall Street analysts' average estimate of 12 cents per share. Revenue surged 15 percent to $2.3 billion.

    "I'm very excited about 2007," Kelly said. "We have some exciting expansion plans, and we have a lot of interesting ideas."

    Wall Street apparently wasn't too wowed on the first day of the industry's earnings season, which saw American Airlines also report a quarterly and annual profit. Major airline stocks were down.

    Southwest's stock fell 4 percent, to $15.90. Shares of US Airways, which reports its results Jan. 30, fell 5.3 percent, to $58.65.

  14. #114
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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  15. #115
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    Oh, man, I hope they come to Laguardia. My life would become so much easier!
    Times weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it.
    Haruki Murakami

  16. #116
    The Urban Pragmatist Mballar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msutton
    Oh, man, I hope they come to Laguardia. My life would become so much easier!
    Ditto!
    A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. - Plato

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by msutton
    Oh, man, I hope they come to Laguardia. My life would become so much easier!
    I would literally save thousands of dollars per year!

  18. #118
    High-Rise Member VectorWega's Avatar
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    I just realized how much of a pain in the ass assigned seating is. On two flights this past weekend I ended up sitting around row 10, but my luggage ended up around row 23 because everyone in the back put their suitcases up front.

    Then, coming back from Chicago, it took 50-60 minutes to turn the plane. We were already delayed by an hour so you would think the turn would be faster than normal. Southwest would have turned the plane in half that time.

  19. #119
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    “It’s no surprise that airlines like Southwest are so successful, year after year, because every employee there ... knows that this year’s happy customer is next year’s profit. How sad that a behemoth like American Airlines doesn’t have similar foresight or culture.”

    – Letters to the Editor, Wall Street Journal
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  20. #120
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    Passengers stranded on American flights push for Passengers Bill of Rights

    Dallas Business Journal - 2:45 PM CST Tuesdayby Jaime S. JordanWeb Editor
    http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/st...ml?jst=b_ln_hl

    A group of passengers who were stranded for more than eight hours last month on American Airlines planes that were diverted to Austin have formed a coalition to get a Passengers Bill of Rights passed.

    Passengers on American's flights 1348, 534 and 1008 -- traveling from San Francisco to Dallas, were diverted to Austin because of heavy storms in Dallas.

    The passengers were trapped on the tarmacs for more than eight hours with no working bathroom facilities, no food and no running water.

    The coalition, which held a teleconference Tuesday, said many of the passengers have not received apologies or compensation from American (NYSE:AMR).

    "Now we are saying enough is enough," said Kate Hanni, one of the passengers who was stranded on Flight 1348. "The basic tenet of it (the Passengers Bill of Right) is that we want the airlines to have our well-being at interest. We want to know that our best interest is at stake ultimately and that never again is anyone left in the place where we were left."

    The coalition has called on members of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to hold hearings on a comprehensive Passengers Bill of Rights.

    The coalition is calling for airline carriers to establish procedures to respond to customer complaints within 24 hours and appropriate resolution within two weeks; provide for essential needs of passengers during delays, including access to medical attention, food and water; assistance for elderly and disabled passengers; and compensation of passengers delayed by more than 12 hours by a refund of 150 percent of the ticket price, among other demands.

    American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said the Fort Worth-based airline has apologized to passengers who were aboard any of its diverted flights for three hours or more and included compensation in the form of vouchers inside the apology letters.

    Wagner said the thunderstorms on Dec. 29 led to more than 80 diverted flights, but all of the airline's flights remained safe.

    "We have examined our reaction to the weather that day, and we have re-emphasized areas of our procedures that will help ensure that the situation never happens again," Wagner said.

    "If you take sitting on the terminal for about nine hours with nothing ... if you take losing your bags, missing your connecting flights, no one at the gate ... not everyone getting the voucher ... if you put all that aside, American has not even attempted to call us, not one of us," said Andy Welch, a passenger from Missouri who was on one of the flights. "How anyone can think they can run a business this way and have this kind of customer service is beyond me."

    jsjordan@bizjournals.com | 214-706-7106

  21. #121
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    DMN Story on same subject

    Stuck passengers strike back

    Travelers left for hours on jets push Congress for rights on delays


    09:04 AM CST on Wednesday, January 24, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News

    Angry American Airlines Inc. passengers said Tuesday they are calling on Congress to protect passengers from prolonged delays on airplanes, lost bags and other problems.

    On Dec. 29, the organizers were all trapped on American planes for hours as a series of thunderstorms disrupted operations at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and caused the carrier to divert aircraft elsewhere.

    Organizer Kate Hanni, who was flying from San Francisco to Dallas/Fort Worth before being diverted to Austin, said passengers on her flight and others endured little or no food and overflowing toilets.

    Passengers received little help from American when they were finally let off their airplanes eight to 10 hours after landing in Austin, she said.

    "The only thing that can change this is some kind of action from our elected officials," said Ms. Hanni of Napa, Calif., who said she arrived in Mobile, Ala., 50 hours after starting her trip.

    The group, composed mainly of people on three flights from San Francisco, Oakland and Fresno, Calif., wants airlines to be required to return passengers to the gate if the plane has been sitting on the tarmac for at least three hours.

    In addition, airlines must "provide for the essential needs of passengers" during delays over three hours, "including food, water, sanitary facilities and access to medical attention," under the group's proposed "passenger bill of rights."

    It wants air carriers to refund 150 percent of a ticket's price to bumped passengers or those delayed for more than 12 hours. It also seeks to force airlines to pay passengers for the market value of lost bags and contents rather than a depreciated rate.

    The group wants carriers to respond to complaints within 24 hours and resolve them within two weeks; notify passengers within 10 minutes of diversions, delays and cancellations; and provide compensation for lost or damaged bags within 12 hours.

    American spokesman John Hotard called the Dec. 29 storms "one of the most unusual weather circumstances we've seen in 20 years" and said the airline's first priority was safety.

    "We have apologized to customers who remained aboard any of our diverted flights for three hours or more, and we included compensation in the form of vouchers in the apology letters," he said. "We have thoroughly examined American's operation that day, and we have re-emphasized areas of our procedures to help ensure that the situation never happens again."

    The Fort Worth-based airline said 88 flights were diverted that day, including 70 flights in which passengers sat aboard grounded aircraft for more than three hours.

    Several participants in Tuesday's conference call with reporters said they had received no apology or voucher. One man said he had received a $500 voucher for travel but was still angry.

    Airlines fought back a previous effort to impose federal guidelines in 1999 after a snowstorm stranded thousands on Northwest Airlines Inc. planes in Detroit.

    The carriers promised Congress they would adopt voluntary plans to avoid such situations.

    E-mail tmaxon@dallasnews.com

  22. #122
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    I would like to congratulate all three major Texas airlines (American, Continental, and Southwest) on making a profit for 2006.

    Even though they all made money, one can clearly see the differences in culture at each airline.

    American: $231M
    Continental: $343M
    Southwest: $499M

    From Southwest CEO

    “As a result of our People's hard work, innovation, and Warrior Spirit, we continued to improve our efficiency and solidify our position as the Low Cost Leader.”
    http://www.southwest.com/investor_re..._releases.html

    I wonder if Southwest employees got any of that money? I did not see anywhere where the employees get anything from the total profits. (Maybe a Southwest employee could sheld some light on that?)

    Southwest has a good history of labor relations and is the only domestic airline to make money for the past 34 years!!!!! :1stplace:

    Who does Continental thank? From CO CEO:

    "Because of the hard work of my more than 44,000 co-workers, we were able to deliver solid results for the year," said Larry Kellner, Continental's chairman and chief executive officer. "We look forward to distributing $111 million in profit sharing on Valentine's Day."

    http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/pro...118&ID=6354818

    Continental thanks and rewards its employees who they refer to as co-workers for the success of the airline. It is one thing to thank, but another to reward.

    It is completely different from what is going on at American Airlines.

    How about American?

    Who gets some of the money? The employees? No. Management!!!

    Check out the article below to see American Airlines problems.

    It amazes me how different these airlines operate. No wonder AA has so many problems; it can’t see to get it labor relations together for one. (No news here, AA has had labor issues for a long time).

    Continental gives back to its employees and the whole atmosphere over at CO is that of joy, teambuilding, and success. (Southwest is about the same, but over at American, it is a completely different story. The unions are upset at management. Management is not happy with the unions. The different unions can agree amongst themselves as the how to deal with management. It is one big mess over yonder.

    Maybe if AMR made its employees a little bit happier (quit operating like a LCC and charge Legacy fares) the service over there might improve. I’m a big believer in happy employees lead to happy and satisfied customers.

    Article on American in the DMN

    "Pilots want their $660 million back, and the company is giving all indications they want Continental's contract with Northwest's pay rates," Mr. Hunter said. "That's about $1 billion apart. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.1cb80d5.html

    It seems like America is trying to copy a little bit from Continental except is the wrong way/thing to copy at this point.

    Continental has been ranked as the domestic airline with the highest customer service (business, services provided, etc) while American lags way behind in that department.

    Southwest has also received high marks in customer service leading the LCC.
    Last edited by LakeHighlands; 29 January 2007 at 12:02 PM.
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  23. #123
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Soaring AMR stock leaves workers behind
    Resentment over execs' bonus pay weighs down airline's labor relations


    08:33 AM CST on Monday, January 29, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    tmaxon@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....1cb80d5.html#

    Leaders from labor and management exchanged high-fives at a December 2005 meeting when shares in AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines Inc., finally broke $20 for the first time in 3 ½ years.

    But Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the flight attendants union, was surprised to see something else when she looked across the room at a senior financial executive: a look of disquiet and unease.

    Only later did Ms. Hutto-Blake understand the cause of the official's distress. The high price guaranteed that American's managers would receive large incentives, and he knew that the employees wouldn't like it.

    The furor broke soon afterward when American's unions realized that top executives and other management would share in nearly $100 million of bonuses based on the stock's rise, while employees were still waiting for their reward for sacrifices made in 2003.

    The presumption by many was that the incentive plans would pay off at the same time, with the employees getting to share in pretax profits and the executives' payoff to come from a rising stock price caused by those profits.

    But in fact, AMR stock started its rise long before AMR began showing a profit.

    AMR shares more than tripled in value between the start of 2003 and the end of 2005, a three-year period in which AMR posted pretax losses of $2.9 billion. That meant that executives got their incentive pay, while employees had to wait.


    Union reactions

    The ramifications of that anger are still being felt, most notably in American's dealings with the Allied Pilots Association. Hostilities over the bonuses have been blamed for a stalemate between management and the pilots union that sabotaged American's efforts to get rights to fly from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to China.

    The Association of Professional Flight Attendants has also criticized the management payout, although not as harshly as the pilots. The Transport Workers Union last week announced it would open talks with American this fall, saying it was time for TWU members to get their share.

    The question of who gets how much is a touchy issue at most companies, but nowhere more so than at American, where unions in 2003 gave up $1.6 billion in annual pay, benefits and other concessions to keep the Fort Worth-based carrier out of bankruptcy.

    The anger and rhetoric are likely only to rise this year as the "performance share plan" probably will pay out more than $200 million in stock, as AMR's shares continue to rise and outperform the stock of most of its competitors.

    The actual value of the payout will depend on share prices on April 18, the day the incentive awards are distributed. But the plan will pay out the maximum possible in stock, 175 percent of the base incentive, because AMR shares have risen so sharply compared to those of other carriers.

    AMR shares hit $41 on Jan. 17, their highest level since a June 1998 stock split and a record when adjusting for the stock split. Shares closed Friday at $36.53, the price dampened by the issuance of 13 million new shares of AMR stock.

    Jeff Brundage, American's senior vice president of human resources, defended the performance share plan as a smart one: It's helped AMR retain managers and it's benefited shareholders.

    "It did exactly what it was intended to do," he said. "It only was going to be worth something if the stock price increased, and you could get it only if you stayed with the company and stuck it out."

    Executive compensation plans have three parts: base pay, cash bonuses and long-term incentives such as stock plans, he said. The unions in the 2003 deals agreed that the AMR board would decide what stock awards could be handed out, he said.


    Opposing viewpoints

    Discussions about American's stock plans can be like arguing in different languages. While AMR officials stress the philosophy of executive compensation, the labor groups emphasize the idea that nobody should share in the airline's improving fortunes until everyone does.

    Ralph Hunter, pilots union president, said union leaders and employees did not gladly accept the pay cuts and other concessions they had to make in 2003. But they understood the givebacks were needed at that time.

    "The general basis of that was we're all going to do this together, we're all going to survive together, and someday we're all going to thrive together," Mr. Hunter said.

    Instead, the stock payouts have rewarded executives while employees are still waiting, he said.

    The union has adopted a stance in contract talks that members will regain everything they gave up in 2003, plus adjustments for inflation.

    Mr. Hunter simplified the demands further: "At the end of the day, they only have one contract requirement: That's to recover at exactly the rate as any other employee group has recovered. It's not absolute dollars. It's 'Look at how they've done since 2003, and look at how we've done.' "

    Ms. Hutto-Blake said the employee groups were "knocked over" when they learned in late 2005 and early 2006 about the payouts, particularly since management originally intended to distribute the awards in cash. The unions were "so incensed" because top airline officials had continuously preached the need to conserve cash and build up AMR's cash reserves, she said.

    After the pilots union, flight attendants union and TWU filed a joint grievance, the AMR board of directors reworked the plan to pay most of it in stock. Further payouts for 2007, 2008 and 2009 are to be entirely in AMR stock.

    Mr. Hunter said while the pilots were angry, they waited to see if the AMR board would fix the problem for future stock plans.

    But in July 2006, the AMR board adopted a performance share plan that would pay out in 2009 based on stock performance between 2006 and 2008. Mr. Hunter said it was no fairer than the previous plans, in the eyes of rank-and-file employees.

    That convinced the pilots union that the tack it had taken since 2003 – a more cooperative relationship with management – wasn't being rewarded.

    "We've tried the alternatives. They haven't worked particularly well," Mr. Hunter said. "So we're back to square one."

    Contract talks haven't shown much progress since starting at American's request in September. Mr. Hunter said he doesn't expect a new contract anytime soon, not with the company seeking a contract that will lower its costs to compete against rivals like Continental Airlines Inc., whose contract with pilots provides for more productivity, and Northwest Airlines Inc., which negotiated huge pay cuts with pilots after flying into bankruptcy court.


    Billion-dollar divide

    "Pilots want their $660 million back, and the company is giving all indications they want Continental's contract with Northwest's pay rates," Mr. Hunter said. "That's about $1 billion apart. The pilots are going to need to be met well beyond halfway."

    The other two unions continue to work more cooperatively with American. The TWU in particular has worked out several job-saving agreements with American to keep aircraft maintenance in house and to bring in work from other carriers.

    Ms. Hutto-Blake said the unions and management are working to find a new incentive-based plan to reward employees for their contribution. They've already visited a steel company where the bulk of employees' compensation is performance-based, and they plan to visit a unionized railroad with an innovative program.

    The flight attendants union's cooperation with American shouldn't be viewed as an indication that the union likes the performance share plan, she said.

    "In my opinion, it's a ridiculous amount. It's very insulting to labor," she said. "I don't think we have any tool left to fight it through a dispute, through the courts, arbitration or whatever."

    Instead, she said she's focusing on a solution where the airline puts in place a plan to reward everyone for the airlines' success. And it needs to be done outside contract talks, she said.

    "I don't want this to be part of collective bargaining," she said. "I don't want to have to buy this."

    Mr. Brundage said the company views the commitment it made to the executive stock plan as being as important as its commitment to keep the airline's pension plans and retiree medical plans intact.

    "There was no guarantee that stock was going to be worth anything," Mr. Brundage said. "We cannot today not live up to those commitments, either."

    The 2003 deal didn't leave employees out. They received options to buy 38 million shares in 2004-06 for $5 a share, and many employees are still holding on to their shares at the greatly appreciated price.

    If the pretax profit for any year exceeds $500 million, employees would get 15 percent of the excess in profit sharing. If profits exceed $1 billion, employees would get a 2.5 percent bonus.

    So far, that hasn't paid off. AMR just announced a $231 million profit for 2006, its first annual profit since 2000 but far short of the thresholds.

    Most analysts expect AMR this year to earn several times its 2006 earnings, results that would trigger profit sharing and perhaps a sense that employees were finally sharing in AMR's good fortunes.



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Don't you feel the love over at AA! :errrr:
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  24. #124
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Soaring AMR stock leaves workers behind

    Resentment over execs' bonus pay weighs down airline's labor relations
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.1cb80d5.html

    02:11 PM CST on Monday, January 29, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    tmaxon@dallasnews.com

    Leaders from labor and management exchanged high-fives at a December 2005 meeting when shares in AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines Inc., finally broke $20 for the first time in 3 ½ years.

    But Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the flight attendants union, was surprised to see something else when she looked across the room at a senior financial executive: a look of disquiet and unease.

    Only later did Ms. Hutto-Blake understand the cause of the official's distress. The high price guaranteed that American's managers would receive large incentives, and he knew that the employees wouldn't like it.

    AMR Corp 37.83
    3:39 PM ET +1.30

    Previous close: 36.53
    The furor broke soon afterward when American's unions realized that top executives and other management would share in nearly $100 million of bonuses based on the stock's rise, while employees were still waiting for their reward for sacrifices made in 2003.

    The presumption by many was that the incentive plans would pay off at the same time, with the employees getting to share in pretax profits and the executives' payoff to come from a rising stock price caused by those profits.

    But in fact, AMR stock started its rise long before AMR began showing a profit.

    AMR shares more than tripled in value between the start of 2003 and the end of 2005, a three-year period in which AMR posted pretax losses of $2.9 billion. That meant that executives got their incentive pay, while employees had to wait.


    Union reactions

    The ramifications of that anger are still being felt, most notably in American's dealings with the Allied Pilots Association. Hostilities over the bonuses have been blamed for a stalemate between management and the pilots union that sabotaged American's efforts to get rights to fly from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to China.

    The Association of Professional Flight Attendants has also criticized the management payout, although not as harshly as the pilots. The Transport Workers Union last week announced it would open talks with American this fall, saying it was time for TWU members to get their share.

    The question of who gets how much is a touchy issue at most companies, but nowhere more so than at American, where unions in 2003 gave up $1.6 billion in annual pay, benefits and other concessions to keep the Fort Worth-based carrier out of bankruptcy.

    The anger and rhetoric are likely only to rise this year as the "performance share plan" probably will pay out more than $200 million in stock, as AMR's shares continue to rise and outperform the stock of most of its competitors.

    The actual value of the payout will depend on share prices on April 18, the day the incentive awards are distributed. But the plan will pay out the maximum possible in stock, 175 percent of the base incentive, because AMR shares have risen so sharply compared to those of other carriers.

    AMR shares hit $41 on Jan. 17, their highest level since a June 1998 stock split and a record when adjusting for the stock split. Shares closed Friday at $36.53, the price dampened by the issuance of 13 million new shares of AMR stock.

    Jeff Brundage, American's senior vice president of human resources, defended the performance share plan as a smart one: It's helped AMR retain managers and it's benefited shareholders.

    "It did exactly what it was intended to do," he said. "It only was going to be worth something if the stock price increased, and you could get it only if you stayed with the company and stuck it out."

    Executive compensation plans have three parts: base pay, cash bonuses and long-term incentives such as stock plans, he said. The unions in the 2003 deals agreed that the AMR board would decide what stock awards could be handed out, he said.


    Opposing viewpoints

    Discussions about American's stock plans can be like arguing in different languages. While AMR officials stress the philosophy of executive compensation, the labor groups emphasize the idea that nobody should share in the airline's improving fortunes until everyone does.

    Ralph Hunter, pilots union president, said union leaders and employees did not gladly accept the pay cuts and other concessions they had to make in 2003. But they understood the givebacks were needed at that time.

    "The general basis of that was we're all going to do this together, we're all going to survive together, and someday we're all going to thrive together," Mr. Hunter said.

    Instead, the stock payouts have rewarded executives while employees are still waiting, he said.

    The union has adopted a stance in contract talks that members will regain everything they gave up in 2003, plus adjustments for inflation.

    Mr. Hunter simplified the demands further: "At the end of the day, they only have one contract requirement: That's to recover at exactly the rate as any other employee group has recovered. It's not absolute dollars. It's 'Look at how they've done since 2003, and look at how we've done.' "

    Ms. Hutto-Blake said the employee groups were "knocked over" when they learned in late 2005 and early 2006 about the payouts, particularly since management originally intended to distribute the awards in cash. The unions were "so incensed" because top airline officials had continuously preached the need to conserve cash and build up AMR's cash reserves, she said.

    After the pilots union, flight attendants union and TWU filed a joint grievance, the AMR board of directors reworked the plan to pay most of it in stock. Further payouts for 2007, 2008 and 2009 are to be entirely in AMR stock.

    Mr. Hunter said while the pilots were angry, they waited to see if the AMR board would fix the problem for future stock plans.

    But in July 2006, the AMR board adopted a performance share plan that would pay out in 2009 based on stock performance between 2006 and 2008. Mr. Hunter said it was no fairer than the previous plans, in the eyes of rank-and-file employees.

    That convinced the pilots union that the tack it had taken since 2003 – a more cooperative relationship with management – wasn't being rewarded.

    "We've tried the alternatives. They haven't worked particularly well," Mr. Hunter said. "So we're back to square one."

    Contract talks haven't shown much progress since starting at American's request in September. Mr. Hunter said he doesn't expect a new contract anytime soon, not with the company seeking a contract that will lower its costs to compete against rivals like Continental Airlines Inc., whose contract with pilots provides for more productivity, and Northwest Airlines Inc., which negotiated huge pay cuts with pilots after flying into bankruptcy court.


    Billion-dollar divide

    "Pilots want their $660 million back, and the company is giving all indications they want Continental's contract with Northwest's pay rates," Mr. Hunter said. "That's about $1 billion apart. The pilots are going to need to be met well beyond halfway."

    The other two unions continue to work more cooperatively with American. The TWU in particular has worked out several job-saving agreements with American to keep aircraft maintenance in house and to bring in work from other carriers.

    Ms. Hutto-Blake said the unions and management are working to find a new incentive-based plan to reward employees for their contribution. They've already visited a steel company where the bulk of employees' compensation is performance-based, and they plan to visit a unionized railroad with an innovative program.

    The flight attendants union's cooperation with American shouldn't be viewed as an indication that the union likes the performance share plan, she said.

    "In my opinion, it's a ridiculous amount. It's very insulting to labor," she said. "I don't think we have any tool left to fight it through a dispute, through the courts, arbitration or whatever."

    Instead, she said she's focusing on a solution where the airline puts in place a plan to reward everyone for the airlines' success. And it needs to be done outside contract talks, she said.

    "I don't want this to be part of collective bargaining," she said. "I don't want to have to buy this."

    Mr. Brundage said the company views the commitment it made to the executive stock plan as being as important as its commitment to keep the airline's pension plans and retiree medical plans intact.

    "There was no guarantee that stock was going to be worth anything," Mr. Brundage said. "We cannot today not live up to those commitments, either."

    The 2003 deal didn't leave employees out. They received options to buy 38 million shares in 2004-06 for $5 a share, and many employees are still holding on to their shares at the greatly appreciated price.

    If the pretax profit for any year exceeds $500 million, employees would get 15 percent of the excess in profit sharing. If profits exceed $1 billion, employees would get a 2.5 percent bonus.

    So far, that hasn't paid off. AMR just announced a $231 million profit for 2006, its first annual profit since 2000 but far short of the thresholds.

    Most analysts expect AMR this year to earn several times its 2006 earnings, results that would trigger profit sharing and perhaps a sense that employees were finally sharing in AMR's good fortunes.

  25. #125
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    I would like to congratulate all three major Texas airlines (American, Continental, and Southwest) on making a profit for 2006.

    Even though they all made money, one can clearly see the differences in culture at each airline.

    American: $231M
    Continental: $343M
    Southwest: $499M

    From Southwest CEO

    “As a result of our People's hard work, innovation, and Warrior Spirit, we continued to improve our efficiency and solidify our position as the Low Cost Leader.”
    http://www.southwest.com/investor_re..._releases.html

    I wonder if Southwest employees got any of that money? I did not see anywhere where the employees get anything from the total profits.
    The SWA 2006 employee Profit Sharing is $164.6 million. The 2006 contribution represents approximately 7.9 percent of employees eligible compensation. By comparison, the 2005 employee Profit Sharing was $142.4 million, which was 7.5 percent of eligible compensation. SWA had the very first Profit Sharing program in the airline industry. This money goes tax differed into the employees Profit Sharing account which parallels the employee 401K plan.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------


    Employees to Receive Special Award this Valentine’s
    In 2005, Wall Street predicted that Southwest Airlines’ earnings would decline in 2006 due to increased fuel costs. We disagreed, and promptly announced that our goal was to grow our earnings by at least 15 percent in 2006. Thanks to you, our dedicated Employees, we defied the odds and not only achieved the goal we set, we far exceeded it!

    The task was not easy. You all worked very hard, accepted tremendous change, and became more productive. To celebrate this great accomplishment and to thank you for your extraordinary efforts, every non-officer Employee who was active as of December 31, 2006, and who is still active as of January 31, 2007, will receive, for the first time in Southwest history, a cash award of $150 (before taxes). This amount will be deposited into your direct deposit bank account or sent to your location via check on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2007).

    Congratulations on a successful 2006.
    Let’s do whatever it takes to maintain that momentum. After all, 2007 is our year!

    from the Today@SWA news letter
    Last edited by TexasPlus; 29 January 2007 at 05:40 PM.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  26. #126
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    The SWA 2006 employee Profit Sharing is $164.6 million. The 2006 contribution represents approximately 7.9 percent of employees eligible compensation. By comparison, the 2005 employee Profit Sharing was $142.4 million, which was 7.5 percent of eligible compensation. SWA had the very first Profit Sharing program in the airline industry? This money goes tax differed into the employees Profit Sharing account which parallels the employee 401K plan.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks Texas Plus for that information.

    So, the 2 Texas airlines that have good employee relations, high customer service, and won numerous awards in recent years give back to their people.

    And the 3rd Texas AAirlne (no name mention) has hazardous relations with its employees, much lower customer service than the previous two airlines and reward its management verses the employees who gave up millions of dollars and are the “face” of the airline working on the front lines. I think management deserves to be paid, but their system is really unfair to the employees who are front line and back bone of the company. It is in the SERVICE industry and I hope one day this company realizes how important it is to treat its employees well.

    It also would not hurt if this company stops flying out of another airport, while loosing a lot of money just to prove a point. (Brilliant management practices I tell you). Usually I do not support unions, but I back the AA unions here. Pilots, flight attendant, ramp worker, mechanics, are working hard to insure that these planes fly thousands of people everyday to their destination safely. They get nothing for their hard work, it goes to management. Management getting close to $200M! That’s more than CO and Southwest payout to its employees. I’m sure there are not 44,000 managers, so these few guys are getting paid big time!! American used to be a real classy and nice airline. It’s so sad to look at AA today and see what it has become.

    Maybe ONE DAY (won't hold my breath) the 3rd Texas AAirline will take a page or 2 or a whole book from the other two Texas airlines which lead their brackets. (Legacy and LLC)

    Last edited by LakeHighlands; 29 January 2007 at 04:56 PM.
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  27. #127
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    ^ I agree that this whole bonus thing stinks to high heaven. Honestly, if there were any way that AA could revoke those bonuses and put it toward improving their product, they would be much better off. However, you have to realize what AA hasn't been through to compare them to their competitors.

    While their unions did give back quite a bit to stay out of bankruptcy, AA has never used the bankruptcy route to wring more from its employees, end or renegotiate plane leases and lower other costs. It never had that powerful tool. It continued (and continues) to fund its pension rather than freeze it, end it, or turn it over to federal taxpayers to pay instead.

    There's a lot AA does wrong. Its inflight service is no longer cutting edge. It lags behind its competitors more and more everyday. I hope that over the next few years AA's management stops looking so much at the short term stock price and returns to making the company the best in the skies in the long run. Spend some of that mountain of cash to buy new planes, spruce up the product. Renegotiate profit sharing and employee perks (I'm not sure if union employees will get raises, they're already some of the highest paid in the industry due to their competitors moves in court). On top of that, keep the promise to employees by funding pension liabilities.

    Regardless of your (or my) personal feelings toward AA, it's a large and powerful local company that we should take pride in. Everyone should want it to succeed for the good of the regional economy and for the benefits its operations bring to North Texas.

    Perfect, no. But at least give them a chance to get their ship in order before selling them down the river.

  28. #128
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Former Southwest CEO Muse dies

    Former Southwest CEO Muse dies

    He helped airline get off the ground


    03:50 PM CST on Tuesday, February 6, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    tmaxon@dallasnews.com


    M. Lamar Muse, the feisty airline executive who helped launch Southwest Airlines Co. in 1971 and then left in a boardroom fight seven years later, died late Monday of lung cancer at a Dallas retirement home. He was 86.

    Herb Kelleher, one of Southwest's founders and its chairman since 1978, said Mr. Muse was "extremely important" to the Dallas-based carrier's success, bringing the airline the experience needed to get Southwest started.


    M. Lamar Muse Mr. Kelleher called Mr. Muse "a cantankerous genius. ... He was the perfect person – because he was tough, he was competitive, he was hard-minded – to get Southwest Airlines off the ground and turn it into a moneymaker, with all the opposition that we had and as bitter as it was."

    Longtime airline industry executive and consultant John Eichner said Mr. Muse developed Southwest into the low-fare, high-productivity machine that it remains today. Airlines across the world, such as Ryanair Ltd. in Ireland and WestJet Airlines Ltd. in Canada, became successful by copying Southwest, Mr. Eichner said.

    "They're all doing this pattern of Southwest Airlines, which really was Lamar's pattern," Mr. Eichner said.

    "It really was one of the big innovations in the airline industry that made these startup airlines possible."

    In 1981, Mr. Muse and son Michael Muse, who left Southwest along with his father, established another low-fare carrier based in Dallas, Muse Air Corp. – or "Revenge Air," as many labeled it. Southwest bought its competitor in 1985, effectively ending Mr. Muse's career running airlines.

    However, he remained interested in the industry to the end, often coming up with new ideas. Even in his early 80s, he was pushing the concept of a low-fare airline based at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and flying Boeing 757s, and had encouraged Southwest to lease two gates there.

    Born in Houston in 1920, Mr. Muse grew up in Palestine, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1937. He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown for two years before switching to Texas Christian University in 1940, leaving after his junior year.

    He joined Price Waterhouse as a certified public accountant in 1941, his time there interrupted by a stint in the U.S Army Corps of Engineers from 1943 to 1945. He left Price Waterhouse in 1948 to go to work for Trans Texas Airways, followed by jobs at American Airlines Inc., Southern Airways, Central Airlines and Universal Airlines.

    Mr. Eichner said Mr. Muse called him after a year with American in its New York City offices, saying he didn’t like the cold, the commute or the big city. Mr. Eichner took his job, and Mr. Muse joined Southern Airways in 1962. He was president and chief executive officer of Central Airlines in Fort Worth from 1965- to 1967 and Universal Airlines in Detroit from 1967 to 1969.

    Pushed out at Universal in 1969, he moved to Conroe, where he was living when he heard about the airline that Rollin W. King and Mr. Kelleher had thought up.

    "Rollin and I jointly agreed we needed someone with experience to operate a real airline with heavy equipment. ... Everyone was happy to have Lamar come on board," Mr. Kelleher said.

    "In typical Lamar fashion, he hit like a whirlwind because we had to raise additional money. We had spent all our money on litigation. I was doing it for free at the end. He went out and raised some money lickety-split."

    Mr. Muse kept in his office the $1.25 million deposit slip from March 10, 1971, that provided the startup funding for Southwest, including $50,000 out of Mr. Muse’s pocket. The framed slip was hung in his room at the Dallas retirement home where he spent his last weeks.

    As Mr. Muse recalled in a 2002 autobiography, Southwest Passage, the carrier he joined as president and CEO had few employees, no airplanes and the name "Air Southwest."

    "Since Air Southwest sounded to me like some Mickey Mouse, third-level carrier, I convinced the board to change the name to 'Southwest Airlines Co.,' " Mr. Muse wrote.

    The tiny carrier began operations on June 18, 1971, with three airplanes. It had to sell a fourth airplane that was arriving later that year to meet payroll, and airline employees figured out a way to operate about the same schedule with three airplanes by "turning" the airplanes more quickly between flights – in 10 minutes rather than 25.

    The carrier in its early days featured female flight attendants wearing hot pants to call attention to itself, and offered a one-way fare of $20 on its flights from Dallas to Houston and San Antonio.

    In early 1973, Braniff began offering $13 fares on Southwest’s routes, a half-price fare that threatened to steal many of Southwest’s customers. Southwest and Mr. Muse responded with large newspaper ads proclaiming: "Nobody is going to shoot Southwest Airlines out of the sky for a lousy $13."

    Southwest gave travelers a choice: They could fly on a full $26 fare and get a free bottle of liquor, or get the $13 fare. The offer boosted ridership so much that Mr. Muse later credited the Braniff offer for Southwest’s eventual financial success.

    The carrier realized that it could maximize revenues by charging full fares during the day and lower fares at nights and on weekends. In a 2002 interview, Mr. Muse said the carrier figured out its eventual operating philosophy bit by bit.

    "We fumbled around for 18 months before we found the formula," Mr. Muse said. "After we got the formula, all it was was cookie-cutting."

    He persuaded Southwest’s board to give employees a share of profits, paid out in Southwest stock for many years. Although the carrier did not provide pensions for employees, the profit-sharing enabled many long-time employees to become millionaires.

    But even as the carrier turned profitable and kept growing, Mr. Muse began butting heads more and more with Mr. King.

    Finally, in March 1978, Mr. Muse sent the Southwest board a letter of resignation, with the intent of forcing a showdown that would end up with the board choosing him over Mr. King. It was, Mr. Muse later said, a "big mistake."

    The board accepted his resignation and put Mr. Kelleher in as chairman. Southwest later that year brought in Howard Putnam as president and chief executive.

    Mr. Kelleher , who took over Mr. Putnam’s jobs when Mr. Putnam left for Braniff in 1981, said he learned a lot from watching Mr. Muse in action.

    “He never acted as a mentor,” Mr. Kelleher said. “He wasn’t the sort of person who would say, ‘Now, sit down and I’ll tell you these things.’ But I tried to be a fairly keen observer of what people do and what works and doesn’t work. In that sense, he was a real educator to me.”

    Muse Air followed Southwest’s model, but with McDonnell-Douglas aircraft and a no-smoking policy. However, Muse Air was launched during a period of high fuel prices, a growing recession and intense competition from Southwest and Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc.

    Lamar Muse retired from Muse Air in May 1984, but returned that December as chief executive officer and chairman, just long enough to engineer its sale to Southwest in 1985. Southwest renamed it TranStar Airlines Corp., ended the smoking ban and eventually shut down the carrier in August 1987.

    Mr. Eichner, retired from the airline consultancy of Simat Helliesen & Eichner Inc., said Mr. Muse was one of the three smartest financial people Mr. Eichner had encountered in the airline industry. Mr. Muse helped create a model for deregulated airlines despite his long experience pre-Southwest working for airlines regulation by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

    "People who are real geniuses think outside the box, and Lamar really thought outside the box," Mr. Eichner said.

    "Lamar was very good at solving problems for an airline like Southwest Airlines and he did a good job of setting up Muse Air," he said. "Lamar was really one of the real pioneers in the business."

    In an interview last week, Mr. Muse said he was proud of helping establish Southwest Airlines, but particularly pleased to have helped build a new YMCA facility in Palestine. He set up irrevocable trusts in 1997 to fund the YMCA, named after his parents, Hiram and Nan Muse. "That was what I was the proudest of," Mr. Muse said. "I created something."

    On Jan. 29, a weakened Mr. Muse traveled to Palestine to present a $350,000 check to YMCA officials, and informed them that Mr. Kelleher would donate $150,000 over three years.

    Mr. Muse was preceded in death by his first wife, Juanice, and his brother, Ken, of Montgomery, Ala. Survivors include son Michael L. Muse and his wife, Diane, daughters Deborah Ann Muse and her husband, Ken Carlson, and Diane Muse Kinnan and husband Bruce Kinnan, all of Dallas, and Lisa Muse of Liberty Hill; sister Marian Thompson of Palestine; three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

    He is also survived by ex-wife Barbara and her daughters, Culleen Vaughn and Connie Grizzard, both of San Antonio; and two grandchildren.

    Friends and family will remember Mr. Muse at a reception 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, daughter Deborah Muse said Tuesday. Mr. Muse’s aviation memorabilia is being donated to the museum.

    Gifts may be made to the Palestine YMCA, Attention: Michael Oranch, 5500 N. Loop 256, Palestine, TX Texas 75801.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  29. #129
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Muse succeeded by winging it
    With luck and smarts, he shaped Southwest Airlines of today


    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...e.1c0e036.html

  30. #130
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    Wall Street Journal ranks the airlines

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1170...left_column_hs

    Here's their relative ranking, from a story earlier this week (with 1 being best and 10 being worst):

    Overall ranking
    Southwest #2
    American #5

    On-time arrivals
    Southwest #1
    American #4

    Mishandled bags
    Southwest #5
    American #8

    Complaints
    Southwest #1
    American #8

    Bumps
    Southwest #6
    American #4

    Cancelled flights
    Southwest #3
    American #7

  31. #131
    Supertall Skyscraper Member psukhu's Avatar
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    I was coming back from Denver to DFW a couple weeks ago and AA called me a couple hours before to say that my flight was cancelled due to bad weather in Denver and I would have to fly out the next morning. Too bad I was already on the shuttle from Copper Mountain to Denver. My buddies flying to Chicago on United and Minneapolis on NWA were able to depart on time. I still don't understand how my flight was cancelled due to weather, but other airlines were taking off.

  32. #132
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    ^Sometime delays pile up around the system and aircraft get stuck in other cities and force rolling cancellations down the rest of that plane's daily schedule. That might be what happened there?

  33. #133
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    Print Version
    Southwest Airlines Announces Intent to Resume Service to San Francisco International Airport
    Carrier Says Airport's Efficiency and Cost Improvements Key in Decision to Return

    DALLAS, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines today announced its intent to resume service at San Francisco International Airport. The carrier has not released specific service details or a timeline, only saying that it is currently in discussions with the Airport and that it aims to return to the West Bay in a meaningful way in the early fall.

    "San Francisco International is the only major Bay Area airport we don't currently serve, having made a very difficult decision in 2001 to cease service there after nearly 20 years. Today, SFO has improved operationally and is a more cost-efficient airport, and Southwest is a far larger airline than it was in 2001 and better able to support this type of operation," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's Vice Chairman and CEO.

    For photos and Southwest's California facts, visit: http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/p...ml?ref=sfo_pre ss_070208.

    Southwest Airlines initiated service at SFO in October 1982 with four nonstop flights to Las Vegas, with direct or connecting service to cities like Houston, El Paso, Albuquerque, and Austin. At the time it ceased service on March 4, 2001, Southwest had 14 nonstop departures to San Diego and Phoenix.

    "The business reasons for leaving San Francisco in 2001 were clear," Kelly said. "Back then, facility and runway constraints meant we could not compete and be profitable, and there was no growth potential beyond the 14 flights we had at the time. Frankly, we had demand at our other California airports that we knew would be successful. It made more sense to leave.

    "The Airport Commission, under the leadership of Mayor Gavin Newsom and Commission President Larry Mazzola, has made SFO a more attractive venue for true low fare carriers like Southwest. Working closely with SFO Director John L. Martin, Southwest was excited to learn of the constructive changes at SFO, so now it makes even more sense to return."

    Mayor Newsom welcomed the news, saying: "this is a big win for Bay Area passengers, particularly those located on the Peninsula and in San Francisco, as they will no longer have to travel across the Bay Bridge to avail themselves of Southwest's vast network. It makes environmental sense for passengers to avail themselves of the airports nearest their homes."

    Southwest says today's announcement does not affect its commitment at Oakland International, where it has 142 daily departures; or Norman Y Mineta San Jose International, where it has 77 daily departures.

    "Similar to the Washington, D.C., metro area where we serve Baltimore/Washington International and Washington Dulles International; or the Los Angeles area where we serve LAX, Ontario, Burbank, and Orange County; or the Boston metro area where we serve from Providence, RI and Manchester, NH; the Bay Area is large enough to support complementary service from three airports," Kelly said. "We've never questioned that."

    Southwest says it will release more details of its future service to San Francisco in the coming months.

    For the tenth year in a row, FORTUNE magazine recognized Southwest Airlines in its annual survey of corporate reputations. Among all industries in 2006, FORTUNE has listed Southwest Airlines as number three among America's Top Ten most admired corporations.

    http://www.southwest.com

  34. #134
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    ^^^
    Hummm… look like someone else doesn’t want to see Virgin America flying. I’m glad Southwest decided to fly out of SFO again, if nothing else to hurt Virgin America chances of being successful if it ever gets off the ground. I believe there are too many airlines in the country and fares are too low. No need for Virgin America with all the other LLC.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    I believe there are too many airlines in the country and fares are too low.
    You could always toss your favorite carrier a few extra bucks if you feel bad.

  36. #136
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    You could always toss your favorite carrier a few extra bucks if you feel bad.
    Oh, Continental makes plenty of money off of me. I’m one of the passengers that keeps them afloat. Most of my trips are either in First Class or BusinessFirst. I use to fly coach on short haul flights within the USA. I made a resolution this year to fly First Class or BusinessFirst on all flights over one hour. (All my Florida flying is in First Class from now on.) It’s really not that much more to Florida. Coach tickets from DAL-MCO (Orlando) run from $250 to $450. I have gotten First Class as low as a little over $700. First Class runs from $700 to $1200.

    In December I had to make a last minute trip and there were no BusinessFirst seats left. The flight was 10 1/2 hours long and I was in coach, albeit on a 777. I will never do that again. All I have to say is more power to everyone who can fly in coach on flights over 6 hours. That is something I will never do again. They only way I can do long haul is in BusinessFirst.

    Later this year I’m going Dubai with my son. That’s 17 hours up in the air. We will be flying BusinessFirst. I got two tickets for a little less than 20K, which I think is pretty good considering it can cost a lot more to fly on this route.

    I spend a lot of money flying every year. Before Continental started flying out of Dallas Love Field, I for the most part use to only fly on American Airlines. The first time I flew on Continental was when they started service out of Love Field. I was blown away by their service and started to only fly on Continental. A couple of times after that I flew on American Airlines and each time their service disappointed me. Since 2001, Continental has been the only US airline I have flow on. I also have not flow out of DFW airport since 2001.

    Even thought Continental has great service, I think one of the biggest reasons I fly on Continental is because they fly out of Love Field. Love Field is much more convenient to me than DFW airport.

    Price really doesn’t matter to me when I buy a plane ticket:
    What I look for are:
    1) Airline “Always on Continental”
    2) Type of Aircraft used (Boeing 777-200ER, 737-900, etc)
    3) Schedule
    4) Price

    When looking at the entire aviation industry in the United States, airfares are TOO LOW. The airlines are barely getting by as it. The airlines (Legacy Carriers) are only making it because of the huge concessions by employees and other archaic cost saving measures.

    I have great respect for everyone in the aviation industry, from pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, to ramp workers etc. These people are truly professionals and should be pay as such. Each person in the industry is responsible for the lives of hundreds of people every day. I do not think paying 250K plus for a 777 pilot is too much. It takes years and years of flying and experience to get to that point. You just can’t go out on the street and hire anybody to be a 777 pilot. To become a pilot is extremely expensive. I really do not think people realize how much time and money it takes to become a pilot.

    My wife and I paid for our son education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He flew for four years at that school. The total education bill was much more than sending him to Harvard. We paid the tuition and all the regular cost, plus flying cost which are calculated by how much he flew. Each flight cost hundreds of dollars and he was flying up to 5 times a week sometimes. All of this was added to the already high cost of tuition. There were no grants, scholarships or loans. My son was lucky; we paid for all his schooling, but I knew many of his friends had loans and were had it rough. I heard that the average debt load of ERAU graduate is 80K.

    These pilots leave with huge debt loads then go flying puddle jumpers, red eyes, etc to build up flight time, meanwhile having to pay back huge debts and really roughing it. By the time the time a pilot makes it to Captain of the largest airplane in an airline fleet, I believe they are worth every penny.

    Flight attendants are extremely important to the safety of passengers. The pilot is responsible for getting the plane down but in an emergency it’s the flight attends that has to get everyone off of the plane.

    To make a long post short, (everyone plays an important part) I believe people in the aviation industry should be paid well, and airfares need to go up to cover the costs (fuel, employees pay and benefits.) This is one industry where a race to the bottom is not good and could lead to tragic consequences. Sub par pay, etc leads to many problems including companies that cut corners. This is one industry where cutting corners could cost the lives of hundreds of people. (ValuJet) I am very leery of any new startup airline that can under cut the cost of other airlines. Those saving are coming from somewhere, whether it is low pay, benefits, or cuts in maintenance.

    To me a cheap ticket is not worth my life or the life of anyone else. I have never flow on a LCC nor would I ever fly on a LCC. I do this based on principle that people should be paid decent wages in this industry. I also like having great service and being treated well. (Note I am excluding Southwest from all information regarding LLC, as this airline does a damn good job in taking care of its people and in safety.)

    The aviation industry is not the retail industry. I do not believe in paying cashiers 21 dollars an hour. (Safeway in Bay Area) Anyone can scan groceries. Hence I’m ok with Wal-Mart in the retail industry.

    I will continue to support Continental and will only fly First Class/BusinessFirst on Continental. It helps the airline but Continental also has great service. The biggest reason I fly First/Business First on Continental is because of the service. I have defiantly converted my family over to them. Continental makes more than their ‘fare’ share off of me.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  37. #137
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Southwest airlines raises fares up to $10 each way
    The airline will charge up to $10 more each way for some flights. Its rivals follow suit.

    From Times Wire Services
    February 13, 2007
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...lines-business

    Southwest Airlines Co. has raised fares on more than half its seats by as much as $10 each way, and several competitors matched the increase.

    Dallas-based Southwest raised one-way fares by $10 on flights of more than 1,000 miles and as much as $3 on shorter flights. It was Southwest's second broad increase in three months.

    "It's still about fuel," spokeswoman Paula Berg said. Oil prices "remain high, and we expect them to stay high. We have to offset our fuel bill."

    Berg said the $10 increase affected one-fourth of its customers and the smaller increases would hit another one-third.

    AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, Northwest Airlines Corp., Continental Airlines Inc. and others matched the increases, according to the carriers and experts who track fares.

    Southwest built its business by promising low fares, but it has raised prices several times in the last year.

    "It is increasingly evident that if we count on higher oil prices, we can count on Southwest to push fares higher," Jamie Baker, an analyst with JP Morgan, said in a note to clients. "Southwest's full-court press for higher revenue is a phenomenon we expect to continue for several years given its confluence of rising labor and fuel costs."

    Fare increases can fail if some carriers refuse to go along with the higher prices, but the Southwest increase appeared to be sticking late Monday.

    "Given Southwest's general resistance to fare increases, when it does initiate an increase, the other carriers are happy to join in," said Neil Bainton of FareCompare.com tracking service.

    Chief Executive Gary Kelly has said that Southwest will focus on revenue growth because areas where it can trim spending further are becoming harder to find.

    United led most major carriers in raising round-trip fares by as much as $10 on Jan. 12. Large airlines pushed through at least 10 fare increases in 2006. Southwest raised fares six times last year.

    Separately, Bear, Stearns & Co. raised its rating on Southwest to "outperform." Also, oil prices fell more than $2 to $57.81 a barrel Monday, which boosted airline stocks.

    Southwest shares rose 62 cents to $15.77.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I’m happy all the airlines are finally catching on that air fares must go up. Before some would raise and others would not match like Northwest, even though they were bleeding red. I often wondered what Northwest was thinking, but it became obvious they weren’t thinking before, hence the ended up in bankruptcy. Last year increases started to stick and there should be more to bring this industry to stainable profitability. Anyways good news, hopefully airfares will reach a point where the airlines will be able to cover their costs and employees can go back to their normal pay.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    Southwest airlines raises fares up to $10 each way
    The airline will charge up to $10 more each way for some flights. Its rivals follow suit.

    From Times Wire Services
    February 13, 2007
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...lines-business

    Southwest Airlines Co. has raised fares on more than half its seats by as much as $10 each way, and several competitors matched the increase.
    Looks like they took your advice to heart.

  39. #139
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Trouble slaps American flights between D/FW, NYC
    Carrier working to boost New York market share as incidents hit

    11:01 PM CST on Friday, February 23, 2007
    By KATIE FAIRBANK / The Dallas Morning News
    kfairbank@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...a.1398446.html

    American Airlines Inc. developed problems on two flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the New York area this week at a time when the carrier is working to increase its market share there.

    The first problem occurred Thursday afternoon when an aircraft headed from D/FW to LaGuardia Airport lost cabin pressure, a rare occurrence.

    "What happened is everybody's ears popped, there was a jolt and the oxygen masks dropped," said Bill Eichenberger, a passenger on Flight 732 who was returning with his family from a Dallas vacation to their home in Huntington, N.Y.

    The flight crew reduced altitude and tried to repressurize the aircraft.

    "The pilot came on the intercom and said we'd lost cabin pressure and he was reducing altitude. In the meantime, he told everyone to keep the masks on," Mr. Eichenberger said.

    "My 4-year-old thought it was normal and actually fell asleep with the oxygen mask on. I wasn't quite as relaxed."

    The crew flew the airplane for about 45 minutes to help burn off some of the fuel. Ultimately, they landed safely back at D/FW with an overweight airplane.

    "They explained there would be rescue personnel and fire engines. Everybody clapped when they landed," Mr. Eichenberger said.

    The reason for the problem had not been determined Friday, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for Fort Worth-based American.

    The other incident occurred late Thursday, when a flight from D/FW to Newark, N.J., was forced to divert to Louisville, Ky., because an acrid odor and haze filled the cabin. Four people, including one crew member, were treated at a hospital for irritation to their eyes and throat.

    The airline believes malfunctioning breakers on an air-conditioning unit caused the problem, Mr. Wagner said.

    Both incidents occurred on McDonnell Douglas MD-80s, the workhorse of American's fleet.

    The average age of American's MD-80s was 17 years at the end of 2006; the airline has been talking about replacing the jets.

    But American also announced Thursday that it would launch new routes from New York area airports to try to protect its market share in the area.

    To add new routes, the airline would need planes to fly them.

    Mr. Wagner said that the incidents were separate and that the airline has a very intensive maintenance program.

    "These planes are constantly being checked," he said.

    On Wednesday, an American flight from Seattle bound for D/FW lost a tire on takeoff.

    That flight landed without incident.

  40. #140
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njjeppson
    Trouble slaps American flights between D/FW, NYC
    Carrier working to boost New York market share as incidents hit

    11:01 PM CST on Friday, February 23, 2007
    By KATIE FAIRBANK / The Dallas Morning News
    kfairbank@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...a.1398446.html

    American Airlines Inc. developed problems on two flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and the New York area this week at a time when the carrier is working to increase its market share there.
    Bad week for AAmerican..... At DFW over 500 AA flights were canceled on Feb 23 due to high/gusty winds.

    On the same day at Dallas Love, an AAmerican flight ended up off the runway into the weeds. Passengers were transported the rest of the way to the terminal on a bus. The incident closed Love for a time. SWA canceled 9 departures and a few incoming flights as a result.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  41. #141
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    More AAmerican Problems

    Associated Press
    American Airlines: Brazil Bldg. Searched
    Associated Press 02.23.07, 12:12 PM ET


    The parent company of American Airlines says Brazilian authorities made a surprise search of the airline's cargo facilities in connection with a price-fixing investigation.

    AMR Corp. (nyse: AMR - news - people ) said Brazilian authorities are investigating whether American and other carriers violated Brazilian competition laws by conspiring to set fuel surcharges on cargo shipments.

    The search occurred Jan. 23 at cargo facilities in Sao Paulo, AMR said in its annual financial report, which was filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    AMR disclosed the search in a section summarizing legal proceedings against the Fort Worth-based company. AMR said it intends to cooperate fully with investigators.

    American and other carriers have imposed surcharges on cargo and passengers in recent years to recover the high cost of jet fuel.

    AMR said it has been named in about 44 intended class-action lawsuits in the United States over the cargo charges. Those and other cases were combined in a single continuing in federal district court in New York. AMR said it was not named as a defendant in the combined case but could be added.

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/...partner=alerts
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  42. #142
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    A first-class seat for a coach price ... sort of

    By TREBOR BANSTETTER
    STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
    Wed, Feb. 28, 2007
    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/1679...printstory.jsp

    Potty parity is coming to American Airlines.

    Starting Thursday, coach passengers can use the lavatory in first class on American flights, a move that should provide relief for those who have had too much coffee.

    Since 2003, the first-class lavatory has been a forbidden zone for coach travelers on American -- the only airline with such a rule on all flights.

    "It was difficult to explain to customers sitting in the forward section of coach why they couldn't walk a few feet away and use the lavatory," said airline spokesman Tim Wagner.

    Not to mention the long lines: A Boeing 757 has two lavatories in first class, which has 22 seats, and two in coach, which has up to 160 passengers.

    "It was a ridiculous policy," said Joe Brancatelli, publisher of the Internet business travel site JoeSentMe.com.

    The change applies to domestic flights and to international flights leaving the U.S. Under Transportation Security Administration rules, passengers on incoming international flights still have to use lavatories in their respective cabins.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One more reason I'll keep flying on Continental Airlines. This is a blow to First Class passengers. And this is how an airline treats their best passengers. Nice! AA doesn't seem to know much about premium service anyways.
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  43. #143
    High-Rise Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LakeHighlands
    A first-class seat for a coach price ... sort of

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One more reason I'll keep flying on Continental Airlines. This is a blow to First Class passengers. And this is how an airline treats their best passengers. Nice! AA doesn't seem to know much about premium service anyways.
    "best passengers"????? This statement reminds me of the scene in the movie Titanic where some passengers were not allowed to escape the sinking ship via the most direct route, but were told to go back into the flooded passageway.

    So just why are you better than some one else simply because you paid more money to get to the same destination on the same conveyance as someone else.

  44. #144
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuddinHead
    See folks, the truest manifestation of the Southwest Effect!
    How is that?

  45. #145
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    Southwest plumps its image as other airlines cut amenities

    11:35 PM CST on Saturday, March 3, 2007
    By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News
    smarta@dallasnews.com

    After decades of being known by air travelers for serving peanuts and little else, has Southwest Airlines Co. become the frills carrier?

    The Dallas-based discounter hasn't added amenities. But legacy carriers are taking freebies away, cutting costs by eliminating pillows, selling snacks and even experimenting with charging for soft drinks.

    Southwest pokes fun at its traditional rivals in national television ads. In one spot, a customer is asked to insert coins to use an overhead bin, open a window shade and even recline his seat. In another, a flight attendant ticks off a list of charges for such basics as visiting the restroom and pushing the call button.

    The tongue-in-cheek ads signal Southwest's desire to shed its cattle-call reputation, industry analysts say, as it faces heightened competition across the airline industry, including from rival low-cost carriers.

    "A lot of what they're talking about are things people think about Southwest," said Stuart Klaskin, a consultant with KCC Aviation Consulting in Coral Gables, Fla. "Southwest is trying to divert the conversation away from its no-frills reputation."

    Southwest hasn't changed its commitment to a low-cost operation, said Kevin Krone, the airline's vice president of marketing, sales and distribution.

    Yet the ads demonstrate how the landscape has changed.

    "We wanted to get the word out that we're not like other airlines," he said. "We're offering all these things that other airlines aren't."

    The industry has changed so much in the last few years that customers are no longer sure what to expect when they fly.

    Even as carriers cut back on perks in coach class, they're promoting frills for premium-cabin customers. And some low-cost carriers, including Frontier Airlines Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp., offer satellite television, an amenity you won't find on traditional carriers, even in first class.

    Over the years, Southwest pitched itself as a low-cost airline with no frills but quick and efficient service. Unlike its traditional competitors, Southwest didn't offer meals. Refreshments consisted of a small bag of peanuts and a drink.

    But even though its largest rivals have slashed many amenities, "people still really think of Southwest as the ultra no-frills airline," Mr. Klaskin said.


    Cheap frills

    And frills, even small ones, may be resonating louder with customers than they used to.

    "Ultimately, when pricing is equal, those things can sometimes sway a customer from one carrier to another," Mr. Klaskin said.

    Competition is intensifying in the airline industry. Restructuring efforts during the last five years by carriers both in and outside of bankruptcy proceedings have turned all major airlines into "low-cost" carriers, dulling Southwest's operational cost edge.

    And heightened competition from other low-fare competitors has pushed Southwest to enter hotly contested markets, such as Denver and Philadelphia, where it faces entrenched rivals on their home turf.

    "Everyone has to fight for every passenger," Mr. Krone said.

    Although Southwest has enjoyed a powerful brand image for low fares, its cattle-call reputation – which is largely connected to its open-seating policy – has been hard to shake when wooing new customers.

    "Southwest has always faced an uphill battle that it's a second-class airline," said Alan Sbarra, an industry consultant based in San Francisco.

    The carrier still lacks what many consider to be the chief in-flight amenity – a seat assignment.

    Southwest officials have energetically defended the carrier's open-seating policy, saying that some very enthusiastic customers like it better than assigned seats. Even so, the carrier has considered trying different seating and boarding preferences.

    Some industry consultants say it's only a matter of time before Southwest must change its service offerings as it competes more directly with other discounters.

    Other carriers are pushing perks in their marketing. Fort Worth-based American Airlines Inc., which last month announced a major push for New York customers, has touted investments in its premium cabin seating and its Admirals Club lounges.

    Continental, the only major U.S. carrier that still has complimentary in-flight meal service in coach, has emphasized its cabin comforts and frequent-flier perks – a strategy that analysts say has helped the airline keep a more positive reputation among customers.

    Southwest's low-cost rivals are also calling attention to their richer in-flight experience, including satellite entertainment.

    At the same time, analysts say the unbundling of extras aboard a flight will probably continue as airlines try to eke out more revenue.

    "There seems to be this mentality in the industry to really squeeze the customer for every penny," said Tim Sieber, an airline consultant for the Boyd Group in Evergreen, Colo. "This is where Southwest can take the lead in the marketplace without having to put any cash on the barrel."

    Mr. Sieber pointed to recent announcements by Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines Inc. and British Airways PLC that they would charge for checking a second piece of luggage as well as other carriers that charge for food.

    "They're charging for things that were previously included in the ticket price," he said.

    Mr. Sieber said that as Southwest takes the lead on fare increases, it must make clear to customers that its product matches and in some cases exceeds that of its competitors.


    'Perception of value'

    "Southwest needs to raise the perception of value that they provide to the customer," Mr. Sieber said.

    In general, passengers book airline tickets based on airfare and flight times. But after that, amenities, service and frequent-flier programs come into play.

    "I don't think people will pay more for TV or even for free pillows," Mr. Krone said. "Our point is, when you think about the fare, you have to think about all the other things you pay along the way."

    Randy Petersen, publisher of Inside Flyer magazine and WebFlyer.com, said many travelers have resigned themselves to the idea of extra fees.

    "People relate it to the banking experience," Mr. Petersen said. "Every little thing you want is an extra charge."

    That's exactly the assumption Southwest is trying to change – at least when it comes to its own service.

    "Other airlines may match our fares, but then you have all those other charges during your journey," Mr. Krone said.

    "We want to make sure that our customers and other people out there flying realize that there are choices out there," he said.

  46. #146
    Skyscraper Member LakeHighlands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPlus
    "best passengers"????? This statement reminds me of the scene in the movie Titanic where some passengers were not allowed to escape the sinking ship via the most direct route, but were told to go back into the flooded passageway.

    So just why are you better than some one else simply because you paid more money to get to the same destination on the same conveyance as someone else.
    I did not mean best as in better than anyone, but best in terms of these are the people that the airline will make the most money off of. (Best to the airline, most loyal to the airline, etc) These are high yielding passengers. Unlike LCC, the Legacy carries do have higher cost and the high yielding passengers (First Class) is where they make a lot of their money. The profitability of most routes depends on the selling enough premium seats.


    Yield management at the airlines comes close to the revenue management at department stores. Most of my clients are department stores and specialty retail stores.
    Department stores must figure out how many of X items they can sell at full price. Then how many at X percentage off and still make a profit. Like the airlines, department stores have Y numbers of items to sell before it becomes useless. Airlines have until the plane takes off and the stores have until the new season comes in but every day on the floor the item looses value. (Most of my clients). When looking at all the variables especially on store brands, as the retailer the greatest amount of power on setting the pricing, it is really like revenue/yield management at the Legacy airlines.

    Example: There have been instances where one Polo shirt bought at the same store can have up to 10 different prices. Depending on how far along in inventory, what day of the week, sales event, special event etc, you can have 10 customers that bought the same shirt but all paid a different price. (No, I do not condone or support that many adjustments in pricing).

    The 80/20 Rule
    At most of my clients 80% of their sales come from 20% of their customers. Some even have ratios where 10% of customers produce 90% of the sales. There are customers that can drop 40K to 60K in one visit to the store. These are very valuable customers and the company needs to do what ever it can to retain these customers and get them to come back more often. (Bend over backwards, jump through hoops what ever it takes) Most importantly these people are buying items at retail. (Full price)

    FYI: You can have a 10 story 611,000 sq ft Lord & Taylor on 5th Ave all to yourself to go shopping if you spend enough money.

    How many sweaters at 50% does a company have to sell (to many customers) to replace the 1 customer that spends 60K in one shopping trip?

    It’s a moot point. Because at 50% off the company is already taking a hit and it really doesn’t matter how many 50% off sweaters are sold to customer 1,2,3,4, etc because they will never equate to the revenue the company just lost from one of the top customers.
    These customers might come into your store once or twice a year and only when you have a sale. They do not have any loyalty to your company either. While the customers in the top 20 percent come to your store regularly and buy items at full price. These customers are loyal to your company. It is in the company best interest to make their “best” customers as happy as possible. That’s why there are programs and rewards to most valuable customers at department stores, much like the airlines and their frequent flyer programs and first class service.

    Now applied to airlines:
    A real example (Looking at the minimum loss)

    Customer A lives in Dallas, so technically customer A should be flying on American Airlines on the vast majority of his trips. Customer A does not fly AA because of what customer A considers to be inferior service and horrible past experiences

    Customer A flies a minimum of four times a month. (1 out 4 flights in coach and that being the short haul flight 1 hour or less) Rest of the flights are all in First Class.
    1 short haul, 2 medium haul, 1 very long international flight.
    Average ticket price $2800
    X 4 a month $11,200 now
    X 12 months a year $134,400

    That’s one customer:
    How many coach tickets will AA need to sell to make up the revenue lost from one Premium passenger? It usually takes anywhere from 4 to 8 coach tickets to make up for one 1 First Class seat. AA looking as selling 269 tickets to many different passengers to equal the 1 passenger lost.

    Add to that Customer A immediate family only flies in First class and they also do a lot of flying.

    Average for 2 people is $7000 a month
    X 12 months $84,000 a year

    To top it off Customer A owns a business and all flights longer that 3 hours is in First Class. Customer A’s company also has signed a contract in which Continental Airlines is the airline of choice for all flying.

    Low end Cost of First Class travel a month at the company $64,000
    X 12 months is $768,000

    Total loss for AA from this ONE premium First Class customer $986,400
    This is looking at the minimum lost to AA. In reality the lost is most certainly greater for the airline.

    Amount of Coach Tickets AA has to sell to make up the lost 1,973
    These tickets are usually sold to passengers that have the least amount of loyalty to a specific airline. The lowest fares usually go to leisure passengers who fly one or two trips a year and only buy tickets that are solely based on price. They don’t care what airline is flying as long as they get from point A to B.

    That is close to $1 million dollars of high yield revenue that AA loses a year because they lost ONE premium Full First Class Fare paying customer.

    Passenger A lives in Dallas and passenger A company is based in Dallas, and like I said technically should be giving AA all their business since AA hub is in Dallas. Since, AA service is not top notch nor do they show any signs of actually improving their service, they loose close to $1 million dollars of revenue. Instead Customer A and his company gives their business to a competitor (hub is close by) which has proven itself.

    So which is more valuable to the company? The passenger that brings 1 million dollars in high yield revenue or the one time passenger that buys a $199 ticket which is most likely sold at a lost?

    My point is there are a small percentage of customers (most industries) that account for the majority of sales at companies. It is in the best interested of the company to keep theses customers satisfied. (Common sense to most companies) These people pay the most money and are also the most finicky.

    The customers in the top 20 percent expect more from the company and are also more adverse to change that the rest of the customers. It is also much more difficult to gain these customers back one you lose them.

    Customers do not have to shop at your store. They don’t have to fly on your airline.
    You put money into what will make you the most money. In all of our reports we classified customers in the top 20 percent as the company’s “best/most valuable customers.”
    "One of Dallas' strongest communities, Lake Highlands boasts a true sense of neighborhood spirit. Local stores reflect passionate support for Lake Highlands schools with school posters and signs. True to its name, the area features handsome traditional homes up and down rolling hills and charming, winding roads." --Lake Highlands People

  47. #147
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    American Eagle charters flight for Grapevine H.S. baseball players
    Dallas Business Journal - March 2, 2007
    by Jaime S. Jordan
    Staff Writer
    http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/st...l?surround=lfn

    American Eagle, American Airlines' regional affiliate operated a charter flight Friday to get the teammates of a Grapevine High School baseball player home in time for his funeral.

    Chris Gavora died Feb. 24 after being hit by a line drive last on Feb. 22.

    His teammates were in Midland this week to play in a tournament, but wouldn't be able to make it home in time by bus to attend the viewing Friday night and funeral Saturday. So American Eagle donated the plane, fuel and labor to get the players home, a spokesman for American said Friday....

  48. #148
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Southwest drafts NBA players to work at airport
    Dallas Business Journal - 11:46 AM CST Monday, March 5, 2007
    by Brandon Weigel
    Baltimore Business Journal
    http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/st...l?surround=lfn

    Having a hard time reaching everything in your airplane's overhead compartment? Let an NBA player do it for you instead.

    Members of the Washington Wizards will be "subbing in" for Southwest Airlines employees Monday afternoon at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, trading in their usual work of slam dunks, assists and jumpshots for boarding passengers, marshalling planes, loading luggage and handing out peanuts....

  49. #149
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Southwest not satisfied with revenue
    12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, March 22, 2007
    By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News
    smarta@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...1.37a1627.html

    Southwest Airlines Co. expects its revenue per seat mile to go up 1 percent during the first quarter, a figure that chief executive Gary Kelly said "doesn't cut it" as the company works to boost its earnings 15 percent for the year

    Mr. Kelly made the remark Wednesday at a New York City transportation conference held by J.P. Morgan.

    On Monday, Fort Worth-based AMR Corp. announced that American Airlines Inc.'s revenue for each seat mile was expected to rise between 3.5 percent and 4.5 percent for the first three months of the year. Including its regional carrier American Eagle, revenue per seat mile would increase 2.7 percent to 3.7 percent.

    Dallas-based Southwest would like to keep fares low, but rising costs underscore the need to find other ways to raise revenue, Mr. Kelly said.

    Mr. Kelly also said that Southwest plans to boost its California operations to compete with new service proposed by low-cost carrier Virgin America. Virgin's operations would be based in San Francisco.

    American Airlines chief executive Gerard Arpey made a similar presentation to investors Wednesday. He said the airline could have an announcement "in the near future" about how it will replace its MD-80 fleet.

  50. #150
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    American accelerates jet order
    09:43 AM CDT on Wednesday, March 28, 2007
    By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
    tmaxon@dallasnews.com
    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...s.bbf5f25.html

    American Airlines Inc. will begin taking delivery of 47 new Boeing 737s in 2009 to start replacing its aging McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 fleet, the carrier announced Tuesday.

    The decision marks American’s first major aircraft announcement since 1997 when it signed a sweeping deal with the Boeing Co. to buy 103 jets and rights to buy another 527 by 2018.

    The deal speeds up delivery of jets that originally were to begin arriving in 2006, but had their delivery pushed back seven years.

    After narrowly avoiding bankruptcy in 2003, American in November 2004 reached agreement with Boeing to defer delivery of 54 Boeing airplanes until 2013. The order included the 47 Boeing 737s that had been scheduled to begin arriving in 2006.

    American said it has notified Boeing that in early 2009 American will take delivery of three airplanes whose delivery date had been pushed back to 2016.

    “American intends to continue pulling forward deliveries of the other aircraft from their current 2013-2016 delivery schedules into the 2009-2012 timeframe,” the airline said.

    The airline estimates that the Boeing plane burns 25 percent less fuel than the MD-80. Gerard Arpey, chairman and chief executive officer of American and parent AMR Corp., said the purchase is part of American’s efforts to lower its operating costs, with a goal of improving the fleet’s fuel efficiency by more than 20 percent by 2020.

    “We believe that beginning to replace some of our MD-80s in a measured way makes economic sense and represents prudent and strategic reinvestment in our business that will bring long-term benefits to shareholders, customers and employees,” Mr. Arpey said.

    “Our existing agreement with Boeing gives us ample flexibility for our long-term fleet plan,” he said. “While the MD-80 remains an excellent aircraft that serves us and our customers well, the new 737s will be a great addition to our fleet that will lower our operational costs, boost the fuel efficiency of our fleet and also bolster our efforts to lower emissions and noise levels.”

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