America's horrid "legacy airlines"—the ones who have left a shameful "legacy" of billions and billions and billions in taxpayer bailouts, subsidies, loan guarantees, and targeted tax bouquets—are back in Washington, hat back in hand. Here's a weepy op-ed from American Airlines chief Gerard Arpey, poignantly entitled "Help companies meet their pension obligations"; and this Dallas Morning News round-up (reg. or bugmenot req'd.) is full of cringe-worthy quotes, like this one from Legacy Airline capo James May:
"If you have some magic for $60 fuel, I would like to hear it, because we are at wits' end," Mr. May told senators.
How about, don't run a crappy airline? I just had a lovely week-long vacation nearly ruined by the book-ended incompetence of a certain legacy airline who forced me into an unplanned overnight stay in godawful Irving, Texas (sans luggage, of course) … because bad weather in an absolutely unrelated part of the country left its hub airport short on available crew members. Seriously, what's the point of a hub-and-spoke system when you don't have flexible resources or a halfway decent Plan B at Worldwide HQ? And needless to say, for my second consecutive return flight from Dallas to LAX at least one piece of luggage didn't make the plane.
But luckily for the money-squandering dullards, there are enough members of the Senate Commerce Committee who apparently believe certain businesses are too colossally incompetent to fail:
The Commerce Committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, agreed: "If we do not begin to solve the problems plaguing the air carriers, we will see more failures in coming months and certainly more jobs cut."
Because what is the federal government if not a guarantor of full employment at lousy companies?… If Inouye and his fellow hacks were serious, they could start by privatizing airports, allowing vigorous foreign competitors to own more than 50 percent of U.S.-based airlines, and letting the failures actually fail, for starters. But that would take a belief in free airline markets we haven't really seen since the Carter Administration.