Cranky on the Web (February 7-11)

Airlines Start Tightening Belts as Fuel Prices RiseBNET Headwinds
Fuel prices are on the rise and that means it’s time for airlines to start revisiting growth plans. Delta’s already done it.

Low-Cost Airlines: Increasingly Flying to a Major Airport Near YouBNET Headwinds
Secondary airports used to be the place to find low cost carriers, but they’re now increasingly moving toward primary airports.

Why airline fees are good for Out of the Office
I’m now writing a new weekly column entitled Out of the Office. I started off with a very controversial topic, and the reaction was, um, stiff. People aren’t nearly as civilized with their comments on, that’s for sure.

US Airways: Why We Don’t Bother Hedging Jet-Fuel PricesBNET Headwinds
US Airways doesn’t hedge, and so far it’s paying dividends. See why the strategy makes sense for the airline today.

Google-ITA Rewards Orbitz and Undercuts Merger Opposition at the Same TimeBNET Headwinds
ITA signed a renewal with Orbitz and that might have some impact on whether or not Google’s effort to buy ITA gets approved.

In the Trenches: Getting Help with HiringIntuit Small Business Blog
After realizing that hiring on my own wasn’t going to work well, I looked elsewhere for help.

Heathrow-Virgin Spat: Virgin Caves, but Wins the PR BattleBNET Headwinds
Virgin Atlantic’s effort to withhold funds from BAA has failed, but the war is still ongoing.

Delta ranks near bottom in on-time performanceAtlanta Journal-Constitution
I was asked whether a poor on time performance record would make fliers consider alternatives. Yep.

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MickoCFDavidSanjeev MBrodie Recent comment authors
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I’m certain that 95% of Delta’s complaints stem from the rude and crude NWA employees they inherited from the merger. I have been a die hard DL flyer for over a decade. This past December I was unprepared for the outrageously disgusting attitude I witnessed on three legs. It was horrible rudeness and lack of helpfullness. I’m certain these staff were inherited based on the fact we were flying older NW equipment. Even several months after the fact I’m still disgusted. They deserve this ranking.

Sanjeev M

Not so sure about that. DL and NW crews are now very mixed and I know some PMNW F/A’s who are based at ATL or JFK and PMDL ones based at MSP. They can work side by side on any aircraft so I wouldn’t be so sure.

If you think Delta people have attitude problems, wait till you see CO/UA.


You’re looking at Delta’s approach to cutting costs on fuel from the wrong perspective. To an airline, the average cost of fuel per flight or per RPM across the network and whether the airplane is paid off or not is irrelevant – this is just summarising for the benefit of 3rd parties. What really matters is stopping or reducing those flights which make a loss when fuel prices are high. If an airplane is not yet fully owned and the airline doesn’t have the capacity to return the aircraft to the lender (be it by bank debt, lease or otherwise),… Read more »


I heard today that Easyjet are trying a new ‘nano’ paint which ads a very thin film of some paint like substance making the surface of the aircraft super smooth reducing friction so using less fuel. I hope it works better than the mirriad of ingenious devices (or cons) which have been invented to get more miles per gallon out of your car, but never actually work. I hope it does work though because less fuel means less pollution. Maybe they ought to make the skin of aircraft like the skin of a shark. That is supposed to super efficient… Read more »