Cranky on the Web (July 15 – 19)

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been named to the Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist list for 2013 for urgent airline assistance. That makes 3 years in row.

Mythbusting: Why’d They Cancel My Favorite Flight? It’s Always Full!Conde Nast Daily Traveler
This is a link that I will need to keep handy, because people always ask me how a flight could be canceled if it’s always full. Here’s why.

In the Trenches: A Get-Together Post-MortemIntuit Small Business Blog
Our annual meeting at Cranky Concierge worked out pretty well in the end.

Ontario making a case for LAX lawsuitInland Valley Daily Bulletin
Another day, another Ontario article. This time it looks like Ontario is just trying to make life terrible for LAWA.

PlaneBusiness CrankyAnalysis: The GAO Report On American/US Airways Merger –More Holes Than Swiss CheesePlaneBusiness Banter ($Subscription Required$)
I dug into the DOT data and reviewed the GAO report claiming that there would be huge reduction in competition in the AA/US merger. I found all kinds of problems with the data. The competitive impact is much smaller than the GAO has suggested.

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CFphilRonBoris LevitinConsumer Mike Recent comment authors
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Consumer Mike

1) I wish that Cranky would ALSO review what he and a few other bloggers have soooo glowingly said about all the “positive” effects that a mega merger will bring to consumers. The “snake oil” sale of this move does not impress me and I find the road after a mega merger between AA and US AIR laden with land mines. I see a monetary windfall for Parker & Co., while consumers WILL suffer the consequences – as well as those individuals that think everyone will prosper and enjoy the “fruits” of this move. Why is cranky only “reviewing” items… Read more »

Boris Levitin

1. The positive effects will come from the merger of two almost entirely complementary, nonoverlapping networks, as has been discussed ad infinitum, and in the empowering of the merged larger, better-run airline to compete with United and Delta. There will be no meaningful reduction in competition except on a few routes between AA and US hubs. On itineraries where neither origin nor destination were a hub for one of the airlines, the leakage to that airline was around 5%, according to Boyd Associates, and of course consisted almost entirely of highly vested frequent-flyer plan members unlikely to defect and of… Read more »

David SF eastbay

Thumbs up for being a specialist of the year for the 3rd year a row. —— That TV special on the week in the life of American Airlines that ran awhile back on CNBC or MSNBC showed a full 767 JFK-LAX flight in the beginning of the show and at the end told the numbers on that flight and said AA only made a $200 profit. One less ticket purchased would have meant the flight didn’t make any money at all which they said happens. So full flights don’t mean money in the bank, but that one flight a day… Read more »


Congratulations on your designation as a specialist. Your business is one of the few that I have never used myself and still recommend to people who need it.

I have to say that the City of Ontario is starting to act like a crybaby. Why participate in a lawsuit opposing modernization plans at an airport 60 miles away? It’s pretty obvious that they are doing it as a form of harassment, and I hope the judge handles it appropriately.


Of course, Consumer Mike conveniently ignores the scores of airline bankruptcies over the years that, arguably, were a function of too much competition.

Boris Levitin

True, but in the specific case of AA/US there just isn’t much competition to begin with. The purpose of this merger is not at all a reduction in competition.


Since you are not a “miles and points guy” does that mean your concierge service would not be as valuable to those of us using miles for award travel? Thanks.