Cranky on the Web (May 17 – 21)

AirTran, BNET, Continental, Frontier, Labor Relations, Mergers/Finance, Mesa Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, United, US Airways

Union-Vote Rule Change: Bad News for Non-Union Delta, JetBlueBNET
The National Mediation Board made some rule changes recently and it may be causing some airlines to sweat.

Southwest Airlines’ March Meltdown — Less Than Meets the EyeBNET
Southwest had a rough March, but it hardly means that things are heading south.

How will the new United-Continental treat customers?Cleveland Plain Dealer
I talked about some of the issues that the combined United/Continental will face (in the infobox) on the side.

AirTran-Frontier: Once Friendly Airlines Are Now Kicking, Gouging EyesBNET
The hammer has finally dropped. The once-cozy AirTran-Frontier deal is now over. It’s been fun to watch the fight.

spice up your
If you’re traveling for your wedding, it can’t hurt to try to get some perks.

Mesa Air Group Loses Battle with Delta, and US Airways Must be SmilingBNET
Mesa’s contract with Delta is toast, and that means US Airways has even more leverage.

Spirit Airlines: Why a Threatened Pilot Strike Could Take the Company DownBNET
Not quite as dramatic as the title would suggest, but a strike threat at Spirit is a bigger deal than at a larger airline.

United-Continental Merger: Continental Is Taking the Reins, No QuestionBNET
Another clue about the leadership team at United/Continental is out there. There is no trace of United President John Tague on the integration team.

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6 comments on “Cranky on the Web (May 17 – 21)

  1. When you board, mention to the flight attendant that you’re getting married and you might find yourself with an embarrassing PA announcement and a complimentary glass of champagne. If there are empty seats, on rare occasions, you might find yourself bumped up front.

    Upgrades are something you “purchase” or “earn”. It’s not simply given away. MOST airline employees have to “pay” for upgrades and so should you, married or not.

  2. Cranky,

    Do you care to comment on the factual issues surrounding the Mesa/Delta lawsuit? According to Mesa, the lawsuit stems from NYC performance… where Mesa canceled flights at Delta’s request. At first, the judge agreed with Mesa, but now, he changed his mind. What happened? I’m really curious.

    1. It’s a good question. I haven’t read the full decision, but my understanding is that the judge agreed that Delta was somewhat responsible for Mesa not meeting the guarantee, but that didn’t matter. The contract didn’t have any sort of clause stating that would exempt them from meeting the obligations. But like I said, I haven’t read the ruling.

      1. Could you post the link? I’m not good at finding those things.

        There has to be more to the situation, because if there’s not, then Mesa has some pretty crappy lawyers. There’s a legal doctrine of “estoppel” (wikipedia is your friend here) which basically says you can’t create damages and then claim another party owes you some sort of compensation. (I’m not a lawyer, so if I got the paraphrase wrong, my bad.) So it shouldn’t matter that any sort of associated clause was absent from the contract. And if it does matter, then I say again that Mesa has some pretty crappy lawyers — it is pretty much SOP that the major carrier retains certain rights over parts of the operation, and if the lawyers didn’t protect themselves against that, then shame on them. (Who in their right mind would enter into a contract that permits another party to screw them over?)

        Back to the estoppel thing for a minute, one of the examples wikipedia uses is in a landlord/tenant situation — it says that if, say, a landlord reduces your rent for repairs or whatnot, he can’t then turn around and claim that the tenant is in default for not failing to pay the full rent. Same here — Delta can’t cancel Mesa’s flights and then turn around and say, “oops, yeah, we’re going to hold you in violation of our contract for canceling flights we told you to cancel.”

        1. I don’t have the link, unfortunately. I’m not even sure which court it was being tried in.

          I don’t think estoppel applies in this case. Estoppel effectively prevents you from denying something that is already known as fact. In the case you cite, the landlord reduced the rent for repairs, so he can’t deny that for future rent requests. I don’t see what is being denied in the Mesa case.

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