3 Links I Love: Allegiant’s Safety Problems, Young Airline Love, Pulling for Clinton

Allegiant, American, Links I Love

This week’s featured link:
Breakdown at 30,000 FeetTampa Bay Times
Kudos to the folks at the Tampa Bay Times for putting forth a great investigative effort on Allegiant’s mechanical diversions. The numbers are startlingly high, but until the Times gathered all the information, Allegiant stone-walled. Now armed with facts, Allegiant is singing a very different tune to the paper. The good news is that it appears diversions are going down, and the article makes it sound like it’s only the MD-80 fleet that’s seen severe problems. This is something that has been discussed in abstract many times before, but it’s great to see the hard facts.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
American Airlines surprises future pilot with behind-the-scenes tour at Sky Harbor AirportFox 10 Phoenix
And now for something a bit lighter. An 8-year old named Kevin has been dressing up as a pilot and dragging his mom to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to watch airplanes on a weekly basis. (I know I’m not the only one who can relate to this kid’s passion.) Well, American took notice and gave him a tour all over the airline’s hub. Take 2 minutes, watch the video, and enjoy.

Op-ed: Clinton has skills and character to keep the nation flyingThe Salt Lake Tribune
With the US presidential election finally coming on Tuesday, I thought I’d mix airplanes and politics. It seems former Delta Chairman and CEO Richard Anderson likes Clinton, and he wrote an op-ed about why. If she wins, dare I dream he could add Transportation Secretary to his resume? (Probably not, but just imagine.)

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23 comments on “3 Links I Love: Allegiant’s Safety Problems, Young Airline Love, Pulling for Clinton

  1. Clinton is too poltiically cautious to name an airline CEO as Transportation Secretary. Commerce Secretary would be more plausible. He’s a significant donor with business experience, and that lines up with a profile for the position at Commerce. Cabinet could be a stretch, and whether he serves in the administration may have something to do with the reason for his departure from Delta, e.g. if it’s health reasons then he’s probably not a candidate.

  2. And since ambassador slots often go to donors, he could be the US envoy to Qatar…. ’cause that would be awesome (if not in the US strategic interest).

    1. Oh how that could work out… I found his endorsement of Clinton to be less of an endorsement and more of an opportunity to brag about Delta — it’s barely news. I’d hope with his crusades against the Export-Import Bank and his outlandish and nonfactual claims against the Mideast carriers would preclude him from any appointment in a Clinton administration… I think he’d even have problems in a Chamber of Commerce role as he’s pretty bad when it comes to building coalitions or working well with others… Love your blog, Gary!!

  3. The article about Allegiant is well worth reading even though it’s a mixed bag of hard facts and sensationalism. There’s a bit too much focus on passengers’ perceptions of what’s going on (we’re gonna die syndrome), but I’m glad the authors took the time to analyze the incident data. I was very interested to note that (I hope I’m summarizing accurately here) Allegiant’s MD-80s only have twice the failure rate of American’s. Actually. my calculation is that Allegiant’s MD-80s are 2.62 times more likely to fail than American’s.(I’m no mathematician, so correct me if I’m wrong.) That makes me think a little less highly of American, because I had no idea American’s failure rate was so high. On the other hand, since American’s fleet mix is an ever-changing statistic, that means the “half as often” label was already invalid before this article went to print. In any event, it’s Allegiant’s scheduling practices that make me resist using them, even though they *are* an option. I live 100 miles from the airport. If my flight is cancelled, American won’t make me wait 2 days for the next flight – or at least they haven’t yet.

  4. Why are we having to endure political opinions on a universally read blog? We have to go through this enough everyday let along read about one of the candidates here.

    Apparently you are a Clinton supporter.

    1. Why should people’s opinion writing have to avoid politics? He’s not speaking for the government, or even for any company except possibly his own.

    2. “Why are we having to endure political opinions on a universally read blog?”

      You don’t. Or did Cranky come to your home and force you to click on the link to the Op Ed?

    3. Four observations:
      (1) The article was written by a former airline CEO, so it is relevant to a blog dedicated to the airline industry.
      (2) No airline executive has come out in favour of Trump – if one did, and CF didn’t link to it as well, that might be a sign of bias.
      (3) Even if it was a sign of bias, so what? It’s Brett’s blog.
      (4) “Endure”? Really? Just don’t click on it if you’re not interested. (And the bloody election is only a few days away. If CF had been linking to non-industry-relevant political items for the decades – at least it feels like decades, anyway – this election has been running, you might have more of a point.)
      And, as always, I’d point out the blog is completely, 100% free.

  5. Thanks Brett, I liked Richard Anderson’s op-ed. If you hadn’t posted I would have missed it. Keep up the good work! It will be interesting to see if he ends up on the government side after the election. To me this piece feels like he’s just getting warmed up.

  6. The Tampa Bay Times seems to be making a name for itself with some decent investigations and long form journalism. They did an expose on Walmart’s outsized number of calls for police assistance not too long ago. (http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/public-safety/walmart-police/)

    Picking apart the article…

    > But Allegiant doesn’t staff its own mechanics at 107 of the 118 airports it flies to.

    Given that Allegiant only flies to many airports a few times a week, it’s not surprising that they don’t have in-house mechanics at most of their airports.

    > Two maintenance crew members work on on the tail section of an Allegiant Air MD-80 at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Oct. 25. Allegiant executives say they are phasing out the aging MD-80 model in coming years.

    Is it just me, or does the guy on top of the wing in the photo with this caption not seem to be wearing a safety/fall harness?

  7. I don’t think Delta’s CEO is capable of being non biased when it comes to transportation matters so I would hope he isn’t given the chance. We have enough problems with our transportation infrastructure without having someone who would favor his own company over everything else and he would do that. It’s ingrained into Deltas culture.

    1. Anderson isn’t Delta’s CEO. I don’t know him personally. Do you? If not, I find it hard to put much faith into your assessment of his ability to not be the “Delta DoT secretary”. As the (now former) CEO of Delta it was of course his job and responsibility to work for the benefits of the shareholders of that company. And while I am not a a Delta flyer, he seems to have done a pretty good job turning the company around and delivering a respectable product for its customers.

  8. No worries, Killary is Not going to be the President. The American people are not that Stupid! Richard should have kept his powder dry, as he would be a good member of any administrations cabinet.

    1. HAHA. Killary. do you realize how stupid that sounds? Real people. who have real jobs. who look at things logically. even a Republican like Anderson, not to mention hundred of senior republican officials, back her because the choice between Trump and Hillary isn’t even a real contest.

  9. My brother in law is fairly high up at the FAA. He NEVER flies ULCCs. and only on the rarest occasions, flies WN. When I ask him why he’s not very high on WN, his response is that they only perform the minimal amount of required maintenance on their planes. He does say that he is admittedly anal and overly cautious. He cites that WN is occasionally in the news because of FAA citations. He also says that you can do an internet search on WN, and the other LCCs and ULCCs and page after page will come up detailing their less than stellar maintenance / safety records. I certainly think that he’s overly cautious, and he is not involved with airline safety at the FAA. His focus is on the airport side.

  10. Richard and Delta hooked up with two Democrat Senators from Minnesota to get Delta a Haneda slot to MSP. Well guess what President Trump has two Texas Republican Senators who want that wrong corrected. Look for AA to get their DFW to Haneda slot, Delta and MSP will be left in the cold.

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