Cranky on the Web: The Slump, 9/11 Stories

Cranky on the Web

As The Delta Variant Soars, The Airline Industry Descends Into Another SlumpNPR All Things Considered
I’d say this title is pretty self-explanatory. I was asked to give my thoughts on the current state of demand. You can listen here:

Brett Snyder’s StoryAirline Voices
Meanwhile, this title can use an explanation. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, there’s a new podcast called Airline Voices which interviews people who worked in the airline industry about their experiences on 9/11. Even though I was just a punk senior analyst at America West at the time, I was still more than happy to contribute my story. Most of the others so far are from people at American, and they were obviously much closer to the events that day than I was. You can listen, subscribe, and contribute here.

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3 comments on “Cranky on the Web: The Slump, 9/11 Stories

  1. That morning was I scheduled to fly out of DFW Airport on American. I was driving to the airport when my phone rang and it was a good friend…he asked if I’d heard that one of the WTC towers was on fire.

    While we were talking, he said “Oh my God a plane just hit the other tower!”

    I got off and called my (now ex) wife and we talked a minute. No one was sure what was going on, just that it was clearly some sort of attack. At first we decided I should keep going toward the airport. Then news started coming in that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and I decided to turn around and head home until we knew what was happening.

    As it turned I obviously wouldn’t have been able to go anywhere anyway.

    Went back to my office where I had a little TV, and several people on my floor and I watched as the towers fell. I went home then to be with my family, and we waited to see what else would happen.

    Not a day any of us will ever forget.

  2. Thanks for the link, Brett. I’ll see if I can add my story.

    One of the things about 9/11 is that people will immediately tell you their story. Where they were, their experience, etc. Not because it’s rude, but because it was such a seminal event in our lives, and had such a deep effect on us all. I suppose that goes double (or triple) for those of us in aviation.

  3. I’m guessing (and I don’t think it’s much of a stretch) that Sept. 2001 was the catalyst that started the consolidation of the legacy airlines. Doug Parker had become the CEO of America West only 10 days before 9/11 and has recounted the story of those days a number of times. A scant 4 years later, in 2005, America West merged with US Airways. That was followed by the Delta/Northwest merger in 2008 (after US AIrways’ failed attempt to buy out Delta), the United/Continental hook-up in 2010 (which US Airways was also involved in), and finally the US Airways/American merger in 2013 – only 12 years later.

    Although this isn’t airline-related, I particularly remember the murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, which occurred in Mesa, Arizona, outside of Phoenix, on Sept. 15. That was one of the first backlash hate crimes committed in the wake of September 11. Mr. Sodhi was murdered simply because he was Sikh, wore a turban and beard, and looked like the media’s image of a terrorist. I’ve gotten to know the family quite well over the last 20 years, and they’re some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Instead of becoming bitter, the Sodhi family has worked to make Arizona a better place.

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