The price of jet fuel continues to rise, airlines continue to announce capacity pullbacks, American announces a $1 billion debt deal, and Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards members still can’t figure out why their accounts show zero credits.
Just another lovely and enchanting week with the Things with Wings.
This week we’re talking about the IT misery at Southwest, as well as the airline’s strange silence concerning the issue when it hit last week. Why did the airline wait so long to publicly acknowledge the problems? And whose bright idea was it to zero out customer’s RR balances — until a customer uses their account?
It was not a pretty sight, and if the usual online travel haunts are to be believed, the angst has still not been squelched.
Then we had the big announcement from American Airlines this morning. The airline is going to the debt trough — to the tune of $1 billion. Hey, the airline has a slew of debt coming due this year — not to mention a lot of new shiny metal that has to be paid for. The airline had to do something. It certainly wasn’t going to generate it through earnings.
United Airlines became the latest airline to announce a pull back in capacity Monday, while then there is the goofy lawsuit that a group of former Northwest Airlines’ flight attendants filed against Delta Air Lines last week.
You know — if you are going to fight the airline on the union representational vote — thus holding up the results of the election — why then is the AFA supporting a suit alleging the airline has “withheld” benefits from the former Northwest FA’s? If AFA wants its former members to get the same salaries and benefits as their original Delta counterparts, drop the representational lawsuit.
We also have an interview this week with Brett Snyder. Many of you know Brett, AKA Cranky Flier. Well, it seems that Brett recently traveled to Washington, where he participated in an American Bar Association panel discussion concerning passenger rights. Not surprisingly the three-hour tarmac rule was discussed heavily, as there was a representative of the DOT on the panel. Read our interview with Brett and see how it went when Brett and others on the panel challenged the DOT’s contention that the three-hour rule is, overall, a win-win.
Hint: It has something to do with increased numbers of flight cancellations. And the total number of inconvenienced passengers just one airline has experienced as a result of increased cancellations.
On the financial analysis side, we take a look at the new hot metric being thrown around the industry — ROIC. Which airlines outperformed their peers in 2010 and which ones lagged?
As usual, we have a whole lot more. So what are you waiting for? Subscribers can access this week’s issue here.