Question for PlaneBuzz Readers

Soap box ranting.jpg

It’s been a very rocky road for the financial markets the last month or so.

But as is always the case — the real story of any story is the human story.

Last week while I was still in Texas, I had an email from a longtime reader who is a First Officer with American Airlines.

The reason for his note? He and his wife had decided that they are going to sell the 1.3 acre lot they purchased years ago — where they were going to build that bigger, better “Captain’s” house — because, as he put it, that just isn’t going to happen now.

His question to me — would I be interested in buying the lot?

Ah, no. I’m not even sure how much it was. All I know is that it was in Southlake. That was enough to tell me that it was too expensive for me.

Another friend of mine who works at Centerport (American headquarters) has started riding the Trinity Express to work. (The railroad runs between Ft. Worth and Dallas.) Another friend in Phoenix has sold his gas guzzling SUV. He now has a Camry. He’s not happy. But his spirits are lifted when he compares his monthly gas bills. As he works at PHX and drives in from Cave Creek, which is in far north Phoenix, that’s a long haul — and he’s seeing some notable savings.

Another person I know who works for Northwest and who is looking at a probable move to Atlanta is thrashing around over the decision. He wants to go. But his wife has a great job in Minneapolis. Then there is the problem of the difference in housing costs — the horrible real estate market in general.

Let’s face it — it’s not the best time to be trying to sell a house. Especially in the cold of a Minnesota winter.

Then there are the folks who are simply leaving the industry. In droves. And for most of them, a higher paying job is not that hard to find.

Airlines themselves are trying to offset higher costs by decoupling services and adding fees.

But as individuals, it’s kind of hard to do that.

So my question for you this Friday night is this: What are you doing, or what have you done lately, in response to the current financial situation? Has it affected you? Has it not really made that much difference?

Send your rants, your thoughts, and your comments to me. I’ll get back to you next week on what you’ve had to say.