14 September 2005

Two more airlines are bankrupt

This doesn't look good...

Writing a novel about a flight attendant means that I have to follow the airline industry. I've just learned that Delta and Northwest are now bankrupt. Expect the two to start slashing costs by squeezing employees. This is a horrible time to work for, or with, an airline.

I remember flying Delta ten years ago, when it was trying to cut costs to boost profits. The results were horrible - broken seats, subpar meals, rude service, and so forth. I never flew Delta again. I can only expect the same to happen all over again, though with pretty much every large airline doing the same, the competitive pressure to keep up good service will be less. (For example, when I fly American next week and am forced to pay for crappy meals, I will have to just swallow it, knowing that just about everybody else does the same. At least there is a meal that I can pay for.)

What's obscene is that the CEOs will still laugh all the way to the bank, even as their airlines either go bankrupt, or worse, fold. I know that the ones at United, Sarah's airline, did, scamming employees in a failed stock option plan and all.

It's about time that the airline industry started reorganizing, with each airline concentrating only on its strengths. For example, JetBlue and Southwest could do most of the domestic service, and team up with the ailing large airlines, who still have strength in international markets, with each airline specializing in one region. The survival of these airlines is important for national security and economy purposes, but they should not be allowed to pursue failed business models anymore.