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How Do Airline CEOs Get Around For Business?  
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 970 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 8 months 2 hours ago) and read 14670 times:
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I know their time is very valuable, and they need to be available, do they fly on their airlines and get delayed like the rest of us or do they charter business-jets?

I'm sure for personal reasons they can probably afford to go private

67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinenwcoflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14701 times:

Our CEO (Parker) is frequently seen flying around for both business and leisure. He has been on a couple of my flights. Both times he was in Y, and once with his family. I am sure he gets upgraded more than the average passenger- but in both cases I have seen him just a regular Y seat.


The New American is arriving.
User currently offlinethreeifbyair From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 677 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14575 times:

I remember people posting about seeing Richard Anderson on DL flights. My dad saw Bill Ayer (then the CEO of AS) on an AS flight several years ago, flying coach. My dad only realized who it was after the FAs started chatting with him.

User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14453 times:

Can they fly priority on other airlines? I'm sure there's some gentleman's agreement.

User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2799 posts, RR: 32
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14432 times:

The management team at an airline will be treated like the management team at any other business.

Their time is valuable, and they will take whatever airline gets them to their destination the fastest. I believe Gary Kelly from WN has been seen flying AA out of DFW many time. Business is business.

I'm sure the McDonald's CEO eats at Burger King from time to time. On this website there is this huge fascination with brands and companies, that fascination and insane fanboyism just doesn't exist in the real world, because business is business.



No info
User currently offlineC767P From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 886 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14390 times:

If a CEO can’t fly on the airline they run, they have no business running the airline! They need to be a passenger and see what it’s like. If they don’t like it, why would anyone else?

Rumor has it the reason why O’Hare is getting jetways to remove all hardstands on the F Concourse is because Smisek got stuck out on the ramp in the middle of winter and disliked it so much there are now jetways there.

In the 70s Eddie Carlson at UA would work the flight once on board to talk to employees!


User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2799 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14359 times:

Quoting C767P (Reply 5):
If a CEO can’t fly on the airline they run, they have no business running the airline! They need to be a passenger and see what it’s like. If they don’t like it, why would anyone else?

Because I work for a specific airline, that means I can't buy a ticket on a competitor, to save myself time and add convenience?

I also wait tables on the side for spending cash, does that mean I cannot eat at any other restaurant that competes with the restaurant I work at?



No info
User currently offlinePacNWJet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14362 times:

Quoting g500 (Thread starter):
do they fly on their airlines and get delayed like the rest of us

Back in the late 1980s I was on a Hawaiian Air DC-8 flight from Honolulu to Apia, Western Samoa with a stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The president of Hawaiian happened to be on the flight in First Class. The plane suffered mechanical problems for several hours in Pago Pago and the president of Hawaiian was delayed along with the rest of us. He stayed on board in First while the rest of the passengers were ushered into the terminal to wait for the plane to be fixed. When we re-boarded quite a few hours later the Hawaiian president, still sitting on board, looked none too pleased. By the way, any passenger who happened to read the in-flight magazine would have noticed the company president was on board as his face was included in the president's message at the front of the magazine.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6039 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14321 times:

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 4):
I'm sure the McDonald's CEO eats at Burger King from time to time. On this website there is this huge fascination with brands and companies, that ... just doesn't exist in the real world, because business is business.

Exactly. Businessmen will always patronize other establishments and companies within their industry. Sometimes, it's convenience. Sometimes, it's sizing up the competition.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3031 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 14305 times:

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 2):
I remember people posting about seeing Richard Anderson on DL flights

He also uses Delta Private Jets as well.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 14199 times:

Quoting C767P (Reply 5):
If a CEO can’t fly on the airline they run, they have no business running the airline!

So the CEO of Southwest is never allowed to go to Asia? No airline serves all routes, let along all routes at the time that the CEO might need to go there. At the end of the day, the mission is to get from A to B. If a CEO's own airline flies A to B and gets to B at the time they need to be there, I'm sure they'd default to using their own airline. But if they don't, which is going to happen pretty often in the real world, you take the flight that makes sense.

Quoting C767P (Reply 5):
They need to be a passenger and see what it’s like. If they don’t like it, why would anyone else?

There's a huge difference between *never* flying your own airline and *always* flying your own airline. Any good CEO will "sample" their own product. That doesn't mean they do it 100% of the time they need to travel.

The Boeing corporate jet fleet contains mostly non-Boeing aircraft...this isn't because the management hates Boeing, it's because most of their flying is economically ill suited to Boeing's products.

Tom.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12150 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 14131 times:

John Leahy has been know to fly aboard a B-747 on his way to make a sale for the A-380 if it got him there in the time period he needed.

User currently offlinebobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6477 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 14116 times:

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 2):
I'm sure the McDonald's CEO eats at Burger King from time to time.

agreed, but I have heard reference to any execuitve at Coke ever being sean with a Pepsi being in the dog house with Coke


User currently offlinetistpaa727 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 328 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 14029 times:
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Quoting bobnwa (Reply 12):
Quoting bobnwa (Reply 12):
agreed, but I have heard reference to any execuitve at Coke ever being sean with a Pepsi being in the dog house with Coke

This is correct. A coworker of mine went to play soccer with a bunch of Coke employees and he showed up with Gatorade. They made him go get Powerade before playing. Now he shows up with Gatorade in a Powerade bottle. Coke is one example where you may sample the competition but you better damn well not do it in public!



Don't sweat the little things.
User currently onlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 13963 times:

Executives usually get positive space tickets on any flight. Depending on the airline and executives will fly economy or first class. It has more to do with publicity and union relations to have the executives flying coach. In reality, their time and productivity is extremely important and positive space business class is acceptable. No company outside of aviation that I know of sends executives economy, so to keep the executives happy, you need to treat them well, although sometimes the voracious unions don’t see things the same way.

Most international airlines send management employees in business class for international trips. Some will do whatever class is available, but again when you are sending a manager or engineer to a different country to meet with Boeing or Airbus you want them fresh and alert on arrival, so it is best for the company to send them in business class rather than waste productivity having people adjust to jetlag that you get in economy.

Airlines always have 50% or more discounted travel on other airlines. Again time is often most important. If management at United needs to go somewhere that they don’t serve or the route can be cumbersome, they could end up on any airline that they have a reciprocal agreement with. Southwest has some of the best positive space and non-revenue travel agreements.

In the alliance and marketing world you see United, Delta and American as bitter enemies, but in reality the airlines at the management level work together really well. Flying on the competition is something they are willing to do. When it comes to management, contracts and engineering, the airlines work together a lot. You’ll see their engineers sitting side by side and working together at the various industry conferences. They’ll share maintenance successes and failures and talk about how to improve reliability. The reliability engineers all have each others’ phone numbers and they work together. Despite what brand loyalty and marketing people push, the airlines do all work together. They share spare parts to save money and they will all reaccommodate and help each other out when they can. While you’ll rarely see Delta handling United above the wing or vice versa, it is very common to have them sharing maintenance resources and contract to each other.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 13910 times:

Quoting nwcoflyer (Reply 1):
I am sure he gets upgraded more than the average passenger- but in both cases I have seen him just a regular Y seat.

DL will upgrade any employee/family member/retiree/buddy pass if there's space available. CEO on down to most recently hired. Although, I've heard that RA regularly gives his F seat to uniformed service people. DL serves CDG-JFK, but I took AF because I wanted to add a 773 to my list of flown types. I also took what seemed to be the oldest 737 still flying (WN), SFO-SAN. The ZED program is a terrific benefit to OAL employees.



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineg500 From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 970 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months ago) and read 13909 times:
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I was asking because my United flight got delayed 3 hours yesterday

Now I'm sure United's CEO wants to fly on his own airline and promote his airline. But I just don't see him waiting at some gate for 3 hours..

I'm sure United's employees would rather have him available and pay for a Challenger or Gulfstream to fly him to his destination

[Edited 2013-01-25 10:01:27]

User currently onlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13781 times:

Quoting g500 (Reply 16):
I was asking because my United flight got delayed 3 hours yesterday

Now I'm sure United's CEO wants to fly on his own airline and promote his airline. But I just don't see him waiting at some gate for 3 hours..

I'm sure United's employees would rather have him available and pay for a Challenger or Gulfstream to fly him to his destination

Nope, he waits with everyone. However he'll usually have a better idea of the scope of delay, so his rebooking options are much better.

It's good perspective to have him adequately fund preventative maintenance  



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13759 times:

Airline CEOs often fly on their competitors all the time. In fact, doing so is often PREFERRED by the executives so that they can actually work/sleep on the flight instead of have the entire trip turn into a gripe session from the employees. There are times when it is smart for the airline's CEO ot fly on his/her own airline, but for the most part, their travel is time and mission sensitive, so they fly on their competitors to be as discreet as possible.


Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinejetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2799 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13707 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 14):
In the alliance and marketing world you see United, Delta and American as bitter enemies, but in reality the airlines at the management level work together really well. Flying on the competition is something they are willing to do. When it comes to management, contracts and engineering, the airlines work together a lot. You’ll see their engineers sitting side by side and working together at the various industry conferences. They’ll share maintenance successes and failures and talk about how to improve reliability. The reliability engineers all have each others’ phone numbers and they work together. Despite what brand loyalty and marketing people push, the airlines do all work together. They share spare parts to save money and they will all reaccommodate and help each other out when they can. While you’ll rarely see Delta handling United above the wing or vice versa, it is very common to have them sharing maintenance resources and contract to each other.

Even ramp agents, moreso at outstations, work with other airlines if they are in a pinch. Towbar gets broken and they need to borrow one, usually more than happy to let them borrow one. Or if we get a charter (or diversion) on an aircraft we are not very familiar with, but another airline is, we'll go ask for some pointers and advice. If their breakroom vending machine has Funyuns and ours doesn't, there's no problem at all to go to their ramp breakroom and buy a bag of Funyuns. People (and really most of it is this website) see this huge rivalry and hate towards other airlines....but on the front line we are all being screwed by the industry, the only difference is the company name. So front line agents usually are also pretty empathetic towards our fellow industry workers, even if they are a "rival" they are by no means an "enemy" at all.

(Unless you cut behind me when I am pushing an airplane back, or push an airplane out to block me in on purpose: you'll be on my hit list for a while)



No info
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13687 times:

Quoting seatback (Reply 3):
Can they fly priority on other airlines? I'm sure there's some gentleman's agreement.

Yes, All officers of say AA can fly on any other US carrier. Foreign Im not sure. Herb use to fly AA quite often.

There were stories during the AA labor problems that their top mgmt was flying around on UA, unconfirmed though


User currently onlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9649 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13623 times:

Quoting jetmatt777 (Reply 19):
(Unless you cut behind me when I am pushing an airplane back, or push an airplane out to block me in on purpose: you'll be on my hit list for a while)

Or if you work for Virgin America in SFO and want anything from the United guys. Maybe it’s less of a rivalry than it appears, but I’ve heard of UA pilots offloading VX deadheading pilots because they don’t like VX.

Of course I’ve also seen an AA pilot who was deadheading on a VX flight personally help unload all the extra oversized carry on items because the gate staff couldn’t handle them.

Quoting avek00 (Reply 18):
There are times when it is smart for the airline's CEO ot fly on his/her own airline, but for the most part, their travel is time and mission sensitive, so they fly on their competitors to be as discreet as possible.

I’m not sure what airline you are working for, but usually executives that I saw flying were traveling between the hubs for various meetings. On United, you’re going to see Smisek flying between SFO, ORD and IAH a lot. No need to fly the competition. I’m not sure what type of mission sensitive work is being done. Also, Smisek usually tries to relate to the employees and I’ve heard he’s quite gracious when you meet him. You’ll hear about the usual union steward berating, but it’s not that unusual to see the executives talking with the crews while flying.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineavek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 19
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13511 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 21):
I’m not sure what airline you are working for, but usually executives that I saw flying were traveling between the hubs for various meetings. On United, you’re going to see Smisek flying between SFO, ORD and IAH a lot. No need to fly the competition. I’m not sure what type of mission sensitive work is being done. Also, Smisek usually tries to relate to the employees and I’ve heard he’s quite gracious when you meet him. You’ll hear about the usual union steward berating, but it’s not that unusual to see the executives talking with the crews while flying.

Smisek himself said he often flies other airlines when traveling for business.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3031 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 13419 times:

Quoting avek00 (Reply 18):
There are times when it is smart for the airline's CEO ot fly on his/her own airline, but for the most part, their travel is time and mission sensitive, so they fly on their competitors to be as discreet as possible.

Right, because it's better to broadcast those "sensitive missions" to your competitors by flying on their airplanes...

[Edited 2013-01-25 11:46:22]

User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7176 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 13384 times:

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 21):
Or if you work for Virgin America in SFO and want anything from the United guys. Maybe it’s less of a rivalry than it appears, but I’ve heard of UA pilots offloading VX deadheading pilots because they don’t like VX.

A lot of airlines have a way in deciding who gets a free seat and who does not. Own airline captains 1st, then FOs then FAs then managament and other employees then pilots from other airlines. Could have easily been off loaded because a UA pilot needed the ride instead. Even if he got there after the UA pilot gets the seat. Your story can be true. It certainly does happen like pilots from Go Jet or maybe Republic or some of those other regionals some pilots don't like.

As for the "rivarly" between airlines I think that is more of a marketing thing. Sure there are rivals and do business against eachother but at sometimes they do need to work together especially on the front lines at the airport in operations. If they did not help eachother out difficult situations would be even more difficult for everyone.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
25 Roseflyer : Smisek says he flies other airlines to get a benchmark on the competition and see what their latest product is like, not to be discreet. I certainly
26 Post contains images EaglePower83 : If that's the case, he must be delirious, because he thinks people are going to FLOCK back to UA for the 787........with 10 seats jammed in coach.
27 avek00 : Broadcasting what, exactly?
28 catiii : I don't know, you said it so you tell us. I read the comment pasted below as you implying these CEO's are on time sensitive and mission sensitive tri
29 gigneil : What? NS
30 EaglePower83 : There's been a whole discussion on FlyerTalk about the financial meeting. Apparently SMI/J was asked about how he can be so certain the 787 will draw
31 gigneil : It does not have 10 across seating. NS
32 Post contains links catiii : Why do you keep saying it's 10 wide in coach? The airplane is 9 abreast in coach: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...ight/aircraft/787/800/defaul
33 AADC10 : I am sure Smisek also considers UAX and alliance codeshares such as US, LH, and NH as "other airlines." I do not think well known CEOs fly on other c
34 DocLightning : I remember once hearing a CEO of AA (Was it Arpey?) saying that all AA senior management is required to fly a certain number of miles/legs in Y every
35 Roseflyer : True. There have been a lot of Southwest executives flying back and forth to Atlanta from Dallas since the Airtran deal. With no good service on Airt
36 EASTERN747 : Top Management usually have agreements with other airlines, and usually it's confirmed F/C, if available. When I was working at DCA in 1970 or so. we
37 gigneil : Its just not true. They do it all the time. Their time is extremely valuable. If I'm the CEO of US Airways, and I need to go to Asia, I'm going to be
38 jet72uk : WW flys BA First. I don't think he eats the food though..........
39 ripcordd : I have seen Richard Branson flying AA ORD-LHR in F. Also the silver can lady(aka male FA) or something close to it was leaking when top managment was
40 incitatus : Not quite sure about this, especially how it works with CEOs. Many companies with revenues in the same league as airlines have travel policies for CE
41 jetmatt777 : I'm not referring directly to travel policy, but policy on using a competitor's products.
42 Post contains images TWA772LR : Maybe he should fly SQ, EK, QR, Etihad, or TK and take notes... I've seen Smisek come off a flight from NRT before. And I was on a flight with Larry
43 cmf : I know several. IKEA is probably the biggest. For a meeting like that I send them in the day before and they get a nights sleep at a hotel. Not becau
44 displane : Back in the late 90's/early 2000's, UA CEO's would fly company passes, positive space, priority. You can be rest assured that local management were th
45 C767P : When I said a CEO needs to fly on the airline they work for I did not use the words “exclusive” or “always.” I personally believe that if the
46 type-rated : I thought all this friendliness went away with deregulation. The way you describe it, that's the way it used to be before deregulation.
47 Flighty : Yes, they do. Okay, but we are talking about what airlines do. You're right -- CEO travel justifies many measures. Yes. Airline CEOs fly positive spa
48 JAAlbert : Anymore, long haul coach is so uncomfortable, I can't imagine an airline seating its management teams in the back of the plane. I am self employed and
49 Post contains images Aircellist : Can't believe there is less time difference between North America and Europe when travelling in Business than in Coach...
50 F9animal : Bill Ayer from Alaska has flown of Frontier a few times. Business is business.
51 jfk777 : Herb Kelleher used to fly AA when he had to go from DFW to New York to see his bankers and lawyers.
52 FlyHossD : I've heard from a couple of different and normally reliable sources that some of the senior UCH management sometimes use NetJets. That seems prudent
53 Post contains images SRQKEF : My dad was COO of Icelandair for many years and he and Bjorgolfur (CEO) always flew J on longhaul flights and some intra-Euro ones but mostly Y inside
54 CapEd388 : Even then, the rivalry isnt very "bitter". That is something that I have always found kind of cool in the airline industry. You rarely see airlines a
55 Post contains images NWAROOSTER : Just a little piece of history. When Donald Nyrop was President and CEO of Northwest Airlines, he NEVER bumped any fare paying passenger. If the aircr
56 avek00 : Airline CEOs and senior executives are, as a class, significantly undercompensated relative to executive peers in other industries. This probably inf
57 captainstefan : Heaven forbid you show up to work with any stitch of blue on your clothes.... (speaking from experience). Back on topic, it cracks me up to see every
58 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : CO had 3 or 4 Sabreliner business jets for a few years in the 1960s/70s. I think they were mainly used for pilot training (note the fuselage marking n
59 Roseflyer : Haha, the time difference is only part of what causes jet lag. The lack of sleep while flying increases the jet lag. 4-5 hours of decent sleep on a t
60 delta2ual : I was working a DL Shuttle flight back in the 90's and I served Robert Crandall from AA. I remember it vividly because I personally thanked him for fl
61 Flighty : Both points well taken. One is still tempted to take US airline executives over US bank executives. The irony is, you have to be pretty smart to run
62 HELFAN : In Europe some of the LCC's have had a quite candid approach when it has come to speak out their views on their rivals. Everybody remembers the stick
63 Antoniemey : Unless he's going to sign a new contract that gives them a pay raise or more job security, I don't think they really care how long he waits for his f
64 brilondon : What if that CEO is looking at buying an aircraft at a company located in a city or country where the airline doesn't fly? MOL for instance, who is p
65 C767P : I am not sure why so many take what I said and think I meant that a CEO should not fly anyone else. The first few replies were suggesting that CEO’
66 skywaymanaz : My father was a member of management with TWA at the MCI overhaul base. After TWA pulled down all the westbounds and moved them to STL he flew Eastern
67 tdscanuck : It was this: There are lots of reasons a CEO might not be able to fly on the airline they run, most of them have nothing to do with his capability to
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