Cerulean From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2046 times:
The following article represents just the opinions of the poster. You may feel free to disagree as you wish, but the author stands behind the entire essay as an expression of free thought.
Should United and/or USAirways go under, the employees and families of those carriers will have my deepest sympathies. They will be the unfortunate victims of circumstances beyond their control. But that being said, it may come to pass that those grim scenarios will have to come to fruition. The purpose of this topic is not to bemoan the huge personal losses that will be suffered, which will be great. But rather, to examine the factors that allowed it to happen in the first place.
Many will be inclined to say that it’s because of the economy. While we’ve certainly lived in rosier economic climates in the past, I don’t believe that all of the blame can be assigned to just the economy. But as the airline is a cyclical business, the recent drop off in passengers is a “correction” to the bloated excess of the 1990’s. Granted, airlines have always come and gone. Since last year, we’ve lost Vanguard, Midway, and National (the TWA buyout was already pending when 9/11 occurred). While unfortunate, these three carriers combined probably carried no more than 2% of the nations traffic. So given the current drop off in traffic, the remaining carriers will quickly fill in the voids that those carriers have left. But when you have TWO majors poised on the brink of collapse as we do now, something else is wrong. Some cutbacks are expected. But when you have an airline like US, which already shed some 40% of its fleet, and shut down an entire division, and doesn’t have a whole lot left to offer, it makes one wonder if the point of no return has already passed. It’s now a question of when that company will fold, not if. And it isn’t just the economy. There is a wake up call that needs to be answered.
I believe that about 50% of the blame for the possible demise of these two carriers (possibly with more to follow) can be placed on no one other than our US Federal Government and it’s so-called “new” security.
The bottom line and politically incorrect truth is that the public is tired of being ostracized by airport security. I mean, why should I be treated as a potential terrorist when my only “crime” is wanting to fly somewhere? Why should I allow my car to be ransacked, all in the name of “safety”? Why should I be advised against taking photographic film with me? Why should I have to submit to background checks, or retina scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition? Why can’t my wife accompany me to the gate? Why is it that if I want to take my children to the airport to watch the planes, that I am surrounded by the Police wanting to know why? Why should I be subject to invasive and belittlement in front of the public or my family just as a so-called “precautionary” measure? Why fly from Dallas to Houston or Los Angeles to Las Vegas when it’s faster and easier just to drive there? Is there any real justification for that kind of treatment? Or is it all lip service and strong-arm tactics to try and show some unknown parties how “safe” we are by punishing the people supposedly being protected? In other words, is the government doing this simply because “it can”?
Some paranoid supporters of these measures try and justify these actions by using the ubiquitous blanket of an excuse as “it’s all for your own safety”. A close second favorite is “well that’s how they do it in Europe”.
Well, with all due respect, the Europeans can take a hike. Let them do things their way. We’ll do things our way. Plus, whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” I’ve seen actual prisoners receive better treatment than your average airport customer. Besides, I don’t need someone looking out for my safety. With awareness as high as it is, even if someone could slip a weapon or some explosives through security (shame on the screeners then) or try and hijack a plane, NO ONE is going to sit by and let it happen. Remember the famous phrase “Let’s Roll”?
If our government was serious about beefing up security (which I still don’t believe it is), then they’d figure out a way to implement the best security with the least hassle to the public. A good start would be to hire professional and efficient screeners who are trained in the science of vigilance and body language that would enable them to spot the person that requires extra attention as opposed to applying punitive measures against everyone. Too many people have seemed to equate hassle with security (the more difficult it is to get on a plane, the safer it must be). Although the events of last fall were unprecedented, it was not the birth of terrorism. Terrorism always has and most likely always will exist. From a pure mathematical standpoint, we are probably no safer and in no more danger than we were on September 10, 2001. It’s more of a “perceived” risk as opposed to an actual one. It’s that constant high profile coverage and rhetoric about how “we are still not safe” that fuels these fears, even though they are most probably unwarranted.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the government is probably as clueless about this whole war on terrorism as we are. They couldn’t even keep a blow job a secret. What about the Iran-Contra scandal back in the 1980’s? They couldn’t keep that a secret either. Plus, one other thing that bothers me is that supposedly “no one” saw 9/11 coming. Yet within hours of the last plane crashing, Bush and Co. were announcing Bin Laden and Co. as suspects. In all of that frenzy, who did they make that determination so quickly?
Do you see what I am saying? Either way, it’s bad. If they know something, they aren’t doing anything about it. Instead, they are fulfilling their power appetites by keeping the Rest Of Us in the dark while criminalizing the air travel element. If they are clueless, then what the hell are we paying them for?
I know that I’ve digressed somewhat from the beginning of the topic. So here is the whole point of what I’m saying. Right now, we seem to have two options. The first is to “shut up and take it, whether you like it or not”. Some people don’t seem to have a problem with that. Fine. More power to them.
But there is also option two:
“Screw that”. I’ll just drive. Or just not go. Of course that brings the added benefit of fewer people to “control” and less chances for “mayhem”. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the airlines survival and that of the employees involved.
You would think that the Majors, with all of their political clout, and a Republican (read business friendly) government in place, there would be some kind of lobbying to Congress and President Bush to change their policies a bit and make the airlines and airports a little more hospitable and welcoming to the public.
Think about it. If you are running an airline, and business is down, you don't respond to that by chasing away the passengers and making them not want to fly. That seems illogical. That would be like telling a starving Ethiopian child that he needs to go on a diet.
Wouldn't you try to do everything you could to try and lure people back to you? Ridiculous low fares don't seem to be cutting it. What good is a $149 round trip coast to coast ticket if you dread the trip more than you would a trip to the dentist for those 4 root canals? Seems kind of counterproductive to me.
Yet I don’t see that happening.
Then all I can say is, enjoy your trip to Bankruptcy Court. I hope you have a nice Golden Parachute to pull.
And woe be unto all the employees who will have suffered needlessly.
Maybe a United or USAir shutdown and 150,000 out of work airline people demanding support from the taxpayers will be what we need to finally galvanize the government to get its act together.
Have a nice trip. Assuming you don’t get stranded in Denver or Philadelphia.
MrLineGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 115 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1941 times:
The following article represents just the opinions of the poster. You may feel free to disagree as you wish, but the author stands behind the entire essay as an expression of free thought.
He stated at the beginning of his article that it represents opinions, as always opinions differ from person to person, hence the term. But to blatantly state that "your entire rant is just a big pile of BS", just shows your ignorance.
Yes I don't agree with much of what he has to say, but it's articles like these that make people think. If you are going to comment on an opinion do it with something constructive to add to the conversation, something with taste, otherwise don't comment at all.
BWIA 772 From Barbados, joined May 2002, 2200 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 1812 times:
The essay does point out something to us eventhough i personally think that it could have been done in a more rational way as the writer seems as paranoid as those airport safety people he complained about.
AM wasnt the airline industry in a decline before 9/11, I think that Continetal and Southwest were the only 2 profitable airlines in the US (remember hearing it on CNN Pinnicle when they interviewed Continetal's CEO). Stating this it is only natural that the impact that 9/11 brought the 2 airlines to there knees when they were already bending over.
The writers lash out if the federal govt was not called for and it is only natural that steps be put in place so that such an even never happens again. It is also obvious that in the first couple of years that follow 2001 that airport security will be very tight, as this period is one of skeptisism when it comes to flying. When I totaled my car soon after getting my license I did not want to drive and felt uncomfortable driving when the road was wet for 9 months (as the day when the accident happened the road was wet) and that seems to be the general reaction of the flying public to 9/11.
I dont have any data but I am sure that after WW2 that people were also afraid to travel on the oceans and after a while the traffic rebounded as will the air traffic.
As for the opinions expressed by Ikarus has added to the converstaion conrtary to your statement MrLineGuy. It shows us his view and if this topic has more replies we will se people who agree/disagree with the writer and Ikarus.
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 1789 times:
Cerulean (and to some extent Mr LineGuy): The average passenger is no aviation enthusiast and does not care about photography, or whether ticketless pax can come up to the gate (why on earth should they?!?). Security checks can be annoying, but they don't deter anyone from travelling.
Repetition is the only way of teaching.... So, as you both seem not to have gotten the point of my argument the first time round, I need to repeat it.
Now, just to point out how little intelligence there is in this article, let's repeat some of the more memorable stupid phrases:
*Well, with all due respect, the Europeans can take a hike
*I’ve seen actual prisoners receive better treatment than your average airport customer Yeah right. So when were you in prison, and for what crime?
*Besides, I don’t need someone looking out for my safety Thank god that's cleared up. By that principle, no police is needed, no firefighters, and no government at all. Anarchy is the way to go, man!
* A good start would be to hire professional and efficient screeners who are trained in ..... body language that would enable them to spot the person that requires extra attention....
Body language is not a science, just some poking in the dark guessing game that would single out all the nervous flyers and ignore all the confident terrorists....
*While unfortunate, these three carriers combined probably carried no more than 2% of the nations traffic
Probably? Probably? Where do you pull your numbers out of, your nose?
If you want to make an argument and support it with any kind of numerical value, don't be too lazy to look it up. If you cannot even be bothered to prepare your argument, why should any intelligent person bother to respond to it, after all, it's just cooked up BS with no sources, no validation and no effort at all to prove your point. All you do is rant, senselessly, without having even a shred of evidence for any of you so-called arguments. YOU set up the theory. Show me evidence and statistics and surveys that say "travellers dread a $149 round trip coast to coast more than a visit to the dentist", or "people stop flying not because they are afraid of the flights and terrorists, but of the security checkpoints". If you have no such evidence (and I'd be surprised if you had) then how dare you attack others for not providing arguments? You didn't, in the first place. Ball's in your court. Dude.
Nonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1289 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 1777 times:
You have written a very interesting essay and obviously you put some thought into this. With that said, I think the biggest problems that the majors are facing are:
(1) Security--although I would disagree that it is 50% of the problem. I will say it is a fraction of a percent of the problem for an international/transcon and even greater than 50% for a short haul flight. As you stated, why fly when you can drive it in less time.
(2) Fares--the fares are so low right now that they cannot compensate for the cost of running a major airline. Labor costs, fleet structure, fuel cost, demand, and other factors figure into the cost of running an airline. Simply, with fares these low and less business travellers paying for full fare coach or first class, the money coming in is less than the money going out. Many fares are cheaper than Greyhound, Amtrak, the Alaska Railroad, etc.
(3) The economy. Yes, it does figure into this. Airlines do not corner the market on layoffs right now. We simply are making a bigger donation to the unemployment line than others right now. People are saving money more than spending it. The only question about this is now: When will the trend reverse itself?
Those are for me the big three in no particular order.
WiLdmanVzla From Mexico, joined Sep 2000, 616 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day ago) and read 1752 times:
I don´t like when a lot of people loose their jobs just for the mistakes of someone else... that's why I hope those airlines don´t go to bankrupt... but I don´t care so much about United or US Airways, those services are getting worst each second.
B747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 23 hours ago) and read 1697 times:
Dear friends -
Ex PanAm pilot here - those of you who do not care about failing airlines, and the consequences of such failures for their employees and their passengers, many thanks...
I knew the airline industry since the late 1960s...
Back then -
PanAm was a proud carrier operating worldwide, you name it, we went there.
TWA had a reputable cabin service in international operations
Eastern was then the top airline in the world for passenger traffic...
Swissair was an airline that had the highest level of respect...
Sabena was an expert airline for Africa operations...
Then there were two disasters - the OCT 1973 war in the Middle East...
Then, airline deregulation in the 1970s...
From then on, all went downhill...
They are all gone now...
Back then, AA was a major yet strictly "domestic carrier" - lower 48...
UA had the same routes, plus Hawaii routes...
Delta... who was Delta, tell me...?
You would say - yes but, airline fares were high... no cheap airlines then...
There were the non-skeds - all but one gone now as well...
There was TIA/Transamerica, there was ONA, Capitol Airways and more...
Yes you could buy a $99.oo fare from coast to coast, at airports...
With PSA, you could go LAX from SFO for $19.oo...
Many PanAm, Eastern employees lost a career, a home, a family...
But, in trade, you passengers now eat peanuts with plastic knives...
And you have choice between a Pepsi 2001 vintage or Diet Coke... FREE...
You do not wish to miss them, you say "so what...?" - OK...
Lucky you are young... probably never knew how nice flying used to be...
P.S. I do not wish YOU to having your employer (airline or not) to fail...
Coronado From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1091 posts, RR: 2 Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 21 hours ago) and read 1590 times:
Well put. Flying in the 50's, 60's and 70's was a pleasure. Well dressed passengers, good manners. Fairly simple uncongested airports. You had the international carriers such as PanAm, TWA and NWA and you had the domestics such as UAL, AA and all the regionals such as Ozark; Southern; North Central; etc that fed the national carriers that fed the international gateways.
The biggest challenge which sunk so many was the massive escalation of capital requirements in running an airline. As DC6B's, DC7-C's and L1049's gave way to 707's/DC8's and then fairly soon thereafter on to DC10's, L1011 and 747's the amount of capital required was increasing exponentially and it revealed that the management of the historical airlines varied greatly in their capabilities.
You have to admit that the management of PanAm in the 70's was absolutely a disaster. So was Eastern's. So was Braniff's. I loved the El Interamericano 'banana' runs that Braniff ran down the West Coast of South America until their management screwed up with a massive ill thought expansion and ran out of cash and had to sell the routes to Eastern. And than Eastern started screwing up.
PanAms fleet was a nightmare of different a/c models and the sensitivity they showed in acquiring National was an unmitigated disaster.
Things were changing and the capital requirements were growing exponentially and frankly much of the 30's, 40's and 50's management simply could not cope with the world of multi-million dollar aircraft and the pressure this put on trying to keep operating margins up to cover the debt service.
Oh well, at least I have enjoyed the pleasures of flying in Lockheed SuperConstellations, Convair 990's; Convair 880's; B707-320's; DC-8's; B720's; Viscounts, Handley-Page (Dart) Heralds; Caravelles; Tridents; VC-10's and the onto early generation of 747; L1011; DC-10 where leg room was actually reasonable in Y. And then I realize that I had the chance of flying 747SP in both Panam and Iraqi Airways liveries and damn if that wasn't good.
If United goes it would not be too different from PanAm. Both had horrible forrays into owing hotel chains and ''diversifying'' while not keeping their eye on the ball. Fleets that averaged at best 40 flight hours per week don't pay for themselves.
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
Dc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 7 Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 14 hours ago) and read 1407 times:
Wooh what a big bag of wind ... What if Panam went broke? Oh yeah they did... But what if Eastern went broke... Wait a minute they did too.... But Braniff they can't go out .... Well .... I guess that's life in capitalism... I work in the cargo biz too ....Thank God for boxes......
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
Ikarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2 Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 1359 times:
Argument: Pax are fleeing from flying and going to driving
Counterargument: Low-cost airlines like Southwest and JetBlue haven't experienced anywhere near as big a drop in customers as the majors. They are, if I remember correctly, actually making a profit. Their pax go through the same security measures as anyone else.
Conclusion: The number of people who shy of security is not anywhere near as big as you claim.
Security measures can deter people from flying if the overall flight time and hassle becomes bigger than driving. Tough luck for regional airliners (may put a stop to the regio-jet-boom), but on longer routes, effects should be minimal. The only reason why the US has single-handedly started a regional-jet boom is because they don't have quality railway networks. If the thing collapses now, so be it. But that does not explain why UA or AA or US are in trouble - it explains why their regional commuter airlines are. Close them, and the rest should be OK, if security was the cause.
Argument: We don't need (extra) airport security. If a plane gets hijacked, all the passengers and pilots will selflessly sacrifice themselves to avoid a kamikaze mission
Counter-Argument: That's totally immoral. You say 300 deaths are justifiable to prevent 2000 deaths, even though with a bit of security, 0 deaths would be possible. You put streamlined, seamless travel ahead of human lives. Well, sorry, but 300 deaths is 300 too many if they can be avoided with something as simple as X-Ray machines and metal detectors and locked cockpit doors. Or, to put it to the most extreme example: WW2 cost millions of lives, but it resulted in an economic boom, no unemployment for a few decades in Germany and other nations (post-war), economic growth, technological advancements etc. So, were 13,000,000 lives a fair price for a better economy, nuclear power and the jet engine? Any person with any moral standard would NOT put human lives in an economic equation, even less in a "flying and spotting without hassle" equation.
Conclusion: Anyone who puts his freedom not to have his bag x-rayed or searched, or to take photos of planes from within the terminal ahead of human lives has no moral values.
Argument: Airport security staff are imbeciles on a powertrip enjoying their unlimited freedom to bully people
Counter-argument: Security people in other nations can be friendly and polite while doing their jobs. I doubt that all American security guards are such jerks, but if they are, then it's not the security policy that's at fault, but the airport hiring policy.
Conclusion: Fire the bullies and hire better motivated, more civilised people. Not scrap the entire security policy.
DutchDeltaDude From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 9 hours ago) and read 1252 times:
Cerulean, this is not the place for such an article. People here react with emotion instead of reason. Obviously any company that loses as much money as UAL should go down, that's what our economic systems is all about. Free competition.
Sinlock From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1563 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 8 hours ago) and read 1191 times:
These are my opionions of the Article<
If United Collapses? So What!
The author makes a long and somewhat well worded "essay".
But he's not made any statement to back up the "So What" part.
From almost the beginning the author transforms the subject from being about United Airlines filing Chap. 13 "Collapses" and asking who cares "So what". After the 3rd paragraph the essay becomes a single sighted argument based almost solely on Airline security. The essay then makes a few jabs at 20 years worth political leaders. Then after about 11 paragraphs the author seems to remember what his subject was about United Airlines. In the end he makes a few token statements on stranded passengers, corrupt management, and the few hundred thousand devastated families of airline workers.
777D From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 300 posts, RR: 1 Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 8 hours ago) and read 1185 times:
UAL did not care for the regular passenger. They knew they had a monopoly at a few hubs to certain destinations. They understood that they could charge the regular passenger whatever they wanted because they knew that if you did not fly someone else would fly. I am supposed to feel sympathy for a corp that charged the passenger as much as they want, pilots that had a work slow down that caused many hardships to the public and upper management that lacked any leadership skills. I wish my company would receive government handouts but you know that is not going to happen. What about all the other people other than the airline industry that lost their job?
They gave their employees raises perhaps too much of a raise, but that is another debate in itself.
I am not a fan of UAL due to cargo reasons, but I have seen UAL work first hand in the past and I believe now it's time to face the music. People have become "wise" their game and have found other airlines or methods to arrive at their destination.
UALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 7 hours ago) and read 1141 times:
"Obviously any company that loses as much money as UAL should go down, that's what our economic systems is all about. Free competition." Obviously we should be talking about AA which has lost more money that UA. Or we should be talking about DL which has lost maginally less that UA. The fact of the matter is that UA is the only carrier being HONEST. It can't hide behind the fact that its debts are coming due a bit sooner that AA's or DL's.
You all bitch and moan that the major carrier have to change, like when are they supposed to change? Tomorrow is Glenn Tilton is supposed to wake up and change everything, wave his magic wand and suddenly UA will become the Jetblue of worldspanning carriers? Are DL and AA changing thier model? Or are they just holding on the the same routine hoping that UA will go down and they won't have to compete w/ them. Talk about having your head buried in the sand.
NW was literaly 2 or 3 DAYS away from Chapter 11 when the employees agreed to a restructering plan. UA is in the middle of restructering themselves right now. All you Harvard MBA's out there tell me how is UA supposed to change overnight. Or do they need the time the ATSB loan will give them to make the radical change that everyone can clearly see.
Some of you all will belive that I have a personal stake in the survival of UA and that it has clouded my analysis. I would say yes I have a personal stake, but I can also see the things that UA is doing to correct the problems. Things that some of your personal feelings about UA cloud your analysis.
Security AS SET UP is a ridiculous waste of money and time. It has scared passengers away made travelling a nightmare and has cost all of the airlines millions. Imagine the airlines are paying money to send passengers away. The argument that WN and B6 are still profitable is BS because both of those airlines have stated in the media that they're profits are DOWN because of security. CO has claimed that they would be profitable and not a money loser if the costs of security where at least reimbursed.
The economy is anemic right now. Buisness travel is way down. You can see it in the load factors. UA has made some moves that would help it, the UA/US codeshare, the stronger ties w/ LH and if the UK and US goverments get the stick out of there ass's, they have strong ties w/ BD.
Fares are artificially low right now. It not because of B6 or WN. It becasue of DL, AA and NW. They smell blood in the water around US. They are keeping the fares low betting they will survive as money lossers longer than US or UA. HMMMM what will happen if US and or UA go down? The so what will be higher fares. The real world fares that would sustain a carrier will then be charged then eventually increased. You my dear comsumers would then be paying out the wahzoo. If those carriers could kill off one they could certainly try to kill another, and another. So you all would go through a roller coaster of fare increases and decreases as the remaining carriers try to kill one another then replenish thier war chests. Nothing would change. No increases of service, just fares.
However if UA can get he time it needs to survive the industry will have to change. US is already changing thier model. They are becoming a Superregional for UA, and hopefully Star Alliance. UA will change. AA and DL will have to play catch up to the new model. Because right now those two carriers are fighting for the old way of doing buisness.
JA54123 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 137 posts, RR: 3 Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 3 hours ago) and read 1047 times:
The posts I have just read show that really all airlines are hurting and that probably there are several that seriously need to restructure. I read that many of you liked the days before deregulation. Ya it must have been nice if you had money or were a pilot, because you were the only people flying! People looked at airline travel as more of a luxury than a mode of transportation. Sure there were some tradeoffs concerning deregulation, however the fact is that the population is now able to fly at a reasonable cost. If UA does file for bankruptcy, I am sure that it will reorganize instead of just closing up shop and saying that's it! AA and DL might be trying to hurt them more by running extremely low fares at a loss, but that is business. If UA was in thier position(which isn't good) they would be doing the same. What has happened is that airlines are finally becoming aware that not all markets can sustain airline operations from a major carrier with mainline jets. My hometown, Amarillo, TX, just recently (6 months or so) stopped receiving AA F100s into our market exchange for a more logical ERJ. The F100s were flying 1/2 full and that was stupid. What is going to have to happen, and will happen in the U.S. at least is that the demand for mainline aircraft will decrease heavily because of the need to still provide jet service to smaller markets. The Regional Jet market on the other hand, will blossom even more than it already has. These machines offer the reliability and speed of the larger jets, with a much more economical operation. Boeing and Airbus would do well to get into the RJ business or merge with one of the current RJ manufacturers to do really well in the commercial airliner game. They will still have a market for their current offerings, just not as many as in the past. Instead of airlines offering service with 737s, A319s, 757s and the like, they will offer the same route instead with a RJ(full instead of half full). The Low-cost carriers, are a different story! Southwest & the slew of others will continue to do like they do; offering service to profitable markets only and screw the others. This is a great way to make a profit, however it doesn't adequately provide air service to cities and towns that desperately need it like the other mainline carriers do. I believe that the future of air travel looks bright. The introduction of new equipment that is more logical and efficient is the key. The major carriers will change as resources permit and they will not all go out of business, if any at all. 9/11 just put a small dent in their plans to change and has made them have to change faster than they would like. As far as passengers being afraid to fly, the people that won't fly today didn't fly before 9/11(most of them). Someone posted that people say (paraphrasing) "well I'll just drive instead of fly, it takes less time". Well the people that are saying that probably live in New England. Here in the Texas panhandle we are a 6 hour drive to the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex and a 10-12 hour drive to Houston. It is not faster to drive than fly for the majority of people. The current economic data that I have seen showed the U.S. economy grew 3.1% in the third quarter of this year. This is great news! Guys and Gals, what I am trying to say is that no one should worry that much. This is just business working as usual. The carriers have smart people running them and they will have to change with the times or they wont be here. I can imagine that they will do something to restructure and continue doing business. I hope so at least! Keep on debating important issues like this! This forum is great and I respect every member on it(even though I disagree with some of them sometimes)! God Bless America and its Aviation system!