wgw2707
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:57 pm

I'm sure most of us here at a.net are aware of Delta's embarrassing catering dispute with Gate Gourmet, in which Gate Gourmet is said to have demanded that Delta wire them $25 million immediately or all catering service would cease. Delta apparently has disputed $6 million worth of bills from Gate Gourmet, claiming that the amount constitutes overbillings and wrong invoices.
So as a result of this dispute Delta has found many of its flights are not being catered. Passengers on long haul flights especially are infuriated by the unexpected absence of in-flight meal service, and understandably so. As a result, through no fault of its own Delta is alienating passengers at the moment it can least afford to.

The interesting factor in all of this is the Chairman & CEO of Gate Gourmet: David Siegel. As we all know, David Siegel was the blundering idiot who after rushing US Airways through their first bout of Chapter 11 totally failed to gain any substantial, long-term cost savings, and now US Airways is back in bankruptcy protection, its future cloudier than ever, while David Siegel jumped ship last spring on a convenient golden parachute-only a week after deliverying an emotional "US Airways: Transformation" address.

Consider also that last year, about a year ago at this time, Siegel referred to Delta, Northwest and Continental as "The Axis Of Evil" and called Delta's then-CEO Leo Mullins "Doctor Evil". Are we seeing a pattern of retribution on the part of Siegel? Is Siegel actively trying to crunch Delta, which of the Big 6 was the one that competed with US Airways the most? Could Siegel be attempting to enact revenge on Delta for the bad performance of US Airways that caused him embarrassment? It's an interesting question.

Another more disturbing possibility is that Siegel is a pathological airline-killer. Not content with virtually killing US Airways through severe mismanagement, sluggish response to changing market conditions, a rushed and poorly executed Chapter 11 reorganization and extreme agitation of militant labor unions, perhaps Siegel is looking for bigger prey, and is hoping to push Delta over the edge by effectively alienating Delta's customers, by causing them to have to endure long flights with no meal service.

Considering Siegel's past record, this whole scenario seems very unusual.

What are your thoughts on this?

-WGW2707
 
Sydscott
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RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:04 pm


I think Delta should pay its bills, or at least some of it, and settle the rest in Court. If Gate Gourmet has been over-billing then let Delta prove it. Gate Gourment isn't a charity, its a business out to make a profit. If a Debtor doesn't pay its bills the standard response is not to sell them anymore until they do and, especially given the current Delta circumstances, no-one would want to extend them a large credit line. Simple. Pay your bill and get more catering service.
 
JAXpax
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:52 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't En

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:10 pm

I don't believe it is any sort of retaliation.

I think it makes sense. If you depend on the airlines for your business, that puts you in a worsening situation. They already lost some money with the last US filing, and I certainly understand why Delta worries them. It's nothing other suppliers haven't done to various carriers in the past.
 
Bicoastal
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:22 pm

To think that just one man is responsible for the downfall of an airline or airlines is ridiculous. A number of factors are contributing and have contributed to problems in the industry. Among them are: Fuel costs, new competition from low cost carriers, unions, management, consumers wanting only to pay the CHEAPEST ticket price possible, business travelers shopping for cheaper tickets, high costs, unwillingness to raise prices to cover costs.

I'm sure there are other factors. One man or woman does not make or break an airline.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
MEA-707
Posts: 3672
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RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:40 pm

Can't Delta just buy their meals temporarily at other caterers, or even let their F/A's take or buy some sandwiches and drinks in the worst case as a stop gap measure? I remember to have read an australian airline where the F/A's baked cookies at home to help the airline out (Hazelton).
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
toltommy
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RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:58 pm

I love it when someone who lists his age as 16-20 comes in here and spouts off like they understand how business (any business) operates.  Yeah sure Observe and learn. Get a job in this industry and get some real world experience before posting your opinions.

If you go back in time, you'll find that many US employees thought David Siegel was going to be the person to turn US around. US had suffered through years of bad management before Siegel arrived at the company. You'll probably have to go back to around the time of your birth to find a CEO that US rank and file liked. David Siegel had earned his stripes as a leader in this industry. That's why US got him to come on board. Sadly his tenure at US is going to be what he is known for. No matter what, he's going to be the guy "who couldn't turn US around". Fact is, he was dealt a bad hand to start with. He got what he could to reduce costs, but it wasn't enough. He probably erred in choosing the path of least resistance during the first trip through CH11. The airline needed to find a new business model, and instead focused on lowering cost. They did enough to get out of CH11, but nothing more.

So now he's over at Gate Gourmet, and using the knowledge he gained at US to protect the interests of Gate Gourmet and it's shareholders. That's his job. You can be certain that Gate Gourmet had a team of lawyers look over the contracts w/ Delta. David Siegel alone didn't decide to impose these requirements on Delta. It was smart business to protect Gate Gourmet from becoming a creditor waiting years for pennies on the dollar. Delta's problems are not his fault.

 
762er
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2001 8:18 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:00 pm

I get a kick out of people who bash Dave Seigel. The only mistake he made in turning around US Airways (which proved to be fatal for him) was that he tried to be too nice to rank-and-file employees. I find it ironic that the people who hated him the most at the airline were those he tried to help out. If he had asked for about 10-15% more in wage concessions everyone would love him.
 
prosa
Posts: 5389
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RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:19 pm

It's been said, not entirely in jest, that if you want to know how a struggling business is really doing, ignore what management says and instead look at its major suppliers - if they're imposing restrictive credit policies, or worse yet demanding cash on delivery, you know that the business is in very rough shape no matter how management spins things.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
USAir734
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:12 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:22 am

I dont know the entire story, but I dont think David Siegel killed US Airways, nor do I believe US is dead yet. Seigel made the mistake of going back on his word after stating he was in it for the long run. Unfortunately that wasn't his only mistake. Nonetheless, US has management now which is at least commited to turning the company around. Whether or not it can actually be done is debatable, but i am certainly hoping they can pull through. Seigel did a good job in bankruptcy but couldnt stick it when the company came out.
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:28 am

The service was interupted for 2 days. Delta is getting meals since last Thursday.

This type of thing happens all the time in all types of business. It is unfortunate for the customes, but I know Delta did a lot of customer service work to fix the inconvienence.


hang in there Delta!
Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:36 am

WGW2707,

You need to get a grip on reality and perhaps read a little before making such absurd remarks. David Siegel attempted to fix the inherited mess left by years of bad USAirways management and labor union shortsightedness. From what I understand, he did exactly the opposite of what you claim: he achieved all the cost savings he was supposed to except labor costs. Since there are two parties or more to every contract, there was not much more he could do. Compared to his predecessors, his USAirways salary and benefits were pretty modest.

Rather than being a "pathological airline killer" he was a pretty good airline builder. Go look up the history Express Jet or ask someone that has worked there for a while about Siegel.

If Delta was disputing $ 6 million, they could have paid the $19 million that they did owe rather than stiffing Gate Gourmet for $25 million. No responsible CEO would continue delivering service to Delta if they held back that kind of money.
 
OttoPylit
Posts: 2259
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:58 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:52 am

Sydscott,

Being that you are from Australia, you must not be totally aware of the whole story. Delta has been paying its bills and has not stopped. Gate Gourmet just decided that Delta may file for bankruptcy, and doesn't want to be burned by the loss in revenue during restructuring. Thats perfectly reasonable, and it would be fine to talk to Delta about your fears. However, GG just decided to tell Delta that from now on, they want their money upfront, or service will cease. Delta's reply was, "We always pay you at the end of the month, thats what our contract states, and we will not waver." So GG cut off food service completely. After 2 days, a judge ordered Gate Gourmet to continue catering Delta flights immediately. Delta and Gate Gourmet are now working on ways to ease GG's burden if it appears Delta must turn to BK. However, it was a very bad move on Gate Gourmet's part and I were Delta, I would be suing GG for all they are worth.

Delta could have easily turned to another caterer if there was another available. LSG Sky Chef's is too small to fulfill Delta's needs in ATL, and there is no one else. Delta was having to provile meal vouchers for passengers to grab something to bring on the plane as well as contracting with Chilk-Fil-A to place coolers of bags with chicken sandwiches and chips at the end of the jetways for international passengers.
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.
 
wgw2707
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:37 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:22 am

The problem here is that GateGourmet is trying to go around their existing contract with Delta, which is in my opinion despicable. It would be interesting to note if GateGourmet serves United and US Airways (and I am not sure whether they do or not) whether or not those two airlines are forced to prepay. The fact that you don't here about GateGourmet doing this to any other of the innumerable struggling airlines and the past record of David Siegel makes this whole situation extremely unusual, in my opinion.

I am familiar with Siegel's history prior to US Airways, he was a long-time executive at Continental. The fact that he later referred to Continental as part of an "axis of evil" is itself suspect-perhaps he had somewhat of a falling out with his former employer. While going from a management job Continental/Express Jet to CEO of US Airways is undeniably a step up, one wonders if there were not additional factors leading to his departure.

-WGW2707

[Edited 2004-09-29 18:28:00]
 
FlyGuyClt
Posts: 1579
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:23 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:47 am

While I don't always agree with the thread leader, I must say. I think he has hit the nail on the head with this one. I too agree, this is very bad business at its best. Delta was up to date on it's contract. That should have been the end of the story.


Safe Flying  Smile
Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
 
toltommy
Posts: 2519
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:04 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:12 am

"The problem here is that GateGourmet is trying to go around their existing contract with Delta, which is in my opinion despicable."

That's your opinion, and you certainly are entitled to post it. But as I said earlier, do you really think Gate Gourmet did this without having their lawyers review the contract, in order to see if they could actually do it? That why both sides have lawyers. Delta might be "up to date" on their contract, but the exposure for loss that it left GateGourmet, so they were correct to try protect themselves and their shareholders.

And again, do you really think that David Siegel was solely responsible for this decision? That's why large corporations have leadership teams.
 
pilotntrng
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:13 pm

RE: US Finally Uses The "L" Word...LIQUIDATE!

Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:59 am

WGW. hey man im not being rude, but you need to get your facts straight. Seigel was trying to implent his low cost plan, but the friggin unions forced him out. And guess what's going on now with the new CEO ? He is doing the exact same things Seigel did and wanted to do. Everyone needs to cool their jets on US Air...lol



Brad
Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
 
pilotntrng
Posts: 679
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:13 pm

RE: US Finally Uses The "L" Word...LIQUIDATE!

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:05 am

Ooops, forgot to change the topic in my box...sorry about that.
Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
 
ifly2eat
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:18 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:06 am

WGW2707 likes to jump the gun and tries to "gin up" interest on this web site. That is his thing- just remember it's tough being his age these days. Don't beleive me, do a search on his other posts.
Fly the friendly skys and stay out of mine.
 
ultrapig
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:38 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:10 am

There is a concept of "Adequate Assurance of Future Performance". Under this doctrine in the uniform commercial code a seller of goods (good) may demand tighter credit terms if it feels insecure. Since Delta has threatened bankruptcy what was done may well have been proper. The problem with this thread is that we don't know all of the facts. Had the supplier come to me (and I have had similar clients in smaller cases) I would have told them to try and slowly reign in the line of credit shortening the supplier from let's say 30 to 10 days. Yes there is a problem with preferential threatened and a later lawsuit but that could have been settled. I probably would not have suggested a unilalateral shutdown
 
frontiers4ever
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:35 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:18 am

US Airways was already going to die without Siegel. Their Debt ratio was horrible. Any all airlines are struggling, maybe if only US was struggling Id agree with you but all legacy carriers are struggling. Its not Siegel fault to prior mismanagement.

-Frontiers4ever
Until you prove, your right, your wrong
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15455
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:40 am

". As a result, through no fault of its own Delta is alienating passengers at the moment it can least afford to.
"

Through no fault of its own? Delta wasn't paying the bills--I would say that this is EXCLUSIVELY Delta's fault.

"Another teenage CEO? "

This ageism bullsh!t is really ugly and uncalled for.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
John
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 1999 10:47 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:47 am

Dave Siegel's salary modest? He walked out of Crystal City with a cool 10 milion in his pocket...YEA..I call that modest!
 
BostonGuy
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2000 5:49 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:49 am

My hunch is that Delta is using some technicality to avoid paying some bills to GateGourmet. Perhaps Delta is challenging some bills based on its own sloppy records. Thus, Delta could say it's been paying GateGourmet for what it has ordered and owes no money. GateGourmet could be confident it hasn't incorrectly billed Delta for services and thus is demanding payment for those services before delivering other orders.

We don't know yet exactly why GateGourmet withheld service to Delta. From Delta's statements on this, however, it seems there is room for some truth stretching. Given Delta's financial situation it would seem within the realm of possibility that they "got caught" using a creative way not to pay for something they ordered.

As for Siegel being an airline killer, well, that's a wild story if I ever heard one!
 
Sydscott
Posts: 3117
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:50 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:38 am


"OttoPylit"

I'm fully aware of the court case and Delta's situation. Airlines in Australia are rather boring at the moment as they are all profitable with no bankrupts in site. I was merely beginning the case againt what WGW said and I see from the thread that those with a bit more knowledge on the issue than I have have come in as well. A supplier tightening their credit line is a natural response to the threat, or perceived threat, of bankruptcy. The idea that a single person would take the decision or be out to get Delta is ridiculous. Nor can you blame Dave Siegel for killing US. Being appointed the CEO of US is a poisoned chalice and he did a good job of just keeping them in the air. The fact that he failed to achieve a turn around puts him in a league thats crowded with plenty of other Airline Executives.

"This ageism bullsh!t is really ugly and uncalled for"

Referring to someone as a teenage CEO only points out their lack of relevant experience when commenting on business issues. While its not a phrase I would use, its application to some of the younger members of the forum by those who have been working in the business world for a while is fair. Especially when you start a thread blaming 1 guy for trying to bankrupt an airline without a shred of evidence to back your claim.
 
Thrust
Posts: 2586
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:23 am

Seems to me David Siegel is Frank Lorenzo's successor....I vote we prevent him from working in the airline industry....he sounds like Carl Icahn too...he is depriving DL of their money for his own personal benefits.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
Gnomon
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:10 am

Somehow I highly doubt David Siegel took DL's competition with US personally enough to make it his life goal to ruin the former...
 
OttoPylit
Posts: 2259
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:58 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:12 am

"Through no fault of its own? Delta wasn't paying the bills--I would say that this is EXCLUSIVELY Delta's fault."

Does no one hear me, am I really THAT invisible? Wait, no one answer that. Delta WAS and STILL IS paying its bills with Gate Gourmet. For all of those folks who keep saying that GG had proper reason to try to cancel the contracts and are sure they went over the reasoning with their lawyers goes to show that they do not have very good lawyers.

A Fulton County(Georgia) judge looked over the contracts and said, "A contract is a contract. Gate Gourmet, get back to work. All Delta flights are to be catered in proper fashion with no need for pre-payment, per your existing contract. Period.

Since nothing else has been heard, Gate Gourmet apparently doesn't want to waste the money trying to appeal something so small and Gate Gourmet trucks have been pulled up to every Delta flight since.
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.
 
ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:22 am

SIEGEL IS JUST AN ASSHOLE!!!!!!!1
SR
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:37 am

Another more disturbing possibility is that Siegel is a pathological airline-killer. Not content with virtually killing US Airways through severe mismanagement...

Call him what you may... what it boils down to is what every current legacy airline CEO is IMO based on the evidence: a smooth talking con-artist with a singular focus on lining his own pockets with wanton disregard for the costs to others.
 
N628AU
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2000 4:20 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:52 pm

Let me make one thing perfectly clear for all of you who do not know or understand history.

DAVE SIEGEL DID NOT "RUSH" US AIRWAYS OUT OF CHAPTER 11 LAST TIME!

The airline had to emerge by March 31, 2003 or the credit card processing agreement would expire, there would be no way to take credit cards on April 1, 2003, and the airline would have liquidated without a cash flow. Can you imagine an airline taking cash or check only for airfare these days?
 
AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:34 pm

To think that just one man is responsible for the downfall of an airline or airlines is ridiculous.

and

One man or woman does not make or break an airline.

Uhhh so the Lorenzo thing with EA never happened, eh?  Yeah sure
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
baw716
Posts: 1461
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:02 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't En

Thu Sep 30, 2004 4:15 pm

Forgive me for being a bit confused...

As I understand the issue, there is (or was?) a dispute between Delta and Gate Gourment. Delta owed money, but Delta was also disputing some of their invoices. Can anyone tell us with certaintly how much DL owed and how back in arrears they are? If $25M is the number, for a carrier the size of Delta, that does not seem to me to be a terribly big number (in the grand scheme).

Assuming DL was in arrears significantly, then GG would be within their rights to withhold their catering; however, not without some degree of notice. I cannot believe that a caterer would leave flights departing without catering. As much as it hurts the airline, it hurts the reputation of the caterer (my opinion).

I am somewhat confused also why David Siegel's name came into the discussion about Delta and Gate Gourmet, other than the fact that he is CEO. Yes, he was at USAirways at a very bad time, but I am not certain how that fact has anything to do with the situation between Delta and GG...unless this was someone's attempt to bash David Siegel and use the Delta/GG dispute as a means to open that discussion.

I don't know this situation; but I do know one thing: Any person making malicious statements about anyone that causes them material harm (either to their reputation or their livelihood) is slander, and is actionable. So far, I have heard a good deal of Siegel bashing, but not any facts to back it up. A lot of opinions and conjecture, yes..but facts? I am not so sure. There are some who seem to be supporting him and from what I read, those comments seem to have some factual basis to them.

I am going to sound like a broken record (especially in light of my last set of posts on another issue), but lets be prudent and step back a moment and ask the question: What is this thread about? Is it about DL/GG or is it about David Siegel? If its about David Siegel, then unless you know something that is factual, please take care about what you say. It would be really sad if some attorney of David Siegel's walked up to your front door with a writ calling you to account for your statements. Colonoscopies to remove subpoenas from your large intestine are very painful.

If you are making posts on this forum, please refrain from making statements about things that you cannot factually back up. You never know; you may find yourself prostrate on a table somewhere comtemplating the fun the Dr. is going have removing that subpoena!

If someone could clear up the confusion about this thread, I'd appreciate it. I am very concerned about Delta right now. There needs to be good constructive discussion about their situation. If we are going to poke fun, let's find something funny like...did you know there is an airline where the pilot is also the flight attendant?

You all are great participants, I love reading your posts and I enjoy bantering back and forth in good fun as well as responding substantively to the issues of the day. Let's keep the forum going in that spirit.
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't Enough

Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:29 am

I cannot believe some of the posts I have read bashing David Siegel particularly those from Thrust, Ramierianair, Tango-Bravo, and WGW2707.

WGW2707,

I do not believe you know much about the subject at hand.

David Siegel played a huge part in making ExpressJet the success it is today from all accounts. He simply did not preside over a picnic in Houston. He left Continental Express for Budget Rent A Car (not USAirways) where he was also well-respected. You do not even have these simple facts correct.

He then the relative comfort of that job to see if he could handle the challenge at USAirways. David Bronner thought he had a shot at saving the company and making a buck as well. On Siegel's watch, USAirways hit every single financial target he was supposed except for labor costs...he tried. Why is taking over a struggling, chronically troubled airline like USAirways "undeniably a step up" from CEO of Budget or SVP at Continental? Because they fly more and bigger airplanes than COEX?

I do not think any person with knowledge of the facts and a sound mind can compare Siegel to Carl Icahn or Frank Lorenzo. There is no cognizable comparison whatsover between Siegel and those notorious individuals.

Siegel also said the SWA was out to kill USAirways. Airline CEOs and airlines in other industries sometimes badmouth the competition particularly when someone poses an agressive challenge on their hometurf.

Before CO, DL, and NW had their alliance approved, USAirways was not the only carrier that vehemently opposed the arrangment. So did Southwest and other a number smaller carriers. There is nothing at all "suspect" about it. Before they got approval all of the carriers opposed made ominous statements about the effects of CO, DL, and NW alliance.

I do not know Dave Siegel but judging from everything in the press and from remarks of people who have worked for him, he is a good manager. That the airline industry is a chronic financial disaster is not his fault.

One of the talking heads recently stated that the airline industry may not be able to draw the best and the brightest minds in the future because it so unrewarding compared to other industries in terms of compensation and job stress. I did not think much of it at the time but it may prove true.
 
Gnomon
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: For David Siegel, Killing One Airline Isn't En

Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:25 am

I would add, in reference to the last post, that when he replaced Wolf at US, Siegel was crowned with a size 9 halo and everyone seemed ready to offer him his place at the right hand of the Father. How easily we flip!

Objectively, it would seem Siegel has proven his worth in the industry, based in particular on his successes at CO and the fact that Gate Gourmet hired him for its top job. I'm not yet ready to consider the average Internet user a valid judge of job performance among people with three times the education and experience actually doing the job.

In our naiveté, we're often tempted to ascribe an airline's failure to its CEO because we're not sophisticated enough to recognize more conceptual or systemic problems. Sometimes, by chance, we end up being right. But more often, in reality, the CEO is but an unwitting participant in, rather than architect of, the failure. I believe this was Siegel's case at unfortunate US.

I would add, again, that I'm shocked at the ignorance behind the persnickety insinuation that Siegel would take competition against his former employer so personally that he would use his current employer to seek revenge. I don't think anyone without clinical illness could ever be a "pathological airline-killer," as suggested above.

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