HALFA
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Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:19 am

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono has responded to the FAA warnings against implementing a ban of Hawaiian Airlines flights into the territory. If you have been following this saga, the Governor has accused Hawaiian Airlines of discriminatory treatment of his constituents, including higher fares for Samoans, higher change fees, cancellation fees, and my personal favorite, accusing Hawaiian's flight attendants of discriminating against his people because we don't offer DIGEplayers on PPG flights. (We don't offer DIGEplayers on these flights because of storage issues, the flights are catered for a roundtrip out of HNL)
Amongst his latest outbursts are "The FAA has no authority to control an air carrier that uses its operating authority in various abusive ways to damage people as they run uncontrolled in a monopoly situation,"
This article is very interesting and gives a much clearer view of Mr. Tulafono's mindset and what HA is dealing with.
Read the article here:

http://www.pacificmagazine.net/pina/pinadefault2.php?urlpinaid=24004

And in a related matter, HA has asked the U.S. D.O.T. to issue a ruling regarding Governor Tulafono's executive order banning HA from American Samoa
Article here:

http://www.pacificmagazine.net/pina/pinadefault2.php?urlpinaid=24020

Aloha,
HALFA
HA J Class Lie flats, coming soon to a plane near you........
 
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:33 am

So it would seem that the Governor does have a case, because there would appear to be a conflict of law.

Whether he wins the case or not is another matter, but it could resolve several gray areas of jurisdiction, and the interpretation of law.

So some good could come of all this, regardless of the outcome.  Smile

cheers

mariner
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OPNLguy
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:10 am

Maybe someone on that side of the planet or otherwise in-the-know can answer this, but is this guy an elected official, or was he appointed?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:53 am

This is an interesting battle about what powers US territories have. Yes they can control their borders, but they are still under the power of the FAA. I wonder where this battle will go and if it will have any other ramifications.
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:00 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
This is an interesting battle about what powers US territories have.

I think you just hit the nail smack on the head.  checkmark 

cheers

mariner
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HALFA
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:15 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 2):
is this guy an elected official, or was he appointed?

Togiola Tulafono was the Lt. Governor when the acting Governor, Tauese Sunia died of a heart attack while flying from Apia to Honolulu in March of 2003.
Mr. Tulafono was then reelected by the American Samoan people in the fall of 2004. He will be up for reelection in Nov of 2008.

Aloha,
HALFA
HA J Class Lie flats, coming soon to a plane near you........
 
HikesWithEyes
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:35 am

There are the makings of a movie here.
First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:53 pm

I think we've found our next Hugo Chavez Silly
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
mham001
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:41 pm

So what exactly are our interests in Samoa. Why are we still there and do we really care anymore? Free Samoa!
 
Aeri28
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 2:59 pm

AM has been a territory for over a hundred years. American Samoans are US nationals and are free to live and work anywhere in the US, they elect a Governer, have representation in Congress, receive millions in federal funds for schools, infrastructure etc. Many American Samoans also serve in the US military. I'm not sure if "Freeing Samoa" or independence is something they are asking for, then again I dont live there and have not really studied the issue. This isn't an Iraq situation where we are 'there', we have been in American Samoa for a long time and I would imagine they get a lot of benefits in being associated with the US.

I would also imagine any US airline would be able to offer service to American Samoa if they wanted, but obviously they aren't beating down the doors to do so.

__________

Executive branch: chief of state: President George W. BUSH of the US (since 20 January 2001); Vice President Richard B. CHENEY (since 20 January 2001)
head of government: Governor Togiola TULAFONO (since 7 April 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet made up of 12 department directors
elections: under the US Consitution, residents of unincorporated territories, such as American Samoa, do not vote in elections for US president and vice president; governor and lieutenant governor elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 2 and 16 November 2004 (next to be held November 2008)
election results: Togiola TULAFONO elected governor; percent of vote - Togiola TULAFONO 55.7%, Afoa Moega LUTU 44.3%
 
koruman
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:26 pm

I have a LOT of support for the governor on this issue.

It is ironic that many Americans on this board decry him as a dictator (actually, he's democratically elected) and point out that American Samoa is the USA, and that therefore Pago Pago - HNL is a domestic flight, and the FAA rules.

Actually, Hawaiian and the FAA are screwing the Samoans.

American Samoans don't get a vote in US Presidential elections, so who is the dictator here? And when Hawaiian want to charge exorbitant fares they do so on the basis that Pago Pago - HNL is an international flight, but then when there is talk of allowing international competition (eg the much leaner, cheaper Polynesian Blue) Hawaiian and the FAA hide behind saying "but it's a domestic route, so no cabotage by foreign airlines is allowed".

In other words, Samoans are not American enough to be allowed to vote, but they are American enough to only be allowed to be serviced by American airlines. And they are not American enough to get domestic-sized fares (even though they are closer to HNL than California is), but they are so American that foreign airlines (even fellow Samoan ones) aren't allowed to compete.

If Hawaiian really think it's such an expensive, unviable route they could just leave and stick to their other routes. But oh no, they can't be prised out of Pago Pago, they're hanging on for dear life.

And why not, they are charging the highest seat/mile fares in the entire US airline market on this route! Shame on them. It's like Continental Micronesia. They are ripping off the poorest "Americans" and abusing their monopoly status, which they get largely by the blind application of cabotage rules to a territory which is nowhere near the rest of the USA.
 
meechy36
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
If Hawaiian really think it's such an expensive, unviable route they could just leave and stick to their other routes. But oh no, they can't be prised out of Pago Pago, they're hanging on for dear life.

And why not, they are charging the highest seat/mile fares in the entire US airline market on this route! Shame on them. It's like Continental Micronesia. They are ripping off the poorest "Americans" and abusing their monopoly status, which they get largely by the blind application of cabotage rules to a territory which is nowhere near the rest of the USA.

The reason I don't agree with you is that there isn't any other domestic airlines beating a path to Pago Pago. How many people a month are carried on that route. How much cargo is carried on this route? What fare is considered a break even fare on this route?

Comparing California to Hawaii to Pago Pago to Hawaii is apples and oranges, the volume alone from the US to Hawaii makes it viable. If HA pulled out and Aloha or another carrier took over does the governor really think the fares would go down or would he just assume lose all air service, that'll do wonders for the economy.

As for service I really can't comment since I don't know enough about it but HALFA's explaination made sense to me.

Also, do Somoans qualify for government assistance such as food stamps and medicare? Puerto Rico is a territory also and they aren't allowed to vote in Presidential elections either but they enjoy all the other benefits of being a citizen, so if the Somoans are in the same group I agree with the FAA that this is a domestic route. The governor seems to want it all, all the handouts from the US but none of the regulations.

mikeBOS
 
kanebear
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:33 am

I'm thinking without Federal assistance, the prospects of Samoa wouldn't exactly be bright. 1/3rd of Samoa's economy is based upon government jobs and another third is secondary economy (retail/service industry). As an independent nation with no aid Samoa would likely end up much like Nauru. Employment is somewhere around 50%. Samoa has it's own constitution so things ARE a bit different than here. Lest everyone forget, the US isn't the only nation with such territories. France has quite a few (Guadeloupe and St. Pierre et Miquelon come to mind).
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:43 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
Actually, Hawaiian and the FAA are screwing the Samoans.

Boo-frickin'-hoo. If they hate the service so much, they can start their own. Hawaiian should just cut the route and see how they enjoy zero service versus HA's service.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
LMP737
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:58 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
I have a LOT of support for the governor on this issue.

It is ironic that many Americans on this board decry him as a dictator (actually, he's democratically elected) and point out that American Samoa is the USA, and that therefore Pago Pago - HNL is a domestic flight, and the FAA rules.

Actually, Hawaiian and the FAA are screwing the Samoans.

American Samoans don't get a vote in US Presidential elections, so who is the dictator here? And when Hawaiian want to charge exorbitant fares they do so on the basis that Pago Pago - HNL is an international flight, but then when there is talk of allowing international competition (eg the much leaner, cheaper Polynesian Blue) Hawaiian and the FAA hide behind saying "but it's a domestic route, so no cabotage by foreign airlines is allowed".

You left out the part where if you live on American Samoa you don't pay federal income taxes, they receive money form the US govt and don't have to maintain any sort of defense since that's the responsibility of the United States.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
KDCA
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:18 am

Isn't "The Rock" Samoan?
 
chgoflyer
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:42 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
American Samoans don't get a vote in US Presidential elections, so who is the dictator here?

Im sure that voting in Pres. elections could be arranged. However the first step that needs to be taken is a local branch of IRS opened to collect income tax
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dl021
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:35 am

I'm not sure if the Governor has a legitimate beef or not, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have the authority to override federal law.

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 8):
Why are we still there and do we really care anymore? Free Samoa!

They are freely associated with the US. They have voted on the issue and decided that being American is the way they want to go.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
It is ironic that many Americans on this board decry him as a dictator

Stop that.....no one seriously accused him of being any sort of dictator. He's an American, and he's been freely elected. When his term is up he'll go peacefully. He may just be looking out for his people and making as many waves as possible to do it, and he may be looking for re-election votes.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
And when Hawaiian want to charge exorbitant fares they do so on the basis that Pago Pago - HNL is an international flight, but then when there is talk of allowing international competition (eg the much leaner, cheaper Polynesian Blue) Hawaiian and the FAA hide behind saying "but it's a domestic route, so no cabotage by foreign airlines is allowed".

Perhaps the fares are such because no one else wants to run that route due to limited demand. Has there been some controversy where an airline was denied the right to service that route?

Quoting KDCA (Reply 15):
Isn't "The Rock" Samoan?

I think his mother is Samoan, his father is American of African descent.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:51 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
If Hawaiian really think it's such an expensive, unviable route they could just leave and stick to their other routes.

No, they can't. They are required by law to fly the route until a replacement carrier could be found...If no replacement wass found, they would have to fly it even if they didn't want to.

As far as lower fares go, Aloha tried the route in 2004 with very low fares and an increased bagage allowance and couldn't make it work on a 124 seat 737.

If Samoans were dying because of Hawaiian's 'preadatory/discriminatory pricing,' Aloha should have been completely full, but they weren't. Maybe its because Aloha doesn't offer "DigEPlayers" so people thought they were discriminating too!!!  Wink

-Aloha!
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A342
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:14 am

Quoting Aloha73G (Reply 18):
No, they can't. They are required by law to fly the route until a replacement carrier could be found...If no replacement wass found, they would have to fly it even if they didn't want to.

And if they still refused, what would happen ?
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:47 am

Remember that this guy used to be an airline executive. It's pretty apparent that the "replacement" that he wants is something that he will have or have had an association with.

By the way, there's no conflict of laws situation here. This is an *executive order*, which may only be issued within certain narrow bounds. He has no authority to issue such an order, because it isn't within the scope of orders that he has power to issue AND is violates the Supremacy Clause. Forget it. It's over. It's not even a question. The only reason it's still in the paper is that nobody (but me, apparently) realized that this idiot would not be placated by an administrative decision of the FAA. Most people would get the FAA letter and let the thing go. This guy instead will require the mobilization of all the Federal machinery (DOT tribunal, courts, etc.) to spit out a formal legal opinion, and is apparently willing to spend his country's meager funds on legal counsel to fight a battle that he lost before it began. Pathetic.

Also, to demand "reparations" for his "people" from an Airline?! It seems like he's mentally-unbalanced.
 
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:59 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 20):
this idiot

So - what does that make the people who elected him? Obviously, your opinion of them cannot be high.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 20):
his country's meager funds

When did American Samoa become "a country"?

mariner
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SJCRRPAX
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:26 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
They are freely associated with the US. They have voted on the issue and decided that being American is the way they want to go.

It has been my experience that Samoans are extremly proud of being associated with America. In fact, I have noticed they poke fun of Western Samoa because they don't have this association. I have also heard that more Samoans live on the mainland than in Samoa (very high birth rate, the Island could never support that life style.) One thing America does not need to worry about is Samoa declaring independence --- Samoans are about as loyal to America as a person can be.
 
dl021
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 21):
Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 20):
this idiot

So - what does that make the people who elected him? Obviously, your opinion of them cannot be high.

I wonder if you feel the same way about the people who call our president an idiot. They must think we're a pack of idiots, too, using your reasoning.

The man's not an idiot, but he's possibly corrupt. He slid into the position and won his first election as an incumbent. If he's really agitating for a piece of some pie then he's just a crook. If he's saying that Samoans are being discriminated against because they aren't getting some sort of IFE then that's a stretch. Either way it seems fishy

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 22):
It has been my experience that Samoans are extremly proud of being associated with America.

Mine as well. I had great friends in the Army who were Samoan and they were the best guys to have on your side of a dispute.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
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aloha73g
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 19):

And if they still refused, what would happen ?

I am guessing that the DOT would levy VERY heavy fines on Hawaiian for violating federal law, which Hawaiian would be obligated to pay. Which essentially means that until the DOT says Hawaiian doesn't have to fly to Am. Samoa AND Hawaiian decides it doesn't want to, they will HAVE to fly the route.

-Aloha!
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:37 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 23):
I wonder if you feel the same way about the people who call our president an idiot.

For the record, you quoted me, but it was not my statement.

I do not regard voters as "idiots" and I have never referred to any elected representative as an idiot.

cheers

mariner
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PanAm747
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:06 am

So, Governor Tulafono from American Samoa. Exactly how does he intend to force this ban?

What he is doing is posturing for the voters - much the way politicians do around the world. You know, create a diversion issue to sway the public and hide the fact that you really have no way to solve the REAL issues facing your constituents.
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wjcandee
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:48 am

Quoting Mariner (Reply 21):
So - what does that make the people who elected him? Obviously, your opinion of them cannot be high.

Now, now. Don't be putting words in my mouth. Maybe he didn't act in a manner that made it clear that he was certifiable until after he was elected. After all, he was initially elevated from the Lt. Gov. position, and elected a little over a year later.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 21):
When did American Samoa become "a country"?

Sorry, I guess I should have said "his political subdivision's funds" or "his unincorporated territory's funds" or "his less-than-wealthy constituants' funds". Nice nitpick.
 
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:21 am

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 27):
Now, now. Don't be putting words in my mouth.

Refer to post #23.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 27):
Nice nitpick.

Sorry you got it wrong.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
Gemuser
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:02 am

Guys, he is a POLITICIAN! He and his terriorty is also between a rock and a hard place. The obvious answer is call "open" tenders to run the route with the least subsidy and air fares, ie the lowest cost operator. The winner would probabley be Poly Blue, Air Pacific or even Air NZ, BUT current US law apparently prevents this.

In other words it is a political problem, and the Governor is playing political games in order to win some benefit for his consitutients! Thats the actions of a mad man???

I would imigan that the Governor of American Soma would have a problem in getting ANYONE in Washington to even talk to him. He is playing the old rabble rousing game.

Good luck Tulafono

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koruman
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:49 am

Given that American Samoa is 100 miles from the nation of Samoa, but thousands of miles from even Hawaii, it seems to me that a country like the USA which purports to champion competition should implement a little common sense, and allow a cabotage exception to allow Pacific Island carriers such as Polynesian Blue or Air Pacific or even Air New Zealand the right to fly Pago Pago to Honolulu or LAX.

Similarly, Philippine carriers should be allowed into Micronesia, again to balance legitimate cabotage concerns with the fact that the rules are supposed to encourage competition.

Realistically, of course, the truth is that the USA is as - or more - protectionist and anti-competitive as the European Union. Qantas buys Boeing jets from Seattle, but Australian ferry makers can't sell their superb products there because US law requires that ferries on routes within the USA be US-built.

Polynesian Blue, based in neighbouring Samoa, is a lean, mean low cost carrier that makes Southwest look flabby and uncompetitive. If they could fly Pago Pago to Honolulu they would crucify Hawaiian.

By the way, before any more Americans on this board tell me how lucky American Samoans are to be Americans without democratic rights, maybe they should consider how lucky their near-neighbour French Polynesians are. Theyr're far richer, have their own government-subsidised international airline and have 6 international carriers to choose from, several of which (Lan Chile, Air New Zealand and Air Calin) will sell "domestic" tickets to French destinations.

And anyone who has been to American Samoa knows that its beauty completely outclasses Hawaii. It is undeveloped because the US government has neglected its tourist infrastructure since the days of Pan Am, not because it's a dump.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 12:18 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 28):
Refer to post #23.

I did, and I don't get it.

There are plenty of rabble-rousing politicians and politicians-posing-as-"community leaders" here in the States, including a few in my beloved New York City. The ones at the fringes of public discourse can effectively move the discussion a little to their side by being very extreme, and, for many, that's their goal -- not actually believing or even wanting the outcome that they preach, but merely to drive the discussion more to their side of things. There's a person in the City whose public views I deplore, but who when seen in more private moments is clearly more rational than the fire-breathing hell-raiser that he is in public, and who I truly believe has his community's interest at heart. In later years, he has lowered the volume of his rhetoric, because I believe that he realizes that one can lose credibility and be dismissed easily when one is too far at the fringe. This man is not an elected official, and probably never will be.

In this country, elected officials take an oath to uphold the laws of the land. We are a country of laws, and whether one likes them or not, one must obey them until they are changed, and driving change is a point of political discourse. Change results from compromise as that discourse persuades people that some incremental change is necessary. Sometimes, executive action runs ahead of legislative authorization, with the express intent on the executive's part to move the legislation to catch up. The US President has sparked that kind of debate by employing some not-well-defined executive authority in order to prevent terrorism, based upon reasoned-but-challenged legal opinions that say that he has the power to do so, and the legislature in response is screaming that he needs authorization to do so, and the courts are charged, in our system, with sorting that out. The terrorist plot uncovered by the Brits demonstrates that their system, in which their executive agencies have much broader monitoring authority than do US agencies, will surely move the debate here one way or the other. And so it goes, and a compromise will be reached. A sane elected executive may choose to push the envelope of authority when it comes to issues of great national import, like terrorism. To get out in front of his legislature, with absolutely no support, as far as I can see, from any legal advisors, issuing a plainly ultra vires executive order, stating nonsensical, irrational, layman's interpretations of the law, and staring down the federal government and requiring the expenditure of public funds and resources to reign him in over a commerical issue as banal as airline service, a situation that results from the operation of a free-market economy, is completely idiotic. And that word is used often and repeatedly in political discussion in this country, indeed frequently by the Losing Team as regards our current President. So I think it's a fair characterization -- along with "loony", "misguided", "destined to lose", "destined to be spanked", and "silly". And it says absolutely nothing negative about those who elected him.
 
kanebear
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:06 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
Similarly, Philippine carriers should be allowed into Micronesia, again to balance legitimate cabotage concerns with the fact that the rules are supposed to encourage competition.

...and as soon as Oz allows SQ to fly the SYD-LAX route we'll be happy to look at that.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
And anyone who has been to American Samoa knows that its beauty completely outclasses Hawaii. It is undeveloped because the US government has neglected its tourist infrastructure since the days of Pan Am, not because it's a dump.

Why is it the US Government's responsibility to look after the tourist infrastructure? Last I checked, most countries in the free world let the private sector develop the tourist attractions and lodging. I've heard North Korea and Cuba have some quite nice resorts, however. The lack of tourist facilities in American Samoa has more to do with Samoan land ownership, the nature of the workforce and the lack of local initiative.

I'm astounded the Aussies are making an issue of the status of Samoa's representation within the United States considering their state governors are appointed by the Queen. Ceremonial though the post may be, the governors still carry real power however rarely used.
 
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mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:13 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 31):
nd that word is used often and repeatedly in political discussion in this country, indeed frequently by the Losing Team as regards our current President.

And the way to improve the debate is to dismiss the opponent as an idiot?

But what if the grievances are genuine? What if he is using the HAL issue as a tool to address a greater problem?

Clearly, there are border issues, broader issues that can be regarded as unfair. The US may not be ready to change them, but surely they should be discussed.

Just because the Samoan people have US citizenship does not mean that all is well in the Samoas. Perhaps the first question to ask is why so many of them leave.

The governor's method may or may not be be wrongheaded, but perhaps this is the only way to get Washington's attention. We have no idea of the history of this, but if he is ready to take on the governing bureaucracy, then more power to him.

To dismiss him as "an idiot" is to using the same tactics as what you call "the Losing Team", and thus, by extension, to embrace the Rumsfeld/Rice school of neo-colonialism.

cheers

mariner
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kanebear
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 1:47 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 33):
The governor's method may or may not be be wrongheaded, but perhaps this is the only way to get Washington's attention. We have no idea of the history of this, but if he is ready to take on the governing bureaucracy, then more power to him.

Rephrase that we as you. Please do not project your lack of knowledge and research into the situation onto others. It's simply not the case. Please do continue to issue forth opinions based upon sheer conjecture and sentiment though. It's immensely entertaining.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 33):
Just because the Samoan people have US citizenship does not mean that all is well in the Samoas. Perhaps the first question to ask is why so many of them leave.

Quote please? I don't recall an assertion that life in American Samoa (after all, Western Samoa isn't the issue here) was particularly Edenistic. Also, most Samoans I know leave for greater opportunity. Even so, American Samoa still has far greater opportunities than any other island in the region. Wages are 3x elsewhere comparable. But if you don't want to work for the government (US grants make up almost 70%of local revenue) or for a tuna cannery your choices are going to be limited. Thus, the flight to the mainland. Samoa is still very much an agrarian society and land ownership is 90% communal. Until the 1960s, Samoa was a subsistence economy. JFK decided that wasn't good enough and embarked on a "modernization" plan. Without that, Samoa would likely be a great deal more traditional than it is now.
 
Aeri28
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:29 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
By the way, before any more Americans on this board tell me how lucky American Samoans are to be Americans without democratic rights, maybe they should consider how lucky their near-neighbour French Polynesians are. Theyr're far richer, have their own government-subsidised international airline and have 6 international carriers to choose from, several of which (Lan Chile, Air New Zealand and Air Calin) will sell "domestic" tickets to French destinations.

And anyone who has been to American Samoa knows that its beauty completely outclasses Hawaii. It is undeveloped because the US government has neglected its tourist infrastructure since the days of Pan Am, not because it's a dump.

I really dont think you can compare FP to AS as they are entirely different. Just happen to be located in the South Pacific... I would hardly call FP "richer". Many get fat government subsidies and payments, much of it coming from the nuclear testing in the eastern atolls. #1 reason why France won't give FP independence (as there is a very strong Pro Independence party in FP) is not the land, but rather the 1 million square miles of open sea to do whatever they want with it. FP exports very little and imports practically everything. Anything not coming from 'la metropole' is taxed at a much higher rate, that is why prices in FP are astronomical for many items. Why not import items from much closer New Zealand at a lower tax rate? Same argument in a sense regarding airlines... I 'd look into that if I were you.

Air Tahiti Nui was created as a necessity and life link for the islands, as many airlines were pulling out or had pulled out (AOM, Corsair, Air Liberte, Qantas) or reducing their flights (Hawaiian, Air France, Air New Zealand), I'm sure pride played a small role on Gaston Flosse's part to have its own terroritial airline as well (shades of the American Samoan governor?) as we all know on this board ATN has not and is not doing well.

I dont think you can place its worth on how many tourists visit a specific island group (which to me is how you are sounding). Every Pacific island group has plusses and minuses. American Samoa (including Ofu), Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, FP, Cooks are all beautiful. Regarding Hawaii, I am amazed at the sheer beauty and diversity this island group possesses. The amount of travelers here cannot be all wrong. There is life beyond Honolulu too, you know...

Can't remember who said it earlier regarding how many American Samoans leave to work on the mainland and what that says, but since that person had a New Zealand flag on his profile, Iim surprised he didn't realize the same goes for the (beautiful as well) Cook Islands. There are more Cook Islanders liviing in NZ than in the Cooks themselves.
 
Alohajock
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:56 pm

"Mahalo"! (Thank You) to HALFA for keeping all of us well informed on the "War of Words in the Pacific", and also those who provide some interesting insights/opinions.

Aloha,
 
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:12 pm

Quoting Mariner (Reply 33):
To dismiss him as "an idiot" is to using the same tactics as what you call "the Losing Team", and thus, by extension, to embrace the Rumsfeld/Rice school of neo-colonialism.

Oh, puh-leese. Nobody *dismissed* him as an idiot; I *characterized* him as an idiot. And I explained the logic underlying that conclusion.

The Losing Team changes from season to season. I'm pretty confident that the Losing Team shoe is going to be on the other foot as regards the legislature come November, and most likely as regards the executive come 2008. Funny how the names of the chief executives of this country change ever so much more often than the names of the leaders of so many others. So it gives us a pretty short window in which to do all that neo-colonizing that you think we're trying to do. Maybe the next leader will just fire a few more perfectly-good cruise missles into empty spots in the desert and call that a response to blowing up our stuff. That's what the last guy did and it and a lot of people seemed to think it was enough.

Trying to guess my actual politics is a losing proposition, Sir. What we're talking about here is an *airline service* issue, and a ham-fisted escalation of that issue into a major public standoff by the chief executive of a political subdivision. Moreover, given that the legislators, at least the ones who appear in the media coverage available here, seem not to support his approach at all, it appears that the media characterizations of this whole brouhaha as a private, personal issue of this particular individual may well be accurate. To say that it is some sort of resonant issue in Samoa, or that it is emblematic of some sort of deeper cultural rift or national grievance, is taking this way too far. It's silly. It's a loser. And other than for the amusement value at this man's expense, the media wouldn't be paying much attention to it. It's an ill-advised approach, in my opinion, and has basically nothing to do with neo-colonialism. What it may have something to do with is this man's personal grudges arising from when he was an airline executive, and this man's poor judgment as to how to effectively accomplish whatever it is he's really trying to accomplish.
 
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:30 pm

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 34):
Please do not project your lack of knowledge and research into the situation onto others.

There is very little debate about the history of this controversy contained within this thread and only a couple of links to external sources.

You add a little information about American Samoa, but no background to the present issue, and that's pretty much it.

So the use of "we" is intended for most members of this forum. Sorry if that offends you.

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 34):
Samoa is still very much an agrarian society and land ownership is 90% communal.

The same is true of much of Fiji, and that has not stopped the devlopment of a tourist infrastructure. It is further complicated there by the status of the Indian community.

Or, dealing with Maori instead of Island Polynesian, my neighbors and friends hold several square miles of land tribally, I am familiar with the customs.

My own house is built on land that was tribal farmland and a long, complex investigation into ownership happened before the freehold was granted to me.

However, since you prefer to assume:

Quoting Kanebear (Reply 34):
Please do continue to issue forth opinions based upon sheer conjecture and sentiment though. It's immensely entertaining.

I won't bore you with my associations in Fiji with the development of a resort (Vatulele) there, the negotiations with the tribal landholders, and the complexties of building the resort, many of which were specific to the islands.

I won't waste your time with the investigations that my partners and I made into the possibility of resorts in both Western Samoa and American Samoa.

cheers

mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:39 pm

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 35):
Air Tahiti Nui was created as a necessity and life link for the islands, as many airlines were pulling out or had pulled out (AOM, Corsair, Air Liberte, Qantas) or reducing their flights (Hawaiian, Air France, Air New Zealand), I'm sure pride played a small role on Gaston Flosse's part to have its own terroritial airline as well (shades of the American Samoan governor?) as we all know on this board ATN has not and is not doing well.

ATN was not created out of necessity, quite far from it. More like for ego.

The Flosse mafia coerced many island business owners to put up money for Air Tahiti and continue to do so for the money loosing enterprise. In addition the Flosse political connection helped create sweetheart deals with uncle Chirac and the French state helping foot partial cost of the carriers initial Airbus fleet.

As far as airlines serving FP, AOM/Air Liberte died a natural death however Corsair's parent Nouvelle Frontiers was run off by difficulties it was having with the FP government in building two hotel/resorts, and also was receiving coercion from Paris to drop Tahiti service in return for the granting of scheduled service traffic rights to several other markets.
Air France on the other hand has been strongly encourage not to compete too vigorously with fledgling carriers in the overseas territories which saw it drop the NRT-PPT service and also drop out of Noumea completely for instance.

While ATN might have one of the prettiest paint schemes in the sky, its regretfully run far from strictly along a financial lines, instead helps serve the personal interest of several prominent Tahitian power brokers.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
HALFA
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:26 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
And why not, they are charging the highest seat/mile fares in the entire US airline market on this route!

That is factually incorrect. Sources please?

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
Hawaiian and the FAA are screwing the Samoans.

Do you always blurt out baseless statements or would you care to back them up with facts?

Quoting DL021 (Reply 17):
Perhaps the fares are such because no one else wants to run that route due to limited demand.

The demand is good but costs associated with serving a route in such a remote location is high. A few years ago, a cyclone hit Pago Pago and washed rock and debris onto the runway. The airport officials did a horrible job of cleaning things up there and on two separate occasions, HA 767's were damaged upon arriving there as debris was sucked into the engines causing over $1,000,000. in damage.

http://www.hawaiianair.com/about/corporate/NewsRelease/Section_300.asp

Quoting Aloha73G (Reply 18):
They are required by law to fly the route until a replacement carrier could be found

Correct

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 20):
Remember that this guy used to be an airline executive. It's pretty apparent that the "replacement" that he wants is something that he will have or have had an association with.

Correct

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 20):
Also, to demand "reparations" for his "people" from an Airline?! It seems like he's mentally-unbalanced.

That was my sentiment too, but I'm somewhat biased. I've been dealing with this man and his wife on a personal basis for several years now.

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 22):
It has been my experience that Samoans are extremly proud of being associated with America.

Absolutely correct

Quoting DL021 (Reply 23):
I wonder if you feel the same way about the people who call our president an idiot. They must think we're a pack of idiots, too, using your reasoning.

I will not even touch this one!

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
Realistically, of course, the truth is that the USA is as - or more - protectionist and anti-competitive as the European Union.

Kettle black. Qantas/Singapore to LAX, I rest my case.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
If they could fly Pago Pago to Honolulu they would crucify Hawaiian.

No, they wouldn't. Aloha came into this market with their 737's and lowered fares for a time and couldn't make a go of it. The Samoan people are large. They were not happy flying in a 3-3 seat one aisle 737, I have heard this time after time from countless people there.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
And anyone who has been to American Samoa knows that its beauty completely outclasses Hawaii.

Of all of your statements, this one has got to be the most absurd, and many of your statements are off base, and yes, absurd!

Quoting Mariner (Reply 33):
Just because the Samoan people have US citizenship does not mean that all is well in the Samoas. Perhaps the first question to ask is why so many of them leave.



Quoting Kanebear (Reply 34):
most Samoans I know leave for greater opportunity.

Agreed.

Quoting Alohajock (Reply 36):
"Mahalo"! (Thank You) to HALFA for keeping all of us well informed on the "War of Words in the Pacific",

You are very welcome! I will continue to keep everyone up to date with the latest news on this controversy.

Aloha,
HALFA
HA J Class Lie flats, coming soon to a plane near you........
 
777fan
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:10 pm

I'm still waiting for the Gov to present his case regarding HA's alleged discrimination against his citizens...sounds like pandering at its finest.

No doubt he's under the impression that competition would help lower fares but, from what I read in the article, he continues to assert that since his territory has its own customs authority, he then has the authority to do as he pleases. This contradicts his argument against HA's high fares to PPG because they are then in fact "international". At any rate, if he's adamant about having the authority to terminate air service, he ought to give serious consideration to what would happen should the DOT actually decide to terminate funding to PPG.

I'm of the belief that if this were really an issue of "discrimination", he'd have already approached HA about the matter, instead of continually ignoring their efforts to do so.

Bottom line: the PPG-anywhere in the US market, like all others, is driven by demand. If there were a demand to fly from the US Mainland to PPG, a route would have already been established. As it stands, there isn't, nor is there apparently much of a demand between HNL and PPG. Cabotage exemptions are not going to happen since it would undermine the very existence of the laws that other US territories seem to have little or no problem adhering to.

Perhaps the Gov ought to focus on developing some sort of eco-friendly tourism industry? That might attract more Americans, and give another US carrier (CO or AQ again?) a reason to fly there.

777fan
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nzrich
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:19 pm

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 35):
Can't remember who said it earlier regarding how many American Samoans leave to work on the mainland and what that says, but since that person had a New Zealand flag on his profile, Iim surprised he didn't realize the same goes for the (beautiful as well) Cook Islands. There are more Cook Islanders liviing in NZ than in the Cooks themselves.

This is very true but there is a major difference ..The Cook Islands is its country, but they have the right to live in NZ unlike American Samoa which is not a country in its own right ..NZ also look after them in certain ways ie defence but only with consultation with the cooks...

But in the end whats most important is how the citizens of American Samoa feel about the issues as they are the ones that have to live where they are..
"Pride of the pacific"
 
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:51 am

Quoting Nzrich (Reply 42):
This is very true but there is a major difference ..The Cook Islands is its country, but they have the right to live in NZ unlike American Samoa which is not a country in its own right ..NZ also look after them in certain ways ie defence but only with consultation with the cooks...

But in the end whats most important is how the citizens of American Samoa feel about the issues as they are the ones that have to live where they are..

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by the above, but Samoans have the right to reside and work in the United States without restrictions and apply for citizenship under the same rules as other resident aliens --- which means they can obtain U.S. citizenship in about 5 years without problems. --- Plus when you add all the Samoans born in the U.S. you can see that a very large percentage of Samoans are full fledge U.S citizens. How do the Samoans feel about their status in America?.... Tell you what the next time they hold a "Samoa Day" in a park in San Francisco maybe you should go there and count the American Flags you see flying --- It kind of looks like the Fourth of July in Small Town USA.
 
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Mon Aug 14, 2006 3:57 am

Quoting Aeri28 (Reply 35):
Can't remember who said it earlier regarding how many American Samoans leave to work on the mainland and what that says, but since that person had a New Zealand flag on his profile, Iim surprised he didn't realize the same goes for the (beautiful as well) Cook Islands.

I guess it was me, but why do you assume I didn't realize that?

We were talking about Samoa - we could throw in Niue and the Tokelaus, as well, I guess, and a few others - but it doesn't seem relevant to what the Govenor of Aermican Samoa is doing with Hawaiian Airlines.

????

cheers

mariner
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:53 am

From Mondays Paper:

PAGOPAGO (Pacnews) — A defiant American Samoa Gov. Togiola Tulafono says the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t control his borders, according to media reports.
Tulafono said he has the power to exclude Hawaiian Airlines from flying to the U.S. territory despite threats to cut federal funding.
The governor said he doesn’t dispute the FAA’s authority to regulate airlines.
But Tulafono said the federal agency can’t keep him from exercising the territory’s authority to control customs and border crossings.
He has complained for months that Hawaiian, the only airline serving the Honolulu-Pago Pago route, charges too much and poorly serves passengers flying to and from the territory.
 
HAL
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:55 pm

HALFA has done a great job at bringing this subject to everyone's attention. I'd like to add my perspective as a Hawaiian pilot to the mix.

Did you know that except for one additional weekly flight for a couple months during the summer, Hawaiian only flies to PPG twice a week? Because of this HA has huge expenses relative to the number of flights they make. On every single flight they have to carry a several-thousand pound 'fly-away-kit' which includes spare parts in case something breaks while on the way to Samoa. There is also a mechanic carried on each flight to do the required overwater inspections before they depart Samoa.

Because of the lack of proper facilities, all the food is brought from Hawaii for the return leg - another heavyweight container with all the water, soda, food, trays, bags, etc that will be used coming back to Honolulu. Becaue of these items there is a substantial fuel penalty on each flight outbound, as well as less cargo that can be carried.

We still have to pay for ticket counter space, computers, ticket stock, bag tags, and employees like customer service agents in Samoa that only get used two evenings a week. Those costs can not be spread out between a larger number of flights as is done at busier stations.

The $1million+ damage to the aircraft that HALFA described above has to be paid off somehow, and HA's management decided that since it was the government of Samoa that did such a poor job repairing the runway, that it would be the Samoa flights that would pick up the tab. And you should have heard the screaming from the Samoan government that arose when we suspended our flights for a few days while the runway was repaired after the second incident.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
It is ironic that many Americans on this board decry him as a dictator (actually, he's democratically elected) and point out that American Samoa is the USA, and that therefore Pago Pago - HNL is a domestic flight, and the FAA rules.

Believe me, Hawaiian would love it if it were a domestic route. But we do not make that determination. The FAA and the DOT does. So we have to abide by their rules and therefore pass on the extra costs of it being an international route. If that changes, so much the better.

Which brings us to this:

Quoting Koruman (Reply 10):
And why not, they are charging the highest seat/mile fares in the entire US airline market on this route! Shame on them.

Not by a long shot!

I chose a random day in September (one that HA flies to PPG), Thursday September 14th, and used Expedia to find the prices of some other routes. I chose one-way pricing which is admittedly more expensive, but every flight was equally affected by that, not just the HNL-PPG route. I used the lowest available nonstop fare on each of these routes and divided it by the distance listed on the Expedia site.

To start, Hawaiian HNL-PPG: $569 = 21.7 cents/mile

As a comparison, another international route by Hawaiian
HNL-PPT (Tahiti) $568 = 20.7 cents/mile. Since there is more service available (food, maintenance, etc) the cost per flight is a little less.

Of course, travel between an airline's hubs is usually cheapest:
United Airlines, DEN-ORD: $94 = 10.4 cents/mile

Non-hub; USAirways SEA-PHL: $258 = 10.9 cents/mile

Regional; Alaska GEG (Spokane)-SEA: $64 = 28.7 cents/mile. Getting higher!

And the winner that I found in the US Airline market (where Koruman suggested Hawaiian was the worst) was this;
America West Express (Mesa Airlines) PHX-TUS (Tucson AZ): $260 = a whopping $2.36/mile!! That is ten times more per seat/mile than Hawaiian charges to PPG. It is cheaper to fly the long way around through Denver on United, but it is direct nonstop seat-mile cost we are discussing here.

If you want to look further (and I did) how about this; international routes flown by other carriers:

LAX-NRT: There's a lot of competetion, but the lowest nonstop was with All Nippon (ANA): $1145 = 21.0 cents/mile. Almost exactly what Hawaiian charges to PPG!

Or, for an international airline that has the only nonstop flight on a route;
Air France SFO-CDG: $2113 = 37.9 cents/mile!! Ouch.

It costs Hawaiian more to fly the route to Samoa. The fares are higher than some other equal distance flights, but not extravagantly so, because of those costs.

Other airlines have tried the route, but decided the cost was not worth it. Hawaiian is not in the business of doing charity flights. They are a business and will charge what it costs to operate the flight. The discussion of cost and fares can continue, but I will leave it here with this final thought. I have never flown with a more kind and professional group of flight attendants than those at Hawaiian. There is absolutely no way that they have treated the people of Samoa with anything other than kindness and courtesy. To say otherwise makes it clear that the governor of Samoa has some other plan waiting in the wings that he may personally profit from if he gets his way and Hawaiian leaves.

The only thing I am personally worried about is what the governor may do to try and enforce his illegal ban (if it comes to that). Would he try and impound the plane in Samoa? Would he try to jail the flight crew? Or worse yet, would he do something really stupid like parking a car on the runway while we're on approach? Those are the thoughts that keep us up at night.

HAL

[Edited 2006-08-14 10:01:31]
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
nzrich
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:18 pm

Quoting SJCRRPAX (Reply 43):
I'm not sure exactly what you meant by the above, but Samoans have the right to reside and work in the United States without restrictions and apply for citizenship under the same rules as other resident aliens --- which means they can obtain U.S. citizenship in about 5 years without problems. --- Plus when you add all the Samoans born in the U.S. you can see that a very large percentage of Samoans are full fledge U.S citizens. How do the Samoans feel about their status in America?.... Tell you what the next time they hold a "Samoa Day" in a park in San Francisco maybe you should go there and count the American Flags you see flying --- It kind of looks like the Fourth of July in Small Town USA.

What i said was the difference between the cook islands and american samoa
is that .The cooks are a independant country run by the cook islanders.. American Samoa is part of USA and doesnt enjoy some of the benefits and disadvantages of being a soverign nation on their own
"Pride of the pacific"
 
travelin man
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Tue Aug 15, 2006 1:19 am

Quoting Nzrich (Reply 47):
American Samoa is part of USA and doesnt enjoy some of the benefits and disadvantages of being a soverign nation on their own

Exactly. That is why it is laughable that the governor of a US territory is trying to bar a US airline from its shores. They are not an independent country. They don't get to do that.
 
777fan
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RE: Samoan Governor Responds To FAA Warnings

Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:37 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 46):
HALFA

Outstanding post that warrants a place on my RU list.

Any HA employees scheduled to fly the HNL-OGG leg on August 26th (Sat)? I'm flying out for the day to meet up with some family on vacation in Kaanapali. Needless to say, I'll file a TR and would like to snap a pic with some a.net members if at all possible!


777fan
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