Posted July 15, 2008 by Carl Unger
In a rare display of industry solidarity, CEOs from 12 major U.S. airlines signed an open letter addressed to, well, all of us. In this open letter, airline customers are asked to "pull together to reform the oil markets" that are causing airfares to skyrocket across-the-board. The CEOs who put their John Hancocks on the letter represent AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Continental, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways.
While it lacks the tension and drama of a gathering of the Five Families, this letter is a remarkable and bold move, and illustrates the dire state of the air travel industry. CEOs of fiercely competitive airlines have banded together to basically beg their collective customer base to help restore order and sanity to the oil market. I can't recall ever seeing anything quite like it.
So what are we supposed to do? Call Congress. According to StopOilSpeculationNow.com, any self-respecting citizen or airline passenger should contact his or her Congressional representation and demand the government reform its weak oversight of oil speculation. I'll stop short of saying this sounds like the airline industry placing the burden of responsibility on its customers. Instead, perhaps the airlines have realized the problem of expensive oil isn't going anywhere soon, and understand they need to work together for a solution. Further, they know none of their customers are flying anywhere without them, so they're appealing to us help save the day.
So in the end, you see, we're all one big, loving family anxious about oil and trying to mitigate out-of-control fuel costs. Group hug, everyone!
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