Calling airline CEOs

Here is a small lifeline. I offer it to the Presidentís advisors. They worry about his habit of leading from behind. Too often it seems like walking behind the horse, plop plop fizz fizz. That and the view stinks.

Here is an opportunity for him to lead from the front. It will take virtually no work. (He will probably like that.) It will cost nothing. It will have a huge impact on millions of people over time. And it will show that he truly cares about the little guys and gals. Actually the big ones.

I suggest he call the CEOs of all the major airlines. Along with the CEOs of Airbus and Boeing and other plane makers. Call them to a secret lunch at the White House. And tell them they can only attend if they fly economy on commercial airlines.

At the conference he should feed them airline food. And drinks in cruddy plastic glasses. This will set them to dreaming about how dinner that night will be so much better.

Next he should say something like this: Iíve seen several reports about what you guys are concocting. With seating on your airplanes. And with size of overhead racks. And with legroom.

You plan to shrink the seats, right? And you plan to cut down on the legroom per passenger. Correct? And you plan to reduce the size of carry-ons. And you plan to make lavatories smaller. Am I right?

You plan to make these cuts in order to squeeze more seats and passengers into planes. Because you want to make more profit. Even though you are highly profitable these days.

Let me put this gently. You are not going to do this. End of discussion. You are not going to do this.

You already treat your planes like cattle cars. And your customers like cattle droppings. You are not going to do this.

Yísee, maybe you folks donít read much. Or maybe you donít spend time in public places. If you did you would know that Americans are growing bigger. And bigger.

For every three of your passengers, one is obese. Not fat. Obese. For every ten passengers, seven are fat or obese. This is why I am not going to invite discussion. You dummies have nothing to discuss. You cannot possibly justify making seats and lavatories smaller. Not when your passengers cannot fit in them now. And when they grow larger year by year.

And so you are not going to do this. Not. How can I be so certain? By tonight I can sic one of my all-powerful agencies on you. It can make your lives miserable.

You already hate the governmental red tape and regulations you have to deal with. I will order the agency to regulate everything on your aircraft that has to do with dimensions. Immediately. You will see regulations by the ton.

Your lavatories. Elbowroom and headroom in them. Your lav seats. Your regular seats. The age of them. The thickness of cushions. The materials. To be vacuumed of allergens after every flight. The width, depth and height of them. You will be subject to inspections and audits for every plane every month. When a plane flunks it must be taken out of service for a few days.

You are going to hate these regulations. And they will cost you profits big time. And you deserve to cough up those profits. For treating your passengers like sardines. You should be ashamed.

Now, you have an opportunity to look good in this. By next week you will Ė together Ė announce you have changed your minds. You will keep seats and lavs and legroom the same as now. In fact, you might even improve them.

You can say you have changed your mind because you love your customers. You wish for them to be comfortable. Donít any of you try to say that before cameras. You couldnít keep a straight face.

This lunch is secret. I will take no credit. You can keep all of it for yourselves.

By the way, we have charged you for this cruddy lunch. Check your credit card bill. We donít take cash. Only when it involves legislation.

Now would you pass me one of those teensy five-cent bags of nuts?

From in Morgan.

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