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  1. #1
    anti-social worker
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    Grendel's Avatar
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    Airlines charge for water/checked bags, ask FLYERS' help to lobby Congress over oil

    Hilarious.
    Airlines ask travelers to lobby about oil prices
    In letter to frequent filers, they ask for help in curbing speculation

    (AP)7:50 p.m. ET, Wed., July. 9, 2008

    ATLANTA - The chief executive officers of a dozen U.S. airlines, beset by record fuel costs that have caused several to cut jobs, reduce capacity and impose higher fees on customers, are now asking for their customers' help to curb the rise of oil prices.

    They have co-signed a letter being sent to frequent fliers of their respective carriers, asking customers to contact Congress about the problem of market speculation, which they believe is driving up the price of oil.

    "This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers," the letter states. A copy was received by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    Lawmakers have cited the problems high fuel prices cause airlines, trucking companies, farmers and consumers in calling for restrictions on speculative trading.

    Northwest Airlines Corp. Chief Executive Douglas Steenland urged lawmakers in June to close loopholes that allow traders to dodge U.S. speculation limits by trading on foreign exchanges or through over-the-counter transactions.

    "Our highest priority is to tackle the overall price of fuel which is now 40 percent of our cost pie," Steenland told lawmakers. "Addressing excessive speculation is the most immediate remedy Congress could deliver."

    The letter from the airlines acknowledges that oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, prompting a need for the country to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation.

    "However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation," the letter says.

    The letter says speculators buy up large amounts of oil and then sell it to each other again and again. The price goes up with each trade and consumers pick up the final tab. Some market experts estimate that current prices reflect as much as $30 to $60 per barrel in unnecessary speculative costs, the letter says.

    It adds that regulations established decades ago by Congress to control excessive market speculation have been weakened or removed over the years.

    "We need your help," the letter to customers says. "Get more information and contact Congress."

    It is signed by the CEOs of Northwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.

    Kevin Healy, senior vice president of marketing and planning for AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings Inc., said in an interview that while airlines often band together to address congestion and other issues, the letter is unique since it is a public appeal.

    "I think it does demonstrate this as an exceptionally important issue, and we feel it's important that Congress act quickly," Healy said.

    He said the issue is not only the impact on jet fuel prices but also on the economy as a whole.

    "It's sort of a double whammy for airlines in that we have the direct expense of operating the aircraft ... and high energy costs creep into every aspect of the economy and will have an impact on overall demand."
    Arguably the worst customer-service industry in the nation has the gall to turn to customers and ask them to make a populist plea to help them out.

    You have to love how government action is so often met with cries about overregulation and demands to "leave it to the market" until the corporations get into trouble.

    They battled a Passenger Bill of Rights?

    Let 'em burn.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by Grendel; 07-11-2008 at 01:07 AM.


    Patriot, n. One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to the interests of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerers. ---Ambrose Bierce

  2. #2
    Rotting Member
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    Searcher's Avatar
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    Yeah well, on top of everything else our congress won't stand up to Bushs wiretap program so you know they won't lift a finger against oil traders.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Join Amnesty International NOW!

    "Those who would give up essential liberty in exchange for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." Benjamin Franklin
    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time no one was left to speak up. --Martin Niemoller

  3. #3
    burn in my light
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    darkoverlord's Avatar
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    congress wont do anything about this.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!


    lit by a fire
    burned by the flame

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