Washington Ways: August 2008 Archives
They are not yielding an inch. Or a dollar. The FAA, caught with its pants down in March and April, is standing tough on the record fines it is proposing against two of the nation's largest airlines. The agency said it would fine American Airlines $7.1 million and a day later told Southwest Airlines that it was intent on collecting a $10.2 million penalty. The Southwest penalty stems from the March revelation that the airline let planes fly without doing the required inspections; at the same time it emerged that some FAA inspectors had winked and nodded at the violations - and that whistleblower warnings about this malfeasance were ignored or punished. House Transportation Committee hearings under chairman Oberstar put the frustrated whistleblowers on show.
Speaking of fees...Well, we weren't exactly, but we were on National Public Radio's Morning Edition talking about ancillaries fees and charges. You can listen through this link. Their story ran just as US Airways' newest, charging for sodas, coffee, and water, was hitting the seats and just as JetBlue's $7 pillow-and-blanket set was getting a lot of attention. TIME magazine, the widely read newsweekly, named US Airways the stingiest airline, but we wonder if they've seen its financials: a $567-million deficit.
Left Field gets on the late news, with the Washington Fox News outlet, Channel Five, featuring a shot of our blog from the other day, Bleak Autumn for Flight Schedules (II). Seems that OAG's report of some 60 million seats disappearing this winter caught their eye and they came by. The same channel caught Left Field at