YOU Have the Power to Save Eastern Airlines!
If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I’ve had a bee in my bonnet concerning the demise of Eastern 2.0. A few weeks ago, I wrote an email to Swift Air which bought Eastern last summer. I urged them to find someway to use the Eastern name. I got a prompt response that said the company is looking at options and will let me know sometime later in 2018.
In the interim period, I thought it might be wise to let Swift know that there are a lot of people that want to see Eastern in the skies again and would like them to use the Eastern name in some form. To that end, I put together a petition that I want to give to Swift. My hope is to collect 500 signatures from fans and former employees.
The reason I am engaging in this quixotic quest is that Eastern wasn’t handled well in it’s last days. After Ed Wegel left, the people in charge didn’t know how to run the airline. In a leaked email the leadership of Eastern talked about “next exciting chapter in the Eastern story.” It made it sound like Eastern was just going to have new owners, but that seemed to be crock of you-know-what. The next exciting chapter was basically to shut down. People lost their jobs because of this ineptitude.
I think Eastern deserves another chance. That’s why I wrote a letter to management of Swift Air.
Normal people can have an effect and make the Goliaths of the world to turn around. I think this can happen with writing to Swift.
You can make a difference by signing a petition that we have to send to Swift management. The hoped for goal is to have at least 500 signatures by January 31.
This is important because we need more airlines in the US market. Consolidation over the last 20 or so years have brought the number of airlines down to a handful, which means increased prices for all of us. Beacause there is less competition, there is less need to give you a competitive price. A Denver Post article from 2015 shows what is happening in the marketplace:
“Airlines aren’t going at each other like they used to,” said Mike Boyd, an aviation consultant frequently hired by airports. “They have their turf, and they very rarely go to the mattresses with one another.”
At 40 of the 100 largest U.S. airports, a single airline controls a majority of the market, as measured by the number of seats for sale, up from 34 airports a decade earlier.
At 93 of the top 100, one or two airlines control a majority of the seats, an increase from 78 airports, according to AP’s analysis of data from Diio, an airline-schedule tracking service.
Airline mergers like the US Airways-American merger of a few years back is an example of mergers benefiting the boardroom and not the traveler:
The U.S. airline industry used mergers to hike up ticket prices, a new report from ProPublica found.
The report, published Tuesday, delves into the political dealings behind the 2013 American Airlines and US Airways merger, suggesting that those against the combination of airline companies faced tremendous pressure while trying to block the deal.
Staff attorneys with the Justice Department who had built a case against the merger had documents showing airline executives bragging about how the mergers allowed them to jack up prices for travelers.
“Three successful fare increases — [we were] able to pass along to customers because of consolidation,” Scott Kirby, who would become the president of the new American Airlines, wrote in a 2010 internal company presentation.
As airlines have merged and become bigger, startup airlines have had a poor record. The last successful startup was jetBlue which started in 2000. (Virgin America started in 2007, but it was bought by Alaska Airlines in 2016.) While the record isn’t good, the flying public needs to demand more choice in flying.
So, if you are still reading, I am asking for your help. Hell, I’m begging for your help. If you are a fan of Eastern, if you followed the story of it’s revival and (unfair) demise, if you worked for the new Eastern, please consider signing the petition and passing it along. If you are a frequent flier and want more choice in air travel, please sign the petition. If you want to stand up to corporations when they don’t keep their word, sign the petition. If you don’t want to make baby Jesus cry, sign the petition.
Listen, I know that this might be a longshot, if not outright nuts. Most people would think this is a lost cause and move along. Many have even said Swift will do what it wants. But I believe companies do respond when people cry out and I’m betting that it can happen. We need to hold the parties who sold and bought Eastern hold to their promises. So, please sign your name. You can write a brief message their as well.
Thanks in advance and here’s to hoping a crazy dream can come true.