Monday, January 31, 2011

Cover of "James Bond Ultimate Edition - V...5-Oscar winner, composer John Barry, dies at 77

By ROBERT BARR, Associated Press Robert Barr, Associated Press – 2 hrs 59 mins ago

LONDON – Composer John Barry, who won five Oscars for his film work but was best known for his contributions to a dozen James Bond movies, has died. He was 77.

Barry died in New York on Sunday, his family said.

The English-born composer won two Oscars, for the score and the song, for "Born Free" in 1966, and he earned single statuettes for "The Lion in Winter" (1968), "Out of Africa" (1985) and "Dances with Wolves" (1990).

He was also nominated for his scores for "Mary, Queen of Scots" in 1971 and "Chaplin" in 1992.

His association with Agent 007 began controversially with "Dr. No" in 1962, although his contribution was not credited. He wrote music for a dozen Bond films in all.

Monty Norman, who was credited as the composer for "Dr. No," sued The Sunday Times in 2001 for reporting that Barry had been called in to help after Norman's inspiration faltered. Norman won the case, collecting 30,000 pounds ($48,000).

Barry, who was not sued, had testified that he was paid 250 pounds to work on the music but had agreed that Norman would get the credit, which was his contractual right.

Barry subsequently wrote music for "Goldfinger," "From Russia with Love," "Thunderball," "You Only Live Twice," "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," "Diamonds are Forever," "The Man with the Golden Gun," "Moonraker," "Octopussy," "A View to a Kill" and "The Living Daylights."

Born in York, England as John Barry Prendergast, he trained as a pianist and then took up the trumpet. He founded a jazz group, the John Barry Seven, in 1957.

"The James Bond movies came because we were successful in the pop music world, with a couple of big instrumental hits. They thought I knew how to write instrumental hit music," Barry said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1991.

"Rather than talkie-talkie movies, I liked films with excitement and adventure, because they were the ones that had the music," Barry said in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 1999.

"It was nice to have the very commercial Bondian thing ... and then at the same time have these smaller movies which were artistically more interesting to do," he said.

Other films included "Robin and Marian," "Somewhere in Time," "The Cotton Club," "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "Howard the Duck." He was also nominated for Oscars for his scores of "Mary, Queen of Scots" in 1971 and "Chaplin" in 1992.

Barry trained as a pianist, studied counterpoint with York cathedral organist Francis Jackson, and later took up the trumpet. He founded a jazz group, the John Barry Seven, in 1957.

The group teamed with singer Adam Faith, scoring hits with "What Do You Want?" and "Poor Me," and Barry moved into film work when Faith was tapped to star in "Beat Girl" (titled "Living for Kicks" in the United States).

Barry was divorced three times. He is survived by his wife Laurie, his four children and five grandchildren. A private funeral was planned, the family said.
Southern Air, Boeing 747-2B5F(SCD)Former AMR exec named to Southern Air board

Former American Airlines CEO Crandall picked for cargo carrier Southern Air's board

On Monday January 31, 2011, 8:58 am

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) -- Robert L. Crandall, former chairman and chief executive of American Airlines and its parent company AMR Corp., has been named to Southern Air Holdings Inc.' board of directors, the cargo carrier said Monday.

Crandall joined American Airlines in 1973. He became president in 1982, and chairman and CEO in 1985. He left American in 1998.
Crandall is also currently the board chairman of Celestica Inc. and a director of technology provider Aircell.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Carnival SplendorLove 'em or hate 'em? Cruises divide travelers
By A. Pawlowski, CNN

January 28, 2011 9:20 a.m. EST

Cruise lines offer lots of deals at this time of year, but no amount of incentives will lure some people on board.
There are two types of travelers -- those who like cruises, and those who hate them

"It reminded me of a prison," one passenger says of his first and only cruise

Cruising is great, counters a passenger who has been on 29 voyages
Industry remains plagued with misconceptions from its early years, expert says

Editor's note: In "The Upgrade," CNN dives deep into travel trends and issues.

(CNN) -- Lots of travelers and television ads will tell you there's nothing more fun than a vacation at sea, but John Coryat's first cruise was also his last.

In 1995, he paid $3,000 for a seven-day Caribbean voyage -- a trip his travel agent touted as the vacation of a lifetime -- but found his cabin uncomfortably tiny, the food disappointingly substandard and the tight schedules of the ship extremely frustrating.

"It reminded me of a prison. I had a little cell, they herded me out (and said), 'OK, you go play, stand in line and do this, stand in line and do that, now go eat, come back,' " said Coryat, 53, a software engineer who lives in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

Masses of bored passengers meant there were long wait times for every on-board amenity, the nightly entertainment was "tired" and there was little time to explore the destinations, Coryat said. To make things worse, he ended up with food poisoning.

He doesn't plan on taking another cruise.

"I can see how cruises can be fun, and I know a lot of people who have gone on them and enjoyed them, and these are people who like to be told what to do, when to do it; they don't really have a lot of ideas of their own," he said.

John Coryat, meet Justin Sgobbo.

At 30, Sgobbo has been on 29 cruises, sailing to destinations all over the world, including Bermuda and Europe.

He enjoys the food, likes the variety of activities on board and finds cruising much more fun than staying at a "monotonous" all-inclusive resort. His next cruise, to Alaska, is coming up this summer.

"I love ships," said Sgobbo, a teacher in Scarsdale, New York. "I like being on the sea, I like the inclusiveness of the ship -- everything being there and not having to have to pack and unpack in different cities."

Another record year in passenger growth predicted

Call it the great cruise divide. Each year during "Wave Season" -- the time period from January to March when cruise lines offer their best deals -- lots of people will be tempted to book a voyage, while no amount of incentives will convince others to set foot on board.

Cruises tend to be smeared by the 'real' travel community as floating malls.
--Robert Reid, Lonely Planet

As Robert Reid, the U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet, puts it: There are two types of travelers -- those who like cruises, and those who hate them.
"Cruises tend to be smeared by the 'real' travel community as floating malls, Vegas on water, with structured camplike activities, dodgy food and, as writer David Foster Wallace called it, '1,500 professional smiles' from people 'who clearly dislike you,' " Reid wrote in a commentary for last fall.

"But by all indications, people do have fun on cruises, and they are a committed lot."

Not only that, their numbers have been growing over the last few decades.
Disney Dream cruise About 15 million people went on a cruise last year compared with just 500,000 in 1970, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 25 of the major cruise lines serving North America. The group predicts another record year in passenger growth in 2011.

Cruise enthusiasts will say: What's not to love about a vacation at sea that takes you to exotic places and can be as relaxing or active as you want it to be?

But many people might agree with the commentator who posted a colorful YouTube video after a fire on the Carnival Splendor left thousands of passengers without air conditioning, hot showers or refrigeration last fall.

"I know people who love cruises... (but) I just don't get it," Michael Lebron vents in the video called "I hate cruises. I'd rather suck a hospital mop."

Fighting misconceptions

Carolyn Spencer Brown has heard it all as editor-in-chief of, a website that's home to popular message boards where members discuss cruise experiences and issues.

Cruising has really evolved and revolutionized and become much more young.

--Carolyn Spencer Brown,


Travel and Tourism

These days, there is a cruise out there that will suit almost everyone, Brown said, but the industry is still plagued with misconceptions from its early years.

"It was the old adage that people who cruise were either nearly dead or newly wed. So you either went for your honeymoon or you went when you were just not able to get around anymore," Brown said.

"What we've seen in the last 15 years has been that cruising has really evolved and revolutionized and become much more young and spirited and recreationally oriented."
Brown, who has been on so many cruises that she stopped counting at 150, said most people who are leery of cruising would likely change their minds after trying one for the first time on a modern ship.

Many travelers may be intimidated because "you can't just kind of wander into a lobby and check it out, have a drink" and leave -- you have to commit to a trip, Brown said.

Many of the arguments critics use against cruising are clichés, she added.

While traditional cruise lines with strict dining and activity times still exist, many others are much more relaxed and would appeal to travelers such as Coryat who don't want their time on board to be scripted, she said.

You also don't have to be part of a crowd all the time -- introverts can sit in a corner and read a book, Brown said, admitting that's what she prefers to do instead of going to parties or dining with 45 people while on board.

People who complain that there isn't enough time to explore the destinations during their voyage should look at cruises as a good way to sample places and decide where they'd like to go back for a longer trip, Brown said. That's exactly what Sgobbo did after taking a cruise in Europe.

Still, Coryat is unconvinced. "Cruising is not for me," he said, put off by his first experience.

So love it or hate it, cruising is big, but the cruise divide goes on.
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cockpit of the Boeing 737-800, ATA Airlines, a...Southwest To Operate Fleet Of Larger 737s
Jan 21, 2011
By Andrew Compart

Southwest Airlines foresees ending up with 50 to 100 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of 20 of the model in 2012, the low-cost carrier says.
It previously confirmed plans to convert at least 20 of its 737-700 orders to the larger aircraft but had not provided the timetable for those 20 or talked about how many it might get in total (Aviation Daily, Dec. 16).

As part of its fourth-quarter earnings release Jan. 20, however, it disclosed it will take 20 in 2012 in a one-to-one replacement for 20 of the 23 Boeing 737-700s it was scheduled to receive that year.

Southwest CFO Laura Wright said the airline is “currently evaluating” how many more orders to convert for 2013 and beyond. Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly said 20 airplanes are not enough for the subfleet, adding that the final number “could easily be over 50” and “might approach 100.”

Southwest could use more than 50 of the larger aircraft in the domestic route system “as it exists today,” Kelly added. It also sees opportunities in markets such as Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.

“The more of those we can develop over time, that would logically lead to adding more -800s,” he said.

Under its new Boeing delivery schedule, the airline will take 19 737-700s this year, including two previously owned aircraft, which is three more than previously planned. But in 2012, it will take none, taking delivery of the 20 -800s instead.

That’s a one-to-one replacement for 20 of the 23 -700s previously scheduled for delivery in 2012. One of those 23 will be delivered in late 2011 instead; the other two are being pushed back to 2016.

Southwest is scheduled to take delivery of 71 of the -700s from 2013 through 2016, including 19 in 2013. Boeing’s largest U.S. customer currently operates 737-300, -500 and -700 series aircraft with 122 to 137 seats.

Southwest had long resisted aircraft of more than 150 seats partly because federal rules require a fourth flight attendant; its -800s will have 175 seats. But given the carrier's network and markets, Southwest leadership decided the larger aircraft offers enough advantages. Within the continental U.S., Southwest expects to use the -800 for long-haul operations and service into slot-controlled or gate-restricted markets, such as New York LaGuardia, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Boston.

As for the ongoing re-engining debate, Kelly said, “We are interested in getting a more efficient airplane. Boeing has not given us an answer” and has indicated it will not make a decision until mid-year regarding re-engining and the next generation of the 737. “Based on what they tell us then, I think we’ll have to evaluate our options,” he said.

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SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 21:  Southwest Airline...More to Luv?

Many are watching to see whether Southwest can keep its culture intact if its deal to buy AirTran is approved

By JENALIA MORENO Copyright 2011 Houston Chronicle

Jan. 22, 2011, 12:36AM

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways expect to merge later this year. Here are their operations now out of Hobby Airport:

• Daily flights: 127 to 30 cities
• Houston employees: 2,808
•Gates: 17

• Daily flights: Five to Atlanta
• Houston employees: 25
Source: Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways

Less than two months after Southwest Airlines announced it would acquire AirTran Airways, the Southwest pilots union threw a party for their counterparts at an airport hotel in Atlanta, an AirTran hub.

"The whole purpose of that was to welcome them to the family," said Jacob North, a Southwest pilot and spokesman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association. Southwest employees commonly refer to their co-workers as family.

It's part of a signature approach to employee relations and customer service that the airline calls Luv — describing a culture, as well as playing on the name of Southwest's home airport, Dallas Love Field.

LUV is even the airline's ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

Passengers and airline employees will be watching to see whether Southwest's new associates feel the Luv if regulators approve the AirTran deal later this year.

In September, the two airlines surprised many in the industry by announcing they would combine, bringing AirTran's more than 8,000 employees into Southwest's team of nearly 35,000.

Southwest's famed corporate culture is studied in business schools and is evident among executives as well as rank-and-file employees at airports and on planes. Its headquarters has basketball and volleyball courts and hallways lined with photos illustrating the airline's 40-year history.
What most companies - including AirTran - call "human resources" is the "People Department" at Southwest.

Two decades ago, Southwest formed a culture committee to enrich its spirit.

"Southwest has a very special brand based on a unique culture that fosters innovation, fun at the workplace," said Martin Roll, brand strategist with Martin Roll Co. "AirTran is not necessarily known to share these aspects of corporate culture and can be characterized as a more traditional airline culture."

Fun at Halloween

Many Southwest employees don costumes on Halloween. Last October, executives dressed up as characters from the Toy Story movies - CEO Gary Kelly was Woody the cowboy and Mike Van de Ven, executive vice president and chief operating officer, wore a Buzz Lightyear costume.

And every February, Kelly delivers a state of the company address at six locations, including SeaWorld in Orlando and San Diego, where employees can play after the speeches.

"If we're treating employees right, they're going to be keeping the customers happy. They will keep coming back. That will make shareholders happy," said Ginger Hardage, Southwest's senior vice president of culture and communications. She dressed up as Barbie last Halloween.

Southwest plans an orientation for AirTran employees after the merger, and Hardage said the merged airline will try to take the best of both company cultures.
'People are excited'

AirTran employees say they have felt welcomed by Southwest workers since the acquisition was announced.

"There's a sense of kumbaya," said Travis Bruce, an AirTran flight attendant and vice president of the group's union. "People are excited. Let's get this done."

At Palm Beach International Airport, Southwest workers made a cake decorated with the tails of Southwest and AirTran jets and delivered it to AirTran employees, said AirTran spokesman Christopher White.

"There is a palpable excitement at AirTran to join the Southwest family," White said.

AirTran employees will get at least one benefit from the acquisition because Southwest workers, who are all unionized, receive higher pay than their AirTran counterparts.

"They're probably all going to get pay raises. What's there not to like?" said Betsy Snyder, director of corporate and government ratings at Standard & Poor's.

Low-cost similarities

Both companies are low-cost carriers, which might make the merger of employee cultures smoother than in a merger between low-cost and legacy airlines, those that existed long before deregulation of the industry more than three decades ago, Snyder said.

"It's not a situation where this is my job, I'll only do this. The job description is not as limited as you have at some of the legacy airlines," she said.

She points to thesomewhat rocky merger of US Airways and America West in 2005.

Flight attendants and pilots at the merged company have yet to combine work forces and still operate under their old contracts. Part of the problem was that US Airways was a legacy carrier while America West was a low-cost carrier, she said.

Bruce, the AirTran flight attendant, prefers the employee model at low-cost airlines.

"We're cut from a different cloth than the legacy airlines," he said. "We're used to rolling up our sleeves to make it work."

Humor and more

And passengers hope employees can help make the merger work.

During a recent flight to Las Vegas, Houstonian Cindy Clifford laughed when a Southwest employee referred to the city as "Lost Wages." Upon her return, her checked bag arrived at Hobby a few hours later than she did and an apologetic Southwest worker offered Clifford a $50 travel voucher if she would return to the Houston airport later that night to pick up her suitcase.

The owner of the Clifford Group public relations firm flies Southwest three times a month and likes the employees' sense of humor and their eagerness to fix things when they go wrong.

AirTran employees may not put on the comedy show characteristic of Southwest cabin crews but are still friendly and helpful, said Barbara Agnich, who got a taste of their attitudes during the recent snowstorm in Atlanta. She ended up spending more than 24 hours at the Atlanta airport awaiting a flight to Houston, and AirTran employees impressed her as they remained calm with irate passengers when no airline's planes could depart because of the snowstorm.

"The representatives were really, really nice and helpful," said Agnich, who visited relatives in Houston recently.

When her flight finally took off for Houston, the flight attendants doled out plenty of snacks to the hungry and appreciative passengers, she said.
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Vancouver International Airport (YVR/CYVR), Ri...Alaska Air Orders Extended-Range Boeing 737s as Demand, Capacity Increase

By Mary Jane Credeur - Jan 25, 2011 2:47 PM MT

Alaska Air Group Inc. ordered 15 Boeing 737 jets amid plans to boost capacity because of higher travel demand, and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ayer may assign some of them to popular seasonal flights to Alaska and Mexico.
Alaska and other U.S. carriers are increasing fares and adding back capacity on routes with the greatest gains. Most of the jets that Alaska ordered are 737-900ER narrow-body planes that can carry up to 27 more passengers and fly longer distances than other 737s. The carrier projected a capacity increase of 8 percent to 9 percent this year.
“There are a lot of places we could put that airplane in our network, especially as our load factors have increased over the years,” Ayer said in a telephone interview. “We have some seasonal differences, strong summer traffic to Alaska and strong winter traffic to Mexico. The airplanes will probably be shifted around the system as we see opportunities.”

Alaska now has about 100 flights to Hawaii from the western U.S. each week, accounting for about 15 percent of its network, Chief Financial Officer Brandon Pedersen said.

The 737-900ER twin-engine jets can carry as many as 215 passengers and fly between most cities in the U.S. and parts of Latin America. The new planes, which include some 737-800s, will be delivered starting next year.
The average price of a 737-900ER is $85.8 million, according to Boeing’s website. Airlines typically negotiate discounts from listed prices.

Alaska disclosed the order in its report on fourth-quarter earnings, which topped analysts’ estimates. Profit excluding a fuel-hedge gain was $47.4 million, or $1.28 a share, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected $1.02, the average of 14 estimates.

Earnings Top Estimates

Revenue jumped 13 percent to $958.5 million, topping analysts’ projections of $939.6 million.

The carrier said a $17.4 million fuel-hedge gain raised net income to $64.8 million, or $1.75 a share. That’s more than double profit of $24.1 million, or 67 cents, a year earlier.

The carrier also said its Horizon Air regional unit, which is switching to an all-Q400 turboprop fleet made by Bombardier Inc., will drop its stylized sun logo and repaint its planes with Alaska’s Eskimo brand.

Alaska made the change because it’s “more efficient to be promoting one brand rather than two,” Ayer said. Alaska and Horizon will continue to hold separate operating certificates and there are no plans to fully combine them into a single airline, he said.

Alaska rose 37 cents to $61.13 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have increased 67 percent in the past 12 months.

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Most common symbol for the merger.Legal filings mark new battle over unionizing Delta workers

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Delta Air Lines and labor unions seeking to organize the carrier's workers have shifted their clash from on-the-ground campaigns to voluminous legal filings, but the accusations are just as harsh.

Unions for flight attendants and ground workers failed to win enough votes to represent Delta employees last year, and the National Mediation Board is weighing the unions' appeals for re-votes on grounds that the company illegally interfered in the elections.

Both sides have now laid out their initial claims in legal filings, and each accuses the other of inappropriate behavior during the campaigns.

According to Delta's latest filings this week, in response to charges filed by the International Association of Machinists, the Machinists union's rhetoric during the campaigns included calling Delta's executives "bent nosed crooks," "charlatans" and "greedy, deceitful, money grubbing liars."

The company also said Machinists union directing general chair Stephen Gordon in the past testified before the Minnesota Legislature that Delta had a "plantation style of management."

"A cornerstone of IAM's campaign was to attack Delta management, attempting to pit employees against their leaders, and to sow seeds of distrust," according to the filings by Delta's general attorney Andrea Bowman and attorneys for Delta at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.
The Machinists union represented thousands of ground workers from Delta's merger partner Northwest Airlines. Delta, which is mostly non-union, in 2008 acquired Northwest, which is mostly unionized, and the elections last year were to settle representation matters after the merger.

The union said in a filing last December that Delta held meetings to influence employees on union voting, that supervisors and managers told employees they could lose their benefits or their jobs if they voted for the union and that Delta granted pay increases to non-union employees but not to their unionized counterparts.

Delta defended its methods and its right to communicate its views, and said in its filing that "it was important and necessary to educate employees that the rules had changed." Delta waged a get-out-the-vote campaign after a change in election rules last year.

In the past, non-votes were essentially counted as votes against the union. Under the new rules, the union must win support from a majority of those who cast votes, rather than from a majority of all workers eligible to vote.

Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University, said that because the union elections covered so many workers -- some 50,000 between Delta's flight attendants, customer service agents, reservations agents, baggage handlers and others -- that "it's certainly not the type of thing where Delta could sit back and say, ‘Whatever happens, happens.'"

"It's so important to Delta, but it's also so important to the labor movement to have a victory," Chaison said. "I think everybody probably went a little extra overboard on this one."
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JetBlue Airways logo Category:Airline logosRising Costs Hit JetBlue

Zacks Equity Research, On Friday January 28, 2011, 6:30 pm EST

JetBlue Airways Corporation (NasdaqGS: JBLU - News), a top discount airline, reported its fourth quarter earnings of 3 cents per share missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents and falling below the year-ago quarter’s earnings by a penny.

Lower-than-expected earnings can be credited to increasing operating costs for the airlines that substantially offset better air traffic and higher airfares. For full-year 2010, earnings shot up 47.6% to 31 cents per share.

Despite severe weather conditions in the Northeast, operating revenues increased 13.1% year over year to $940 million in the reported quarter. Operating revenues of the quarter is estimated to have lost approximately $30 million due to severe snowfall. Operating revenues for 2010 grew 14.8% year over year $3,779 million.

In the fourth quarter, revenue passenger miles (RPM) climbed 10.1% year over year to $7.0 billion owing to capacity measured in available seat miles (ASM) that increased 6.8% year over year. For fiscal 2010, revenue passenger miles rose 9% to $28.3 billion with a 6.7% increase in ASM.

In the fourth quarter, yield per passenger mile grew 4.1% from the year-ago quarter. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) improved 7.4% and 5.9%, respectively.

Total operating expenses in the fourth quarter increased 14.9% year over year to $883 million primarily due to steep rises in fuel cost, maintenance cost of the airlines and labor and promotional expenses. JetBlue’s operating unit cost or cost per available seat mile (CASM) upped 7.6% year over year.

Excluding fuel, CASM rose 3.6% from the year-ago quarter. Total operating expenses for 2010 climbed 14.6% to $3,446 million.
Operating income in the reported quarter was $57million compared with $65 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin improved 150 bps year over year to 6.2%. For fiscal 2010, operating income grew 17.4% and operating margin improved a modest 20 bps to 8.8%.

JetBlue ended the fourth quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $465 million compared to $896 million in the year-ago period.


For the first quarter of 2011, the company expects CASM to increase 11% to 13% over the year-ago quarter. CASM (excluding fuel) and ASM are estimated to increase in bands of 3% to 5% and 1% to 3%, respectively.

For fiscal 2011, CASM is expected to increase 8% to 10% over 2010. Excluding fuel, CASM is projected to range from -1% to +2%, while ASM is expected to be around 7% to 9%.

JetBlue expects an average fuel price per gallon of $2.84 in the first quarter of 2011 and $2.89 for the full year.

Our Analysis

We believe JetBlue will continue to benefit from new infrastructural developments, improved pricing, higher traffic, and additional ancillary revenue opportunities through commercial partnerships with company like AMR Corporation (NYSE: AMR - News), a subsidiary of American Airlines.

JetBlue has maintained healthy liquidity positions in the U.S. airline industry and is focused on strategic investments in developing infrastructure and network.

Additionally, the company’s growing presence in the Caribbean and Latin America, leading position in the Boston market, and unique position as the largest domestic carrier at John F. Kennedy International Airport auger well for future growth and top-line improvement.

However, fuel price volatility, higher dependence on the New York metropolitan market, competitive pressures and automated technology keeps us on the sidelines. Further, the company does not pay any dividend to its shareholders.

We are currently maintaining our long-term Neutral rating on JetBlue. For the short term (1–3 months), the company has a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell).
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

ABC Television Orders Pan Am, Edgar Allan Poe Pilots

Jan 25, 2011 06:54 PM ET
by Kate Stanhope

Pan Am ABC greenlit four pilots Tuesday, including one following Pan Am pilots in the '60s and another re-imagining writer Edgar Allen Poe as a detective.

Pan Am is described as a prime time soap chronicling the adventures of stewardesses and pilots during the Jet Age of the late '50s and early '60s. Jack Orman (ER) wrote the pilot and will executive produce with Nancy Hult Ganis and Tommy Schlamme (The West Wing). Schlamme will direct the pilot.
Cover of "Flying Across America: The Airl...The Last Days of the Stewardess
History of the Stewardess

Our 500th Post On Our Site!

Travel and Leisure takes a look at the history of those charming, capable, and legendarily alluring flying companions once known as stewardesses.

From February 2011
By Aimee Lee Ball

An anonymous flight attendant recently posted an open letter (read: bitch slap) “to the flying public” on the Internet: “We’re sorry we have no pillows. We’re sorry we’re out of blankets. We’re sorry the airplane is too cold. We’re sorry the airplane is too hot. We’re sorry the overhead bins are full.... We’re sorry that’s not the seat you wanted. We’re sorry there’s a restless toddler/overweight/offensive-smelling passenger seated next to you.... We’re sorry that guy makes you uncomfortable because he ‘looks like a terrorist….’ ” This sorry state of affairs ends with an admonition: “The glory days of pillows, blankets, magazines, and a hot meal for everyone are long gone. Our job is to get you from point A to point B safely and at the cheapest possible cost to you and the company.”

We shall now observe a moment of silence for the golden age of travel, those madcap, Mad Men days when airplanes had piano bars and carved-at-your-seat chateaubriand, when the cabin crew was dressed by Emilio Pucci and the passengers dressed up too, when men were men and flight attendants were stewardesses. A recruiting ad from that time seems quaintly antediluvian: “To most passengers, their stewardess is National Airlines. So we are looking for young ladies who have a flair for making people happy, young ladies with just the right blend of friendliness, competence and poise.” Quite a departure from Steven Slater, the irate JetBlue attendant who famously announced “I’m done” and fled down his plane’s emergency chute last year, or the Slater manqué I encountered on a flight I took shortly after having rotator cuff surgery: I asked him to help put my carry-on in the overhead compartment and was told, “That’s not part of my job.”

The changing dynamic of airline service seems to parallel the shifting role of airline personnel, whatever they’re called. In the earliest days of commercial flight, there were teenage “cabin boys,” and the first female stewardesses had to be registered nurses. (Such know-how would have been most welcome several years ago when, en route to Rome, I cleverly gave myself food poisoning from a homemade doggie bag. It’s bad, very bad, when you hear “Is there a doctor on board?” over the loudspeaker and realize it’s for you.) Dressed in hospital whites or military-style uniforms, a “sky girl” of the 1930’s not only served meals and soothed nerves but also sometimes helped refuel the plane or bolt the seats to the floor, according to the 2009 book Flying Across America: The Airline Passenger Experience by Daniel L. Rust.

When World War II mobilized nurses, the airlines expanded their hiring parameters, but the requirements were draconian: Barbie-doll height and weight standards, girdles and heels worn at all times, and mandatory retirement by the decrepit age of…32.

Shedding their white gloves and raising their hemlines, stewardesses imparted a mixed message of flirtation and personal indenture. Advertising for National Airlines had Debbie/Cheryl/Karen cooing “Fly Me” (or, even less ambiguously, “I’m going to fly you like you’ve never been flown before”), and Continental claimed “We Really Move Our Tails for You.” Braniff coyly asked “Does your wife know you’re flying with us?” and Pacific Southwest Airlines stressed the advantage of an aisle seat, the better to see its miniskirted workforce. Male passengers were assumed to be overgrown frat boys: Eastern Airlines actually provided them with little black books to collect stewardesses’ phone numbers.

From a feminist perspective, it was progress when flight attendants won the right to gain a few pounds, to let their hair go gray, to be pregnant, or to have a Y chromosome: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 insisted that men could do the job too, thus making a little full circle back to those early cabin boys. Fishnet stockings and hot pants were replaced by androgynous pantsuits. But as the dress code changed, so did the up-in-the-air experience. Air travel became democratic and accessible. The 800 million of us who pass through U.S. airports every year now comprise a remote and motley crew. We book our flights online, check in at kiosks, board in T-shirts and flip-flops, and withdraw under headsets and earbuds.

“We have no connection with passengers any more,” a flight attendant for a major American airline confided to me, sotto voce. “Everybody has an iPod or an e-book. They don’t want any conversation beyond, ‘Would you like vinaigrette or creamy dressing?’ And that’s in business class, where we still serve meals. People don’t think about the face of a flight attendant. They want a nonstop flight for the cheapest price.” We trust that these faceless, nameless people asking us to turn off our cell phones or raise our seatbacks will know what to do in an emergency (10 percent of JetBlue’s cabin crew has been recruited from police and fire departments) but their mandate is no longer the care and feeding of passengers, nor conveying the personality of the airline.

And yet…. There’s a slightly schizophrenic message from the industry these days, as if it’s taking the temperature of public nostalgia for the era of “coffee, tea, or me,” at the same time that technology is replacing the “me” factor. Continental is experimenting with subway-style “self-boarding” that bypasses an agent at the gate. The most overt sign that airlines no longer view flight attendants as personal service providers is Virgin America’s touch screen for ordering food on board; the intimate exchange with the person who brings your meal down the aisle approximates the bond with a delivery guy who brings kung pao chicken to your house. No tipping.

On the completely opposite hand, Virgin Atlantic has a new commercial featuring stunning young women in lipstick-red uniforms and spike heels pointing out the exit rows with vampy choreography and ripping open their bodices to serve ice cream. A commercial for the Russian airline Avianova shows a bevy of young women who strip down from skimpy uniforms into string bikinis to give the plane an orgiastic sponge bath. U.S. carriers seem more puritanical—or more respectful, depending on your point of view—but Southwest Airlines recently plastered an image of the cover girl for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, full length, on the Boeing 737 it flies from New York City to Las Vegas.

So what’s it to be? Androids handing out peanuts, with a hologram showing how to inflate a life vest? Or stewardesses in stilettos and Spanx? Perhaps a return to teenage boys, recruited out of the Scouts? “The way people now view air travel, it’s public transportation,” said Patricia A. Friend, former president of the Association of Flight Attendants, who started flying with United in 1966. “When my friends complain about no food on board or paying to check a bag, I tell them: Talk to me when you stop going searching for the cheapest ticket on the Internet. As long as we show up based on the price of the seat, we have settled for a particular level of service.”

Until the industry decides on a paradigm for the 21st century, better pack a sandwich and fasten your seatbelt. It could be a bumpy ride.

Time Line: The Glamorous Lives of Stewardesses

1937: Women’s Home Companion describes a stewardess as an amalgam of “nurse, ticket-puncher, baggage-master, guide (the Grand Canyon and Boulder Dam must be pointed out to all passengers), waitress, and little mother of all the world.”

1940’s: Training takes place at facilities fittingly called “charm farms,” which churn out clones with identical collar-length haircuts and teeth ground into even smiles.

1956: More than 300 “girls” compete to be Miss Skyway, marking the 25th anniversary of the stewardess. The surprised winner, Muffett Webb of Braniff, says that her job is good training to be a wife.

1965: The Braniff uniforms designed by Pucci include “space bubble” headgear and the “airstrip,” which calls for the stewardess to remove layers of clothing during a flight.

1967: The alleged memoirs of two “uninhibited” (but fictitious) stewardesses, Coffee, Tea or Me? launches three sequels, a TV movie, and the fantasies of thousands of men.

1972: Stewardesses for Pacific Southwest Airlines, still wearing miniskirts and “pettipants,” return to Miami after their plane was hijacked to Cuba. The uniforms engender a protest from the National Organization for Women.

1980’s: After years of lawsuits, flight attendants now have the right to gain a few pounds, let their hair go gray, get pregnant, be men, and wear polyester uniforms.

2006: Delta introduces uniforms designed by Richard Tyler—and, a few years later, a sexy safety video featuring a finger-wagging flight attendant, nicknamed Deltalina for her resemblance to the pillow-lipped actress.

Current: Chinese airlines take up the “charm school” approach to hiring. China Southern Airlines even creates a reality show competition to search for new flight attendants. Applicants race against one another lugging heavy suitcases and serving drinks to the judges.

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Image representing New York Times as depicted ...Fight Back When Your Flight Gets Canceled

The New York Times

updated 1/26/2011 12:28:26 PM ET 2011-01-26T17:28:26

As thousands of passengers who were caught up in the latest bout of snowstorms along the East Coast can attest, when weather disrupts the system, travelers are basically on their own. Just getting someone on the phone to confirm a new flight was a major headache for travelers who had been stranded for days in cities up and down the East Coast during the holidays.

Take Adam J. Brill, an analyst at a software company from Jersey City, N.J., and his wife, Elizabeth. When their JetBlue flight home from Fort Myers, Fla., was canceled on Dec. 26, the couple called the airline no fewer than 25 times in an effort to confirm their seats on a new flight. Each time they heard the same recording: JetBlue was experiencing unusually high call volume because of the storm.

Eventually the Brills were rebooked on a return flight four days after their original flight home was scheduled. It too was canceled the day of travel, but not because of the storm, which had stopped. Rather, the plane didn’t make it to the airport because it was stuck in a different city. Unable to afford any more time away from work, the couple rented a car and drove home to Jersey City — a 22-hour trip.

“Ultimately I understand that weather has the power to negatively impact travel plans,” Mr. Brill said. “While this started out as a weather delay, the way my trip ended was entirely preventable.”
Story: Even best-laid travel plans sometimes go awry

While flight delays and cancellations are unavoidable during bad weather, some of the related service issues are not. That’s why it’s important for travelers like the Brills to know what they can — and cannot — expect from the airlines so that they can act quickly when flights go awry. It’s not just enough to know your rights. You need to be persistent and use everything at your disposal, from social media to the fine print in ticket rules. Here are some guidelines.

Tweet for help

Even though problems like bad weather, air traffic delays and mechanical issues are hard to predict and often beyond the airlines’ control, most carriers automatically notify travelers — at least those who have signed up for flight alerts by e-mail, text message or phone call. Those alerts, which many passengers fail to sign up for, combined with Twitter, can put you ahead of the pack.

Increasingly airlines, including JetBlue, Southwest and Delta, are using Twitter to notify passengers of major flight cancellations and assist in rebooking. Last year, Delta created a dedicated Twitter account for customer service issues, @DeltaAssist, with reservation agents online Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Eastern time. Because of the viral nature of Twitter, with Twitterers habitually “re-tweeting” one another’s posts, customers who reach out to the airline via Twitter may get a quicker response than they would by phone or another communications channel as airlines attempt to quell any negative publicity.

For example, Mr. Brill was disconnected on two separate calls, after holding for nearly 20 minutes each time, when trying to find out what happened to his canceled Thursday flight. While waiting to speak with an agent on the third try, he reached out to JetBlue via Twitter and received a response. The Twitter team at JetBlue rebooked the couple on a flight from Southwest Florida International Airport to Kennedy Airport in New York the next day. But because there was no guarantee that the flight would leave, and the couple needed to return to work, they decided to drive instead.

Ultimately, JetBlue reimbursed the Brills $431 in hotel, toll and car rental expenses, which might have had something to do with the 25 Twitter messages Mr. Brill sent out to the airline during the long drive home, and the detailed follow-up e-mail he sent to the company about the ordeal.

Read the fine print

The Department of Transportation doesn’t require airlines to compensate passengers for damages when flights are delayed or canceled, according to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Each carrier spells out how it handles canceled flights in a “contract of carriage,” which can be found on the airline’s Web site. Print this out before you head to the airport, so when issues arise you will have the pertinent pages on hand for reference and even show to an airline employee who may not be familiar with the details.

For example, JetBlue’s customers whose flights are delayed for an hour after departure because of a “controllable irregularity” like a maintenance issue are entitled to a $25 credit good for future travel and $50 for delays from two to five hours. Delta says it offers meal vouchers to passengers delayed for more than four hours after departure time and will put passengers up in a hotel when the delay is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. You may also demand a refund for a canceled flight from any airline — even if it’s because of inclement weather — if you decide not to take the trip.

Europe does better by passengers. European Union airlines flying to or from a member state are required to pay customers up to 600 euros, or about $790 at $1.31 to the euro, depending on the length of the delay and length of the flight, when the problem is the carrier’s fault. Even for weather delays of at least two hours or more, passengers are entitled to hotel rooms and meals. The rules also apply to any flight by any airline departing the European Union, though enforcement outside Europe can be difficult.

Avoid being bumped

The last passengers to check in for a flight are often the first to be bumped when a flight is oversold. So be sure to check in before you head to the airport. Many airlines allow customers to check in online, as much as 24 hours in advance.

If you do get bumped, ask for cash, not a voucher. Passengers who are involuntarily bumped and rebooked on another flight within two hours after their original domestic flight time (or within four hours for international flights) are entitled to $400 in cash, according to the Department of Transportation regulations. If they are not rerouted within that two-hour window, they are eligible for up to $800.

Even stricter rules apply in Europe, where compensation ranges from 125 euros to 600 euros, depending on the length of the flight and the amount of time the passenger would be delayed.

At least one airline, Delta, recently introduced another twist to the bumping game. In November, Delta started taking bids from passengers at check-in willing to give up their seat on oversold flights. The move, the airline stated on its blog,, eliminates the “auction process” at the gate and avoids inconveniencing passengers. But it’s also a way for the airline to pay less for freeing up seats when a flight is oversold.

Report lost bags immediately

If your bags don’t make it off the plane, report the lost luggage to airline personnel before you leave the airport. The Department of Transportation makes this clear in its Fly-Rights guide, adding: “Insist that they create a report and give you a copy, even if they say the bag will be in on the next flight. Get an appropriate phone number for following up (not the Reservations number).”

Most airlines will try to return your bags within 24 hours but make no promises about reimbursing you for your costs. In fact, liability rules favor the airlines, not the passengers. For a trip within the United States, an airline can invoke a ceiling of $3,300 a passenger on the amount of money it must pay if the bag cannot be found, according to the Transportation of Department.

Airlines generally determine the amount of compensation they pay based on the depreciated value of the baggage. But it’s up to you to submit a claim, and waiting too long to do so could invalidate that claim. Many airlines require travelers to file an initial complaint before they leave the airport. If the bag is never found, American, for example, must receive a written claim no later than 30 days after the initial report. For Delta, it’s 21 days. All the more reason to pack light and carry on.

This story, How to Fight Back When Your Flight Is Canceled, originally appeared in the New York Times.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

AMR CorporationAmerican Again Fights the Good Fight

By Ted Reed 01/24/11 - 08:00 AM EST

DALLAS (TheStreet) -- Hardly anyone in the airline industry doubts that American Airlines is fighting a noble battle against against global distribution systems, vast computer systems that book and sell travel accommodations.

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It’s just not a battle than any of American's peers want to fight.

And so, once again, American will go it alone, at least for a while, even if it has a short-term cost to pay, which analysts contend it does. "In the short run, AMR's ongoing battle with GDS middlemen favors its competitors, who are displayed on all GDS and most on-line travel agency systems," wrote CRT Capital Group analyst Mike Derchin, in a recent report.

This is familiar territory, of course, for the only major U.S. carrier never to have declared bankruptcy -- a strategy that has enabled high profits at peers who were able to dramatically reduce costs. American will likely be the only major carrier to lose money in the fourth quarter.

But again, American stands on principal. "This company stands for something, more than just any old company," CEO Gerard Arpey declared in a 2010 interview. "Gradually, it will emerge as a successful company that honored its commitments and its pension obligations and that was guided by principles of doing what's right.

"We take a long-term view," Arpey added. "We presume that we'll still be running the company a long time from now and the shareholders with us now will be with us then, and the shareholders will judge (what) we've done for the company and the other constituents."

Of course, American stands to gain financially from eliminating the middle man in its ticket sales. Cory Garner, director of distribution strategy, said the various GDS systems charge the carrier hundreds of millions of dollars a year for distribution. Travel agents use the systems -- Amadeus, Saber and Travelport -- to book tickets. "We want to cut out the middle man between us and the travel agents," Garner said, in an interview. "We want to distribute in a less expensive way that can also accommodate optional services."

At the same time, Garner noted, "the global distribution systems are outmoded." In many ways, technology has passed them by. Today, customers can find their own low fares on the Internet and American can more easily distribute tickets to travel agencies. "We want to deal directly with travel agents," Garner said. "We want to deal with global distribution systems, but as technology providers rather than gatekeepers."

Even before it shunned bankruptcy, American was charting its own course, leading an airline industry that did not necessarily follow. Of course, American's 1992 battle to alter the fare structure was unsuccessful, and perhaps unwise.

But in 1981, American invented the frequent flier program. Later, it pioneered yield management. In 2002 it decided to charge for the first bag. Initially resisted by the industry, the move has produced billions in industry revenue. For the matter, in the 1960s American teamed with IBM to create Saber, the first GDS, which was later spun off.

In a recent report, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Hunter Keay was among the bulls on American with a buy rating and a $9.50 price target. Keay said American needs to make changes to be profitable, noting "We assume these changes take place because AMR management historically has not shied away from commercial risk, a trait we admire and some investors underrate."

On the Delta earnings call, CEO Richard Anderson was asked what steps Delta has taken to reduce its distribution costs.

Anderson reminded that Delta has terminated contracts with a dozen online travel agencies, has changed how online agencies can bundle its fares with other carriers' fares, and has otherwise sought to control distribution of its tickets. "If you look at what we've done, we've been -- while not as aggressive as American -- we've been pretty aggressive," he said. "You can expect us to continue that trend." Delta said it spends about $300 million a year with global distribution systems.

Nevertheless, when Arpey was asked if American is working with other carriers to solve the problem of excessive distribution costs, he responded: "We do not have a unified front with other airlines, nor would we be permitted to do so.

"We have been thinking about this subject for a long time," Arpey said. "We have no unified front because that's not the way we work."

For American, that is the way it has always been.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte

To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Republic AirlinesRepublic Airlines opens new chapter

By Matt Detrich, The Indianapolis Star
Republic CEO: Bryan Bedford managed the company's assimilation of Frontier and Midwest. The carrier flies as Frontier, and its planes' tails are painted with mascots such as Woody the Wood Duck.

By Roger Yu, USA TODAY

For a recent episode of CBS' Undercover Boss, Bryan Bedford donned a wig, put on a pair of glasses and went to work on some of the least pleasant jobs his employees undertake daily.

The CEO of Republic Airways Holdings, which owns Frontier Airlines and four regional feeder carriers, cleaned planes, emptied human waste from aircraft holding tanks and sweated profusely unloading bags.

Typical of the show's narrative arc — in which a CEO goes undercover as an employee and gains newfound respect and appreciation for his troops — Bedford also found himself stumped by mundane operational challenges and witness to testimonies from employees who are struggling to get by on meager salaries. At the end of the episode, he announces a resolve to improve where he can, urges his direct reports to do the same and wraps it up with emotional huddles seemingly requisite of such reality shows.

The show's implicit promise of a new beginning wasn't entirely coincidental, given Republic Airways' recent emergence from a company overhaul led by Bedford. In mid-2009, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways spent $140 million to buy two struggling commercial airlines — Denver-based Frontier Airlines and Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines— within days of each other and immediately transformed Republic from an obscure but stable operation flying solely under other carriers' banners to a company handling its own brand, flight network and reservation systems.
The struggles of integrating the acquisitions, particularly amid a bad economy, were evident in company results. In the first quarter of 2010, Republic reported its first quarterly loss in a decade. But after months of merging the disparate operations and settling on a brand name — Frontier — for its main airline, Republic is eager to tell the story of its new chapter.

"It was like drinking from a fire hose," Bedford, 49, recalls. "Unfortunately, timing was such that we had to do both at the same time. We were very cautious in 2010 with marketing spending and message. We were really a work in progress. You want to be careful about over-promising."

Getting the word out

One of the first major public relations moves Bedford made after the acquisitions was to appear on Undercover Boss.

The show partly served as a platform to broadcast its new identity and, not insignificantly, Bedford was introduced only as CEO of Frontier Airlines.

While excited to participate, Bedford says he was concerned about timing. The show was taped during peak summer months last year, when it was "doing the worst parts of merger integration," he says. "It was like inviting your boss to your house the day after your move."

For a relatively small company such as Republic, it was a big step. Frontier and Midwest were operating different reservation systems, all the way down to kiosks. Frontier was a low-cost carrier, flying discount seekers in all-economy cabins under its whimsical brand of flying animals. Midwest, albeit smaller than Frontier, was a full-service business carrier with a host of amenities, such as warm cookies and the business class cabin, that engendered a loyal following.

After settling on the Frontier brand, the company consolidated operations at 20 airports where it had duplicative ones, merged three back offices into one, retired Midwest's Boeing 717s it no longer wanted and laid off most Midwest flight attendants. About 425 flight attendants lost their jobs, according to the Association of Flight Attendants. Republic disputes the figure, saying about 150 were laid off due to the merger.
The integration, completed October 2010, "took longer than expected," Bedford says. But it won some praise.

Aviation consultant Michael Boyd, based in Denver, is one who offers it. "Frontier had a very strong service orientation. The Broncos (NFL team) don't have the loyalty in Denver that Frontier has," Boyd says. "The transition has gone well. I don't hear any complaints here."

In forming the new Frontier, the company chose what it believed to be the best from the two airlines, Bedford says.

Frontier's all-economy cabin configuration and in-flight entertainment were kept. Midwest's business-class cabin was taken out. But the new Frontier introduced "stretch seating" — seats in the first four rows that have 36 inches of legroom, 4 inches more than other economy seats. It also retained Midwest's famous cookies and food on board.

Republic continues to shed its 50-seat regional jets in anticipation of greater demand. It's ordering bigger, more fuel-efficient planes, such as 100-seat Embraer 190s. Meanwhile, it plans to expand in cities where it's "outperforming," including its hubs in Denver, Milwaukee and Kansas City, Bedford says.

The results — along with rising demand for air travel amid a recovering economy — are starting to show in financial statements. The July-September period in 2010 was its most profitable quarter ever, prompting several analysts, including Michael Linenberg of Deutsche Bank, to upgrade the company's outlook.

"The Republic story has been one of transition over the past year," Linenberg wrote in November. "Republic has now combined two complementary businesses into one successful operating model."

To drive more sales, Frontier will increase its advertising spending this year and launch a new website in March that will allow customers to book with "fewer clicks," Bedford says.

The company will also modify its frequent-flier program later this year to better award customers who buy more expensive fares. "All fares aren't created equal," he says, adding that rival Southwest's similar upgrade of its program recently is "a step in the right direction."

Right leader in right place

The adroit handling of the acquisitions, and jettisoning small Midwest jets, affirmed Bedford's reputation in the industry as a "visionary" operator, Boyd says. "The biggest threat to Republic is if he leaves," Boyd says. "If I were looking for a new airline CEO, I'd be looking at (him)."

Bedford was recruited to join Republic as CEO in 1999, after he ran another regional airline company, Mesaba Regional Holdings. At the time, Republic was a sleepy operator of fewer than 35 turboprop planes with a single contract to fly regionally for US Airways, recalls Douglas Lambert, a Republic board member and a managing director at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal.

In looking for a CEO who could expand the company, its board wanted a good communicator who could handle the inherently conflict-ridden business of flying planes for other airlines. Bedford impressed the board by "being a straight shooter," Lambert says. "The industry runs on relationships, to a great extent, and obviously, it's a tough industry to form relationships."
Bedford's communication skills were on full display during the Undercover Boss episode.
Seemingly undaunted by the prospect of being on national TV while working with less-than-happy employees, Bedford took orders from a lively "aircraft appearance" coordinator who surprised him with the word that they had only seven minutes to clean a plane. In one scene, he chatted breezily with passengers during a flight as he handed out drinks. He listened attentively as a flight attendant complained of a companywide 10% pay cut implemented last year.

He also spoke frequently of God, praying with and hugging employees who shared their financial and family difficulties with him. "A lot of CEOs are put on ivory towers and are unapproachable. That's not Bryan," Lambert says.

While acknowledging his employees' diversity, Bedford says he's not shy about his Roman Catholic faith or broadcasting its messages publicly in company communications. "We believe that every employee, regardless of personal beliefs or world view, has been created in the image and likeness of God," reads the first line of Republic Airways' vision statement.

In the TV show, he's seen kissing the cross on his necklace and reading the Bible before going to bed. With Bedford a fierce opponent of abortion, the company has intervened to help several employees arrange adoptions.

"Things get controversial when bosses express their faith at the workplace," Bedford says. "We try to live by the commandments. When we talk about faith in the workplace, we're talking about treating people fairly. I think people find it an interesting aspect of who I am. Most CEOs wouldn't be that intimate. It's part of who I am. I don't hide it. I don't beat people over the head with it."

Veda Shook, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, says she finds it difficult to reconcile his Christian faith with some of his cost-cutting moves, including layoffs.

"It all seems very disingenuous, especially when they can't pay their mortgages," she says. "He's got a business model of low labor costs, and he wants to keep it that way."

Bedford says his moves have led to securing jobs for as many workers as possible. "Someone might say, 'You think $12-an-hour is fair compensation?' And I might respond by saying that our No. 1 concern is secure jobs for 11,000 workers. These issues have a faith component — what's fair."

He says he passed up his bonus last year for the sake of fairness. "I don't think we performed at outstanding levels."

Meanwhile, Bedford has come through on some changes he considered during the CBS show.

After spending a day as a "cross-utilization" agent at Oklahoma City — loading bags on the plane at the ramp, hurrying up to the ticket counter to process check-ins and facing customers while still sweating — Bedford put an end to the practice. "Cross-utilized agents are scheduled so they do not have to switch from above-wing duties (e.g. ticket counter) to below-wing (ramp) duties during the same shift," the company says.

Tui Faamausili, the flight attendant who spoke of the pay cut and the need for management to listen more to workers in the episode, has been selected to chair a new committee aiming to "establish a common, unified culture at Republic Airways" and "make suggestions to senior leaders of specific changes," the company says.
Republic hasn't lengthened the time available to clean planes, but is emphasizing "opportunities for passengers to turn in unwanted items to our flight attendants prior to landing," it says.

The 10% pay cut is still in effect.
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