Airline Executives: Worst Week Ever?

Photo credit: The Guardian

The airline industry is not an easy one. In the best of weeks, most executives are holding on for dear life, and this past week was not the best of weeks. And while none of them had a week of Smisekian proportions, it was still pretty rough.

Alaska Airlines: About that Baggage Guarantee…

Don't worry, Brad, it's in there somewhere...
Don’t worry, Brad, it’s in there somewhere…

It’s never a good thing when the airline loses your luggage, but hey, it could be worse: you could be the guy responsible for losing the bags of your boss. Yup, Alaska Airlines managed to lose the bags of its own CEO, Brad Tilden. And it wasn’t like he was heading out with the boys for a weekend of fishing. No, he was off to Washington DC for an airline summit. He did ask the reporters there not to print the story, but I guess they thought he was joking.

But it’s not as bad as it could be, for anyone involved. Brad is quite possibly the nicest guy in the airline industry, so I have no doubt that he took it with a smile. And because of the airline’s baggage guarantee, he’s entitled to either 2,500 miles or a $25 discount code.

Air France Nudists?

Imagine this: You’re off to a routine management meeting, anticipating your croissants and chocolat chaud when a group of employees attack you and start ripping your clothes off. Kinda puts lost bags in perspective, doesn’t it?

Air France employees presented that greeting to a group of executives on Monday as they attempted to meet at company headquarters near Charles de Gaulle airport. Tempers were already somewhat hot after management announced approximately 3,000 layoffs, or 6% of the workforce, over the next 2-3 years, but negotiations were ongoing, or so they thought. While layoffs are never easy, the airline lost 200m Euros last year, hadn’t had layoffs since 1993 and is getting crushed by both the discounters and the Middle East carriers, so there weren’t a ton of choices left. One must admire the employees for their restraint, though. At least they didn’t kidnap anyone.

Kuwait Airways Fought the Law (and the Law Won)

The winners of the loser of the week award (in every sense of the word), however, belongs to the fine folks at Kuwait Airways, who had refused to sell a ticket to an Israeli man for a flight from New York to London. The court found that the airline violated US anti-discrimination laws, although the airline claimed that it was simply following orders from the homeland, by following a law that forbids its citizens from doing business with Israeli citizens. According to some sort of twisted logic, Kuwait Airways decided that it really wasn’t violating US law because it was following its own country’s regulations. I’m not sure what’s crazier, the fact that Kuwait Airways thought that it should win this case, or the fact that the DoT actually agreed with them originally, only reversing their ruling after the passenger appealed.

Featured photo credit: The Guardian. (Wardrobe provided by the unions.)

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