In his testimony before a Congressional panel following his ditching in the Hudson, Captain Sully Sullenberger succinctly summed things up. Years of “revolving door management teams treating airline employees like an ATM” had taken their toll on the airline industry. Placing a face with a CEO job is somewhat futile because before much time passes their faces will be replaced by other faces and the revolving door will simply keep spinning.
Expecting these temporary CEOs to “grow a pair” and object to the fondling of their customers by an out of control federal bureaucracy is just expecting too much from these kinds of men. These are the same guys responsible for stranding their passengers on hot tarmacs for hours, for enhancing their revenue by sticking it to you by the bag, for making “business” decisions to reduce costs by eliminating the peanuts, and for drawing multi-million dollar compensation packages for themselves each year. Yes, I know they serve at the pleasure of the Board, but I also know that the Boards are often made up of a tight little group of cronies, some of them with notes pinned to their sweaters and their oatmeal drooling down their chins.
Be that as it may, these are the men running the nation’s airlines today. Are you aware of any of them voicing objection to the molestation of their passengers? I haven’t heard them either. It is not a CEO's job to look after day-to-day operations, but it is (or once was) his job to defend his company, its employees, equipment, and most of all...its customers.
Capt. Sullenberger, shown below, is about as good an example of the consummate airline pilot as I can muster. His career started just after Vietnam and has spanned the period encompassing deregulation; his words bear re-reading...they are included at the bottom of the picture below.