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Airlines Confidential Podcast

Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney

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Hosted by Ben Baldanza, former CEO Spirit Airlines & Scott McCartney, former Wall Street Journal Aviation Editor/Columnist "The Middle Seat". Top stories, discussion, listener questions, and passenger complaints are all addressed head-on in each episode.
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This week: John Heimlich, VP/Chief Economist, Airlines for America; Boeing searching for a new CEO; FAA moves EWR TRACON to PHL; JetBlue cuts routes; Is cutting costs ultimately more costly? Listener feedback: Public charter security, Rudy Maxa's destination judgements, Maintenance techs in the future.…
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This week: Rudy Maxa, Travel Journalist; Positive comments on Ben's NVO; Airlines: Biggest? Most Profitable? Biggest airline crown; Southwest expects fewer new planes; Concerns around lack of Boeing paperwork/security video; Empty middle seats on Frontier; Listener feedback on Doug Parker interview.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Doug Parker, Fmr CEO, American Airlines, outlines serious TSA safety concerns. Ben's AI "New Voice Option" (NVO); Spirit & JetBlue go it alone - Next moves? New proposed rule for handling wheelchairs; Fare fact errors made by Tim Wu on CNBC; Listener Qs on useful life of a commercial aircraft, business model for airport lounges.…
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This week: Zane Kerby, President & CEO at ASTA - American Society of Travel Advisors; 2023 numbers show safest year in aviation; Boeing supervision; AA same-day standby changes; What's with all the new Brisbane flights? Catherine & Richard Dotson remain at SAV; Listener Q: Overhead bin utilization, and a Flight Attendant asks how management really …
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This week: Maya Leibman, Fmr. EVP/Chief Information Officer, American Airlines; It's in the bag - increased fees and a bag revenue rundown in the billions; Delta's Amex credit limit for fuel; Shakeup at Boeing not what was expected - puts women in charge of rescue; AA changes agency ticket policies; Listener Q: Decision process for serving a new ai…
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This week: Brett Snyder, President & Chief Airline Dork, Cranky Flier; Delivery and backlog numbers for Boeing & Airbus; Carl Icahn picks up two JetBlue Board seats; The Atlantic article on carry-ons reaches a questionable conclusion; Listener Q on skipping a leg; Why did Spirit focus on A319s?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Jay Sorensen, Ancillary Revenue, A la Carte Pricing, Frequent Flyer (FFP) Consultant; Marty St George returns to JetBlue as President; Spirit's average passenger fare drops, CEO Ted Christie comments on Spirit's future; Administrator Mike Whitaker outlines Boeing actions including FAA inspectors on site; Sen. Ted Cruz requests special TS…
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This week: Mike Leskinen, EVP/Chief Financial Officer, United Airlines; Boeing's situation in 2024; JetBlue's new plan includes a new fee; Frontier introduces a Biz fare bundle via agency GDS; AA adds #1989, and Taylor is scheduled to make the big game; Listener Q: Basic Economy threat to ULCCs? Focus Cities, Hubs, Fortress Hubs.…
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This week: Dorothy Robyn, Public Policy Consultant/Writer; The latest Wall Street Journal Airline Rankings; Additional earnings reports; Has Amelia Earhart's plane been found? Frontier adds new routes to other's hubs; Listener Q's on pilot opportunities, plus an explanation of the LOPA.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: A DHL acquisition of Santa? + other holiday adjustments ;) - Digging into the Alaska-Hawaiian deal & SWA's role; Closing arguments made in the JetBlue - Spirit case; Listener input on the shape of DCA, Pluses of Amtrak, and you won the Powerball-what type of airline would you start?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Chris Sloan on The Airchive; Initial thoughts on the Alaska-Hawaiian deal; Skift story on increased adventure travel due to weight loss: NY Times reports on serious FAA issues; Listener Q: Takeaways from other international agencies? What is the role of a CTO in undertaking change?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Thanksgiving travel recap; Can't Make This Up covers "dog food" in China Eastern Business Class & Striking an anti-strike law; New Saudi passenger rights; Problems with the author's ideas in the book: Why Flying is Miserable & How to Fix It; Was there ever a Golden Age of travel? Listener Q: Is the SWA model broken?…
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This week: Ginger Hardage, Fmr SVP of Culture & Communications at Southwest Airlines/Founder of Unstoppable Cultures; Is ATC ready for the holiday season? JetBlue loses $153MM, is frozen out of AMS, and Spirit merger trial gets underway; SWA potential expansion in Dallas; Listener input: Sun Country, Scott Kirby & ULCC statements.…
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This week: Jeff Tolkin, Co-CEO, World Travel Holdings, Michael Whitaker confirmed as FAA Administrator, Spirit blames discounted fares for Q3 loss; Southwest makes significant schedule changes; The Alaska off-duty pilot incident; Qatar Airways' "Chief" resigns; Listener Q's: Industry employment potential & Ben's reaction to Chris Sloan's Air Inuit …
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This week: Mark Nasr, EVP of Marketing/Digital, Air Canada & President of Aeroplan; Air service in Tel Aviv; Middle East ramifications for travel; Delta's increased profits; Beond Air launches; Support for scheduled charter carriers; Boeing deliveries off pace; Listener Q re: Price gouging, Newark Terminal A; Aviation Manhattan Project committee.…
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This week: John Heimlich, VP/Chief Economist at Airlines for America; Scott's passport renewal; Pratt & Whitney engine selected for NASA project; Is Hydrogen the aviation fuel of the future? Price points on upgrades; Listener Q: United's large aircraft order, United / AA battle for Chicago, fleet planning.…
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This week: Steve Dickson, Fmr. Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration; Delta CEO Ed Bastian says SkyMiles changes went too far; Spirit & Frontier announce larger than expected Q3 losses; Future of low cost carrier business model? John Redmond resigns as Allegiant CEO & Founder Maury Gallagher returns in position; Alaska & JetBlue offer Delt…
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This week: Chris Sloan reports on the unique history of Braniff; Plus: Impact of shutdown on an already unacceptable FAA understaffing situation; Southwest's Bob Jordan goes to Denver; NYT reporter David Brooks' $78 Newark lunch; Listener topics: Odds of SWA pulling out of Oakland, "Slots" at EWR.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Dave Holtz, Chairman of Operations, Wheels Up. Also: Attention Media! It wasn't a "plunge"; Big changes to Delta's frequent flyer program - who might benefit? Austin TX announces 10 year expansion plan; American, Frontier, JetBlue cut earning estimates; Smaller airlines running late more often; Pilot commuting & related issues.…
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This week: Scott Mayerowitz, Founder, GlobeTrotScott Strategies; Remembering 9/11; Michael Whitaker nominated for FAA Chair; Delta hires Tom Brady; SWA, United, Alaska fuel price warnings; Qantas CEO retires abruptly, Potential FAA rulemaking would hurt charter operators; Listener input: Saturday night stay requirement still alive.…
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This week: The Zozobra eliminates gloom; Flight caps for different reasons in Mexico City and at Schiphol Amsterdam; American's $4M fine for tarmac flight delays; Delta thriving at LAX and elsewhere with strong investment strategy; Allegiant adds Johnny Walker Blue to the menu. Listener input on Flight Attendant training, threats to safety and jobs…
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This week: Special Report - Scott McCartney on the critical need for a "Second Manhattan Project" to improve the FAA, ATC safety & staffing problems, utilize the trust fund, and more; Plus Ben & Scott discuss: Turbulent weather patterns across America; Fares & fees in a Spirit/JetBlue post merger world; NY Times comprehensive story on near misses; …
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This week: Candace McGraw, CEO, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG); Mexico's new government owned & army operated airline ready for takeoff; Delta $20k pilot training incentive; "Pibot" - the humanoid robot that can fly an airplane; Listener Q's: A shortage of maintenance technicians?, Ben & Scott address a Spirit pilot's conc…
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This week: Celebrating 200 episodes! Our Guest is Doug Parker, Fmr CEO, American Airlines; Also: Hawaiian, Southwest, & others respond to Maui fires; NTSB report on United flight rapid descent; SWA starts offering free same-day flight changes on all fares; Listener Q's: Frontier's annual pass program odds for success? How are prices set on a new ro…
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This week: Susan Carey, former Aviation Industry Reporter, The Wall Street Journal; JetBlue, Spirit earnings update; Southwest pilot compensation; Spirit and JetBlue shares drop, is need for merger increased? Listener Q's on checked/carry-on bag fees, discrepancies on data sources, and could reducing executive pay help relieve the pilot shortage?…
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This week: Colby Harvey, Founder/CEO, Ultraview; Alaska and other earnings; a Q3 softening coming? Southwest: RASM drops, higher labor costs, CEO Bob Jordan says demand is still very strong; United cuts flights at Newark; Avelo and Breeze operating results; Listener Q's re: Where to reinvest profits during good times; Charters in the US vs Europe.…
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This week: Jens Kuhlen, President North America, Gategroup; The hot topic of Delta 555; Positive earnings at American & United; AA matches United pilots new contract rates; House bill raising pilot retirement age goes to Senate; Listener Q's on Delta Amex loyalty program revenue; What are the benefits of the Air France-KLM Merger? Advice on meltdow…
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This week: Khalid Usman, Partner, Oliver Wyman; Also: Earnings Season; Delta sets record - CEO Ed Bastian is bullish on continued travel volume; AA / JetBlue Northeast Alliance ends but what about the Spirit acquisition? JAL's "Any Wear Anywhere" clothing rentals; Listeners: update Hertz EV rental policy, time for a LCC within an airline again?…
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This week: Rick Schifter, Senior Advisor, TPG Capital; Joseph S. Murphy Service to Industry Award recipient Ben Baldanza's reflections on learning from and working with top industry leaders and Scott's reflections on covering them as a journalist; Listener Q: Why no taxibots?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Joanne Young, Managing Partner, Kirstein & Young; DOT Office of Inspector General scathing report of deficiencies and huge understaffing levels; USDOT Sec. Pete Buttigieg denies FAA fault for issues; United's turn for operational issues; Listener Q on fleet utilization.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Charles Duncan, President, Norse Atlantic Airways; Initial summer travel results; DCA perimeter rule talks heat up; Lots of policy making this summer; JetBlue's new livery; JSX CEO Alex Wilcox responds to listener comments, and additional listener input on 1500 hour rule.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Azim Barodawala, Co-Founder/CEO at Volantio; American changes attitude toward business travelers; United's Scott Kirby declares business travel recession; Delta rolling out a wheelchair accessible seat structure; Additional listener input on luxury airlines viability.Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Ted Christie, CEO, Spirit Airlines - recorded live on stage at Aviation Festival Americas 2023; American comes to agreement with pilots; JetBlue/American Northeast Alliance struck down; In-person listener question: Why no all-luxury airline startups?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Karen Walker, Editor in Chief, Air Transport World; ATW Awards, Follow up on J.D. Power satisfaction survey; American's operational issues; Airfare inflation numbers; Potential new regulation while major FAA issues persist; Will passengers pay more to fly a more sustainable airline?Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: Jonathan Sutter, Sr Director - New J.D. Power Airline Rankings; Congratulations to Ben Baldanza, 2023 recipient of the Joseph S. Murphy Award for service to industry. FAA redraws high altitude route maps; SWA adds USB outlets, bigger bag bins; Vanessa Hudson named Qantas CEO; Listener input: A request for more interview push-back; Local …
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This week: Tom Doxey, President, Breeze Airways; American's $10M Q1 profit & tops on-time departures; SWA loses a 1B in past 6 months; A focus on airline stock winners & losers; Capital Access Alliance calls for increased flight to/from DCA; Listener Q on stability & profits post-Covid,Av Ben Baldanza & Scott McCartney
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This week: David Siegel, Senior Advisor, Apollo Global Management; Another SWA tech issue delays 2000 flights; Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun dealing with delivery issues; EUROCONTROL gets hacked; TSA gun confiscations at checkpoints increases; Listener input: Context to LAX $30/hr wage comments, Winning as an airport's #2 airline; Pilot seniority system;…
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