Up Front With Martin B. Deutsch for 1982
December 1: FIRST CLASS CABIN, SECOND CLASS TREATMENT
Are first-class travelers on domestic airlines getting the VIP treatment they pay for, or is the reality too often something else? The question is one of growing concern as deregulation spawns a new generation of fare inequities and service downgrades.
November 1: FLYING FAT
I went in for my annual physical and they told me I weighed 190 pounds. Impossible, I cried, I’ve been at about 175 for fifteen years, your scale is out of whack or this building is tilted. They put me on two other scales. Same result: 190 lbs. The villain: all that travel last winter and spring to the Far East, Hawaii, the West Coast and London. Mon dieu! I had flown the Concorde, so to say, into obesity.
October 1: PASSENGER ADVOCACY
After the July 9 crash of a Pan Am jet at New Orleans, the International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA) sought a formal role in the investigation. This proposal was rejected by the National Transportation Safety Board and subsequently by the U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals. I don't see a gain for the traveler in opening this door to IAPA, either.
September 1: STRAY FRAGMENTS OF LIFE ON THE ROAD
What I’d like to do, with your indulgence, is meander through a few stray fragments that have accumulated over the months, fragments that have been languishing in my Frequent Flyer dossier because they’re not worth the full treatment (whatever that means). Onward and upward…
August 1: AN ENDANGERED BIRD
While I realize that the Concorde’s benefits make sense for only a tiny fragment of the market and the cost is awesome, I’d hate to see her grounded. I’d like to recommend that this magnificent creature join the list of endangered species, and be given all the status and protection that this designation implies. Long live the Concorde!
July 1: SIC TRANSIT BRANIFF
Whether Braniff rises phoenix-like from its billion-dollar collapse is irrelevant. The reality is the disaster that is here and now, for the country, the industry, the carrier and its people. Before deregulation a proud and profitable company, Braniff’s terminal flight path was determined irrevocably when its former management decided to make a bid for all the marbles: 600-plus new routes. The carrier lacked the manpower, the money, the equipment. The rest is now history.
June 1: FIT TO BE THAI-ED
Why detour to Seattle for a Pacific jump-off from New York? A logical question, since I could have continued on from San Francisco, a more direct gateway with a far greater frequency of flights. But I was motivated by curiosity, a desire to sample Thai International’s transpacific service and in-flight standards on regional routes.
May 1: INTRODUCTING THE FFFF
Let me bid you a warm welcome to the Frequent Flyer Fantasy Farm. This new institution, the FFFF, will be heard from sporadically--whenever I want to vent steam. Wishful thinking will play a large part in these meanderings, which were not scheduled to get underway until 1984, as a tribute to George Orwell.
April 1: LOSING LAKER
Hindsight, maybe, but I felt from the start that the failure of Sir Freddie’s Laker Airways lurked in the wings. It goes back to that day in September, 1978, when Pan Am retaliated against Laker's low fares with Standby, Budget and Super Apex tariffs.
March 1: ACKERNOMICS AT PAN AM
“Right now, I’m not concerned about survivability; I’m concerned about profitability,” says Ed Acker, Pan Am's new chief executive. “I expect one more bad quarter [this one] before we see a lot of light.” And he predicts a “very good” 1983.
February 1: HAWAII, 1982 MODEL
Hawaii in the 1970s was paradise for pleasure and business travelers, as well as for the visitor industry. During those halcyon days, tourism vaulted into first place as the island state’s leading earner and employer. But Hawaii’s travel industry registered sharp recessionary pangs in both 1980 and 1981 and needs to jump start its economic engine to move forward again.
January 1: FORCE MAJEURE
Beirut. Tehran. Kabul. What do these rather exotic cities have in common…other than the bad times that have befallen them in recent years? Not very long ago, before harsh events induced by the flow of history overtook them, Inter-Continental ran four thriving hotels in the capital cities of Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan.
Copyright © 1980-2007 by Martin B. Deutsch. All rights reserved.