Delta Flight Attendant Dishes Alternative Facts About The Gulf Carriers

For over two years now, the “big three” US carriers have been trying to stop the “big three” Gulf carriers. The basis of their argument is that Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, have been violating the Open Skies agreement because they’re government subsidized, and therefore the playing field isn’t level. I won’t rehash all my feelings in this post, but rather will link to my post from a bit over a month ago about why I have zero sympathy for US carriers in this debate.

Emirates-A380-First-Class-01

The Gulf carriers are in a lot of trouble at the moment when it comes to their US flights, between the US travel and electronics bans that are in place. This is causing them to cut routes, and on top of that these airlines are under increased financial pressure from their respective governments.

But that’s not stopping the US carriers from continuing to run their mindless smear campaign. Here’s the thing — the US airlines could make rational arguments for why the Gulf carriers should be stopped. But that’s not what the US airlines have been doing — instead they’ve been trying to appeal to peoples’ emotions, patriotism, etc. Maybe that’s just the way the world works, but I refuse to support an argument that’s based entirely on emotion rather than logic.

Delta recently published their latest smear “ad” against the Gulf carriers, in which they use a Delta flight attendant to make the case for why the Gulf carriers are so evil. And it’s simply riddled with lies, rhetoric, and exaggeration. Here’s the video:

Delta claims that they’re sharing “just the facts,” so let me provide the other side of those “facts,” directly responding to a few of the things that this Delta flight attendant is saying (I could write paragraphs about each point, but rather will keep it brief and respond specifically to just a few of the claims):

  • “We could all be out of jobs in a few years if things don’t change.” Aside from how ridiculous that statement is, let’s keep in mind that foreign ownership of US airlines still isn’t allowed, so there’s no way in hell you’d “all be out of jobs,” unless you’re suggesting that there will no longer be a need for any airlines operating domestic flights within the US. Let’s not even address the fact that more people are flying US airlines than ever before, and that US airlines are experiencing record profitability.
  • “They don’t have to make a profit, they can set prices as low as they want, because they’ll always have money.” Sure, these carriers are subsidized, but there’s no denying that they’re under increased financial pressure from their respective governments. If they’ll always have money and don’t have to turn profits, why is Emirates greatly reducing service to the US? Why are Gulf carriers adding fees and cost cutting like crazy? Why are they deferring aircraft deliveries? They are under a lot of financial pressure, and at least nowadays aren’t being run as vanity projects anymore.
  • “For every route we lose, 1,500 Americans lose their jobs.” Just curious, does that factor in the thousands of jobs being created at Boeing from the hundreds of aircraft that the Gulf carriers are ordering from the US, which cost tens of billions of dollars? Or do those jobs/families not matter? Let’s not even talk about the staff that the Gulf carriers have based in the US, the indirect economic impact of the hundreds of thousands of people that the Gulf carriers are bringing to the US, etc.
  • “What about military travel? That’s another big issue. If we keep losing international routes, we won’t be able to get our military where it needs to go. Yes, often military personnel depend on commercial flights, us, to get where they need to be, to protect and serve overseas.” Ummmm…. what?! Some of the above arguments are a stretch, but this is just next level.
  • “The US has trade agreements with these airlines’ home countries, called Open Skies agreements, which explicitly restrict these sort of things.” Sorry, but if that were the case this would have been enforced. There’s nothing “explicit” here, but rather it’s quite nuanced. That’s why the Obama administration decided not to take action on this.

Bottom line

In a few years time, US airlines are likely to cease to exist unless things change, and we won’t be able to get our military where they need to go to defend us.

Comments

  1. Normally I agree w you but on this issue NO. US airlines have been gouging folks for years, they are making billions so I don’t feel sorry for them.I pay for ALL my flights so lower fares are good. But in the US charging for a pillow or carry-on is ridiculous.

  2. Don’t forget the subsidies US carriers have gotten through repeated bankruptcy filings that relieved them of HUGE liabilities (in some cases, multiple times). And the best way to compete with these foreign carriers is to improve customer service, so that people will actually WANT to fly on US carriers, instead of avoiding them like the plague.

  3. @ rand — I don’t think you read my post closely enough, or perhaps my sarcasm in some areas aren’t clear. 😉

  4. Obama didn’t enforce because he has a bunch of muslim cohorts in the Middle East. Should add that to your last line.

  5. @US carriers – Wake up and provide the world standard serivce before you blame on others

  6. Respectfully, you and Gary have this all wrong. The U.S. carriers are 100% correct. Nothing has been done about it not because it’s not true, it’s because international trade finance is a complex topic that too many armchair economists think they understand enough to have a strong but wrong opinion. It’s the same reason nothing has been done about Nafta unintended consequences, blood diamonds, steel dumping by China, solar panel dumping by China, auto part dumping by China, currency manipulation by China, intellectual property theft by China, child labor in the third world, and slave labor in the middle east and cruise ship industry. People don’t care to understand why these things happen until they blow up, and by then it is always too late.

  7. Rand: I think you need to read the article and not the sarcastic “Bottom Line.” You’ll find the ha agrees with you.

  8. I fly to the Indian Subcontinent at least twice a year and have never found a US carrier taking me there to my destination during the past 20 plus years. The US3 never had those routes in place to begin with. The ME3 have been a blessing for me and nowadays I don’t have to make multiple stops with long layovers at different airports as I used to have in the past. In addition, the cabin service of ME3 is way better as compared to the US3. I will keep flying the ME3 until the US3 start competing with them with better service and a competitive fare.

  9. I don’t buy into your argument about all the Boeing jobs created by the Gulf 3 – if they were all gone tomorrow, demand for international destinations would still exist so other airlines would be buying aircraft.

    Once the competition is eliminated, I’m sure the Gulf airlines will be happy to raise their prices. Many years ago Home Depot came to town and undercut all the competition and eventually only Home Depot was left and they raised their prices……

  10. @ Rob — There’s absolutely a case that the US carriers could be making here, and I don’t deny that they could have a point if they made that argument. But we haven’t seen that yet. Instead we’ve seen them single out three carriers (two of which American partners with) and make an argument based on patriotism. If they US carriers ever decide to make a logical, fact-based argument, I might support them. However, that argument wouldn’t involve singling out three carriers, while ignoring the countless other subsidized carriers around the world.

    In the meantime I’ll just continue to call them out for their horrible arguments.

  11. @ Donna — Virtually all statistics suggest that low airfare creates demand. They’re not just taking a piece of the pie, but making the pie bigger. I see where you’re coming from with the Home Depot argument, but the difference is that the global aviation industry is actually getting more competitive than it has ever been, and not the other way around. Look at the emergence of ultra low cost carriers, for example.

  12. @Donna but the US carriers aren’t serving different parts of the world whereas the ME3 offers one-stop connections to these places. Furthermore, their overall product (hard and soft), even in economy completely eclipses what any of the US carriers offer. I flew JFK-MXP on both AA and EK in economy and the flights on Emirates was just so much more comfortable. There’s no contest.

    Competition is always going to be there – if not the ME3, other foreign carriers will take over, not the US carriers. So why pick on the ME3?

    More than 2/3 of Boeing 777X orders are from the ME3. EY and QR both have many 787s on order as well. That’s a pretty big sale for Boeing.

  13. I love when the US airlines complain about foreign airline subsidies. Ummm do you not remember a few years back when you were bailed out? Same thing….

    Then these airlines get billions of dollars of profits a quarter and American Airlines still won’t fully fund their employee’s pensions. Absolutely absurd.

  14. Hahahaha. You stupid Americans. Look what trump has done to you. The military won’t be able to defend you?? LMFAO

    Almost as bad as us brits and brexit.

  15. @Lucky The video is correct about military traveling commercial. I was stationed in West Germany and South Korea in the 80’s and 90’s and always flew to/from my assignments on US commercial carriers. Those flights were paid for by the military. I also was flown to and from Operation Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991 on flights that were commercial aircraft chartered from the US carriers.

    According to all the folks I know in the military now, it’s still the same way. The US military simply does not use the Military Airlift Command planes (C-5’s, C-17’s, C-141’s) to move troops around the world routinely. Regardless of what Hollywood movies show.

    That said, the idea that the US carriers are going to go out of business, and the military won’t be able to move people around the world because of it, is ludicrous.

  16. “And it’s simply riddled with lies, rhetoric, and exaggeration” …

    Have you watched any of the mainstream media in the past 17 years…???

    The reason that they use this approach is because it works…I do not claim to even have an idea of the % of people that choose to educate themselves in a non-biased, factual way…But I believe it to be a VERY SMALL %…I promise you that this ad will work on far more Americans then not…

  17. The government should be concerned about consumers who purchase plane tickets. Earlier in the day Lucky discussed AA tightening their configurations on planes and the comments section mentioned that it was time to regulate. The opposite, in fact, is what needs to happen and the result will be the same. My belief is that we allow unlimited foreign 5th freedom flights and begin to allow some 7th, 8th and even 9th freedom flights. I would love to fly Cathey Pacific from BNA-FLL. If we allow that, the US3 better get their arses moving to improve their product or they go out of business. The end result is a better product for us and a better, more globally competitive domestic aviation industry.

  18. Military travel? Like the contracts the US has with say, Korean Air for troop and hardware movement.

  19. Flight attendants will be out of the jobs because there are no unions
    There are no such things called military charters operated by US airlines.
    Because Obama our domestic skies will be ruled by the Emiratis.

    Believe what you will. #alternativefacts #deltaflightattendantlivesmatter

  20. Hilarious video 🙂

    Old and entitled cabin crew on the big US three that only board their flights to collect a paycheck. I will never forget a comment on an AA flight LHR-LAX were this cabin crew said “I work 3 days a week and they ask me to work more. Don’t they know I work enough already?”

    LOL

  21. Donna: I have been in the retail industry for 20+ years. Your statement about HD is partially bull. All the major US retailers set centralized pricing. This pricing may vary slightly from region to region but 99% of the products in a store cannot be adjusted according to local competition.
    Now HD may have come in with better prices from the onset but they didn’t raise them all once the competition was out of business. These stores simply have better pricing on most items because of the economies of scale.

  22. This video is really over the top but appeals to patriotism which works. Makes it sound like the G3 is beating them down with a bat and they are losing international routes. Yet the only international routes that I’m aware they’ve closed are flights to Dubai and a retreat from NRT with Delta. United just announced today EWR-EZE daily and legacies are constantly opening more international routes so what are they even talking about? Works well on the uneducated though.

  23. @Eric
    Well the military recently switched their contract from United to Emirates, forcing United to end their Dubai route…now that’s an actual case for how the ME airlines are harming US carriers, but something could be done about that a lot more easily than stopping flights from ME airlines to the US. But as for military not being able to get where they need to go, that’s a lie.

  24. This is oddly out of place for one real reason:

    The people to whom this patriotic and untrue drivel will appeal simply aren’t the type of people we see travelling internationally anyway and using foreign carriers. The demographic for this video is Americans who already have minimal understanding of the industry – most likely through lack of travel in general – and are easily swayed by images of American flags waving solemnly in the background regardless of what information is being shown to them. That just isn’t the demographic that is learned, wealthy, or in possession of enough critical thinking skills to truly ever have the need to travel internationally. As such, they’re forced to use domestic carriers.

  25. Me3 don’t fly transpacific , inter nor intra Americas

    The US bleat as if they are the be all and end all of air travel

    If you are flying LAX – São Paulo , JFK- Honolulu or Vancouver to Santiago the ME3 are not in the radar

    The me3 pose more of a threat to European carriers

    Look at virgin America? Although it’s merging with Alaska , What if emirates , etihad or Qatar were to set up a US subsidiary with hundreds of aircraft employing thousands of Americans and flying Boeing ?

    Imagine Emirates America with a hub at LAX operating an hourly shuttle to SFO and JFK

    I’m neither pro nor anti but the me3 as with all airlines, create jobs -either directly or indirectly.

    Not all air travel beigin or ends in the USA

    As for transiting the USA , given that this concept is non existent and people have to collect bags and clear customs it’s best avoided unless terminating there

    US carriers are also making huge profits

  26. They aren’t mindless complaints, they are watered down, over-simplified, and over-exaggerated to appeal to the base. The base doesn’t understand global economics. The base understands fear of others. They are basically taking the same (successful) argument the current administration used on immigration and using it to sell to the same base. This is not mindless, its calculated. This isn’t misguided, it is strategic. . It isn’t to convince the American educated international flyer. It is to rally the base that would never fly the ME3 anyway. This is exactly how you sell protectionism.

  27. @Lucky
    They are singling out the ME3 because of the magnitude of the subsidy and its intent of stealing market share. There is a big difference between Italy subsidizing a failing Alitalia so that it keeps a national presence in aviation and oil-rich gulf states pouring $50 billion into lower priced, fancier planes.

    And they are making emotion based arguments, because the “ummmm….why do people not understand a private company will always go bankrupt trying to compete with a state sponsored entity with taxing authority” argument seems to be falling on deaf ears. Just like we let millions of jobs disappear to Mexico before anyone cared, people won’t support them until they are gone….and that will be too late.

  28. Thumbs down to this terrible video. Stop complaining Delta and spreading lies.
    U.S. airlines need to up their product and service if they want to keep customers.

  29. Just look at the cruise industry….

    That might be the future of the aviation industry in the US.

  30. Mike – I guess that, from your bigoted comment, that you haven’t traveled overseas.. nor to Canada

  31. The us big three wants to make money so they want the people of the United States to only fly them. By making excuses and excuses and not improvement in service or pricing. I find it funny that they want me to pay top dollars , eat crap on their flights, gets booted when they see fit, and then play the patriot game. That’s what’s wrong with the world nowadays. JUST IMPROVE AND WE WILL COME.

  32. “@US carriers – Wake up and provide the world standard service before you blame on others”

    Exactly. In the past five weeks flew Delta, Alitalia, TAP, and Swiss. Am not eager to burn my remaining 80k Delta points on Delta. This ad was disgusting and I predict it will backfire. I made it through 45 seconds and then couldn’t watch any more.

  33. There is something to be said for protectionism, but the situation is complex and nuanced, as Lucky said. (the same is true for Nafta- it’s not black and white). It was right for US airlines to be bailed out in the past, just as it’s right for Italy to try and save Alitalia. It is in the national interest.
    We actually already have protectionism in the airline industry – Emirates can’t fly within the US, UA can’t fly within Germany etc. The competition is indeed a bit unfair esp. since Etihad and Qatar are so heavily subsidized and not real for-profit companies. This is something fliers should think about before booking. Nevertheless, this issue is definitely overblown. After all, the gulf states will not keep subsidizing these airlines forever. Even they may run out of money one day.
    One thing that i don’t think should be allowed are “fifth-freedom” routes – for example Emirates flying NY-Milan, UA flying ICN-NRT, Cathay flying JFK-YVR etc.

  34. Mary- You don’t agree about the Boeing jobs? Sorry to tell you but you are way off. Emirates has BOUGHT MORE BOEING planes in the past 2-3 years than ANY OF THE USA carriers! Period. I know that you want to feel patriotic but you need to be more pragmatic. The USA carriers don’t give a hoot about you. They are greedy period.
    BTW- American just announced that they will be squeezing more seats in their new 737 MAX and will have 3 rows with a pitch of 29 inches! United and Delta soon to follow. These are the types of organizations that you want to support? Give me a break! At the same time they are making record profits

  35. The woman is completely clueless. She can’t even pronounce the name of one of the countries. Qatar is not pronounced Cut Her. It’s pronounced QAhTAhR. She probably can’t even find it on the map. What a bunch of BS this entire commercial is. This is nothing more than greedy American executives trying to take advantage of an American administration that came to power based on a wave of patriotic fervor. They know that they can manipulate them and that’s what they are doing. The sad part is that Boeing will lose because Emirates, Qatar and many others are buying their planes which they will switch if this crap continues.

  36. How about the business that the ME3 are bringing to the US because it’s never been easier to fly from ME/Indian subcontinent to the US? When Emirates says demand for travel to the US is down 20% because of Electronics ban, travel ban, and all the other stuff that just scares the hell out of people and keep them away from the US, it also means that American businesses are losing money because of this crap. I can’t see the benefit to the US in all of this. It’s neither making America saver nor richer.

  37. First, great fake news in the video. @Lucky, you made many excellent points.

    So much of what she says is totally unsubstantiated, but she has a point about the military–great subsidy for the US airline industry. Not only that the US airlines get lots of other government business too. Just a subsidy, but who is counting.

    Of course, I wonder how many of our military are flying code shares, especially to countries the US airlines do not even fly to because they gave up the routes to foreign code share partners?

    Try flying United to SGN. Oops, dropped that route. BKK? Just fly our partner ANA.

    Actually let’s fly to India on Delta instead of Emirates. Oh Delta does not fly there. Even DXB. Oh yes, the ME3 are lowering the fares so low the US airlines cannot compete. I actually passed on a flight on Emirates to DXB which was $4,000 business class. Will fly that non-union, low-cost airline–Air France. Oh wait, they do have unions. They have high costs.Well, at least only $$2900. Why don’t the US airlines fly there? Fares too low or they do not like competition to give better service? You even get a free glass of real champagne in AF coach. Four across seating in business.

    @RapidReward. I agree 9th Freedom flights. Just use US crews.

    @Fernand Actually her pronunciation of Qatar is correct. So is yours. tomayto tomahto. Even in Qatar, one hears it both ways.

    On the other hand, if the US airlines really think it is unfair, why do they just not go on the ME3 flights before take-off and pull the passengers out. They do know how to do that. US Customer Service.

  38. Mike,
    Obama has cohorts in the Middle East? I’m chortling.
    Why? Because cohort and chortle are seldom used words and they’re funny. You’re not. You’re an idiot.

  39. “For every route we lose, fifteen hundred Americans lose their jobs.”

    Does anyone here have any idea where they got this statistic, how it was derived, and the assumptions that went into their calculations?

    I suspect I know from whence it came…

  40. Funny thing is, Emirates adding more routes only HELPS the US Economy.

    If Emirates launched service from Atlanta, for example.

    They would have to pay and hire dozens of US employees (ground baggage staff, check-in etc.) to run the Atlanta operation, and, if they provide better service, and if people flock to that airline, and Delta was forced to cut a competing route (which they don’t currently serve), probably no staff cuts would be made, as domestic flights are added on a monthly basis that requires more staffing.

    Totally stupid and shameless on the US Carriers.

  41. In this day and age of trump alternate reality and flat out lies, unethical people/organizations realized how easy it is to manipulate uneducated, ignorant people.

  42. At least 10 years from now, the ME3 will hopefully be flying their Boeing planes. The US3 are beginning to face competition from the Chinese airlines that soon enough will not be flying Boeings, or even Airbuses with US engines and avionics. The Pacific is the major market for the 21st century. If you want to fly to most places in the Pacific region, you will not find a US carrier to take you there without a code share. Well, unless you fly through the Delta hub at NRT–oh they are cutting that away…….

  43. Funny,

    When I was in the military, I flew plenty of BA and KLM flights on the government’s dime.

  44. I just love the rhetoric about all the ILLEGAL subsidies, except for the legal ones that the US big3 get? This whole video seems like such a rehash like the resistance to Norwegian airlines. American protectionism. Hogwash.

  45. UA actually has a lot out of SFO. 2x Daily to Shanghai. Daily to Beijing, Hong Kong, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita. There is 2-3x weekly service to Chengdu and 2x weekly service to Hangzhou. I hope they’ll add service to Bangkok, Manila, Guangzhou.

  46. Not going to fly gulf carriers simply because I don’t trust the maintenance of carriers outside of a few markets

  47. How much do the ME3 compete with US carriers?
    Just those travelers going to east and south east Asia?

    What do the US carriers exactly want from US Americans?

  48. “Aside from how ridiculous that statement is, let’s keep in mind that foreign ownership of US airlines still isn’t allowed, so there’s no way in hell you’d “all be out of jobs,” unless you’re suggesting that there will no longer be a need for any airlines operating domestic flights within the US. Let’s not even address the fact that more people are flying US airlines than ever before, and that US airlines are experiencing record profitability.”

    Record profitability for the time being — don’t forget that airlines have gone into bankruptcy protection in the past. In the 2004-2005 time period, rising fuel prices, high labour costs, and the push from LCCs meant that 4 airlines (Aloha, Delta, Northwest, and US Airways) went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which made up half of the US aviation industry. Of course there will always be a need for domestic airlines, however rising fuel prices after the recent crash and expansion from airlines like Spirit, JetBlue, and Southwest means that it will be harder to stay afloat domestically. Most of this “record profitability” comes from the lower oil prices, which Delta admitted saved them about $2.5 billion in Q4 of 2016 alone.

    “Sure, these carriers are subsidized, but there’s no denying that they’re under increased financial pressure from their respective governments. If they’ll always have money and don’t have to turn profits, why is Emirates greatly reducing service to the US? Why are Gulf carriers adding fees and cost cutting like crazy? Why are they deferring aircraft deliveries? They are under a lot of financial pressure, and at least nowadays aren’t being run as vanity projects anymore.”

    They’re cutting costs because governments are cutting subsidies. As oil prices drop, it means the amount of money the UAE and Qatar has does as well, and they can no longer fund their respective airlines. There’s a reason why Etihad has invested in airlines like Air Berlin, Air Serbia, Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, and Alitalia (assuming Alitalia lives), and why Qatar Airways has proposed an airline in India and has invested in LATAM and Meridiana. EK, EY, and QR are all gearing up to be “real” airlines with less subsidies than before, and route cutting and reduced aircraft deliveries and cost cutting are part of those measures.

    Just curious, does that factor in the thousands of jobs being created at Boeing from the hundreds of aircraft that the Gulf carriers are ordering from the US, which cost tens of billions of dollars? Or do those jobs/families not matter? Let’s not even talk about the staff that the Gulf carriers have based in the US, the indirect economic impact of the hundreds of thousands of people that the Gulf carriers are bringing to the US, etc.”

    Take the 777 for example. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad have 214 of them and have orders for 271 more. Sound like a lot? A total of ~1500 777s have been produced. This means that the ME3 have only 14% of the world’s 777s. Would you say that 14% is a large number? If your answer is “yes,” keep in mind that there are still orders for 400 more 777s, 271 of which are orders from ME carriers. Would the revenue be missed by Boeing? Of course. But how big of a drop is it in the bucket when there are still 1400 777 orders and deliveries from non-ME carriers? Don’t tell me that Emirates has claimed to support a million jobs with billions of dollars flowing to Boeing from their 777 orders. Others still order the 777, and that production line is still going. Boeing’s not going to start layoffs without a ME3 order — they make most of their money from the other airlines that exist. Anything else that they get is simply icing on the cake. And while you speak of jobs created by the opening of new stations and routes, remember this statistic: Delta (as an example) creates about 1,000 American jobs for every daily widebody flight they have. Emirates only has an average of 161 (source: the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies). Regardless of how slanted that that presentation is, it still proves a point — US airlines create more jobs here. From the mechanics servicing US planes and US flight attendants and pilots, to the increased number of gate and ticketing agents around (considering EK, EY and QR mostly use companies like Swissport for handling, which means they’re generating a fairly negligible amount of new jobs), it means that US companies are hiring more Americans.

    “Yes, often military personnel depend on commercial flights, us, to get where they need to be, to protect and serve overseas.” Ummmm…. what?! Some of the above arguments are a stretch, but this is just next level.”

    I have to agree on this one — there’s nothing like talking about “protecting freedom” and the military to get people rallied up.

  49. If the US carriers would just PROVIDE GOOD SERVICE and stop screwing their loyal customers then they would not need to worry about the M3. Unfortunately they would rather treat their customers poorly and complain about the M3 instead of competing by providing a better travel experience.

    The M3 is nothing but an excuse for the airline executives to justify continuing their terrible customer service and continuing to use obsolete dirty old planes.

  50. Subsidies! What about all the subsidies U.S. airlines receive both from the federal government–the Essential Air Service subsidies come to mind–and the tourism board subsidies that pay airlines to fly to their airport when there isn’t enough traffic to otherwise support daily or year-round flights? Give me a break.

    Delta could have at least found a 20-something flight attendant as opposed to an older lady, who only seemed concerned about flying until she’s 75.

  51. I agree that airlines should step up their service. The road to customer satisfaction is long, and for most airlines, I’d pick the lowest fare. But a select few, most notably Singapore Airlines, are one of the few I’d happily pay up to 50% more on the same schedule and timing just to fly. When you’re in your own class, you can set whatever prices you want.

  52. Intriguing post, Lucky, thanks.
    I’m hoping civilians groan as much as many of us veterans do when seeing a company choose as a PR ploy wrapping the US flag around their shoulders when offering their products/services. That these product/services are reliably below the ME3’s standards in cleanliness, hospitality and professional appearance makes this even more dubious and annoying.
    After 25 years in uniform and after flying 25+ trips to/from ME3’s hubs, I’ve never heard someone brag about their Delta or United flight. Rather, it was, “Oh, you got ticketed on Gulf Air through Frankfurt? Suh-weeeet!”
    Maybe it was anecdotal, but the 90% empty Doha-Dubai shuttles I flew on heavies (such as an A330) showed me profits weren’t always a driving force for these carriers.
    I’ve got to trust a survey of soldiers’ airline preferences would be an eye-opener for Delta et al. and provide some pause to their patronizing form of faux-patriotism.

  53. Emirates is one of best airlines of the year according to SKYTRAX with 5 stars. Not one US carrier even reached 4 stars. I am not American but I would be ashamed if I was to have such horrible airlines. I try to avoid US airlines at all costs, but sometimes I have to fly them. Land service is horrible, they make you fell worthless all the time. In Swiss you would never have such a nasty stewardess as the one portrayed on this DELTA video. 10 years ago in the Mobile Congress in Barcelona you could not see any American Phone manufacturer, now iPhone rules the world. It does so because Apple created a GREAT product, not because an idiotic president closed the border for foreign phones. The patriotic thing to do is demand good services not pseudo-monopolistic crappy ones.

  54. ‘We’re Delta, the best airline this planet has ever seen. We’re truly awesome. Screw those who don’t fly us, let’s also don’t forget to make those flying with us pay more! Last but not least, Delta means deserving favours and zero tolerance for any threats.’

  55. Maybe the ME3 carriers should stop buying US made planes and buy Airbus, Suchoi, Embraer and Bombardier only. I am pretty sure this would create a deep rethinking of strategy among US Airlines too.

  56. You know, when producing a video for American protectionism, it may have been smarter if Delta used someone that looked like, say, Ellie May Clampett or someone from the Dukes of Hazard rather than someone that looks more Asian than the average American.

  57. This discussion is purely political. Let’s face it. Nationalist nutters like @Rob and neoliberals like me have clear-cut lines on where we stand on this issue and other ones. It’s not about armchair economics. It’s politics. Lost your job? Too bad. That’s life.

    NAFTA is awesome, by the way. Great for investors and consumers. But I digress.

    The US3’s whining is quite frankly pathetic. I’m always told that the ME3 charge low fares, undercut US3, but I simply don’t find that to be the case. J prices on QR, EK, EY, are typically pricier than what I find on UA and AA — because they offer a superior product. This isn’t exclusive to ME3 vs. US3 airlines. On TPAC flights, CX charges twice as much as UA, even in Y…yet CX’s planes are pretty darn full whenever I fly ORD-HKG and JFK-HKG.

    When I ask for pajamas in Polaris, I get this look like I demanded the FA’s firstborn child. In whatever cabin I’m in, I am constantly reminded that grunting and eye-rolling is a core part of U.S. customer service culture. Why are luxury-obsessed flyers here taking the side of the ME3? It’s because many of us have had shitty experiences on U.S. carriers.

    Lucky’s not wrong. I see the US3’s smear campaign as what it is — a smear campaign. This is entirely political: drum up public support to get Drumpf’s populist admin on the US3’s side, because they are losing to ME3. There are plenty of airlines that are supported by govts worldwide that the US3 don’t protest. There are also plenty of airlines that are privately held and turn a profit. US3 simply sees ME3 as a threat they cannot counter on the economic front.

    It doesn’t matter whether ME3 or US3 buys Airbuses or Boeings. Both companies outsource their supply chains everywhere. Airbus has a facility in Alabama. Companies operate to turn a profit for shareholders, not to get all teary-eyed over a flag.

    I certainly am not a big fan of the subsidies that ME3 gets, but it’s not fair at all to say that ME3 has all these advantages without looking at the perks that the U.S. airlines enjoy. The Essential Air Service program effectively subsidizes much of the US3’s domestic business; bankruptcy procedures in the U.S. essentially force the taxpayer to bail out the US3; the U.S. has a well-developed network of flight schools for both military and civilian purposes, etc…

    If the US3 really care about jobs, they should consider investing in infrastructure. Pressure Congress to cut back on CBP and TSA wait times. Redesign airports to accommodate international transfers. Upgrade their lounges. It’s not that Americans are incapable of building a proper airport…

  58. Yo Lucky some additional points to counter the US3 dubious claims.
    The ME3 don’t operate at losses like she claims, indeed I know for a fact Emirates turned over $2 billion profit for 2016.
    The ME3 doesn’t always offer the lowest prices, many times when I was shopping for flights out of Dubai, direct flights on Emirates were always more expensive than Delta (when they still flew there), even more expensive than DXB-EUR-USA routes. I do feel Emirates often offers the best **value** but not always price.
    She neglects to mention flights of foreign carriers to the US also creates jobs, which reminds me of the “patriotic themed” campaigns by the auto Big 3 to encourage Americans to be patriots and “Buy American!”, notwithstanding that while they were doing they where shipping jobs to Mexico yet Toyota and KIA were opening new factories or refurbishing closed down ones to build cars in America.

  59. BTW. I love the fact that many of the U.S. airlines decrying the Middle Eastern airlines are the same airlines not supporting U.S. jobs by buying Boeing airplanes. Look at all the Airbus purchases by Delta, as an example.

  60. Lucky, you are wearing your hate on your sleeve, and it’s totally inexplicable, or is it? The US3 ARE working at a severe disadvantage to the ME3, and airline employees know it, which tends to explain their concerns. You seem unaware of the airline turbulence and turmoil of nearly a decade ago when tens of thousands of airline employees lost their jobs and/or retirements, or both, due to ongoing economic turbulence; it has been essentially a boom or bust industry over the years, and knowing this, why should the US countenance unfair competition as the next probable bust creator? And why, may I ask, do you consider job creation at Boeing, particularly that resulting from unfair international competition, as somehow preferable to airline employees keeping theirs. These are real individuals and real families with bills to pay and a certain standard of living that you seem willing to throw out with the trash, seemingly in order to get back at the airlines for real or imagined slights.

    I have used the expression “unfair competition” without necessarily having made proof of it. You don’t have to rely on me, but you can rely on respected business travel blogger, Gulliver, writing for The Economist, who says,

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2015/03/airline-subsidies-gulf

    i.e., the subsidies are real and they are having an effect.

    At the beginning of this Comment, I asked the rhetorical question as to whether your seeming general animus toward US airlines and amiability towards ME carriers can be explained, or not. Perhaps Gulliver’s final paragraph, quoted below, can speak authoritatively to this:

    “There is one final point that Gulliver finds pertinent. Gulf carriers are more proactive than most at currying favour with trade journalists. Their generosity to the media goes beyond complimentary flights for press conferences—perks that The Economist’s journalists are prohibited from accepting—and extends well into corporate hospitality. Once a journalist has enjoyed an evening in an executive box at the Emirates Stadium, for example, it becomes awkward to write anything negative about Dubai’s flag-carrier. Such conflicts of interest may well have influenced coverage of the Gulf subsidy row.”

    Lucky, I honestly have to ask myself if this could be you. Comment?

  61. @ RD Truitt — Goodness:
    — I’ve never been paid a dime, have never gotten anything for free, and haven’t ever been paid any sort of consideration from the Gulf carriers. I’ve given them a lot of crap for the things they do wrong, actually.
    — Regarding what happened over a decade ago, can we talk about how much the Gulf carriers were at fault for that round of airline bankruptcies? Should we talk about the (shall we call them unfair and illegal, just to be consistent?) subsidies that the US airlines received at that point? Now that the US carriers are profitable, how about they fund the employee pensions that they (unfairly and illegally?) took away at that point?

    So, do you believe that the US airline industry is completely at risk of collapsing, and that EVERYONE could be out of a job soon, as stated in the video? Do you think we won’t be able to fight wars because of the horrible actions of the Gulf carriers?

  62. As to the quote, “We’ll all lose our jobs,” this is hyperbole and you know it. Everyone uses hyperbole especially when they feel strongly about a matter, and it shouldn’t be used against them if their points are otherwise valid (as here). Whether Gulf carriers were responsible for airline troubles of a decade ago, this is irrelevant (they weren’t); what should grab your attention now is whether they are presently contributing to US carriers’ difficulties in the international market now (they are, and unfairly so). Forget all the hyperbolic statements and just see if you don’t find Gulliver’s observations relevant, true, and persuasive, if not conclusive of the matter. All else is noise, red herrings, politics, and on the part of some, an anti-US airline agenda for whatever inexplicable reason.

  63. As said above if the US3 want my loyalty then quit trying to squeeze me to buy a upgrade I cannot afford, offer better service and take responsibility for your actions.
    As far as Delta goes, Delta needs to read FAR Clause 47.4 https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/Subpart%2047_4.html
    As mentioned early on by Eric, Military does not routinely fly by military transport and when it is a major operation like Iraq the US3 get paid very nicely and the USG makes sure they have places to land and refuel and or switch if necessary. Now most Military and DoD personnel will not fly many of the foreign carriers on personal or official travel if given the choice, if I need to explain then there is no since to even try to explain it.
    Fly America Act https://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/103191
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/48/47.403-1

    Yeah remember the 2003 airline bailouts
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/9-11-airline-bailout-so-who-got-what/

  64. I fly the US-India route 6 times a year. The only US carrier that serves India is United via EWR. No, flying a BA or KLM or AF codeshare is not the same as flying AA or Delta (elite recognition). More importantly, the ME3 are just better at taking care of their customers. No sympathy for US carriers even though emotionally I want to support my hometown airline.

  65. Another point, I completely forgot about, but what happened in Somalia.
    When their central government collapsed and they became a failed state with no central government, Somali Airlines, the state owned airlines ceased operations.
    But, the need and demand for air travel did not go away, even in a place like Somalia, so what then happened was private individuals filled the void, creating as many as SIX private airlines in a country that was undergoing civil war, famine, and had no central government. To be sure all these airlines were small, had aged and small planes, the inflight service undoubtedly sucked, and only couple flew to neighboring countries – Kenya mostly, but they did operate (though I believe some did fail).
    My point being, that this Delta’s video claim along with others here, that if the legacy airlines are allowed to fail and cease operations, America’s airline sector will collapse, is pure bunk. If enterprising people in a horrible place like Somalia can get airline service going, most surely in the US new entrants can and will as well. Indeed, just as those enterprising individuals had to find new models to sustain their businesses because the Somali Airlines model wouldn’t, new airline startups, with the barriers of the legacy airlines gone, would also be able to have new business models, models that could compete very effectively against foreign carriers to include the ME3. Further those who lost their jobs if the legacies fail could be employed again by the startups. I’m not saying there won’t be ‘turbulence’, but perhaps it’s time to let the legacies fail if they remain dinosaurs.

  66. Take-A-Break – DL has an entire legal department that knows FAR 47.4 by heart. So, what is your point? You can’t just cite a reg without telling exactly in what way it applies or how it supports whatever point you’re trying to make, which, from reading the above, is fuzzy to indiscernable.

    Emirates4Ever, for your information no US legacy carriers will fail now or in the future because of their sagacious combining into fail-proof behemoths. But that’s not to say that as international carriers they are not under financial pressure due to the unfair advantage held by the ME3 (did you check The Economist article above?), and the US carriers could very well be forced to abandon routes and shed employees. That a hurtful uneven playing field exists is beyond question, and my question to you is, why are you so sanguine about its threats to US jobs? You would have different view if you were about to be laid off due to a competitor wielding unfair market power.

    Talk about “new models” demonstrates a vast unfamiliarity with the history of past attempts to create new models to compete internationally, the trans-Atlantic market being a case in point. It is littered with the remains of thinly capitalized “new models”–think Laker, et al–that ran out of airspeed, ideas, and capital all at once. And, I really love your cavalier throw-away line about how laid-off workers could work at startups — first, what startups, and second, for how much? Startups are very hard to come by these days, and even if there were one, can you imagine a 30-year employee starting at the bottom of someone’s seniority list at a 50-75% or more pay cut? It’s happened too many times in the past in this industry, and trust me, it’s a spirit killer; but it always happened where neutral market forces prevailed, not where the deck is stacked, as it is today. Learn about an industry before you go around telling it how to reform, especially where reforming may come about due, if I make speak plainly, to rapacious inside-track operators in league with corrupt Mideast dictatorships.

  67. @ RD Truitt
    Welcome to life! In a free market economy there will always be business failures. There will always be longstanding industries that failed to adapt to the changing world and died out. There will always be people who get a shoddy hand in their career. I know, I was one of them, laid off in 2008 when I was nearing 40, and damn near became homeless. Attempted a career change in a new field I had little experience in, managed to get an entry level job, but there was a catch, I had to find a way to pay for a flight to Atlanta, pay for hotels, and even a rental car in order to start this job. It took my best friend giving me his credit card info and repaying him later otherwise I wouldn’t be at this website replying to your message now. Did I whine how unfair it was? Did I sniffle how cavalier of “them”? Nope! I fought to get the skills and experience, and less than 2 years later I was taking business class vacations around the world. I been near the bottom looking destitution in the face because of economics so don’t tell me about starting from the bottom. You wanna know a little secret that helps ME3 to so well? They hire the former US3 employees that were tossed so cavalierly in the streets so their execs could collect their multimillion dollar bonuses. At least a third of the senior management in those airlines are Americans. For a while Emirates even had a recruiting program to entice laid off airline staff to apply lol.
    These airlines are the first to toss out people when Wall Street gets nervous, their work and loyalty mean nothing, so this line of crap about protecting jobs is just that, crap! And why not rally against the hundreds of other subsidized airlines? Hmmmm…
    The US airline sector needs new blood and badly, it’s the only way they can compete.

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