Presidential Political Pandering and Airlines

The Governor of New Jersey is trying to cut flights to Cuba which do not exist. Chris Christie is actively campaigning to prevent any flights from Newark to Cuba, despite the fact that such flights are not on schedules and will not be until the US and Cuban governments reach a deal. The move is political (shocking) based on Cuba having taken in a fugitive convicted in 1977 of killing a NJ State Trooper in 1973. Cuba granted asylum to the fugitive and now Christie is “fighting back” and refuses to “tolerate rewarding the Cuban government for continuing to harbor a fugitive.”

Of course, the Cuban government is not really the group which will benefit from such flights being added. Or certainly not the only group. New Jersey has thousands of residents working at United Airlines and that’s the company which is going to be adding those flights. And businesses in the US are going to benefit significantly more than those in Cuba from the open markets. Oh, and Christie also doesn’t actually have the legal authority to dictate that policy. Oops.

text-from-hillaryAlso this week, Hillary Clinton took to the interwebs to attack airlines for charging high fares, even as fuel costs have dropped. Unsurprisingly this brought a swift reaction from A4A suggesting that HRC’s data is bad (DoT numbers suggest 3.9% drop YoY this year and a 7% drop YoY in August, the latest data available) and plenty of others. It is fun to attack the airlines. Everyone loves to complain about a flight delay or a lost bag or paying so much to hurtle through the sky at 500+ miles/hour.

And so we’re still more than a year away from the presidential election in the US and we get to listen to the politicians pandering to the public about polices and prices. Oy.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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