Airlines Are Just A Bunch Of Pikers Asking For A Paltry $58 Billion Bailout

The hotel industry met with the President today. The airline industry is asking for about $58 billion in subsidies.

What would Wag The Dog‘s Dustin Hoffman say about $58 billion? “This is nothing.”

Hear what he’s saying? Three of the horseman DIED. Two weeks before the end of principal photography. This is NOTHING. This is nothing, this is – this is – this is just, “Act One, The War”. Now we really do need an Act Two.

The hotel industry was happy to offer Act Two: $250 billion. Casinos by the way want a bailout too.

And how about all of the restaurants that are laying off staff and can’t make rent? Bowling alleys, movie theaters, sports stadiums, and… the NBA?

You know the old saying, $100 billion here, $100 billion there, pretty soon you’re talking real money. You know what I say? If we’re going to give Marriott money, at least I want my lifetime elite nights that have been missing from my account since Starwood and Marriott programs merged. That’s not too much to ask, since I’m about to become either their largest shareholder or biggest creditor.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Bloomberg is saying they are now seeking almost 200 billion if government orders a ground stop.

  2. Providing assistance to travel companies is a lot cheaper than a severe economic contraction that can bankrupt many companies, obliterate pensions and 401ks and iras and lead to mass unemployment in various sectors. Helping companies is no different than providing assistance to workers, some of whom are overpaid union members which provide poor service as cabin crew and hold airlines ransom with every contract negotiation. I wish the assistance was in the form of cheap or no interest loans and loan guarantees so these companies can weather this virus induced shut down and rebound quickly after the pandemic is over. If it happens with helicopter money so be it. This isn’t like in the past where one industry is hurt but everything else continues fine. All industries are either shutdown or under severe strain. Loss of these jobs would be detrimental. Say the government provides unemployment benefits to all affected workers. But instead of going back to work at these companies in a few months they will have no jobs and these industries will be severely curtailed for years to come.

  3. @ The hotels and airlines should go bankrupt and reorganize like any other company. That is the way this is supposed to work. I hope the Democrats in the House stand up to this corporate grab.

  4. Airlines, hotels, Boeing… please raise money in the capital markets like everyone else. You know, the ones some of you have used for share buy-backs.
    Or be acquired. I hear Qatar airlines has money………… 🙂

  5. Just spotted the article from Bloomberg: US airlines have spent 96% of free cash flow 2010-19 on stock buybacks. So I think they can sell that treasury stock to raise cash.
    Missing from the list? AA

  6. $58B? Pfft, chump change. Boeing ALONE is begging for $60B. And of course our gutless “leaders” in government will oblige without blinking. How? Why, let’s print money out of thin air. Easy peasy, (Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees, nor to the sky… is dead wrong)

  7. It would pain Cheeto beyond belief to have to bailout the Pritzker family…and he would be correct to decline; as he should for the rest of the conga line of sleazebags.

  8. So we’re gonna print all this money out but Bitcoins use case is worthless? Lol okay.

    I want to point out that it’s obviously stupid to bail these companies but what’s more unlikely is paying every American. A lot of people who are the most disadvantaged 1) don’t have a bank account 2) are illegal immigrants supporting/ holding up our economy and they’ll receive no money so that doesn’t really help the people who need it most.

  9. They should have put those resort fees in an interest bearing savings account like responsible adults

  10. Maybe the CEO,s and stockholders should bail their corporations after receiving huge pay, bonuses and stock options

  11. The real bailout should be providing cash to the American consumers so they can survive. They will decide with these dollars what businesses will survive.

    That’s how it should work!

  12. From Nicholas Kristof:

    “This $60 billion bailout of Boeing would be enough to start a nationwide high quality child care system (modeled on the US military system), offering great pre-k for all kids and making it far easier for parents to work.

    Or we could rescue a company that makes planes that crash.”

  13. You fly to Home to work or wherever safely and next is smoothly. Yet unnecessary connections may add to some numbers, then look good some where, yet cost those in need of time or cost of travel it will add unnecessary time which is money to now a over all experience.
    Yet planes dump fuel which is added cost we pick up,Fly planes empty because of some mind game they play.
    Now they ask US Your Employer per say ” The Taxpayers “please sir can we have more money and better conditions”,because we wasted it on stuff other than wages for those on the bottom level.

  14. Healthcare for all is too expensive. But lets donate cash to our corporate paymasters. Stupidity of the so call capitalists

  15. This just pisses me off so.much.
    Airlines have had record profits for multiple years now, fleecing customers every which way from Sunday to squeeze $$ and which _avoid TAXES that are applied to airfare_. They also benefited enormously from the Republican tax giveaway. They took that cash and rather than hold it, like every American is instructed (to have a savings account “emergency fund”), they did huge, huge stock buy-backs to goose their stock price and make oodles of money in their personal portfolios. Most Americans do not hold airline stock, so there’s no argument to be made that stock buy backs somehow put cash in peoples’ pockets. It is just a farce to argue this point.

    Now, the tide has turned and taxpayers (passengers!) are expected to foot the bill to keep them afloat. I’m paying TWICE to get screwed over??

    Don’t get me wrong, I value the airline and hotel industries, because I like to travel. But I keep my own house in order. I did not take my tax return and buy lottery tickets (the only thing I can think that’s comparable to converting cash into TEMPORARY stock-price increases). I set a portion aside as best I could. I invested for my kids’ education. I repaired my house.

    This should be a lesson to all large industries. There actually is a reason government regulation has value and purpose. Because when left to their own devices, huge companies seek profit-per-quarter, do not think about their role in our society, and are fundamentally exploited by whichever asshat CEO/Pres is in charge and wants to build their own personal wealth at the expense of the company, employees and the public that rely on and support the business.
    Airlines are an asset-heavy industry. Sunk costs are huge. Why are they not required to have a warchest that can prop up their own business for a single quarter?? This includes employees’ payroll!!

    The airlines will probably need a bailout, because of all the above. But that money should only be provided with the following enshrined in law and contract:
    > Passenger bill of rights, for delays, service, etc.
    > Stop with the nickel & dime BS fees. Tax them like airfare to stop the games.
    > Absolute requirement that 100% of total operating costs for one quarter must be kept in liquid cash, at all times. Only then can stock buy backs occur.
    > Total suspension of all executive salaries during furloughs of any staff. I’d even love to see that at a 3:1 ratio (2 weeks of flight attendants furlough/unpaid = 6 weeks of executives unpaid). Just think of how many normal-salaried people could be paid if multi-million $ salaries were diverted…

  16. This comment not about this subject but the avalanche of advisories from airlines about how to process changes applicable to the virus situation. I can receive a notice at 101 PM and get a revision at 106 PM. I just got a 13 page directive from an international airline.

    Who can REQUIRE the airlines to handle ALL the reissues and refunds? WE all know that when processing changes all you need is one slash or cross of lorraine out of place and bingo, a debit memo.

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