[Fun fact: the term ‘cray’ doesn’t merely derive from shortening ‘crazy’ but from London’s Kray twins — there were two Krays — “who were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s.” Jay-Z and Kanye West are more brilliant than some give credit for.]
Now, the whole airline industry has gone crazy. But the cray cray moniker may have to belong to Anderson. Before I get to the latest whopper, let’s review his bona fides.
Delta has the least trustworthy airline frequent flyer program that I can think of. Not only are their miles worth less than those of American, United, Alaska, Aeroplan, Korean and more but they:
- Make material changes to program terms and don’t tell members
- Removed award charts from their website and have been unwilling to give a straight story as to why.
- Overcharge members for awards with broken technology that they appear not even to try to fix (a feature, not a bug?)
- Not only make changes to their program and award pricing without notice, but have the gall to claim unlike every other carrier that they are legally required to do so.
This sort of behavior can only come down from the top, and at the very least the ‘top’ is responsible for it. And it’s hardly limited to the frequent flyer program. Anderson:
- wants to make lowering airfares illegal
- claims offloading his airline’s pensions on the federal government wasn’t a subsidy
- calls for US action against Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar because 9/11. When Delta took subsidies after 9/11, and partners with Saudia – the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia (which has an Open Skies agreement with the US) – an airline that received gifted aircraft from the government. A portion of the 9-11 Commission’s report was redacted as embarrassing to Saudi Arabia, pointing fingers apparently at certain figures in the Saudi government as supporting the attacks on US planes.
Richard Anderson, of course, was Delta’s CEO when they acquired Northwest Airlines. He used to be Northwest’s CEO. And Northwest built itself as Northwest Orient, a major Asia Pacific carrier operating a hub in Tokyo with fifth freedom rights obtained through the spoils of World War II. Yet he thinks other airlines get unfair help from the government. While he hands out comped elite status to politicians and then his airlines threatens politicans for subsidies.
Skift reports that Anderson claimed yesterday that Detroit “is the best airport facility in the world.” Not Singapore, Seoul Incheon, Hong Kong, or Munich. Detroit.
He cites JD Power as ‘typically’ agreeing with him.
- The last time they did their airport satisfaction survey was 2010
- That survey was limited to North American airports
- Citing JD Power is perhaps the weakest sauce on the entire earth.
- He claims JD Power “typically agrees” that Detroit’s airport is best — but two years earlier JD Power said Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Orlando were the three best.
- The claim is ludicrous on face. A nice enough airport to be sure. One of the better US facilities in many ways. But the hyperbole is Akbar-ian in scale.
If Anderson is trying to compete with his arch-rival Akbar al-Baker in the Pinocchio department, he’s well on his way.