Guess What US Airline CEOs Won’t Be Talking to Donald Trump About Today?

US airline CEOs meet with President Trump today.

The heads of United, Delta, Southwest, Alaska, and JetBlue will be there — along with FedEx, UPS, and Atlas Air. Lobbying group Airlines for America will be there, along with airport officials from “Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Washington, D.C., Tampa, Fla., Buffalo, N.Y. and Nashville, Tennessee…”

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker won’t attend today’s airline executive meeting with the President because it conflicts with on of the previously scheduled airline Leadership Conference dates.

“He already has been in touch with the White House regarding this conflict,” American spokesman Matt Miller said. “Doug shares President Trump’s commitment to modernizing our nation’s infrastructure and looks forward to working with his administration to ensure all Americans have access to safe and efficient air travel.”

There will be enough people in the room that Oscar Munoz’s opposition to The Wall might get a pass.

Another function of the large group, perhaps, is that “discussion of the Open Skies Agreements that have allowed three Middle Eastern airlines in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to rapidly expand to U.S. destinations” is “deliberately off the official agenda.”

United, Delta and American all want the US to abrogate its treaty and place limits of flight schedules and fares, while Alaska and JetBlue benefit from a partnership with Emirates and FedEx is the beneficiary of a hub in the Gulf that’s only possible as a result of Open Skies. The people in the room don’t have a unified position.

The US airlines completely lost their case they made to the Obama Administration. Delta, though, sees a new bite at the apple with the new administration. However it appears that that bite won’t happen today.

Of course President Trump could be swayed by the endorsement he received from Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker with Donald and Melania Trump in 1997, via Doha News

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. We need modernization of our air traffic control systems. I also hope that Trump deflects any talk of protection. If the big 3 want to beat the competition then they should offer better service and add flights that the likes of Norwegian, Southwest, Frontier, WOW, etc. are adding and beat them at their own game. The constant addition of flights to LGA, JFK, EWR, LAX, ATL, etc. is ridiculous. Add flights to underserved airports as well like, PIT, CVG, BDL, PBI, PVD, OAK, etc. Spread it out big fellas!

  2. I keep hoping that Qatar will add a flight to CLT. Big hub of their partner AA. If they can fly to IAD, PHL and NYC which are so close to each other why not direct some traffic through CLT?

  3. @Rusty Norwegian, Southwest, Frontier, WOW are all discount airlines you do realize that. They do not go to the prime airports but secondary airports nor do they have great routes. WOW prices to Iceland are only $30 less then it’s competitor from Boston which give you a 2nd bag free! Frontier maintenance service has been noted as the worse of all the airlines. If you miss your flight on Southwest or it is canceled because of snow you may have to wait 4 days until there is a seat on the next available plane.

    Add flights to underserved airports as well like, PIT, CVG, BDL, PBI, PVD, OAK, They are not adding flights there because no one wants to fly there, Pittsburg the sunshine beaches are where? Travelers are going to NYC SFO not PBI or OAK

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