Air Passenger Rights Advocate interview re Passenger Bill of Rights

Wednesday, 17 May, 2017

Transport Minister Marc Garneau - Passenger Bill of Rights news conference

The following is my video interview with Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate, to talk about the new Airline Passenger Bill of Rights (Bill C-49).

Air Passenger Rights Advocate interview re new Passenger Bill of Rights

Legal References:

Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Air Passenger Rights Advocate (FB page), notes references:

News References:

Government news release References:

(May 16, 2017 CBC News Live video, Transport Minister Marc Garneau takes questions about the government’s air passenger bill of rights bill)


Instant Pot DUO-60/DUO-Plus-60 Design Flaw

Thursday, 11 May, 2017

Let me make a few things clear. I enjoy cooking with my iPot (Instant Pot). I even admire the inventor/entrepreneur/company that makes iPot (have a read of this enjoyable and insightful 30th Jan, 2017 Globe & Mail news article “Ottawa entrepreneur’s Instant Pot has attracted a devoted following of home cooks“). I think it is awesome to see Canadian inventor/entrepreneur making a name and money from a great product in US, Canada and around the world.

At the same time, I think it is important to point out problems, or design flaws when we see them. Customer feedbacks are good ways for companies to learn to improve their products over time.

I talk about a design flaw for my Instant Pot DUO-60 in the following video. And then I realized Instant Pot had come out with a newly designed DUO-Plus-60 around April 2017 which unfortunately has the same design flaw (based on unboxing video I watched)  I identified in the video. It is a bit disappointing the design flaw isn’t fixed with the new DUO-Plus-60.

Instant Pot DUO-60/DUO-Plus-60 Design Flaw


Watch Berkshire Hathaway 2017 annual meeting Livestream 10AM ET, May 6th

Tuesday, 2 May, 2017

Have a watch of the livestream of the Berkshire Hathaway 2017 annual event by Yahoo Finance (10AM ET, May 6th Sunday, 2017).

From CNN Money, “Warren Buffett should answer these 6 key questions

Are you ready for the so-called Woodstock of Capitalism? Warren Buffett will address tens of thousands of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Omaha on Saturday.

And many more will be watching the festivities on their phones, computers or tablets thanks to a livestream of the event by Yahoo Finance. This is the second straight year that Yahoo will simulcast the event.

May 10, 2017 update:

May 6th, 2017 Market Watch “Warren Buffett live blog recap: Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting

May 6th, 2017 FT, “Buffett at Berkshire’s annual meeting 2017 – as it happened

Morningstar, “2017 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Live Blog


United CEO Oscar Munoz, Executives from Alaska Airlines, SouthWest, American Airlines testify in front of Congress

Tuesday, 2 May, 2017

LIVE FB video stream of senior airline executives testify in front of US Congress.

16:40 United CEO Oscar Munoz
22:28 Alaska Airlines
27:56 SouthWest
33:35 American Airlines
39:37 Consumer Union (policy arm of Consumer Reports)

See also Global News report (with video), “United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz tells U.S. Congress the David Dao incident was ‘a mistake of epic proportions’


Delta beats United and other airlines by offering up to $9,950 (over 7 time previous max.) to flyers who give up seats

Friday, 14 April, 2017

AP is reporting that “In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, Delta says gate agents can offer up to $2,000 in compensation, up from a previous maximum of $800, and supervisors can offer up to $9,950, up from $1,350.

With the ongoing United mess which I wrote about here and here, United has lost a chance to turn its mess into an opportunity to lead as Delta beats United and other airlines by offering up to $9,950 (over 7 time previous max. of $1,350) to flyers who give up seats.

April 16, 2017 Update: Too little too late, “United Airlines issues a new policy requiring crews to be booked sooner” – //The company said late Friday that it will now require commuting staff and crew members to check into flights 60 minutes prior to departure.//


What would Warren Buffett tell United Airlines to do?

Thursday, 13 April, 2017

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is reportedly the largest single shareholder of United Airlines parent’s United Continental Holdings (UAL) with a stake of 28.95 million shares, or 9.2% of the shares outstanding (according to latest SEC filings).

So far Buffett has not spoken about this United self-inflicted mess (United Express Flight 3411 incident wiki page) yet but we may learn something from history. You see, Buffett biography The Snowball‘s author Alice Schroeder reported Buffett (an American Express investor) wrote the following during the 1963 Salad Oil Scandal (or “Soybean Scandal”) [with emphasis added],

It is our feeling that three or four years from now, this problem may well have added to the stature of the company [American Express] in establishing standards for financial integrity and responsibility which are far beyond those of the normal commercial enterprise.

Schroeder continues in The Snowball [with emphasis added],

Buffett wrote that two paths lay before the company, and that an American Express that took responsibility and paid the $60 million [note: remember, this is 1963!] to the banks would be worth very substantially more than American Express disclaiming responsibility for its subsidiary’s acts.” He described the $60 million payment as inconsequential in the long run, like a dividend check that got “lost in the mail”.

Using history as guidance, what would Warren Buffett tell United Airlines to do?

My guess is Buffett would advice United CEO Oscar Muñoz (or whoever replaces him) to take responsibility and pay a reasonable amount to settle the pending lawsuit as a United that take responsibility “would be worth very substantially more than United disclaiming responsibility“.

And in an imaginary world that Muñoz (or whoever replaces him) doing the RIGHT THING, “this problem may well have added to the stature of the company [United] in establishing standards for integrity and responsibility which are far beyond those of the normal commercial airlines.” Yes, things need to be done RIGHT now, and United need to lead in “establishing standards for integrity and responsibility which are far beyond those of the normal commercial airlines.

We will see what will happen in time. With Berkshire’s $2 billion (April 13 closing price of $68.07 multiply by 28.95 million shares) investment holding in United, I won’t be surprised reporters will want to ask what Buffett thinks about this mess next time he is interviewed on CNBC or other news media. We will see if I’m right or wrong.

Have a watch of Dr. Dao’s lawyers (more info at Thomas Demetrio’s law firm) and his daughter Crystal Dao Pepper’s hour long press conference today (CNN report) (CBC FB full video, CBC News report).

April 13, 2017 Update:

Sen. Franken (April 11, 2017), “Sen. Franken Presses United Airlines to Explain Forcible Removal of Passenger on Weekend Flight” [emphasis added]

– A federal cap exists on the amount of money a commercial airline may compensate a passenger for being involuntarily denied boarding or rescheduled for a flight. Why was the full amount of $1,350 not offered to passengers aboard Flight 3411 before the passengers were involuntarily denied boarding and forcibly removed? Does the $1,350 cap serve any benefit to consumers?

– Was the Louisville-bound flight oversold prior to including the four United Airlines personnel reported to have been granted seats to enable them to reposition from Chicago to Louisville? If so, were there alternative flight or ground transportation options for these four crew members that could have ensured they arrived in Louisville with sufficient time to board their next flight? Did United Airlines have the ability to assign other crew members to that flight departing from Louisville?

Does United Airlines limit the number of airline tickets that may be oversold on each flight?

Aviation Week, “Podcast: United in Crisis” – ATW and Aviation Daily editors discuss multiple mishaps and backlash after video of passenger’s violent removal goes viral.

LA Times Op-Ed. “Let Richard Branson kill United Airlines

LA Times, “At United Airlines and Wells Fargo, toxic corporate culture starts with the CEORead the rest of this entry »


Boycott United Airlines

Tuesday, 11 April, 2017

united

I tweeted “Seriously, enough is enough. I will never fly @United again!! #BoycottUnitedAirlines #fail” with the above widely shared photo and I meant it. And I tweeted “(CBC News, 10 minutes video) Gabor Lukacs, an air passenger rights advocate, calls @United’s behaviour ‘unacceptable’“, here (CBS News), here, here, here, and retweeted the following videos and photos. (see below) This United self-created mess has now become a viral talking points in news (in Chinese in Apple Daily) and chat shows around the world in multiple languages and cultures. This is million times worse than the United Breaks Guitars moment as not everyone has a guitar but no one wants his/her head bloodied and bruised!

News stories like “United CEO says removed passenger was ‘disruptive and belligerent’” and “Not so friendly skies: United Airlines’ public relations disaster” further highlight United and its CEO just doesn’t get it. United CEO Oscar Munoz doesn’t get that passengers and potential passengers can all see for themselves no human beings should be treated like this. (see videos for yourself) And ultimately, a global company’s weakest local links can bring the reputation down and costing million dollars of lost revenues.

Have a watch of this funny segment “Jimmy Kimmel on Passenger Dragged Off United Flight” that includes a re-imagined United Ad! #funny #fail

More headlines: WaPo, “The full timeline of how social media turned United into the biggest story in the country“; CNN, “Backlash erupts after United passenger gets yanked off overbooked flight“; HKFP “‘Shameless!’: China internet users in uproar over United passenger fiasco“; BBC, “United Airlines: Chinese and Vietnamese anger at passenger removal“; Financial Post, “United shares tumble as passenger-dragging social-media storm spreads worldwide“; CNN Money, “United Airlines shows how to make a PR crisis a total disaster

Charles Mok, a HK legislator, even shared a video of him cutting up his United Mileage Plus card.

Watch of this funny segment “Jimmy Kimmel on Passenger Dragged Off United Flight” that includes a re-imagined United Ad! #funny #fail

Update: UK Daily Mail some info on the 69-year-old Vietnamese-American Dr. David Dao “PICTURED: The internal medicine specialist father-of-five who was beaten and dragged off an overbooked United flight as CEO pens ‘tone deaf’ email DEFENDING staff Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4401444/Name-man-hauled-United-flight-Chicago-revealed.html#ixzz4dxgfMTes Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook“.

Apr 12, 2017 update: This is totally damage control stuff and Read the rest of this entry »


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