During the misguided years I spent in Los Angeles working as an
actor, I learned two things: I'm a very good waiter; Show business
is not for sissies.
But the most cutthroat Hollywood mud wrestling has nothing on
the vicious scenario Sun Country Airlines chairman William La
Macchia described to the House aviation subcommittee during a
recent hearing on the State of Airline Competition.
According to La Macchia, when Sun Country switched from charter
to scheduled service out of Minneapolis-St. Paul, heavyweight
carrier Northwest Airlines pummeled Sun Country with a series of
low blows aimed at knocking out the little guy in the first
La Macchia said Northwest started out by reducing fares and
increasing lift at the airport. Pretty routine. But then, La
Macchia said, Northwest used its influence to block Sun Country
from gaining gate access, refused to lease its counter space to Sun
Country, raised the rent on a hangar it leased to the smaller
carrier and, my personal favorite, refused to sell Sun Country any
more spare airplane parts.
Northwest ought to consider branching out. How about show