There's no business like...

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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 round.

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 business?

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