After the airline builders like Juan Trippe and C.R. Smith and Bob
Six pass into history, you deregulate the airlines and get rid of
all their old clubby ventures like the Air Traffic Conference and
Enter a new breed of managers from Wall Street and the business
schools who understand things like regression analysis and
opportunity costs, and when they compete, it's like the MBA meets
the NBA, elbows all over the place. On some routes they're throwing
airplanes at each other 10, 12, 15 times a day, so you want to
suspend the antitrust laws so they can cut a gentlemen's agreement
to schedule their flights to fit the air traffic control system
that you failed to modernize.
Well, that's a convenient way out, isn't it?
Antitrust immunity might offer short-term relief, but we dislike
it for this reason: It makes it look like the airlines broke
something and the government is trying to fix it, when it's really
the other way around.
A good thing!
We noted in this space six months ago that the House and Senate,
finally, appeared to be on the same wavelength regarding
legislation to waive visa requirements for foreign visitors. For
longer than we care to remember, the visa waiver has been a pilot
program, subject to annual renewals and funding debates, and travel
industry lobbyists have been fighting to make it permanent.
We reached the homestretch last week when the Senate passed the
Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act. The House is expected to
Under the program, visitors from countries meeting certain
requirements can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa,
and U.S. citizens enjoy similar access in return. Some 30 countries
It's an enlightened concept that is credited with facilitating
international travel to and from the U.S., and that makes it a good