American, a recipient of taxpayer-funded federal bailout money following the 2001 terror attacks, has helped itself save the money it will need to protect its passengers from Stinger-wielding Islamofascists by relentlessly fighting the unions that attempt to secure higher wages for its employees. Some left-wing rabble-rousers suggest that the recent replacement of FAA-certified union mechanics with low-wage, non-union equivalents with no certification might be responsible for the safety inspection failures which left thousands of passengers stranded earlier this year, but some people will say anything. Surely it's better to ground a flight that was endangered by your own greed than it is to endanger a flight by not spending a million bucks on a hull-mounted anti-terrorist laser!
In the wake of 9/11, when American began losing money completely due to the terrorists and not at all due to their own incompetent, overzealous and poorly thought out takeover of TWA, the airline has shown an admirable dedication to its three goals of saving money, serving its customers, and ensuring safe flights. One way to save money is to cheat your pilots and cabin crews out of their seniority and put thousands of them on permanent "furlough", while simultaneously awarding an unprecedentedly huge compensation package to your executives, as former CEO Donald Carty did before being forced to resign in 2003. And a good method for serving your customer is to "furlough" nearly a thousand more stewards, mechanics and pilots, against your own union agreement, while putting extra seats on aircraft to make them more crowded, and contracting flights out of one of your major hubs, while charging your passengers money for checked bags. You might also want to collude with another airline to fight a local law that limits the number of gates at airports; then you can crowd the whole place with flights, and that's money well spent, unless by some freakish occurrence it turns out nobody needs all those extra flights. (Public relations hint: try doing all these things just after you turn a $58-million profit!) And if you're really serious about ensuring safe flights, forget all that jazz about well-qualified mechanics and rigorous inspections; go straight for the space lasers.
Yes, American Airlines, you are surely one of America's FREE MARKET HEROES!