Readers of Arthur Frommer’s column can usually expect to find good tips on traveling to China, Europe, Mexico or a few unknown but enticing ports of call.
His entries appear in the Travel section and elicit cost-saving ideas on air fare, hotels, and even some restaurants.
This week that wasn’t the case. Instead Frommer “took off” on the airline industry and a meltdown of the air traffic control system.
He not only threw a few barbs at the media for limiting it’s conversation to the “crowded skies”, but went after the private jets utilized by CEOs of many corporations.
Frommer says these private aircraft, though small, take-up as much airspace as planes holding 250 passengers. They get special treatment and account for as much as 30 per cent of the flight space in some urban areas.
He indicated the private jets often get to take off when regular commercial airlines might have to be delayed or even cancelled. Thus adversely impacting the lives of thousand of passengers for the convenience of a privileged few.
Frommer also went after United Airlines and their CEO. Seems that the CEO got $39.7 million in compensation in 2006, the same year the airline lost $152 million and terminated the pensions of 120,000 workers.
Wow, agree or disagree with Frommer it’s interesting he went after corporate America in what is more like an editorial than a travel piece.
From a public relations perspective, Frommer went out on a very breakable limb. Is this what readers of the Travel section really want?
Frommer’s frustrations may have best been served by writing Op-Ed pieces for major newspapers or finding a few forums on radio/TV talk shows. Yet, I guess he thought his traveling fans would most appreciate his point of view.
While one must applaud Frommer’s fortitude for speaking-up it is easy to question the placement of his remarks in a forum usually reserved for discounted rates on cruises.
It’s a questionable public relations move. Hopefully his columns will stay the course and return for many more safe and happy landings.