Tag Archives: American Airlines

Having a Ball

“Barack Obama tried to keep corporate lobbyists out of his campaign, but when it comes to his home state’s Inaugural Gala, everything is for sale, and the corporate sponsorship list reads like a Who’s Who of Chicago big business,” Politico reports.

“Stroke a $55,000 check, as utility giant Exelon Corp. has, and you’ve purchases sponsorship of the ‘City of Chicago Ballroom.’ American Airlines has dropped $40,000 for exclusive sponsorship of a cocktail reception that may include members of Congress. And $20,000 merely gets your company name over the coat check booth.”

That’s right – you can even sponsor the coat check. That’s almost worth it just to tell the story about how you, um, sponsored the coat check.

Now, if you can only scrape together $10,000, you can get your name on a dessert.

Which is only about a third as crazy as Monsanto spending $30,000 to build a mock-up of the Steppenwolf right there, apparently, in the ballroom.

Monsanto, of course, is the recipient of generous tax subsidies, so they can afford it. Their executives will probably even fly in on private jets.

Hey, it’s a ball. That’s what corporate royalty does.


O’Hare Wars

While the mayor was celebrating the opening of a new runway at O’Hare and fending off questions about the opposition of six airlines to his airport expansion program, foes of the plan ran a full-page ad in the Daily Herald. I had trouble wrestling the entire image into this post, so I’ll just provide you with the text.


Chicago has made many unchallenged public relations claims about Mayor Daley’s much ballyhooed “O’Hare Modernization Program” or “OMP”. But when one looks at the details it is quickly apparent that the public relations claims are mostly “hot air”.

The Aviation Benefit Claims are Bogus!

* The infamous “Western Access” – a one hour bus ride around the airport. Chicago admits that passengers with baggage, who use American Airlines and who park in the western parking lot, will face a one hour bus ride around the airport to get to the American terminal. Same goes for United passengers with baggage who land at Terminal 1. Imagine: $15-20 billion of your money for a Rube Goldberg design that eats up an additional hour of your time! That’s “modernization”?

* The 45 minute taxi ride from the Northern Runway to the United Terminal. Because Daley’s massive plan fails to fix a critical taxiway choke point on the northern side of the main terminal complex, FAA controllers anticipate major taxi delays in good weather (let alone bad weather) from the northern runway to the United terminal complex.

* Minor Delay reduction rapidly disappears. FAA’s own studies show that the new runway will not provide any significant long term delay relief.

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Baggage Handling

Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) continues her campaign on behalf of coach passengers against American Airlines’s new baggage handling fee in a Sun-Times Op-Ed today, writing that “Singling out some people to pay more than others is just plain wrong.”

Um, maybe. But this is hardly the kind of issue Jackson was elected to the City Council to fight. In fact, it’s just plain weird. (On her website, she cites opposing the baggage fee as equivalent to opposing Mayor Daley’s tax increases.)

Is her husband, Jesse Jr., pulling the strings as part of his fight against foes of the Peotone airport? Mick Dumke points out at Clout City that the couple is running a coordinated campaign against the baggage fee.

I don’t like the fee any more than the next guy, but what’s next for our local power couple, boycotting American for a bigger bag of peanuts?

His and Hers

No offense to Seventh Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson, but I seriously doubt she just happened to have such extensive knowledge of the city’s Airport Use Agreement to know about Section 26-04, which she is citing in threats to hold hearings about American Airlines’ new $15 checked bag fee.

Her husband Jesse Jr., on the other hand, knows the city’s Airport Use Agreement inside and out due to years of famously fighting against O’Hare expansion and in favor of a third airport in Peotone.

Nothing wrong with that, except to explain the sudden (and apparently well-planted) outburst of a South Side councilmember who has otherwise been conspicuously quiet in her freshman year.