I was downtown at the "Save the Animals not necessarily Our Jobs" airline rally and interviewed a couple of Frontier employees. I asked about how things were going with the merger with Republic and the general state of things. I met Jimmy, who works at Frontier Headquarters, and Captain Mike, a very senior Airbus Captain.
"So Jimmy, what do you do at Headquarters for Frontier?"
"Well, I used to work in Marketing, but they moved my job to Indianapolis, so I am sorta looking for a job."
"Does that make you bitter at Republic?"
"Not really, Republic told us what we wanted to hear and Southwest said they were going to fold us into Southwest and that was going to be the end of Frontier. Jobs and benefits sometimes has to take a back seat to cool paint jobs. Have you seen the jet with the bunny on the tail? It is super cute."
"What changes have you noticed at Frontier?"
"Well, my cousin worked in reservations in Las Cruces and she got canned, my brother is a mechanic and he has to decide whether or not he wants to move his family to Milwaukee or not. If the Southwest bid won, my cousin would have had to move to Albuquerque and take a huge pay raise. My brother would have had to move to one of, like, 10 cities or something like that and take a massive pay raise."
"So the Southwest deal was bad or good?"
"Oh the Southwest deal is horrible. Like most Americans I trust pilots to help make big decisions for me. Over there is Captain Mike, he really made me see the light when he told us how evil Southwest is and how dang cute the animals on the tails are."
I had to talk to Captain Mike, he had quite a following.
"Captain Mike, can I ask you a few questions?"
"Are you important? My time is valuable."
"Well Captain Mike, could you explain to me the benefits of the Republic deal versus the Southwest deal?"
"That is very easy. Captain Mike hates flying PMs. I have a sweet schedule because of my seniority. Southwest wanted to rip that out from under me and I would have had to be based in Orlando, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas, or Oakland. You call those options? Not Captain Mike."
"Are you worried you might be flying an RJ and based in Milwaukee?"
"Pilots never worry. Look, so what if Southwest keeps making those "best Company" lists, have killer benefits, and pay tons of money… Have you seen their airplanes? No animals! Captain Mike hates flying PMs and hates flying planes without animals."
"Republic appears to be slowly eliminating what used to be Frontier, and may eliminate the Airbus planes with the animals."
"You are as dumb as Jimmy over there. Trying to get all corporate-ty and business-y with stuff. So what if Republic told a few lies. Southwest got all honest about getting rid of the Airbuses with our sweet little bunny, that is not what the people need. The people need a senior Captain reassure them that flying AMs with Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday off is way more important than jobs and so called money. Jobs can't replace a sweet schedule. Have you seen the airplane with the fox on it? The fox may be my favorite. Even though most of these people are going to lose their jobs, they can still collect unemployment, and the Government just made health care free from what I hear. I am pretty sure Obama had a few pilots that worked on that health thingy for him. I know what you're thinking, a handful of prima dona jerks like me screwed thousands of people here just because of don't want to fly PMs, but you are only half right, Republic is doin' the screwin'. Have you seen the one with the penguins? Penguins crack me up man."