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Airlines working together


Mission, TX
I have given several examples about my close relationship with a great airline, Western Airlines based at LAX and now part of Delta and how we worked together for an interline relationship with Wien, out of Prudhoe Bay, and Western over and above the normal things set up by the suits in my home office. We always got the work done instead of trying to figure out who got the credits. Company politics? I was often accused of running my own airline out of Prudhoe Bay by many in top management and maybe I really did but I sure made my customers happy and made lots of money for the company which is what I got paid to do. For my employees, I even ran my own direct pass department so they could go anywhere in the world free at anytime without going through our normal pass department. My operation was much different from that anywhere else in the system. Most employees worked two weeks on and two weeks off, lived in company quarters in dorm type rooms, not coed (well, most of the time anyway), fed by the company, etc. Water was in short supply so I always encouraged community showers to save water. hmmmm My idea was to make sure the guys/gals could go anywhere they wanted to on their two weeks off instead of only one or two passes a year. At that time, the normal pass department was ran by the secretary of the airline owner and she wasn't very happy with me at all over what I was doing. Made for a much more stable and happy work crew. They really liked going to Hawaii and the big tourist places in Mexico on Western. Employees were allowed to change shifts to get 4 weeks off at one time over and above normal vacation time. Talk about a happy crew and when questioned about it from above, I simply asked them if they were paying any overtime and was the job getting done. What could they say?

Western, not by instruction from me, but by request from the passengers and, lets face it, maybe a little pointing from my employees, got most of the passenger traffic.

I was on one of my usual trips to the Maui Lu and was sitting around pool side when the subject of Alaska King Crab came up. No one had ever tasted any. I went to the office and called a friend at Western Airlines in Anchorage and told him I needed enough Crab for 20 people. All he said was check with Hawaiian Airlines at 7 am the next day and this was 3 pm. I picked up my usual convertible and ran down to the airport and picked up the big box from Hawaiian Airlines, all still frozen. I put it in the resort freezer and started rounding up gear for a pool side cookout that afternoon. A local friend went diving offshore and brought in some undersize local lobster (gee, did I say that?) and a few other seafood items that I couldn't even see eating. Squid, octopus and one other.

Come late afternoon at happy hour by poolside and with the barbie all warmed up, I suspect half of the resort guests were there to try their first King Crab from Alaska. Everyone knew it was furnished by Western Airlines and I suspect if they had a choice of who to fly with in the future, they would have flown Western, (The Only Way To Fly) and the profit from just one additional passenger paid for everything. Western had learned long before that if I asked for something, I would always find a way for them to make a profit over it. With all the extra drinks, the resort made a profit but overall, I got the most rewards.....watching a whole bunch of happy people from all over the world. The only company that didn't profit was my airline but they didn't have anything to do with it anyway. Sometimes it was hard to remember just who I worked for, Wien, Western Airlines or the Maui Lu Resort.