19 Comments
May 11Liked by Matt Stoller

You are making explicit a lot of the philosophy that lies behind your work, Matt. Bringing out the philosophies (the ideologies) at war beneath the surface in our society is so important, because they are hard for people to see and yet everyone senses them. Good post. Thank you.

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Yes thank you for stating this fact.

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While we’re discussing airline scams: what about the practice of selling seats which can only be used by the named passenger? If it’s paid for, but the passenger cannot fly then after all, why can’t they transfer the ticket to someone else? A seat is a seat, whoever sits in it.

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Live Nation and scalpers for airline seats? Can’t even imagine what would happen on popular routes. No Thanks.

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It's now emboldened, as a part of national security, that airline tickets are not transferable.

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It's interesting how sometimes the "far right" eg Sen. Hawley and the "far left" eg Sen. Warren can agree on pushing back on corporate abuse. Same when Matt Gaetz of all people cheers on Lina Khan. It's also encouraging to see politicians work across the aisle when they agree on policy, which has been rather out of fashion these last 40 years since Gingrich instructed his R caucus to vilify Dems.

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I think this has to do with the political realignment that’s underway. There has always been a populous faction on the right, but with election of Trump, they have gain significantly more power. With what they see as the overreach of big Tech and corporations embracing DEI and taking sides in culture wars they don’t like, they have grown way more skeptical of big business. there are still many conservatives that are pro big business but I do think you’re seeing more of the populist type

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May 11·edited May 11

I can’t remember when this exception was enacted but it was the result of airlines crying poor. The legislation created a loophole for airlines to be exempt from the 7.5% transportation tax on everything except the price of the ticket. This exception gets some scant play in the media when it come to checked bag fees, but it is applicable to all “add on” fees, i.e. priority boarding, seat assignment fees, extended leg room seats, bag fees, etc.

This first showed itself in checked bag fees. The problem is not only the tax loophole but the inefficiency it’s caused. Now people try and board with all kinds of bags causing boarding and deplaning delays that never used to exist. I can’t remember the stats off the top of my head but someone had done a study that showed a significant decrease in boarding times if only a % of passengers were allowed to check their bags without a charge rather than the current system. I’ve seen dozens of times when passengers have to take their bags off the plane and place them on the jet bridge because the overhead bins were already full. This is all happening while there’s still a line of people on the jet bridge waiting to board.

I’m also old enough, and big enough (6’7”) to remember when exit rows were regularly priced tickets. Now there is an extra charge to sit in them as “premium seating”.

Airlines seem like the holy grail of junk fees, all because of a tax loophole. Eliminate the loophole and I believe we’d see much greater efficiencies and more standardized and transparent pricing. After all, it does cost money to have, implement and collect these junk fees. Eliminating them would also reduce the costs airlines spend to administrate them.

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This is good news, of course.

However, the “helpfulness” of the Biden administration is motivated by desperation to win an election. What is given can and will be taken back once the danger has passed (aka election). Government is for sale to the highest bidder, evidently.

The cosplay of circumspect and co-operative corporations who pretend to see the writing on the wall (aka the plebs are revolting) is another theater run here that only plays as long as necessary. The costumes and masks will be removed as soon as their public relations teams figure out strategies to return to business as usual and Rick the plebe back to sleep.

Power cedes nothing without a demand. True. But the ability to hold onto any win and build on it is the problem here.

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I think you are being unreasonably dismissive of the Biden administration's record. What they've done with respect to mergers and Big Tech is not just a couple of one-offs just before an election.

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You are likewise entitled to your opinion. I am not inclined to throw them a bone just because someone else might find my systemic view unreasonable. I’ll let you make the case for bone-throwing, if you choose to.

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"post-Covid era"

Unfortunately this is false. Data from CDC itself shows millions of people with long-COVID, and we keep seeing charts and statistics on labor shortages. Puzzling, no? Where could all the workers have gone? COVID is a neurological and vascular disease, and each infection brings with it the risk of brain damage. There's no lasting immunity, and COVID shots do not prevent transmission or infection. SARS2 has ACE2 affinity, and can and does infect virtually every organ in the body. This is not "just the flu" which is happy to stay in the respiratory tract. As always, I urge people to be safe and avoid shared air which might be infected.

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founding

Great news in the airline ticket buying space. Everything is lined up to allow this new airline rule to provide a seamless experience for airline travelers whose flights get cancelled or delayed and simply seek a refund. Our Secretary of Transportation is turning out to have some decent progressive instincts, and, unlike our Secretary of Commerce, appears to have a deep buy-in on Biden's pledge to break up monopolies when they do harm. The airline industry is red hot about this, of course, seeing as how they are ceding authority to the Federal government over how the industry spends tens of billions of dollars it obtained from the flying public in bad faith, and, as Matt has mentioned, supporters of the rule guarded it against last minute changes, so the law will go into effect as intended, which makes those protecting their turf even madder. I did laugh a bit when reading Josh Hawley’s comments, in which he implies that he alone was responsible for the automatic refund provision, calling it “his” provision. I also found it inconsistent of him to work with an administrative agency, when his entire party is trying to annihilate all administrative agencies, arguing, among other things, that the courts should no longer defer to these agencies. An issue, I suppose, for another day.

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This is all very good, but we also need improved transparency and accountability. Draft legislation does not write itself - someone who supposedly "works for us" put that language in there. We need to know at minimum which Senator's staff was responsible for that, and preferably an actual name so that some investigative journalist can put them under a microscope for financial ties to the airline industry.

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Now and hope to other services, like phone and internet. how many had $5-$10 being added to their bill? When in my case call on it, thus it take hours, as to fining the right person. or to fix.

My theory this is from what and how Banking was able to screw people back in the Housing Bust. As too Corp. Well they was able to get away with it! why cannt other Corps. do it.

If a company has 20 million customers, that will just pay their bill due with added B.S. $5 A MONTH thats 100 Million in extra profit , PER MONTH. Bonus time for CEO`s and their board members.

Plus as to sharing info. or selling your info. Multi Billion a year business.

We need short simple text as to contracts with these people. VS 120- 80 pages. Its always been my view as why long contracts is only met, to hide B.S. rules to F you over. Plus, they will change contracts, then you have to go all over this again and again. Why not just a simple text as to I will not steal your tect or misuse for my own gain. THUS, here is what we will charge you for our service.

My name is NoBody, (1vs160)

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It is a good day.

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Thank you for your reporting, as always!

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*rock the plebs

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