Airlines are getting serious about saying they’re sorry.
After a spate of nightmarish service disruptions, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and others are sending out more apologies, hoping to head off customer complaints and quell talk of new consumer-protection regulations from Congress.
But no airline accepts blame quite like Southwest Airlines, which employs Fred Taylor Jr. in a job that could be called chief apology officer.
His formal title is senior manager of proactive customer communications. But Mr. Taylor — 37, rail thin and mildly compulsive, by his own admission — spends his 12-hour work days finding out how Southwest disappointed its customers and then firing off homespun letters of apology.
Fascinating look at Southwest Airlines’ culture. I hope they fly into Madison soon.
For Gerald Sylvester Joseph Cassidy, creator and proprietor of the most lucrative lobbying firm in Washington, May 17, 2005, was a day to exult. That bright, clear spring Tuesday marked the 30th birthday of Cassidy & Associates, and an impressive crowd had come to pay tribute to a godfather of the influence business.
Hundreds of guests gathered on the rooftop terrace of a handsome new office building at the foot of Capitol Hill, 13 stories above Constitution Avenue. A vivid orange sun descended gently behind the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial at the western end of the Mall, casting angular beams of light across the assembled throng. The guests’ view from the roof was filled by the United States Capitol, which from this startling vantage point could be seen, from end to end, in a single field of vision. The Capitol looked contained and compact, almost a plaything within easy reach.
Great series by the Post.
I snapped a few photos during a recent LAX approach along with a Madison landing over Lake Wingra, Monroe Street and Edgewood.
The Economist’s Project Red Stripe:
We’re a small team set up by The Economist Group, the parent company of the eponymous newspaper. Our mission is to develop truly innovative services online. We already have some ideas, of course. But as champions of free markets, we abhor the concept of a closed system. This is why we would like you to submit your idea (or ideas). Just think big – and we’ll do the rest.
Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, is the author of the latest effort to sell reluctant states on the REAL ID Act, the 2005 measure which would coerce states into issuing nationally standardized driver’s licenses and require them to enter information about their drivers in nationally accessible databases.
Despite Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff’s public insistence that the Act needs to be implemented rapidly, the administration, and Mr. Chertoff himself, appear happy to avoid an immediate confrontation with the states and to go along with Ms. Collins’ sales tactic. The Maine Senator introduced a bill, and pressed it as an amendment on the Senate floor, to extend the deadline for state compliance with the REAL ID Act, allowing companies in favor of the measure time to work in state capitols to calm the burgeoning rebellion.
Sen. Collins’ counter-rebellion role is laden with irony. The revolt, after all, started in her own New England state. In late January, George Smith, executive director of the Maine Sportsmen’s Alliance, stood to denounce the REAL ID Act at a community forum in Augusta. A Norman Rockwell painting come to life with the directness and accent of a lifelong Mainer, he said: “They had their Boston Tea Party. Let’s have a REAL ID Party!”
The next day, the Maine House and Senate passed a resolution to reject REAL ID by overwhelming margins.
More on Real ID, which both Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl supported….