Produced by ‘Sway’
As the pandemic locked down cities and would-be travelers stayed home, the airline industry begged the government for bailouts — and got them, to the tune of $54 billion. The funds were supposed to help airlines avoid furloughs and ramp up more quickly once travel returned. But this summer, chaos hit anyway, with airlines like American, Southwest, and Spirit racking up cancellations in the face of crew shortages.
[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]
In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Doug Parker, the C.E.O. and chairman of American Airlines, why the industry is still struggling to provide decent service and whether taxpayer dollars were wasted in the bailouts. They also discuss why the company “doesn’t deserve” Warren Buffett’s money, the in-flight rage over airline mask policies, and why Parker thinks “the customer is not always right.”
(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
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“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Jordan Reed and Michelle Harris; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Isaac Jones, Carole Sabouraud, and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.
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