You know, I was just a little kid when I first heard the expression "false economy" and it made perfect sense to me back then.
Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who has been heralded as a hero for successfully landing a crippled US Airways flight in the Hudson River, told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that the state of the airline industry is in disarray.
"Americans have experienced huge economic difficulties in recent months, but airline employees have been experiencing those challenges and more for eight years," Sullenberger said. "We've been hit by an economic tsunami, September 11, bankruptcies, fluctuating fuel prices, mergers, loss of pensions, and revolving door management teams who have used airline employees as an ATM."
Sullenberger expressed concern that the economic decline has hit the airline industry so hard that "the airline piloting profession will not be able to continue to attract the best and the brightest."
"I do not know a single professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps," he said.
Okay. So we get mediocre pilots from now on who are willing to fly for smaller salaries and benefits than have been traditional in this business. And then what will happen when there's an incident like the one in which Captain Sullenberger saved the day?
I never used to be nervous about flying. But now I'm starting to be.