10:58 PM

JetBlue is Not
Buying What
ATA is Selling

Anyone with a brain that does not work for FAA, ATA or BushCo has been throwing red flags at ATA's crazy shell game that's being driven in the back door of the U.S. Capitol. Their Smart Skies Campaign has widened the gap between the flying public and their member airlines, at a time when those same airlines are delivering a expensive, unreliable product.

Like Pavlov's Dogs, ATA's carrier cronies have fallen in line behind the FAA and White House tax scheme that cures that nagging tax problem the airlines have had to face. All major carriers, that is...but one, according to AP:

JetBlue Airways Corp. on Friday split from the trade group that represents the nation's major airlines on its plan to help finance the Federal Aviation Administration. The Air Transport Association prefers taxing passengers based on the distance between their origin and final destination, and ignoring actual miles flown on connecting flights. According to JetBlue, this favors the largest airlines using "hub-and-spoke" systems since they would avoid being taxed for the hundreds or thousands of miles racked up on those connections.
Whoa. Could this be the first crack in the hull of the Titanic for ATA and BushCo? From the looks of a letter sent Friday by JetBlue President and Chief Executive Dave Barger to House and Senate leaders, it sure appears that someone "in the game" now has thrown down the truth gauntlet:
"The ATA's formula penalizes JetBlue's low cost business model that efficiently avoids hubs and relies primarily on nonstop, point-to-point service," according to Barger's letter. "Similarly, all flights between the large markets of Miami-Orlando, Dallas-Houston and Los Angeles-Las Vegas, despite the burden they place on the busiest air traffic control centers in the nation, would also be exempt from paying the distance-based fee under the ATA's proposal. JetBlue has told the press that the ATA proposal will "mislead Congress into legislating which airlines using the (air traffic control) system pay their fair share and which airlines are provided statutory exemptions."
Mislead Congress? Wait a minute...isn't that what AOPA, NBAA and everyone in GA has been screaming all along about FAA/ATA's user fee/tax increase scheme? Yes, we've all been saying that loud and crystal clear, but now JetBlue has said it...and Associated Press has printed it.

But the question remains, will anyone in W.D.C. listen to the truth? As I write this, there are 502 days, 22 hours, 8 minutes and 40.5 seconds left in Bush's lame duck presidency according to this site, so will he even bother to sign any bill that doesn't grant his corporate buddies a tax break, such as H.R.2881, the bill supported by AOPA and NBAA?

I hardly think so.
Because that decision would be based on facts and logic, not the Good Ol' Boy Network.

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