Thursday, November 20, 2008

tough times for detroit execs

Los Angeles Times (November 20, 2008)

But under scornful questioning by members of the House Financial Services Committee, the CEOs conceded that when they came to Washington to plead for government aid, each of them had traveled on a private plane.

"There's a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying in to Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hands saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) "There's a message there.

"I mean, couldn't you all have downgraded to first class or jet pooled or something to get here? It could have at least sent a message that you do get it."

Three executives, three private jets. CNN estimated that the cost of flying GM's $36 million private jet roundtrip from Detroit to DC is about $20,000. I checked some airfares online. Last minute non-stop coach fares on a commercial airline are about $500 and often less. First class tickets are "only" about a thousand dollars more than coach.

Suggestion: Sell the jets.

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